Be the change you want to see in yourself

Inspirational thoughts, ideas, quotes, and articles.

Archive for the ‘Health & Wellness’ Category

Top 12 Easy Food Tips & Swaps for Weight Loss

Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 25, 2013

My Top 12 Easy Food Tips & Swaps for Weight Loss — by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted catherine-morgan.com)

If you are the kind of person who loves to take the time to cook and try new healthy recipes — that is great (I honestly wish I were like that).  If that is you, then you are super lucky, because there are thousands and thousands of healthy eating cookbooks (and just as many of them are free on Amazon with Kindle Reading App).  But, if you’re like me, and you don’t have the time or the inclination to go out and buy specific foods and ingredients to whip up exciting healthy recipes — then you are in luck.

Here are some of the ways I eat healthy without following recipes.  For me it’s all about having my staple healthy foods always available so I can easily make quick and healthy meals.

My top 12 easy food tips and swaps.

1.  We all know how important eating fish is.  It is a high protein food that is also very low in fat and calories.  My problem was that, whenever I bought costly fresh seafood, it either didn’t seem very fresh or I didn’t eat it quickly enough…so I ended up wasting a lot of money that way.  Then one day, I found out that most (or all) of the so-called “fresh” seafood was merely thawed-out frozen seafood.  I also found out that I could get the exact same fish still frozen, and then I could keep it frozen until the time I wanted to eat it, so I would never waste any of it.  Now what I do is buy individually wrapped frozen fish (I like salmon, tilapia, cod, mahi, and shrimp), I thaw it when I am ready to use it, season it, wrap it in foil, and then cook it in the toaster oven.  It is quick and easy, and it always turns out tasting wonderful.

2.  I also like to buy 97-98% lean ground turkey.  If I have time, I make it into patties and cook them on the grill or frying pan, and then I put some in the freezer and some in the fridge to be heated up whenever I am hungry.  If I don’t have time to cook the ground meat all at once, I separate it into single servings and place into storage bags and freeze.  Then I can quickly make one burger by thawing out an already portioned amount of ground turkey.   Once I have my burger ready, I put it on one of those low calorie roll-thins, and top with spinach, salsa, and avocado.

3.  I try to keep several low calorie frozen dinners on hand for times when I feel I need something fast, but have little time to cook.  Of course, it is much healthier to avoid processed foods, but a low calorie frozen dinner is still better than fast food or other high fat/high calorie foods.  These meals are also great to take to work for lunch when you don’t have time to prepare something. TIP:  Whenever possible, add fresh or frozen vegetables to your frozen meal (this will make it much more filling, as well as add to the nutritional value without adding too many calories).  Keep an eye out for sales on these meals, rather than paying full price.

4.  Chicken breast is another easy and lean meat you can prepare ahead; keep some in the freezer and some in the refrigerator.  You can do so many things with chicken breast: add to salad, heat with vegetables, make a hot or cold sandwich on a low calorie bun, or just keep bite size pieces in the fridge to munch on when you need a healthy snack.  I often get my chicken breast frozen; this way I always have some in the freezer.  Like I said before, one of the best tricks to eating healthy is never running out of healthy food.

5.  Instant oatmeal is a quick and easy meal.  You can eat it alone or with fruit, and it is basically one of the best sources of fiber you can get.  It’s also something you can easily bring with you to work.  TIP:  Eating breakfast is the best way to get your metabolism started in the morning, and studies show that people who eat breakfast lose more weight than their breakfast-skipping counterparts.

6.  Pre-washed lettuce, spinach, and other greens can come in handy if you are too busy to clean and chop it yourself.   And if you are hungry, being able to make something fast can be critical.   You can also buy cleaned and chopped bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, and more.  IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT SPINACH: Most experts say that if you can’t get organic spinach, then don’t get it at all (chemicals and pesticides make most spinach unhealthier for you than healthy, so the benefits of eating it don’t outweigh the risks). I’ve been buying organic spinach from my grocery store, and it is a bit more costly, but worth it.

7.  I like to buy fresh and frozen vegetables that come in microwavable bags.  This way, they can be quickly added to any meal with very little effort.  You can also get frozen rice that cooks in just a few minutes in the microwave.  TIP:  Keep an eye out for sales; I like to stock up when they are buy one, get one free.

8.  What about bread, pasta, rice?  On many diets, you are encouraged to eat little or none of these foods, but as long as you are keeping track of your calories, these carbs can be eaten in moderation as part of your healthy diet.  However, you NEVER want to eat the “white” version of these foods.  Don’t eat white bread; find a whole wheat bread.  Don’t eat regular pasta; take some time to acquire a taste for whole wheat pasta.  

9.  Mrs. Dash seasonings have many flavors, and they are all salt-free.  Using these specially combined seasonings is the easiest way to add a wonderful flavor to your food.  My favorite is Hot & Spicy (I add it to just about every meat and fish I cook).  And, if you Google “Mrs. Dash.” you will find an unlimited number of recipes.

10.  If you haven’t already, try some of the Laughing Cow spreads.  They are very low in calories and fat, and can really enhance a plain sandwich that you might have previously used mayo or cheese on.  There are at least a half a dozen different flavors to choose from.

11.  We all know that salad dressing can quickly add to your calorie and fat intake.  Always buy light dressings…and if you can, water them down even more.  I try to keep an empty bottle or two, and then make my own dilution depending on the dressing.  You may be surprised at how quickly you begin to enjoy the watered-down versions of your favorite dressings.  TIP:  When you are out at a restaurant, you can discretely dilute your dressing by using lemon wedges.

12.  Avocado is a great way to add healthy fat and omega-3s to your salads and sandwiches.  The problem is that avocados are often expensive, are hard to peel, and go brown quickly. Instead of using avocados, I have been buying fresh guacamole I find in the produce section…the one I buy is 95% avocado.  It’s just another way you can get the benefits of a healthy food without the time-consuming preparation.

