Health & Wellness

  • Ways You Can Train Your Brain

    Today is #NationalTrainYourBrain day! I’ve put together a number of ways that you can start exercising your brain in order to get the most out of it. You see, the brain is like a muscle and it needs to be worked out in order to be kept strong. If you’re worried that you haven’t been training your brain, chances are you have been, you just didn’t realize it. 

    PICK UP A BOOK
    train your brainRead a book on a subject you like or if you really want to get your brain into overdrive, readabout a topic that you know little about and dive in. Your brain will soak up the new information making it stronger with all the new information it possesses.

    PLAY AN ONLINE GAME
    train your brainThere are a few sites that help you train your brain but Lumosity does it best. With personalized games and quizzes you’ll find the more you play the stronger your brain will become.

    PLAY A BOARD GAME
    train your brainNothing will get your brain burning with rapid activity than a good old fashioned board game. Scrabble is notorious for its ability to improve word recognition and spelling.

    PLAY A VIDEO GAME
    train your brainHear me out on this one – playing video games are great for expanding the mind as the player gains increased split thinking capabilities, strategy and multi-tasking skills.

    GET ENOUGH REST
    train your brainLack of sleep causes the brain to not function. Not getting enough rest can also lead to forgetfulness, and can also lead to stress and depression.

    EAT RIGHT
    train your braincombinations of foods — canenhance memory, build new brain cells and even help ward off Alzheimer’s.

    WORK OUT YOUR BODY
    train your brainHitting the gym will allow help your brain by increasing your heart rate, which pumps more oxygen to the brain. It’ll also release hormones that aid and provide a nourishing environment for the growth of brain cells.

  • FINDING MY INNER GODDESS WITH LEORA EDUT & GODDESS ON THE GO

    Goddess on the Go is a day long women’s spiritual workshop founded and hosted by Leora Edut. Her retreats are meant to bring together women so that they can not only connect with each other but to also connect with themselves. I had the pleasure of attending her Goddess on the Go event this summer and it was amazing.  Taking place at Ramscale Studio in the West Village this event was filled with sisterhood, exploration, sexuality and bonding.

    Goddess on the Go

    Leora created Goddess on the Go in 2012, after more than 10 years of self exploration in spirituality, energy work, transformational workshops, sisterhood, and relationships, Leora learned that the thing that truly made her happy was making a difference in the community of women. And that is something that you can tell the moment you walk in the door. I had heard about this workshop from a friend who had been previously and knew that I would love it, as I too am a lover of sisterhood and bonding. She was right. There is nothing I love more than to be in a room surrounded by women who are about not only lifting up themselves but others as well.

    I didn’t know what to expect from the event when arriving, but the women were immediately welcoming and made me feel at home. It didn’t matter that I had just met them. I felt comfortable and that is so important when you’re attending events that alone. It made me wish my friends were there, not because I needed them to make the event better but because I knew they were about to miss out on something that was going to be beneficial to them.

    Before the event got underway, there was mixing and mingling among guests and meeting the vendors that were on hand with products and services that were geared towards the theme of the event. When it was time for the workshop to begin Leora gave a moving speech about her humble beginnings and what happened in her life that lead her down the path that would ultimately lead her to create Goddess on the Go. The first exercise we took part in was tantric dance/yoga. I cannot tell a lie, it did feel awkward moving in such a way in front of a room full of strangers. But when you stopped thinking about it, it was easy to get into. The movements were not only designed to loosen us up but to allow us to tap into our inner sexual goddess. It’s okay to be sexy, have sex and to travel down other avenues to not only please your partner but yourself as well.

    Next, we also learned about the importance of interrupting our dreams and how we can use them to pursue what it is we want in our lives. There was also a group dance, in which attendees formed a circle and danced, and the rest of us had to follow. I was praying that I would not get selected, as I cannot dance. I didn’t pray hard enough as I picked to dance. But when you’re in the circle its not about looking like an extra in ‘You Got Served’ but doing whatever comes to you at the moment and enjoying it. Afterward, was a lesson in nutrition and how we should start to not only savoring our food but being more cautious as to what we’re putting in our bodies. Which was the perfect segue to lunch. Delicious vegan meals were served. Following lunch we learned about our spirit guides and how we should follow the signs they give us so that we can become the person that we were meant to be and not just going through the motions. Sadly the time came for me to depart.

