Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Parenting Pointers: Helpful Tips For Pregnant Women

Whether you are trying to get pregnant or you already are, maintaining a healthy pregnancy over nine months implies more aspects and parts of your live. A pregnancy does not just mobilize your life chapters to adapt to the miraculous phenomenon, but also your sentimental, mental, physical and emotional resources. Remember that your emotional and physical health will transfer to your little one. Some of the main “ingredients” for this recipe include love, hope, food, health, regular analyses, positive people around and tolerance. It sounds easy, but it feels even easier once you adopt a few basic changes in your lifestyle.

You probably believe that exercising is the last thing you should do when your tummy is heavier than you are. However, you should begin this venture early. Engaging into physical activity will help you stay on track during the pregnancy. You reduce the risk of pregnancy loss, but you can also maintain your health at the highest standards. Basic exercises on a regular basis will prevent complications at childbirth. At the same time, the entire process will not keep you in the hospital for too long. Ignore physical activity and your body will get stiff in no time. Starting too late is almost impossible.
Keep calm
Take things easy, no matter how active you normally are. You will thank yourself later for it. Sure, some ladies are the type who likes to keep everything under control. A pregnancy is that time of your life when you need to quit this attitude. A calm and relaxed attitude is essential to enjoy an easy pregnancy, but also to avoid complications at childbirth. Stop consuming your feelings and emotions for every random thing. No matter what happens, this is not the end of the world. Instead, you and your baby are more important.

Stay healthy
Most people are exposed to one harmful element or another. Some of these things – like pollution – are impossible to avoid. Some others become a matter of personal choice. From this point of view, you should stop smoking right now. Avoid alcohol too, not to mention drugs. Unless you got serious problems, avoid medications as well. Those are nothing but legal drugs and chemicals, so they will inevitably reach to your baby too. Instead, educate yourself and discover natural solutions for most of your issues. Supplements might make a good choice, as well as using various pregnancy accessories to easy your posture and reduce the baby load.

The last two weeks
No matter how calm and peaceful they stay during the pregnancy, many women go crazy during the last couple of weeks. You should “tour” maternities and hospitals before this time, only to make an early choice. Keep calm and avoid exhausting yourself with work. However, you should not lock yourself inside the home and think about the pregnancy either. Instead, try to make this time as relaxing as possible. Go out, hang around with friends and do whatever it takes to relax.

In conclusion, a pregnancy is supposed to be a relaxing and joyful part of your life, so keep it that way.

Guest post from Julia Jhules.

Healthy Habits: Male Infertility

I recently had a chance to interview Dr. Jane Frederick, M.D., to learn some of the basics about male infertility.
How prevalent is male infertility?
Male infertility is becoming increasingly prevalent. For many years infertility was seen as strictly a female issue. In recent years, however, experts estimate that nearly half of the infertility cases they have seen can be caused by a male factor.
What are some things men may do that inadvertently hinder their fertility?
Poor nutrition can affect a male’s sperm, it is important to have a health diet with proper nutrient consumption. The sperms mobility can be affected by the consumption of alcohol and use of tobacco products. In addition, frequent hot baths or Jacuzzi visits can have an affect on the male sperm as the rise in heat in the scrotum affects the sperm and its formation. Other factors such as weight and stress, or the use of testosterone, steroids or illicit drugs can also affect a man’s fertility.
If a couple is having difficulties conceiving, what should men know?
First and foremost, they are not alone, as fertility affects 1 in 8 couples. Men should know that a simple semen analysis can be done to see if their sperm can swim past the cervix, uterus and fallopian tubes. If it is discovered that the male factor is the cause of a couples’ infertility, there are options to help conceive, options like Artificial Insemination (IUI) or In Vitro Fertilization.

Practicing in California since 1990, Dr. Jane Frederick is an internationally noted specialist in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. She is the Medical Director of HRC Fertility in Orange County, where she developed a diverse clinical practice in reproductive surgery, IVF, and the genetic screening of embryos. Dr. Frederick is board certified in both Reproductive Endocrinology/Infertility and Obstetrics/Gynecology from the University of Southern California. She has held many posts with organizations active in the advancement of reproductive medicine including the Pacific Coast Reproductive Society (Past President), and the American Society of Reproductive Medicine. Dr. Frederick has received a variety of honors for her outstanding work in the field, and recently ranked among the top 10% in the nation from U.S. News and World Report.