Update:  If you are a South Beach Diet Fan, you have to check out Kalyn’s Kitchen (she has the best healthy recipes around).

So, there you have it.  I hope you find these tips and swaps helpful.  Do you have any personal food swaps or tips for losing weight?  If so, please share them with us in comments.

**If you like these tips, you will love my new book (coming in November) Love the Diet, Lose the Fat.  For a pre-release offer to get the book for $1, go to the Love the Diet website and sign-up with just your email address.

Posted in cooking, fitness, food, health, Health & Wellness, healthy foods, healthy living, lose weight, nutrition, weight loss, women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Top 12 Easy Food Tips & Swaps for Weight Loss

Best Health & Wellness Blogs

Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 25, 2013

Fantastic Health & Wellness Blogs Friday — by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted to BlogHer)

Since I decided to start blogging much more, and one of the things I like best about blogging is featuring links to other bloggers — I am starting a weekly series called Fantastic Health & Wellness Blogs Friday.  Hope you will take some time and check out these wonderful blogs.

Here are some blogs I featured  way back in  2009, and they are still going strong…

A Merry Life

Hi! I’m Mary. Welcome to my blog.  I lost 40 pounds, fell in love with being active, and learned how to cook healthy food, all in the pursuit of being healthy and happy.

Cranky Fitness

Cranky Fitness is a health blog, sort of. It was started by Crabby McSlacker in 2007, and has also featured co-bloggers Merry, Gigi and Jo. Regular publishing ended in March of 2010, but the blog has been semi-resurrected!  New posts come out approximately weekly, but there are over 1,000 posts in the archives, so feel free to browse.  There’s a search bar on the right sidebar that may come in handy.

Blog topics at Cranky Fitness include general health, fitness, nutrition, personal development, disease prevention, aging, and whatever else the authors happened to feel like whining about on a given day.

Fit & Inspired Living

After losing all of my blog content from 2011, and a lack luster posting schedule in 2012 (I did manage to post more regularly on my other blog),  I’ve decided that 2013 is going to be a great year for Fit & Inspired Living.  I have already taken a few steps towards that end – updated my blog design, created a content schedule and most importantly, made up my mind to make it happen.

Raise Healthy Eaters

After having my first child in 2006, I found feeding to be one of the most challenging aspects of parenting. Much of the struggle I felt — and still do sometimes — comes from the modern-day pressure we all face to get our children to eat a certain way.

As a registered dietitian and family nutrition expert, I’ve come to realize this view of “getting-children-to-eat-healthy” not only leads to feeding mistakes, it leaves parents in a constant state of guilt, blaming themselves when their child eats less than perfectly. And worst of all, children eat less well with this kind of approach.

Hungry Hungry Hippie

Hi! I’m Elise. I’m a nurse. An exercise lover.  A whole foods connoisseur.  A health enthusiast.  And I have IBS.  No need to cue the sappy violin music yet…

I’ve found that eating a low FODMAP, mostly plant-based diet has allowed me to continue to live and love life to the fullest.  Although moderation isn’t something I do well, I’m 100% devoted to giving my body pure, wholesome, quality food. Nutritious and delicious, all the time.  Hungry Hungry Hippie is a way for me to share my daily dealings with food, fitness, and everything in between.

Fit Mama Eats

I counsel and teach about 100 people every week, which is rewarding hard work. My greatest hope is to make a difference in people’s lives and motivate them to live strong and be healthy no matter what life’s challenges are. My work isn’t all roses as I often connect with discouraged and very ill people and sometimes there is only so much help one can offer. But if I’ve convinced someone to take one positive step forward that forever changes their path, I’m satisfied.

I don’t live to eat but I cook and eat to live vibrantly. FitMamaEats offers my two cents on Boston-area restaurants, new food products, easy healthful recipes, and general health trends. You may also see product and book reviews related to food and fitness or a write-up about a health-related business that I strongly believe in.

Girl Get Strong

My name is Melanie (aka Crazy Legs) and I have been friends with Sian (GoGo Girl) and Susan (Pink Panther) since our eldest children were all in kindergarten together. I hope I’m not dating myself too much here, but it has been a few years and 11 kids later (between the three of us) since we first met! That kindergarten year was the year we each decided it was time to reclaim a bit of “me” time to shred the weight and get in shape (and perhaps it was also an escape from the craziness of mommy life!).

Broccoli Cupcake

I began blogging in 2009 to share our family’s journey to overcome a host of health issues including anxiety, allergies, eczema and chronic upper respiratory infections. By changing our lifestyle, we’ve improved our health and overall quality of life, but the journey is far from over and we’d love for you to join us.
Since launching Broccoli Cupcake, I’ve worked with leading brands including Seventh Generation, Applegate, Nintendo and Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. I’m a former healthy living expert for FOX 17 Tennessee Mornings and have been a freelance writer for outlets ranging from Yoga Journal to SavvySource.com.

These are just some of the blogs I featured back in 2009, I have many more that are still going strong, and I will feature more of them in upcoming Fantastic Health & Wellness Blogs Friday.

Now here are a few I just happened to come across this week…

The Happiness Project

In just 21 days, you really can take steps to make your life happier—without spending a lot of time, energy, or money.  I’ve created four premium 21 Day Happiness Projects for you to follow, if you want to tackle one of these common happiness challenges.

Sodium Girl

Faced with kidney failure and a handful of other medical complications, I decided that nothing would stop me from having a full life and a full belly.  I discovered that a well controlled, salt-free, low-sodium diet was key to staying healthy and active. But it took time and years of experimentation to achieve the delicate balance of eating well while maintaining a busy schedule and a budget.  With a few years of salt-free cooking, eating, and living under my belt, I started this blog to give others a jump start in their own journey.

