Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

My three year old daughter is desperate for another sibling and regularly asks me how we can get another baby.  Many parents know that these difficult questions can start from a early age and arming yourself with the answers in advance can make those moments easier.

Linda Goldman author of Great Answers to Difficult Questions about Sex: What Children Need to Know sets out tips for dealing with those tricky questions.

“Children are human beings. Human beings are sexual beings.  A newborn child’s experience with sexuality begins at birth. A mother’s touch, a father’s kiss, a warm bath, and a changed nappy are all a part of our children’s sexuality. As they grow, girls and boys are naturally curious about themselves and their bodies. Toddlers begin exploring genitals in the bathtub. At some time between the ages of two and three the question “Where did I come from?” emerges. Their minds are innocent, not filled with embarrassment or shame. This makes it simpler to answer questions about sex with confidence and humour.” (The Times)

Answering early questions from young children can set a family tone of trust and safety. And by the time a child is older discussions on birth control, abstinence, and sexual activity can be comfortable and relaxed.   By having an open and honest approach to discussing sex and love you will prepare them to be more open with you in the future.

Here are Linda Goldman’s top tips:

  1. Encourage communication. Children need to know they can talk to parents about anything.
  2. Initiate discussion. “Did you notice Aunt Ellen is going to have a baby. Her tummy is so big and the baby is inside. How do you think it got there?”
  3. Start early. Begin to teach in a soft way for the very young child. Include in a toddler’s vocabulary “eyes,” “nose,” “penis,” and “vagina” to ensure appropriate labelling of body parts.
  4. Maintain a safe environment. Build a nonjudgmental environment free of punishment or reprisal about discussing sex.
  5. Honour and respect children’s questions. Remember they are a signal to what they are thinking and feeling.
  6. Understand children’s questions and concerns. Check with your child about the facts of what you heard them ask and what they mean.
    Listen carefully to your child and respect your child’s views.
  7. Remind young people that thoughts and feelings about sex are common.
  8. Remain calm. Children are often satisfied with clear, simple, and factual responses. Wait to see if more is needed.
  9. Practice your response to different questions about sex in order to feel confident when the discussion arises. The more comfortable you can be the more you create a positive and natural message about sex and gender issues for your child.
  10. Explore your attitudes. Children who feel they can have open dialogue with their parents are less likely to later manifest high-risk behaviours. If you are fearful of the subject find material to learn from. Your confidence will grow as you explore the subject.
  11. Have a sense of humour. It creates a relaxed and open family environment.
  12. Answer questions as they come up. There is no one “birds and bees” talk.

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Are you having problems getting pregnant? Looking for natural treatments for fertility problems?  Fertility guru Zita West has just released her latest guide, Zita West’s Guide to Fertility and Assisted Conception in which she explains how to increase your chances of conceiving naturally and when to consider medical treatment.

Zita West, 50,has over 25 years’ experience as a midwife, nutritional advisor, acupuncturist, author and consultant in fertility and has treated some of the UK’s most famous mums, including Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett and Stella McCartney.  West believes there is lots of natural boxes to tick before going for IVF.   Check out her top tips here:

1. Have more sex

“Before any couple embarks on IVF, I always ask if they are having ‘regular’ sex. Some people think once a week is enough but I mean three times a week.

“There is a fertile period: five days before and one day after ovulation and you can use ovulation kits to pinpoint it.

“But the best thing to maximise your chances is to have regular sex. Sperm lives for up to five days, so having frequent sex will ensure there is enough sperm to fertilise the egg when it’s released.

“If nothing has happened within six months, you should look at the reasons why. It might take 12-18 months when you’re young, but in your 30s you need to be proactive so you don’t waste valuable fertility time.”

2. Create intimacy

“When couples are trying for a baby or have embarked on IVF, intimacy often goes out the window.

“I am surprised by the amount of young men who suffer performance anxiety and are not able to have sex at the fertile time because there is too much pressure on them. Getting texts at work telling them ‘Tonight’s the night’ can ruin their sex drive and they can’t get an erection. Try and keep sex spontaneous and fun, even if you are undergoing IVF.”

3. Try to relax

“Getting pregnant is an unconscious thing and women especially need to take a step back and stop thinking about why it isn’t happening. I believe that if you’re sending negative messages to your body then it’s harder to conceive. Try and switch off and have acupuncture or reflexology, which should help you to relax.

“I also advise acupuncture before and after embryo transfers – it calms you down and decreases inflammation in the pelvic region after egg retrieval.”

4. Examine your diet

“Couples mustn’t cut everything out of their life and moderation is key but they should eat a balanced diet that comprises a mix of complex carbohydrates (wholemeal bread, rice and pasta) along with low-fat protein like oily fish and chicken.

