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Reaching Out: How to Create a Diabetes Support System

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by Stephanie Shenouda

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A diabetes diagnosis will change your life at any age, but when you’re a parent and discover your child has T1D, you become responsible for them like never before. While you were already their parent, you’ve become a D-Mom or D-Dad, and will literally serve as one of your child’s organs, managing their blood sugar levels for the foreseeable future. Your child’s level of dependency will obviously vary based on their age, and they’ll become more self-sufficient as they get older. For a while, it may seem like you’re drowning in everything related to managing diabetes, and that’s why it’s so important to have a support system in place.

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Spry author Leighann Calentine discusses her experiences as a D-Mom in her book Kids First, Diabetes Second, as well as on her blog. Her daughter Quinn was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2008, a few months shy of her fourth birthday.

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Though your first instinct as a D-parent might be to do it all, all the time, Calentine explains that it’s just not possible. She encourages parents of children with diabetes to ensure they have support systems in order to care for their children as best they can.

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You cannot do this alone. Parenting a child with type 1 diabetes can be a lonely road, but you don’t have to travel it by yourself. There are thousands of people out there making the same journey. Besides the support of your family and your medical team, there are numerous resources available.

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Throughout her book, Calentine emphasizes the importance of a positive attitude. Diabetes was likely never something you anticipated, but it’s a part of your child’s life, and one that’s not going away anytime soon. To that note, it’s just one aspect of your wonderful child’s life. Once you’ve established a routine, and feel like you’re finally treading water, feel free to take a moment to yourself now and again to remind yourself what it’s all about.

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Dealing with diabetes day in and day out can really take a toll on a parent. We are exhausted from disrupted sleep schedules, zombie our way through work days, and somehow juggle the activities and demands of family life. At times, it can be overwhelming, but having a strong support system can help you avoid burnout and save your sanity. Remember, you need to be strong and healthy so you can care for your child.

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Though Quinn has diabetes, Calentine says she believes it’s important for her to have a normal life. A special outing that she looks forward to are sleepovers at her grandparents’ house. They’ve been educated in diabetes care and allow Quinn a change of pace, while managing her diabetes. Not only does Quinn enjoy these excursions, but it gives Leighann and her husband a chance to breathe, knowing that she’s happy and being taken care of.

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Once you’re comfortable and able to show them the ropes, don’t be afraid to enlist the help of family and close friends, whether that means occasional sleepovers, hosting dinner, or asking for a babysitter when you need a night out. You might be hesitant to entrust your child’s diabetes care with someone else, but you can walk them through the process of testing and bolusing, and send your child with some pre-portioned snacks to give you peace of mind while you unwind.

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If they’re local, your family is probably going to be more than happy to help when they can, so don’t be afraid to use them as a resource when you need a hand.

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As a prominent D-Mom blogger, Calentine has seen first-hand what a wonderful opportunity for support the Diabetes Online Community can be. Sometimes when you’re stressed and overwhelmed, it can be comforting to know there are others in the same boat.

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The nice thing about the Internet is that it’s there every minute of the day. I can log onto Facebook or Twitter at 2:00 AM, and there is another mom or dad or adult T1 awake and dealing with diabetes with whom I can commiserate. The number of diabetes related blogs is growing exponentially, and you are sure to find a few that suit your tastes. The first time you read a blog and realize there is someone else out there who “gets it” is like an epiphany.

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Some of the online communities she suggests include: TuDiabetes, Children With Diabetes, and Juvenation.

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She also suggests seeking out diabetes support groups that meet in person in your neighborhood. You can swap tips and stories with other D-Parents, and get to have a little time to yourself as well, which is important for your mental health’s sake. Check with your local hospital or your community chapter of groups like the JDRF or ADA. Not only can these groups be a great source of information, but you’ll form bonds with other parents in your local diabetes community, and will be able to turn to each other for support.

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It can be a very powerful and meaningful experience to meet with other parents who know what you’re going through, whether you need answers to questions, or simply want to share your concerns with someone who understands.

Diabetes is going to be a stressful journey, and Calentine reminds D-Parents that handling it all isn’t always going to be easy. If you notice the stressors of diabetes management taking a toll on your family’s relationships, she believes a therapist or counselor can be a useful tool.

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Maintaining a happy, healthy marriage and a busy family can be difficult enough on its own. When you add in the stressors that diabetes brings—physical and mental exhaustion, financial costs of care including insurance premiums, supplies, and prescriptions, and all the extra work involved just to get a meal on the table—of course tensions can rise on the home front. If you, your child, or your family is struggling, it’s okay to take the next step and find a therapist.

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No one expects you to do everything on your own. Once you find the combination of support that best works for you, you’ll be able to take a step back, knowing that everything is under control.

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What helps you get through a hectic day? Let me know @SpryPub or in the comments below! You can get your own copy of Kids First, Diabetes Second here.

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Stephanie Shenouda joined the Spry Wellness Blog as a contributor in 2014. She is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in English and Political Science at the University of Michigan.

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Child Health Day

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By Katherine Plumhoff

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October 7th is Child Health Day, created to increase awareness about protecting and developing children’s health. That means thinking about how to keep our favorite babies, tots, and adolescents (and I guess those pesky teenagers, too) on track to grow up to be healthy adults.

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But in order to keep your child healthy, you’ve gotta be healthy first.

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Spry author (look for her book, Balancing Diabetes, next spring!) and person with diabetes, Kerri Sparling, has written on her blog and in her upcoming book about managing her type 1 diabetes and monitoring her own health while also taking care of her young daughter.

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The following is excerpted from her blog post about her experience as a temporary single parent of daughter Birdy while her husband was out of town for work:

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“Seven weeks is a long time to spend thinking about single parents and to build up even more respect for them, as the experience redefined “challenging” for me. And I only experienced simulated single-parenting, my husband away but with a timeline for return. It was while he was gone that I revisited the post-pregnancy feeling of not knowing whose needs to tend to first: mine or my daughter’s?

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“Unless I was away for work, I went to sleep every night with Birdy sharing a bed with me. (Which was fine, except for the nights when she had a nightmare and would wake us both up, hollering about “the lemons are watching me!!” or the mornings when I’d wake up with the help of her tiny hands prying open my eyelids. “Good morning, Mawm!”) Every morning kicked off with a Birdy focus, unlike regular mornings, where the first thing I do is test my blood sugar and then go retrieve the kid, knowing I have Chris as back-up. Good diabetes habits that I have forced (and then enjoyed) for the last year or so went a bit pfffft as Birdy became the focus and I was flying solo.

