Blog Posts by HealthyWomen

  • 6 Easy Ways to Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

    by Sheryl Kraft

    Germs can easily escape and spread. Cover up!

    Flu shot - check. Wash hands often - check. Get enough sleep - who, me??

    I try to do all I can to avoid spending the winter months sidelined with a cold or the flu; I really do. But sometimes despite my best efforts, colds happen.

    Think about it: windows are closed to keep the cold air out, and thousands of nasty germs take that as their cue to multiply and destroy. Our health habits, though well meaning, often get shelved for various reasons.

    Flu shots are not foolproof. How well they work can vary widely from season to season, depending on who is being vaccinated and how well the virus strains in the vaccine match up with the viruses circulating in the community. The vaccine was about 52 percent effective during the last flu season and about 60 percent effective the year before, according to the Centers for Disease Control. However, the vaccine can also lessen flu symptoms if you do get sick.

    So, what's a good-intentioned, hopefully healthy

    Read More »from 6 Easy Ways to Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season
  • The Truth About Inducing Labor: What Every Pregnant Woman Needs to Know

    Do you know the risks of medically inducing labor? Do you know the risks of medically inducing labor? by Kristen Mucci-Mosier

    You may have heard about a woman who has had her labor induced by the drug Pitocin simply because her doctor was heading out on vacation. Or perhaps, it was that the expecting mom just couldn't stand being pregnant any longer. While the latter seems more justified (if you've been pregnant, you can probably relate), inducing labor without a valid medical reason, such as problems with the baby's growth, medical risks for mom or going way past the due date, is not without its risks. However, a recent survey by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) found that 9 out of 10 women wouldn't mind a labor induction even if there is no medical reason.

    Read More About ACNM's Recent Study and their Our Moment of Truth Initiative

    Labor induction rates are on the rise. In 1990 just 9.5 percent of U.S. women had labor induced, but by 2008, that number rose to 23.1 percent, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. However

    Read More »from The Truth About Inducing Labor: What Every Pregnant Woman Needs to Know
  • 5 Healthy Hydration Soothers

    by Sheryl Kraft

    Drink up to feel better. Drink up to feel better. It's good to know that so many of you are avid water drinkers. My recent post about how much water we really need to drink bore that out (thanks to all of you who weighed in!).

    But aside from drinking water because you're thirsty, drinking liquids in general (not the alcoholic kind) can reap lots of health benefits. Yes, wine in moderation has its health benefits...but we'll save that for another day.

    MORE: The Facts About Milk

    From an upset stomach to a nasty cold, you can take comfort in the power of liquid to soothe what ails you.

    If your stomach is upset...try ginger ale.

    It's nothing new; since ancient times, the underground stem (or rhizome) of the ginger plant has been used to treat stomach upset, diarrhea and nausea. Make sure to check the ingredient label on the soda you choose - some contain more pure ginger than others, and some use only artificial flavorings and sweeteners. After you pour it, wait a while to let the bubbles

    Read More »from 5 Healthy Hydration Soothers
  • Covering My 50 Shades of Gray with Hair Color Expert Brad Johns

    by Sheryl Kraft

    As a young child in the '60s, Brad Johns spent a lot of time tinkering with toy trolls. Using food coloring, he spent hours transforming the tiny dolls' hair from pink to green, blue to yellow and every color in between. His fascination with hair color followed him to New York City, where Johns, an acting student at NYU, treated a steady flow of fellow dorm students to similar transformations.

    A hair colorist was born.

    Voted best colorist by Allure magazine, Johns has worked his magic for over three decades in major salons like Oribe, Avon and Elizabeth Arden Red Door, brightening the faces of thousands of women and celebrities including Christy Turlington and Venessa Redgrave.

    What's Your Best Haircolor? Go Back to Your Childhood

    And now, I'm sitting in his chair for my "color makeover" at Manhattan's Saks Fifth Avenue Salon & Spa where Johns is the color director. I'll admit I'm a bit surprised - I never expected to be discussing anything other than

    Read More »from Covering My 50 Shades of Gray with Hair Color Expert Brad Johns
  • Can Sleeping More Really Help You Lose Weight?

    Ah, precious sleep. A clue to weight loss. Ah, precious sleep. A clue to weight loss. by Sheryl Kraft

    No, it's not a dream: sleeping can help you lose weight. But the reasons may not all be as obvious as you think.

    It's logical to think that sleeping more can help you have more energy the next day to work out. And a well-rested body is a more efficient one. Waking up refreshed might even rid you of the temptation to skip your morning workout, too.

    It's also logical to think that by sleeping more, you're awake for fewer hours. And the more time you spend sleeping, the less time you'll spend in the kitchen, chowing down on your favorite late-night snacks, like sugary, high carbohydrate, calorie-dense foods.

    READ MORE: The Truth About Sleep As We Age

    But hold up -- there's more. Researchers recently wrote in the Canadian Medical Association Journal that reduced sleep might be a contributor to the current obesity epidemic.

    What's the connection? There's growing scientific evidence that a lack of sleep turns on hunger signals in the brain. In addition, skimp on sleep

    Read More »from Can Sleeping More Really Help You Lose Weight?
  • When is Fat Healthier Than Thin?

