Science Says: Eating THIS Could Change Your Kid’s Social Life

Mom confession:

The idea of sending my kid to school terrifies me. You guys, it’s still four years away, and it’s stressing me the heck out.

And it’s not because I’ll miss him—though I will.

It’s because kids are mean, and the day my son comes home heartbroken because of another child’s cruelty is one I dread beyond description.

Heavy, I know.

BUT, guess what—there is one thing I do every day already that could be helping prevent those grade school problems well in advance. And that’s feeding my son fruits and veggies.

Say what??

A study done in Europe is telling us that not only can a well-balanced diet increase your child’s physical health, but it could help foster better mental and emotional health as well—peer relationships included.

Researchers found that after studying over 7,500 children ages 2 to 9, and then following up again 2 years later, the kids who practiced better dietary habits (like eating fruits and vegetables, limiting sugar intake, and eating fish multiple times per week) scored better on psychosocial well-being assessments. That meant that self-esteem was higher, parent/child relations were better, and that emotional and peer problems were fewer at baseline as well as follow-up.

Um, I’m on board.

Now, while the research didn’t exactly prove causation—meaning that existing mental and emotional health could have an influence on one’s diet to begin with—I’m thinking there isn’t much to be lost by playing it safe and serving up another scoop of roasted cauliflower.

Because even if my kid is bullied at some point (haven’t we all been??), I’d like to hope I’ll have given him every opportunity to handle it with emotional strength and grace.

 

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Science Says: Dads Think It’s What’s On the Outside That Counts

You know how it’s your very favorite when someone tells you your kid looks exactly like their dad? Obviously implying to your new-mother brain, which is coursing with unchartered hormonal rage, that maybe, even though you just carried that child for nearly 10 months and gave excruciating birth to him after 28 hours of back labor, just maybe…you should get a maternity test?

Okay, slight exaggeration, but still, I get it. My son is his father’s mini-me and sometimes hearing about it gets to me.

But it turns out, children who look like their fathers may actually have a healthier early childhood. A new study, published in the Journal of Health Economics, revealed that fathers who see a strong physical resemblance in their newborn infants tend to feel a stronger paternal bond and consequently remain more positively involved in the child’s life. According to this study and several previous ones, a father’s investment is especially beneficial for young children. It has been shown to increase social, academic, emotional, and economic well-being, and that’s major.

To make the picture a little clearer, this research showed that “the average nonresident father spends about 2.5 days (per month) longer in parenting activities when the child resembles him.”

The shocking part? Those 2.5 days of investment could mean a 25% overall health improvement for the child. That should make every dad jump in with both feet.

And while this particular study focused on single-mother households, the fact remains that when both parents are highly involved, every type of family is stronger for it.

 

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Science Says 15 Minutes Can Fix This Common Disorder

Did you know that the average American child spends over seven hours in front of a screen every single day?

It’s a mind-blowing number that becomes even more shocking when compared to the research showing that same child spends less than ten minutes in freeform outdoor play per day. It hardly seems possible when I think about my own dirt-road upbringing, but given the onslaught of increasingly pervasive technology, Nature Deficit Disorder has become a legitimate threat in today’s world.

The term itself may seem a little hokey, and is not actually medically diagnosed, but the data is there to back it up. Access to open, green environments has proven to have a positive impact in children studied throughout the years in critical areas such as confidence, academic achievement, stress-relief, and social and emotional well-being.

As adults, we have all experienced that literal and metaphorical breath of fresh air when we make the time to get outside—away from phones, televisions, laptops, tablets…need I continue? It’s no different for our kids. The stresses of growing and learning can weigh heavy, and children are desperate (despite their moaning at our demands for screen-free time) for that relief. Just fifteen minutes a day can make all the difference.

So, schedule some time to get outside with your kids this week. And better yet, encourage them to play freely while you take in some fresh air of your own. We’ll all feel healthier for it.

 

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Craziest Things I’ve Done to Try to Poop

This post is sponsored by Synergy Pharmaceuticals. The opinions and text are all mine.

The poop struggle is real.

And thanks to the plethora of information, if you’re struggling with constipation, you can keep yourself busy for a good, long time while trying DIY solutions to constipation relief.

When your poop issues have become significant enough that you’ve begun to adjust your day around going or not going and you find that you’re missing out on activities and enjoying yourself less and less when you are facing c

 

onstipation day 3… 4… or even 5, then it stands to reason that OF COURSE you’re going to begin to look for options.