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” ‘But your health needs to come first, so that you can best care for your daughter.’

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“Shut up; I tried. Everything was a circus. … “A good night’s sleep” was a laughable goal. “Exercise” became either chasing my daughter while she rode her bike at a breakneck speed or brief stints on the ellipmachine in the basement (because going to the gym/for a run while she was awake wasn’t an option, and most times I was so spent that I couldn’t eke out much in terms of exercise). Emails went unanswered. Deadlines were pushed. Pigtails were installed at uneven angles. Bananas ripened and rotted due to neglect.

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“(But we always had gluten-free banana bread baking, because that has become a favorite past-time of the Bird’s. So there was that.)

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“Diabetes became like a second kid, only one I don’t want to snuggle with. It needs to be walked. Fed. Checked on and monitored. It’s a needy little sucker. When it whined and needed tending to, I had to explain to my daughter why we needed to wait a few minutes.

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” ‘Do you have whoa bwoodsugar? Your Dexcom is howering [hollering].’ Birdy asked me when I was popping glucose tabs into my mouth, car keys in my hand.

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“The term “whoa bwoodsugar” took on a whole new meaning when I was solely responsible for my daughter. Being a parenting soloist for seven weeks made diabetes management pretty freaking tricky. I’m thankful Chris is home now, because for the duration of his absence, my target blood sugar went from 150 mg/dL instead of 100 mg/dL, in efforts to avoid hypoglycemia while I was the only adult in the house. My meter average followed suit, which was a frustrating increase after so many months in a comfortable zone, but I knew it was a temporary fix. My job was/remains to take good care of my kid, and that’s hard for me to accomplish when I’m low as all hell. It was an enlightening (read: WTF) experience, and one that, for all of its challenges, I’m glad I proved to myself that I could handle, thanks in large part to friends and family, and the blessings of a flexible job.”

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Kerri addresses similar concerns in her book (which is so fantastic—I’m so bummed I can only share a little with you all now!). Check out this short excerpt:

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My daughter, if asked what my “job” is, responds, “Your job is to take good care of me.” And when I ask her what her job is, she replies, “To take good care of you and daddy.” She understands that part of taking good care of myself means paying attention to diabetes-related things that she barely understands, such as my insulin pump, glucose meter, and the beeps coming from my Dexcom.

Kerri understands that in order to watch out for her daughter’s health, she can’t forget about her own. Keep that in mind this Child Health Day, and as you take care of your children, let them take care of you, too!

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Katherine Plumhoff joined the Spry Wellness Blog as a contributor in 2013. She is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in English and Communication Studies at the University of Michigan and hopes to work in publishing after graduation.

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Introducing Redefining Prostate Cancer: Why One Size Does Not Fit All

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By Maddy Barnes

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Spry Publishing is proud to present the new book, Redefining Prostate Cancer: An Innovative Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment by Steven Lamm, MD, Herbert Lepor, MD, and Dan Sperling, that is now available. The following excerpt explains why this book is needed and will be very helpful for all men. Continue reading below for an excerpt demonstrating what these men know and how they can help you.

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“Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in men, and it continues to grow in incidence. In 2009, 206,640 American men were diagnosed with the condition, and for 2013, the American Cancer Society estimates 238,590 will receive a diagnosis. Yet there are 2.5 million men living in the United States who are prostate cancer survivors.

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“Most men with early stage prostate cancer have no symptoms, and prostate cancer is typically very slow growing compared to other cancers. It can take decades before a tumor grows large enough to be felt with a rectal exam or cause any noticeable problems … So how do we catch prostate changes early enough to treat them, without causing men undue stress and unnecessary procedures?

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“All of the things you know you should do to protect your health–regular exercise, quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight and waist circumference (40 inches or less), and eating a balanced and healthy diet–are good for your prostate, as well. There is substantial research on prostate cancer prevention and lifestyle health, and many excellent books are devoted to the subject … Foods rich in antioxidants and other phytochemicals are thought to be protective against many cancers. These include fruits and vegetables across the color spectrum, from ruby red lycopene-rich tomatoes to deep green veggies that contain compounds that help the liver break down carcinogens. Other all-star foods include green tea, pomegranates, and soy.

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“Why screen for prostate cancer? Why do we screen for any cancer? In their earliest stages, most cancers start out as a small lesion confined to one part of the body (e.g., prostate, breast, bladder, lung). It is at this early stage that potential cancers should be found and treated in order to be reliably cured. Treatment involves either surgically removing the cancerous tissue or destroying it using radiation, heat, or other methods. Because most cancers do not produce any physical signs or cause symptoms when they are small, we rely on screening tests to find and treat them.”

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To learn more about the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer as well as much, much more, pick up a copy of Redefining Prostate Cancer: An Innovative Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment today!

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Dr. Steven Lamm is both the director of the Men’s Health Center at New York University and makes regular appearances on ABC-TV’s The View to offer his commentary and analysis.

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Dr. Herbert Lepor is one of the leading experts in the field of prostate cancer and is currently the Martin Spatz Chairman of the Department of Urology and the Director of the Smilow Comprehensive Prostate Cancer Center at the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York.

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Dr. Dan Sperling is the Medical Director at the Sperling Prostate Center in New York, NY.

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Maddy Barnes joined the Spry Wellness Blog as a contributor in 2013. She is currently working to obtain an undergraduate degree in English and Communication Studies at the University of Michigan and hopes to pursue a career in public relations or publishing.

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New to Diabetes FAQs: 5 in 5 with Gary Scheiner

Diabetes Alert Day

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By Katherine Plumhoff

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Everyone appreciates a useful list, so today I’m sharing with you Spry author Gary Scheiner’s answers to five questions for those who are newly diagnosed with T1 diabetes. Quick, concise, and full of advice, I hope his answers are helpful to you!

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KP: Who should be involved in a diabetes treatment team?

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GS: The patient (and his or her family) needs to “captain” the team. It’s best to include an endocrinologist and, ideally, a CDE, preferably one who lives with diabetes and can relate on a personal level.

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KP: What advice do you have for patients or parents of patients who may be dealing with difficult insurance companies?

