Giving Babies Antibiotics May Cause Obesity Later in Life

The negative effects of penicillin on good gut bacteria early in life may make it easier for children to become obese when they are older.

A study has found a possible link between giving young children antibiotics and them developing obesity later in life. The study focused on penicillin’s effects; however, the problem appears not to be caused by penicillin itself, but rather by the damage it does to certain types of good bacteria in the digestive tract.

The study, by microbiologist Martin Blaser at New York University, was conducted on mice. It adds to other studies, which found that children who were given antibiotics before 6 months of age were more likely to be overweight at 7 years old. Blaser believes there’s a “window of time” during which penicillin can have the greatest consequences on good bacteria. He thinks it’s somewhere between 6 months and 3 years old.

Approximately 100 trillion bacteria live in and on the typical human. As we’ve learned in recent years, part of a healthy life includes good microbes. Blaser’s study found that disruption of the “microbiome” of the mice during their first month of life resulted in 25 percent more weight later. It also appeared to worsen the effects of a high-fat diet, and males were affected more than females.

The question for parents is: Should you keep your sick child off antibiotics because of these results? No, says Naveed Sattar, professor of metabolic medicine at Glasgow University. While the results are interesting, he says, “Antibiotics in children or newborns should be given on the basis of clinical needs, whereas the usual advice about lifestyle remains the most important means to tackle obesity.”

Blaser agrees, to a point. “If a kid is very ill, there is no question that they should get antibiotics, but if it’s marginal, perhaps the doctor should be saying, ‘Let’s wait a day or two’ before taking another look. Doctors give out antibiotics thinking they won’t do any harm, but this provides evidence that they might,” Blaser says.

On a related matter, the federal government is taking steps to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria, one result of overprescribing antibiotics. President Obama recently signed an executive order outlining instructions to federal departments and agencies. Part of the order reads, “Controlling the development and spread of antibiotic resistance is a top national security and public health priority.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says antibiotic-resistant infections are associated with 23,000 deaths and 2 million illnesses in the United States each year.

How to eat at a restaurant on a diet How to survive without blowing your diet!

Eating out is one of America’s great past times, so don’t avoid restaurants when dieting! Eating out is fun and relaxing. You can eat out and eat healthy, too. Many restaurants offer delicious low-fat, low-cholesterol meals. The most important thing you can do is to be aware of healthy choices and to make wise choices. As with all things, moderation and sensibility are keys to success with any diet. Remember not to deprive yourself of the foods you love. All foods can fit into a well-balanced diet.

You need to give up 3,500 calories a week for your body to release one (1) pound of fat. Now don’t panic! 3,500 divided by 7 days is only 500 calories per day. 

To loose that 500 calories a day, you can either eat 500 less calories or burn 500 more calories by exercising.  Or, to make it an easier goal to achieve, eat 250 calories less, and burn 250 calories more a day by exercising. Doesn’t this sound simple?

Linda’s Diet Statement:

Eat to live, don’t live to eat!  I hate or dislike (hate is a strong word) the above statement because I am a true “foodie” who loves good food.  I still love good food and always will.  I just try to be selective in what foods I choose to eat at any given time. 

You can fit most of your favorite dishes in your diet if you make some adjustments in the ingredients.  Sometimes though, you just can’t make ingredient adjustments to have the true taste of the dish.  My saying has always been “If something is worth doing, it is worth doing right!” With that being said and off my mind, I am doing my best to lose weight at a safe and reasonable rate.

Another thing I do, is to allot myself some dark chocolate everyday.  As dark chocolate is low in calories, this satisfies my craving.  One ounce of dark chocolate is approximately 136 calories. One ounce of chocolate is a lot of chocolate! You can have your chocolate and eat it too! Check out my article Dark Chocolate is Healthy Chocolate.

My husband and I enjoy going out to dinner and trying new restaurants.  We have a “date night” every Friday together.  I do my best to apply the rules on this page for choosing my entrees. Because we do it only one night a week, I’m not real strict with myself. The next day though, I am back on my diet.  This keeps me from feeling deprived!