Many of them might fall under what you typically expect to address keeping your digestive system regular: (*1)

Eat more fiber.

Drink more water.

Exercise.

Use an over-the-counter laxative.

Maybe you’ve tried dietary approaches or more unconventional approaches: (*2)

Special teas.

Crazy pressure points.

Fermented juice shots.

Special yoga twists and stretches.

Apple Cider Vinegar.

Soups.

Green juice that tastes like the worst salad ever.

Maybe I’m projecting a bit. Because maybe I’ve dry heaved after a sip of a particularly gnarly smoothie. Or because I’ve sat in my parked car wondering if I can make it into the bathroom without incident because my laxative was a bit too effective.

I wish I was making this stuff up.

I’m not.

And I’m done Dr. Googling myself.

All of my DIY experimentation has led me to a conclusion—I’m ready for some help. I’m ready to take a look at my symptoms with my doctor and try to figure out if my poop issues might really be chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC).

Symptoms of CIC include2:
-Fewer than 3 bowel movements a week.
-Difficult-to-pass bowel movements.
-Straining.
-Discomfort.
-Not feeling empty after going.

Because CIC isn’t your run of the mill “drink more water, eat more fiber” problem—so it might be helpful to take a look at a medicine that’s especially for CIC—Trulance™ (plecanatide). (*3)

Trulance is a medicine indicated for adults with CIC.3 Diarrhea is the most common side effect and can sometimes be severe. (*3) It is important to discuss the potential benefits and side effects with your doctor. (*3) See additional important safety information below.

Are you ready to have a discussion with your doctor?

Consider visiting www.TRULANCE.com for more information on CIC.

Still not sure you have a poop issue? Take a look at the rest of our exciting poop series!
When Was the Last Time You Pooped? Here’s Why It Matters
5 Ways You’re Letting Poop Rule Your Life
Signs It Might Be Time to Have the Poop Talk with Your Doctor
The Inside Scoop on How You Poop

What is Trulance?
Trulance™ (plecanatide) 3 mg tablets is a prescription medicine used in adults to treat a type of constipation called chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC). “Idiopathic” means the cause of the constipation is unknown. It is not known if Trulance is safe and effective in children less than 18 years of age.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Do not give Trulance to children who are less than 6 years of age. It may harm them.

You should not give Trulance to children 6 years to less than 18 years of age. It may harm them.

Do not take Trulance if a doctor has told you that you have a bowel blockage (intestinal obstruction).

Before you take Trulance, tell your doctor:

If you have any other medical conditions.

If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Trulance will harm your unborn baby.

If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Trulance passes into your breast milk. Talk with your doctor about the best way to feed your baby if you take Trulance.

About all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Side Effects

Diarrhea is the most common side effect and can sometimes be severe. Diarrhea often begins within the first 4 weeks of Trulance treatment. Stop taking Trulance and call your doctor right away if you get severe diarrhea.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of Trulance. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

You are encouraged to report side effects to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088 or you can report side effects to Synergy Pharmaceuticals at 1-888-869-8869.

Please also see Medication Guide within the full Prescribing Information.

*Citations:

  1. Gonzalez-Martinez MA, Ortiz-Olvera NX, Mendez-Navarro J. Novel pharmacological therapies for management of chronic constipation. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2014;48(1):21–28.
  2. Thomas R, Luthin D. Current and emerging treatments for irritable bowel syndrome with constipation and chronic idiopathic constipation: focus on prosecretory agents. Pharmacotherapy Pub. 2015; 613-630.
  3. Trulance™ [Prescribing Information]. Synergy Pharmaceuticals, Inc., New York City, New York: January 2017. http://content.stockpr.com/synergypharma/files/pages/synergypharma/db/147/description/PP-TRU-US-0175++Trulance+Prescribing+Information.pdf. Accessed July 25, 2017.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Synergy Pharmaceuticals. The opinions and text are all mine.

Signs It Might Be Time to Have the Poop Talk with Your Doctor

This post is sponsored by Synergy Pharmaceuticals. The opinions and text are all mine.

I think when we become mothers, our metric for what warrants a doctor visit changes. I mean, once you’ve had a series of office visits that result in an actual BABY HUMAN, everything else sort of becomes mild in comparison, I guess.


But too many years of this kid-focused life and we begin to lose touch with not only how to measure our own discomfort, but we get older and it becomes harder to distinguish actual issues with general aging.