Healthy Food For Living

I am a 30 year old living outside of Boston with my wonderful husband, beautiful baby daughter, playful dog, and cuddly cat.  I have degrees in both psychology and guidance counseling, and have worked in a variety of school settings.  I strive to find a balance between the two basic food philosophies of “eat to live” and “live to eat“.  I believe that food should be (and is!) one of the great pleasures of leading a healthy lifestyle.

Marc and Angel Hack Life  –Practical Tips for Productive Living

Marc and his Angel both share a great passion for inspiring others to live to their fullest potential, and they honestly feel best when they are inspiring others to be their best. They started their blog with the goal of inspiring as many people as possible, and they work passionately every day to fulfill this goal through the thoughts and ideas they share online.

oh she glows – vegan recipe blog

I’m Angela. Welcome to Oh She Glows – an award-winning vegan recipe blog featuring over 400 healthy recipes! For the past 5 years, I’ve shared wholesome, energizing recipes that I eat on a day to day basis as well as oodles of drool-worthy photographs. My goal is to inspire others to embrace more plant-based foods in their diet without feeling deprived. Get ready to glow!

So, there you have it, my first list of Fantastic Health & Wellness blogs.  Come back every Friday to see more health & wellness blogs that I think are pretty fantastic.  

If you have a health & wellness blog that you would like to have featured here — please leave your link in comments, and I will check it out. 

Posted in blogging, BlogHer, family, health, Health & Wellness, healthy living, life, self help, women, women's health, women's issues, writing | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Best Health & Wellness Blogs

Healthy Low-Fat Chicken Recipes

Posted by Catherine Morgan on September 3, 2013

Healthy Low-Fat Chicken Recipes — by Catherine Morgan

Here are some great low-fat, low-calorie chicken recipes from Love the Diet…Lose the Fat.

Chicken Salad Wrap

chicken salad wrap

Calories per serving:  180

Fat:  4g

Sugar:  4g

Protein:  27g

What you need…

4 ounces cooked chicken (cubed)

¼ cup baby spinach

2 tablespoons tomatoes (cubed)

2 tablespoons frozen peas

1 tablespoon light ranch salad dressing

What to do…

Combine chicken, spinach, tomatoes, peas and dressing.  Wrap in a whole-wheat tortilla.  Enjoy.

*Change it up and try kale instead of spinach.  Kale is an excellent source of antioxidants.

Cheesy Chicken & Broccoli

Cheesy Chicken & Broccoli

Calories per serving:  285

Fat:  8g

Sugar:  6g

Protein:  40g

What you will need…

4 ounces chicken breast

1.5 cups steamed broccoli

½ cup low fat cheddar cheese

¼ cup water

What to do…

Just chop your already fully cooked chicken breast into cubes and place in small sauce-pan.  Add steamed broccoli, cheddar cheese and water.  Heat on medium-low until warm, and serve.

You can also add spinach and other vegetables you enjoy.

*I like to boil my chicken in sodium free chicken broth until it is fully cooked.  When you do this, you keep a few pieced in your refrigerator for use with both cold and hot chicken recipes.

Posted in blogging, cooking, dieting, food, health, Health & Wellness, healthy foods, healthy living, nutrition, recipes, weight loss | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Healthy Low-Fat Chicken Recipes

Fitness: Exercises You Can Do At Home to Lose Weight

Posted by Catherine Morgan on September 3, 2013

 

Exercises You Can Do At Home and That Don’t Really Feel Like Exercising — by Catherine Morgan

DanceIt’s as easy as turning on the music and just doing it.  Jump around and have fun, if you have kids, they will love doing this with you.  Some of my favorite memories with my kids were us dancing around the living room to Alanis Morrissette (inappropriate lyrics and all).

Avoid the close parking spotsWe all do it, we drive up and down parking lots looking for the closest spot, and feel like we’ve hit the lottery when we get the best one.  But you can really burn a lot of extra calories by just parking a little further away.

Take the steps instead of the elevatorIf you work in a building or shop at a mall that has an elevator, try taking the steps instead.  Steps are not the enemy; they can actually be our calorie burning friends.

Exercise while watching televisionFor the most part, watching television is a sure fire way to become a couch-potato.  Aside from not watching television at all, the best way to avoid becoming a couch-potato is to do some exercises while you watch.  Here are six easy exercises that you can do while you are watching television:

Exercise while watching televisionFor the most part, watching television is a sure fire way to become a couch-potato.  Aside from not watching television at all, the best way to avoid becoming a couch-potato is to do some exercises while you watch.  Here are six easy exercises that you can do while you are watching television:

A) With your feet hip-width apart, take a large step forward with your left foot. Plant the foot, then slowly bend the left knee to a 90-degree angle with your back knee lightly touching the ground.
(B) Push up with your front leg to return to the starting position, and then repeat on the other side.
Do 10-20 reps on each side.

A) Lie on your back, knees bent at a 90-degree angle and feet flat on the ground. Place your hands behind your head to support your neck.
(B) Without pushing your head with your hands, contract your abdominal muscles to lift your right shoulder from the ground and bring it to your center.
Do 10-20 reps each side.

A) Lie face up on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Squeeze your glutes and press into your heels to raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
(B) Pause. Then slowly lower back to the starting position.
Do 10-25 reps.

A) Sit cross-legged and stretch your arms out in front of you, with your fingertips touching. Take a breath in.
(B) With your hips square and abs tight, let the breath out and slowly rotate your upper body about 45 degrees to the right. Return to the center and repeat on your left side. Complete 10-20 reps.

Hold your arms straight out to the sides with palms facing up. Circle forward 10 times, then backward 10 times. Flip your palms so they are facing the floor, and repeat the sequence.
Do this 10-20 times.