“Also, taking a conception multivitamin and Omega 3 can help. In the lead-up to IVF, I’d recommend doing a detox for 10 days – eating plenty of fruit and vegetables along with lots of protein and carbs. If a couple has had three rounds of IVF in a year, I’d advise that they have a break and enjoy life before embarking on another cycle.”

5. Re-evaluate your lifestyle

“For starters, smoking damages eggs and sperm, and all drugs like marijuana and cocaine are an absolute no-no.

“Drinking is not advisable either. The NICE guidelines say two units a week but the lower the number of units the better.

“Weight can affect a woman’s cycle and stop ovulation. I find it harder with underweight clients who might suffer from anorexia and bulimia as it can stop their periods.

Also if a woman is worried about her job or money on top of trying for a baby or having IVF, they should find ways of relaxing such as yoga, visualisation, meditation, hypnotherapy or acupuncture.”

6. Don’t leave it late

“Women should definitely be thinking about having babies earlier. In your 30s, your egg quality depletes and there is a fine line about how long you try naturally for. On average it takes 12 months to conceive, but it can take longer when you’re older, especially if there’s a male infertility problem too.

Credit: Daily Mirror

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Pregnant women in developing countries face the same risk of death as women in the UK did 100 years ago, according to a coalition of campaign groups. Some 450 women per 100,000 live births die during labour or from pregnancy-related problems in the developing world.

The statistics were unveiled on the 100th International Women’s Day.
‘In the UK, dying in childbirth is almost a thing of the past. It’s a complete scandal that, for most women in the world, nothing much has changed,’ said Brigid McConville of the White Ribbon Alliance.

Speaking to Mumzine Adrian Brown, Chairman of Maternity
Worldwide added.

“The lifetime risk of dying in childbirth between women in this country and in some developing countries represents the biggest global health inequality. There is increasing acceptance that we are not an isolated island and that a human life in Ethiopia should be as valuable as it is in UK.”

Many of the medical problems are easily preventable if women have access to skilled health workers who can treat infections and use drugs to prevent haemorrhage.

The Millennium Development Goal also envisages preventing deaths that result from complications after unsafe abortions and allowing women access to contraception – to prevent riskier births in teenage mothers and to allow them to space their children.

Credit: Metro

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WOMEN who like a glass of wine after work can relax: they are likely to gain less weight than those who stick to mineral water.

Moderate female drinkers also have a lower risk of obesity than teetotallers, according to new research. The findings, from a study of more than 19,000 women, is at odds with most dietary advice: that alcohol consumption leads to weight gain.

The research suggests that a calorie from alcohol has less impact on weight than a calorie from other foods and that the way the body deals with alcohol is more complex than realised. One theory is that in regular drinkers the liver develops a separate metabolic pathway to break down alcohol, with surplus energy turned mainly into heat, not fat.

In the study, Lu Wang, a medical instructor at Brigham and Women’s hospital, Boston, and colleagues asked 19,220 American women aged 39 or older with a healthy body weight to describe their drinking habits in a questionnaire. About 38% drank no alcohol.

There was also a difference according to the type of alcohol: red wine was associated with the lowest weight gain; beer and spirits were linked to the highest weight gain.

The report, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, seems to confirm that there is no clear connection between alcohol consumption and weight gain.

Source – The Times Newspaper

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Sarah Jane Goodall – Founding Partner of Natural High in Koh Samui, (Thailand) explains why it is so important that people detox in modern society and the savings that could be made.

  1. Are you constantly tired and lacking vitality?
  2. Are you lethargic or depressed?
  3. Do you feel digestively sluggish? Do you open your bowels at least once or twice per day?
  4. Do you find it difficult to lose weight?
  5. Have you stopped or thinking of stopping taking long term prescription drugs?
  6. Do you suffer from any of the following conditions? arthritis, depression, skin disorders, regular headaches, indigestion/heartburn, bad breath, stiff joints, skin disorders including acne, anxiety, loss of libido, reoccurring colds and flu, water retention, severe P.M.T, panic attacks, mood swings, loss of creativity. Impaired eye sight, sense of smell and taste. Impaired judgment, repetitive or obsessional behaviour patterns?
  7. Are your problems seemingly insurmountable?

If you answer yes to some of these questions you might want to think about detoxing.

What is detoxing?

Abstaining from food shuts down our digestive system and permits the body’s innate detox mechanism to function at full capacity and allows immune response to operate at high gear.

When fasting,  energy and enzyme power that the body normally uses to digest and process food is diverted to digesting toxic debris and acid wastes.  Fasting also triggers the production of human growth hormone in the pituitary gland and releases it into the bloodstream, where it circulates the body to repair damaged tissues, regenerate vital functions and rejuvenate the whole system.

When fasting, instead of spending the time processing, digesting and eliminating food the mind scans the body looking for anything foreign or that does not belong in the body which includes all toxins and waste products.  The body then cleverly digests these unwanted toxins and eliminates then into the kidneys and bowel ready to be released.

