Support for Caregivers

Support for Caregivers

Caregiving can seem like a long laundry list of things that can be overwhelming. In my Caregiving Tips 101 post, I talked about some things to consider as a caregiver. If you haven’t already, please check it out here. Because it is not an easy task and comes with responsibilities, in the long run it can result in a range of emotions. The emotional toll can break even the most resilient of us. Going through all the steps to make sure things are in order can result in a number of challenges and feelings such as:

– Stress
– Feeling emotionally drained
– Financial strain (there are a number of unexpected out of pocket expenses)
– Depression
– Physical pain
– Fatigue
– Not managing one’s health (i.e. physically or mentally)

Taking care of yourself should be a priority, because you need to be your best self in order to be able to take care of your loved one. If you cannot take care of yourself then chances of you taking care of someone else is very minimal. The above feelings are natural but you don’t have to go through it alone. There are a number of programs and services to aid you along the way. Don’t be shy in taking advantage of these programs because they are there to help us.

Below is a list of some caregiver support programs. Please note that this list is not meant to be exhaustive but these are some resources that I have come to know about and use it in my own personal caregiving journey:

  • Paid Family Leave: State such as New York, California, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Oregon, Connecticut, Washington and New Jersey have paid family and medical leave. This is for those who wish to take a paid leave of absence of from work to take care of a loved one with a serious health condition. Please note that the number of paid weeks and paid benefits varies from state to state.
  • Respite Care: As a caregiver, you are often juggling a multiple of responsibilities involving the care of your loved one. However, although caregiving can seem like a full-time job in itself, most still have other life responsibilities. These can include work, a family, raising kids, volunteer work, among others. As much as you may feel the need to do/handle everything on your own, remember you need the break! Here are a number of respite care options available such as:

    – Part-time Home Aid/Companion
    – Adult Day Care Center
    – Overnight Stays at a Nursing Facility

  • Support Groups: Caregiving is a huge undertaking and it can be nice to have a group of others who can relate to you. You can find a support group near you or online (i.e. Facebook) where you can connect with others who can relate to how you feel and the challenges you are going through.

To learn more about these and other programs, contact your local department of health or aging, a home care agency or a patient advocacy organization.

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Caregiving Tips 101

Caregiving Tips 101

The role of caregiving can be a huge responsibility. Your plate can be full of many things think and talk about. There are many things to put into place to take care of a loved one while also honoring their wishes. It can be a bit overwhelming at times. However, it is important to understand the many caregiving responsibilities and things to have in place for yourself and your loved ones.

I have broken down the caregiving responsibilities into five main categories, they include:

Legal/Estate– This involves taking responsibility in making sure that the person’s wishes and assets are protected and honored. Some of the question to put into consideration include:

  • Is there a living will in place the event you or a loved one cannot make or express your/their wishes?
  • Is there a will that outlines the direction on how to handle your estate after you or your loved one has passed on?
  • Who is listed as the Power of Attorney to make any legal decisions that are needed?
  • Who is listed as the Healthcare Proxy to make health and medical decisions on behalf of the patient (whether that is you or a loved one)?
  • What kind of money accounts do you or your loved one have and who is listed as a beneficiary?

Financial– This includes managing finances, paying for the funeral and other final expenses. Some questions to consider can be:

  • Is there a life insurance policy? If so, with what company and how do you file a claim once a loved one has passed on?
  • How are you paying for medical care, is it Medicare, Medicaid or a long-term insurance policy?
  • Do you or your loved one have pension or Social Security benefits? Who qualifies for survivor benefits once you or your loved one has passed on?

Medical: This involves knowing the medical state of yourself or your loved one. Some consideration questions include;

  • Do you have a list of current medications and their dosage?
  • Do you know the family medical history?
  • Do you have a list of current doctors and medical providers?

Housing– This is about prepping the home for safety as we age. Some things to consider

  • What home modifications are needed to get in and around the house? Ramp? Stair lift? Railings for the couch, toilet, tub or bed?