(A) Stand with your feet together and your arms straight overhead. Clasp your hands together, with your fingers interlaced and pointer fingers extended. Inhale as you reach upward.
(B) Breathe out as you bend your upper body to the right. Take five slow breaths. Slowly return to the center. Repeat on left side.
Do each side 10-20 times.

*Illustrations by Nicole Petro

Find more fitness information in Love the Diet…Lose the Fat

Posted in blogging, body image, Coaching, dieting, fitness, health, Health & Wellness, healthy living, lose weight, self help, weight loss, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Fitness: Exercises You Can Do At Home to Lose Weight

Weight Loss Book: Love the Diet…Lose the Fat

Posted by Catherine Morgan on September 2, 2013

My first book is completed and will likely be available by the end of September.   The book is all about healthy weight-loss.  Anyone who would like to be notified of the day the book will be available for just $1 can add their email to the Love the Diet…Lose the Fat website.  The day before the book goes on sale for $12.99, people on the list will be able to get the Kindle version for just $1.

I will post more about the book in the coming days.

Posted in blogging, dieting, empowerment, food, health, Health & Wellness, healthy foods, healthy living, life, lose weight, nutrition, recipes, self help, weight loss, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Weight Loss Book: Love the Diet…Lose the Fat

Healthy Recipe: Greek Yogurt Parfait (low-fat)

Posted by Catherine Morgan on September 2, 2013

Greek Yogurt Parfait

Healthy Recipe: Greek Yogurt Parfait (low-fat) — cross-posted from catherine-morgan.com

Easy to make, low-fat, low-calorie Greek yogurt parfait recipe.  This is a great recipe for losing weight and eating healthy.

Here is some nutritional information for this Greek Yogurt Parfait recipe…

Calories per serving:  215

Fat:  2g

Sugar:  31g

Protein:  13g

Here is what you will need…

1 cup Greek Yogurt

½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries

¼ cup sliced bananas

1 teaspoon ground flax-seed

What to do…

Simply layer the yogurt, blueberries and bananas.  Sprinkle ground flax-seed, and enjoy.

Try this with just about any combination of fruit you can come up with.

FYI:  Greek yogurt has about twice the protein as regular yogurt.

Posted in dieting, food, health, Health & Wellness, healthy foods, healthy living, life, nutrition, recipes, self help, weight loss, women, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Healthy Recipe: Greek Yogurt Parfait (low-fat)

The Health Benefits of Yoga

Posted by Catherine Morgan on April 5, 2009

When you hear the word “yoga” what do you think of? You may think you know all there is to know about yoga, but there is a good chance that you don’t. Let’s take a look at some of what women are blogging on the topic of yoga.

Have you heard of Hot Yoga?

From Fat Fighter TV – Hot Yoga

Benefits of Bikram Yoga are said to include:

  • toning, strengthening, and lengthening your muscles
  • strengthening your spine
  • increasing flexibility
  • improving circulation
  • flushing toxins from your body
  • improving digestion
  • reducing stress
  • improving cardiovascular health
  • helping with weight management

READ FULL POST AT CATHERINE-MORGAN.COM

Posted in body image, Coaching, daily life, health, Health & Wellness, healthy living, life, lose weight, meditation, motivation, Positive Thinking, weight loss, women, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Link Wrap-Up of BlogHer Good Health-A-Thon

Posted by Catherine Morgan on March 24, 2009

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?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in blogging, BlogHer, chronic illness, Coaching, daily life, dieting, family, goals, health, Health & Wellness, healthy living, life, lose weight, motivation, nutrition, parenting, self help, weight loss, women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

The Tao of Healthy Living and Weight Loss

Posted by Catherine Morgan on January 14, 2009

A few weeks ago I was flipping through the million channels on my TV trying to find just one thing worth watching (which isn’t an easy task).  Luckily I found Dr. Wayne Dyer on PBS.

I read my first book by Dr. Wayne Dyer (Real Magic) about twelve years ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since.  So when I watched his seminar on PBS that was based on his latest book, of course I had to run out the next day and buy it.  This one is called Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life, and it’s his interpretation of the 81 verses of the Tao.

tao[The Tao Te Ching was written five hundred years before the birth of Jesus, and offers advice and guidance for living a balanced life.]

As I read, I came across aspects of this wisdom that are helpful in my quest for better health and weight loss.  So, even though I’m no philosopher (obviously), I thought I would share some verses that stood out for me.  They offer guidance for healthy living and even weight loss.  Here are three.

[Keep in mind that I am only pulling the parts of these verses that I find most relevant to good health, this is by no means a complete look at any of these verses.]

Verse 9Living HumilityTo keep on filling is not as good as stopping.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in awareness, body image, change, chronic illness, Coaching, daily life, dieting, empowerment, goals, health, Health & Wellness, healthy foods, healthy living, inspirational, life, lose weight, meditation, metaphysical, motivation, nutrition, opinion, Peace, Positive Thinking, self help, spirituality, success, thoughts, weight loss, women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

Goal Setting Success

Posted by Catherine Morgan on January 8, 2009

This is the time of year that many of us are setting goals in hopes of achieving success with our New Year Resolutions. And setting realistic goals can be what makes or breaks a good resolution.

Have you set your goals yet?

There are many theories about how to set realistic and achievable goals. But it’s not always as cut and dry as all that.  As with everything in life, something that works for one of us may not work for all of us.

Here are some ideas that may help you find success.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in body image, Coaching, dieting, empowerment, goals, Happiness, health, Health & Wellness, healthy living, inspirational, life, lose weight, motivation, opinion, self help, success, weight loss, women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Goal Setting Success

Are You Drinking Enough Water?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on November 2, 2008

Are you drinking enough water?   Are you sure about that?  Believe it or not, most people are not drinking enough water.  Do you get headaches, suffer from fatigue, or sometimes feel a little weak or dizzy?  If so, you may just need to start drinking more water.  So, before you reach for the pain medicine for a headache, try drinking a tall glass of water, it may be all you need.