If I’m invited to a special dinner, I will eat what is set in front of me. I will not tell the host or hostess that I’m on a diet. This only makes the them uncomfortable after working hard to prepare a grand meal. I find that I can continue my weight loss as long as I immediately get back on the diet the next day.

Always remember – if you break your diet on one day, get right back on the diet immediately the next day!
Diet Dining Secrets:

Never arrive at a restaurant hungry! Hungry people make bad ordering decisions.

Eat an apple before you go out to dinner to help control your hunger.

Savor your food rather than stuff yourself. By eating a little of the food you really love, keeps you from feeling deprived and makes you a happier person. Do not eat anything on your plate that you do not like! You do not have to clean your plate! Try to never finish everything on your place. Do your best to leave 1/2 of the food on your place. Either take the rest home or let someone else at the table eat it.

Alcoholic Beverages – Alcohol can stimulate your appetite. Plus the calories (almost 200 calories per ounce) in alcohol can add up fast. Order a glass of wine and sip slowly on it through your dinner. Drink lots of water as your eat to quench your thirst and help you nurse your alcohol drink.

Eating Breakfast Out

Eat the higher protein foods such as eggs, bacon, sausage, and ham. Soak up the extra grease on your plate or the entree with a paper towel or napkin.

Breads: If you need some carbs, go for a slice or two of whole grain, sourdough or rye toast. If you have only biscuits to choose from, eat half the biscuit.

Fruits: As most buffets have fruit, choose the apples, pears, grapefruits, strawberries, and/or blueberries because they are lower in sugar. Avoid fruit juices because they are filled with excess sugar, calories, and sodium.

Coffee: Use only a little bit of real sugar in your coffee and if you have to, use a very little bit of creamer.

Eating Lunches and Dinner Out

Rule 1: Eat something healthy a short time before going out to a restaurant. If you arrive at the restaurant hungry, you’ll be more inclined to overeat.

Rule 2: Eat slowly and savor each bit. Enjoy the conversation at the table. Put your knife and fork down between bites. Don’t pick it up again until you’ve completely swallowed the last bite – allow your body time to digest.

Rule 3: Be the first to order at the table. This way you won’t be tempted by what others order.

Tip: Order from the appetizer menu. The appetizer plates are smaller than the dinner plates and you will eat less. If you are still hungry, order a side salad to help fill your tummy.

Beware: Portion sizes in restaurants can be more than you need. If you receive too large a portion, eat only half. When you feel full, stop eating. You do not need to finish your meal. Just because it is there does not mean you have to eat it! Ask for a takeout box or doggy bag and take it home for another meal. Keep your portions under control when you are out to eat. Try to never eat until full, but only satisfied!

Drink Water: Good ways to avoid sugar-filled drinks is to get water or unsweetened tea. Drink a lot of water before your meals to make you fuller and less likely to eat too much.

Alcoholic Drink: If possible, avoid alcoholic drinks as they are high in calories. If you want an alcoholic beverage, stick to moderation. That means, in general, one (1) drink a day for women, two (2) drinks a day for men.

Start with Soup or Salad: Filling your empty stomach with soup or salad before a meal is a good way to keep you from bingeing on your entrée later. Be selective. A clear, broth-based soup with vegetables is particularly good as an appetizer because soups in general tends to decrease your appetite. Most soups are low in calories and will fill you up, so you eat less. Soup takes a long time to eat, its filling, its low calorie, and it’s good for you.

Salads: A garden salad also helps hold you over until your entrée arrives. When you order a salad, go for the vinaigrette dressings or your own oil and vinegar dressing. Most restaurant carry a low-fat dressing. You can ask for dressings to be served separately or on the side, and dip your fork lightly in the dressing to eat with each bite. This way, you have control over how much or how little you add. Beware of the chicken Caesar salad, as it is often higher in fat and calories than a cheeseburger.

Diet Dining Secret: Order a salad or a vegetable side dish with your meat. Eat it before you eat your entree to help fill you up.

