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About Kelly Straus

Kelly Straus recently joined femMED as Director, Marketing & Sales bringing more than ten years marketing communications experience in the Advertising Industry and over seven years experience in the Natural Health Products sector. A 33 year old working mom and wife, Kelly is busy learning to balance a challenging career with the demands of her young family - 2 year old son and 6 month old daughter (not to mention a very hairy Golden Retriever!). Kelly is passionate about educating and empowering women to take charge of their lives and their health. She has made a personal commitment to better manage her own health and help other women gain access to health information.

Stretch it off? Run it off? Dance if off? How do you lose weight the best?

So it’s been a week and you’re still motivated to losing the weight and making healthy lifestyle decisions. The big question is how are you going to do this and not get bored doing it? How are you going to make being active a part of your lifestyle and not a chore that just helps with losing weight.

If the thought of going to the gym makes you uncomfortable then maybe the gym isn’t the right place for you right now. Find an exercise class/activity that looks like fun and ask if there is trial period or intro class that you can try before committing to it long term. If it’s not the right fit at least you can say you tried something, it didn’t work, but you still got a great work out in. Look for something that you’ve always wanted to try, karate or ballet, maybe? There are adult beginner classes for almost anything these days so it might be fun to revive an old childhood dream.

Go online and look at what’s close to home. Is there a yoga studio around the corner? Is there a neighbourhood boot camp running? If there is something happening close to home that works with your schedule it can’t hurt to give it a try. Classes are often scheduled to allow people time to get there right after work so it’s easy to fit into your regular weekly routine.

Get App happy – there are lots of free or affordable fitness and nutrition apps out there that can help you with your goals and have the convenience of being right at your finger tips. Food diaries on your phone are a great way of keeping track of what you’re eating, when you’re eating, if you took your supplement or multivitamin and how many calories you’re consuming a day.  Find an app that does all the math for you so you just have decide what’s good to eat.

Hit the books – We know it sounds like the opposite of getting exercise but there are useful training and weight loss tips you can read up on and practice at home by yourself. Finding a fun workout DVD is also a great thing to have in your work out arsenal. If you’re someone who needs to switch things up on a regular basis or you’ve missed your regular exercise activity (because – let’s face it – life happens and sometimes you just can’t go) put on a DVD and sweat it out at home.  It’s also handy to have with you if you travel frequently and the hotel gym facilities are less then desired.

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So you want to lose weight? Don’t we all!

The holiday season is over and now we’re all feeling a little guilty about how much we indulged during the holiday party circuit, especially since your pants are fitting a little more snuggly than they used to. So now you’ve made one of the most common New Year’s resolutions out there – you’re going to be healthy, get fit, lose the weight and maybe even run a marathon just to prove that this really is the year you’re going to follow through and make your weight loss goal. Well if you’re a stranger to eating right and regular exercise this can be an overwhelming resolution to keep, so we’re here to help you stay on the wagon all year long. That’s right, all year long – not all month long, not three months long, not six months long, ALL YEAR LONG. Remember, you want to lose the weight forever, not just send it on vacation for a couple of weeks.

For now think baby steps instead of giant leaps. Make your weight loss decisions realistic so that they fit with your regular routine. You can try to lose five pounds in a week but if you don’t have the hours (that’s right – multiple hours) to spend in an aerobic frenzy you’ll be setting yourself up for failure. You’ll end up feeling bad about not finishing what you set out to accomplish and end up quitting (again).  For now make really, really simple changes that are easy to stick to. Since we’re all creatures of habit and routine, make small adjustment to yours in the weight loss direction.  Add an alert in your schedule reminding you to drink a glass of water. If you love soft drinks switch to a low calorie or sugar free drink like an iced herbal tea, take a supplement that contains Glucomannan to help with weight loss and don’t feel bad about treating yourself once in awhile. We all love treats!

If it helps, think of the old story about the tortoise and hare.  Slow and steady wins the weight loss race.  Instead of saying “I am going to lose 20lbs by July” make your decision to be healthier overall. Instead say, “I’d like to look and feel fabulous by Christmas”.

The best thing to do if you’re serious about losing weight is to know where you’re starting from and what you’re starting with.  Get all the info, how much do you weigh? What are your measurements? What is a healthy, realistic weight for your body type and age? How many calories should I be eating a day? How often and for how long should I be exercising on a weekly basis? The next time you have a doctor’s appointment ask these questions and don’t be afraid of the answers. Sometimes a little shock therapy can be just thing to get you going.

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Is frequency of orgasm linked to longer life?

Early evidence says yes. For the last twenty years Howard S. Friedman and his colleqeaus have been conducting a study entitled, The Longevity Project, the findings of which were recently published in Secrets of Longevity: The self-healing personality and The Longevity Project.

Dr. Friedman, Ph.D., a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California, followed 672 women and 856 men through their lives and deaths.

As part of their study, they looked into the frequency at which each participant had sex, their overall sexual satisfaction, frequency at which they reached orgasm and their overall marital happiness, and ultimately the age at which each participant deceased.

With this information in hand, the researchers were able to relate overall sexual satisfaction with longevity of life.

The results of the study were shocking.

