Rounding The Corner to 40….

Yep, this is the year. The year I turn 40. There was a time when I thought 40 was old. Not so much anymore. They say time goes by so much more quickly when you get older…that is so true. It feels like just yesterday I was graduating high school. So what exactly does turning 40 mean? Does it mean that life is downhill from here? That now I have to start wearing old lady pants and shoes? Not for this girl. What it means to me is that there is so much I want to do with my life that I have never done. Seeing that life really does go by so quickly makes me want to go explore, taste new foods, take that vacation…. These 40 years have flown by for me. I take things more seriously..like my health. I laugh thinking about how I thought I was fat in high school..oh to be that thin again. Now I just want to be healthy. It is a slow process but I will get there. Here a few facts about what happens to your body when you turn 40….

Perimenopause-It’s all hormonal

For most women, periods are regular until their mid-40s. But then menopause may begin and change that. “Perimenopause cycle changes tend to begin for most women around age 45, and the average age of menopause is 52,” Bitner says. “Habits such as a high-fat diet and smoking can hasten menopause as well as a family history of early menopause or significant health problems such as rheumatoid arthritis.”
What can you expect as your body enters this phase? Your ovaries will start producing less estrogen and progesterone — two types of hormones. As your estrogen levels decline during perimenopause, expect night sweats, hot flashes and vaginal dryness. And as progesterone levels fall, your periods may be irregular, heavier and longer, according to the North American Menopause Society.
Booby Check….

It was once a given that women should get a first mammogram at age 40, but these days, the recommendations vary. The American Cancer Society now says women with an average risk of breast cancer can start mammograms at 45. And the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force suggests waiting until 50. But other groups, such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and American College of Radiology and the Society of Breast Imaging, still say to start at 40.
Confused? Speak with your physician about when to schedule an initial mammogram if you haven’t had one yet, Gartenberg says. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to breast screening and it’s best to be in-the-know about your family health history — both your maternal and paternal side — to trace any hereditary breast cancer. “This is the decade when hereditary factors can truly start to affect a woman’s health,” she says.

Time For More Calcium

This is the decade when bones become thinner, says Elissa B. Gartenberg, DO, a board-certified family physician practicing traditional medicine and holistic care in Scottsdale, Arizona. In fact, one in every two women over 50 will experience an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Be sure your diet is rich in calcium (or supplement with a multivitamin) — your goal is to get three servings of calcium in you daily diet or a total of 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams per day. Also, fit weight-bearing exercise into your day, and if you smoke, quit.
Turning 40 can be a great time in your life. Things seem different when you look at them, kids get younger and younger, and yes, we get older. I am deciding to grow old gracefully. My first 40 years have been a wild ride and I can’t wait to see what the next 40 bring!!!

Diet Soda vs. Regular Soda: Is One Worse For You Than The Other?

Most people are aware that both regular and diet soda are bad for your health, but when it comes to which is worse, things get a bit tricky. The truth is they are both pretty unhealthy in their own separate ways. Here’s a quick run-through of how both beverages affect the human body to help you make a more educated decision when picking your poison.


 

Diet Soda

The Good

Some prefer diet soda because it fails to leave the residue on their teeth that regular soda does. This is because diet soda gets its flavoring from artificial sweeteners, not natural sugar. Bacteria in the mouth, also known as plaque, need sugar to grow, so diet soda isn’t going to be directly contributing to any new cavities in that lovely white smile of yours. However, this doesn’t mean that your dentist is likely to recommend you drink a can of diet soda a day to maintain a healthy mouth. Diet soda may not contain sugar, but it does have acid, and over time this acid can strip the enamel from your teeth and leave them more vulnerable to cavities from other sugary foods and drinks you may consume.

The Bad

Although the calorie-free aspect of diet soda may sound enticing to those trying to maintain a healthy weight, don’t be fooled. It has been suggested that diet soda actually contributes to weight gain, not weight loss. “Artificial sweeteners found in diet sodas have been found to increase sugar cravings because it’s not a natural source of sugar and the brain continues to seek the real deal,” Marissa Puleo, a registered licensed dietitian explained to Medical Daily. “This can lead to increased eating and drinking because your body isn’t satisfied.” One study even suggested that along with increasing desire for fattening foods, the artificial flavoring in diet soda actually interfered with the natural bacteria in our guts, making us less tolerant of glucose.

 

The Ugly

One study from the University of Miami revealed an even scarier effect of diet soda when they correlated the beverage’s consumption to increased risk of heart attack and stroke. In the study, 2,465 participants were asked to document what beverages they drink and how often they drink them. The participants were followed for nine years, and results found those who drank diet soda were 48 percent more likely to have a heart attack or stroke when compared to those who rarely drank any soda. Although the researchers emphasized that their findings do not prove diet soda had caused the participants' heart problems, it does add to a plethora of studies documenting both regular and diet soda’s effect on our most important organ.

 

Regular Soda

The Good

When it comes to drinking soda, moderation is the key. A 12-ounce can of soda packs approximately 140 calories and around 10 teaspoons of sugar. While this may not seem necessarily good at first, compared to the sugar content of other drinks on the market, this is nothing. For example, Snapple may advertise being made from “the best stuff on Earth,” but the average bottle contains around 200 calories. A bottle of Starbuck’s Mocha Frappucino also has 200 calories per serving, and the very least amount of calories you can look for in a 16-ounce serving of Jamba Juice is 210 calories.

