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    Chiropractor Mama Dr. Dolly and professional photographer Elisa B. share about adventures in intentional and natural parenting while living in Virginia's beautiful Blue Ridge.
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Health Happy Round-Up: Safe & Healthy Tips for Weight Loss

Welcome to a weekly series on Traveling with Baby, Health Happy Round-Up that  focuses on multiple aspects of wholesome living and optimal health for the entire family.  Each weekend, Traveling with Baby will share some insightful news, recipes, or tips to help you consider fresh new perspectives on wholesome and happy health.

The following is an excerpt from an article I wrote in this month’s health newsletter from Spinal Health & Wellness.   There’s some great tips for weight loss, especially for new moms.  Enjoy!

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Crash diets and sporadic exercise plans may not only prevent you from reaching a desired goal of losing excess weight and maintaining those results, but they can also lead to some serious health risks to the sudden (instead of gradual) stress on your organs and joints.
There are safer methods than yo-yo diets or weekend warrior workouts:
  1. There’s evidence that breastfeeding and taking probiotic enzymes may help new moms shed post-partum pounds.
  2. A study conducted over 12 weeks found that exercise alone (1 hour per day, that can be split up into 2 to 3 intervals instead of continuous) without dietary restrictions resulted in substantial weight loss. Read more.
  3. Reduce sugar intake…that includes fructose that is linked to weight gain.  In fact, fructose converts more cells to fat than any other sugar!
  4. Drink more water.  Your cells and your body are comprised of 70% water, but how much do you drink?  Simple formula: drink half of your body weight in ounces.  For example, if you weight 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water per day.  If you’re well below this average, slowly increase by 1 cup per day.  If you’re pregnant, nursing, or in hot and arid climates, you should increase your water intake even more than the general formula.

Remember, always consult your physician if you begin a weight loss program and feel dizzy or unwell…be safe, be healthy, and be well!

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Health Happy Round-Up: Banana Bread Recipe

A few weeks ago, Elisa B. invited Calvin and I over to hang out with the puppies.  Just before we arrived, she baked homemade banana bread since she had an overstock of bananas.  What a treat for our noses and bellies.  There’s hardly any sugar and extra oily gunk.  It’s sensational, and I highly urge you to try it!

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup applesauce
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 large bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional

Directions

  1. Lightly grease 2 loaf pans.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and sugar. Add applesauce, eggs, nuts, and mashed banana. Beat until blended.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Elisa B.

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Health Happy Round-Up: Child-Proofing Tips

health happy round-upWelcome to a weekly series on Traveling with Baby, Health Happy Round-Up that  focuses on multiple aspects of wholesome living and optimal health for the entire family.  Each weekend, Traveling with Baby will share some insightful news, recipes, and tips to help you consider fresh new perspectives on wholesome and happy health.

Kimberly Mitchell, Child Safety Expert and “professional childproofer”, recently wrote Childproofing 101 to offer parents tips on childproofing a home…beginning as early as pregnancy.

D1428Child-Proof-PostersMitchell’s got some great ideas for new parents…yet when I read her article, I can’t help, but recall a hilarious scene from Baby Mama movie where adoptive mom-to-be, Kate  (played by Tina Fey) childproof’s the toilet seat long before baby’s even arrived…and pregnant Angie (played by Amy Poehler) struggles to unlatch the toilet seat lid in time to relieve herself.  Failing that, she ends up going in the sink.

We’ve done some babyproofing with our son.  We have rubber bands around the cabinets that are accessible to my son.  However, when the rubber bands are off, he helps secure them back on–obviously they were better at keeping him out of the breakables when he was younger.

We also used child-proof gates to keep him out of the bathroom…definitely a safety concern.  I still use a gate on occasion at the office to keep him from wandering behind the front desk and turning the computer off.

Although I think child proofing is a good idea, I do think it can go overboard.

I have a curious child who wants to explore his world.

However, if there are certain things that are off limits, I’d rather make that clear by explaining it to him, and enforcing those boundaries with discipline.  My son understands when he’s not supposed to touch something or open something.

I can’t child-proof every place we visit, so I’d rather train my son to be obedient to prevent him from wandering across the street or out of plain view, and to prevent him from opening cabinets and drawers when we visit other people’s homes.

Although I can’t be everywhere at once, I can teach my son to listen and obey–far more effective and longer lasting than most child-proofing products on the market.

YOUR TURN:

What’s your approach to child proofing?  What’s been most successful for you with keeping your child safe?

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Ear Infections: Hear Your Other Options

health happy round-upWelcome to a weekly series on Traveling with Baby, Health Happy Round-Up which focuses on multiple aspects of wholesome living and optimal health for the entire family.  Each weekend, Traveling with Baby will share some insightful news, recipes, and tips to help you consider fresh new perspectives on wholesome and happy health.

I get a lot of questions from moms who are looking for alternatives to antibiotics to help their babies or children suffering from ear infections.  Many of them are surprised to learn about the benefits of gentle pediatric chiropractic care that often help children’s ear infections resolve.

Are Antibioitics the Answer?

