Blog Posts by HealthyWomen

  • The Real Scoop on Dropping Post-Pregnancy Pounds

    Wondering when you'll drop those post-pregnancy pounds?by Kristen Mucci-Mosier

    "I can't believe you just had a baby!"

    How many times have you heard someone (and perhaps that someone is you) voice those words after seeing a new mom just weeks after she has given birth. Magic, we think - those pounds just slip off. Is this a realistic expectation? Celebrity trainer Tracey Anderson doesn't help the cause, as she shares in a recent interview that she lost her post-baby extra weight in just six weeks, and she believes that's realistic for most women.

    Read More: Healing After Childbirth

    Here's the real scoop about what's happening six weeks after labor:

    Your body is just beginning to recover from the arrival of your baby. In fact, your uterus is only now returning to its pre-pregnancy size, and your abdominal muscles, which have been rather lax, are now regaining some of their tone.

    Other elements of the body's healing process just after labor: The perineum, the area between your vagina and rectum, will likely need

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  • Should You Ditch Your Eggs?

    Is an egg yolk as bad as it's cracked up to be?Is an egg yolk as bad as it's cracked up to be?by Sheryl Kraft

    A new study says eating egg yolks is almost as bad as cigarettes - but maybe not

    It's all over the news: Eating eggs is almost as bad as smoking. Aside from the fact that you put both things in your mouth, what's the connection?

    When researchers from Western University in Canada studied over 1,200 men and women, they came to the conclusion that regularly eating egg yolks is two-thirds as bad as smoking as it relates to carotid plaque in the arteries (a known risk factor for heart attacks and strokes). The study was published in the journal Atherosclerosis.

    Yet many experts are saying, with good reason, that this study is flawed. If you're thinking about ditching the eggs … not so fast.

    MORE: 5 Things You Thought Were Unhealthy -- But Aren't

    For example, the study didn't control for other foods that the participants ate and did not look at how much they exercised -- a big factor in the role of heart disease. There are also other factors that

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  • 7 Tips for Healthier School Lunches

    What is in your child's lunchbox?What is in your child's lunchbox?by Marcia Mangum Cronin

    If you dread packing school lunches - or your child dreads eating them - it's time to team up to pack some healthier, more enticing options.

    Here are seven tips to get you started.

    - Variations on a PBJ theme. If your child really likes peanut butter and jelly, try some healthier variations. First, start with whole-wheat bread (for white-bread diehards, they sell white whole-wheat sandwich bread). Instead of jelly, add fresh fruit like bananas, apples or grapes. You can create a peanut butter and strawberry wrap by topping a tortilla wrap with peanut butter and thinly sliced strawberries, and then rolling it, cutting it in half and sealing securely in plastic wrap for the lunch bag. Tip: To avoid soggy bread, spread a thin coat of peanut butter on each slice of bread and put the fruit in the middle.

    - Snick-snack lunch. The Urban Dictionary defines snick-snack as a small snack. So on snick-snack days, skip the sandwich and pack a bag full of

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  • Take an Aspirin and Call Me in the Morning? Rosie Teaches Us That’s Not the Answer

    Fast action when experiencing symptoms of a heart attack could save your lifeFast action when experiencing symptoms of a heart attack could save your lifeby Kristen Mucci-Mosier

    By now you've probably heard the news about Rosie O'Donnell's heart attack. You also may know that she never called 911 and waited a full day after her symptoms started before seeking medical help. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), coronary heart disease is the single leading cause of death for American women. In fact, nearly twice as many women die from heart attack, stroke and other coronary heart diseases than of all forms of cancer combined, including breast cancer.

    Read More: Heart Disease: Get All Your Questions Answered

    So, why is it that many of us still can't recognize the signs of a heart attack, which are different for women than men?

    Once and for all, let's get it straight. According to WomenHeart, the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, here are the symptoms to know:
    • Chest discomfort, pain, squeezing, burning or mild to severe pressure in the center of your chest that lasts more than a few

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  • 3 Ways to Derail Your Weight Loss

    Something went wrong Sheryl Kraft

    Quick question: Can you relate to any of the statements below?

    If only … I could lose that last five pounds.

    Why can't I … take off the baby weight?

    How can I … stop eating when I'm stressed?

    Where did all that … extra weight come from?

    When did I … become fat?

    And then, what follows are usually some "solutions."

    If there are solutions, then why are current rates of obesity in our country alarmingly high? About two-thirds of Americans are currently overweight, and with that comes a huge list of chronic and expensive health problems like type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and high blood pressure.

    MORE: All About Diabetes

    I'll let you in on a secret. These "solutions," though they may demonstrate that you're really trying and have good intentions, usually backfire and lead to something you're trying to avoid in the first place: even more weight gain.

    Skipping Breakfast

    You say: I'll skip breakfast and save the calories

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  • Can Cranberries Really Protect Against Urinary Tract Infections?