Although we all need a certain amount of calories each day to keep our bodies running, when we take in more calories than we can use, they get stored as fat. According to HowStuffWorks, 3,500 extra calories equals one extra pound of body fat. So, as far as high-calorie drinks go, your average can of Coke is far from being the top contender, and an occasional can of soda most probably isn’t going to make that big of a difference.

The Bad

Just because soda doesn’t contain the highest amount of calories doesn’t mean it's not contributing to your waistline. A 2012 Gallup survey found that 48 percent of Americans drink at least one glass of soda a day. This means that, for the vast majority of us, moderation just isn’t happening. Some suggest that soda is a large contributor to the current “obesity epidemic” the United States has been experiencing for some time. “If everything else in their diet is equal, a person who has a can of Coke a day adds an extra 14.5 pounds per year, just from the calories alone,” Dr. Christopher Ochner, assistant professor of adolescent medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York told Fox News.

The Ugly

Soda doesn’t just affect one’s weight. Too much of the stuff can have negative consequences on a person’s overall health. One study from 2002 found that diets too high in refined sugar, such as that found in soda, could reduce the production of a chemical known as brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and compromises an individual’s learning and memory formation. A more recent study from 2012 linked the consumption of just one can of regular soda a day to a 20 percent increase in heart attack risk, when compared to those who drank no soda. Drinking soda has even been linked to an increased chance of developing asthma and/or COPD. “There exists a dose-response relationship, which means the more soft drink one consumes, the higher the chance of having these diseases,” wrote Dr. Zumin Shi, lead researcher of the 2012 study on this subject.

Conclusion

Puleo concluded that, at the end of the day, it’s hard to say whether diet or regular soda is better than the other. “They both have pros and cons, and they both contain zero nutrition,” she said. “For someone who wants a zero-calorie beverage, diet soda would be the way to go.” However, the dietitians point out those who drink diet soda often feel they are allowed to indulge in calories in other ways. “The regular soda contains about 140 calories, but you may be satisfied after drinking it and wouldn’t feel the desire to keep eating or drinking.”

(Some info was used from Healthy Living )

Benefits Of Drinking H2O

1. Increases Energy & Relieves Fatigue

Since your brain is mostly water, drinking it helps you think, focus and concentrate better and be more alert. As an added bonus, your energy levels are also boosted!

2. Promotes Weight Loss

Removes by-products of fat, reduces eating intake (by filling up your tummy if consumed prior to meals), reduces hunger (hello natural appetite suppressant!), raises your metabolism and has zero calories!

3. Flushes Out Toxins

Gets rid of waste through sweat and urination which reduces the risk of kidney stones and UTI’s (urinary tract infections).

4. Improves Skin Complexion

Moisturizes your skin, keeps it fresh, soft, glowing and smooth. Gets rid of wrinkles. It’s the best anti-aging treatment around!

5. Maintains Regularity

Aids in digestion as water is essential to digest your food and prevents constipation.

6. Boosts Immune System

A water guzzler is less likely to get sick. And who wouldn’t rather feel healthy the majority of the time? Drinking plenty of water helps fight against flu, cancer and other ailments like heart attacks.

7. Natural Headache Remedy

Helps relieve and prevent headaches (migraines & back pains too!) which are commonly caused by dehydration

8. Prevents Cramps & Sprains

Proper hydration helps keep joints lubricated and muscles more elastic so joint pain is less likely.

 

There are many different opinions on how much water we should be drinking everyday. The health authorities commonly recommend eight 8-ounce glasses, which equals about 2 liters, or half a gallon. This is called the 8×8 rule and is very easy to remember. Also, here are some very healthy alternatives to drinking water if the plain old H2O just is not cutting it anymore.

 

1. Add fresh fruit.

Citrus fruits, such as lemons, limes, and oranges, are classic water enhancers, but other fruit flavors might also tempt your taste buds. Try crushing fresh raspberries or watermelon into your water, or adding strawberry slices. Cucumber and fresh mint are refreshing flavors as well — especially in summer.

2. Use juice.

Any fruit juice can be a good base flavor for water, but tart juices, like cranberry, pomegranate, grape, and apple, are especially delicious. Go for juices that are all natural, with no added sugars. And remember: Fruits and their juices don't just taste good — they contain vitamins and antioxidants that can benefit your health too.

3. Make it bubbly.

Many people prefer sparkling to still water. If plain old water isn't inspiring to you, try a naturally effervescent mineral water — which will give you the added benefit of minerals. Or try bubbly seltzer, a carbonated water. You can add fresh fruit or natural juice flavors to your seltzer, as suggested above, or look for naturally flavored seltzers at your local market. If you become a seltzer devotee, you might want to consider getting a seltzer maker for your home.

4. Get creative with ice.

Some say that ice water tastes better than water served at room temperature. If that's so, flavored ice cubes may make an even better drink. Use some of the flavoring suggestions above and start experimenting with fresh fruit, mint, or cucumber ice cubes. Simply chop your additive of choice, add it to your ice cube tray along with water, then freeze. You may also consider juice, tea, or coffee cubes. If you want to be more creative, use ice cube trays that come in fun shapes, like stars, circles, or even fish.

5. Drink tea.

Herbal, fruit, green, white, and red teas are generally considered to be better for you than black teas (or coffee, for that matter) because they contain little to no caffeine. And there are countless flavors of these teas to choose from. Start with the selection at your local market or health food store. If you're interested in pursuing more exotic flavors and sophisticated teas, start researching the vast array of specialty teas that come from all parts of the globe.

