Archive for October, 2014

How to blast through your weight loss plateau

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

If it seems like you work out regularly only to continue to struggle losing weight, you’re not alone. But losing weight in order to improve health may be the wrong approach. First you need to fix what’s holding you back on the inside, so you can see the transformation you want on the outside.

Cliff Edberg cringes every time he hears someone say: I want to lose weight to get healthy. In my opinion that phrase is backward, says Edberg, a registered dietician, personal trainer, and certified weight loss coach at Life Time Fitness, The Healthy Way of Life Company. People need to get healthy first in order to lose weight. Weight gain or being unhealthy isn’t directly caused by a lack of exercise, it’s a side effect of metabolic dysfunction.

Generally people refer to having good metabolism (someone who burns calories quickly) or bad metabolism (a slow caloric burn with leftovers stored in body fat). But metabolism is much more than the rate at which calories are burned. Metabolism is the process of breaking down food into smaller molecules for various uses in the body. Certain foods or ingredients might interfere with a person’s metabolism, as can a lack of nutrients, high blood sugar or an overabundance of stress hormones. This metabolic disruption is often behind a person’s inability to lose weight, even when they are taking steps to eat right and exercise.

Michelle Stork, 43, from Chanhassen, Minn., had resigned herself to creeping weight gain, despite diligently working out for years. As time went on it was easier to gain than lose weight, she recalls. Exercise alone wasn’t taking it off.

She accepted the weight gain as a normal part of getting older, but Edberg, her personal trainer, didn’t. He encouraged her to take a simple blood test to check for underlying metabolic issues. I could see on paper what the problems were and it motivated me to try what my trainer suggested, Stork says. She slowly added recommended supplements, including vitamin D, probiotics and fish oil, which increased her energy, but didn’t affect her weight. The next step was to change her diet.

We discovered a high likelihood that she was sensitive to gluten and dairy, Edberg says. Unlike an allergy, a sensitivity means the hormones derived from the metabolic process of such foods send confusing messages to the brain, which can cause various symptoms, including weight gain. Within a month of eliminating gluten and dairy from her diet Stork lost more than 10 percent body fat and dropped 12 pounds and two sizes.

If someone has a thyroid issue, nutrient deficiency, sex hormone imbalance, etc., they will gain weight Edberg explains. As a certified weight loss coach, he knows that unless the true underlying metabolic issue is addresseda person will not sustainably lose weight. All the exercise in the world will not fix a thyroid issue or nutrient deficiency. In some cases it might make the underlying problem worse.

This inside out approach to personal training is the standard at Life Time Fitness. New members take a comprehensive assessment, called myHealthScore, to measure six metabolic markers – cholesterol ratio, triglycerides, blood pressure, body fat ratio, glucose levels and nicotine use – in order to first set goals based on their internal health.

With information from myHealthScore Edberg says he can make precise exercise, nutrition, lifestyle and supplementation recommendations to support each client’s individual metabolism needs.

Stork is impressed with her results, but the implications go beyond a smaller waist line. Her father suffers from Parkinson’s disease, which looms large in her mind. The steps she is taking now she hopes will prevent a dependence on medication later. I know what may be ahead of me as I get older, and I know I need to start doing things to improve my overall health and fitness to help counter any disease I may develop later in life.

Celebrity chef Seamus Mullen encourages rheumatoid arthritis sufferers to rethink their approach to managing the disease

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

The pain from RA can impact people’s ability to do even the simplest of daily tasks like opening a jar or brushing their teeth. Mullen tried to cope with the disease, but his joint pain became so severe that it started affecting his career as a chef. After a couple of years of living with pain on a regular basis, Mullen knew he had to rethink his approach to managing his RA.

“When I was diagnosed with RA, I felt as if the rug had been pulled out from under me,” says Mullen. “The RA pain was constantly in the background as I was working in my restaurant and I realized I had lowered my expectations for what it meant to feel OK. One day I realized it didn’t have to be this way and I recommitted myself to better managing my disease.”