Care options– This is about asking where does one want to receive care? Some questions to ask can include:

  • What are the pros and cons of receiving care at home verses in an assisted living facility or a nursing facility?
  • How do you transition from one place of care to another?

This information is coming from a place of care and personal experience. I am sharing not because I am an expert. I am navigating this process myself and wanted to share what has come up for me. As you move forward with the abovementioned items, I recommend you to consult an estate attorney, financial advisor and a patient advocate. They are trained professionals who can help you explore your options and make the best decisions for you.

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Lifting Up Our Caregivers

Lifting Up Our Caregivers

November marks the celebration of National Caregivers’ Month. It is a time to recognize, give praise and support to those who dedicate their time to caring for others. You are the heroes the world needs to know of, but get very little (if any) recognition.

But who is a caregiver? This is anyone who steps up to care for a friend, a family member or a neighbor that they feel responsible for. A caregiver may or may not be related to the person. Most caregivers tend to be the spouse, parent, child, friend or neighbor of the person who is in need of care. The most common caregiver is a family member who takes care of their loved ones without any payment. A professional caregiver (also known as a home aide) is one who is hired via an agency to care for a recipient. In either situation, the caregiver can give medical and/or non-medical assistance. Someone may step into the role of a caregiver for a few weeks, a few months and even up to few years.

The person in need of care can range from someone who is chronically ill, disabled or an aging adult. The level of care can range from minimal support to 24/7. This will depend on who and the condition they are in. According to the American Society on Aging, there are more than 65 million people in the US who provide care for a loved one. Some of the tasks of a caregiver can include medical care such as transportation to doctor’s appointments, picking up and making sure all medications are taken at the appropriate time. They can provide assistance with daily living activities such as bathing and going to the bathroom. Other duties can include financial management, house chores and meal preparation. Many in the process of taking care of a loved one, do not realize that they are playing the role of a caregiver. Most of them feel that they are supposed to do it because that is what you do for someone you love- you take care of them! For that very reason, there are very many caregivers who are unpaid, many who are balancing work/full-time job in addition to caring for their loved one.

As a result of the many things involved in being a caregiver, many go through mental and physical fatigue. This being the case, it is a huge undertaking being a caregiver which should not be minimalized. Caring for a person whether its family or a neighbor is not an easy task by any means. It takes heart, compassion, love and most importantly, it takes patience.

I want to bring awareness to the needs of this community as someone who is a caregiver and is a supporter for all their hard work! Happy National Caregivers’ Month!

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Support Resources for Breast Cancer Patients and Survivors

Support Resources for Breast Cancer Patients and Survivors

Imagine receiving a breast cancer diagnosis, going through the treatment process and moving on. It sounds like a simple 1-2-3 process, but it is no easy task. This can all take a toll on us physically, mentally and emotionally. The desire to go back to our ‘normal’ way of life can at times overwhelm us. This can bring about range of emotions such as shock, fear, sadness and sometimes even anger. All this has been found to be a coping mechanism for cancer patients, but no one has to go through it all alone.

Did you know that there are a number of support services available to you and your loved ones to help you get through this difficult time. These are all out here because you matter! These services can include, but aren’t limited to:

Support Groups: A support group is a safe space to share your feelings and expand your personal network. And in the process, you can learn how to cope with the emotional issues associated with the diagnosis and the treatment process. Groups meet regularly (ie. monthly or a weekly basis). Most support groups are tailored to individuals of a particular age, race/ethnicity, gender or the recovery stage.

Financial Assistance: The costs for breast cancer care can quickly add up and become a financial burden on the patient, their family or friends. Medical bills can pile up from right, left and center from each doctor of each department you will deal with along the way as well as all the medications. Particularly for those in the US, not all medical care expenses are covered by your health insurance provider. Any balances are up to the patient to cover. However, there are a number of non-profit organizations, hospitals and financial counselors who can help provide any needed financial aid and guidance you may need.