According to Howard S. Friedman and his team of researchers, those women with a higher frequency of achieving orgasm during intercourse lived longer than women will less satisfying sex lives!

Ladies, don’t get too excited!

Not surprisingly there has been very little research done in the area of female sexual satisfaction corresponding with living longer. Other factors such as overall marital happiness, lifestyle choices and family history surely play a role. That said, if Friedman’s results are even the slightest bit accurate, there’s never been a better reason to dust off the lingerie, awaken your libido and get busy!

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Pregnancy Vitamins: What to Consider when Buying a Prenatal

Pregnancy Vitamins: What to Consider when Selecting a Prenatal

There is something special (and stressful) about the months during which a women is trying to conceive and throughout the 40 or so weeks of pregnancy. With the health and wellbeing of their new arrival top of mind, women are more likely to take better care of themselves, eat a more balanced diet, get more sleep and start taking pregnancy vitamins (prenatal vitamins).

For many women, taking vitamins during pregnancy may be their first introduction to vitamins. And, if you’ve ever visited the vitamin aisle at your local drug store or natural health food store, you’ll know that the number of options is overwhelming. With so many brands, ingredients and information in the market, how do you choose the right pregnancy vitamins for you and the health of your baby?

Here are some things to consider when selecting your pregnancy vitamins to ensure you get the best prenatal supplement for you and your baby:

The Basics

The first step in selecting the right supplement for before, during and after pregnancy is to choose from one of the many pregnancy vitamins also known as prenatal vitamins. Avoid a regular multi-vitamin as it will be lacking the appropriate dose of the two most important added ingredients – folic acid and iron.

A quality pregnancy vitamin should include a balanced blend of vitamins and minerals, 30mg of iron and a minimum of 1mg of folic acid. Folic acid should be take for at least two to three months before conception to reduce the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida, and other birth defects like cleft lip, cleft palate, and certain heart defects.

Ginger and Pregnancy

Up to 80% of women suffer from nausea(often called ‘morning sickness’ although for many women it lasts all day) and if you are one of these lucky women , finding pregnancy vitamins with the recommended dosage of folic acid, iron, AND ginger should be a priority.

Wondering: Is ginger safe during pregnancy? Ginger has long been a natural remedy associated with reducing nausea and stomach upset, and has been clinically proven to safely reduce nausea associated with pregnancy. Doctors, midwives, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals often recommended anti-nauseates such as Diclectin for those suffering from morning sickness. And while it can be an effective remedy and is considered ‘safe’ by reputable medical professionals and resources such as www.motherisk.ca, supplements containing ginger offer a safe, natural solution that is gentle on your system and that of your unborn baby.
In our next post, the most dangerous ingredients in prenatal vitamins and how you and your baby need to avoid them.

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Pregnancy Vitamins: What to Consider when Buying One Part 2

A continuation of our previous post.

Dangerous Ingredients

Taking prenatal vitamins for the health of you and your baby? Then watch out for these dangerous ingredients found in some of the leading prenatal vitamins. Make sure to read the labels carefully. Avoid prenatal supplements that include ingredients like BHT, FD&C red no. 40, Sodium Benzoate and Titanium dioxide.

BHT is a skin, liver and kidney toxicant. It is stored in the liver and in fat making thin people more at risk for damage associated with consumption of this ingredient. Studies have shown that BHT promotes cancer and the growth of tumours.

In Europe, FD&C red no. 40 which is often used as a food colorant, is not recommended for consumption by children and yet many of the leading prenatal vitamins include this in their formulations. It is banned in the UK, Denmark, Belgium, France, Switzerland and Sweden.

Sodium Benzoate combined with ascorbic acid and potassium benzoate may form benzene. Benzene is a known carcinogen. Similarly, Titanium dioxide was recently classified as a possible carcinogen to humans. Carcinogens have long been considered cancer promoting and should be avoided by all people.

The presence of these dangerous ingredients in some of the most popular prenatal vitamins is shocking and scary. Make sure you read and compare labels carefully and do your own research to find the safest prenatal  vitamin for before, during and after pregnancy.

Veggie Capsule versus Gel Capsule

Whether you’re a vegetarian or not, you may be surprised to learn that many prenatal vitamins (and supplements and other over the counter drugs in general) are made with gel capsules. Gel capsules are made with Gelatin; a substance derived the bones, tissues, organs and intestines of animals like cows, pigs and chickens.

If you’re a vegetarian or simply loathe the idea of gel caps (who could blame you!), look for a supplement that is made with vegetable capsules. Veggie capsules are often used only by premium brands and supplements due to the higher manufacturing cost. So look for brands that offer their products in veggie caps, in addition to a more appealing supplement, you’ll also know that their priority is quality not cost.

Not your first pregnancy or have a prenatal vitamin you swear by? Check the ingredients and compare all the prenatal vitamins available at your local pharmacy. Don’t rule out switching brands for a supplement that has the right effective ingredients, is free of dangerous ingredients, and doesn’t use dairy, gluten and any other unnecessary fillers.

Not sure where to get prenatal vitamins? Shop online or visit your local grocery store, pharmacy or natural health food store. Make sure you do your research in advance and take a list of what ingredients to avoid and which ingredients to look for.

Found the perfect prenatal vitamin? Share it with us!

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