Things to remember when ordering a salad:

1 tablespoon of grated cheese adds 28 calories and 2 grams of fat.

1 tablespoon of bacon bits adds 30 calories and 1 gram of fat.

1 tablespoon of salad dressing adds 60 to 90 calories and 6 to 9 grams of fat.
Bread: Plain bread or yeast rolls are relatively low in fat and calories. It is the butter and oil you add that increases the fat and calories. You can eat the bread, but leave out the butter! Limit yourself to one slice only. Most of us inhale the bread basket while waiting for our entrée.

Appetizers: Healthy appetizers would be shrimp cocktail without crackers, stuffed mushrooms, or a few broiled or baked chicken wings with a little hot sauce.

Diet Dining Secret:
Order two (2) appetizers instead of an appetizer and an entree for your meal.

Main Entrée: When out to eat, usually the more expensive the steak, the less fat it contains. Avoid anything with “fried” or “creamy” in the name. They are a quick way to double the fat, calories, and even carbohydrates (especially from breading). Order grilled, broiled, baked, or boiled. Trim visible fat off meat and poultry. Remember, a 3-ounce portion of meat is about the size of the palm of your hand.

Make a grilled chicken sandwich healthy by ordering it without mayonnaise or butter. Instead use a mustard.

If you have to have a hamburger, then eat it without half the bread and load it with lettuce, tomato, and mustard and no mayonnaise.

If you cannot turn down a very fattening meal when you are over at a friend’s house or at a dinner party, then just eat a little and do a few more minutes of cardio that evening or the next day.

Avoid those pasta plates that have very little protein, but has fattening sauce and full of carbohydrates. If you must have pasta, look for tomato-based sauces rather than cream-based sauces. Tomato-based sauces are much lower in fat and calories.

Avoid fried foods whenever possible! Your arteries will thank you!

If you have a choice of side dishes, choose a baked potato or steamed vegetables rather than French fries. Even if choices are not listed, ask your server to substitute vegetables or a baked potato for French fries.

Diet Dining Secret:  Split the entree with your dining companion or take 1/2 of it home.

: Leave a little time for your food to digest before you order a dessert. Give your stomach time to send signals to your brain you are full (it takes about 20 minutes). If you still want a dessert, consider splitting it with one of your companions. Remember, half the dessert equals half the calories.

Some healthy choice desserts include sorbet, a yogurt dish, fruits, or melon. Another idea for dessert could be a cup of coffee with a small scoop of ice cream as your creamer.

Soothe Your Skin with the Right Moisturiser

Everyone has used moisturiser in their lifetime, and most, especially younger men and women, believe they don’t need it until their skin begins to show irritation. Whether you buy it in a jar or a tube, you should apply the cream once or twice a day. A little-known secret is that lotion can only work so hard on its own, and if used incorrectly, is about as useless as that bottle of vitamins you bought and left to collect dust. Just a few small changes to your morning and evening routine will make all the difference in the health of your skin. In order to get the most out of your moisturiser, boost the hydration of your skin and prevent flaking and dullness, consider these simple tips.

Consider Your Skin Type

Your skin is unique to you, and you should make sure your moisturiser has your best interest at heart. If you have dry, flaky skin and the usual moisturiser was not enough to treat it, you may need to research ointments such as Dermeze. These are clinically proven products capable of rejuvenating your dry or cracked skin over time. The ability to moisturise is, naturally, the first thing you should look for when buying a moisturiser. Look at the humectants, which are imperative for a long lasting lotion, such as glycerine, hyaluronic acid, and propylene glycol. Your moisturiser need only have one of these ingredients to be effective, so don’t worry if you find only one on the ingredient list.

Layer Complementary Products

As with the product previously mentioned, there are a number of variants available with the idea that you should utilise them at once and in a specific order. Start with the thinnest consistency and work up to the thickest consistency. Think of it as a painting. If you start with your deepest, richest colours and move to the lightest, the darker colours take over the light and dull them. Instead, lay down your most vibrant, clear colours first, and then follow them with the thicker, bolder paint. With moisturiser, Serums first, then oils, and finally, creams. This is to create the optimised effect and increase the amount of product your skin absorbs.