Why do people need to detox?

It is slowly dawning on the Western World that the products we have come to call “food” are partly the cause of so many of our miseries of today.  Colorings, additives, preservatives, hydrogenated oils and ridiculous levels of sugar and caffeine are not meant to be ingested by human beings, at the modern rate, on a daily basis. Our systems do not recognise these products so stores the toxins around the body, unable to eliminate them without eventual professional advice.  This process causes our bodies to expand and warp out of shape as we carry around all that rubbish.

As work dominates lives, many turn to substances which give false energy. Cocaine, amphetamines,  caffeine, energy drinks, in Asia it is Crystal Meth and Yabba, causing extremely rapid burnout. Those who reliant on a 100% processed diet are amongst the biggest sufferers and are unknowingly addicted. They show all the symptoms of an addict before and during fasting.

Detoxing and fasting is a way to remove these toxins, restore your sanity and cure most complaints caused by these types of products and substances. Detox and fasting treats the causes, not the symptoms. When you detox, think of it as an oil change!

Detox Britain!!! Save money, save your bodies and stop lining the pockets of those fat cat pharmaceutical companies!

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It is considered the most important meal of the day, yet according to a report from Which? the most popular brands of breakfast cereal – including those targeted at children – are laden with sugar. Typical portions of some were found to contain more sugar than a Cadbury chocolate Flake, despite manufacturers’ claims to be reducing the level of unhealthy ingredients.

Which? surveyed 100 cereals bought from the main supermarkets but only eight of the products qualified for a Food Standards Agency healthy “green light” for low levels of sugar, with 31 out the 100 cereals examined containing more than four teaspoons of sugar to a recommended serving.

Only one of the 28 cereals specifically marketed at children, Kellogg’s Rice Krispies, was found not to be high in sugar, but it was high in salt.

Many brands perceived to be healthy, including Kellogg’s All Bran, Bran Flakes and Special K, also had high levels of sugar. Morrisons Choco Crackles cereal tops the sweet mountain with more sugar to a serving than a Cadbury Flake, followed closely by Kellogg’s Coco Pops Moons and Stars, Frosties and Ricicles, which were more than a third – 37% – pure sugar, according to the Which? report.

The report, Going Against the Grain, said there had been some progress since 2006, with the biggest improvements made in reducing salt levels.

Which? highlighted Tesco Special Flakes, where 100g was still found to contain the same amount of salt as 100g of Walkers ready salted crisps.

Sue Davies, chief policy adviser at Which?, said: “Some cereals deserve their healthy image, but most simply don’t. It’s especially shocking that almost all those targeted at children are less healthy.”

Cereal manufacturers need “to wake up to the fact that people want to eat healthily and provide them with the means to do so by reducing sugar and salt levels and making labelling clearer”, she added. “With over £1bn spent every year, it’s time they rose to the occasion.”

Top 10 worst offenders for sugar content (per 100g)

Morrisons Choco Crackles (38.4g)
Kellogg’s Coco Pops Moons & Stars (37g)
Kellogg’s Frosties (37g)
Kellogg’s Ricicles (37g)
Sainsbury’s Choco Rice Pops (36g)
Tesco Choco Snaps (36g)
Nestle Cookie Crisp (35.3g)
Nestle Cheerios Honey (35.1g)
Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut (35g)
Nestlé Nesquik (35g)

Source: The Guardian

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Buying organic is expensive and difficult to maintain if you’re on a limited food budget.

Fortunately the Environment Working Group have compiled a shopper’s guide to the worst and best foods for containing pesticides. The Shopper’s Guide ranks pesticide contamination for 47 popular fruits and vegetables based on an analysis of 87,000 tests for pesticides on these foods, conducted from 2000 to 2007 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. Nearly all the studies used to create the list test produce after it has been rinsed or peeled. Contamination was measured in six different ways and crops were ranked based on a composite score from all categories.

So, next time you go shopping you’ll know which produce to buy organic, and which conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables are okay to buy if organic prices don’t suit your budget.

Fruits topped the list of the consistently most contaminated fruits and vegetables, with seven of the 12 most contaminated foods.


Buy these organic

  1. Peach
  2. Apple
  3. Bell Pepper
  4. Celery
  5. Nectarine
  6. Strawberries
  7. Cherrie
  8. Kale
  9. Lettuce
  10. Grapes (Imported)
  11. Carrot
  12. Pear


Lowest in Pesticides

  1. Onion
  2. Avocado3
  3. Sweet Corn
  4. Pineapple
  5. Mango
  6. Asparagus
  7. Sweet Peas
  8. Kiwi
  9. Cabbage
  10. Eggplant
  11. Papay
  12. Watermelon
  13. Broccoli
  14. Tomato
  15. Sweet Potato

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