For Mullen, that meant learning as much about RA as he could, including the clinical tests and measures his doctor used to evaluate his RA. He also started to closely monitor his symptoms and how RA was impacting his daily life – and he shared this information with his doctor.

“I’ve found it critical to have a very open, direct relationship with my doctor,” says Mullen. “I’ve also found it important to share my goals with him to make sure we’re on the same page with my RA management plan. I set short-term goals, which are great because they can be more quickly achieved and make me feel like I’m making progress – these include things like taking a yoga class twice a week. I also set long-term goals to keep me on track for the bigger things I want to accomplish, like growing my business, starting a family, being physically active and taking an even more active role in managing my RA.”

Today, Mullen is reaching out to help other people suffering from RA pain in his role as spokesperson for Rethink RA, a campaign designed to help people with rheumatoid arthritis enhance their understanding of the disease and prepare them to have more meaningful conversations about RA symptom management with their doctor. The campaign offers information and tools in a free RethinKit available at The website also offers Mullen’s top 10 tips for simplifying cooking preparation and recipes that can be prepared in 10 steps or less to make cooking easier for people with RA.

“As a busy chef, I know it can be tough to live with a chronic disease like RA. That’s why I encourage people with RA to check out the website and order the RethinKit – it provides some quick-start resources to help people gain more control over managing their RA,” says Mullen.

While Mullen has achieved many of his professional goals, he knows the work isn’t over. Living with a chronic disease means working hard at managing his RA on a daily basis. His hope for other people living with RA pain is that they, like him, rethink their approach to managing RA and recommit themselves to working with their doctor to better manage their disease.

For more information and to order a free RethinKit, please visit This campaign is sponsored by Pfizer. Inc.

New baby checklist: Tips to start securing your child’s future

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

According to, the nation’s leading website for free legal information, the first and most important step is obtaining an official birth certificate. This document is the gateway to obtaining other important documentation throughout life, such as a Social Security number, a state-issued photo I.D. or a passport.

Here are additional tips from that every new parent should consider:

Get a Social Security number: Many hospitals allow you to apply for a Social Security number at the same time they are recording your child’s birth. You’ll need the number for a variety of reasons, from declaring your new child as a dependent on your federal and state income taxes to setting up education savings and retirement accounts. Child identity theft is a growing problem, so be sure to safeguard this information.

Obtain custodial rights: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of four first-born babies is born to an unmarried couple living together. In nearly every state, the mother has 100 percent custody rights until paternity (identity of the father) is established. It’s in the child’s financial interest to confirm paternity to guarantee that the father helps support the child financially until he or she turns 18. On the other side, if the father wants to guarantee visitation rights or have a say in how the child is raised, it’s in his interest to initiate the paternity process.

Sign up your child for health insurance: Immediately add your child as a dependent on your health insurance plan. If you don’t have coverage, research options online or through your state. Remember, it will be mandatory for everyone to have coverage with the passage of the Affordable Health Care Act.

Consider term life insurance: A customized term life insurance policy can help cover expenses in the event that you or your spouse unexpectedly dies before your child reaches adulthood. You also may consider purchase coverage to pay off your home or any debts.

Select a legal guardian: The other issue to settle in the unexpected death of a parent is to choose a legal guardian in your will. This person would assume legal responsibility for your child until adulthood. Before you designate someone for this, talk to the person to see if he or she is willing to accept the responsibility. If you don’t have a will, new parents can find an attorney with experience in wills and estates in their local area by visiting

Fingerprint your child: While it is horrifying to imagine, in the event that your child should go missing, fingerprints and a recent photo of your child can assist authorities. There are many kits available online for you to gather and organize this information.

Get your child immunized: Many state laws require that newborns be immunized for a number of childhood-related diseases before they can enter day care or school. Establish a relationship with a pediatrician and make sure that your child is immunized at the recommended stages of growth.

Know your legal rights at work: Check with your employer about policies related to raising a child and how a new child may affect your benefits. Review paid-time off, sick day and other attendance policies so you are prepared for your child’s own sick days, school conferences and other events.

