It turns out that if you want to encourage children and young people to eat healthy you should not, I repeat, not restrict what they eat. On the contrary, you should provide healthy foods and encourage them, and people of all ages, to learn how to listen to their what their bodies are telling them. What that means is someone has to learn when they have eaten enough and what is healthy and is not healthy. But, hiding food and telling someone they must only eat certain foods will not lead to a healthy diet, in fact it may lead to someone who eats too much unhealthy foods.
Sparkling juices can be loaded with sugar and calories. Here’s a great recipe for low-calorie sparkling juice I found on the Harvard School of Public Health website: Mix 12 ounces of sparkling water with 2 ounces of juice. Add sliced fruit for extra flavor. Of course, water is best when you are thirsty, but this is a nice alternative.
Many young people have high cholesterol, so I was happy to find a great article about high cholesterol from the Center for Young Women’s Health. You can find it here http://www.youngwomenshealth.org/cholesterol2.html. This article has this table of good, lower cholesterol food choices. In the end though, most people can lower their cholesterol by cutting out crap like Takis, Hot Cheetos, and that kind of stuff.
I have met many young people who are successful in school, work, or sports not because of talent, but because of hard work. Yes, they may be talented, but more than anything they know that they have to spend hours studying, learning a job or practicing their sport in order to be successful. I have seen over and over again that hard work beats talent every time.
Oh, honestly-why couldn’t e-cigarette companies do the right thing and only target those people who need help quitting smoking. Why are they targeting young people in order to get them to start smoking? These companies say that they aren’t doing this, but increasingly this seems like what’s happening. Well, hopefully the Food and Drug Administration will step in and regulate e-cigarette companies so that they cannot target young people. Until then, young people need to be as smart with e-cigarettes as they are with regular cigarettes and not get tricked into a tobacco addiction.
Today, I have been thinking about how hard it is for gay athletes to be open about their sexuality and I wonder when this will change. I mean, if I was a coach or player, I’d be more concerned about someone’s ability on the field or court, not whether they were attracted to men or women. As a fan, if this is not the case and whether someone is gay or not is what matters, you have lost my support.
You Can Play is an organization that wants athletes to be judged on how they play, not on whom they love. Their motto is, “If you can play, you can play.” Here’s more from You Can Play.
You probably heard that Derrick Gordon, a University of Massachusetts sophomore who plays basketball, came out this week. Tyler Bergantino, one of his teammates, said that Gordon “looked happier, stress-free, like that was the real him,” before he told his team he was gay. I guess when you don’t have to hide your true self you look happier because you’re free. Here’s the link to Gordon’s interview with ESPN, http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:10750463. Please watch it, you’ll see that Gordon is a remarkable young man.
A young person I spoke with today cannot use his computer because it was overwhelmed by viruses. This made me think about computer safety. I found this video about safe use of free Wi-Fi. I hope this helps keep your computer healthy.
If you want some inspiration to get up, sing and dance-check out www.wearehappyfrom.com. This site has tons of videos of people dancing to Pharrell’s Happy. I didn’t so many people around the world knew how to moonwalk, do the robot and break dance!
If this Pharrell video doesn’t get you moving then nothing will.
Have you heard of a reproductive life plan? When you complete a reproductive life plan you decide when you plan on becoming sexually active, whether and when you plan on having children, and encourages you to think about how you will remain sexually healthy, through abstinence, contraception, and protection against sexually transmitted infections. Why don’t you plan your reproductive life?–You will probably find that you are healthier and happier.
I read something interesting today about why it is important to discuss pregnancy prevention and reproductive health with young men-it’s because men are 50% of any pregnancy usually. This makes me wonder whether we would have fewer young people getting pregnant if health care providers took time to talk about reproductive health with both young women and men.
If you don’t have exercise clothes or shoes can you still exercise? Absolutely-there are lots of things you can do. Here’s a few: walk up stairs, run up stairs, jog around the block, run on a track, play basketball, play soccer, play touch football, play baseball, play street hockey, jump rope, skateboard, ride a bike, ride a scooter, play volleyball, play badminton, play tennis, play softball, run on a treadmill, dance, dance a jig, do sit-ups, do jumping jacks, do push-ups, help someone move, mow the grass, shovel the snow, throw a frisbee, play ultimate frisbee, play golf, carry a golf bag, play mini-golf, play dodge ball, go lawn bowling, try bocce, do double dutch, do somersaults…well, I could go on and on, but you get the picture.
The crazy push to legalize marijuana is sweeping across the country and it is going to make it even harder for parents to help their young people stay away from marijuana. There is help. Marijuana is legal in Washington state and adolescent experts there have developed a parent’s guide to preventing underage marijuana use. You can find it here http://learnaboutmarijuanawa.org/parentpreventionbooklet2013.pdf.
Someone told me about Teenology 101. This is a blog about teen health issues for adolescents and those who care for them from Seattle Children’s Hospital adolescent health experts. The most recent post is on road awareness and I really like the post about 7 tips for de-stressing teens. There is so much to learn from Teenology 101.
Do you want to be the person who makes the buzzer beater, the person who can figure out the answer when no one else can? Well, here’s how the coach of a college basketball team that just advanced in the NCAA March Madness tourney describes his player who made the last second winning shot-he said that the player does not fear the big moment because he has worked on his game for many hours. You want to be the buzzer beater, the person who knows the answer? Work for many hours on your game.
One of the most important things parents can do to encourage their teen to responsibly use their cell phones is to responsibly use their cells. Parents need to be able to say to their teens, “Do both what I say and what I do.” So, parents, put your cell phones away during meals, don’t peek at your phone when someone is talking with you, and absolutely never text and drive.