So, it’s no surprise that women who suffer from poop issues don’t always see this as a situation that warrants a dedicated trip to the doctor. But it should. Not pooping regularly is a big deal. (Link to post #1 “When Was the Last Time You Pooped?”)

It’s inconvenient and uncomfortable and might be ruling your life in unexpected ways. And that certainly warrants some help from a medical professional.

Your poop issues might be bigger than you thought. It might be CIC—chronic idiopathic constipation.

Symptoms of CIC include: *1

Fewer than 3 bowel movements a week.

Difficult-to-pass bowel movements.
Straining.
Discomfort.
Not feeling empty after going.

But nothing is worse than taking the time to go the doctor, and paying the co-pay for the office visit, only to then receive advice you could have actually gotten on the internet. I’m looking at YOU “eat more fiber” and “drink more water.”

So let’s talk about how to have this conversation with your doctor—because let’s face it, this subject can sometimes be hard to approach.

Here are five ways to prep for your visit:

Track Your Food + Water Intake

Regularly offered advice for constipation relief is to eat more fiber and drink more water.1 Help your doctor REALLY understand what you’re eating on a weekly/daily basis. And be honest. If your doctor is armed with the right information, he or she will be in a better position to truly help you. I’ll go one better—take a picture of your grocery cart.

Bring Your Medicines + Supplements

Your doctor needs to know what else you’re taking. I’m a big fan of just bringing in the bottles of vitamins, supplements, and medicines when I visit the doctor. That way they can take a look at all of the ingredients and make sure that you’re not inadvertently taking something that’s causing your gastrointestinal distress, AND that anything he or she suggests won’t cause a reaction.

Keep a Poop Journal

I’ve gone to the doctor myself to talk about my constipation—and faltered when it came to the exact details of frequency and—ahem—poop consistency. Both are important to discuss. So start marking your calendar, noting when you go and how successful you were. It’s also helpful to note any information about timing and diet so as to help identify any patterns. History is important too. Has this always been a problem, or is it a recent development due to lifestyle/dietary changes or stress?

List What You’ve Tried

After you hear “eat more fiber and drink more water,” you may hear “get more exercise” and “reduce your stress.” (EASIER SAID THAN DONE, AM I RIGHT?) List what you’ve tried and how often you get to move your body. Have you used over-the-counter laxatives? How did it go? Are you dealing with either diarrhea or constipation without a comfortable middle ground?

Read About CIC and Trulance

Take a look at the symptoms of CIC and see if it’s a condition you should talk to your doctor about and read up on Trulance™ (plecanatide).2 Trulance is indicated for adults with CIC. *2 Diarrhea is the most common side effect and can sometimes be severe.2 It is important to discuss the potential benefits and side effects with your doctor.2 You can create a customized doctor discussion guide here to help you. See additional important safety information below.

The goal is to find a treatment regimen that works for you.

What is Trulance?
Trulance™ (plecanatide) 3 mg tablets is a prescription medicine used in adults to treat a type of constipation called chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC). “Idiopathic” means the cause of the constipation is unknown. It is not known if Trulance is safe and effective in children less than 18 years of age.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Do not give Trulance to children who are less than 6 years of age. It may harm them.

You should not give Trulance to children 6 years to less than 18 years of age. It may harm them.

Do not take Trulance if a doctor has told you that you have a bowel blockage (intestinal obstruction).

Before you take Trulance, tell your doctor:

If you have any other medical conditions.

If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Trulance will harm your unborn baby.

If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Trulance passes into your breast milk. Talk with your doctor about the best way to feed your baby if you take Trulance.

About all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Side Effects

Diarrhea is the most common side effect and can sometimes be severe. Diarrhea often begins within the first 4 weeks of Trulance treatment. Stop taking Trulance and call your doctor right away if you get severe diarrhea.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of Trulance. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

You are encouraged to report side effects to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088 or you can report side effects to Synergy Pharmaceuticals at 1-888-869-8869.

Please also see Medication Guide within the full Prescribing Information.

*Citations:

  1. Thomas R, Luthin D. Current and emerging treatments for irritable bowel syndrome with constipation and chronic idiopathic constipation: focus on prosecretory agents. Pharmacotherapy Pub. 2015; 613-630.
  2. Trulance™ [Prescribing Information]. Synergy Pharmaceuticals, Inc., New York City, New York: January 2017. http://content.stockpr.com/synergypharma/files/pages/synergypharma/db/147/description/PP-TRU-US-0175++Trulance+Prescribing+Information.pdf. Accessed July 25, 2017.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Synergy Pharmaceuticals. The opinions and text are all mine.

