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Archive for the ‘Health’ Category


I think I’m having a midlife crisis.

Why else would I have cut off my hair, gone Pole Dancing and and taken a trapeze class all in the last month? Yep, that’s me on the trapeze…though not me (I mean , seriously) on the pole.

I think it all started with my 7th annual 39th Birthday. You know, one birthday nearer to “closer to 50 than to 40.”  One birthday closer to “invisible to men under the age of 70.” Closer to a serious debate on whether or not to get Botox. Closer, let’s face it, to the complete demise of my face. Is it just me, or is it true that every year, the day after your birthday, you develop a new physical flaw?  The day after my fortieth, I noticed my first age spot. The day after my forty-first: two little creases between my brows.  Forty second? Wrinkly knees.

Hair cut?  It’s a wonder I didn’t shave my head like Brittany Spears. (more…)

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I went up to Harlem yesterday and saw something amazing: The Bartendaz.  These guys do things on a pull up bar you’ve never seen before. The strength is amazing, the camaraderie infectious, the feats: totally unbelievable. The Bartnedaz are a group of the buffest, toughest looking guys you’ll ever see…who also happen to be all about self-empowerment, using health as a means to feeling good about oneself, and of spreading the word that a healthy, drug free, focused life is the best life around.

Check out this video

These guys are not kidding around. But it isn’t about being buff. It’s about learning to focus, about taking control of your health and your life. These guys talk at prisons and at schools. They are all about keeping kids off the streets and into fitness and their bodies.

It was also the warmest, friendliest group of guys: there with their wives and kids. They invited us to join them on their summer picnics, exchanged emails. And by the end of the afternoon, our kids were best friends.

They don’t have a show– they just do what they do. And what they do is amazing.
Get out of your comfort zone and head up to 121st St and Madison Ave. in Harlem. And Hang.

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Last week I let my daughter watch the Lindsey Lohan movie Mean Girls.

Yikes.

First, my daughter asked why the girls looked in the mirror and said bad things about themselves. Then she asked what a “bee-yotch” was.  Then she asked what a condom was. I told her.

“It something men put on their penises so that their ingredients won’t mix with a woman’s ingredients when they have sex, and they won’t get a baby.”

“Well then,” she said “what’s the point?  If you’re not gonna have a baby why do it?”

My daughter may be innocent now, but she won’t stay that way.  That’s why I think it’s important for NYC Public schools to have sex ed.  If you do, too, click here to read the rest of this post on NYC Moms blog, and learn how you can help.

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Yes, it’s true – I’ve been gone a while.

Why?

Oh — I don’t know.  Maybe it’s the VIRULENT stomach flu coursing through my entire family.

Even the dog threw up.  Seriously.

First it was my son.  On vacation. In Florida.  Perfect weather.  Beautiful Gulf of Mexico waters.  We stayed inside for almost the entire time.  He was being sick to his stomach.  I was expanding mine.

I mean, really, what else was there to do stuck in a condo with a sick kid while my husband and other kid went out to the beach and the pool and on a bike ride? Eat!!! (And no, I don’t blame hubby.  Sick kids (at least mine) want their Mommy when they’re sick.)

Then we got home.  Two weeks of family togetherness…finally coming to an end!

That’s when my daughter got the stomach flu.  Then my husband. (the worst patient of all….but let’s not go there, shall we?)

We’re going on three weeks of someone in my family being sick to his or her stomach.

In other words, three weeks of me spending WAY too much time at home near the refrigerator, the pantry, the stash of Halloween Candy that never got eaten.  Seriously.

All that Swine Flu and Pneumonia for nothing!!!  At least after that I was thin. And I kept off half of it until this round of illness.

Now what I want to know is…where’s the colon cleansing stomach bug when I need it?  Where’s the quick route to weight loss that I crave?  Nope, it’s back to counting points and weighing portions.

Ugh.