Transportation: Depending on where you live, you may need to travel to get access to health care. Lack of available and reliable transportation can be a huge barrier between you and the care you need. Many community based organizations provide patients with free transportation to and from the treatment facility. This can be done through volunteer drivers, ride sharing programs (i.e. Uber and Lyft) or church groups.

Exercise Programs: Physical activity is very vital for our well-being. It is also now becoming an integral part in cancer recovery. You can work with a cancer fitness specialist who is knowledgeable with exercise training that is safe during and after cancer treatment.

Wigs and Head-coverings: A common side effect of cancer treatment is hair loss. This process can cause fear and increase insecurities amongst the cancer patients. However, I encourage you to remember that this is only temporary and that your hair will grow back. In the meantime, feel free to wear a wig, a head scarf, a hat or anything that will make you comfortable.

For more information on these options and many more, speak to your hospital’s patient care navigator or social worker.

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Nutrition for Breast Cancer Health

Nutrition for Breast Cancer Health

Nutrition and healthy eating is an essential component for our overall well being. The components of a nutrient-dense diet is particularly important when it comes to our breast health. It can help to reduce your risk of breast cancer and its chances of reoccurrence. To speak further on the topic of cancer and nutrition, I had the pleasure of interviewing Gina DeLuca.

Gina DeLuca is a Registered Dietitian for NYU Langone Health Perlmutter Cancer Center at Winthrop Hospital. She provides outpatient oncology nutrition care to patients, individually and in groups, on prevention-, treatment-, and survivorship-related topics. Gina received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from New York University and completed her Dietetic Internship at Massachusetts General Hospital prior to becoming a Registered Dietitian. Gina is currently pursuing specialized certification in oncology nutrition.

Q: What are the benefits of a well-nutritious diet for your overall well-being?

A: There are so many benefits! These include optimal physical and mental health, increased energy and strength, immune support, and prevention of chronic disease.

Q: Why is nutrition particularly important in breast health?

A: Healthful nutrition supports breast health to decrease inflammation, as chronic inflammation can create an environment that potentially increases breast cancer risk.

Q: What are some nutrients that our body needs to support our breast health during cancer treatment?

A: Adequate, though not excessive, protein intake is essential to support healthy, non-cancer cells during cancer treatment. Lean plant-based protein, if digestively tolerable, is encouraged as it provides an array of nutrients, including fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, which are plant compounds with beneficial effects. Plant-based protein can be used to replace protein sources that contain cholesterol, saturated fat, excess sodium, and added refined sugars and starches. It’s important to keep in mind that the treatment phase for each cancer patient is a unique chapter in that person’s cancer journey, and each patient tolerates treatment in unique ways. With that in mind, I focus on optimizing our patients during that time by collaborating with them to maximize nutritional intakes based on individual food preferences, all foods being potentially inclusive.

Adequate water and non-caffeinated fluid intake is especially essential during treatment as it maintains proper hydration and reduces potential toxicities/side effects from treatment modalities, such as chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

Q: What are some foods that are good for breast cancer patients? And why?

A: The “prudent and healthy” diet pattern that includes vegetables, fruits, fish, poultry, whole grains, low-fat dairy products has shown to decrease cancer risk, and this applies to breast cancer risk as well. These foods offer lean protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and probiotics, and phytochemicals. In particular, cruciferous vegetables–broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, turnips, cabbages, brussels sprouts, and leafy greens including kale, bok choy, and arugula–as well as garlic, onions, and apples, have shown to offer an especially protective effect against breast cancer due to their particular phytochemicals.

Q: What are some foods we should limit when it comes to breast cancer prevention? And why?

A: Our Western, so-called “unhealthy” diet pattern, contains concerning components prevalent in many common foods. Processed meat, excessive red meat from non-organic sources, and excessive high-fat dairy products contain saturated fat. Saturated fat, processed meat, and alcohol have been shown to increase breast cancer risk and should be avoided. In addition, consumption of refined grains, flours, and sugar can cause a hormonal response involving excessive insulin–hyperinsulinemia–and refined oils provide hydrogenated/trans-fats which can cause inflammation. Therefore, refined grains/flours, refined sugars, and refined oils should be avoided to reduce or eliminate risk for inflammation caused, or made worse, by hyperinsulinemia.

