Archive for May, 2012


When I was little I think I knew I wanted to be a writer. I LOVED to read. I would disappear from the house, go down to the creek, climb a tree, and read until I heard my dad’s whistle. I had a pretty ridiculous imagination (still do) and I could just be in my own head for a long time. I also LOVED to write. When I got a new notebook I would open it up, smell the pages, and stare at the lines on the page. There was something so exciting about the potential of that blankness waiting to be filled. I would write (bad) poetry, short stories, and pretend to interview people for a ‘newspaper article’ I was writing.

 And then I lost my way. At some point I realized that writing wasn’t just about creativity but you actually had to know your stuff (gramar, sentence structure). I still don’t know what a dangling participle is! Writing is hard work and most people don’t make a living at it. That was just a little too real for me. It took the fun out of writing.

In college I started as an English major and was doing well. But I could never answer the question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Being a ‘writer’ no longer seemed realistic to me (you know, because of all the hard work) and the other jobs that could come from an English degree didn’t excite me. I didn’t want to teach, or edit, and I didn’t want to starve. My writing career was over before it started. Blogs didn’t exist back then (back off, I’m only 30) so that media never occured to me.

So why is it that now, at this point in my life, I have returned to writing and am enjoying it so much. It’s pretty much all I think about. There is no greater thrill than when I see how many people have read what I wrote and shared it with their friends. There is no better compliment someone can give me right now than to tell me they like my blog (other than telling me I look skinny). I pretty much think about writing/blogging every minute. My husband is probably so sick of hearing  me say, “oh, I should blog about that.” It’s consuming me.

The problem is that I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Don’t get me wrong, I have a great job that I really enjoy, working for a company I am proud to be a part of. I am referring to what I want to do about this damn writing bug I have. I still don’t know if it is realistic to do it for a living. Everytime I read anything by authors they say how much work it is, how hard it is to make money, how it’s impossible to make money blogging unless you do it full time, etc etc. So, am I supposed to just let the joy of writing this free blog be enough? Am I supposed to pursue this further? I am not necessarily afraid of the failure. I am afraid of committing months/years to a project that brings me nothing in return (except for the joy of writing). Apparently a lot of authors work somewhere in the ‘biz’ like in publishing, or they edit a paper. I don’t. I would literally google, “how to publish a book”.

Well for right now, I am going to continue reading as much as I can, writing this blog (hoping people read it), and maybe work on my many book ideas on the side. We’ll see where it goes. Thanks for listening.

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Pseudo Healthy Foods

I recently posted about the #1 thing you can do to improve your health. This post is the #2 thing you can do to improve your health, waste-line, and pocket-book. Cook your food at home from scratch. I don’t want to hear about how you don’t have time. I don’t want to hear that you make good choices when you eat out. There are a lot of pseudo healthy foods out there and flashy marketing to trick you. Here is a small sampling.

Vitamin Water: What a crock. You don’t need to drink special ‘revive’ water. You need to drink ‘water’. You know the free stuff that comes out of the tap and doesn’t come in a plastic bottle that will last forever. You should probably use some sort of filtration system, but regular old water is the way to go. At first glance it looks like Vitamin water has 50 calories and 13 gr. of sugar. Then you look at the label and realize that each bottle has 2.5 servings. That’s right, Vitamin water has the same amount of sugar as a Coke. It is also full of fake flavor (no juice) and chemicals.

Panera: The healthy choice for lunch right? Here are the highlights for 2 of my favorite (seemingly healthy) choices. Sierra Turkey- 920 calories, 49 gr. fat, and 1,900 mg sodium. Yikes! French Onion soup- 210 calories, 10 gr. fat, and a whopping 2,320 mg. sodium. Double Yikes! Not to mention I prefer to get that with a side of bread. All of the soups have a shocking amount of sodium. The daily recommended value for a 2,000 calorie diet is 2,400 mg of sodium.