When Was the Last Time You Pooped? Here’s Why It Matters.

This post is sponsored by Synergy Pharmaceuticals. The opinions and text are all mine.

Was it today?
Was it two days ago?
Was it three days ago?

Here’s why it matters.

Poop is 75% water and the remaining 25% is an unsavory mixture of dead bacteria that helped us to digest our food, living bacteria, protein, indigestible fiber, and waste materials from the liver and intestines. (*1)

If you don’t, or aren’t able to GO, the water in your poop is reabsorbed into your body. Which causes the poop to harden and become even more difficult to pass. (*2)

So that’s a fantastic cycle of constipation that you’ve got going there.

Now, the WHOLE reason that pooping on a regular basis is so great/important/helpful, is that the mixture of waste goes from being a normal part of a healthy digestive system to a troublesome problem child in just a day or two.

When the digestive system is running smoothly—with inputs and outputs happening according to regularly scheduled programing—you’re GOOD. But it’s called “waste” for a reason!

Waste: having served or fulfilled a purpose; no longer of use.

Think of it like this, when traffic is backed up and nothing moves—there is no way around it—you’re stuck.

It may make you late for appointments or activities, may affect your emotional state, and has a “cascade” effect on other aspects of your day.

Your bowel is like a traffic jam…. you can’t poop—it’s not only frustrating to be stuck in one place, it has a cascade effect—you miss a meeting, you miss a child’s school event and more.

So, if you aren’t pooping regularly… how do you feel?

Do you feel like you can go full speed at that Zumba class?!

Like you can button up your favorite pair of jeans?

Like it’s no big deal to have a toddler climb up onto your lap to be read to?

Nope.

Did you know that if constipation is more than just an occasional occurrence you might have a condition called CIC — chronic idiopathic constipation?

Let’s see if this sounds familiar: (*3)
-Fewer than 3 bowel movements a week.
-Difficult-to-pass bowel movements.
-Straining.
-Discomfort.
-Not feeling empty after going.

Have you experienced this and racked your brain… rolling through what you ate (or didn’t eat), what you’ve been doing, how much water you’ve been drinking… only to be frustrated by your inability to pinpoint the problem?

Sure—travel and stress (and your menstrual cycle) can all do a number on your poop schedule, but if you’re having regular trouble pooping, you might be dealing with CIC.

Never heard of it?

You will. It’s one of the most common functional digestive disorders and affects 33 million Americans. (*4)

Now, before you scamper off to search for some off-the-wall solution to this via Pinterest, there is a prescription medicine that can help adults suffering from CIC, that you should talk to your doctor about. It’s called Trulance™ (plecanatide). (*5) Trulance is a once-daily tablet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration indicated to treat adults with CIC.5 Diarrhea is the most common side effect and can sometimes be severe.5 It is important to discuss the potential benefits and side effects with your doctor.5 You can learn more about CIC and how Trulance works here. See additional important safety information below.

So back to our earlier question… when was the last time you pooped? Maybe it is time to talk to your doctor about Trulance.

What is Trulance?
Trulance™ (plecanatide) 3 mg tablets is a prescription medicine used in adults to treat a type of constipation called chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC). “Idiopathic” means the cause of the constipation is unknown. It is not known if Trulance is safe and effective in children less than 18 years of age.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Do not give Trulance to children who are less than 6 years of age. It may harm them.

You should not give Trulance to children 6 years to less than 18 years of age. It may harm them.

Do not take Trulance if a doctor has told you that you have a bowel blockage (intestinal obstruction).

Before you take Trulance, tell your doctor:

If you have any other medical conditions.

If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Trulance will harm your unborn baby.

If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Trulance passes into your breast milk. Talk with your doctor about the best way to feed your baby if you take Trulance.

About all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Side Effects

Diarrhea is the most common side effect and can sometimes be severe. Diarrhea often begins within the first 4 weeks of Trulance treatment. Stop taking Trulance and call your doctor right away if you get severe diarrhea.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of Trulance. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

You are encouraged to report side effects to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088 or you can report side effects to Synergy Pharmaceuticals at 1-888-869-8869.

Please also see Medication Guide within the full Prescribing Information.

