Tag Archives: relationship

Vitamins for Women: Lay Ladies Lay


Mother hen with chicks02

Image via Wikipedia

Childhood Memories

Image by garden beth via Flickr

My grandpa was a farmer down in southern Minnesota…and his farm in Paradise Valley along the Root River, is the spot of my most cherished, childhood memories.  I loved being there, tagging along with my grandpa and daddy as they did the morning and evening chores, cut hay, harvested crops, and chopped silage.

The dairy barn was an exciting place filled with the sights and smells of larger than life dairy cows and their calves, barn kittens, and hay lofts.

I was specifically warned never to be anywhere near the pig pens, and told dire stories of small children and careless adults– mauled and even eaten by swine herds.

The one place I could go alone was to the chicken coop.  I was given a small pail and told that I could collect all the eggs I could find, and my grandma would make them into breakfast for us when we returned to the house.

Finding eggs was a challenge…my grandma’s chickens were free range birds, only corralled into the coop at night to keep them safe from the occasional fox or owls on the prowl.  So not all the hens obliged and sat on their nests in the roost, many of these barnyard gypsies would casually lay eggs in random spots and walk off without a backwards glance.  It was a grand victory to discover hidden eggs and return triumphant with a pail full of beautiful, smooth, warm, brown eggs.

…Eggs have gotten a lot of bad press over the past few years.  For the longest time they were accused of causing heart problems and high cholesterol…perish the thought of egg yolk passing your lips.

But once again, the pendulum has swung and now studies show that actually, eggs are beneficial for optimal health and weight loss.

First, let’s consider the 2 most popular “villainies” of the egg:

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, there is no significant link between egg consumption and heart disease. In fact, according to one study, regular consumption of eggs may help prevent blood clots, stroke, and heart attacks.

New research also shows that moderate consumption of eggs does not have a negative impact on cholesterol. Yup, that’s right: the regular consumption of 2 eggs/day does not affect a person’s lipid profile and may, in fact, improve it. We know now that saturated fat raises cholesterol rather than dietary cholesterol.  Eggs contain 5 grams of fat/egg and only 1.5 grams of that is saturated fat.

So with those 2 misconceptions out of the way, consider this:

  • Overweight adults who eat 2 eggs for breakfast feel more energetic and lose 65% more weight than those who start their mornings with an equally caloric bagel.
  • Other findings reveal that egg-eaters consume 300 fewer calories per day, adding up to a loss of three pounds per month, due to the fact that an egg contains 6 grams of high quality protein and all 9 essential amino acids.  The protein just makes you feel more satisfied and less hungry.  “Eggs help level out blood sugar, provide energy-boosting protein and are full of nutrients,” says wellness coach Jessica Smith.
  • Eggs are great for the eyes. According to one study, an egg a day lowers the risk of developing cataracts and may prevent macular degeneration due to the carotenoid content, specifically lutein and zeaxanthin that are more readily available to our bodies from eggs than from other sources.
  • Eggs are one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D.
  • One egg yolk has about 300 micrograms of choline, an important nutrient that helps regulate the brain, nervous system, and cardiovascular system.
  • Eggs may prevent breast cancer. In one study, women who consumed at least 6 eggs per week lowered their risk of breast cancer by 44%.
  • Eggs promote healthy hair and nails because of their high sulphur content and wide array of vitamins and minerals. Many people find their hair grows faster after adding eggs to their diet, especially if they were previously deficient in foods containing sulphur or B12.

I love eggs: hard boiled, scrambled, tossed into egg salad. I’m glad they are being vindicated.

Today, I wax nostalgic in the egg section of the grocery store.  I fondly buy free range, brown eggs, and gladly pay the extra dollar in hopes that this small contribution allows some hen the good fortune to roam at will, being wild and wily, just like my grandma’s birds.