Consumer Critique: Got Social Mediology

Disclosure: I received complimentary products to facilitate this post. All opinions are my own.

Whether you are a start-up business or a Fortune 500 Company, social media provides a platform from which you can grow your business, connect with your consumers, and build a brand—if it is used correctly. Got Social Mediology by Jay Izso teaches us how to effectively use social media to build relationships, not just numbers.

 As a blogger, this is something that's important to me. I don't really use social media much, and I don't work much on building relationships. Obviously this blog matters at least somewhat to those of you who read it, but I could do much better. This book was great to give me some concrete steps I can take towards moving in direction that more effectively utilizes social media.

Shopping Savings/Caring Causes: Outback Military Mates

Outback Steakhouse®, long known for supporting United States military service members and their families, expanded its efforts in this area at last weekend’s NASCAR race at Sonoma Raceway with the announcement of a quarter of a million dollar donation to Folds of Honor. The announcement also highlighted the debut of a custom, patriotic-themed paint scheme on the No. 4 Folds of Honor/Outback Steakhouse/Budweiser Chevrolet SS piloted by Kevin Harvick during Sunday’s race. 

2015 marks the second year of Outback’s partnership with Folds of Honor, which gives educational scholarships to spouses and children of fallen or disabled service members. This year, Outback has committed to donating $250,000 to the organization, which will provide assistance to 50 families across the nation.

Along with the increased Folds of Honor partnership and custom paint scheme at last weekend’s race, Outback is offering all active or retired military members 15 percent off their entire check through July 4, 2015 (with a valid military ID at participating restaurants). To further honor the sacrifices that service members and their families make, this year Outback is extending the offer to include immediate family members of military personnel.   

Whether feeding troops actively serving abroad or feeding heroes as they return home, Outback has been an ardent supporter of military service men and women for more than two decades. Over the past five years alone, Outback has donated more than $3 million to aid military families as service members transitioned out of active duty by providing food assistance, auto and home repair, vision care, travel and transportation, moving assistance, essential home items and financial assistance. For more information on Outback’s military efforts, or to learn more about how you can help support Folds of Honor, please visit www.Outback.com/Military.

Outback Steakhouse starts fresh every day to create the flavors that our mates crave. Best known for grilled steaks, chicken and seafood, Outback also offers a wide variety of crisp salads and freshly made soups and sides. New creations and grilled classics are made from scratch daily using only the highest quality ingredients sourced from around the world. For more information, please visit www.outback.com or http://www.facebook.com/outback.

About Folds of Honor
Folds of Honor is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization that provides educational scholarships to families of military men and women who have fallen or been disabled in combat while serving in the United States armed forces. Our educational scholarships support private education tuition and tutoring for children in grades K-12, as well as higher education tuition assistance for spouses and dependents. Founded in 2007 by Major Dan Rooney, an F-16 fighter pilot in the Oklahoma Air National Guard who served three tours of duty in Iraq, Folds of Honor is proud to have awarded more than 7,500 scholarships in all 50 states, as well as Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, including more than 2,000 in 2014 alone. For more information or to donate in support of a Folds of Honor scholarship, visit www.foldsofhonor.org.

Consumer Critique: Uncommon Film

Disclosure: I received complimentary products to facilitate this post. All opinions are my own.

Eric Estrada and Ben Davies star in Uncommon, a movie that works to show that the bible and praying in schools should not be a thing of the past. Ben Davies is Aaron Chase, a student fleeing the violence of one school, only to find religious intolerance at another. In an effort to have a positive impact at his school he tries to organize a bible study, but finds himself in direct conflict with his teacher, Mr. Stephens, who tears down his announcement from the school bulletin board. Then, when the theater department disappears due to budgets cuts, Aaron and few other students decide to make their own play using the stories from the Bible. This only fuels his teacher’s animosity who enlists help from the principal. The only help Aaron can get is from the custodian, Mr. Garcia, played by Eric Estrada. As they work together to make their play, lives change as each student becomes uniquely influenced discovering that God takes them personally. Equipped with unique talents, they bond together to prepare the perfect production by exploring the diversity of parables taught in the Bible.  