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GS: Two things: (1) Solicit your doctor’s help. Your physician carries a lot more weight with insurance plans than you do as an individual member. (2) Talk with a case manager at the insurance company. Case managers can work on your behalf to help you get the most from your plan and work through some of the bureaucracy.

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KP: What’s the biggest dietary issue to watch out for when diabetes is onboard?

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GS: You have to be very careful about the timing of meals/snacks. Grazing will never allow you to control your blood sugar properly. It takes a disciplined approach to space meals/snacks appropriately.

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KP: What advice do you have for patients or parents worrying about A1c test results?

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GS: You can’t change what’s happened in the past, and that’s all that an A1c represents. I place much greater emphasis on day-to-day blood glucose (BG) values (or sensor data). I’d rather have an A1c that’s a little above target but with stable BGs than an A1c that’s tighter but with frequent highs and lows.

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KP: What tools do you most recommend for someone newly diagnosed?

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GS: Your brain remains your most powerful tool. Maybe get a copy of my book Think Like a Pancreas—it does a good job of teaching the ins and outs of self-managing your blood sugar levels. Beyond that, get a BG meter that is easy and accurate, an insulin pen that doses in small increments, a continuous glucose monitor, and a tool to help with accurate carb counting (such as a book or app). An insulin pump is beneficial to most type-1s as well, but only after some experience learning the basics.

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Gary’s latest book, Until There Is a Cure: The Latest and Greatest in Diabetes Self-Care is an essential resource for newly diagnosed people with diabetes as well as people who have been dealing with the disease for a long time. So if you’re looking for more information, check it out.

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As a Certified Diabetes Educator and person living with diabetes for more than 25 years, Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE, has received numerous awards for his work in the fields of diabetes care and self-management teaching. Scheiner has written six books and hundreds of articles on various topics in diabetes wellness. Additionally, he teaches the art and science of blood glucose balancing to people throughout the world from his private practice in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, USA.

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Katherine Plumhoff joined the Spry Wellness Blog as a contributor in 2013. She is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in English and Communication Studies at the University of Michigan and hopes to work in publishing after graduation.

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The Latest and Greatest Since Until There Is a Cure

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By Katherine Plumhoff with Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE

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The world spins madly on, and that’s not just true in the 2006 song by The Weepies (a personal favorite of mine). It’s true for the world of diabetes management, too. Spry author Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE, tackles the evolving topic of diabetes care in his book Until There Is a Cure: The Latest and Greatest in Diabetes Self-Care.

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Published just a few months ago, Gary’s book addresses all that has changed in the world of diabetes in recent times, bringing readers up to date on changing technology, therapies, and approaches to diabetes management. He discusses the latest developments in pump technologies, diabetes medications, lifestyle considerations such as diet and exercise, and current attitudes about treatment and care.

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Each chapter includes “on the rise” and “on the decline” sections, helping readers learn what to keep an eye on and what to consider phasing out of their treatment plans. I checked in with Gary to talk about what’s been going on in the diabetes world since his book was published in February, and here’s what he has to share with you.

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KP: Gary, do you think that medications that try to prevent the disease will ultimately be successful? What about immune-system blocking drugs?

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GS: I’m somewhat skeptical about the immune system blockers, first because of the side effects and second because the human immune system is so darned complex and difficult to work around. Seems that every medication that has been developed either doesn’t work long-term or works too well, resulting in side effects that are worse than the diabetes was in the first place. A highly selective immune blocker that protects the beta cells would be the Holy Grail.

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KP: There’s been a lot in the news recently about adult stem cells and T1—how do you feel about the future of that research?

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GS: I’m a fan of any form of therapy that provides life-improving treatments … including stem cell research. Most people don’t realize that stem cell research almost never involves unborn fetuses; it’s received a lot of bad press by people who don’t understand the origin of the stem cells.

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KP: What about hardware? Anything new recently?

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GS: I don’t think there’s been much since the book came out. The Dexcom G4 has taken over as the continuous glucose monitor (CGM) we’ve all been waiting for, and insurance coverage has really improved. The new Asante Pearl pump has a lot going for it as it begins its rollout in the eastern part of the United States. There are a few new downloadable software programs and mobile device apps, but nothing that has revolutionized the industry.

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As a Certified Diabetes Educator and person living with diabetes for more than 25 years, Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE, has received numerous awards for his work in the fields of diabetes care and self-management teaching. Scheiner has written six books and hundreds of articles on various topics in diabetes wellness. Additionally, he teaches the art and science of blood glucose balancing to people throughout the world from his private practice in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, USA.

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Katherine Plumhoff joined the Spry Wellness Blog as a contributor in 2013. She is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in English and Communication Studies at the University of Michigan and hopes to work in publishing after graduation.

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Migraine & Headache Awareness Month

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By Katherine Plumhoff

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June is Migraine & Headache Awareness Month, and the National Headache Foundation is focusing on raising awareness for this chronic condition that affects 47 percent of adult Americans.

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Headaches can manifest in multiple ways. Some headache suffers may see auras, which can include lines, dots, or flashing lights and signal the beginning of an oncoming headache. Changes in weather, certain foods, lack of sleep, certain hormones, and increased stress can trigger headaches, and no two headache sufferers have the same symptoms or experiences.

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Although their manifestations differ greatly, the sensitive nervous systems that can lead to migraines are hereditary and often run in families.

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There is no permanent cure for headaches, but there are multiple treatment options.

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Dr. Gary E. Ruoff, MD, one of our authors here at Spry, has written a book about headaches and their management. The following excerpts from Knock Out Headaches will help you talk to your doctor, decide on a treatment plan, and follow through with it:

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Prepare for the appointment with your doctor. Ruoff suggests keeping a “headache diary” that details your headache experiences for at least a month, and to also prepare detailed notes on your medical history. “The first appointment is more lengthy than normal, and it will delve into your medical, family, and headache history, as well as your medications and treatments, dietary and sleeping habits, and other relevant lifestyle information. You may also be asked to submit to certain lab tests,” says Dr. Ruoff.
Be thorough when describing your headaches. “It takes time and a great deal of listening to make an accurate diagnosis and develop a successful treatment plan for any patient, especially those who have become frustrated or disheartened by a chronic condition, such as headaches,” says Dr. Ruoff, so just keep talking. “Doctor and patient must communicate effectively and work as a team.”
Take an active role in your care. “No one knows your body as well as you … you are the best judge of what changes seem abnormal or when something feels ‘just not right.’ Don’t hesitate to follow your intuition,” says Dr. Ruoff.
Explore all options. Dr. Ruoff stresses non-medicinal ways to treat and prevent headaches. Before asking for a prescription, he suggests talking to your doctor about examining your sleep, exercise, posture/body alignment, and diet. If “you’ve followed the migraine prevention diet, reduced other avoidable triggers, and made some positive lifestyle changes—and you’re still plagued by persistent headaches—it may be time to consider migraine medication,” says Dr. Ruoff.
Keep the lines of communication open. “Ask questions about any aspect of your condition or treatment you don’t understand. Once you leave the office, keep your doctor informed of any problems, changes, side effects, or progress that occurs,” says Dr. Ruoff.
Be patient. “Migraines cannot be cured, but the condition can be managed. In fact, migraine is among the most successfully managed of all neurological disorders,” says Dr. Ruoff.