Be healthy, take your women vitamins, and be blessed, Kersten

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Women Vitamins: Finding Your Voice: the whole is greater than the part


I’m on  vacation in Colorado.  a huge step for me.  I haven’t been on a real vacation in over 2 years, and I can’t remember the last time that I took a vacation all alone.  I dawdled and dithered for a long time before I committed to airline tickets and resort reservations, even choosing a destination was a labor.  I asked close friends if doing this alone was worthy or selfish…I wonder if deep down I thought I didn’t deserve this time just for me.

Then school ended…on a Saturday this year.  It was a hot day in Houston, and I had a flat on the way to the airport.  I was positive I would miss my flight….but I didn’t, thanks to the guys at NTB….and a fast Spot parking van driver, and friendly airline counter servers.

Anyway, landing in Denver was awesome…I was upgraded on my car rental to a Ford Escape (the implications of the name are not lost on me).  Breathing the mountain air as I drove up I70, reminded me of all the things I miss by living in a large urban area.  SPACE…CLEAN AIR….that delicious sense of un-boundedness.

So here I am in Breckenridge.

My first morning started at 2:30 Sunday…yup…was awakened by the yipping of animals unidentifiable to my befuddled brain….I figured it was a local pack of dogs…and I was so ready to complain.  The continued chorus finally forced me up at 5:30.  

And I saw a sight that amazed and compelled me.  4 fox were staving off a wolf, not 200 feet from my deck. They circled and nipped and yipped and worried him, for those 3 hours, until he finally gave up and trotted off.  Later exploration revealed a fox den complete with young kit.  Remarkable, to witness that successful cooperation in the wild.  Of course I did not think of taking pictures until after I had my first mug of coffee in hand.

I thought of our world today, so disjointed, so fragmented….and wondered if we couldn’t take a lesson from these critters.  Nature has made them normally timid and they don’t go around provoking incidents….but they banded together for their common good.  They weren’t necessarily braver but their efforts, each voice,  connected them into a greater force.  Their kit survived, their intruder left, their domain was secure…it was a victory, if only for another day.

Drinking coffee in the early morning, on my deck, with a view of mountain peaks, lodge pole pines, and a local den of fox…. What more could I ask for?  This is my victory.  I found my voice and  took a stand for myself, with the help of friends and strangers along the way, and here I am.

I am savoring each moment, whether in the sunshine, on the road to mountain summits, eating blueberries and bananas by an icy spring creek, anticipating white water rafting tomorrow…. I believe I  hear John Denver in the background…I kid you not….and I am chronicling this journey of my own,  with each picture I take and send on to FB….

I pray you find your voice, stand up for yourself, support your friends and family….together we are so much greater than we are alone.

Be safe, be healthy, take your women vitamins, and be blessed, Kersten

Mt Quandry, photo by Kersten Conway, WomenVitamins.net

Mt Quandry, photo by Kersten Conway, vitamins for women

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Women Vitamins- Smile and the World Smiles with You…Longer


Don't give me a fake smile
Image by Jen SFO-BCN via Flickr

I try to smile… a lot…every day…for several reasons:

  1. I like smiling, it reminds me to be happy and to share that happiness
  2. I like being smiled at in return
  3. I think it makes my face look more youthful…I kid you not, go to a mirror smile…look….frown, looked bored or stern…look…smile…reevaluate.  Don’t you look younger?  More interesting?  More like the REAL you?
  4. It alters my reactions….I take things less personally.  I have the, “I grant you my happiness”, nobles-noblige  outlook.

I’ve noticed that as I smile, I am content.  I find myself dwelling on the blessings of my life.  I have a job I love, students spanning the last 20 years who genuinely care about me and seek me out…a nice house, great health….good friends…

Sure, I could make a list as long as my arm about the stuff I don’t have or the things that have been done to me, the wrongs and slights I have endured, the loneliness of being single in a couples world, the pits of aging…on and on… ad nauseum….but why?

When you are truly happy, these negative things are sort of reminders to enjoy the good.