    This was by far the most relaxing spiritually awakening event that I had ever been to. When I stepped outside I felt rejuvenated. I had renewed energy and focus in my life, both personally and professionally. 

    Below are photos from the event:

    @thelovegypsy grounding us in a #sensual #awakening #tantra #Goddessonthego

    A photo posted by Leora Edut (@goddessonthego1) on

    @jackie_janiec guiding us to our dreams #NOW #Goddessonthego A photo posted by Leora Edut (@goddessonthego1) on

    Sharon Holland Gelfand leading us how to slow down and tap into our bodies #Goddessonthego ??

    A photo posted by Leora Edut (@goddessonthego1) on

    So many beautiful women and this isn’t even all of em’ #Goddessonthego #NYC

    A photo posted by Leora Edut (@goddessonthego1) on

    If you’re interested in attending a Goddess on the Go event (which I hope you are, because everyone needs to attend at least once) one will be taking place on October 18 in NYC. Click here to get your ticket. For more information about Leora and Goddess on the Go please visit her website.

    *Please note that for the purpose of this review I was given a complementary ticket to this workshop. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

    Photo Credit: Leora Edut

  • WHAT IS MAVEN?
    AND WHY WOMEN NEED TO KNOW ABOUT IT

    MAVEN Hospitals, doctor’s offices and clinics all have one thing in common, the dreaded waiting room. The bane of every person’s existence. Whether a pre-scheduled appointment or an emergency visit, there’s a chance you’ll be in the waiting room twiddling your thumbs longer than you’ll be in the exam room with the doctor. I used to work for a doctor, so I know first hand. No one likes to wait, especially when they have an appointment. But what if I told you, you don’t have to be subjected to boring waiting rooms sitting in chairs that have seen better days.

    Enter the Maven – the first digital health and wellness clinic designed for women. This medical app that allows you to book appointments and meet with licensed practitioners right from your phone in the privacy of your own home or anywhere.

    I met reps for Maven at The New York Baby Show and knew instantly I needed to share this healthcare system with you. I mentioned them in my ’15 Favorites’ list from the show so it only makes sense that I follow up and explain what it is, how it works and why you need to have this app downloaded on all your devices.

    Maven believes “women shouldn’t have to go to the doctor’s office every time they have a health question.” Their goal is to “provide women the kind of affordable but definitive support we feel is most lacking right now, in fields like fertility, pregnancy, postpartum care, and children’s health.

    So the most important question is, how does it work?

    DOWNLOAD the app from the App Store; coming soon for Droid users.
    CHOOSE a physician from the list of 100+ providers based on their expertise.
    BOOK an appointment and meet the physician via chat on your phone.
    FOLLOW UP any time to make follow up appointments or for post appointment notes.

    maven

    With appointments ranging from 10 minutes to an hour you’ll find the starting cost of an appointment is lower than a co-pay. Winning! For me that will be an additional savings up to $25 dollars because when I drive to doctor appointments I pay for parking and NYC garages take no mercy on your wallet. Double winning! And I won’t have to get dressed up, as I can take my appointment in my t-shirt with the pasta sauce stain from lunch with the kids my and yoga pants. TRIPLE WINNING!

    mavenMAVEN PRACTITIONERS CAN ASSIST YOU WITH:

    • Breastfeeding support and infant care via lactation consultants
    • Nutrition support and weight loss via nutritionists
    • Private birth education classes and postpartum support via doulas
    • Fertility counseling or general women’s care via OB/GYNs
    • Prenatal support via women’s health nurse practitioners
    • Postpartum support via women’s health physical therapists
    • Postpartum depression support via perinatal mental health providers
    • Children’s health services via family nurse practitioners, pediatric nurse practitioners, and pediatricians
    • Primary care services with Rx capability via nurse practitioners to treat basic issues: UTIs, the common cold, the flu, rashes, heartburn, etc.