Happy Spring and summer is just around the corner and I’m gonna have to put on a bathing suit everybody!

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After months of excuses, real (moving, swine flu, pneumonia) and not (too busy, too tired, too many other things to do) I went back to working out this week. Monday was 45 minutes on the treadmill. A puff of the old inhaler and I was good to go.
Tuesday was…oh yeah, didn’t make it to the gym on Tuesday . (see unreal excuses, above)
Yesterday was Yoga at the brand-spanking new and oh-so beautiful Pure Yoga on the West Side (still un-sceney and uncrowded. Enjoy it while you can.)
And today was Nia.
For those of you who don’t know, Nia is…well, it’s hard to describe. I think of it as guided creative movement. It’s not really dance…but it sort of is. It’s not “aerobics” but it can be very aerobic. It’s not Yoga, but there are elements of Yoga and Tai Chi and Modern Dance. There is also a lot of talk about being in touch with your body, and about a sense of play. I’ve written about it here, if you want to know more.
ANYhoo, normally, Nia class makes me feel great, invigorated, and pretty damn good about myself. But today…not so much.  Because today, my instructor decided that we should spend the whole class feeling sexy.

Huh?

I’m exercising, buddy. I’m wearing an old Alvin Ailey T-shirt, I have no make-up on, I’m sweating, I’m barefoot, I’m worried that since I’ve done nothing aerobic in two months that my pneumonia compromised lungs will collapse… and you want me to feel sexy?

I don’t feel sexy.  I don’t even want to think sexy.  All I want to think about is what I’m gonna eat when this is over.

To make things worse, he kept on using the idea of a puppy as an image. As in “scoop your arms as if you were picking up a puppy.”

Picking up, scoop and puppy. What do those two words make me think of?

You guessed it, picking up my puppy’s poop. In the living room. In my son’s bedroom. Everywhere, it seems, but outside.

So between the sexy talk and the puppy I did NOT feel empowered and invigorated. I felt sweaty and decidedly unsexy. And I kept on smelling poop.  Please, please, let the puppy not have pooped on something I’m wearing.

Ah well, enough complaining.  Time to go walk the dog.

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Ah, the holiday season.  A chance to spend time with loved ones….eating.

A time to go out and celebrate.  And eat.

A time to have more excuses to stuff your face than any other time of the year.  (With the possible exception of birthdays.  After forty, the only way through a birthday is with spoon in one hand, ice cream in the other.)

This holiday season, however, I am offering you an out: A free copy of Wii Fit Plus.

In my never ending quest to be – if not thin – then at least thinner than I have been most of my adult life, I have tried it all.  Starting back in High School when I went on The Woman Doctor’s Diet for  Teenaged Girls (which involved eating nothing but oranges and hamburgers for a week. Really) to the low-fat hi-carb/lo-carb-high fat crazes, to relatively sane diets like  Weight Watchers, or simply shutting my mouth every once in a while. (I’m writing a book about that one, it’s going to be called: The Get up off your Lazy Ass and Stop Stuffing your Face Diet.)

But the bottom line for me, a woman who has weighed more or less the same (within 5 pounds – other than pregnancy) for more than twenty-five years, is that I need to exercise to change my body. (or get Swine Flu. Neither a very tempting option.)

I have more excuses for NOT going to the gym than reasons to go there.  I don’t have time.  I have a headache.  I have to cook dinner/go shopping/write a post/pull out my toenails with a tweezer.  Basically, ANYTHING but exercise.  But then this new crop of exercise games for the Wii showed up.  The Wii Fit basically ruined any chance I had of ever having a believable, justifiable excuse not to exercise.

For those of you who haven’t heard of it (like, say, those of you who never read, watch tv, listen to the radio, or are anywhere within 100 feet of a child) the Wii Fit was Nintendo’s genius idea to make the already pretty good for exercising Wii into a true exercise machine.  The Wii Fit tracks your exercise success by letting you set weight loss and BMI goals, and then letting you know who you’re doing.  You get an avatar trainer. and then follow along with the Mii’s as you do a series of balance, strenght, or aerobic exercises.  It’s fun, and it works. (Not that it’s the greatest workout ever, but it sure beats sitting at home and typing on a computer, which is what I’m doing right now. Yeah.)