6. Try bouillons, broths, and consommés.

If your palate leans toward the savory, you may pass on tea and start sipping one of these hot and savory liquids instead. Choose low-fat and low-sodium versions for maximum health benefits. Because soup is water-based, a cup of hot soup will count toward your daily fluid consumption.

7. Add fast flavor.

If you're looking for a quick-and-easy flavor booster, you might also consider sugar-free drink mixes, and flavor cartridges that can be used with your faucet filter system.

Happy Drinking!!!!!!

Preventing the Flu: Good Health Habits

The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu. There also are flu antiviral drugs that can be used to treat and prevent the flu.

 

1. Avoid close contact.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

2. Stay home when you are sick.

If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.

3. Cover your mouth and nose.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.

4. Clean your hands.

Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

6. Practice other good health habits.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine

 

Flu Vaccination

Why should people get vaccinated against the flu?

Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently, but millions of people get the flu every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands or tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. CDC estimates that flu-related hospitalizations since 2010 ranged from 140,000 to 710,000, while flu-related deaths are estimated to have ranged from 12,000 to 56,000. During flu season, flu viruses circulate at higher levels in the U.S. population. (“Flu season” in the United States can begin as early as October and last as late as May.) An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to reduce your risk of getting sick with seasonal flu and spreading it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community.

How do flu vaccines work?

Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine.

The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. Traditional flu vaccines (called “trivalent” vaccines) are made to protect against three flu viruses; an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and an influenza B virus. There are also flu vaccines made to protect against four flu viruses (called “quadrivalent” vaccines). These vaccines protect against the same viruses as the trivalent vaccine and an additional B virus.

What kinds of flu vaccines are available?

CDC recommends use of injectable influenza vaccines (including inactivated influenza vaccines and recombinant influenza vaccines) during 2017-2018. The nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV) should not be used during 2017-2018.

Both trivalent (three-component) and quadrivalent (four-component) flu vaccines will be available.

Trivalent flu vaccines include:

Quadrivalent flu vaccines include:

  • Quadrivalent flu shots approved for use in different age groups, including children as young as 6 months.
  • An intradermal quadrivalent flu shot, which is injected into the skin instead of the muscle and uses a much smaller needle than the regular flu shot. It is approved for people 18 through 64 years of age.
  • A quadrivalent flu shot containing virus grown in cell culture, which is approved for people 4 years of age and older.
  • A recombinant quadrivalent flu shot approved for people 18 years of age and older, including pregnant women (new this season).

Are any of the available flu vaccines recommended over others?

For the 2017-2018 flu season, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends annual influenza vaccination for everyone 6 months and older with either the inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV) or the recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV). The nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV) should not be used during 2017-2018.There is no preference for one vaccine over another among the recommended, approved injectable influenza vaccines. There are many vaccine options to choose from, but the most important thing is for all people 6 months and older to get a flu vaccine every year. If you have questions about which vaccine is best for you, talk to your doctor or other health care professional.

Who should get vaccinated this season?

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season. This recommendation has been in place since February 24, 2010 when CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted for “universal” flu vaccination in the United States to expand protection against the flu to more people.

Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complications from influenza. See People at High Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications for a full list of age and health factors that confer increased risk.

More information is available at Who Should Get Vaccinated Against Influenza.

Who Should Not Be Vaccinated?

CDC recommends use of a flu shot; either an inactivated influenza vaccine or (IIV) or a recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV). The nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV) should not be used during 2017-2018. Different flu vaccines are approved for use in different groups of people. Factors that can determine a person’s suitability for vaccination, or vaccination with a particular vaccine, include a person’s age, health (current and past) and any allergies to flu vaccine or its components.

When should I get vaccinated?

You should get a flu vaccine now, if you haven’t gotten one already this season. It’s best to get vaccinated before flu begins spreading in your community. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against flu. CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October, if possible.  Getting vaccinated later, however, can still be beneficial and vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even into January or later.

Children who need two doses of vaccine to be protected should start the vaccination process sooner, because the two doses must be given at least four weeks apart.

Where can I get a flu vaccine?

Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, pharmacies and college health centers, as well as by many employers, and even in some schools.

Even if you don’t have a regular doctor or nurse, you can get a flu vaccine somewhere else, like a health department, pharmacy, urgent care clinic, and often your school, college health center, or workplace.

The following Vaccine Locator is a useful tool for finding vaccine in your area.

Why do I need a flu vaccine every year?

A flu vaccine is needed every season for two reasons. First, the body’s immune response from vaccination declines over time, so an annual vaccine is needed for optimal protection. Second, because flu viruses are constantly changing, the formulation of the flu vaccine is reviewed each year and sometimes updated to keep up with changing flu viruses. For the best protection, everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated annually.

Does flu vaccine work right away?

No. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection. That’s why it’s better to get vaccinated early in the fall, before the flu season really gets under way.

Can I get seasonal flu even though I got a flu vaccine this year?

Yes. There is still a possibility you could get the flu even if you got vaccinated. The ability of flu vaccine to protect a person depends on various factors, including the age and health status of the person being vaccinated, and also the similarity or “match” between the viruses used to make the vaccine and those circulating in the community. If the viruses in the vaccine and the influenza viruses circulating in the community are closely matched, vaccine effectiveness is higher. If they are not closely matched, vaccine effectiveness can be reduced. However, it’s important to remember that even when the viruses are not closely matched, the vaccine can still protect many people and prevent flu-related complications. Such protection is possible because antibodies made in response to the vaccine can provide some protection (called cross-protection) against different but related influenza viruses. For more information about vaccine effectiveness, visit How Well Does the Seasonal Flu Vaccine Work?