Raisin Bran: Breakfast cereal is one of the worst culprits of fake healthy food. Raisin Bran has 190 calories, 342 mg. sodium, and 17.6 grams of sugar. Cocoa Puffs has 108 calories, 144 sodium, 13 gr. sugar. That’s right, you are better off eating Cocoa Puffs. Actually, you have to be careful with all dried fruit- not just raisins. Remember, it has the same amount of sugar as regular fruit condensed into a small bite size piece. So you end up eating 4X as much as you would if it weren’t dried. Use sparingly. A lot of food writers/experts partially blame cereal as the beginning of the obesity crisis. When cereal came out we replaced eggs and fruit with sugary simple carbs.

Lean Cuisine: These are the go-to lunch choice for women watching their figures. Not only are they low in calories, but they are low in points for the weight watchers crowd. I don’t know about you but I don’t trust fettucine alfredo that is only 7 gr. of fat. A lot of these low-cal meals have 600 mg. sodium and all of them are loaded with chemicals. I saw one that was a chicken dish and the second ingredient was high-fructose corn syrup. You will also find xantham gum, tricalcium phosphate, enriched flour, thiamine mono something or other. Just make extra chicken and vegetables at home and bring in to work the next day. Remember, when they take out fat, they have to add sugar, sodium, and/or chemicals to replace that flavor.

McDonalds Fruit and Maple Oatmeal: Okay, this one breaks my heart a little. I love this oatmeal! Apparently it has 32 gr. of sugar and that makes me want to cry. I guess I have to stop eating oatmeal because I only like it when it has maple, and brown sugar, and apple cinnamon, etc. You are probably better off just getting the egg mcmuffin.

Subway Turkey Sandwich: I know that the commercials preach how healthy the 6″ turkey sub is. It only has 6 gr. of fat! Well, not the way I eat it. I like it with cheese and mayo and a bunch of veggies. Obviously the veggies are okay (assuming the spinach doesn’t have e-coli), but the cheese and mayo add a lot of fat. You add these and you need to add another 20 grams of fat! Okay, so what if you eat it plain, no cheese, and no mayo? It still has 810 mg. of sodium. The processed meat is just not good for us. We should probably limit lunch meat to 2-3 times per week tops. There are links to various cancers and almost all of them have an unhealthy dose of sodium. This one depresses me a little too. I love a turkey sandwich!

Don’t be depressed. Knowledge is power. We need to demand better of our restaurants and grocery stores. We literally vote every day with our dollars. If we stop buying the crap, they will stop selling it. If we stop falling for the gimmicks and take the time to read our labels, we can be smart consumers who make the right choices.

So, what can we eat?! Homemade soups, salads, yogurt, fruits, veggies, lean meats (real meat, cooked at home), eggs, tuna (limited amounts), and fish. It takes a little bit more time and planning but it is worth it. I promise you, if you cook 95% of the food you eat at home from scratch- you can go crazy and eat whatever you want the other 5% of the time. I would much rather have REAL fettucine alfredo every once in a great while than have the crappy fake version once a week. Jillian Michaels from the biggest loser wrote a book that I love called Mastering Your Metabolism. In the book she talks about eating real food. Her quote is something like, “If it doesn’t come from the ground, or it doesn’t have a mother- don’t eat it.” Pretty simple.

What is your healthy go-to breakfast or lunch?

There are about a million things that we could all do/change about our health everyday. We need to eat more vegetables, eat organic, drink more water, drink less alcohol, etc. It can become an obsession. I work in the health care field and read about everything I can on health and the human body.  There is a lot of contradictory information out there and Americans are busy. We don’t have time to follow it all. So, I’ve done it for you. Here it is, the #1 most important thing you should do for your body: MOVE MORE.

Notice I did not say exercise more. I actually mean move. According to a statistic I just made up, 90% of us have sedentary jobs. We wake up, eat in the car on the way to work, sit for 8 hours at a desk getting up only to pee and eat. Then we go home, sit for dinner, and then sit and watch an hour of television before we sit in front of the computer and go to bed. That is not a lot of moving.

The experts recommend 10,000 steps a day. That is the equivalent of walking 5 miles. When is the last time you came even close to walking that much in a day?