Q: What are some nutrition tips to consider when meal planning/meal prepping for breast cancer patients?

A: The “plate method” is visual tool for maintaining focus on the types of foods and portion sizes to consume at meals, with half of a 9-inch plate to contain non-starchy vegetables and/or salad, and the remaining quarters to contain lean protein and whole grains, respectively. A fruit serving and a dairy serving can be provided on the side for nutritional balance to compliment this plate. I encourage a diet pattern that includes a “rainbow” of colored foods that provide a wide array of protective phytochemicals for disease prevention. These lead to a whole-foods, plant-based (WFPB) diet pattern, and within that, I especially appreciate the “flexitarian” creative approach to eating. This is a foundation of plant-based whole foods where either animal or plant protein source can be included, i.e. “flexed,” based on a person’s food preferences and nutritional needs. It’s perfect for those who may not be able to consume a solely plant-based diet but can still reap many of the benefits of it and maintain necessary protein intake.

Q: How did you get into the field of cancer nutrition?

A: I am so grateful for the opportunities that have come my way! My assigned undergraduate fieldwork experience was in oncology nutrition, and my love for this area of our dietetics field began there. That experience was enhanced by the outpatient oncology rotation in my dietetic internship, which was complemented by a food service rotation in the cafe that stood adjacent to the outpatient cancer center. My post-internship position in acute care was a natural next step as my focus there was largely dedicated to inpatient oncology care. Though my favorite position thus far is my current one in outpatient oncology care at Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Winthrop Hospital. I love being part of our multidisciplinary teams, across various diagnoses, caring for patients whom we are fortunate to help in preparing for treatment, undergoing treatment, and readjusting post-treatment. We also develop and provide resources for cancer prevention within our community. It is very rewarding to help so many people along the continuum of cancer prevention, treatment, and survivorship.

Q: What are some of your favorite recipes you like to share with your clients?

A: The American Cancer Society offers numerous recipes, and their cookbooks are very user-friendly. Registered Dietitians Barbara Grant and Colleen Doyle and food columnist/cookbook author Jeanne Besser do an amazing job at creating many of these references. I especially enlighten patients to look at cancer-nutrition cookbook recipes by Holly Clegg and Rebecca Katz, as well as Cook For Your Life founder Ann Ogden Gaffney.

Q: Do you have any resources you would like to share?

A: Absolutely! These include (though are certainly not limited to):

  • American Institute for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute
  • American Cancer Society–especially the recently released 2020 American Cancer Society Guidelines for Diet and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention
  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics–Oncology Nutrition Dietetics Practice Group

References (for this piece) include:

Cardiovascular Disease and Breast Cancer: Where These Entities Intersect: A Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association (American Heart Association Circulation journal, February 2018)

Dietary Guidelines for Breast Cancer Patients: A Critical Review (Advances in Nutrition journal, July 2017)

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Benefits of Exercise During Breast Cancer Treatment

Benefits of Exercise During Breast Cancer Treatment

Upon receiving a breast cancer diagnosis, you should first start out by talking to your doctor about the various options for treatment. During your conversation, it is important to know the goal of the treatment and any side effects that can happen as a result of the procedure. This will help you to make the best decision for you when developing your treatment plan.