Vaccine Effectiveness

Influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) can vary from year to year and among different age and risk groups. For more information about vaccine effectiveness, visit How Well Does the Seasonal Flu Vaccine Work? For information specific to this season, visit About the Current Flu Season.

Vaccine Benefits

What are the benefits of flu vaccination?

While how well the flu vaccine works can vary, there are many reasons to get a flu vaccine each year.

  • Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick with flu.
  • Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization, including among children and older adults.
    • Vaccine effectiveness for the prevention of flu-associated hospitalizations was similar to vaccine effectiveness against flu illness resulting in doctor’s visits in a comparative study published in 2016.
  • Flu vaccination is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions.
    • Vaccination has been associated with lower rates of some cardiac (heart) events among people with heart disease, especially among those who experienced a cardiac event in the past year.
    • Flu vaccination also has been associated with reduced hospitalizations among people with diabetes (79%) and chronic lung disease (52%).
  • Vaccination helps protect women during and after pregnancy. Getting vaccinated can also protect a baby after birth from flu. (Mom passes antibodies onto the developing baby during her pregnancy.)
    • A study that looked at flu vaccine effectiveness in pregnant women found that vaccination reduced the risk of flu-associated acute respiratory infection by about one half.
    • There are studies that show that flu vaccine in a pregnant woman can reduce the risk of flu illness in her baby by up to half. This protective benefit was observed for several months after birth.
  • And a 2017 study was the first of its kind to show that flu vaccination can significantly reduce a child’s risk of dying from influenza.
  • Flu vaccination also may make your illness milder if you do get sick. (For example a 2017 study showed that flu vaccination reduced deaths, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, ICU length of stay, and overall duration of hospitalization among hospitalized flu patients.)
  • Getting vaccinated yourself also protects people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people, and people with certain chronic health conditions.

 

Vaccine Match

What is meant by a “good match” between viruses in the vaccine and circulating influenza viruses?

A good match is said to occur when the viruses in the vaccine and the viruses circulating among people during a given influenza season are closely related and the antibodies produced by vaccination protect against infection.

What if circulating viruses and the vaccine viruses are different?

During seasons when one or more of the circulating viruses are different from the vaccine viruses, vaccine effectiveness can be reduced.

Can the vaccine provide protection even if the vaccine is not a “good” match?

Yes, antibodies made in response to vaccination with one flu virus can sometimes provide protection against different but related viruses. A less than optimal match may result in reduced vaccine effectiveness against the virus that is different from what is in the vaccine, but it can still provide some protection against influenza illness.

In addition, even when there is a less than optimal match or lower effectiveness against one virus, it’s important to remember that the flu vaccine is designed to protect against three or four flu viruses, depending on the vaccine.

For these reasons, even during seasons when there is a less than optimal match, CDC continues to recommend flu vaccination. This is particularly important for people at high risk for serious flu complications, and their close contacts.

Why is there sometimes not a good match between a vaccine virus and circulating viruses?

Flu viruses are constantly changing (called “antigenic drift”) – they can change from one season to the next or they can even change within the course of one flu season. Experts must pick which viruses to include in the vaccine many months in advance in order for vaccine to be produced and delivered on time. (For more information about the vaccine virus selection process visit Selecting the Viruses in the Influenza (Flu) Vaccine.) Because of these factors, there is always the possibility of a less than optimal match between circulating viruses and the viruses in the vaccine.

Will this season’s vaccine be a good match for circulating viruses?

It’s not possible to predict with certainty which flu viruses will predominate during a given season. Over the course of a flu season, CDC studies samples of flu viruses circulating during that season by looking at their genetic and antigenic properties to evaluate how close a match there is between the viruses recommended for vaccine production and circulating viruses. Data are published in the weekly FluView. In addition, CDC conducts studies each year to determine how well the vaccine protects against illness during that season. The results of these studies are typically published following the conclusion of the flu season and take into consideration all of the data collected during the season. Interim preliminary estimates of the vaccine’s benefits that season using data available at that time also may be provided. For more information, see Vaccine Effectiveness – How Well Does the Flu Vaccine Work?

 

Vaccine Side Effects (What to Expect)

Can the flu vaccine give me the flu?

No, a flu vaccine cannot cause flu illness. Flu vaccines that are administered with a needle are currently made in two ways: the vaccine is made either with a) flu vaccine viruses that have been ‘inactivated’ and are therefore not infectious, or b) with no flu vaccine viruses at all (which is the case for recombinant influenza vaccine). The nasal spray flu vaccine does contain live viruses. However, the viruses are attenuated (weakened), and therefore cannot cause flu illness. The weakened viruses are cold-adapted, which means they are designed to only cause infection at the cooler temperatures found within the nose. The viruses cannot infect the lungs or other areas where warmer temperatures exist.

While a flu vaccine cannot give you flu illness, there are different side effects that may be associated with getting a flu shot or a nasal spray flu vaccine. These side effects are mild and short-lasting, especially when compared to symptoms of bad case of flu.