A lot of you are probably thinking right now, “It’s okay that I sit all day because I work out 3x a week.” Well, sorry to say that the research doesn’t back you up there. Granted, working out 3x per week is better than nothing, but it does not make up for all the sitting. Sitting is not just a lack of exercise, it actually is bad for the body. It’s bad for your metabolism, circulation, back, and much more.

Don’t get discouraged. Even if there is nothing you can do about sitting at a desk, there are ways that you can sneak movement into your day.

1. Start by doing a quick pick-me-up in the morning. You don’t need to make it to the gym (although that would be a great way to start your day). Just spend 5 minutes doing squats, push ups, jumping jacks, planks. 5 mins. before your shower- you can do that.

2. Take breaks at work. Don’t get fired, but as often as possible get up and walk around. Use the stairs if you got them. Stretch out your legs, and back. Do jumping jacks in the bathroom if you have to. Most employers would be okay with 2- 10 min. breaks in your day.

3. Take full advantage of the lunch break. How long does it really take to eat lunch? Get out of the habit of trying to drive to get lunch- it takes too much time out of your break. Bring your lunch to work (it’s probably healthier too) and then go for a walk with that left over time. Do as brisk of a walk as you can without ruining your clothes with sweat.

4. Don’t sit all night. This is a big one. After dinner try to get some exercise in. If you have kids you may have to get creative. Take a family walk, have a make-shift dance party, play tag outside, whatever it takes. Your kids don’t want to sit all night either. If you don’t have kids, you have a lot more options. Do a work out video, go to the gym, go for a run, do 30 min. of high intensity interval training (HIIT).

These are NOT a replacement for exercise. These are things you should add along with exercise. And when I say exercise, I don’t mean wandering aimlessly around a gym for an hour. What a giant waste of time! I know two trainers that could go on for 10 years about how much time the average person wastes at the gym (www.lisagandor.com ; www.lakecountybootcamps.com ). My friend Lisa always says, “spending 30 min. on the elliptical while reading a magazine does not count as exercise.” Rule of thumb- If you can read a magazine while doing it, you aren’t pushing yourself enough.

That’s easy enough right? I am not telling you to change everything you do for health. Just one simple concept- move more.

 

I have had it up to here! (Picture me with my arm up over my head). We need to wake up and smell the BS that is being thrown at us in the name of our political process. In my humble opinion, if you are going to represent the ‘Christian Conservative’ you have to care about people who are less fortunate. If there is one thing that I know to be true, it is that Jesus (regardless of whether or not you believe he is God) cared about the poor, the sick, the less fortunate. He believed that it was wrong to hoard all of your money while others were suffering all around you. He believed that it didn’t matter what color, status, nationality you were, if you were in need- he tried to help.

So, why does the so-called ‘Christian Conservative Right’ have a monopoly on morality? They are constantly talking about the god-less left and our lack of values. How is trying to take care of people in need ‘god-less’?

I believe adamantly that we need to feed, educate, and offer health care to the poor. I am also a liberal. (Therefore, also a socialist and going to hell.) The conservative christian right is cutting funding for social programs right and left. Now, they will tell you it’s because spending is out of control (and it is), but they are not willing to cut defense and discontinue the tax cuts to the wealthy. The greed is out of control. I cannot imagine ever getting to the point that I care more about my bank account than the health and well being of millions of people.  I would actually respect them more if they came out and said, “You know what, I am greedy. I like being rich and I think I deserve it more than everyone else.” But, don’t claim to be the party of Christ and then let people suffer and die when you could have prevented it.

And then there are the pro-lifers out there are constantly preaching that abortion is murder no matter what the conditions. In my opinion if you are going to be ‘pro-life’ -that should include ALL life, not just unborn babies. We could prevent thousands of deaths every year by offering preventative care to our women (you know the baby carriers). The pro-life community should be up-in-arms about all the preventable death that goes on every day with our poor. (And don’t even get me started on birth control).

Now, don’t worry, I am not totally crazy. I know there are a lot of christians out there doing very good work in the name of Jesus. They do care about the less fortunate. But for those of you Christians that DON’T fit into this category, you should be just as angry as me.