But remember, not all hydration is created equal. For example; one cup of coffee is not equal to one cup of water. That’s because coffee is a diuretic – so are many other beverages, such as tea and soda.

How do you know if you are drinking enough water? And how much water do you need to drink.

Use this Hydration Calculator from About.com to help figure out how much is right for you.

Obviously, staying hydrated is essential to any good exercise program…I found an interesting recipe for making your own sports drinks at WebMD. It’s as easy as mixing one can of frozen concentrated juice with nine cans of water (instead of three).

Click here to read full post on hydration at catherine-morgan.com

Posted in daily life, food, health, Health & Wellness, healthy foods, healthy living, life, nutrition, self help, women, women's health | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Ovarian Cancer Awareness

Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 7, 2008

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.  So, I thought I would start this post with something I wrote about ovarian cancer, over a year ago.  The Sad Reality of Ovarian Cancer.  Why It’s Important To Know The Early Symptoms

One of my saddest cases working as a nurse was on the oncology unit. I had a young woman as my patient (she was in her late twenties, only a few years older than I was at the time), and she had been diagnosed with end stage ovarian cancer. I had been working on the oncology unit for over a year, and many times patients came to my unit in the last few weeks or days of their lives, mostly so they could be given large doses of pain medication to keep them comfortable. Everyone knew these patients were coming in not to be cured, but to die. It was always hard and always sad, but this time the woman dying was so young.

Unlike many of my other patients, I would never get to know this woman. She would only live another few days, and during that time she would be mostly unconscious from all the medications. But even so, I will never forget her. What I remember most was the sadness that surrounded her, her family standing and sitting around the bed, just waiting for her suffering to finally be over. Among all of the darkness and grief, a little girl (maybe two or three years old) was happily playing and skipping in and out of her mother’s room, blissfully unaware. Every time I saw the little girl I thought how painful it must have been for her mother to know she would be dying and leaving her beautiful baby girl. How sad she must have been knowing she would miss all the important moments of her daughter’s life. And how sad it was going to be for that little girl, growing up without her mother, never getting to know her. How could something so unfair be happening to this family? It seemed unfathomable to me, but I was watching it happen with my own eyes, I couldn’t deny it. That was almost twenty years ago, but I remember it as if it were yesterday.

I didn’t know it then, but only a few years later I would come eerily close to being in a similar situation as that young woman. And it was the thought of not being there for my children that was the hardest thing to deal with. The thought of not being able to see my babies grow up (my son was 3, my daughter just 4 months), of not being able to be their mother, not being there for their birthdays, their graduations, and their weddings, not being there to protect them from the world…Those were the thoughts that haunted me, even more than any fear I might have had of dying.

I would need to have surgery quickly and have the tumor removed, only then would I find out if the cancer had spread. Even though I was referred to the best oncologist in the area, I knew the outcome wasn’t good if it had spread. I don’t think anyone (unless you have personally been through it) can understand the horror of being put under anesthesia, knowing that when you wake up you might be told you are dying.

The last thing I remember just before I was put under, was my doctor telling me that because I was so young he would try to save my uterus and one ovary. I told him I was blessed to have two beautiful children, and that the only thing that mattered to me was being able to be a mom to my children. I pleaded with him not to take any chances, if there was even a remote chance it had spread, to please take everything and not leave anything behind. At this point, I was crying, and I grabbed the doctor’s arm before he turned away to let the anesthesiologist finish putting me under…and I said; “Promise me, promise me you won’t leave anything behind.” I don’t remember what he said…I just remember waking up in the recovery room. I remember calling out to everyone who walked by, “good or bad, good or bad, good or bad?” I said it over and over, but none of the nurses would tell me anything. Moments later my doctor was again standing over me, and he told me that he was able to get it all, and that I was going to be okay. I asked him if he was sure, and he said he was sure. I would be one of the lucky 19% of patients diagnosed early enough to survive, but even more importantly, I would get to be a mother to my children.

There will be 22,430 new cases of ovarian cancer in the United States this year, and 15,280 women will die. Maybe awareness of these few early warning signs will help raise the percent of women who can be diagnosed early, and be successfully treated.

I want to add something today, that I didn’t mention when I wrote this original post…

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in health, Health & Wellness, healthy living, life, medical, women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Lasik: Do The Benefits Outweigh The Risks?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on May 1, 2008

Is Lasik Surgery Worth The Risk? — by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted at Qvisory)
I recently did a post on the news frenzy surrounding Lasik Eye Surgery. It seemed like the alarms were sounding, and we were going to soon find out that this procedure was much more risky then once thought.The Los Angeles Times points out that the FDA is going to review reported side effects from Lasik eye surgery:

Almost 8 million Americans have had the procedure, and most ended up discarding their eyeglasses or contact lenses without long-term complications, according to doctors and health officials. But a small fraction complain of serious side effects that have left their eyes painfully dry and their vision marred by ghostly shadows or starbursts of color. Some say their sight is so poor they can’t watch a movie or drive at night.

But after researching the news and facts on Lasik surgery, I came to the conclusion that the benefits of this surgery (at least for me) far outweigh any risk. Every person who I’ve talked to that has had this procedure was happy with it. Even the people who suffered with side effects for months after their surgery, still had no regrets.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in daily life, health, Health & Wellness, healthy living, life, news | Tagged: , , | 27 Comments »

Eating Healthy in Three Easy Steps

Posted by Catherine Morgan on March 25, 2008

Top Three Tips For Eating Healthy — by Catherine Morgan

I am a firm believer that the number one thing any of us can do to promote good health…Is to eat a healthy, well balanced diet. Regardless of your weight (even if you are thin or at an ideal weight), it’s important that we all try to eat healthy. Unfortunately, that is sometimes the hardest thing for many of us to do.