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Whether you’ve been dealing with headaches all your life or you experience them only intermittently, consider talking to your doctor about your symptoms. The sooner you begin, the sooner you could find relief!

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Katherine Plumhoff joined the Spry Wellness Blog as a contributor in 2013. She is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in English and Communication Studies at the University of Michigan and hopes to work in publishing after graduation.

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Cardiac Rehabilitation

Cardiac Rehabilitation

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By Jessica Snyder with Elizabeth A. Jackson, MD, MPH

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Women’s heart health is an incredibly important topic, but unfortunately it’s not talked about nearly enough. Dr. Elizabeth Jackson has written a new book called An Ageless Woman’s Guide to Heart Health: Your Path to Lifelong Wellness, and in it she addresses crucial information that all women need in order to be their healthiest.

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In the following excerpt from An Ageless Woman’s Guide to Heart Health, Dr. Jackson provides some information on cardiac rehabilitation programs that many people decide to participate in after a heart attack, heart surgery, or percutaneous coronary intervention.

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“After being discharged from the hospital, women who have experienced a cardiac event should ask their doctors about enrolling in a cardiac rehabilitation program. It’s a well-known fact that women do not enter or complete these programs as often as men. There are several reasons why this may be happening. First, younger women are frequently balancing family and work obligations and are therefore reluctant to take the time to complete a rehab program. For older women, the issue is typically related to access. They are less likely to be able to drive and hesitant to ask family or friends to take them. Since women are usually older at the time of a heart attack, and may have other illnesses or mobility issues, some doctors may assume these patients are not interested in this type of program. However, even if a woman has difficulty walking, she can complete a cardiac rehab program and benefit tremendously. Data show that these programs greatly reduce mortality after a coronary event.

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“Cardiac rehabilitation is a structured program that often starts in the hospital with education about having a heart attack and the treatment plan, which is referred to as phase one. Phase two occurs as an outpatient, when the heart attack survivor visits a rehab facility several times per week over the course of several months Recently, Medicare increased coverage for the number of weeks a patient is eligible for cardiac rehabilitation, based on the benefits gained from such programs.

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“Cardiac rehab provides an evaluation of your cardiac and medical history, along with your baseline fitness. An exercise program is then tailored to you, and sessions are performed under the supervision of trained staff—with heart rate and blood pressure monitoring. Most programs also offer education and counseling on diet, stress, and smoking cessation. Participants learn to set reasonable goals, based on their individual condition, in order to achieve a heart-healthy lifestyle.

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“After phase two is completed, many programs offer the option to continue to exercise at the cardiac rehabilitation facilities, which is called phase three. During this phase, participants are not monitored as closely, but they do have the benefit of interacting with trained personnel who have come to know them. This can help patients stick to the program.

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“Cardiac rehabilitation programs are also beneficial to patients who have not experienced a heart attack. Anyone who has undergone a heart surgery or PCI will find cardiac rehab valuable for recovery and prevention of further problems. If you have a heart condition, particularly if you were recently discharged from the hospital, ask your health-care provider about what options are best for you.”

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Grocery Makeover: Understanding Micronutrients

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by Jessica Snyder with Julie Feldman, MPH, RDN

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Julie Feldman, MPH, RDN, is a dietician who owns a private practice based in Farmington Hills, Michigan, where she provides counseling and consulting services to individuals, families, teams, and corporations. Her debut book, Grocery Makeover, hit shelves earlier this month. To give you an idea about why we’re so excited, here’s a short excerpt from the book on the value of understanding micronutrients and what they can do for you.

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“The easiest way to ensure that you and your family are receiving adequate vitamin intake on a regular basis is to focus on color, servings, and variety. Fruits and vegetables retain certain colors based on the types of vitamins and minerals they contain. Typically, the deeper the color, the more nutrient dense a fruit or vegetable may be. By choosing a variety of colors of fruits and vegetables throughout the day and week, you will help to ensure that the required vitamins and minerals are being received. This can be a fun way for kids to think about being healthy as well. Encourage them to “eat the rainbow” when it comes to produce.

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“It is recommended that most adults consume roughly two cups of fruit and two and a half cups of vegetables each day. Since most of us eat about 5 times during the day (3 meals and 2 snacks), each time we eat there should be a serving of fruit and/or a vegetable as part of the meal to ensure that we are meeting our micronutrient needs.

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“Minerals, including calcium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, chlorine, sulfur, iron, zinc, and magnesium, are essential to the human body and function as both structural components and electrolytes within our body. Our bones would not grow and our muscles would not contract without them. Minerals are found throughout our food supply and there is a great deal of nutritional propaganda focused on their consumption. Get enough calcium, decrease your sodium intake, seek out potassium-containing foods, supplement zinc—the list goes on and on. Choosing a diet primarily comprised of whole foods, limiting canned and processed items, is likely to ensure safe mineral consumption.

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“Calcium is one of the key minerals that is often lacking in the American diet. For example, teenagers’ calcium needs are roughly 1,300 mg per day. That equates to about 5 servings of a calcium-containing food a day. In my 14 years of practice, I have yet to meet a teen that ingests that much healthy dairy each day. This is an example of a great opportunity to supplement the diet with a calcium supplement. One 500 mg calcium supplement added to the diet each day means that this teen now only needs 3 servings of a calcium-containing food to meet his or her needs. Specific nutrient needs, including calcium, will be discussed when we identify great sources for these key nutrients throughout the book.”

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To learn more about the value of these key nutrients and much, much more, pick up a copy of Grocery Makeover today!