A Change of Season is not a Call to War

Your routine worked all year long to protect your skin from the hottest days of the summer, so why should the cooler months mean a change must be made? If the cooler months are overly harsh on your skin in spite of your routine, a thicker lotion is your best choice rather than a new routine altogether. Remember the importance of layered products and how much better hydration is with a series of products on your side. There are entire skin care lines available to combat even the driest of skin and bring the natural beauty of your face to the forefront. It is never too late to boost the healthy glow of your skin, so take a look online and research products designed with you in mind.

Healthy habits for a healthy life12 tips

You can help your child establish healthy behaviour, eating and activity habits from birth. If these habits are established early as part of your family’s lifestyle – a natural part of the way you do things – you won’t have to bring in unpopular ‘rules’ later.

Maintaining healthy habits from the start can help your whole family avoid lifestyle problems that can occur later in life, such as overweight and obesity, type-2 diabetes, types of cancer and high blood pressure.

Here are 12 tips to help you and your family with a healthy lifestyle

1. Promote healthy eating in your home
Children are more likely to develop healthy eating behaviours when they’re given a choice of healthy foods at home, so put healthy foods on your shopping list and prepare nutritional meals and snacks for the whole family. Having fewer unhealthy foods (like soft drinks, chips, lollies and snack bars) in your cupboard means you won’t have to ‘police’ what your children eat.

2. As a family, remind yourselves of the basic foods
These are fruit, vegetables, wholegrain cereals, lean meats and fish, and low-fat dairy foods. Make your shopping list from these groups so it will be easier to prepare family meals that include them

3.  Be aware of serving size
This way you can prepare suitable amounts of food for your family. Preparing the right amount discourages you from coming back for seconds or putting too much on your plates. Children who are allowed to follow their own appetite will generally choose the right amount of food for their needs.

4.  Make a distinction between ‘everyday’ and ‘sometimes’ foods
‘Everyday’ food is the healthy stuff, whereas ‘sometimes’ food is the not-so-healthy stuff that’s high in fat or sugar and doesn’t have many essential nutrients. You might enjoy this kind of food, but eat it only occasionally. Talk to your child about the difference between ‘everyday’ and ‘sometimes’ food.

5.  Establish healthy eating routines
Healthy eating isn’t only about food choices – it’s also about eating on a regular, predictable basis in a social way. For example, it’s important to:

  • eat breakfast every day
  • eat regular meals and several snacks throughout the day
  • eat meals together at the table or kitchen bench, rather than in front of the TV (many parents also find mealtimes are more pleasant and less stressful when the TV is off)
  • allow enough time so meals can be eaten in a relaxed and unhurried way.

6.  Praise children when they choose healthy foods
You can also remind them of the benefits of healthy eating. Try to avoid nagging or making eating a battle or power struggle. You’re more likely to encourage healthy habits by making mealtimes fun – you can do this by giving your younger child some positive feedback (sometimes called descriptive praise). For example, you could try saying, ‘Wow, you picked a banana for morning tea! Delicious’. You could also say things like, ‘Drinking milk helps keep your bones strong’.

Involve your older child in making healthy lunch box and snack selections. Encourage him to prepare these foods by himself, and ask him to help you prepare family meals. Have a variety of healthy foods available for your child to choose from, so you don’t have to worry about his choices.

7. Make physical activity part of everyday life
Many people think being active means playing sport or doing strenuous exercise, but that’s only one way of being active. For example, you can encourage your child to walk instead of taking the car a short distance, walk the dog instead of watching TV, and use stairs instead of lifts or escalators in shopping centres. Be a role model and choose being active to show your child how easy it can be. Take a moment to notice and comment when your child chooses everyday physical activity.