It can be overwhelming for someone with “questionable” eating habits to make the changes necessary for good health. But, it’s also the best thing you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and chronic illness. So, what can we do? Well, I recommend you take it slow, and not put too much pressure on yourself.

Don’t decide today to make radical changes in your eating habits. If you do that you are setting yourself up for failure. Instead, let’s look at what I believe are the top three changes you can make that won’t be hard for you to stick to. Once you have conquered these three things, you will become empowered to continue taking a step at a time toward healthier eating habits and a healthier life. So, let’s give it a try.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in cooking, dieting, empowerment, food, health, Health & Wellness, healthy foods, healthy living, life, lose weight, nutrition, thoughts, weight loss, women | Tagged: , , , , | 11 Comments »

BlogHer Health and Wellness Roundup

Posted by Catherine Morgan on March 15, 2008

BlogHer

BlogHer Health & Wellness Blog Roundup — by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted at BlogHer)

Tonight I am surfing the BlogHer Health and Wellness Blogroll. So many great blogs, I wish I could tell you about every one…But you could always do a little surfing yourself.

So, in no particular order, here are eleven blogs that are new to me.

Delicious Wisdom

Delicious Wisdom was created by a person who wants to help you get processed food out of your diet. And,because it brings about such good things, keep it out of her own.

About Nicole…

Nicole deVries, HHC is a natural foods chef, non-practicing artist and certified Holistic Health Counselor. After eating this way–with the more than occasional cookie or Waffle House break–for over a decade, she’s figured out how to turn basically any unhealthy, processed food recipe into a whole food one. Follow along and you’ll be able to do it too.

Eat, Pray, Run

The title of this blog is inspired by the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Eat, Pray, Love is Gilbert’s story of how she found contentment during her journey across Italy, India and, Indonesia.

This blog is my first Elizabeth Gilbert-esque step toward discovering, and rediscovering, myself — someone who I seemed to have lost touch with a bit somewhere along the way. Join me in discussions about health and nutrition, inspiration, fitness and, of course, good food to eat!

Mirror Image – Healing The World From The Inside Out…

What’s wrong with the world is what’s wrong with me. That’s why “there are no accidents” and “everything happens for a reason.” Instead of judging external problems, it’s my job to see them as a reflection of the internal me, and act accordingly.

Family In Shape

Are you looking for new ways to get your family in shape? This blog is to inspire families, like yours, with ideas that will get you on the right path to a healthier lifestyle. I am a military spouse and busy mom of four and a Certified Group and Personal Fitness Trainer, but you can call me Spin Diva. Finding the time to exercise, energize and revitalize is not easy, but we can do it together. I am passionate about teaching others how to reach their fitness goals and bring the kids along with them.

Get on board and spin along with me. Turn your wheels my way again soon and see what new ideas are cycling through this site!

We Are One World Healing

To help individual heal their own immediate world first, this blog covers alternative health therapies, such as aromatherapy, chakra balancing, crystals, healing energy, reiki, wicca, etc; spiritual topics, inspirational healing stories and healing ‘how to’s.

Nicole’s Weight Watchers Journey

Join me as I get healthy, lose weight, overcome depression, nurture my family, open my mind and generally try to do my part to make the world a better place.

Weight 1 Day – Fabulous @ 50

Sharing my story of weight loss, and gain, and loss… as I work my way through a 200 lb weight loss on my way to becoming and fabulous at 50.

Taking Care of Ourselves – A Small Person;s Guide To Self Defense…

We can take care of ourselves. Self defense isn’t limited to those with the talent and fortitude for mastering the martial arts, nor is it the sole domain of certified “tough guys.” Anyone can learn the basic skills of self protection.

And while learning a few strikes or blocks can be useful, self defense rarely requires a fight. By paying attention and trusting their instincts, most people can protect themselves without punching someone out.

This blog challenges the myths that leave far too many people scared and helpless and provides information to those interested in practical self defense.

Non-Toxic Kids – Helping Your Kids Stay Safe, Healthy, and Smart…

Americans make the assumption that all products on our store shelves have been tested by someone, somewhere. Well, obviously in light of the recent recalls, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. We here at Non-Toxic kids are researching products, data and information that will help you make your consumer choices healthier for your kids, families, and our environment. From sippy cups and baby bottles, to baby carriers and sleepers, we will give you a summary of an issue or concern, product reviews and recommendations, and where to go for further information. From my family to yours, in good health.

The Body Chronic

Life, love and laughter with insulin resistance, PCOS, pelvic floor dysfunction and everything else my body cooks up. Daily inspiration and new insights.

Autismville

I’m the happily-married, forty-something, retired CPA/mom of one drama-queen/second-grader and a preschooler with autism. I write a blog for Parents.com about parenting a child with autism. The view here in Autismville is guaranteed to refocus your perspective in ways you never imagined. Stop by and take a peek.

Thanks for taking this stroll down the Health and Wellness Blogroll. Have a great weekend. 🙂

Posted in Blogroll, body image, Coaching, cooking, daily life, empowerment, goals, Happiness, Health & Wellness, metaphysical, nutrition, parenting, Positive Thinking, self help | 9 Comments »

Successful Healthy Living – How I’ve change my life through motivation, dieting, and yoga.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 28, 2008

yoga.jpg

Successful Healthy Living – Posted by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted at BlogHer)

How I’ve change my life through motivation, dieting, and yoga.

Well, not really. It sounds like a good plan though. The truth is…I have no motivation, I haven’t been able to stick to a diet in years, and yoga is just another four letter word to me. When if comes to healthy living…I’m slowly but surely becoming the poster child (middle-aged woman) for unhealthy living.