Start saving now: As soon as you receive your new child’s Social Security number, you should immediately consider opening up a 529 savings plan or Coverdell education savings account. Both can be used to cover future qualified educational expenses for your child. Based on the power of compounding returns, investing over a longer period is more effective than waiting until you have a large amount to invest – so even if it’s a small amount, start investing right away.

To learn more about the law, visit.

One fall with osteoporosis can completely change your life

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

(NC)-For a person with osteoporosis, even a minor fall like a slip on the stairs or fall from a seated position can cause a bone to break, leading to decreased independence and even death.


Within the first year of suffering a fracture, one in five women will die of complications related to the fracture. Of those who survive, 40 per cent will suffer from disability. In this case, prevention is the best medicine.


The good news is that it is possible to make simple changes inside the home to reduce risks of falls, like this:


Living rooms and hallways


• Keep hallways clear and free from clutter and obstacles by moving coffee tables, plant stands and magazine racks away from high-traffic areas.


• Choose non-slip rugs or add a non-slip pad under all area rugs.


• Anchor electrical cords close to the walls and ensure there are no loose extension cords.




• Wooden staircases should have a carpet runner for traction.


• Ensure there is handrail that is sturdy and easy to grip.



• Keep the kitchen organized so that everything is easy to access.


• Wipe up liquid, grease or food spills in the kitchen immediately.



• Use non-slip bath mats to absorb splashes and add slip-resistant stickers to the tub.




• Install outdoor lights at all entrances to the home and ensure the lighting is bright enough to see clearly at night.


• During winter months, ensure the driveway and entrances are shoveled and salted.


More information is available by talking to your doctor, or online at

Proactive parents and teachers can help keep kids safe online

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Most kids associate October with the scares related to the traditional Halloween standbys – ghosts, witches and zombies. But, the month also marks National Cyber Security Awareness month, calling attention to frightening things like online identity theft, cyber bullying, viruses and damaging malware.

If your teen is among the 93 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds using your family’s laptop, smartphone or tablet to surf the Internet, they are vulnerable to multiple cyber threats, many of which could be detrimental.

Moreover, teens do not realize the abundance of threats awaiting them, nor do they recognize a tweet or photo upload can impact not only their reputation and future, but their safety, as well. Microsoft’s research shows that 55 percent of teens say they give little or no thought to the consequences of posting something online.

And, according to a recent survey, 1 in 4 parents are overwhelmed by technology and just hope for the best.

As hackers continue plotting attacks, the increase in vulnerability among teens is likely, but parents may not realize they are actually the first line of defense in keeping their families safe online, says Linda McCarthy, cyber security expert, former senior director of Internet safety at Symantec and author of Own Your Space: Keep Yourself and Your Stuff Safe Online.

The increase in prospective cyber threats provides opportunities in the career field of cyber security. If your teen enjoys spending time online, it’s never too early to begin discussing the education required to enter this field.

Cyber security related fields are projected to grow more than 28 percent by 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. DeVry University, which has partnered with McCarthy to provide complimentary copies of the Own Your Space eBook to parents, teachers and teens, recognizes the growing need for professionals with the skills required to protect individuals and organizations from cyberattacks. By also partnering with technology leaders like Cisco and Microsoft, its students are provided with a mix of relevant theoretical and hands-on education.

For concerned parents and teachers, McCarthy offers the following advice to help protect teens online:

1. Protect equipment. Install and update antivirus software, spyware protection and firewalls.

2. Realize social networking sites are here to stay. Review your teen’s Facebook and Twitter profiles. Make sure they do not display personal information such as full names, addresses or school names.

3. Boost password strength. Utilize a mixture of letters, numbers and characters. And most importantly, never share passwords with anyone.

Cyber security is a moving target, and as threats develop daily, it’s imperative for parents and teachers to educate teens about these dangers. The goal is to inform and educate teens, not scare them about the dangers of sharing information online, says McCarthy. By protecting your family’s devices and empowering teens with the information needed to recognize impending threats, cyber sabotage is avoidable.

To download a complimentary copy of Linda McCarthy’s eBook, Own Your Space: Keep Yourself and Your Stuff Safe Online, visit