You can also encourage everyday physical activity by saying things like:

  • ‘It’s time to play outside now.’
  • ‘The dog needs some practice fetching. It’d be great if you could go outside and throw the ball to her.’
  • ‘Let’s walk to the shop.’
  • ‘Wow, you’ve been jumping on the trampoline for ages.’
  • ‘You did a fantastic job pulling the weeds out of the garden. It’s great when you help.’
  • ‘You rode a really long way on your bike today. Well done!’8.  Enjoy physical activity as a family
    You could ride bikes together, or have a family visit to the park to throw a frisbee or kick a football. Talk about these as fun activities rather than exercise. Outdoor play is generally more active than indoor play, so make the most of outdoor time.

    9.  Give children – older children especially – opportunities to try different sports and ways to be active
    This could include various sports or activities at school or outside school hours. If your child can find a sport or activity she really enjoys, you won’t need to push her to be active (on the other hand, sometimes children who are forced to exercise or participate in activities they don’t enjoy can develop a negative attitude to physical activity). Support your child by watching her play, and make it easy for her to take part by taking her to games and training. This is great encouragement and can increase the likelihood she’ll stay involved.

    You can read more in our article on encouraging a positive attitude to sport.

    10.   Limit the time your child spends on screen-based activities
    This includes time spent watching TV and DVDs, and playing computer and other electronic games. Our article on screen time and children has current Australian guidelines on screen time for children of different ages.

    11. Encourage your child to value his body for what it can do, rather than how it looks
    Try not to draw too much attention to your child’s weight, even if you’re worried about it. If you discuss weight with your child, use terms like ‘healthiest weight’, rather than ‘overweight’, ‘obese’ or even ‘fat’. A healthy body image is especially important for teenagers, who might be thinking a lot about how their body looks.

    12. Set a good example
    Parents who have a healthy diet and are physically active are much more likely to encourage the same habits in their children. Keep in mind the power of modelling – your child learns mostly from what you do yourself, not from what you tell her to do. Practise what you preach!

Scientists May Have Cured Second U.S. Baby with HIV

Five Canadian babies are also showing no signs of virus after treatment

Babies born with HIV now have hope because scientists may have found a way to eliminate the virus from their bodies.

A second U.S. baby and five more in Canada have possibly been cured of the virus that leads to AIDS. No traces of the virus have been found in the children’s systems after receiving treatment.

“This could lead to major changes for two reasons,” says Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, executive director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “Both for the welfare of the child and because it is a huge proof of concept that you can cure someone if you can treat them early enough.”

The first instance of a cure was found two years ago when a Mississippi baby was diagnosed with the virus. Just 30 hours after birth, the infant was transported to the University of Mississippi Medical Center and was started on antiretroviral treatment. Doctors prescribed three aggressive drugs immediately after birth, which proved to make the difference.

Initial levels of the virus were high, and they decreased in the first month. After the initial testing, the virus was detected three times, but it became undetectable by one month of age. The child and mother were unreachable for more testing for one year, and during that time the child did not receive treatment. The child returned for testing at 23 months old, and viral loads were miraculously still undetectable. Today, at 3 years old, the child is still HIV free.

“This could prevent a lifetime of treatment,” says Dr. Rowena Johnston, director of The Foundation for AIDS Research. “We want people to understand just how game changing this may be.”

In the most recent case, a baby girl born in California was treated immediately after birth, just like the first baby in Mississippi. And also like the Mississippi case, the California baby’s mother did not take her HIV medicine to protect her newborn from the disease, prompting doctors to take immediate action. Nine months later, the California baby is still on three medications, but remains HIV free.

Virologist Dr. Deborah Persaud, who has run ultrasensitive tests on both U.S. children in her lab at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, believes that it is incorrect to label the baby as “cured” or “in remission” since she is still on the drugs for treatment. But, because the most sensitive blood tests can find no virus capable of replicating, she describes the baby as “having sero-reverted to HIV negative.”

“We don’t know if the baby is in remission, but it looks like that,” says Dr. Yvonne Bryson, Mattell Children’s Hospital UCLA specialist who is working with the California infant.

Canadian doctors are now working with similar treatments and at least five more babies are in the same position as the California and Mississippi babies, showing no signs of any infection.