This is just one of many studies that indicate the ineffectiveness of antibiotics for ear infections (not only do they damage gut flora, but they don’t necessarily work for their prescribed purpose!)  Here’s another that indicates antibiotics only have a short-term, and non-lasting effect.  Doctors prescriptions for antibiotics for middle ear infections is so rampant and automatic.  Here’s a study that suggests doctors cease defaulting to the antibiotics prescription…STAT.  When specifically testing amoxicillin, a study found no difference in the drug compared to a placebo, thereby claiming amoxicillin is ultimately ineffective for treating ear infections.

listening edit

Alternatives to Drugs for Ear Infections

Instead of antibiotics, many doctors are encouraging parents to “watch and wait” instead.  Read more from WebMD.  Also, check out this health article on CBS where chiropractors teach young children to fight against ear infections.

As for medicated ear drops, there was a study that found that a naturopathic ear drop was just as effective as the medicated ear drops, minus the side effects of the medications.  This study followed 103 test subjects between the ages of 6 to 18 years of age.  After 3 days of receiving the Naturopathic drops compared to the group receiving the medicated drops, both groups reported the same decrease in perceived ear pain.

Here’s a great article on holistic approaches to ear infections by Lawrence Pavelsky, M.D.  I like that he helps parents differentiate between an ear ache and an ear infection, he describes how ear infections develop, and he discusses alternative methods of treatment that won’t leave your child’s gut blanched from the beneficial bacteria killed off by anti-biotics.

I encourage you to find a chiropractic physician in your area who will support your choice for health care.  Check out the International Chiropractic Pediatrics Association, today!

Your Turn:

What about you?  Has your child suffered from an ear infection?  What treatment methods have you tried?  What did you like or dislike about the treatments you tried?

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Getting (Back) in Shape

health happy round-upWelcome to a weekly series on Traveling with Baby, Health Happy Round-Up which focuses on multiple aspects of wholesome living and optimal health for the entire family.  Each weekend, Traveling with Baby will share some insightful news, recipes, and tips to help you consider fresh new perspectives on wholesome and happy health.

What new mom doesn’t feel the pressure of getting that pre-pregnancy body back, stat?

runner

Some moms feel ready to do light walking within a few days after the birth event.  Personally, I was advised to avoid that and especially avoid stairs for an entire month.

The road to recovery was slow, but it sped by compared to the road to regaining fitness.  I was at my peak fitness just before I was pregnant.

Anyone else?

I credit that fitness peak to the decidedly crazed health and fitness bubble that surrounded me in chiropractic college.  Have you seen Super Size Me?  Well, my colleagues and I were on the opposite extreme of that spectrum–to a fault.

I can’t compete with my grad school self the woman who could study until 11PM, then wake up at 6 AM for a long run.  Hours of class or clinic were interrupted with a lunchtime swim.  Afternoon classes were topped with weights at the gym.

Seriously.

What parent has time for THAT kind of schedule?  Maybe the Hollywood crowd, but not me.  At least, not in this season of my life.

Also, I recognize that breastfeeding can tend to keep a layer of padding for that constant milk supply.  Yes, I’m still making milk, thankyouverymuch.

So, I’ve grown weary of my clothes feeling too tight, and my padding feeling more cushioned in places that didn’t used to have quite so much.

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t expect to look like the svelte 29-year-old pre-prego gal that I used to be.  I accept that I’m shaped a little differently now that I have birthed a baby.

However, I know I can have more energy and feel a little more comfortable in my clothes (and my own skin) if I can shed a little unnecessary padding and increase my muscle strength and endurance.

After all, I need to be fit and strong to take care of my family and my patients.

So, I started making small and manageable strides to making exercise a more regular component to my week.  Chasing after a toddler and lifting a laundry basket aren’t cutting it anymore.

1-3 times a week, I’m doing calisthenics.  The amount varies, but it looks something like this:

I bust out with as many lower abdominal crunches as I can possibly do for a full minute.  Then, I do as many pull-ups as I can for another minute.  Next, I do as many perfect military push-ups as I can before I must do the girlie modified version on my knees for a full minute.  Finally, I do as many perfect squats as I can in a minute.

Then, I lace-up my runners, and clip Calvin into the running stroller and I run…FAST.  If I slow to a walk, then I only take a few steps and then I launch back into my run.  I run as fast as I can because it forces me to use better ergonomic form compared to a sluggish and knee-jarring jog.

When I’m spent (about the time I hit cardiac hill), I walk.  But, I walk as FAST as I can with long strides and pushing the stroller up a 7% grade.

Afterward, I feel achygoodallover and refreshed.  I remember WHY I used to run…to de-stress, for refreshment, to clear my brain about the workload of the day.

I encourage you to find your fitness mojo.  Whether it’s stretching, yoga, walking, or an ironman triathlon, I encourage you to join me on the road to finding balance by first carving out some time for a few days each week for fitness.

Join me…won’t you?