Stephen Colbert had a great quote: “If this is going to be a Christian Nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we have got to acknowledge that he commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don’t want to do it”.

What’s is going to be? Love thy neighbor, or ignore thy neighbor and pray they don’t ask for any money?

First of all I would like to say sorry Mom. I am not used to the fact that I am a married grown up who has a mom that reads her blog (and a mother-in-law, and maybe an aunt or two, and neighbors, etc).

I don’t know about you, but this is a hot topic in my household. I introduced this concept to my husband a while ago for his benefit. I explained that most nights there is a ‘sex window’. By definition, the sex window is the small window of time that sex is actually a possibility. The window’s size is directly correlated to how busy the couple is, how many kids they have, and how wonderful the husband is behaving. So, like a said, a small window.

A good example is when you first get home, you’re not too tired yet, you just poured a glass of wine…. the window is open. After the kids go to bed, your husband may have a good 15 minutes to make his move before the window slams shut and everyone waits til Friday.

The Kinsey Institute says that approx 26% of (approx. 30 year old) married couples are having sex 2-3 times per week.

Ladies, imagine if your husband told you ‘no thanks’ half the time you asked. Poor guys.

I am a firm believer that we should all be having more sex. Now, this doesn’t mean that I always heed my own advice, but we really should. Every single doctor, sexpert, book, magazine, and random blogger like me says it– so why aren’t we doing it? We are tired, busy, in ruts, frustrated, and we don’t communicate. We all just got done reading 50 Shades of Grey, we are all in love with Christian Grey, and we all wish that we had that passion at home. Why can’t we?

So, here is my call to action. Let’s have more sex! Let’s have better sex! What is more important- America’s Got Talent, or a happy marriage? When the sex window is open, tell your husband. Better yet, make a move. Give the poor guy a break. He has probably initiated the last 34 times (except that one night after your friends wedding when you had 13 glasses of champaign- you know who you are).

Besides doing it more, we should do it better. Pour a bottle of wine, have a talk with your husband. Without me getting too weird, have an actual conversation about sex. If you are nervous, don’t be. He’ll love it and it’s your husband. Me and my husband were just talking about the sex window and he proposed new ‘Summer Hours’. Apparently day light savings time applies to sex as well.

Bottom line, you are the only thing standing in the way of a better sex life. Here’s you’re homework for the month: have sex 1 more time a week than you currently are. Tell your husband when the window in open. Have fun.

I know most of you are saying, “Okay, if you twist my arm….” But I am serious. I recently started drinking wine almost everyday and I have been loving it. There is just something about a glass of red wine at the end of a long day that makes everything better. Here is my justification for drinking every day:

1. Wine in moderation is good for your health. Studies have shown that 1-2 glasses of wine per day* can decrease your risk for heart disease. Wine has a lot of other health benefits as well but the research is lacking a little. People in France and Italy drink wine all the time and have healthier lifestyles, less heart disease, and lower obesity than we do in America.

2. Wine helps you relax. We all have too much stress in our lives. We are worried and anxious all the time. If having a glass of wine at the end of the day decreases this stress and helps you let go, then by all means- imbibe. The stress hormone cortisol does really bad things to our bodies. We should all find something that we love that also relaxes us. Other ideas: Massage, Meditation, Exercise.

3. Wine is something you can enjoy with your husband/wife. How many things do you two do together? How many nights a week do you ‘talk’? I mean actually talk? After the kids go to bed, turn off the TV and have a glass of wine together. Talk about your days, your life’s purpose, your fantasy football team! It doesn’t matter what you talk about; just spending adult time together goes a long way.

4. Wine can help you sleep. Now, you don’t want to become dependent on alcohol to fall asleep, and too much alcohol can decrease the quality of your sleep, but 1 glass of wine will help. If nothing else, it will help you avoid laying in bed for 30 mins. worrying about what you need to do tomorrow. Sleep is important and we don’t get enough of it. Combine this point with #2, and you can really start managing your stress.

