Experts Caution Increased Lyme Disease Risk : Reports Of Possible Tickmageddon On The Rise

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Happy May Day friends!

When I was a girl on May 1st my mom and I would make beautiful May Day baskets. Then we would drive around to deliver them, usually to my grandmother’s houses.

I’d set the basket down by the front door, ring the door bell, and run and hide. It was always fun hiding and watching my sweet grandmas open the door to find the small gift we had left them. My little brother, took part in the action too, probably more interested in the running and hiding if memory serves.

I’m curious if anyone still does this? I have to admit I haven’t continued this tradition with our children. I did it with them a couple of times when they were really little but now they’re grown up.

When I was a girl growing up in Missouri I knew all about May baskets, but I didn’t know about Lyme disease, even though I loved being outdoors and had been bit by ticks several times.

Fortunately, I was healthy until 2012 when I was bit by 2 more ticks and, to make a long story short, have been dealing with the cruel effect of Lyme disease and the damage it’s done to my body ever since.

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month and I’m planning to share several posts about Lyme this month.

The Media Reports About Lyme Disease Risk

Even if you’re not a news buff you’ve likely seen something about Lyme disease on the news recently.

Many researchers have predicted that 2017 will be the worst ever for new Lyme disease infections. This is likely due to the mild winter and unique climate conditions which makes an enticing environment for ticks.

The volume of news articles and interviews about Lyme is considerable. It’s baffling to me how much is written about Lyme, yet how many people continue to suffer.

We still need to find a cure for all for Lyme. If Lyme is diagnosed and treated appropriately early on it can be eradicated in many cases.

The problem is that for many people this doesn’t happen. Lyme is often misdiagnosed. And once the Lyme bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi has time to invade your body, it settles into every organ and system, causing untold damage.

Diagnostic tests are notoriously inaccurate. And most treatments are not covered by insurance.

Considering the seriousness of the disease and the massive amount of people affected by it, it is alarming that we’re so far behind. For more on this, keep reading.

The CDC Staying Surprisingly Quiet About Lyme Disease Amidst Widespread Concern

In a recent article on www.thehuffingtonpost.com, contributor David Michael Conner said he did a Google search of news including Lyme disease from March 26 to April 26, 2017 and it returned 43 pages of results, which is a lot.

He then compared the results he found to basic facts with HIV and Zika and shared his findings in the following graphs:

Lyme disease risk
Lyme Disease, HIV and Zika (photo courtesy www.huffingtonpost.com)

Here you can see that Lyme is clearly the most widespread disease of the three, but receives next-to-nothing when it comes to federal funding. And as author, Conner points out,

“The news media, in other words, show a greater acknowledgment of the disease than federal public health agencies. That comes down to the nature of the news, though; …most of the substantive coverage of Lyme comes from local news outlets, and the reason for this is that those outlets reflect the realities of their communities—whereas national news organizations are more likely to report what they are told by federal health authorities are the reporting priorities. This designation is supremely important to keep in mind.”

Conner also mentions that in the past 30 days the CDC, “the agency responsible for protecting the public’s health interests” has tweeted:

  • 20 times about Zika virus
  • 3 times about HIV
  • 2 times about swimming pool urine
  • ZERO times about Lyme disease

If you want to read this article in its entirety I’d urge you to check it out here: What The Media Don’t Tell You About Lyme Disease (But Should).

 The Takeaway

The media has had much to say about Lyme disease recently. And while bringing awareness to Lyme can be a positive things, it’s essential to sift through information for the facts.

Many experts warn the Lyme disease risk may be greater now than ever. And despite the vast media attention and expert warnings, the CDC has remained unusually quiet about Lyme disease. This raises many questions and concerns which need to be investigated further.


Do you know someone with Lyme? Have you noticed Lyme disease in the news recently? 

Please share your thoughts below in the comment section. I love hearing from you!


 For more on Lyme disease, you may want to check out:

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8 Ways To Improve Your Communication Skills: Your Friends And Family Will Love You For It

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Having good communication skills is vitally important in many areas of life. Yet it is sometimes, dare I say, neglected.

Whether at the office with co-workers, socializing with friends or at home with family learning how to communicate effectively is essential to developing good relationships with others. Not only can improved communication help you enhance your relationships, but it can also reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

So, whether you’re a beginner with much room for improvement or a pro, here are eight steps you can take to develop amazing communication skills.