    By Sally Jones

    Good News for the Healthy Obese!Good News for the Healthy Obese!When the fat exercise, according to a study recently published in the European Heart Journal. And that is heartening news for those of us who regularly exercise, yet still struggle with our weight.

    Researchers reviewed the data of more than 43,000 Americans, a third of them obese (defined as having a BMI of 30 or higher), and found that obese individuals who were metabolically fit - that is, maintained normal blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels and healthy heart and lung function - were at no greater risk for diabetes, heart disease and cancer than metabolically fit people of any weight. And the key to their metabolic fitness? Exercise.

    Researchers found no significant difference in health risk between the fit-and-obese and the fit-and-normal-weight subjects. The risk of developing heart disease or cancer was 30-50 percent lower for both groups compared to their thinner but unfit counterparts.

    So even if you never achieve your weight

    Read More »from When is Fat Healthier Than Thin?
  • Plantar Fasciitis: It's One Big Pain in the Foot

    Ouch. My poor aching feet!Ouch. My poor aching feet!by Sheryl Kraft

    If you've been walking around in flip-flops all summer, it's possible that you are yelling this out loud when you step down and feel an excruciating burning, stabbing or aching pain across the bottom on your foot.

    Plantar fasciitis (pronounced fa-shee-EYE-tis) is one of the most common orthopedic complaints relating to the foot. You might feel OK when you go to bed, but after the fascia ligament tightens during the night while you sleep, that first step that places pressure on the ligament can be oh-so-painful. The pain generally decreases once your foot limbers up, but it can return after long periods of standing or physical activity.

    The plantar fascia is a dense band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, connecting the heel to the toes. It cushions the foot and helps to support the arch --when it's working right. Though it's hard for experts to predict just who will get this condition, it's m`ore likely to occur if you're a person who

    Read More »from Plantar Fasciitis: It's One Big Pain in the Foot
  • How Yoga Fights Disease

    Kirtan Kriya Meditation - a type of chanting yoga practiceKirtan Kriya Meditation - a type of chanting yoga practiceBy Sally Jones

    September is National Yoga Month. I'm sure you've heard by now that Yoga is an effective stress reducer and may even help you lose weight, but new research shows that a certain type of chanting yoga may also be effective in warding off disease. And that is good news, indeed, for all of us wishing to live longer, healthier lives.

    Yoga A-Z

    In a study published in the online edition of Psychoneuroendocrinology, psychiatrist Dr. Helen Lavretsky and colleagues at UCLA looked at 45 caregivers of family members with Alzheimer's and found a difference in genetic response in those asked to practice Kirtan Kriya Meditation (KKM), a type of yoga that focuses on rhythmic breathing and chanting, daily.

    Different Types of Yoga

    Study participants were divided into two groups. One group participated in a 12-minute yoga practice that included KKM, performed daily at the same time of day for eight weeks. The second group rested in a quiet place with their

    Read More »from How Yoga Fights Disease
  • Quinoa! 2 New Mouthwatering Recipes

    Try your hand at quinoa taboulehTry your hand at quinoa taboulehBy now you've surely heard the extolling of quinoa, a nutrition-packed seed that is prepared and eaten like whole grains. But if you've somehow missed it, here are a few of its virtues: Quinoa is perfect for people who don't eat a lot of meat, because it offers a complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids, among many other nutrients including fiber, magnesium and iron. It's been said to help relieve postmenopausal symptoms and migraines, regulate blood sugar and increase heart health. So, why not make it a staple in your diet?

    Read More: 10 Sneaky Ways to Get More Fruits and Veggies in Your Diet

    Here are two new recipes from the upcoming book by husband and wife team Andy Larson, MD, and Ivy Larson. The book, Clean Cuisine: An 8-Week Program that Will Change the Way You Age, Look & Feel, is due out from Penguin-Berkley in January. Visit their website for more about them and lots of healthy recipes (


    Read More »from Quinoa! 2 New Mouthwatering Recipes
  • Organic Might Not Be More Nutritious - but Would You Buy it Anyway?

    If it's grown on an organic farm, does it mean more nutrition?by Sheryl Kraft

    Some think organic is synonymous with health...but to others, it's a waste of money.

    Do you think that organic means healthier? A lot of us do. According to a Nielsen study cited by USA Today, 51 percent of people surveyed said they bought organic food because they believed it to be more nutritious. Other words associated with organic: cleaner, germ-free, safer, natural, tastier, healthier.

    After analyzing data from more than 200 studies comparing organic to conventional products, researchers at Stanford University concluded that organic foods don't have more vitamins or minerals; therefore, they're not more nutritious.

    MORE: 10 Sneaky Ways to Get More Fruit and Veggies Into Your Diet

    Yet the growth of the organic food industry can't be disputed. It's grown from $3.6 billion in 1997 to $31.4 billion last year. There must be good reasons, no?

    Reasons to go organic are not necessarily just for the nutritional value, says registered

    Read More »from Organic Might Not Be More Nutritious - but Would You Buy it Anyway?


(46 Stories)