“Some of the early treated children exhibited sustained virologic suppression, meaning that their HIV viral load continues to be undetectable,” says Hugo Soudeyns, microbiologist from Ste-Justine Hospital in Montreal.

Preliminary data for the Canadian babies will be presented at a scientific conference in May.

According to UNAIDS, more than 260,000 children were infected globally with HIV either at birth or through breastfeeding in 2012.

“Really, the only way we can prove that we have accomplished remission in these kids is by taking them off treatment and that’s not without risk,” Persaud says. “This is a call to action for us to mobilize and be able to learn from these cases.”

Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Pregnancy

vvIn this millennium we are developing a world community devoted to higher awareness and optimal health. We are questioning the wisdom of high-tech genetically engineered foods. We are returning to good old-fashioned whole foods.

A healthy mother equals a healthy baby. An investment made in healthy living during pregnancy creates benefits that the baby will reap for his or her entire life.

I urge mothers in this country to take advantage of the availability of organic grains and produce. It’s a shame these wholesome foods are more costly. However consider it an investment in your family’s health. What does poor health really cost? Clearly a bundle.

  • Drink plenty of pure water.
  • Eat organic foods, especially leafy greens to build an iron-rich blood supply.
  • Eat an organic source of protein morning and evening. Vegetarians can do this.
  • Pay attention to getting enough vitamins and minerals. Growing a baby is a full-time job; love your body and she’ll do that job well.
  • For your growing baby’s optimum brain development, be sure to eat foods rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils. Sardines are an inexpensive food, gathered in the deep waters of the ocean and therefore less polluted, as well as rich in Omega 6. Flax oil is a good vegetarian source of Omega 3. If you don’t eat fish, generously splash flax oil on your food, daily.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Balance rest with activity. A nice walk in the woods hand in hand with your baby’s father is a powerful medicine.
  • Seek fantastic, regular prenatal care from a health provider who is keen on nutrition and respects your values.
  • Avoid pollutants and any negative influence.
  • Meditate, pray, love, dance and sing.


Senior Home Care

There are many options available to senior citizens when it comes to living out their lives. They can live in their own private homes, move into an adult-oriented community, get help at an assisted living centre, or receive full-time care at a nursing home. All of these options are used every day by people and families to make sure the Golden Years are the best years. But one option that many people never consider is senior home care. This option can bring a number of benefits that the other choices cannot provide. This is just a few of the reasons to choose senior home care.

1. The Comforts of Home

For many people, a house is more than simply walls and rooms, it’s an extremely important place with plenty of significance. Memories turn houses into homes and leaving can often be difficult, complex, and upsetting. With senior home care, however, the help you need comes to the home, not the other way around. This means you can still enjoy the home that’s so important to you and your family, and still get the essential services required.

2. Family Support and Involvement

Senior home care is a personalized service that comes in a variety of options that you can mold around your family’s needs and participation. Since full-time care is simply impossible for most busy families, it may be best to think of senior home care services as a very reliable family member. They can come in on a regular basis, especially when you can’t, and will provide updates and important information as required. While many services may regulate family relationships and involvement, senior home care depends on maintaining these relationships.

3. One-On-One Care with a Familiar Face

The best senior home care services are individuated and personalized services. They let you handpick the person who will be providing the care and use that person on a regular basis. This not only lets you create a bond with the home care worker, but the relationship creates trust and a sense of security. Plus, personalized care means better overall service for your loved one, since all of their needs are discussed and enacted by the same person, someone with a close personal bond who wants to provide professional and proper care.

4. Independence

Senior home care, more than anything, is an option for senior citizens who want to live privately, and not have to move to get the care they need. It can help a family hold onto an important home, but the service also emphasizes the dignity and independence of the person who is receiving the care. If independence is a high priority, then senior home care is one of the few services for senior citizens that allows private living.

Senior home care is a specialized and personalized service that offers a number of benefits others don’t. It blends the comforts of home with the professional care of other senior living solutions, but also provides one-on-one care tailored to the client’s specific needs.