I got to see a screener of the film, and I enjoyed it. Some things are a bit contrived, like how pat everything works out at the end, but it's a good way to get a glimpse of what happens in schools when religion and administration clash. As someone who's worked in public schools, I've always had to be conscious of the fact that it's not always a faith-friendly environment. However, I know my rights and responsibilities as a Christian teacher in a secular world, and I've always been willing to be honest with my students about who I am, while being respectful about who they are.

“Uncommon” is currently available for pre-order at Amazon and Walmart, and releases nationally on DVD August 4th. 
About JC Films:  JC Films exists to engage our culture through superbly produced faith-based feature films. Our goal is to assist churches and non-profit organizations to spread the word of Christ through movies, and in turn change lives and preserve culture. For more information about our church screenings or DVD projects, please visit JCFilms.org and follow us on Facebook at JCFilmsPresents.

About Capitol Christian Distribution (CCD):  CCD represents a diverse range of chart-topping Christian films and books reaching the U.S. Christian and general retail marketplace, and the international Christian marketplace. Since this distribution division was launched, CCD has had more charting titles annually on Billboard’s Top Christian charts than any other Christian distributor and has been named Billboard Magazine’s Top Christian Music Distributor 15 times since 1995. For additional information, visit http://www.capitolchristiandistribution.com

Fun Freetime: DragonStyle

Hiccup and Toothless from the beloved “How to Train Your Dragon” films are back in an all new television series "Dragons: Race to the Edge" available now only on Netflix. In honor of its release, DreamWorksTV gathered the best DIYers on YouTube to create a brand-new dragon-inspired DIY series called “DragonStyle.”

The premiere episode kicks off with a how-to video on creating a Toothless Phone Case with YouTube creator Lily, otherwise known as Coolricebunnies. You’ll learn all of the best tips and tricks for adding just the right amount of flair to your cell phone:

Tune in every Sunday to see new DIY experiments, including tips and tricks for painting “dragon style” nails as well as getting an Astrid-inspired look!

For more DreamWorksTV, visit www.YouTube.com/DreamWorksTV.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Sweepstakes: Jan Marini Skin Research

Suffer from a dull complexion, aging skin or just in need of daily exfoliation? Jan Marini Skin Research’s line of breakthrough masks not only address current skin conditions, but also provide the necessary ingredients for prevention and maintenance of healthy skin at any age.

Now through June 30th, the skin care leader is hosting a giveaway, where ten people will win either a Marini Luminate Face Mask, Retinol Plus Mask or Clean Zyme & Skin Zyme.

To enter for the chance to one a mask of your choice, please visit http://apps.janmarini.com/entry-form/giveaway/

Shopping Savings: Conrad Miami Hotel Offers Discounts to Public Servants (Military, Teachers, Etc)

Conrad Miami honors the country’s public servants with a new special promotion and travel perks just in time for summer vacation. Military personnel, teachers, fire-fighters, and their colleagues are invited to escape to Miami for a summer getaway at the luxury, cosmopolitan hotel in the heart of the Magic City.  

Conrad Miami salutes all the men and women across America who work tirelessly every day to better our nation.  From May through Sept. 30, 2015, Conrad Miami is offering the nation’s public sector servants a special discounted room rate of $109 per night; 50 percent off of all regular-priced spa treatments, 20 percent off of all meals at the restaurant, and 50 percent off valet parking.

Whether guests are looking for an exciting cultural city escape or a relaxing sun-filled retreat, Conrad Miami has the perfect summer planned.  Nestled in the heart of Miami’s chic Downtown neighborhood, Conrad Miami is known for its contemporary luxury and personalized, intuitive service.

Guests can begin their day with a delicious breakfast on the hotel’s 25th floor with sky-high views of the city and Biscayne Bay. Then it’s time to soak up the sun on the hotel’s rooftop pool oasis or for a game of tennis on the newly renovated rooftop courts.