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Julie Feldman, MPH, RDN, works in her own private practice based in Farmington Hills, Michigan, where she provides counseling and consulting services to individuals, families, teams, and corporations. She thoroughly enjoys spreading the message of sound nutrition, appearing frequently on television and in print as a nutrition expert.

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Jessica Snyder is a member of the Publicity and Marketing Department at Spry Publishing. In 2012, she contributed to the Spry Publishing blog while working part-time.

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Can’t Wait! Grocery Makeover

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by Jeremy Sterling

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Yesterday I talked about Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal by Scott Benner, one of the two phenomenal books that we’re releasing next week on April 2. The second book that’s launching on the same day is Grocery Makeover: Small Changes for Big Results by dietitian Julie Feldman.

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I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Julie over the past year that we’ve been working together. In addition to her new book with Spry, she’s also a regular contributor here on the blog, adding her valuable information and perspective to articles on a wide variety of health-related topics. In fact, it’s difficult to find any topic that pertains to eating that Julie can’t talk about with expertise—nutritional planning, obesity, vegetarian and vegan diets, eating disorders, nutrition for infants and mothers, food allergies, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, you name it.

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Julie’s approach to educating people about diet and nutrition centers around one primary goal: helping people develop a healthy and peaceful relationship with food and their bodies. Whether old or young, overweight or underweight, in relatively good health or ailing, that goal remains the same. To help people achieve it, Julie teaches them to focus on controlling insulin production, developing a game plan, and becoming a mindful eater. By understanding these three basic concepts, people can make changes in their daily habits that can lead to vastly improved general health and well-being.

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Now, it’s one thing to realize that you should do something, but quite another to actually know how to do it. I have the good fortune of being my household’s “chief grocery shopper,” as Julie calls it. I do the majority of the cooking for our family, so naturally it makes sense for me to do the majority of the shopping. (I also have a certain fondness of strolling through grocery stores late at night with my headphones on.) I do my best to make sure that I bring home a healthy assortment of food from the store. But in truth, many of my decisions are based on my own hunches or guesswork, media hype, and product advertising, prices/sales/promotions, or if you’re dealing with two small children like I am, the ever-present question of “what can I actually get my kids to eat?”

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Grocery Makeover addresses and resolves each of those dilemmas and many, many more. Julie applies her basic eating philosophy to the everyday grocery shopping trip, while she walks you through the grocery store, aisle-by-aisle, providing helpful tips on every type of product that you will find there. Individual chapters cover one specific type of food (“Perfect Produce,” “Bountiful Breads,” “Dairy Delight,” “Eggstravaganza,” etc.), and within each chapter Julie shares ways to maximize that food’s health opportunities and minimize confusion as you shop.

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The organization of the information within the chapters is exceptional, in my opinion. For each type of food that’s covered in the book, there are repeating subsections that help to familiarize you with the vital information about that product.

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Key Food Facts Here’s all the data that you need to make informed decisions. Understanding nutritional information, labels, packaging, and options.
Pitfalls Where do shoppers usually go wrong? Common misconceptions and misinformation. Tricks that manufacturers play to sway your purchases.
Everyday Eats These foods may be included every day in a healthy lifestyle.
Occasional Eats If this is more of an occasional indulgence, what’s the healthiest way to indulge?
Insider Tips Loads of innovative ideas and smart strategies that come straight from Julie’s grocery cart and table.
Makeover Moments Now it’s time to make a change for the better! Learn how to give your old habits a makeover.

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The book also includes a pull-out shopping guide, pocket-sized and perfect for taking along to the store, providing a wealth of quick-reference food information that you can read on the go.

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One of my favorite things about Grocery Makeover—and about Julie Feldman in general, I might add—is the takeaway feeling that “I really can do this. I can be more mindful of my food decisions and improve my health.” I think that the subtitle, Small Changes for Big Results, does a great job of explaining the philosophy behind this book. If you consider each of the individual choices that you make at the grocery store and then make small adjustments to each of those decisions, the net result can be a dramatic, life-changing improvement to your health.

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Reading Grocery Makeover will not only improve your Food IQ (which it most certainly will), but it will also make you more aware of your health habits, more confident about your decision-making, and more content with the results. Give yourself a Grocery Makeover today!

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Can’t Wait! Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal

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by Jeremy Sterling

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If you have any friends or family members who work in the book publishing industry, then you probably know that people don’t usually pursue this glamorous occupation for the fame or the fortune. Nearly all of the “book people” whom I know—booksellers, publishers, editors, publicists, marketers, salespeople, designers, production managers, etc.—work in books because they truly enjoy creating and sharing content that can delight and inspire people in some way, hopefully in many ways. To someone who loves making books, there is no better feeling than knowing you’ve been able to touch readers with your ideas and to have a positive impact on their lives. That’s what it is all about.

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Next week on April 2, Spry is releasing two titles that I’m completely thrilled about, so I thought I’d devote a couple of posts to talking about what makes these books special and why I think they might be of interest to you.

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The first of the two is Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal: Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Dad by Scott Benner. We first worked with Scott last year, when he contributed a fantastic sidebar to Leighann Calentine’s Kids First, Diabetes Second. Everyone at Spry really enjoys Scott’s writing style. He does a tremendous job of being heartfelt but not corny, motivational but not preachy, funny but not frivolous. He writes as he talks, and I’m quite sure he could carry on a decent conversation with a tree stump.

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In a nutshell, Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal is a collection of stories about the mishaps and misadventures of parenting, told from the perspective of a quality stay-at-home dad. With a wide range of topics that anchor individual chapters (fatherhood, marriage, sex, gender roles, diabetes, laundry, “dropping the baby”), there are many different messages that you might take away from this book.

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One main theme that has impacted me the most is the idea that life truly is short and there’s never a better time than now to find ways to enjoy it with the people you care about. As a father who loves spending time with his kids, I’ve been inspired by the chapters in this book that deal with finding ways to create and savor that quality time with your family. The two baseball chapters in the book—aside from being some of Scott’s best writing, in my opinion—will hopefully speak to other parents in the same way they’ve spoken to me.

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Through the lens of Scott’s experiences, we’re reminded that nobody on Earth is dealt a perfect hand, and the path to happiness is paved by figuring out how to turn life’s challenges into life’s rewards. Through a lifetime of difficulties with his own father, Scott was compelled to be an engaged, supportive parent for his own children. Following his daughter Arden’s type 1 diabetes diagnosis at the age of two, Scott began sharing his triumphs and failures on Arden’s Day, a caregiver website for parents of children with diabetes.