“Female beauty is not a zero-sum game, a scarce commodity, or something only some of us are allowed to have. We have to think ourselves beautiful-not prettier than or less pretty. We have to believe that female beauty is limitless, and love our bodies for their own sake.”
Maya Rupert, policy director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights
Image of the mumps virus
Occasionally there are outbreaks of mumps at universities and now there is one at Ohio State University. People who get mumps usually recover in 1-2 weeks, but they can feels really crummy before they get better. Most people are vaccinated against mumps, but of course there are those with strange fears about vaccines who did not get a mumps vaccine and they are the ones who could get really sick. I feel bad for them, but mostly I hope that they and others learn about the importance of getting and remaining vaccinated.
In respond to the push to legalize marijuana a recent article written by health and public safety experts listed the dangers of weed. Here they are:
• Marijuana can disrupt learning and impair memory;
• Marijuana can exacerbate mental illness;
• Marijuana can increase blood pressure, heart rate and heart-attack risk;
• Marijuana use during pregnancy can harm a baby’s brain development;
• Marijuana can impair drivers, causing automobile crashes that kill or injure innocent people;
• Medical marijuana products — where they are legal for medical purposes — can be inaccurately labeled, contain variable levels of the active ingredients, or even contain contaminants such as fungi and pesticides; and
• Marijuana is addictive; 1 in 6 of those who start using in their teens develop dependency.
Every young person I know who uses illegal drugs are in some sort of trouble,such as doing badly in school, having trouble with the law, arguing with their parents. But, maybe you’re someone who abused drugs but then got help so that you could stop. The Partnership at Drugfree.org wants to hear your story of recovery from drug use. Learn more here:
I wrote about City Year yesterday. The name is inspiring-just like a young person has their freshman, sophomore, junior and senior year, this program envisions all youth spending one year, a “city year” providing service to others. City Year wants all youth to be asked, “Where are you going to do your service year?”
A young person I know will be working for City Year beginning later this year. City Year young people work to decrease the number of students who drop out of high school by improving student attendance, behavior and grades in Math and English. Here’s a video with more information. This is such an inspiring program.
I read the following on the City Year website: Ubuntu—a term borrowed from the Zulu tribe of South Africa—means “I am a person through other people; my humanity is tied to yours.” I was moved by the saying and by the work of City Year. I’ll write more about City Year soon.
I must admit that until just recently I had forgotten about Alateen, the support group for teens who have family members with drinking problems. I thought about Alateen recently because I have met several young people with parents who have drinking problems. These young people are in tough situations-Alateen can help. Find a meeting here: http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/local-meetings.
Have you heard about Lammily? It’s a doll that Nickolay Lamm wants to develop. What would be so special about this doll? Well, she would have the body proportions of an average 19-year-old woman. Here’s how she would look compared to the abnormally proportioned Barbie that we are used to. Lamm is right on when he says that “average is beautiful.”
A young person I know asked me whether she should buy Lipozene. I hadn’t heard about Lipozene but then I saw a commercial for it late one night which of course made me think that the only thing you would lose by buying Lipozene was your hard-earned money. Lipozene is fiber and the way it’s supposed to work is by making you feel full so that you eat less. I don’t think there is any proof that this actually happens when you take Lipozene at the doses recommended by the company. In fact if you take enough Lipozene to feel full you’ll probably feel bloated and sick. On the flip side, taking Lipozene, like taking fiber other ways can help with constipation. But who wants to pay $30 for 10 days of Lipozene when you can get fiber other, healthier ways? How? Eat an apple.
A young lady I know was telling me how guilty she felt because even though she is trying to lose weight she starting eating a piece of cake one day. What did she do then? She didn’t eat the whole piece of cake and then went to the gym to exercise that night. Now, I don’t think that every time you eat something you shouldn’t you need to run to exercise, but there is a way to recover when you slip. This is what this young lady did and now she’s back on the road to getting healthier.
I found this funny video of the First Lady and Will Ferrell conducting a “focus group” with little kids about nutrition. It’s fun to watch and it’s inspiring to see the number of celebrities who are committed to the Let’s Move campaign and helping all of us be healthier.
If you are a parent and your child is going over to s friend’s house, it is awkward to ask that parent if there are any unlocked guns in the home. But you must.
Last night Jason Collins became the first openly gay man on a major American professional sports team. Why did he come out and face such scrutiny? Here’s a quote from him that explains somewhat and shows why he has become such a role model, “The most you can do is stand up for what you believe in. I’m much happier since coming out to my friends and family. Being genuine and honest makes me happy.”
Some young people who have acne will scrub their skin thinking this will help. It’s actually the opposite-being gentle with one’s skin helps with acne. It’s also best to use as mild a soap as possible when you need to wash your skin. Many young people with acne also need medication also, usually a topical. For this reason, it’s a good idea to see your healthcare provider.
For years I have eaten cookies made by teens in Minneapolis who work for Cookie Cart and I have even known young people who have worked for this organization. Cookie Cart is a nonprofit bakery in Minneapolis that employs 15-18 year olds. Young people involved with Cookie Cart also receive lots of other services such as customer service training, financial literacy education and ACT preparation. If you want to learn more about Cookie Cart and order cookies, here’s the website, http://cookiecart.org.
Many African American young men who shave have to deal with razor bumps. It can be so bad that some chose to stop shaving and grow beards. One young man I know who choses to shave deals with his razor bumps by not shaving so closely. He said that when he shaves closely the hair goes underneath the skin so that when it grows it curls under the skin and may get infected. If you get razor bumps and don’t want to grow a beard, try not shaving so closely. Also, I suggest you find a dermatologist, a skin doctor-they can help.