Common treatment options for breast cancer can include:

  • Surgery: to remove the cancerous tissue
  • Radiation therapy: to remove any remaining cancerous tissue after surgery
  • Chemotherapy: a drug treatment to kill any fast-growing cancer cells

Although these treatments can help stop or slow down the growth of cancer cells in the body, there are a number of side effects one may experience. Some common side effects include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue (feeling tired most of the time)
  • Lymphedema (the buildup of lymph fluid in the body that can cause swelling of the feet, ankles, legs, hands or arms)
  • Neuropathy (the damage of nerves- particularly in the feet- causing tingling and numbness)
  • Cognitive issues (difficulty remembering things or concentrating)

When dealing with these side effects, one of the best things you can do is participate in a gentle exercise program. One fitness program I want to highlight is Moving for Life (MFL). Moving for Life is a dance exercise class that was carefully designed to address the needs of those dealing with cancer and the side effects often accompanied during and after treatment. Founded by Dr. Martha Eddy, the program is based on somatic movement education that focuses on the listening and paying attention of body cues. This in turn, enhances safety and healing through self-awareness and body knowledge.

During a class, it begins with an easy breath-based warm up, some aerobic movements (cardio) to increase the heart rate, resistance training to build strength and increase range of motion, sequence challenges for the brain, and ending with a relaxing stretch. This fitness program has been endorsed by surgeons, oncologists and exercise experts across the US. The program is perfect for anyone regardless of fitness level.

Some of the amazing benefits of exercise during breast cancer treatment include:

  • Increased stamina
  • More energy- relieves fatigue
  • Increase range of motion
  • Helps to maintain a healthy weight
  • Reduces swelling

I am passionate about this work and am a certified cancer exercise specialist through this organization. I have been teaching this class for a number of years and can attest to the benefits of the work.

For more information, visit www.movingforlife.org

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The Truth About Breast Cancer

The Truth About Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an annual campaign to call attention and increase the awareness of breast cancer disease that takes place every month of October. But what is breast cancer? Breast cancer is the result of changes in the breast tissue that divide at uncontrollable rates, in turn causing a lump or mass to form. According to the Center of Disease Control (CDC), breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the US.

According to the American Cancer Society, The death rate of breast cancer patients has fallen by 40% between 1989 and 2017. Statistics by breastcancer.org indicates that 1 in every 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer over the course of her lifetime; 1 in 39 will die. As of January 2020, there are more than 3.5 million women with a history of breast cancer. This includes patients currently in treatment and survivors who have completed their treatment.

The American Cancer Society has estimated that there will be 1,806,950 new cases and 605,520 cancer deaths this year (2020) alone. This is approximately, 4,950 new cases and 4,950 deaths every day. Although not as common, breast cancer can affect men as well. Early diagnosis can reduce one’s risk of dying from breast cancer. Early signs can be detected by a mammography screening (or an x-ray of the breast.)

The goal of the mammogram is to spot any tumors or breast abnormalities to detect cancer before the signs and symptoms become noticeable. While there is no exact age to start screening due to different risk factors, most people begin screening around the age of 40. Common signs of breast cancer include a change in the shape or feel of the nipple and/or nipple discharge.

Common risk factors for breast cancer include:

  • Obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Use of post-menopausal hormones
  • Family history
  • Age
  • Alcohol consumption.

There are 4 stages of breast cancer. The stages alert us of the size of the tumor and where it is located. The treatment depending on the stage and personal preferences can include:

  • Surgery: to remove cancerous tissues
  • Radiation therapy: to remove remaining cancerous tissues after surgery
  • Chemotherapy: drug treatment aimed to kill fast growing cancer cells

Breast cancer affects our lives from the patient, survivor, family member and caregivers. I encourage you to speak to your healthcare provider if you believe you have any symptoms or have an increased risk. Here, time is on our side. The earlier it can be diagnosed, the better.

However, if you are formally diagnosed with breast cancer, make sure you have a good understanding of the type of breast cancer you have, where it is located in the event it has spread to other areas, what stage is the cancer in, and your chances of survival. This will help you to make the best decisions in terms of your treatment.

When developing a treatment plan, make sure you know what your treatment options are, the goal of the treatment, how long it will last, its side’s effects, and what are chances of a recurrence.

Staying on top of the health of our breast is important. If you or a loved one has been affected by breast cancer in any way, please share the knowledge and join the movement to find a cure! We are in this together!

