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04 Dec The Sleep/Weight Loss Connection

Sleep/Weight Loss Connection

 

This month, we’ll talk about the effects that sleeping more, getting adequate vitamin D, and spending time with friends can have on your health. We’ll finish up the year with a look at the importance of Naturopathic care.

This week we’re going to walk through the very real benefits of getting shut eye (and what happens when we don’t get it). Over and over again in my practice, I find that the main reasons moms are not getting enough sleep typically involve one or more of the following:

  • a lack of understanding of the importance of sleep.
  • inadequate scheduling (not making shut-eye a priority).
  • insomnia.
  • anxiety.
  • sleep interruptions from little ones not sleeping well.

Let’s start with sleep and fat loss. I prefer to focus on fat loss with its emphasis on healthy body composition (ideal body fat and adequate muscle mass) rather than weight loss (which too often focuses on a number on the scale).

Read more of Dr. Naumes’ post over at D-Magazine’s D-Moms Blog.

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02 Dec Optimizing Water Intake

My hope this week is that during the holidays when you want to grab that second cup of coffee or that third glass of holiday cheer, you’ll think about choosing a glass of filtered water to help make you a better you!  And if you need more help making these habits a reality in your life, don’t hesitate to get help making it happen.

  • At least half of your daily fluid should come from water. More is fine—up to 100% of your daily beverage needs.
  • About one-third (or about three to four cups) can come from unsweetened organic coffee or tea. If you flavor your coffee or tea with a lot of sugar, cream, or whole milk, then drinking less would help manage weight. If you don’t drink coffee or tea, choose water instead to make up this one-third.
  • Harvard School of Public Health says milk can make up another 20 percent, or about two eight-ounce glasses. Less is my suggestion, just make sure you get your calcium from another source.  As an aside, dark leafy greens or dried beans, have varying amounts of absorbable calcium. Calcium supplements often contain vitamin D; taking calcium paired with vitamin D seems to be more beneficial for bone health than taking calcium alone.
  • A small glass (four ounces) of 100% organic unsweetened fruit juice OR no more than one to two alcoholic drinks for men or no more than one for women. (That means no alcohol at night ladies if you had orange juice at breakfast. )
  • Ideally, it’s best to completely cut out drinks sweetened with sugar, artificial sweeteners or high-fructose corn syrup.

REFERENCES

1. Popkin BM, Armstrong LE, Bray GM, Caballero B, Frei B, Willett WC. A new proposed guidance system for beverage consumption in the United States. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2006; 83:529-542.

2. Kuriyama S, Shimazu T, Ohmori K, Kikuchi N, Nakaya N, Nishino Y, Tsubono Y, Tsuji I. Green tea consumption and mortality due to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all causes in Japan: the Ohsaki study. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2006; 296:1255-1265.

3. Van Dam RM, Willett WC, Manson JE, Hu FB. Coffee, caffeine, and risk of type 2 diabetes: a prospective cohort study in younger and middle-aged U.S. women. Diabetes Care. 2006; 29:398-403.

4. Starbucks beverage details: Mint Mocha Chip Frappuccino® blended coffee with Chocolate Whipped Cream. Accessed on March 28, 2009.

5. Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 2004. Accessed on March 28, 2009.

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30 Nov Guide to Safe Drinking Water

This week let’s talk about getting that dewy glow from drinking more clean filtered tap water. Goodbye luminizer! Hello sleep and water!

Even though, relatively speaking, Big D has better tap water than most cities (#12 on the Environmental Working Group’s list), agricultural pollutants, carcinogens, and endocrine disruptors are some of the common pollutants that still show up in Dallas’ drinking water. Endocrine disruptors can negatively impact a couple’s chance of conceiving, as well as presenting risks to the endocrine system (which includes ovaries and thyroid). This isn’t a luxury either, getting rid of your exposure to endocrine disruptors by filtering your water may be the difference between you getting pregnant again or not. And if you thought drinking bottled water was the solution, think again – bottled water is almost always worse. (Buying bottled water is akin to you buying your own tap water and then putting it into a plastic bottle that later goes into a landfill.) Instead, let’s take a look at the EWG’s Guide to Safe Drinking Water excerpted and condensed below:

  • Tap Water: Learn what’s in it.
    • Tap water suppliers publish all their water quality tests. Bottled water companies don’t.
  • Filtered Tap Water: Drink it, cook with it.
  • Filters: Change them.
  • Bottled Water: Drink filtered tap water instead.
  • On the Go: Carry water in safe containers.
  • While Pregnant: Stay hydrated with safe water.
  • Infants: Use safe water for formula.
  • Breathe Easy: Use a whole house water filter.


Now that you have the 411 on optimizing water intake for you and your family, (not to mention your developing baby if you happen to be pregnant), it’s important to point out that replacing your sodas and alcohol with your clean water will work wonders. Ok, check back with me soon to educate yourself on how much water to drink, how often, and why it is important!

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28 Nov Demystifying the Doula

What is a doula?

As a naturopathic doctor having also received training as a midwife, I frequently discuss birth options with my newly pregnant clients. Should I have a home birth, birth center birth, hospital birth? Should I use a certified professional midwife (CPM), a certified nurse midwife (CNM), or an M.D.? No matter what you choose, I recommend that you have a doula at your birth.

A doula, as it pertains to childbirth, is a woman trained and experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional, and some informational support to the mother before, during, and right after labor.

Let’s cut to the chase. Doulas of North America (DONA) International reminds us of the following facts:

Numerous clinical studies have found that a doula’s presence at birth:

  • tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications.
  • reduces negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience.
  • reduces the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction and cesareans.
  • reduces the mother’s request for pain medication and/or epidurals.


Research shows parents who receive support can:

  • feel more secure and cared for.
  • are more successful in adapting to new family dynamics.
  • have greater success with breastfeeding.
  • have greater self-confidence.
  • have less postpartum depression.
  • have lower incidence of abuse.

Read more of Dr. Naumes’ post over at D-Magazine’s D-Moms Blog

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20 Nov Tips for Staying Sane During the Holidays

Managing stress is one of the most important things you can do for the health and well-being of yourself and your family. My #1 tip is to take on less! Keep life simple and don’t compare yourself to others. The fall and winter are darker, slower times for rest and reflection; the holidays should be enjoyable and relaxing.

Tips for keeping life simple:

  • Take time for introspection and give children a break from activities, research shows that unstructured play time is vital to development and creativity.
  • You can stay stylish and keep it simple with a mom “uniform.” Or build your wardrobe around a simple color palette so that everything you pull out of your closet already matches. (Your husband will appreciate the break from having to be your stylist.)
  • Learn to say no to holiday parties and get-togethers that don’t bring you and your family joy and peace and that aren’t true obligations.

 

Ok, so you’re just going to have a busy fall and holiday season… no way around it. What can you do to stay energized and sane? How can you manage your stress?

Read more of Dr. Naumes’ post over at D-Magazine’s D-Moms Blog

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13 Nov Staving Off Winter Colds

The common cold is an acute, viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. There are many viruses which can cause the symptoms of the common cold. Infants and children are affected more often and tend to experience more prolonged symptoms than adults. So, what can you do to improve immunity and potentially ward off colds & the flu?

The key to prevention is consistency! Once a child or mom is sick with the cold or flu, there is only so much you can do to shorten the duration or decrease the intensity of symptoms. Consistency of good self-care is paramount to prevent frequent recurrences of the cold. So what is good self-care? Exercise, nutrition, sleep, community support, and stress management. Here are some of my tips for achieving each of these to help prevent seasonal illness.

Regular Exercise

  • Moms: Take a 30-minute relaxing walk outside daily.
  • Kids: Play outside.
  • Kids and parents: Have a dance party at home, go on a family nature walk, or pull together an all ages flag football game on thanksgiving instead of sitting and watching football on TV.

Read  Dr. Naumes’ entire post over at D Magazine‘s D-Mom’s Blog.

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