POSTS WITH TAG: general health

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    By now, you have to have been living under a rock not to know about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I mean, pssst! Everyone is doing it, from Martha Stewart and Kris Jenner to Jimmy Fallon and the folks at Good Morning America. Even Oprah and President Obama have been dared.

    You know how it works, right? A person or group is challenged to dump a bucket of ice water over their heads. They either accept -- or donate to the ALS Association, which raises money for Lou Gehrig's disease. If they take the plunge, they in turn challenge others ... and a viral sensation bigger than "Call Me Maybe" was born. But this one has a good cause attached: to raise awareness and money for a deadly, crippling illness with no known cure.

    Well, we here at CafeMom's The Stir were recently challenged by other bloggers at SheKnows. Sneaky! And we are NOT ones to take something like that sitting down. No, we're more likely to take it on a New York City sidewalk at rush hour instead.

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    Could your toothpaste be harming you? Perhaps, if it contains triclosan, a chemical linked to cancer and a host of other health issues, including fertility problems.

    Colgate's popular toothpaste, Total, which I happen to use, is now the only U.S.-made toothpaste that still contains the controversial triclosan, according to a report this week by Bloomberg News.

    Colgate says Total is safe and cites the FDA's approval of the cavity-fighter. But the Bloomberg article says much of the information used to establish the toothpaste as safe for use in 1997 wasn't "black and white" or available to the public.

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    Do you spend hours per week just trying to remember where you left your car keys? Have you ever exited the grocery store without the one item you went in to purchase? Did you recently meet someone and instantly forget their name?

    If these things have happened to you, you're not alone. 

    The good news, according to Tim David, author of Memory Improvement Tips: Simple Tricks to Help You Increase Your Memory, Reduce Brain Farts, and Improve Your Mental Health, is that by making a few simple changes, you can easily get back on track and be less forgetful. 

    "First and foremost, stop believing you have a terrible memory," says David. "It like that old saying, 'Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right.' It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and because we tell ourselves we have a bad memory, we don't engage the right parts of our brains."

    He offers the following 5 tips for improving your memory.

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    It's summer, and things are biting you. It's not unusual this time of year to wake up with strange welts on your body. Were you attacked by some hungry mama mosquitos? Or was it -- oh dear God, no -- not bed bugs?!? My skin is crawling just thinking about the possibility.

    How can you tell between the two? Thankfully (I guess?), it's not that hard. Here are the main differences between bed bug bites and mosquito bites.

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    When you're introduced to someone new, what's one of the first things you do? You shake hands. It's almost a reflex. The words "hello, my name is ..." are barely out of your mouth before your hand shoots out. Holding back feels standoff-ish at best, downright rude at worst. And honestly, it's perfectly harmless. OR IS IT? New evidence seems to suggest that we should ditch the handshake and do a fist-bump or a high-five instead. Yes, really. Say goodbye to your traditional hello.

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    Are you SO HOT this summer? You could spend more time indoors in the air conditioning -- IF you want to be just like everybody else. But maybe you'd like to cut your electric bill. Or maybe you're just so darn creative, you feel compelled to stay cool in refreshingly creative ways.

    Well, today is your lucky day, because we have 11 weird, wacky ideas for chilling when it's hot outside.

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    Whether you’re trying to lose weight, get strong, or just want to feel better, there’s one healthy habit most moms are missing. Even when you’re working out consistently and watching what you eat, skimping on sleep can derail all your good intentions.

    Yes, it's true. Sleep is the one thing all humans need to survive, and it can be the answer to lasting good health. Perhaps you remember it from your pre-kids days? It’s that activity that lasted beyond six in the morning on the weekend. 

    In case you need convincing that sleep should be a priority for you, here are four reasons sleep is so vital, as well as practical tips on getting more -- and better -- sleep.

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    It's summertime again and 99.9 percent of everything is that much more wonderful. No snow. No boots. No cold. No ice. But there is one thing about summer that makes it a lot less fun: bug bites. And if you're like me -- the kind of person who gets eaten alive every time she goes outside -- you'll know just what I mean.

    Last summer the bugs in my neighborhood got so bad, I often didn't go out at all. And when I did, I came back in covered in red welts that itched like crazy. It was awful and a part of the season I will never be happy about no matter how much I love the rest.

    I have tried everything to stop the itch. Benadryl. Calamine lotion. You name the OTC drug, I've tried it. But I haven't tried a lot of home remedies to curb the itch. Here are eight "proven" itch stoppers you can probably find in your house RIGHT NOW ...

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    In her new book, The Kind Mama, Alicia Silverstone covers everything from her pregnancy to her beliefs on circumcision and vaccination. Though the book has only been out for two days, it's already got tongues wagging, as does a recent interview the famous vegan actress did with People about her parenting philosophies, in which she says she's "not against Western medicine. The problem is we’re using it as a first step for everything, even when it’s not needed."

    Alicia deserves applause for bravely putting that sentiment out there! She's right: We are far too quick to jump to conventional medicine "fixes" -- which can be disappointingly closer to temporary bandages than true cures -- for too many of our ailments.

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    There seems to be as many different triggers for eczema flare-ups as there are people who have eczema. If you have this skin condition, then you know it can be very difficult to pinpoint your own personal triggers. Some things around your house that you would never have even considered a danger to your health can send your eczema into a tizzy.

    While the exact cause of eczema is still unknown, many doctors think eczema is linked to allergies like hay fever or asthma. In other cases, eczema is believed to be linked to food allergies, which means you might need to keep an eye on the dairy or wheat in your diet. Some of the other common eczema triggers that you should keep your eye on are as follows.

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