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Now, I don’t mean to make this book sound like it’s just a bunch of gush either. It’s funny, and I mean really funny. Chapters in the book that cover sex/conception, pregnancy, and the ineptitudes of early parenting are hysterical. And Scott’s self-deprecating dad humor seasons every nugget of wisdom, so he never comes off sounding like “Smarmy Scott the Know-It-All Stay-at-Home Dad.” Or at least, none of the other dads who have read the book thus far have reported the desire to punch Scott or throw up on themselves (except in fits of laughter), so we believe that to be a good omen.

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C.S. Lewis wrote that “what you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing: it also depends on what sort of person you are.” Scott Benner is the sort of person who finds ways to laugh about things that would make most people cry, and it’s more than likely that he’ll admit to crying over a few things that might make you laugh. Give Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal a read and I think you’ll see what I mean.

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Meet Scott Benner, Part II

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by Jess Snyder with Scott Benner

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We can’t lie. We’re super excited about Scott Benner’s new book Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal: Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Dad. Scott is a twelve-year stay-at-home father who, on top of doing endless loads of laundry and other chores around the house, takes great care of his two kids. His daughter, Arden, has type 1 diabetes and inspired Scott to start his blog, Arden’s Day, to provide support and inspiration to other parents of children with diabetes.

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We interviewed Scott recently to get an idea about what makes him tick and why he decided to write Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal. The following answers are excerpted from a longer article that we published a few months ago called Meet Scott Benner. Read the entire interview here.

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JS: What is your story that you share in your book and why?
SB: Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal is a collection of stories that may at first seem a bit disjointed, but they aren’t. The stories are a representation of the journey that I’ve been on during my many years as a stay-at-home dad. It’s a journey that has taught me far more about life then I ever hoped that I could know.

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I tried to strip away the seemingly mundane moments of family life and reveal their true meaning. The lessons that I’ve learned, the ones that have enriched my life, they came from the pauses in between those moments.

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JS: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
SB: I’m 41 years old, have two great kids, and one amazing wife. I’ve been a stay-at-home dad for more than 12 years, and I write a type 1 diabetes caregiver blog of which I’m rather proud. I like baseball, but I love baseball when my son is with me. I like to think about things. I’m fascinated by my limits, and I love taking a thought to the very end of my ability to understand it, and then push to imagine the parts beyond my grasp. I’m not quite as handsome, tall, or fit as I wish I was but I don’t seem to mind too much. I love to talk to strangers. Girls in their twenties and little kids that have seen the movie Fred Claus say I sound like Vince Vaughn. Writing means a lot to me. I unapologetically love curvy women, my floor steamer, and taking photos. I dream of taking pictures in the Galapagos Islands for weeks on end, and I want a cure for type 1 diabetes.

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JS: What do you do when you are not writing?
SB: Cook, clean, shop, vacuum, make beds, bug my wife, repeat myself to my kids a million times, but you don’t mean that, do you? We love going to the movies together, that could be my answer but … Mainly, I just like watching my family live, love, and grow. Show me where that’s happening and that is where I want to be and what I want to be doing.

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JS: Why did you feel you had to share these stories?
SB: I wanted to write this book for a few reasons. I see so many fathers missing out on the joy that being a dad can bring to you if you just let it. Knowing firsthand how amazing life feels when you can absorb the energy that your family creates through the prism of knowledge that only being a mom can offer is a gift, and it’s unfair for me not to share it.

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I hope that mothers are heartened by the knowledge that there is a dad out there who gets it, but most of all, I wrote this book in the hopes that even one child won’t have to grow up disconnected from a parent the way that I did. Maybe I can reach someone who doesn’t know or believe how fulfilling parenthood is and change a life.

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JS: What trends are you seeing in glucose monitoring for children?
SB: I get excited every time I see a child with type 1 diabetes wearing a continuous glucose monitor. The next generation of sensors from DexCom is coming closer to reaching patients, and if the improvements in accuracy are near what is rumored, well, I wish everyone that wanted one could have it. There is, in my mind, no more useful tool available right now than the one that gives the wearer the power to see where and how fast their blood glucose value is trending.

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JS: What tips or advice would you share with your readers?
SB: This is an open-ended question! I don’t know … Don’t take any wooden nickels. Measure twice, cut once. Drink more water.

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Be kind, laugh, and brush regularly. That’s how I do it.

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JS: What do you wish people would ask you about more?
SB: How to pre-order my book … I’m kidding (no, I’m not).

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Scott Benner has been a stay-at-home father since 2000. As a diabetes advocate and author, Scott shares his daughter’s life with type 1 diabetes from his perspective on his web site, Arden’s Day. Scott’s writing is honest, transparent, and a great resource for parents of children with, as well as people with, type 1 diabetes.

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Jessica Snyder is a member of the Publicity and Marketing Department at Spry Publishing. In 2012, she contributed to the Spry Publishing blog while working part-time.

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Meet the Author: Manak Sood, MD

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by Carol Bokas with Manak Sood, MD

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Dr. Manak Sood is the editor of the upcoming book Essentials of Robotic Surgery. Carol Bokas, one of our project managers at Spry Publishing, interviewed Dr. Sood to give us a better idea of where the robotic surgery field is headed and what motivates him personally to pursue such a new field.

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CB: How did you end up a coeditor of this book?

MS: We started a robotics program at Saint Joseph Mercy Health System about five or six years ago and we’ve watched the evolution of our program to the point where we feel like we’re offering operations to our patients that other places aren’t. Jim Edwards approached us and said, “You guys should put pen to paper.” I was the director of the robotics unit at that point, and I pulled our co-surgeons and asked them to contribute to the book. It was unanimously met with enthusiasm. My job was mostly to be the coordinator and to write a few chapters so it seems pretty natural I would be the editor.

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CB: What trends are you seeing in robotic surgery?

MS: Robotic surgery is penetrating almost seven different specialties. There’s been a lot of literature out there about cost and how it’s a little more expensive, but the fact of the matter is that this technology has allowed us to pretty universally provide minimally invasive surgery to people. So in terms of benefits to patients, getting somebody home and back to their job weeks earlier than is otherwise possible is the rationale for pushing on. There are more and more applications for the technology in each specialty as time goes on. It has become more and more standard in care in gynecology and neurology. There are new robots coming out, they’re going to be smaller and better, so this technology is definitely here to stay. The better we get at it, the more we can do with it. Ultimately the patients benefit from it, no doubt.