The Wii Fit Plus, the latest incarnation of their already enormously successful game, takes it all one step farther.  Now you get to choose your workout, personalize it, set how much time you want to spend, pick a pre-set routine, or make up your own.  There’s a locker room, and more choices, more ways to personalize.

I’d do it more myself, but I have to cook dinner/go shopping/write a post/give away my copy. (full disclosure: it’s one of two free copies that Nintendo sent me.  One for review, one to give away.  And I’m giving it.)

So, do you want to get in shape without having to leave your home?  Or, if it doesn’t really get you in shape, do you want to at least not turn into a total slug in this, the how much can you eat in one six week period holiday season?

Leave a comment below, telling me what holiday indulgence is your worst, and I’ll enter you to win a brand-spanking new copy of Wii Fit Plus. (please note: you need to own a Wii Fit Balance Board to use this game.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.) Winner will be chosen by random.org on Sunday, December 13th at 9pm. Contest open to US residents 18 and older.

Want more chances to win?  Link back to this post on your own website, and I’ll enter you again every time someone links over. Tweet this contest, and include the hashtag #hip2housewife giveaway, and I’ll enter you yet again.

Hey, everyone could use a little flab insurance over the holidays.  Why not you?

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So here’s the deal: Swine flu was nasty.  But pneumonia is scary. I get short of breath emptying the dishwasher.

I wrote a piece about the Upside of Having Swine Flu for NYC Moms before I knew I have Pneumonia.  Suddenly, the upside is harder to see.

But you can read all about it, by clicking right here.

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reply_card [Converted]I met Jillian Michaels about ten days ago at a publicity event run by my friends at Role Mommy.  She was talking about  her newest Wii Fit game, Jillian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum 2010. (coming out Tuesday on Wii and at the end of the month for DSi.)

She was funny, charming, and so incredibly rrrrrripped  — you could bounce a ten pound weight off her abdomen.

You can read all about my visit with her here.

Plus, right here on this site, you can enter to win Jillian’s very own Quick Start Rapid Weight Loss System, plus a free week of weight loss tips and support from JillianWeightloss.com.

Jillian’s Quick Start system contains two bottles of her special formulations: Maximum Strenght Calorie Control™, and Maximum Strength Fat Burner™.  She swears that taking four capsules a day will jump start your weight loss and make it easier to meet your weight loss goals.

Wanna win? (or should that be lose?)

Leave a comment below telling me what you love about Jillian, and what you DON”T love about dieting, and I’ll pick a winner at random using random.org.

Now for the Fine Print:

Contest open to US residents only.  Must be 18 or older to enter. Don’t forget to leave your email address (no one will see it but me.) Contests ends 9pm, Friday, October 9th.

Good luck!

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MoreBirthdays_blogbadgeTogether with our millions of supporters, the American Cancer Society saves lives and creates more birthdays by helping people stay well, helping people get well, by finding cures, and by fighting back against cancer.  This post is part of their Bloggers for More Birthdays campaign.  Click on the icon or link to learn more.

*****

Nothing says you’re getting older more than the phone calls.  Last year, it seemed that every time I picked up the phone it was either someone telling me they were getting divorced, or that they had cancer.  I don’t mean to sound flip.  The first is the end of life as you know it, and the second the potential end of life all together.  But if you can’t find humor in it all, you can’t survive it.  There are even websites devoted to “Cancer Jokes.”  Gotta love the internet.