5. Wine is delicious! I know not everyone thinks that wine is delicious, but those people are wrong. It is yummy and I love it. And I’m not even a wine-snob. If I bring a $13 bottle of wine home my husband will ask what the special occasion is. It doesn’t matter. Pick one you like and can afford.

*You are NOT allowed to save up all your drinks during the week to have 7 glasses on Saturday night. Well, you can, but it’s not going to improve your health.

Salud!

Porkalicious

I was over at my sister’s house this morning and my niece Clara inspired me for this post. She was talking about a book called Pinkalicious. When I got home and started thinking about dinner and going thru the freezer it hit me- Porkalicious! I have a lot of friends that are intimidated by pork. Here are some easy and delicious ways to cook pork:

1. Bacon- Repeat after me, “I will never try to fry bacon in a pan ever again!” Cooking bacon on the stovetop is messy, fatty, and makes your house smell like bacon for 3 days (all the men right now are thinking, ‘and the problem is?’). Bacon in the oven is the way to go. Pre-heat to 375, line a cookie sheet with foil, (if you have it) put a baking rack on top of the foil and then put the bacon laid out on top of that. After 15 or so minutes you will have perfect, evenly cooked, crispy bacon (and most of the excess fat will be below the rack). Clean up- Let the bacon fat dry and throw foil in the garbage. Simple as that.

2. Chops- Repeat after me, “I will never over cook my pork chops ever again!” You know when you go to someone’s house and they are serving pork chops and they are so dry you can’t chew them? It reminds me of National Lampoons Chritmas vacation when Clark is dunking his turkey in his water glass. Pork does not need to be burned beyond recognition. Pork chops should be delicious and juicy and full of flavor. There are approx a million pork chop recipes out there so you can look them up (www.foodnetwork.com) but there is one go-to recipe in my house that my husband regularly asks for. I season the chops with salt and pepper, then I rub them down with a good stone ground mustard. After the sit for about 30 mins in the fridge, I bake them at 325 for however long it takes to get them to 145 degrees (if you don’t have a meat thermometer, you will always over cook pork and chicken- get one).

3. Tenderloin- Repeat after me, “I will not be intimidated by pork tenderloin ever again!” Pork tenderloin is one of the tastiest, healthiest, and easiest things to make for a family or for entertaining. The way I do it is very simple. Pat dry with paper towel (This is good to do with all meat when you take it out of the package. You want your meat to be dry when you begin.). Rub a little bit of olive oil on the meat, and season well. I feel like people gravely under-season their food. Do not be afraid of sodium if you make 90% of your food at home from scratch. The salt you put on the pork is way less than any thing that has been pre-prepared from the box. I use salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and red pepper flake but you can use what ever you like. Tip: the bigger/fatter the tenderloin, the more seasoning you want to use. After you’ve seasoned the meat, lightly oil a very hot skillet/pan. Add the tenderloin (you should hear the searing sound), let cook 1-2 minutes, rotate, repeat, rotate, repeat. In other words, you want to sear it (turn it brownish) on all sides. Finish in a 350 degree oven. I can’t tell you how long, because I don’t know how big your tenderloin is. Again, cook it to about 145. Take it out of oven and let is sit for 10 min (more if it is really big). You NEED to let it rest or you can kiss the juices goodbye. Remember the promise from #2 about over cooking pork. Your meat can be a little pink. It’s not the same as chicken. Now, you can’t have it rare like beef, but a little pink is okay.

Questions? No more excuses, embrace the pig. Porkalicious!

Some co-workers and I were talking about this the other day and laughing. A bunch of us just turned 30 and decided some changes have to be made at our advanced age. Here’s what I think:

1. You can no longer drink so much that you puke the next day! I will say this to myself over and over from now on when I go out on the weekends (which almost never happens anymore). We need to face facts. Long gone are the days where we can sleep til 12pm, get McDonalds for lunch, take a nap, and start all over again. I have found that my kids are just as energetic no matter how much I drank the night before.

2. You can not go to work hung over! This kind of goes along with the previous comment. There is no excuse for this. Thursdays are no longer an extension of the weekend. You’re a grown up and therefore the weekend starts after work on Friday. You get two days- that’s it. It sucks, I know.