A smile and a kind word can change the day for others as well.  Just greet a teen with a smile and a hug or high-5 and watch the difference in their eyes, in their body posture, and in the rest of their day.

SO-  I was intrigued by a study done and recently released, that hypothesized that a sincere smile, named a Duchenne smile,  reaching not just the lips but also involving the eyes, actually indicates the potential for a longer life.  A Duchenne smile requires the raising of  both cheeks, the corners of the mouth rising (demonstrating contraction of the zygomatic major muscle), and crow’s-feet wrinkles observed around the eyes.  (SEE there is a GOOD reason to love those crow’s-feet!)

Duchenne smilers were half as likely to die in any year compared with non-smilers

Keep that thought in mind when you are frustrated in snarled traffic, in a long line, on hold forever, with your child or your spouse…

Further, 70% of Duchenne smilers lived to age 80, as compared to 50% of non-smilers who survived to that age.

In 2000 the Mayo Clinic released data from a 30 year study of optimists and pessimists, which found that pessimistic patients had a 19% increased risk of mortality over optimists.

On-going research shows that basic emotional conditions, such as happiness and sadness, generate differentially patterned autonomic responses, which then influence physical and mental well-being and longevity.

Emotions affect personalities and life outcomes by influencing how people think, behave, and interact with others. People with positive emotions are happier and have more stable personalities, more stable marriages, and better cognitive and interpersonal skills than those with negative emotions, throughout their life span.

So start smiling…really smiling, ‘cuz that half-hearted smile doesn’t really count.  As that old adage states: Smile and the world smiles with you…and it will– for a longer time…

Be healthy, be safe, take your Women Vitamins and be blessed, Kersten

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Vitamins for Women: The Sweetness of a Kiss


Valentine’s Day is right around the corner…what a beautiful holiday: dedicated to love, joy, appreciation, and peace.  We think of candy and cards and flowers and kissing….just makes you feel better thinking about it, doesn’t it?

Out of those 4, let’s examine my fave: KISSING!  Nothing beats a good kiss, a sweet kiss, a kiss of atonement, a kiss of forgiveness, a kiss that wipes away despair and loneliness.  There are kisses of passion and kisses of tenderness, kisses of joy and kisses of promise.

The kiss is universal; it expresses affection and needs no translation.

Kissing is also good for you.  In fact, some of the health benefits of kissing are just amazing!  Consider these facts:

  • Kissing your partner good morning and goodbye can add 5 years to your life
  • Kissing improves your self esteem…you feel appreciated and it boosts your state of mind
  • Kissing releases stress, tension, lessens negative energy and produces a sense of well-being
  • Kissing burns up calories…about 3 calories a minute and your metabolic rate rises
  • Kissing passionately at least 3 times a day (minimum lip locking time of 20 seconds) can cause you to lose a pound a year…Can you say “I’m on a kissing diet?”
  • Kissing utilizes 30 facial muscles and can actually tighten facial features, prevent baggy cheeks, smooths the skin and increases circulation
  • Kissing frequently seems to make you less likely to suffer from bladder, blood, and stomach infections
  • Kissing stimulates  secretion of natural antibodies in the saliva and a type of anesthetic that helps alleviate pain
  • Kissing lowers the stress hormone cortisol
  • Kissing increases adrenaline that pumps up the heart, causing better circulation
  • Kissing frequently has been proven to stabilize cardiovascular activities, improving your heart’s health
  • Kissing decreases blood pressure and lowers cholesterol
  • Kissing reduces anxiety
  • Kissing stops the “negative noise/talk” in your mind
  • Kissing increases oxytocin levels which in turn calms you and produces peaceful feelings
  • Kissing produces endorphins that are 200 times more powerful than morphine.

Whew!

So I say, pucker up baby and start kissing!pucker up for womens health

Happy Valentine’s Day, take your vitamins for women, and be blessed, Kersten

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