The flu shot: The viruses in the flu shot are killed (inactivated), so you cannot get the flu from a flu shot. Some minor side effects that may occur are:

  • Soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
  • Fever (low grade)
  • Aches

The nasal spray: The viruses in the nasal spray vaccine are weakened and do not cause severe symptoms often associated with influenza illness. In children, side effects from the nasal spray may include:

  • Runny nose
  • Wheezing
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle aches
  • Fever

In adults, side effects from the nasal spray vaccine may include:

  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Cough

If these problems occur, they begin soon after vaccination and are mild and short-lived. Almost all people who receive influenza vaccine have no serious problems from it. However, on rare occasions, flu vaccination can cause serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. People who think that they have been injured by the flu shot can file a claim for compensation from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).

More information about the safety of flu vaccines is available at Influenza Vaccine Safety.

 

Vaccine Supply and Distribution

How much influenza vaccine is projected to be available for the 2017-2018 influenza season?

Flu vaccine is produced by private manufacturers, so supply depends on manufacturers. Vaccine manufacturers originally projected that as many as 151 million to 166 million doses of injectable flu vaccine (i.e., inactivated and recombinant flu vaccines) would be made available for the 2017-2018 season.

Where can I find information about vaccine supply?

Information about vaccine supply is available on the CDC influenza web site.

Why do manufacturers and distributors take a phased approach to vaccine distribution?

Influenza vaccine production begins as early as 6 to 9 months before the beginning of vaccine distribution. Even with this early start, it isn’t possible to complete the entire production and distribution process prior to flu season, in part because of the limited number of influenza vaccine manufacturing plants in the United States and the large number of doses that are produced each year. Instead, influenza vaccine distribution takes place in a phased fashion over a number of months. Distribution usually begins in late summer and is complete near the end of November or early in December. This may result in some uncertainty making it difficult for vaccine providers to plan their vaccination activities. Manufacturers and distributors try to get some vaccine to as many providers as possible as early as possible so that they can begin vaccinating their patients.

What role does the Department of Health and Human Services play in the supply and distribution of the seasonal influenza vaccine?

Influenza vaccine production and distribution are primarily private sector endeavors. The Department of Health and Human Services and CDC do not have the authority to control influenza vaccine distribution nor the resources to manage such an effort. However, the Department has made significant efforts to enhance production capacity of seasonal influenza vaccines, including supporting manufacturers as they invest in processes to stabilize and increase their production capacity.

Source

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm

Myths and Facts About Coffee

Myths and Facts about Coffee

If you are anything like me, you LOVE coffee. I am nowhere near being a coffee snob, but I do have some preferences when it comes to my morning cup of joe. I have not always been a coffee drinker, it just started a few years ago. Did you know there is a lot of history with coffee? And even more facts and myths surrounding the preferred morning beverage of almost everyone?! Let me share some with you….

 

1.Coffee Fact or Coffee Myth: Coffee can stunt your growth, especially in children.

Answer: Myth

Who, as a kid, didn't have someone tell them not to drink coffee? I remember people telling some of my friends to not drink coffee as a kid.. While I am sure they would love to blame coffee for their short stature, coffee had nothing to do with it. Recent studies show there is no relation between coffee consumption and height.

Where did this old wives tale start? It's believed to have come from a study linking a loss of bone mass to caffeine. In this old study, participants who drank coffee and soda were drastically losing bone mass. The problem with this original study is that all the participants were elderly, and had low calcium diets – both of which . Oops!

2. Coffee Fact or Coffee Myth: Coffee can cause you to become dehydrated.

Answer: Myth

This one myth that will get people talking pretty quickly! I grew up with being told not to drink too much coffee because it is a mild diuretic. For this reason, it was believed that drinking too much coffee would lead to you becoming dehydrated. Modern research, however, has debunked this myth. Coffee, or rather caffeine, only has a diuretic effect if you drink large quantities of it. To start losing significant water from drinking coffee alone, you would have to have over 7 cups of coffee a day! Now that is alot of Joe….

3. Coffee Fact or Coffee Myth: The best coffee in the world is grown in Italy.

Answer: Myth

If you think about this one, this myth is very silly. Coffee trees thrive in tropical environments, especially in certain areas of South American and Africa. While Italy is a beautiful place, it just isn't one of those places where coffee trees thrive. What Italy is known for, however, is their devotion to coffee, especially espresso. Some of the most well known coffee houses in the world can be found in Italy. As to which place has the best coffee, that is highly debated since there are so many different types of coffee!

4. Coffee Fact or Coffee Myth: Coffee should be avoided by pregnant women.

Answer: Fact

If you are pregnant and really looking for an excuse to keep your coffee addiction – sorry, I can't help you. Caffeine is dangerous during pregnancy since it can be absorbed by the placenta and increase your baby's heart rate or worse, cause irregular heartbeats. It is recommended by the Mayo Clinic that women drink no more than 200 milligrams of caffeine a day during pregnancy. For coffee drinkers, this is about two eight-ounce cups of coffee.

5. Coffee Fact or Coffee Myth: Coffee causes insomnia.

Answer: Myth

Contrary to the popular myth, morning coffee does not cause insomnia. Our bodies quickly absorb caffeine and process it through the liver. In other words, the effects of coffee making you more alert wears off quickly. For most people, the effects of caffeine are completely gone in 8-10 hours. The only way coffee will cause insomnia is if you drink it late in the day or right before bed, and that is only if you have a slow metabolism and are very sensitive to caffeine. As long as you don't drink coffee two hours before bed, you shouldn't have any trouble sleeping!

6. Coffee Fact or Coffee Myth: Coffee Fact or Coffee Myth: Coffee can help prevent skin cancer.

Answer: Fact

According to the journal Cancer Research, caffeine can lower your chances of getting skin cancer. It was found that the more caffeine you drink, the lower your chance of getting skin cancer since the caffeine killed pre-cancerous cells. While you can get this effect by consuming any type of caffeine, coffee is the recommended source since it has other health benefits and is not high in sugar like soda.