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Calcium-Rich Foods

Calcium-Rich Foods

Calcium is an important mineral for ensure we have strong and healthy bones. A majority of our body’s calcium is stored in our bones. However, when we don’t get enough calcium, the body will take any stored calcium (from our bones) to other parts of our body. Since our bodies cannot produce calcium on its own, we need to make sure that the foods that we consume are high and rich in calcium.

A calcium deficiency can affect people of all ages from infants, teenagers to adults. Not getting enough calcium particularly affects us in our golden years as it can lead to bones health related diseases such as hypocalcemia, osteopenia or osteoporosis. Although often times calcium deficiency diseases can be treated or reversed, it is not worth taking the risk while it can be easily prevented. Treating a calcium deficiency can simply be treated by increasing our intake of calcium. The most safest and easiest way of doing this is through our diets. Some common (and not so common foods) that are rich in calcium include:

  • Dairy products (milk, cheese)
  • Leafy greens (spinach, kale)
  • Nuts (almonds)
  • Fish (salmon, tuna)

Calcium works together with vitamin D in protecting your bones and body from falls and fractures. While calcium protects the bones, vitamin D helps the body to absorb the necessary calcium. I am sure you have heard about getting vitamin D from the sun. But, you can also get the necessary vitamin D through foods such as:

  • Egg yolks
  • Cheese
  • Beef liver
  • Fatty fish including: tuna, salmon and mackerel.
  • Foods fortified with vitamin D.

Ensuring we get enough vitamin and calcium plays a big role in prevention of osteoporosis and other related diseases. Wondering where and how to get calcium-rich food or recipes to include in your diet? Well, if you haven’t already, I encourage you to do my 5-day Calcium-Rich Salad Challenge. Here I have provided a FREE workbook and sample salad recipes made with calcium-rich ingredients. Everything is delivered right to your email. All you have to do is to just sign up here!

If you want more recipe ideas on how much to increase your calcium intake, try out my Bone Health Recipe Guide. Here I have provided 20+ recipes that utilize calcium-rich ingredients to support the health of your bones and those around you. My Bone Health Recipe Guide is available for purchase here!

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#BoneHealthMatters

#BoneHealthMatters

Did you know that our bodies cannot produce calcium on its own? It is a mineral that we must ingest. Did you know that calcium does not stay in our bodies? We lose calcium everyday through our skin, nails hair and urine. Did you know that when we don’t get enough calcium from our diet or vitamin regime, our body will get the needed calcium from other parts of the body? Most of our calcium is stored in our bones. From time to time, our bodies may take some calcium from our bones to other parts of the body. But, if it happens too often, it can lead to bone-related diseases that can cause our bones to break easily, leading to bone loss.

There are two common bone-related diseases: osteopenia and osteoporosis.

Osteopenia is a condition when your bones are weaker than normal. The maximum amount of bone the body is programmed to build during one’s lifetime is known as peak bone mass. Failure to attain the peak bone mass can lead to osteopenia. Diagnosis of osteopenia usually shows no symptoms, unless the condition progresses to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis occurs when our bones are so weak; they become brittle from minor events such as bending over, coughing or a fall.

Both conditions can be attributed to unhealthy habits such as: lack of enough calcium in the body, little to no physical activity, smoking, too much alcohol consumption and a large intake of carbonated drinks.

When our bones density decreases, it causes our bones to get weak and become more fragile making them easier to break. Like many other diseases osteopenia and osteoporosis can be treated, prevented and even reversed. Some things we can do include:

  • Getting enough exercise (i.e. lifting weights/strength training). Lifting weights increases our bone density, which makes our bones nice and strong
  • Quit smoking. Tobacco absorbs calcium that is stored in the body
  • Limit your consumption alcohol and carbonated drinks. They also absorb calcium that is stored in the body
  • Increase your intake of calcium

Since our body doesn’t produce its own calcium and yet is a very important mineral, the best, safest and most natural way to do this is by eating foods that are high in calcium; it is one of the easiest ways to support our bone health. The most common way to get calcium through food is through dairy products such as milk and cheese. This may not be the best option for those with a lactose sensitivity/allergy, or those following a vegan diet.