So, I started this post thinking I might find some motivation to stop eating so much ice-cream and cookies. And then I came across this…

Big Fat DealDiet Motivation!

We all know there are people who bitch at their fat spouses for gaining weight, and gym owners who berate and shame fat people. And don’t forget random people on the street who yell things and throw garbage at the overweight and obese. In case that just isn’t motivating enough for you, we now have the talking “diet tile” that you put on the floor in front of the fridge.

Humiliation every time I take a step toward the refrigerator? Not exactly what I had in mind.

I do like the idea of changing my goal from losing weight, to living healthy to 100.

Diet PulpitChanging My Goal

I am changing my goal officially (see near top of right side bar under photo) from a goal of healthy weight of 140 lbs to a long term goal of Living Healthy to 100 and beyond.

Who wants to join me in setting their goal for a Fabulous, Awesome, Tenacious and Healthy life (a.k.a. F.A.T. Attitude) instead of worrying over numbers on the scale?

It’s an excellent idea. But, who am I kidding? I couldn’t even make it to 30 being healthy, and now (don’t tell anybody) I’m even older than that. I know…It’s hard to believe.

As I continued to surf the BlogHer Health and Wellness blogroll, I came across this post on yoga…

Sister SkinnyWhat’s Up With Yoga?

So, anyone want to convince me yoga is the perfect thing for me right now? Want to tell me why you love it? Or have you (like me) had some not-so-fantastic experiences with the whole thing? I’m curious about the general yoga consensus among our readers…(see 40 comments on yoga)

And then, I remembered reading this interesting post…

Frances Ellen SpeaksHatha Yoga Or A Pedicure?

I got it into my head that I should try yoga. Pretty much, the only things I know about yoga are, it’s a form of relaxation, it helps with flexibility, it’s good for one’s balance and it doesn’t require me to bounce around too much.

I had one problem with the yoga class; it’s held at my local hospital for the 55+ gang on Tuesday evenings and, as it happened, I had an appointment to get a pedicure last Tuesday. Pretty much, what I know about pedicures is it’s a form of relaxation, your feet and legs receive a massage and it, too, requires no bouncing.

Hmm. What to choose, what to choose…

What would you choose? A pedicure is sounding pretty good to me right now. I guess I’m not doing so great in the “motivation” area. And, isn’t that the only way I’ll ever be successful in my quest for health living? I know. I know. Maybe I’ll start being motivated on Monday.

For even more on yoga…

Yoga Chickie

Yoga Gumbo

What I really want to know is…

Can I do yoga while sitting on the couch with my lap-top? It sure would be nice if I could lose weight doing that too.

Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan
CatherineBlogs, The Political Voices of Women, Care2 Election Blog

Posted in blogging, BlogHer, body image, dieting, health, Health & Wellness, healthy foods, healthy living, life, motivation, success, thoughts, women | 10 Comments »

Four Health Tips To A Longer Life

Posted by Catherine Morgan on January 10, 2008

woman-eating-apple.jpg

Four Tips To A Long Life — by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted at BlogHer)

I was surfing the health and wellness news trying to decide what to post on tonight, and I came across this Reuters article… Four Health Changes Can Prolong Life 14 Years. Who wouldn’t want to prolong their life by 14 years?

So, would you make a “resolution” to make four lifestyle changes, if it would increase your life by 14 years? Better than a New Years Resolution, this would be a “Life Resolution”.

What are the four changes to a longer life?

1) Stop Smoking

2) Eat Five Servings of Fruits and Vegetables a Day

3) Exercise

4) Limit Alcohol Consumption

The lifestyle change with the biggest benefit was giving up smoking, which led to an 80 percent improvement in health, the study found. This was followed by eating fruits and vegetables. Moderate drinking and keeping active brought the same benefits…

Well, that seems pretty simple. While we’re on the subject, why not surf around for some other ways to live longer?

Reducing Stress is a good place to start…

There are few things that cause you more stress and worry than your weight. If you gained a few pounds over the holidays, don’t panic…..yet. According to an article (reprinted below) about a study published last November, people who are a little overweight actually live longer.

Could you live longer if you walked faster? Apparently so…

New research following 500 older people for nearly a decade found quicker walkers were less likely to die. Nine years after initial gait speed was measured, 77 percent of slow walkers had died, compared to only 50 percent of medium speed and 27 percent of fast walkers.

Here are Ten Tips For Aging Consciously and Successfully

As our population ages, our society is finally recognizing that old age is a gift. Despite some of the negative images in the media, it really is possible to embrace our elderhood as a creative and spiritual journey.

People who have aged successfully share common characteristics.

There is no question that most of our lifestyle choices are what will determine whether we age in good physical and mental health or fall prey to sickness and disability. Although it may be a cliché, moderation is the key in everything. By practicing moderation and following these ten tips, you too can be a “long-liver” and, more importantly, enjoy your elder hood in the process.

See the Ten Tips For Aging Consciously and Successfully

If those ten tips weren’t good enough for you, here are ten more — 10 Tips on How to Live Longer and Happier

Well, there you have it.

No excuses for not living longer now.

Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan
also at CatherineBlogs.com and The Political Voices of Women

Posted in blogging, BlogHer, body image, change, dieting, empowerment, family, food, health, Health & Wellness, healthy foods, healthy living, inspirational, life, nutrition, self help, women | 7 Comments »

Top 10 Hot Topics From BlogHer Health and Wellness

Posted by Catherine Morgan on January 1, 2008

Top 10 Hot Topics From BlogHer Health and Wellness – by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted at CatherineBlogs.com)

It’s the last day of 2007, and I thought I would do this post on some of the hot topics from BlogHer Health and Wellness. So, in no particular order, here is what I think are the top ten. — read the full post at BlogHer.