Now that your curiosity is put to rest, go brew yourself a nice, hot cup of coffee….and ENJOY!!!!!

New Year, New Skin

 

With the start of a new year, all things are new. You want to start the year off right for your skin. I am going to write this blog and talk about all kinds of skincare and make-up tips.

 

Let’s start with the most basic of them all. Washing and moisturizing….

Sounds simple enough correct? Not so fast… You can actually be doing more damage to your skin than you think just by simply over-doing or not doing enough skincare.

 

How are you washing your face?

Soap and water? Over-priced products? Let me help you. Quality skincare does not have to cost a small fortune. It will take some trial and error on your part, finding what works best for you, but the right product is out there. My first recommendation is getting a facial cleansing brush. Throw that nasty rag away…all it is doing is spreading the dirt around more. A facial cleansing brush is a great tool to use. It not only cleans 10x better than manually washing, but it also exfoliates, which will save you money in the long run so you are not having to buy numerous products. Find a cleanser that works best for your skin type…then scrub away. It will make such a difference in your overall tone and appearance, and you only need about ⅓ of the amount of product you were using before.

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Now that you have the basic cleansing down, let us move on to moisture. This is the second most important step in your skincare routine. Again, there will be some trial and error with this as well. Finding the right type and kind of moisturizer can be daunting at times, but the benefits outweigh the hassle. Try and steer clear of any that are heavily fragranced, as most of those contain alcohol, which can quickly dry out your skin, making you use more and more of the product..(see what they do there?)  Stay true to your skin type… Make sure to read labels on these as it tells you what works best for your skin type. Use it every single day. Morning and night. Night is the most important because that is when your skin repairs itself.

 

Stay hydrated.

Drinking lots of water will help your skin stay hydrated as well. Especially during the cold winter months when there is no moisture in the air at all.

 

By doing these 2 very easy, yet very effective steps, your skin will start to look and feel better. Once you have those in a daily routine, we will start on the next step of great skincare….

 

Until next time,

Kristy

 

 

Smart Shopping Safety This Holiday Season! Remember to stay safe

Ladies, as the busy holiday season approaches, we need to remember what our parents taught us when we we little. I hope you take a few things from this video. Stay safe out there ladies!!!!

A Healthy Mom is A Happy Mom!

Feel your best, morning noon and night!

Keeping up with kids is hugely demanding! They’re up early, up late, and wild in the middle–they keep you busy, and more often that not “mom stuff” falls by the wayside! But to run at the same high-energy, non-stop level as your kiddos, you’ve got to keep in super mom shape–and it doesn’t take much to get there.

First Thing’s First

Starting off right is essential–it may be easier to toast some Pop-Tarts, but easier doesn’t exactly mean better. You owe it to yourself to get a hearty, protein-packed, fruit-filled breakfast that’ll keep you full longer, and energized all day! We recommend oatmeal, smoothies (ginger, mango and pineapple is our favorite), eggs (an open-faced poached egg, tomato, spinach biscuit is a great choice) and plenty of water! A good (and large) breakfast is the best way to start a day.

Change It Up

Even if you know you aren’t going anywhere today, even if you’re rocking those baggy sweats and ratty tee, change. Changing your clothes can signal to your body that it’s time to get stuff done. It may seem like a little thing, but it can make a huge difference–don’t believe us? Just try it, and be amazed!

Snack Smart

Courtesy of babycenter.com
Experts say you need to be snacking throughout the day–which is totally fine and awesome, as long as those snacks do you some good! When you reach in the fridge for snacktime, reach for healthy stuff! Apples and bananas are always good, since they’re loaded with vitamins and antioxidants, but don’t stop there! Half a turkey sandwich is always good, as is red peppers and hummus; a handful of almonds or a greek yogurt! These foods are guaranteed to keep you energized and happy between meals!

Get Out!

Common misconception–a naptime will energize you! That fifteen minute power nap is just what you need to perk up!
Wrong. WRONG.
When you’re tempted to nap, go the other way–take the kids and hit the park, the jogging trail, or just circle the block! Getting outside and walking is proven to up your energy levels. How? By getting the blood pumping! Improved circulation of the heart and muscle tissue will keep you moving all day, the cardio activity will help you burn calories, and getting out into nature and fresh air always feels great!

Assemble a Dream Team

Courtesy of batonrougemoms.com
One of the best (and easiest) ways to get some peace of mind (and time to work out and focus on mom for a while) is to assemble a support staff. When you need that hot shower, that workout, that yoga break, that solo snacktime, call in reinforcements. This could be a spouse, a family member (a mom or sister who you trust with your kiddos for a while), a reputable daycare center, a gym with childcare, or just the TV. Have ways to step away from the kids for an hour or so every day to rejuvenate you.

DIY Spa

Courtesy of popsugar.com
You don’t need to drop big bucks on a spa trip–you can DIY high-end spa remedies right at home with just a few simple ingredients! Essential oils, scented candles, organic soaps, make-at-home sugar scrubs…they’re all perfect for creating a spa atmosphere right at home. Once or twice a month, settle into a hot bath to relax, detox and help you feel your absolute best.