Cool off at the Spa at Conrad Miami, a boutique spa oasis that offers an extensive treatment menu including personalized massages, signature facials and invigorating soaks.

All regular-priced spa treatments will be 50 percent off for eligible guests.  The fitness center is open 24-hours-a-day and features the latest work out equipment along with killer views of Miami.

Cap off the evening with a delicious dinner at the hotel’s Atrio Restaurant + Wine Room which serves as the perfect backdrop for a romantic evening. Don’t forget to try the sinfully indulgent Warm Donut and Bread Pudding.

For more information or to book the Conrad Miami’s Summer Special, please call 1-800-CONRADS and ask for code P5.  A Military or Public Servant ID card is required upon check-in at the hotel.  For information on the hotel, please visit conradmiami.com  and for more information about Conrad Hotels & Resorts please visit conradhotels.com or news.conradhotels.com.

About Conrad Miami
More than luxury or location, beyond bold design and stunning architecture, Conrad Miami is about unique guest experiences that redefine hospitality for business and leisure travelers alike in the heart of Miami’s business and financial district. Its 203 rooms and 103 residence suites are known for providing the most discriminating traveler with superior comfort and high-tech facilities. Conrad Miami’s philosophy of service and meticulous attention to detail permeate the property, from the extraordinary cuisine of Atrio and personalized therapies of The Spa, to the modern conference facilities and rooftop pool area. An ongoing, unobtrusive program of capital upgrades and refurbishment reflects Conrad Miami’s commitment to perfecting the guest experience.

Caring Causes: Charlotte & Gwyneth Gray Foundation

The Charlotte + Gwyneth Gray Foundation is raising money to help cure Batten disease.

Batten disease is a rare genetically inherited disorder which belongs to a group of progressive degenerative neurometabolic disorders. This particular variant can differ significantly among cases, making it difficult to predict. Through it’s estimated that less than 10 children are currently living with this variant, Batten disease can leave children blind, immobile, cognitively impaired, and ultimately leads to death somewhere between the ages of 6 and 12.

Gray Foundation from Anaconda Street Productions on Vimeo.

Healthy Habits: CrossFit

I recently had a chance to interview Dr. Derek Ochiai about CrossFit, a workout that has had a huge surge in popularity.
What contributes to the appeal of CrossFit?  Workouts are intense, but relatively short in duration, so that it can be more time efficient than some other forms of exercise. Since exercises typically are done in a group setting, there is a sense of community and encouragement while doing these exercises.

What hazards does it pose? Because CrossFit has that sense of encouragement and community, that can also lead to external pressure on the participant to push "beyond their limits", especially when someone is just starting out. If one is going from a relatively sedentary lifestyle to trying to get more fit, that person may not know the difference between "being sore" and actually injuring themselves.  Injuries such as tendonitis and muscle strains are common. Also, because someone can fatigue but then go straight to another activity (such as pull-ups), I have seen more traumatic injuries, such as rotator cuff tears of the shoulder and broken bones.

If someone enjoys CrossFit, how can they make sure to do it safely? First of all, if you're just starting out on an exercise routine, CONGRATULATIONS! The health benefits in general of moderate exercise far outweigh the potential for injury. However, if you're just starting out, start slow. You are only competing against yourself, and build up intensity at your own pace, and don't worry about what others are doing. I tell patients who are rehabbing to "bump up against their ceiling (limit)" and feel like they are slowly pushing that ceiling gradually over weeks, instead of trying to "crash through the ceiling" and try to make rapid gains.

Dr. Derek Ochiai is a graduate of Cornell University, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and is fellowship trained in sports medicine and arthroscopic surgery. He completed his orthopaedic residency at Albany Medical Center and his fellowship training at the Nirschl Orthopaedic Center and Georgetown University. He is board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons and specializes in injuries to the upper and lower extremities including: hip, knee, and shoulder arthroscopy. Dr. Ochiai uses both non-surgical and surgical techniques to help his patients return to their active lifestyles.