Still, it’s hard to find anything to smile about when you’re watching someone suffer. Still, I try.  Humor is how I cope with everything from whining kids, to leaky roofs, to sagging bustlines.  So when my mother-in-law was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma this summer, we joked about how chemo would be the best diet ever.  When my college boyfriend found out that his thyroid cancer had metastasized into his lungs, he quipped “Bet now you’re really glad you didn’t marry me!”  And when my own mother went in for her second mastectomy, after already having lost her large intestine to colitis twenty years earlier, we joked that it was “another year, another body part.”

Not truly funny, maybe.  But when you’re terrified, or sad, or desperate, sometimes you’ll laugh, just to make it seem like it’s not that bad. Sometimes you’ll laugh just so you won’t cry. (more…)

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Well, the launch is finally here, and now I can divulge my 23andMe secret:  I am a founding member of the 23andMe pregnancy blogging community.  And no, I am not making another, related to the pregnancy part of that announcement.  Those days are gone.  That ship has sailed.  This uterus is CLOSED for operation.  I have been pregnant — so I qualified for the job. (Yes, it’s a job: full disclosure, here.)

What will I be doing?  Posting at least once a week.  Getting involved in the forums.  Participating in surveys. Basically being a part of an incredibly cool, potentially medically influential company that really, truly, wants to make a difference in women’s health – and in health care in general. (No pressure, but if you’re pregnant, you can contribute to some pretty cool research related to women’s gestational health by participating too. Click here.)

If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to get your genome tested (and full disclosure: as an employee, I had it done for free.)  read my post, below.  And check out this video, to see what it’s like to Spit!

And now – the post:

WHY I SPAT

Genotyping. The whole thing has a kind of futuristic feeling. Like I should be wearing a silver jumpsuit and sitting in a white laminate Pod, eating simulated food, while a computer calculates the precise moment at which my offspring will appear and completely disrupt my life.

But genotyping isn’t science fiction. It’s here.

Part of me feels a little “don’t ask/don’t tell.” What if I find out something terrible? Like I have a tremendous chance of developing a particularly awful disease, or that I’m genetically related to that horrible mother at my kids’ school who’s always telling everyone what a “genius” her kid is, or that, in all likelihood, I will never, ever, be truly thin. I’m not sure I want to know.

Take, for instance, the possibility that my genes indicate that I will never be thin. Will I use it as an excuse to scarf down a pint of ice-cream with a chocolate-chip cookie chaser? Or if I am genetically related to that mother – will I feel obligated to ask her to join me for Thanksgiving dinner, thus increasing exponentially the possibility of my suffering a sever bout of indigestion? Or, in a completely unfunny scenario, what if I find out I have the breast cancer gene? Will I live in fear for the rest of my life? Will I opt to take preventative action? Who knows?

But I’ve never been one to shy away from the truth, to eschew knowledge and go through life in blissful ignorance. So I do want to know as much about myself as I can. But more than that, I want to know about how I came to be who I am.

My mother’s family consisted of her, her brother, and her parents. Every other person in her extended family was killed in World War II. My grandparents never wanted to discuss their painful past, which left me with little to no information about where that side of my family came from. Maybe genotyping could offer some sort of snap-shot of them that I don’t have, and maybe my genetic picture will help fill in the blanks in my family’s medical history.

My own family consists of me, my husband, and our two children. Like most mothers, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for my kids. (At their request, I even put on a cat costume this Halloween. And trust me, a forty-three year old mother in a tight cat-suit with ears does not make anyone meow.) Maybe learning about my own genetic make-up will give me the information I need to keep my children healthy, help them grow.

I might find out things I don’t want to know. But the thought that I might find out something horrible is outweighed by the possibility that I might find out something useful. Or even that I may help someone else by contributing to research that could lead to breakthroughs in any number of medical fields. I could inform myself, know what I need to do to help me and my family live long productive life. Plus, I could and find out if it’s true what my Great Uncle Nat always said: I’m related to Harry Connick Jr. Cousin Harry!!! I love you!

If I find out, however, that I will never, ever, be truly thin. I may have to ask for a refund.


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