    Maven prides themselves on being there when you need them to be, making healthcare about YOU, charging no hidden costs and keeping your records secure. To read more about Maven visit them online and while you’re there make sure you stop by their blog, they offer various health and wellness tips written by the practitioners themselves.

    I am impressed by this company and how they were able to come together to create an app that integrates itself so seamlessly into the lives of women and their families. Its a comfort knowing we have someone just a few quick swipes away who will be there to ease our minds about whatever medical questions or concerns we may be experiencing at that very moment.

    Have you heard of Maven before prior to the NY Baby Show? Do you use it? Share your experiences.

    Photo Credit: Maven Clinic

  • In Case You Forgot Boobs Are For Breastfeeding

    Over the weekend I came across a piece in People magazine about a mom named Conner Kendall , who was breastfeeding her baby in a Friday’s restaurant and was unknowingly photographed by a male patron who uploaded the photograph to social media so that he could publicly shame her for breastfeeding her baby.

    Why when a woman is photographed while openly breastfeeding her baby the world skips on its axis? What is so out of the ordinary about such a sight? Its just a boob with a baby on it. In case some people forgot – the #1 job of boobs, is to feed babies. Sexual pleasure is a distant second.

    It never ceases to amaze me how society will deem it okay for a woman to expose her breasts for the purposes of getting free shit, ad campaigns, landing a man or to get out of a ticket. But when a breast is partially exposed for its intended use society all of a sudden wants the woman to have decorum and cover up. Hypocrisy much?

    breastfeeding
    Photo Credit: David Horsey / Los Angeles Times

    For Conner, when she discovered the photo floating around the internet she took to her Facebook page to rightfully blast the man who took the photograph. She stated the man has since given her a half-assed apology. Of course he would, as he’s clearly oblivious as to why he was wrong for doing what he did in the first place. What kind of a world do we live in where people think that its acceptable to secretly photograph a mother and her baby for the purpose of belittling her? It’s a fucking sad one if you ask me.

    And if taking the photo and posting it on the internet wasn’t bad enough, it’s the comments that follow that really make it a travesty. You would think the person who took the photo would be ripped to shreds for violating a strangers privacy. Nope. Those comments are only a sprinkle in the sea of,  “cover up, it’s making me uncomfortable“, “how do I explain that to my children?“, “put a blanket over yourself“, “go in the bathroom” and “just stay home“. Let me tell you something, if you’re out in public, say at a restaurant and you take issue with seeing a mother uncovered while breastfeeding maybe YOU should take your plate the bathroom to eat. Oh, and if the smell of urine and feces is too much for you, just put a blanket over your head. How does that sound? Probably stupid and none too appealing. So, if its not appealing to you as an adult, why would you want to subject a baby to that? Is your creep out factor of a little side boob so great that you would prefer to see a mother feeding a baby in a dirty stinky public bathroom? What if that woman forced into a bathroom was was your wife and the baby sweating under a blanket was your child?

    breastfeeding
    Photo Credit: Tamar Shugert / Tamar Shugert Photography

    But what I really want to know is, what does societies inability to see breasts as anything other than sexual fun bags me and my baby’s problem? I find it hilarious that there’s supposedly more difficulty in explaining to a child that mommy’s boobs feed babies (see how easy that was), over trying to explain a 50 foot tall billboard displaying an orgy for a Calvin Klein jean ad.

    calvin Klein
    Photo Credit: Chris Hondros / Getty Images North America

    If my child asked me what was happening in that picture I would be dumbfounded. Could you explain it?

    I’ve lived in NYC for 15 years and have seen a number of things that have been an assault on my senses (that billboard included), and I can safely tell you uncovered breastfeeding has never been one of them. You know why? 1. I don’t care. 2. It’s not my business. And 3. I look away. It’s funny how the latter is the most difficult for people to do considering its the easiest. No mother should be ridiculed for openly breastfeeding nor should she delay feeding her child in order to think of ways to cover up to make those around her more comfortable. Instead of publicly putting a mother down for openly and proudly providing her baby its most basic need, how about we rally behind her and show her we support her decision to feed her baby in the manner that’s best for both of them. Most importantly, how about we stop the oversexualization of breasts (and the female body as a whole), and start embracing breasts for their main purpose, which is, feeding babies.