*Citations:

  1. Rose C, Parker A, Jefferson B, et al. The characterization of feces and urine: a review of the literature to inform advanced treatment technology. Crit Rev Environ Sci Technol. 2015;45(17):1827-1879.
  2.  Gray J. What is chronic constipation? Definition and diagnosis. J Gastroenterol. 2011;25(B):7-10.
  3.  Thomas R, Luthin D. Current and emerging treatments for irritable bowel syndrome with constipation and chronic idiopathic constipation: focus on prosecretory agents. Pharmacotherapy Pub. 2015; 613-630.
  4.  Suares NC, Ford AC. Prevalence of, and risk factors for chronic idiopathic constipation in the community: systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Gastroenterol. 2011;106(9):1582-1591.
  5.  Trulance™ [Prescribing Information]. Synergy Pharmaceuticals, Inc., New York City, New York: January 2017. http://content.stockpr.com/synergypharma/files/pages/synergypharma/db/147/description/PP-TRU-US-0175++Trulance+Prescribing+Information.pdf. Accessed July 25, 2017.

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What You Need to Know About Diet and Weight Loss

Most people know that if you want to lose weight, you simply consume fewer calories than you burn off in a day. But this is not always as easy as it sounds. Hitting the gym requires energy, and a lot of people have jobs where they sit at a desk all day. Your body simply does not burn the number of calories needed to make sure you lose the amount of weight you may wish to lose, even if you reduce your intake to healthy levels. But there are things you can do to make a difference. With the Jenny Craig plan, you know that your calorie intake will be at the correct levels, as all the delicious meals are prepared specially to be tasty and healthy. But simple tricks will help you burn off those extra calories without you even noticing it!

Are both diet and weight loss critical when trying to lose weight?

It goes without saying that the diet is a very large part of your weight loss journey. But what if you are following the diet, but the scales don’t show that you have lost weight? That can be pretty demoralising, and may cause some people to give up on trying to lose weight too soon. Don’t weigh yourself too often. There are many things that can influence your weight loss on a day-to-day basis. On the Jenny Craig plan, you will weigh yourself once a week, which will give you far more of a chance of seeing a real difference. Don’t expect miracles; with a healthy and balanced diet, you will on average see a loss of ½ to 1 kg a week, which is a great way to shed the weight and keep it off!

Want to know how you can burn off a few extra calories?

  • Don’t be tempted to skip meals. Lots of people think that skipping breakfast or lunch will automatically lead to weight loss. The opposite is often true. Not eating breakfast can make you hungry later, leading to too much nibbling in-between meals. Jenny Craig plans are designed to make sure you get a breakfast, lunch, and dinner plus a delicious snack, and you can add plenty of fruit and vegetables
  • Make sure you get enough sleep. When you lack sleep, alterations in your metabolism lead to an increased appetite, so trying to keep a good sleeping pattern is important. Seven to nine hours of sleep is ideal for maximum weight loss.
  • Make sure you keep hydrated. Water is essential to good health. Experts recommend that you should drink about 2 litres every day. But if you get bored of drinking water, try using some fruit or herbal tea, either hot or cold, or flavour your water with some lemon juice, slices of fruit or cucumber for variation.
  • Keep moving. It is no secret that exercise helps to speed up weight loss, but you can do simple things such as setting your alarm on your phone to go off every 30 minutes. When the alarm goes off, make sure you get up and walk around for a bit, or keep a skipping rope handy and skip vigorously for just one minute before sitting back down.
  • Change just one thing. Sign up for a weekly dance class, or find a friend to go swimming with once a week. Always use the lift at work? Make yourself use the stairs at least once every day, or get out a few floors before your floor if you are really high up in the building, and walk the rest of the way.
  • Treat yourself. Instead of food, treat yourself to a good book or a CD by your favourite artist. Once you see the weight loss is beginning to make a difference, treat yourself to a new top. It doesn’t have to be expensive, anything that looks good will make you feel great.

There’s an easier way

When you follow the Jenny Craig plan, you will be surprised at how much you can still eat of the foods you love; Dietitians have adapted many food favourites to be healthier, so you can still enjoy the taste you love without feeling guilty. Diets are counterproductive if you have to eat things that you don’t like; this may tempt you to not eat at all, which doesn’t help you. The Jenny Craig Consultants will guide you and teach you about how to look at food, portion sizes, eating habits and exercise so you can learn to control what and how much you eat in the future, which will help you feel much better too.