    Can these protect your bladder?Can these protect your bladder?by Sheryl Kraft

    Some things never get old. Take old wives' tales and folk remedies, for instance. They're forever in the background noise of our lives. Eat chocolate and angry zits will appear… step on a crack and break your mother's back…swallow your gum and it'll stay in your stomach for seven years… REALLY??

    And then there's this one: Cranberries protect against urinary tract infections.

    Aha! Finally found one that might be worth listening to.

    The benefits of cranberry juice and other cranberry products in staving off, and treating, urinary tract infections (UTIs) have been long debated by scientists. Studies were all over the place with proof (or not) of cranberry's powers. Yes, one study found, consuming cranberry products definitely decreases the likelihood of developing a UTI. No, another study found, women who consumed these products instead developed more UTIs.

    Yet many doctors still advised their patients with these infections to incorporate

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  • Infection Detection: Yeast Beast or Something More Serious?

    By Sally Jones

    If it's itchy down there, it must be a yeast infection, right? Wrong.

    Before you run to the drugstore for an over-the-counter (OTC) anti-fungal treatment, you might want to re-evaluate your symptoms. An estimated 44 percent of women with a vaginal infection initially treat themselves with an OTC yeast infection medication when they actually have bacterial vaginosis (BV), a much more serious infection caused by an overgrowth of the bacteria that occur naturally in the vagina.

    Bacterial Vaginosis A-Z Guide

    A yeast infection, on the other hand, is caused by an overgrowth of fungus that occur naturally in the vagina.

    Yeast Infection A-Z Guide

    In fact, the outward symptoms of many forms of vaginal infection are similar. Here's a quick chart to help you detect whether it's the yeast beast -- or something more serious.

    Yeast Infection? Or Something More Serious?Yeast Infection? Or Something More Serious?

    If your discharge is a milky gray-white, or if it's accompanied by a fishy or foul odor, see your doctor right

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  • Everything You Need to Know About the West Nile Virus

    by Sheryl Kraft

    Is this mosquito after you?Is this mosquito after you?

    Some perils associated with summer - like sunburns and heatstroke - seem mild compared with the West Nile virus. It's believed that the virus is spread when a mosquito bites an infected bird and then, in turn, bites a person.

    MORE: Summer Safety

    West Nile's roots reach far back - first identified in Uganda in 1937 and then discovered in the New York in the summer of 1999 - the virus has slowly spread throughout the United States. In 2002 and 2003 West Nile virus reached its peak, causing severe illnesses in nearly 3,000 people and resulting in over 260 deaths.

    But now this year there are more serious illnesses reported from the virus since 2004, health officials say. So far there have been 241 human cases reported in 22 states with four deaths. Why the uptick? It's believed that the combination of a mild winter, early spring and hot summer make for breeding of the mosquitoes that spread the virus to us. Typically, symptoms develop between 3 and 14 days

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  • Five Healthy Lessons We Can Learn from Our Dogs

    by Sheryl Kraft Dogs can teach us a lot about how to be healthy.Dogs can teach us a lot about how to be healthy.

    When my beloved 15-year-old Bichon, Chloe, recently died, I naturally grieved. But as time passes, instead of getting easier, in some ways, it's getting more difficult. Why? It's not just her physical presence that I miss; it's that deep and real emotional attachment and the continuous reminders of how to live life.

    MORE: When a Pet Dies

    If you pay close attention, there are valuable - and healthy - lessons we can all learn from our dogs.

    Forgiveness. Ignore your dog…scold them… cut their walk short… feed them stinky food…leave them with strangers when you go on vacation. Dogs hold no grudges; they simply move on. Healthy benefit: Living in the moment and letting go of negative feelings contributes to less stress, lower blood pressure and more happiness, which is a boost to your immune system.

    Focus. When dogs have a job to do, they give that job their upmost attention. Throw a ball, and they'll chase it - not remember mid-task that they have to go

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  • Why 15 Million People Are Having Online Affairs

    Why are people having cyber-affairs? Why are people having cyber-affairs? by Kristen Mucci-Mosier

    How's your cheater radar? You just know that your partner is not the type of person who would have an affair … or do you? It's not just your best friend's arrogant boyfriend who fits the bill. It's the 15,060,000 members (and growing) of Ashley Madison, the notorious website geared toward online connections between married people. Its motto? "Life is short. Have an affair."

    MORE: Secrets of a Happy Marriage

    So, why is it that people seek virtual romance outside their relationship? New York City-based psychotherapist and sex therapist Suzanne Iasenza, PhD, says, "Online affairs are not much different from the 'old-fashioned' kind except the Internet provides greater accessibility and sometimes feelings of less culpability."

    It is almost impossible for any typical adult to get through even one day without being engaged with some form of technology that connects them to the Internet. The ability to connect with new people, current acquaintances and friends from

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