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CB: How many hospitals in the states have the facilities that are like these here at St. Joe’s?

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MS: Very few. If you really look across the country to people who are using the robot for all seven specialties like we’re using it, there’s probably a handful. There’s no other center in the state of Michigan, and probably less than fifty across the country. The robotics people will tell you we’ve got something pretty special here, and we’ve worked hard for it. It wasn’t an accident.

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CB: What talents do you have that make you so suited to robotic surgery?

MS: None, really. I played video games as a child if that helps. There’s no specific talent. I think I’m blessed in that I have a group of partners who freed up my time so I could devote it to learning these techniques. I think anyone who strives to learn a new skill will say the same thing; you have to have the right environment and be surrounded by that kind of support. We’re pretty blessed in the group we have here.

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CB: Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?

MS: I was born in New Delhi and grew up in upstate New York in a city called Clifton Park, which is just outside of Saratoga. I did most of my education in New York—college and med school. I did my cardiac surgeon training in Indianapolis and then I came here to Michigan 14 years ago.

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CB: Please explain to me your signature (Dr. Sood’s signature begins with a “squiggle” for the letter M).

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MS: I can’t. It’s almost like a seizure. Before electronic records, we used to sign so many things it just got sloppier and sloppier until now it just looks like an EKG. It’s a function of signing way too many things in the course of your career. If your EKG looks like the M in my signature—it’s not a good EKG!

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CB: What do you wish people would ask you about more?

MS: I always prioritize; my family always comes first. If you spend two-thirds of your time here at the hospital, naturally you expect that people would be more interested in how you spend your day. But, if you ask what I’d rather talk about, it’s my kids.

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CB: The artwork here in your office is so interesting. Can you tell me more about it?

MS: It’s eclectic. Everything has a story; every little picture has a story and a fond memory. These aren’t random purchases. A lot of them, as you can see, center around Chicago where I spend a lot of my free time. I have a place there and try to get there as often as I can. I’ve got a few of my favorite artists. To me this office is as far from the hospital as I can physically get and still be on campus, so I’ve surrounded myself with stories and memories and pictures. You’ll notice all the pictures are of the kids at different ages so you don’t forget where they came from. Every chance I get, I’ll spend a few minutes going around my office and reminding myself they’re growing up pretty fast. It’s a nice way to do it.

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CB: What do you do when you are not writing?

MS: I spend as much time with my kids as possible. I’ve got four kids between the ages of 10 and 17 and I spend enough time here (the hospital), so whatever activities they want to do is what we do. I try to have dinner with them every night and go to all their events on weekends as best I can, spending as much time with them as possible, because they grow up pretty fast.

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Manak Sood, MD, specializes in cardiothoracic surgery, robotic surgery, and minimally invasive MAZE procedures. He is board certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. He currently practices at the Michigan Heart & Vascular Institute (MHVI) of Saint Joseph Mercy Health System.

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Meet Julie Feldman, RD, MPH, Part II

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by Jess Snyder with Julie Feldman

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Where do you go for reliable dietary information? The television? A web site? Your friend whose sister’s neighbor is a dietician? Julie Feldman, MPH, RD, is the author of Grocery Makeover: Small Changes for Big Results (available April 2, 2013), a comprehensive guide to navigating your grocery store in a health-conscious way.

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Julie recently joined me for an interview to tell me a little about why she decided to write a book, why she thinks good nutrition is essential, and how she transformed herself into a healthy young woman who hasn’t stopped sharing her passion for diet and nutrition since. The following is an excerpt from a longer interview that we posted a few months ago. Read the entire interview here.

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JS: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
JF:
I am a 37-year-old wife and mother of 3 kids who are 10, 8, and 4. I have been married to my husband, Brad, the love of my life, for nearly 15 years. I’ve been a dietitian for the past 13 years. I came to a career in dietetics because I was an overweight kid, and I come from a family who deals with weight issues. Around the age of 13, I decided that I was uncomfortable in my body and that it was time to do something. I began a pretty regular exercise and healthy eating program that I have sustained to this point. I attended the University of Michigan for both undergraduate and graduate school, obtaining my Masters in Public Health in Human Nutrition. I was able to complete my dietetic residency program through the U of M Health System, and I began my career in dietetics at Providence Hospital in Southfield, Michigan.

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I have served in several leadership roles during my professional life and have had the opportunity to use my credentials to do a lot of really cool things. I frequently provide nutrition information on local news; speak nationally on behalf of Mead Johnson Nutritionals; and provide media support for Coca-Cola, both in print and on television. But, my favorite aspect of my job is seeing clients day-to-day and watching their worlds change as they gain control of their health. I feel really lucky each and every day that this is what I get to do for a living.

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JS: Why did you feel you had to share the information in your book?
JF:
I feel so fortunate to be able to share information that makes people’s lives better. I am always amazed at how little people really know about food, and what they do know tends to be half factual and half media-driven propaganda. The truth is that there are not a lot of reliable places to receive good nutrition information that is realistic and applicable. It is unfortunate that visits with a dietitian are not possible for more families. Not every family is able to pay the $80–$150 per session that it costs to meet with a professional dietitian. I hope this book can provide some very useful information in a way that can fit into anyone’s budget.

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JS: How important is it that a person is educated about what they eat?
JF:
If you ask me, it is the most important thing we can learn and understand. There is not a day that goes by that a new study is not published on the relationship between food and wellness. Similarly, the rising costs of healthcare are nearly 100 percent correlated with a rise in diseases that are directly affected by our diet, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Education is power, and with education we are able to make better choices.

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JS: What are some good first steps for a person to begin integrating super foods into their diet?
JF:
I think it is important to get the basics down before venturing into advanced nutrition because, let’s be honest, drinking pomegranate juice does not offset a cheeseburger and fries. Super foods are nutrient-dense foods that offer tremendous health benefits in the form of high levels of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients with medicinal qualities. I always recommend that clients choose a couple of new foods at a time and begin eating them based on their own health goals. I also really like the concept of replacing somewhat unhealthy foods with super foods, thus doing double duty with each bite! Replace high-fat beef with salmon; substitute spinach for a less-colorful green; drink green tea in place of a cup of coffee each day. Here’s a quick list of super foods: beans, blueberries, broccoli, oats, oranges, pumpkin, salmon, soy, spinach, tea (green or black), tomatoes, turkey, walnuts, and yogurt.