3. Ladies: You can no longer where odd number clothing! Remember that store ‘5-7-9’? Yeah, you were 11. Those sizes are for teenagers, not for 30 year olds. If you have a pair of those in your closet and you are trying to diet your way to your skinny jeans, give it up. Women have hips, girls don’t. Deal with it.

4. Ladies: You can no longer pull off extreme low rise pants! I should never see the underwear of a 30+ year old woman hanging out the back of her pants. It shouldn’t happen with teenagers either but they are stupid and skinny so they can get away with it.

5. You can no longer avoid avoid warm ups/stretching for work outs! Remember the days where you could just jump into a pick up game WITHOUT getting sore? Kiss them good bye. It’s amazing how easily you can hurt yourself doing something you would never think twice about at 18. Take the 5 minutes to stretch, your old brittle muscles will thank you.

6. You can no longer under-appreciate your parents! If you have kids, you should know what I mean, but this goes for everyone. By now you should be mature enough to realize what your parents went thru to make a good life for you. They sacrificed a lot for you, they loved you more than you know, and raised you the best way they knew how. Call your mom.

7. You can no longer be an idiot on Facebook! You can’t spill your dirty laundry, you can’t talk shit about a friend, you can’t post inappropriate pictures, you can’t get way too personal! It makes the rest of us feel uncomfortable and we wish you would stop.

This is a very controversial topic. Before you all get mad at me and tell me why your doctor said you should take vitamin ‘X’- relax. I am not trying to contradict medical professionals (who are way smarter than me), I just want to make you think about what you put in your body. So, should we be taking vitamins?