Forget Fast Food

Courtesy of sheknows.com
Fast food is bad news–most people know that, but when you’re caught off guard, it might just be the easiest thing to call in a pizza or hit the nearest McDonald’s.
Don’t.
Instead, take time to plan out your week’s meals–it’ll ensure that you always have a meal and don’t have to settle for that fast food option. Even if that night’s recipe isn’t the healthiest, it’s still always better to cook for yourself! Cook at home as much as you possibly can–and make sure you’ve always got two or three frozen meals on the go, just in case! You’ll get healthier and feel better–guaranteed.

You can keep in Super Mom shape so easily–a few changes here and there can change everything!

Essential Oils Two–Five More Oils for Your Healing Toolbox!

Oregano Oil–a few years ago, one reader’s cat had mistakenly sipped industrial porcelain cleaner right from the toilet bowl. After rushing the poor feline to the veterinary hospital, she was informed that her beloved companion would likely pass away within the next few days. His kidneys were shutting down, his throat had sustained major damage from the chemicals, and there was nothing they could do. Heartbroken, she took him home, determined to let him pass away in peace.
A family member offered our reader a small bottle of oregano essential oil–she said that applying it to his paws a few times a day, and adding drops to his water, may just help him. Of course, this reader was skeptical–but for the sake of her cat, she followed the instructions to the letter.
We’re happy to say that cat made a full recovery, and is still prowling around today. Our reader credits oregano oil with saving his life!
It’s true–Oregano oil treats a slew of medical maladies. It can heal respiratory diseases and damage, gastrointestinal disorders, UTI’s, headaches, pain relating to arthritis and cramps…it’s amazing. Applying it topically can relieve bug bites (or prevent them altogether), warts, sores, dandruff, acne, athlete’s foot and so much more. If you’ve got it, oregano oil can fix it! Even better–it smells like Italian food, which, hey, we’re not mad about…

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Courtesy of greenmedinfo.com

 

Clove Oilhistorically, the people of China have used clove oil for over two thousand years, first as just a cosmetic and perfume, but before long, the medicinal purposes began making themselves obvious. Clove oil is a really unique oil, as it is generally used to treat oral infections, especially canker sores and thrush. It can even reduce or cure gum diseases and kills funguses and bacteria. Clove oil can be diffused and misted into the air to relieve respiratory issues and coughing. Must most impressive of all, it seems, is clove oil’s ability to E. Coli, some Staph strains and other bacterias that can lead to pneumonia and even skin infections! It is definitely worth investing in some high-quality clove oil!

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Courtesy of naturallivingideas.com


Eucalyptus Oilthe aboriginal people were the first to utilize the power of eucalyptus oil for most illnesses. Today, the strong scent is normally used to clear chest and sinus congestion in the form of diffusers and even bath bombs! But the benefits don’t end there–not even close. Eucalyptus can be used to treat more serious respiratory problems as well: things like COPD, bronchitis, pneumonia and even tuberculosis. Fascinatingly enough, eucalyptus oil is a proven treatment for asthma–it dilates blood vessels, allowing more oxygen to get to the lungs.
While eucalyptus is great for respiratory ailments, it’s a lot like clove oil in its antibacterial and antiviral properties! In fact, recent studies have shown some amazing results when Staph aureus is exposed to pure eucalyptus oil, it lost viability within fifteen minutes–and we think that’s pretty darn impressive. Eucalyptus–it’s not just for Koalas anymore!

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Courtesy of organicfacts.net


Sandalwood Oilthis oil is steam distilled from the roots of the sandalwood tree, but only if the trees are between forty and eighty years old! The older the tree, the stronger the aroma, so the eighty-year old variety is normally preferred. The first mention of this unique oil was recorded four thousand years ago, making it the oldest known essential oil in the world–and at that time, sandalwood oil was generally used in religious practices and ceremonies (including Egyptian embalming). With it’s pale yellow to pale gold coloring and exotic scent, sandalwood oil is often found today in colognes and cosmetics.
But it wouldn’t be on this list if it didn’t have any medicinal value! Sandalwood is used mostly in relaxation techniques. When paired with yoga and meditation (through diffusing into the room), it’s said sandalwood helps calm the mind and center the spirit. This can help with depression and stress, lacking of sexual energy, and can even aid in bringing you down from an anxiety or panic attack.
Sandalwood oil is also great for skin care by effectively doing away with (or greatly relieving) acne, rashes, scarring, psoriasis, eczema and much more.

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Courtesy of newhealthadvisor.com

 

Rosemary Oilgreat on chicken, yes…but rosemary is even better for your body! Rosemary oil is the unsung hero of hypertensive and hypotensives everywhere with an almost miraculous ability to normalize blood pressure! High or low, ingesting rosemary oil can mimic and even (in some cases) replace blood pressure medication!
Beside that, rosemary oil can stimulate hair growth better than even some over-the-counter treatments. And, of course, it’s a completely chemical free and safe alternative to some of the creams, lotions and sprays.
Victims of things like PCOS and other hormone imbalances in the body can find relief and treatment with rosemary oil! With the free radical fighting properties of goji berries (nope, we’re not making that up!), it can help prevent cancer, improve nerve health, detoxify the liver, and enhances the performance of the gallbladder. Rosemary oil should be ingested regularly to get ahold of all these amazing benefits!

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“Essential” Just Got a Whole New Meaning! A Mama’s Guide to Essential Oils

You might first be asking what essential oils are–and the answer is simple! Essential oils are distilled extractions from traditionally medicinal herbs, flowers and plants. It’s an incredible process that yields amazing results that you can take advantage of to make your home happier and healthier! We’ve found the top five most useful oils to start your homeopathic tool kit–you’d never believe what these little oils can do!

