Alert: Beware of inhaled water, and pneumonia

December 9, 2013

Someone could drown hours after they’ve accidentally inhaled water, even if they’re able to talk and walk. This could be a risk for anyone who has accidentally inhaled water or has pneumonia – whether they are an adult or a child, even if is a fairly small amount of water we’re talking about. This article and this article have things to watch out for (not all of these need to be present to indicate trouble), but here they are, in case you don’t have time to look at an article:

* difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
* extreme tiredness/fatigue
* changes in personality/behavioral issues/confusion
* vomiting or involuntary defecation
* persistent coughing and/or pain in chest

What happens is a small amount of water in the lungs can block oxygen from being absorbed, and you could eventually suffocate. And, it gets worse when the person lays down (because then the little bit of water covers more of the lung surface). It’s just something to be aware of, because even though it is RARE, if it does happen, it can be remedied by very quick medical intervention.

I hate to send out warnings like this (this was not a forwarded email though it really sounds like one), but I just found out about it and thought it was important enough to post.  (I researched it first to make sure it was not a hoax, which is what ALL of us should do before we pass along/repost anything that we read online.)

 

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How do you get ready for cold and flu season?

September 20, 2013

I’ll keep this brief, because it’s important, and I want you to read it.

1. Get as much vitamin D from the sun as you can NOW (from Oct – April, you can’t really get it, even if you lay out at our latitude – I’m assuming you are in NYC, like I am). I talk about the safest and best way to do this in my sunscreen article.

2. If you have low vitamin D levels, your doctor should be telling you to supplement.  It will definitely help you avoid or lessen the impact of colds and flus.  [NOTE: All nutrients, foods and your own body chemistry work together, and taking something in isolation without understanding the whole picture is not a great idea, so for realz – talk to your doctor.  For example, to be absorbed, Vitamin D needs to be taken with fat.  It works together with Magnesium, Phosphorus, Vitamin K and Calcium, and others, all in different amounts.  Messing up the balance of your body is a bad idea.]

3. Get yourself some high quality, homemade chicken broth and keep it in the freezer just in case you need it.  (Worse case, you make soup in the spring.)  You don’t want to be traipsing around with a 104 degree fever looking for the stuff when you’re sick and then settling for some MSG-laden crap.  In my humble opinion, there is NOTHING better for a cold or flu than rest and chicken broth.

4. Keep some natural remedies on hand.  Photos of the stuff I use are below, and explanations are after that.

For Cold & Flu Season

From left to right: Traditional Medicinals tea in “Breathe Easy ” and “Throat Coat” flavors, Now brand Tru-C (Vit C), Quantum Thera Zinc Spray, Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil and High Vitamin Butter Oil, Carlson’s Cod Liver Oil and Oregano Oil.

Aside from consistently taking SOMETHING to raise your vitamin D levels if they are low, I consider oregano oil and zinc spray the be my main first defenses if feel a cold/flu coming on.   My oregano oil is Integral Yoga’s own brand, and I put a 1-3 drops under my tongue when I feel a sickness coming on.  Warning: it is very strong and it burns, and it upsets my stomach a tiny bit.  I’m not telling you it’s a cure for colds and flus (or anything else for that matter), I’m telling you I take it and I like it for certain uses.  BUT USE WITH CAUTION, talk to a doctor about it, you can mix it with something else, and I would not give it to a child.  I have a post on the zinc spray here.  Oh, and when I take the Vitamin C, I break open the capsule and put it under my tongue.  It is incredibly sour.  Have water handy.

Cough Syrup and Goldenseal

I’ve been using Honey Gardens Wild Cherry Bark Cough Syrup for years. I use Goldenseal for sinus infections.

Again, remember, I’m not telling you that any of this stuff cures anything… I’m just saying it’s what I use.  Talk to your doctor.  A warning on the goldenseal – this is a tincture, and I put a few drops under my tongue if I feel nasal / sinus congestion coming on.  It tastes HORRIBLE, and it upsets my stomach a little bit, but it has often helped me.  I would not use this on a child, because it tastes so bad, but your doctor can direct you more knowledgeably than I can.

5. You should have some sort of electrolyte solution on hand just in case you get sick, and I don’t like Gatorade or a sports drink for that situation, because there’s too much sugar and other stuff in drinks like that.  I like Smart Water, or clear, unflavored Pedialyte (which kind of tastes nasty), but I think your best bet to have around is probably Oral Rehydration Salts or something similar.

6.  A humidifier is also a great idea (my buying guide), but only if you use it and keep it very clean.  If you need to steam yourself in a pinch, Boil an inch or so of water in a pot, wait about 5 minutes or so, then put it on a burn proof oven mitt or something stable and nonflammable like that in a stable area FAR AWAY FROM THE STOVE OR FIRE and put your face about a foot or two above it with a towel over your head, so the steam doesn’t escape.  Start far away and move closer in a comfortable range, to make sure you don’t burn yourself or your nasal passages.  Then breathe in to get that warm, moist air in your sinuses and lungs.  It might help loosen up mucous so you can get it out.

UPDATE: My friend Suzanne just asked me “Why not steam over the pot you boiled the water in (not on the stove)?” I answered “Because the pot will be too hot and you risk burning your furniture (even with hot pads), yourself (it’s likely you will touch the pot, even inadvertently) and/or your nasal passages/face because the pot itself will keep the water too hot.  Pour into an unheated pot or bowl.

7.  A few other things: sleep is super important, so is exercise and moving around.  Large muscle movement (walking, running, cardio, etc.) moves lymph around your body and helps you stay healthy.  Don’t eat sugar/sweet treats/junk when you feel like you are getting sick.  I think it just makes everything worse and your body more susceptible.  Wash your hands well with warm, soapy water before you eat, touch your face, scratch your nose, wipe your eyes, put on make up, touch your mouth, etc.  It makes a difference.  Have some wipes in your bag, so you can clean your hands if you’re not around a sink.  I use the Cleanwell pocket pack of wipes.


Coffee maker?

September 10, 2013

My very good friend W just sent me an email that said

Any recommendations for a coffee maker? I only drink it 3x a week or so (always just 1 cup), so I don’t need any massive device. Something cheap that can be cleaned easily that I can make decent coffee in.   I feel as though you will get carried away and write a 7 page report on this.

I may get carried away on this, because it’s my nature to get carried away, but
  1. I don’t drink coffee, neither does my husband.
  2. I have a Tassimo, which guests seem to love (for some crazy reason the company sent me one for free), but I think is super toxic (don’t put steaming water through plastic – bad things happen).
  3. I did a lot of research on coffee, because I helped a relative try to improve her health.
The best thing for you is to cold brew organic coffee (put grounds in cold water overnight and brew strongly and then add hot water to that strained liquid in the morning – google for exact instuctions, as I’ve never done it).  It will be have around 60% less acidity and you will reduce your toxin level tremendously by going organic (coffee is one of the most pesticide-heavy consumable crops there is – I say “consumable” because cotton is so much worse!).
If you don’t want to brew it yourself, the coffee brand I bought for my relative because I found it to be very high quality was Kickstand coffee, and you might be able to find a coupon online.  It’s organic, it’s cold-pressed, and it comes in a glass bottle.
Ok, you didn’t ask about any of that, you asked about a coffee maker, so I will say this:
I can’t recommend a brand, but go for anything glass (no plastic, no single-use), and if you use a filter, use a stainless steel filter with no plastic, or VERY carefully selected unbleached paper filters.  Most tea bags and coffee filters are highly toxic because of the plastics they use to reinforce the fibers to make them tear-resistant, and because of the plastics and other materials used to seal the sides (if applicable).  Just google “toxic teabag” and “toxic coffee filter” for more info.

My kid doesn’t stay asleep anymore. What can I do?

July 10, 2013

Talk to your doctor.  There can be all sorts of reasons why and a blog can’t answer that.  HOWEVER, if nothing is obviously wrong, ask your doctor if you can try a children’s multivitamin with iron.  Don’t play around with vitamins or your child’s health.  Ask your doctor.  If your child’s doctor won’t respond to a quick email or phone call on a simple question like this, think about getting a new doctor.  Seriously.

A friend of mine just told me that within 3 days of taking a daily children’s multivitamin with iron, her four year old was sleeping through the night for the first time in YEARS.  When she asked some friends who were pediatricians about it, they all said something to the effect of “Oh yeah, that usually works,” and she thought “YOU KNOW I HAVE BEEN SUFFERING AND YOU DID NOT TELL ME?!”

My friend told me this in the midst of a month-or-so-long issue of my 9 year old waking up in the night more often than he ever has before.  I decided to try a basic children’s multivitamin I found in Whole Foods (see picture below), and bam!  He was sleeping through the night again.  I waited more than a week to write this post to see how it would work.  Also, there was one day he forgot to take it, and he was restless during the night and got up once (but went right back to sleep).  I know it’s not hard science or anything, but that was my experience (and that of a friend) and if your doctor thinks it is okay, it’s worth a try.

Multivitamin with Iron

This was the least-offensive children’s multivitamin with iron that I could find during a quick and casual search at Whole Foods.


Where can I find great paleo food?

November 30, 2012

Hu Kitchen

Hu Kitchen

People, let me tell you about a little slice of heaven called Hu on 5th Avenue between 13th and 14th Streets in Manhattan.  It’s all familiar looking food – meatloaf, rotisserie chicken, great looking veggies, soups, coffee, muffins, wine, beer.  But it’s better sourced, more unprocessed, healthier, and more thoughtfully curated.

Muffins

Should I still even bake when I can just buy stuff this good? Srsly, $hi+ just got real here.

You can take your Grandmother, your girlfriend who’s in that Greenpoint noise band, your supplement-popping and highly allergic uncle, and your pretentious college roommate here.  You’re going to be very sorry regarding your choice of dining companions, and they’ll balk at the prices (it’s not cheap), but they will all end up finding something delicious and they will love what they’re eating.  There are actual greens on the juice bar AND they have alkaline water, okay?  And the bread and the muffins are grain-free AND delicious.  What the what?!  I mean really delicious, not just some strange, dense, cardboard-y imitation of a pastry item like grain-free or even gluten-free bread tends to be.  Your grain-loving friends will like it.  Just trust me, fool.

Kale and Ridick Delish Cauliflower Mash

The cauliflower mash (left) is stupid good.

Hu has no table service.  It’s all take-out and self-serve, but there’s plenty of seating.  The design is wood-focused modern minimalist and the music was late 90s Kruder and Dorfmeister-esque slo-beat trip hop (but really, what the hell else are they supposed to play?), so it can be welcoming to some and off-putting to others, but no matter how you view the superficial parts of this place, try the food.

A lot of variety, great combinations.

A lot of variety, great combinations.


Brain supplements?

October 18, 2012

Don’t solely rely on anything I write about supplements for your brain or for anything else.  I am just some random blogger that you should not trust implicitly.  Use blogs, news articles, social media, etc. to get ideas.  Then, talk to real experts and do your own research on those ideas!  Think critically, look behind the claim, try your best to find evidence against the claim, read peer-reviewed journals.  Medical doctors are usually a great source of information as well.*

I met a true expert in brain supplements this afternoon at my favorite natural food and supplement store, Integral Yoga.  His name is Dr. Parris Kidd, and in talking with him at length today, seems to really know what he’s talking about.  Granted, I’m just an aforementioned random blogger, but check out his stuff for yourself.

Dr. Parris Kidd

Dr. Parris Kidd

I didn’t realize it when I was talking to him, but I already knew of him!  A very good friend of mine read Dr. Kidd’s book PS (PhosphatidylSerine) Nature’s Brain Booster A Vital Lipid Nutrient For Memory Mood And Stress and had wonderful success using PS with her daughter who was diagnosed with ADD.  If you have concerns about your own brain health and/or memory, or you have loved ones who suffer from ADD, ADHD, Alzheimer’s or dementia, you should check out what Dr. Kidd has to say.  I think he is working on formulations with Doctor’s Best supplements, and I will definitely be researching their Curcumin, Polyphenols, Natural Brain Enhancers, Best DHA and Magnesium.

Just a note: My own doctor (who is an MD, and is also highly knowledgeable about and respected in the field of complementary and alternative medicine) has recommended Doctor’s Best supplements to me in the past (he doesn’t sell them, nor is he affiliated with the company in any way), so his endorsement also bodes well for the brand, I think.

*  If you are genuinely concerned about your health and will work hard to make it better, and are not just satisfied to take some prescription medication, then you should have a doctor that has ideas about complimentary medicine, supplements, nutrition, exercise, stress management and all of the many natural pillars of health, in addition to current and confirmed knowledge of western medicine as well.  If your doctor skirts the issue, doesn’t take your concerns seriously, suggests little more than prescriptions and OTC medications, find a new doctor.  Prescriptions and western medicine are beneficial and at times, miraculous, but there is a wide, wide world of alternatives.


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