And, my New Years wish for you…and the world.

Posted in blogging, BlogHer, Blogroll, body image, chronic illness, daily life, Health & Wellness, healthy living, medical, music, opinion, parenting, thoughts | Comments Off on Top 10 Hot Topics From BlogHer Health and Wellness

Body Image, Dieting, and Your New Year’s Resolution

Posted by Catherine Morgan on December 12, 2007

Body Image, Dieting, and Your New Year’s Resolution — by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted at BlogHer)

bodyimage.jpg

For many of us, in the next few weeks we will be thinking about one thing, and one thing only. Dieting. The holiday parties will be over, and it will be time to make that inevitable New Year’s Resolution, many of us will resolve to lose weight.

But why? Why will we be so consumed with dieting and losing weight?

Don’t get me wrong, some of us really do need to lose some weight (me included). And we read study after study showing the health risks associated with being overweight. But, let’s get “real” here for a minute…When we say “diet”, we usually mean that we want to get back into our “skinny jeans”. We don’t like how we look, or we think others are judging us for how we look. Yes, we have a poor body image.

Is there not a woman among us who has not struggled with this issue at some point or another? It seems that loving, much less even liking our bodies raises issues. We postpone that love by saying, “I’ll love my body when…” When I lose ten pounds, when I get the face-lift, when I start working out, when the kids are older. But someday never comes, and many of us live in perpetual disregard of our earthly body temples. — read full post

We think that if we can just get down to [enter magic number here] then we will be happy. And the “happy” part is a vicious circle. When we feel we look bad, it makes us sad (even depressed)…Then we run right on over to our “feel good” foods (usually also the fattening foods)…And the cycle continues.

This is from Karly…

I started First Ourselvesafter awakening from years of depression, body bashing, and Mommy martrydom. I saw how my quest for the perfect body, my inability to care for myself, and my self-abuse (I was an expert at beating myself up) kept me stuck: it kept me from being the wife, mother, friend—woman—I wanted to be. I couldn’t share my light, or my gifts with others—I was snuffing them out. Learning to deeply and completely love and accept myself has allowed me to share my light, and speak to my truest passions. My ambition is to help other women do the same.

We know all about how our body images are being manipulated by the media, we know we have unrealistic ideas of what beautiful is…But, we will also still jump down the rabbit hole on January 2nd.

Now, this post isn’t going to try to convince you not to do that. Because in all honesty, I’m jumping right down that dieting rabbit hole with you. I’m just going to ask you to consider a few things first.

So what would it look like to be beautiful today? That’s a hard question for most girls and women. The quick response would usually entail taller, thinner, blonder, straighter teeth, wider eyes, smaller nose, or a myriad of other physical features.

What if you looked in a mirror and saw the words “this is what beautiful looks like” right above your reflection? — read full post here

This is from Big Fat Deal

Big Fat Deal was born: a blog to help navigate those murky waters of body image, size, healthiness, hottyness, and Star Jones. In the comments here, we try to define who we are: a body positivity blog that is inclusive to people losing weight and people happy to be whatever weight they happen to be.

With her two collaborators, anne and Weetabix, mo pie tries to keep tabs on issues of weight in the media, pop culture, and society. Big Fat Deal is, first and foremost, a community. The thoughtful people who read, comment, and send in tips keep this site going. Here’s a place for you to introduce yourself, if you’d care to. And here is our Flickr photo group–you’re beautiful, you know. Please add your picture. We hope you like it here, you gorgeous thing, you.

More from Karly at First Ourselves

What is body ease? Body ease is being comfortable with your body; being comfortable with your body as it ages or changes. Body ease is being relaxed about your body or your “imperfections.” It’s letting go of your nitpicking, the ways you fuss or pick at your body to be “better.” Body ease is being comfortable with other women’s bodies; letting other women be beautiful, too. Body ease is separating your self-worth from your appearance, so that when you have a pimple, a cold sore, an extra 20 pounds, a double chin, or wrinkles, that you can accept them, even if you don’t like them. Body ease is caring for, feeding, and exercising your body without neuroticism. Body ease is treating yourself with kindness, compassion, and levity.

So, what’s wrong with treating ourselves with kindness? Absolutely NOTHING, and there is no reason why you can’t make this part of your New Year’s Resolution.

Can you be at ease with your body, and still resolve to lose weight? Sure you can. Just make a resolution to replace some of the junk you’ve been eating with healthy foods, make a resolution to put yourself on the path to healthy living. After-all, healthy living is the kindest thing you can do for yourself.

How many times has “losing weight” been you New Year’s Resolution? What will be your New Year’s Resolution this year? How’s you body image these days? Do you want to lose weight to look better, or feel healthier?
A few other links…

As We Are

Healthier Outcomes

What NOT To Do When You Want To Lose Weight

Posted in blogging, BlogHer, body image, daily life, dieting, health, Health & Wellness, healthy foods, healthy living, inspirational, life, nutrition, self help, thoughts, weight loss, women | 5 Comments »

Top Ten Health & Wellness Gifts: For The Body, Mind, and Soul.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on December 1, 2007

MY TOP TEN PICKS FOR THE BEST HEALTH AND WELLNESS GIFTS FOR THE BODY, MIND, AND SPIRIT

Originally posted at BlogHer, under Health & Wellness, and BlogHer Holiday Guide.

christmas-gifts.jpg

SEE MY TOP TEN PICKS FOR THE BEST HEALTH AND WELLNESS GIFTS FOR THE BODY, MIND, AND SOUL.

Posted in blogging, BlogHer, daily life, family, friends, Happiness, health, Health & Wellness, inspirational, life, opinion, shopping, thoughts | 7 Comments »

 
%d bloggers like this: