Sunday, December 14, 2008

New Study Ties Hormone Use to Breast Cancer

This article states that those who take menopause hormones such as estrogen and progestin pills, for as little as a few years, run a greater risk of contracting cancer than someone who does not use hormones. However, a study has proven that women who quit taking hormones, will be able to reach the normal level of getting cancer again, within approximately two years of quitting. For a long time, doctors have believed that estrogen and progestin pills would prevent heart disease, bone loss, and several other problems that occur after menopause. However, this has been proven to be untrue as researchers have found that heart problems and breast cancer are much more prevalent in women who take estrogen and progestin pills. Basically, it all comes down to the fact that women should really try to avoid these pills as much as possible, only using them if they experience symptoms such as severe hot flashes. And, if one feels a strong need to use them, they should only be taken in small doses for a short amount of time. Since these studies have been performed, there has been a 70% drop in the use of hormone products in the general population. In addition to a drop in pill use, there has also been a significant drop in breast cancer cases.
With all of the results from the different studies, proving that the risk of getting breast cancer is significant if you take these hormone pills, I have a strong desire to avoid those kinds of pills at all cost. It does not seem worth it at all to me. Also, if I know anybody who is taking these pills, I want them to become aware of the statistics, so they can rethink about allowing those pills to enter into their body. Hopefully the results will become more well-known, and doctors will inform patients of the risks of the pills before prescibing them.

To read more, the link to this post is

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Pregnancy is a very long, special, complicated process that many women fail to learn much about until long after they become pregnant, or not at all, causing innocent babies to suffer severe consequences. When a women becomes pregnant, she must change her diet by cutting out alcohol, smoking, drugs, caffeine, and certain medications. If a mother fails to do so, the baby may develop severe deformities and mental issues. In addition, to help the baby grow properly, the mother must eat 300 calories more than usual, so the baby obtains the nutrients it needs. An expectant woman should gain a healthy amount of weight during pregnancy, such as 25-35 pounds. A lot more or less than that can be very unhealthy for the baby as well as for the mother. There are several supplements and prenatal vitamins, such as Folic Acid and Iron, that should be taken while pregnant to ensure proper growth, development, and health for the mother and child. This is such an important topic to be aware of as many women will experience child bearing sometime in their life, and they must know how to properly take care of themselves, and their precious baby. It was very interesting learning all this stuff, because my mom has carried and given birth to ten healthy children, and I really owe my good health to her. If she was uneducated about it, there could have been many complications and abnormalities in her children. I think women today take pregnancy too lightly and mess around at young ages, causing unwanted pregnancies, and sudden responsibility for the life of a precious human being.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Why Family Meals Matter

I found this interesting article entitled "Why Family Meals Matter." It is written by Karen Ansel. I wanted to read more about it because my mom has always been really good about cooking healthy, delicious, homemade meals almost every night of the week, and I feel very spoiled by her incredible baking and cooking abilities. I definitely feel that this daily ritual or tradition of eating homemade meals as a family, has kept our family of ten children really close together. It is impossible for everyone to be there every night, especially for the older married couples, but growing up, it was just expected to have dinner together every night. Now the married kids have children of their own that they have incorporated this tradition with as well. And, my favorite nights are the ones where the whole entire family is able to get together about once a month to have family dinner. There is just something about it that makes it really special and happy.
This article basically explains just this-that family is the most valuable thing in our lives and we need to cherish the moments we are able to spend with them. In addition to building closer, better relationships with our family members through eating meals together, Dawn Jackson Blatner states that "Families who eat together have healthier, more balanced diets." This is definitely true for my family because we have grown up on the healthy foods my mom prepared for us. If she had made us fend for ourselves all the time, then we definitely would not have eaten anywhere near as nutritionally as we should have. Dawn Jackson Blatner adds, "Making family mealtime a priority not only improves everyone's physical health, but it also contributes to their overall well-being and mental health." Many studies have been done on people who eat family meals and those who rarely do. A surprisingly high amount (93%) of family meals are cooked at home. This was kind of surprising to me for this day and age, but it's good to hear that. I really like this quote by the author, Karen Ansel, "More meals prepared and eaten together means better nutrition, more control over what's eaten, and less weight gain for the whole family." I think she hit it right on the head. To me, this just makes sense. A study result that I found very interesting is that adolescents who frequently share meals with their families eat more fruits and vegetables and less fried food, saturated fat, and trans fat, and also consume more calcium, iron, folate, fiber, and vitamins C, E, B6, and B12.
I'm really glad I read this article and I think everyone should read it because it just shows the importance of family meals and how it affects people throughout their lifetime. I have been fortunate enough to have been blessed with this wonderful tradition of eating with the family since I was just a baby, but I feel sorry for those who have never experienced, or rarely get to experience it.
To read more, the link to this post is

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Psychological Conditions

This week we learned about a few different eating disorders. I learned some interesting and scary things about them. For example, althouh they occur often in teenage girls, there are more and more adult women developing eating disorders. This puts an unwanted stress on the whole family. Also, no matter what kind of eating disorder someone may have, the first thing they are taught when they seek help, is how to eat properly. This is such an important health issue to be aware of, as potentially anybody could develop a disorder like anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or binge eating, if they are not careful. A lot of these disorders are caused by the stresses of life, and I haven't met anybody yet who is completely free of stress. Also, there is so much pressure from the world to have the perfect body, when in reality, the stuff on tv and in magazines are fake. I feel very sad for anyone who suffers from these kinds of psychological conditions, as it is not that easy to break those habits, or to retrain your mind to accept your body how it is. I don't personally know anybody with an eating condition, but I want to do everything I can to not only prevent myself from ever developing a disorder, but to help prevent my close friends and family from ever developing one. I think that these kinds of disorders happen so often in America, because of all the pressure that is placed on people, especially teenage girls, to obtain the perfect body or nobody will ever love them. I hope those who have any type of disorder will realize the dangers of it and will not be afraid to ask for help.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

How Some Women Never Get Sick

This article is entitled, "How Some Women Never Get Sick." It is written by Alicia Potter from the Health Magazine.
It has a pretty catchy title, right? That's what I thought when I saw it as a health article. What woman wouldn't want to know how to prevent herself from getting sick? I sure want to know the secret. Well, this article gave 7 secrets to staying healthy. The first one is to get a monthly massage. Mindy Hardwick said she gets a massage every month and has been able to decrease her stress level, and therefore, build a high immunity to the stomach flu and other illnesses. Now, that sounds like a pretty good reason to get a massage to me!
The second secret is to take cold showers. Gwendolyn Witherspoon states that this helps keep her cold-free, her skin glowing, and her energy level higher than ever, but one must be careful when doing this, as a sudden chill can cause a spike in blood pressure. Witherspoon limits her 10-minute cold showers to the summer months and in the winter, she takes a 1-minute cold blast at the end of a regular shower. I don't really enjoy cold showers, so this one may be a challenge for me, but it sounds like it's worth a try.
Third, treat GI problems with ginger. Gwynne Berry sips her homemade remedy- a few slices of peeled ginger and honey in a mug of hot water- to regulate her digestive system. It works within 3 hours and does not have negative side effects. Berry also used it during her pregnancies and had little morning sickness. I've never tried this, but it would be interesting to test it out.
Fourth, lather up a lot. Chris Pope Campbell washes her hands several times a day to get rid of unwanted germs collected from various places. She rarely gets sick with a cold or the stomach flu. Anybody can easily do this, it's just a matter of actually going to the sink and washing.
The fifth secret to staying healthy is to try a cold-blasting cocktail at the first signs of illness. A lady named Jenny Spring drinks a vitamin C mixture called Emergen-C and takes zinc just as a cold is starting, to prevent it from growing worse. She doesn't even remember the last time she had a cold, because she always fights it off at the very first signs.
Sixth, eat more garlic. A woman named Susan Spain hasn't been sick since 1992. She credits it to eating a clove of raw garlic right after breakfast every day. That sounds kind of crazy to me, but Spain says she quarters it and puts it in applesauce so it's easier to swallow and doesn't upset her stomach. Garlic is full of antioxidants that boost immunity and fight inflammation, so maybe I'll just start with taking garlic capsules daily instead of eating it raw.
Finally, the seventh secret is to stay positive! In addition to her cold-blasting cocktails, Jenny Spring tells herself that she refuses to be sick at the first sign of illness. Studies have shown that having a positive attitude produces greater amounts of flu antibodies. So, I guess I need to work on thinking positively rather than dwelling on the negative side of things, even if I am sick, and it will hopefully help me not get as sick.
I really like this article. I learned a lot of useful ways to avoid getting sick, which will be very helpful as I try to balance so many things in my life. I often find myself over-stressed with school and work, so hopefully I can learn to reduce my stress, to prevent falling ill throughout the semester.
The link to this article is

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Essential Nutrients

I plan on majoring in Nutrition and I enjoy learning about it, so this section was very interesting to me. I enjoyed learning about the fats the most. I always knew that there were different kinds of fats, some good and some bad, but I didn't really understand why some are okay, while others should be avoided. Saturated fats, from animal sources are okay, but should definitely be limited. Unsaturated fats, from plants are actually rather good for you, but of course they should be eaten in moderation, as should everything else. But, trans fats are really no good at all, in fact, they should be avoided if at all possible, as they are synthetic, man-made chemicals.
This is so important for people to be aware of, as the stores are full of products made with trans fats, and many people have no idea how badly it is harming their bodies. Personally, I think it's kind of ridiculous that the food companies are allowed to practically sneak this chemical into foods without any warnings on the packages. So, this just makes it that much more important for every individual to learn about and study nutrition, to not only maintain good health for themselves, but for their families. America as a society, would be so much healthier if only people would take a little time to learn about harmful things on store shelves, such as trans fats.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

About Celesta!

My name is Celesta Brinkerhoff and this is the beginning of my second year at MCC! I am the fifth out of 10 children and I love it, as there is never a dull moment. I am really excited about this class and I've come to realize there are several things I could work on improving in my life, to make me a healthier person.
One of my worst habits is sleeping in until the last minute possible, which usually causes me to be late everywhere I go. I'm tired of running all around the house trying to get everything done, and being stressed that I don't have enough time to do it all, and then rushing to my car panicked because I know I'm going to be late...again. Therefore, I plan on changing this aweful behavior by getting myself out of bed by 6:30 am on the days I have classes, which are Tuesdays and Thursdays, and getting up and ready at least 2 hours before I need to go anywhere else on any other given day. There will be a lot of other things I need to do which will affect this, like going to bed early and not procrastinating homework, so I can actually get to bed early, and a few other things. I sure hope I can accomplish this big goal.
I am planning on majoring in Nutrition, so overall I'm very thrilled about this class. I often find myself stressed out which causes me to be mentally, emotionally, and often physically unhealthy. So, I'm really looking forward to learning about stress and finding some good ways to cope with it. I have a feeling that Iwill be a lot less stressed as I give myself more time to get ready in the mornings, and I really think it will help me feel better in the long run. Overall, I hope this class helps me to become a happier, healthier person.