The short answer: Who Knows!?!
The long answer: This is a hot topic as of late and I have done my best to do my own research. What I have found is a lot of contradictory information without a lot of good research. I will try to explain and summarize what I have learned below, but the goal of this post is only to make you think. Please discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor before making any changes.
‘Business’ and Vitamins: According to Consumer Reports, Vitamin and Supplement sales is a $4 Billion a year industry. In 2008 and 2009 when most industries were struggling, the vitamin business was booming and it still is today. Vitamin D sales alone have doubled in recent years. Many people have started taking vitamins as a preventative measure because of uncertainties with health care and rising health care expenses. Half of adult Americans are taking a multivitamin or other supplement for their health.
‘Regulation’ and Vitamins: The FDA has a bit of a strange deal with these vitamins and supplements. They regulate them like they do with food, not like they do with drugs and/or medications. This means that they don’t evaluate the safety of these products before they hit the shelves. They DO however have the over-sight to pull a dangerous product off the shelves if something is deemed unsafe. The FDA does have rules and restrictions that these companies have to follow. For example, the claims that vitamins make on their labels have to come with the disclaimer that the statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. As long as that is clear, they can say that their ‘vitamin B pill will improve energy’ even though they have not proven that statement. Also, all ingredients must be listed on the label with approximate amounts. The exception here is that some supplements are by prescription only. These prescription supplements are regulated more closely than the over-the-counter options and are therefore believed to be a safer choice.
‘Research’ and Vitamins: This is probably the most frustrating part about vitamins and supplements. The research is constantly contradicting itself. For example, one study showed that taking a Vitamin E supplement decreased the risk of prostate cancer, but it increased the risk of death from hemorrhagic stroke. Another example is that some doctors were recommending beta-carotene for cancer prevention. After doing an experiment with male, smokers in Finland, they realized that the men taking beta-carotene experienced a 7% higher overall death rate than the placebo group. This has happened over and over-where a vitamin might decrease your risk of heart disease but increases your risk of cancer.
On the other hand, studies have shown that people who take a multivitamin are generally healthier than people who do not. But, what does this really tell us? Are the people healthier because of the vitamins, or are they healthier because they are the type of people who care enough about their health to take a vitamin. In other words, do they just take better care of themselves? This was the only study I could find that found a clear benefit from taking a multivitamin. Most of them are inconclusive. It’s hard to know if vitamins are helping because people’s individual diets vary so much you can’t really study the outcomes. There is just not enough control.
‘Quantity’ and Vitamins: I was looking at a friends vitamins not too long ago and noticed that he was taking a multi-vitamin and a vitamin B supplement. When I asked him why he was taking the ‘B’ he said “because the label said ‘improves metabolism'”. At closer inspection, the multi provided 150% of the recommended daily value of ‘B’ and the ‘B’ supplement was providing 5,000% percent of his recommend daily value! No, that is not a typo. He was taking 5,150% of what they recommend per day. What does this mean to our bodies? Maybe our bodies are only absorbing a small percentage of what’s in these pills and therefore taking more is necessary. Or maybe we are just flushing out the extra and creating very expensive pee. How do we know? If you are already eating a pretty healthy diet with fruits, veggies, fish, lean proteins, etc. do you really need to take an additional 100% or more of every vitamin?
‘The Exception’ and Vitamins: One area where the experts do tend to agree is with special populations. Doctors recommend that all women who are pregnant take a pre-natal vitamin that contains folic acid for the growing baby’s development. Patients who have a legitimate deficiency should take a vitamin to try to correct this imbalance. People who live in third world countries and do not get the nutrients that Americans have every day would definitely benefit from supplementation. When I was pregnant I took a pre-natal vitamin everyday faithfully. The risk of not taking one was leaps and bounds higher than the risk of taking one.
‘Media’ and Vitamins: We have to stop trusting every headline on the news or in the newspaper! Day to day you could see ‘breaking news’ regarding the benefits or dangers of vitamins. The media takes bits and pieces of studies and finds a catchy headline, “Vitamin E cures cancer!” Or, I can hear the newscaster in my head, “Is that multivitamin poisoning your child? More, at 10pm.” Take everything you hear with a grain of salt and don’t make drastic adjustments based on what you read in USA Today.
The ‘Summary’ of Vitamins: So, now that I have officially confused you… Like I said before, this is just to make you think a little bit about what you are putting in your body-I’m not against multivitamins. We need to be educated consumers. We need to do some research on our own, and we need to talk to our doctors about the benefits and the risks of everything we take. In all of the research I did there was one common trend- vitamins can NOT replace food. We would all be better off getting 100% of our nutrients from whole foods. You know- the produce section in the grocery store. It’s better to get Vitamin C from an orange or a bell pepper than from a pill. It’s better to get your Omega fatty acids from fatty fish than from a fish oil pill. Michael Pollan (my favorite food author of all time) recommends in his book Food Rules two very common sense ideas. The first is to “be the kind of person that takes a vitamin, without actually taking a vitamin.” And, the second is to “eat food, mostly plants, not too much.”
Humans are very complicated systems. We each have our own unique health risks and histories. What is right for you might not be right for your husband or daughter. We are not a one-size-fits-all society and we need to consider that when deciding what to do with our bodies

 I don’t even know where to begin with this post! I should probably take the time to think about what I want to say, but no one is paying me for this blog so here are my random, unorganized thoughts on this cover shot. And, keep in mind, I did not read the article.

1.  The kid is 3 years old. Most pediatricians recommend 6 months to 1 year for breastfeeding. This is 3-6X longer than what the experts consider good.

2. The pose is not one of a loving mommy and child sharing a special moment. They have the mommy posed very defiant and superior like, “I dare you to say something.” This is not a photo that will change opinions; this photo polarize us even more. Breastfeeding is a beautiful thing- but not like this.

3. What is with all of the pressure and competition with women and mothers!?! I have had it up to here! Why can’t we all just embrace our differences and respect one another for our choices. The media plays working moms vs. stay at home moms; breast feeders vs. non; married vs. single; skinny vs. fat. You name it, women feel pressure to fit this perfect picture of a mom. There is no perfect mom, there is no perfect day care situation, there is no perfect amount of time to breastfeed. Some women can’t breast feed. Does this mean they are not mom enough?

4. Perhaps the most important- that poor little boy! I do not envy him in 15 years when one of his buddies comes across this picture. It will haunt him forever. That’s not fair.

It’s a stupid picture. Although, everyone is talking about it so I guess they got what they wanted.