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Tomy Lama Stars Collection Boots – Review

health happy round-upWelcome to a weekly series on Traveling with Baby, Health Happy Round-Up which focuses on multiple aspects of wholesome living and optimal health for the entire family.  Each weekend, Traveling with Baby will share some insightful news, recipes, and tips to help you consider fresh new perspectives on wholesome and happy health.

“The [wo]man with the boots doesn’t mind where she places her foot.”  –Irish Proverb

Tony Lama boots on Dr. Dolly TwBSome of my fondest memories of childhood are wrapped around the times when I donned my favorite pair of cowboy boots.

When I was two, you wouldn’t find me wearing anything other than my red leather cowboy boots.

A few years later, I would sport gray and black leather boots that were perfect for galloping on horseback in the rocky hillsides near the Snake River and Waha foothills in eastern Washington.

A decade later, as a college student in Austin, Texas, I fell in love with my black leather boots paired with my favorite black felt hat that made  frequent appearances line dancing and two-stepping to Charlie Daniels and George Strait.

There’s something utterly American and earthy about cowboy boots.


Yet, many times, they can be unbearably uncomfortable with constant plodding on the pavement–they were designed for riding, after all.

Thankfully, I’ve enjoyed discovering the new Stars Collection by Tony Lama thanks to the pair they sent me for review.  After running around the clinic on my feet all day (quite literally), at the end of the day, my feet felt like they had been pampered with a foot massage.  The comfort pad in the rubber heel and orthotic insert provide therapeutic arch support.

TL bootsTony Lama’s Tan Cheyenne are depicted above.

What’s even more impressive about these oil-repelling, leather boots is the stylish detailing of faux fur applique, orange and turquoise embroidery, and sparkly blue rhinestones.

These are NOT the drab and dreary cowboy boots of yesteryear.  Rather, these are 1980’s punk-inspired fashionista boots that make you feel at home on the range or downtown.  Whether you’re rassling a steer or a strong-headed toddler, your happy feet will want to kiss you at the end of the day for treating them with oodles of kindness and luxury.

Straight from the American Chiropractic Association in an article about footwear and fashion:

  • Choose comfortable shoes. If you must wear high heels, bring a pair of flat shoes along with you to change into should you become uncomfortable. If you walk to work, wear flat shoes and change into your more fashionable shoes when you arrive to alleviate any pain or discomfort.
  • If the shoe is uncomfortable while standing, chances are it will not be any more comfortable while walking. The wrong shoe can affect the body’s center of gravity.
  • Choose supportive shoes. Designer spikes or non-supportive loafers may look nice but do not allow for easy, symmetrical walking.

When fashion, comfort, and ergonomics can blend together in shoes or clothing, then pure bliss can be achieved.  Tony Lama Boots Tan Cheyenne has the market cornered on bliss.  You can purchase the Stars Collection online, or find a retailer near you.

Note: New leather boots may take a little getting used to, especially if you’re used to snug-fitting shoes.  Read Justin Brand’s fit guide to help you determine the right size for you.

WIN IT!

tonylama logoOne winners will win a gift certificate to use toward any pair of Tony Lama boots from their Stars collection (retail value $140).

Where will you wear your boots?  Visit all the fun styles of Tony Lama Stars boots, and tell me your favorite–and where you’d like to wear them!

EXTRA CREDIT

Leave a separate comment for each additional entry.

  • Earn two additional entries by blogging about the giveaway and linking to Traveling with Baby using “Tony Lama Boots Giveaway” as the title in your post.  Then, leave two comments here with a link to your post.
  • Earn two additional entries by subscribing to Traveling with Baby’s RSS feed.  Leave (two) comments stating that you’re subscribed.
  • Earn another entry by 1) following me (drdolly) on Twitter and 2) tweeting this contest with the following RT @drdolly Win Tony Lama Boots on Traveling with Baby! http://wp.me/p4s6M-OJLeave a comment with the weblink to your tweet.
  • Earn another entry by adding Traveling with Baby’s button to your website/blog.

Leave a valid e-mail address, so I can contact you to claim your prize, or it’ll go to another amazing person.  The contest is open to U.S. shipping addresses only.

This contest runs until 11:59PM (EST) on October 2nd, 2009.

A winner will be randomly selected (via random.org) and announced on this post and e-mailed sometime shortly after October 2nd. If a winner doesn’t respond within 72 hours, a new winner will be selected.

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*UPDATE*

Congratulations to #1, Vicky!

Breastfeeding – Support for Moms

Breastfeeding MomI recently wrote a very personal post on extended breastfeeding for “Health Happy Round-Up”.  I loved the feedback I received from other women.  I agree with my sister-in-law, Vicky, that the more we talk about the struggles and joys of breastfeeding (as well as extended breastfeeding), the more that women can take courage from others who are treading that same road.

I was recently quoted about the struggles of breastfeeding by Melissa Chapman.  It’s definitely a personal decision for each mom, but sharing what works and what helps through tough times could help another mom choose to breastfeed longer.  If you thought I was self-revealing in my extended breastfeeding post, wait until you check out what I shared with Melissa…talk about baring the soul.  You can read the full article on Real Moms Guide.

–By Dr. Dolly
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