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Melaleuca–This amazing oil can do almost anything! Taken from the leaves of the tree Melaleuca alternifolia, melaleuca oil is a powerful antibiotic! You can find it at your local health food store, marketed as melaleuca oil or tea tree oil. The uses are literally endless. To date, over three hundred scientific studies refer to melaleuca’s antimicrobial power alone. Pretty impressive, right? Consider buying a bottle of melaleuca oil if you have any of the following problems:
-Fungal Infections
-Earaches
-Acne
-Cold Sores
-Bad Breath
And so much more! One woman we talked to even uses pure melaleuca oil to treat bladder infections. You can use it on open wounds and abrasions as a natural alternative, and you can even use it to help ease psoriasis and eczema flare-ups, get rid of head lice, and even offer relief from itching (rashes, chickenpox or bug bites!).
But the magic of tea tree oil doesn’t stop at medicinal uses! You can dilute it in a spray bottle as a natural household cleaner, air freshener and insect repellant! Add some drops to your laundry loads to fight strong odors. Putting it in your food, or drinking a melaleuca-infused tea can help lung function, circulation, and help your teeth and bones absorb calcium, leading to greater overall health! We love melaleuca oil!

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Lemon–What makes a lemon yellow? You might have noticed that citrus fruits have a thin skin outside of a thick, white, bitter pith–it’s that thin, colorful skin that holds the key! It’s called the zest, and if you look close, you can see that it has hundreds of little pores on the surface! These pores contain oil–and lemon oil is awesome.
For 1,000 years, lemons have been known for their detoxification properties and so much more–and that much trial and error can’t be wrong! Lemon oil has been called the most powerful anti-microbial oil on the market. Beyond that, inhaling lemon oil (if you buy a diffuser or misting device) can stimulate neurological activity and encourages the breakdown of body fat!
Beyond that…
-Aids in Digestion
-Cough Relief
-Nourishes the Skin
When it comes to lemon oil, there are so many more uses around the house than you could imagine. Folks add it to their soap for extra grease-fighting power, as well as diluting it to make a disinfectant or furniture and silver polish. It works wonders on everything from stubborn adhesive to your inner peace! Even better, drinking lemon oil mixed with water or tea can boost your immune system, and help you get through the colder months without getting sick! Lemon oil should be one of the first oils you pick up on your holistic healing quest!

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Peppermint–it’s not just for gum and candy canes! From 1,000 BC, peppermint oil has been documented, used and prized–so much so, jars of the stuff have been found in the ancient burial chambers of Egyptian pyramids! What’s even better, you don’t have to be African royalty to get your hands on it.
First off, peppermint oil is great for soothing upset tummies! A few drops on the tongue not only freshens breath, but can relieve the symptoms of lactose intolerance, as well as menstrual cramps.
In fact, muscle aches and cramps of all kinds can be treated and relieved with the application of peppermint oil right onto the skin! (Peppermint oil relieves pain related to arthritis and fibromyalgia too!)
Along with clearing your sinuses, diffusing peppermint oil into your space can energize and stimulate you, as well as aid in concentration. (Studies have shown that children with ADHD have benefitted from a diluted solution of peppermint oil and water sprayed onto their shirts while studying!)
But the most important use of peppermint oil we’ve found was it’s cooling properties. Topical application leads to a cooling sensation that’s beneficial not only in the summertime (when applied behind the ears and on the back of the neck), but also helps relieve fevers (especially in children who refuse medicine!). To do this, simply add some to coconut oil and massage onto a child’s back, neck and feet to reduce their fever and even inhibit coughing.

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Lavender–Get ready to relax! For 2,500 years lavender has been used in both religious and healing practices, and that’s exactly what we recommend! Lavender is perfect for healing and relaxing. Lavender tea before bed and diffusing lavender into the air is a surefire way to sleep better, relieve stress, combat panic attacks and anxiety and so much more. You’ll wake up feeling far more refreshed and totally zen. It’s amazing.
Even better, lavender is a great buffer against you and some little nasties called free radicals–these tiny pollutants float around in your air and cause damage to your skin, lungs, nervous and immune systems! Yikes. But boosting your antioxidants by ingesting lavender oil (either straight or in capsules), you can fight back against free radicals! You’ll have younger-looking skin, fewer headaches and so much more!
If you have a diabetic family member (or are diabetic yourself), consider including lavender in your diet. Tunisian scientists in 2014 began testing the effects of lavender oil on blood sugar–it can prevent weight gain, liver and kidney dysfunction, and metabolic disorders!

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FrankincenseWe know what you’re going to ask…what is frankincense? Unlike most oils which come from leaves, petals and stems of plants, frankincense comes from the resin (or, basically, sap) of a Somalian tree called the Boswellia sacra. It’s a very unique species of tree, which can grow in extremely harsh climates with dry soil and little to no water. The resin is collected and pressed to extract the goodness within–and boy does it do some amazing things!
While you can take a relaxing bath (with a few drops of frankincense in it, of course), or even clean your kitchen with frankincense, you should really be brushing with it! That’s right–frankincense knocks out tooth decay and halitosis like nobody’s business!
It also has amazing anti-aging power! You can use it to keep your skin fresh, healthy and glowing like you never thought possible–fight “skin sag”, scarring, dark spots and discoloration by applying frankincense topically!

Essential oils are truly amazing–each one another weapon in your arsenal against infection and sickness. Tune in next time for five more essential oils to add to your toolbox!