Did you know that there are a number of plant-based and non-dairy foods that are also rich in calcium? These ingredients include leafy greens, fish and different kinds of nuts. To find out more about these different types of foods, how to prepare them, and some recipes you can try to include them in your daily diets, join my 5 -day Calcium-Rich Salad Challenge. Here, you get a FREE workbook about the benefits of calcium, explore food options that are high in calcium, and provide sample salad recipes you can try that can health support the health of your bones and increase your intake of calcium.

The workbook and recipes are delivered straight to your email. And did I mention that this is all FREE! Sign up for the challenge here!

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Support for Bone Health

Support for Bone Health

Have you ever thought about if you have strong and healthy bones? Do you have concerns about breaks or fractures as a result of a fall or injury? Maybe you have a bone related health illness and want to know how to prevent or reverse the disease? Supporting your bone health can advance your overall health and wellness by improving your balance, posture, strength, power, agility and energy. Yes, this can all be done by having healthy eating habits or a medication. But what if there was another scientific way that allows you to grow and support healthy bones without pain, soreness or fatigue?

I had the privilege to speak with Caryn Semelka- Part Owner, Manager and Certified Session Coach of OsteoStrong Garden City, located in Long Island, NY where she uses science and technology to help people improve their bone health to attain a better quality of life.

Q: What is Osteostrong?
A: OsteoStrong is for people of all ages. It’s a unique place where you can go to improve your overall health by focusing on the foundation of your body: your skeletal system. It’s a scientifically-advanced, non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical, skeletal strengthening system.

Q: What is the science behind the Osteostrong method and how did it get started?
A: OsteoStrong is based on a principle called “osteogenic loading.” It has been known for over 100 years that the way to strengthen the skeletal system is with pressure. Through scientific research it was discovered that the stimulus, or amount of pressure, required to trigger growth of healthy bone tissue, known as “osteogenesis,” was 4.2 multiples of an individual’s body weight. This is an extraordinary amount of pressure and for most people isn’t possible to achieve. But, OsteoStrong has developed a unique system that allows for just about anyone at any age to safely experience the pressure of 4.2 times their own body weight and much more.

Q: What are the benefits of participating in Osteostrong?
A: People who are participating in this system right now are seeing rapid improvements in their physical performance. Individuals are also experiencing increased bone and muscle density, increased energy and strength, improved posture, agility, flexibility and balance. Additional benefits are a reversal or elimination of joint and back pain, an avoidance or reversal of osteoporosis and an avoidance or reversal of Type 2 Diabetes.

Q: What occurs during an Osteostrong session?
A: The OsteoStrong circuit consists of 4 different pieces of equipment. These machines enable “growth trigger events” through simulated force pressure, targeting a specific area of the body. Each session is guided by an OsteoStrong session coach, so an individual never goes through a session on their own.

Q: How often should one participate in an Osteostrong session?
A: An OsteoStrong session is just once per week and takes less than 15 minutes.

Q: Why does bone health matter?
A: Bones perform several important functions. They provide protection to internal organs, a frame to keep our bodies supported and allow us to move. They also produce red and white blood cells, store important minerals such as calcium and phosphorus, and aid in detoxification by removing heavy metals and other foreign elements from the blood. If your bones aren’t strong and healthy, then all of these functions are compromised.

Q: How can someone get started with Osteostrong?
A: Anyone can reach us by phone at (516) 243-9256 or email at gardencity@osteostrong.me.

Q: How can we connect with Osteostrong (on social media)?
A: We are on Facebook @OsteoStrongGardenCity and Instagram @OsteoStrongGC. Our company website is www.osteostrong.me.