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JS: What tips or advice would you share with your readers?
JF:
It is important to remember that you must be realistic with your health goals and nutrition standards. Is it realistic to say you are never going to eat another food that contains high-fructose corn syrup? Probably not. But you certainly could say that you are not going to buy those things for your own home. Too often people latch on to various trends in nutrition that are extreme and not sustainable for any extended period of time. I always tell my clients that they shouldn’t start doing something if they do not think they can maintain it forever.

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JS: What do you wish people would ask you about more often?

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JF: I would love for them to ask me about long-term healthy living rather than the latest trend or diet supplement. I want to spread the message that long-term healthy weight maintenance is a real possibility for all of us, no matter if you are busy working mom of 4, a 10-year-old girl, a high-powered executive, or a retired secretary. We each deserve to live our healthiest life, and the good news is that with a little education, we all can.

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Julie Feldman’s Grocery Makeover: Small Changes for Big Results will be available everywhere books are sold on April 2, 2013. Pre-order your copy today!

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Julie Feldman, MPH, RD, works in her own private practice based in Farmington Hills, Michigan, where she provides counseling and consulting services to individuals, families, teams, and corporations. She thoroughly enjoys spreading the message of sound nutrition, appearing frequently on television and in print as a nutrition expert.

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Jessica Snyder joined the Spry Wellness Blog as a contributor in 2012. She is currently working to obtain an undergraduate degree in English and Communications at the University of Michigan.

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Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal Sneak Peek

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by Jess Snyder with Scott Benner

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Scott Benner’s debut book Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal will be hitting shelves on April 2. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with Scott throughout the production of the book, and all of the early readers have done nothing but rave about the laughs and the poignant truths that spring out of every anecdote from the life of this comedic, yet thoughtful, stay-at-home dad. It doesn’t seem right to hold onto such great tongue-in-cheek wisdom, so we’d like to share this sneak peek from the first chapter in Scott’s book with you. Enjoy!

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“In my life I’ve worked in retail, done landscaping, and was a baker. I even operated an industrial steel saw when I was in my early twenties. In the few years that I ran that saw, I almost cut off the pointer finger on my right hand. I burned a hole in the top of my foot, went blind for a weekend from welder’s flash, and sliced a gash in my left palm that required hundreds of stitches. Please listen to me when I say this … doing the laundry repeatedly for countless years is worse than all of that combined! I am not exaggerating, gilding the lily, or even telling a tale out of school. Plainly, sorting the laundry, folding the laundry, and putting away the laundry is the scourge of my existence.

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When our home was redesigned, I only asked for one improvement. It wasn’t a media room or a man cave. I asked if it was possible to put the laundry room on the second floor. I even had the builder pack its walls with soundproofing insulation so I could use the machines while my family slept. The architect remarked at the time that I was the only man who ever showed an interest in where the laundry room would be. I asked him how many of the men he met were stay-at-home dads, and he couldn’t think of one.

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I thought the same thing that day that I do now. Women aren’t interested in where the laundry room is because they are women; they are interested because they are the ones who generally get stuck doing the laundry. I care about not having to walk up and down a thousand steps a week with a giant basket of clothes in my arms, but in the end I don’t care about the laundry. I’m just the guy who does it.

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Tomorrow when you’re getting dressed, hold your drawers in the air and thank the person who washed them for you. It will really brighten her (or his) day, and not just because you’ll look ridiculous standing naked holding your underwear over your head, for there is no more thankless task than making another’s clothes clean again.”

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Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal will be available everywhere books are sold on April 2, 2013. Pre-order your copy today!

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Scott Benner has been a stay-at-home father since 2000. As a diabetes advocate and author, Scott shares his daughter’s life with type 1 diabetes from his perspective on his web site, Arden’s Day. Scott’s writing is honest, transparent, and a great resource for parents of children with, as well as people with, type 1 diabetes.

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Jessica Snyder is a member of the Publicity and Marketing Department at Spry Publishing. In 2012, she contributed to the Spry Publishing blog while working part-time.

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Sneak Peek: Grocery Makeover by Dietitian Julie Feldman

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by Jess Snyder and Julie Feldman, MPH, RD

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Julie Feldman, MPH, RD, is a dietician who provides nutrition counseling and consulting services to individuals, families, teams, and corporations. Her debut book, Grocery Makeover: Small Changes for Big Results, is releasing on April 2, and, to get you excited, we’d like to share a little preview from the book that gives some information on Julie’s philosophy on eating and how she helps her clients have the healthiest relationship with food possible.

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“You, as the chief grocery shopper in your household, make decisions regarding the quality and quantity of products and, thus, impact how your family lives. With nearly 40,000 traditional grocery stores throughout the United States, each one housing nearly 60,000 different items, learning how to grocery shop in a healthy way is a necessity if your goal is to nourish and raise a healthy family. This process, which seems overwhelming, truly boils down to having basic nutrition knowledge. I’m not referring to the latest diet trend or celebrity weight loss scheme, but rather to basic biology and chemistry, which is a bit less cool but a lot more practical. It also requires reading and understanding product labels that include ingredient lists and federally allowed health claims that appear on the foods we purchase.

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“As a registered dietitian, I have the awesome job of helping people live their healthiest lives. The people who seek me out are contemplating making necessary changes to their diet in hopes of feeling well, looking good, and becoming healthier versions of themselves. We all recognize that change, albeit often necessary, is one of the most difficult processes to endure. The change required to achieve good health is a significant transformation for many people. My goal in counseling my clients is to help them develop a healthy relationship between their bodies and food. This requires dedication and introspection. The connection that we have with food is deeply rooted and far-reaching. It often dates back to our earliest childhood memories and is completely entwined with our emotions. The fact is that I spend about 90 percent of my time with my clients talking about their feelings and emotions and only about 10 percent talking about food. That being said, you can’t make good choices about food without knowing how certain foods and ingredients can affect your health and emotional well-being. “

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Julie Feldman, MPH, RD, works in her own private practice based in Farmington Hills, Michigan, where she provides counseling and consulting services to individuals, families, teams, and corporations. She thoroughly enjoys spreading the message of sound nutrition, appearing frequently on television and in print as a nutrition expert.

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Jessica Snyder is a member of the Publicity and Marketing Department at Spry Publishing. In 2012, she contributed to the Spry Publishing blog while working part-time.

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