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The Truth About Calcium

The Truth About Calcium

Calcium is an essential nutrient needed for our body functions. It is most known for helping to build strong and healthy bones. As children grow, there is an emphasis to make sure that they have enough calcium and vitamin D for the bones to be able to grow healthy and strong. This in turn, will provide a more stable bone mass during the senior years. Bone health and development is a life-long journey. Therefore, calcium is a very important mineral in the body as we age. However, most adults do not get the recommended amount of calcium that the body needs.

But why is it important to get the right amount of calcium? Why should we care? When we don’t get enough calcium, one can suffer from a deficiency. Hypocalcaemia is the official medical term for a calcium deficiency. As a result, one may experience symptoms such as muscle spasms, muscle cramps or an abnormal heart rhythm. Did you know that about 99% of our body’s calcium is stored in our bones and teeth? A long-term calcium deficiency can lead to changes in our dental health, brain alterations which may lead people to become depressed or confused, and also weak nails and brittle bones.

Bone-related health concerns such as osteopenia and osteoporosis, should be enough of a reason for making calcium a priority in our lives. This is because we cannot see the effects of our bone health immediately. We unfortunately do not typically take action until things have progressed, which at that point it may be too late.

Do you ever wonder why bone health is not talked about as much? Is it because we think or we assume that we know so everything we need to know about bone health and calcium? Bone health is not something to be taken lightly because it affects every aspect of our body. Here are five common things we think we know about calcium:

  • Calcium is only good for bone health.
  • I can only get calcium from dairy products
  • All dairy products are a good source of calcium
  • I can get all the calcium I need from supplements
  • Only kids are in need of calcium

At one point in your life, have you thought or believed one or more of the above statements? I know I have. However, all of those statements are false! When we adapt to a healthy lifestyle and adding calcium based foods on our diet, it will go a long way in ensuring our calcium intake. There are many theories and things said about calcium. But, we need to take our time and understand the truth about calcium, its benefits and importance.

If you want to learn more about these misconceptions about calcium, then please Download my 5 Myths About Calcium List. On this handout there is a breakdown on each myth and provide information on the truth about calcium. Check it out here!

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The Importance of Immunizations

The Importance of Immunizations

August is National Immunization Awareness Month- a time to highlight the importance of vaccines for people of all ages. A vaccine stimulates the immune system to provide active acquired immunity to a certain disease. Vaccines are designed to prevent a disease rather than treating it by helping the immune system prepare to protect the body.

Vaccinations are essential in preventing diseases. They give you the necessary immunity to a disease without you getting it first. How so? A weakened version of the disease or virus is injected into the body. The injection is usually given by a shot into the leg or arm. Your body will then detect the antigens, or the germs, injected and will produce antibodies to fight them off. The antibodies produced will stay in the body for a long period of time, and sometimes even for a lifetime. In a case where you might be exposed to that disease again, the immune system will fight the necessary antibodies in place to off the disease.

Vaccines are important at all ages, from infancy through adulthood. Failure to get vaccines can lead to serious health issues. It can also prevent the spread of a particular disease to others who may have weakened or compromised immune systems.

For adults it is important to take vaccines because:

  • Some vaccines received at a younger age can wear off over time as we get older
  • There are some illnesses that are common in adults
  • They have an increased risk of new and different diseases
  • Availability of new/improved vaccines
  • They slow the spread of a disease

As we grow older, changes in our lifestyles or health conditions may expose/increase your risk of contracting diseases. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following vaccines for adults ages 50 and over:

  • Seasonal Influenza (Flu) Shot: This helps to protect the body against infections caused by influenza viruses and should be received annually.
  • Shingles: This helps to prevent shingles and any complications from the diseases. You should get this vaccine if you had chicken pox as a child, if you want to decrease your chances of getting shingles or have had shingle case before.
  • Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV13): This protects the body from the most common bacteria that is known to cause pneumonia.

Older adults and seniors are at a greater risk of contracting infections and bacteria. This is because as we grow older the immune system weakens and is not able to fight off diseases as well. Let us take care of our health as we get older by making sure to get the recommended vaccines.

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