8 Tips To Improve Your Communication Skills

1. Listening is key.

Do you remember Verizon’s “Can you hear me now?” ad campaign?

It turns out there’s a big difference between hearing and listening. Hearing happens, “with or without your consent“. Hearing is passive and doesn’t require any effort on your part.

On the other hand, listening requires concentration and attention. You must consciously choose to listen.

Everyone wants to know they are being heard. So really listen to what the other person is saying without interrupting.

And without formulating a response in your head.

Barking Up The Wrong Tree‘s Eric Barker outlines the basics of active listening:

  • “Listen to what they say. Don’t interrupt, disagree or “evaluate.”

  • Nod your head, and make brief acknowledging comments like “yes” and “uh-huh.”

  • Without being awkward, repeat back the gist of what they just said, from their frame of reference.

  • Inquire. Ask questions that show you’ve been paying attention and that move the discussion forward.”

2. Eliminate distractions.

Put down your cell phone, shut your laptop, turn off the T.V. or whatever it is that might distract you from giving the other person your undivided attention.

This not only helps you pay better attention, but shows the other person you’re focused on them and what they have to say.

3. Pay attention to your body language.

Avoid sending out negative signals through negative body language such as tapping your feet nervously, avoiding eye contact and crossing your arms.

Instead, use open body language. Keep your arms uncrossed with palms up. Maintain good eye contact. And smile (when appropriate).

This positive body language sends the message that you’re approachable and interested in what the other person has to say.

4. Consider who you’re talking to.

For example, if you’re talking to your best friend it’s fine to use informal language, including slang.

If you’re a twin, you may enjoy “twin talk” with your identical sibling. No one else will understand what you’re saying but you two will, and that’s all that matters.

And if you’re conversing with your boss, it’s generally best to keep that in mind too. To sum up this tip, simply try to keep the other person’s perspective in mind.

5. Ask questions and paraphrase.

So I’ve been told I ask a lot of questions.

I’ve also been told curiosity killed the cat.

But I digress…

Ask questions to clarify your understanding of what the other person said.

Also, paraphrasing is a great tool to use to show the other person that you’re really listening. Here’s an example: “So Sam, what I’m hearing is that you’d prefer to go to the conference next week?”

6. Don’t finish other people’s sentences.

I know it can be tempting to “help” people when they’re struggling for a word or thought, but please avoid this temptation.

I admit I’ve done this before, usually thinking I’m being helpful, but simply put, it’s just not.

When you finish another person’s sentence, you’re actually stealing power from them in the conversation by taking over, and this never feels good or garners either of you the respect you wish for.

7. Avoid being judgmental.

Some conversations are fun and easy. Often this is because we feel comfortable and perhaps know the other person or have things in common.

But even the most difficult conversations can have successful resolutions.

It’s essential to put aside judgement and criticism about the other person if we want to be good communicators.

8. Be assertive and set boundaries.

Developing an assertive communication style has many benefits, especially when it comes to your health. According to www.anxietybc.com, assertive communication:

“can help you to relate to others more genuinely, with less anxiety and resentment. It also gives you more control over your life, and reduces feelings of helplessness. Furthermore, it allows OTHER people the right to live their lives.”

Assertiveness is based on mutual respect, which is an essential skill when communicating.

It’s also important to keep in mind that assertiveness is completely different from aggressiveness (or passive aggression).  The aim of aggressive behavior is to control and dominate others.

On the other hand, AnxietyBC points out assertive behavior is:

“the honest expression of one’s own needs, wants and feelings, while respecting those of the other person. When you communicate assertively, your manner is non-threatening and non-judgmental, and you take responsibility for your own actions.”

According to The Mayo Clinic, learning to be more assertive is a healthy skill which can help you control feelings of anger and stress, while boosting your self-respect.

The Takeaway

Learning and implementing excellent communication skills can help you be more successful in life. Knowing how to effectively communicate is an essential part of improving your relationships at work, with friends and family. And having these skills can help you enjoy better health and less stress and anxiety.


Do you have thoughts or more tips to share about being a better communicator?

Please share them below in the comment section. I love hearing from you!


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Intermittent Fasting Nutrition: What To Eat For Maximum Results

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Intermittent fasting nutrition is essential if you’re aiming to lose weight, gain muscle mass and radiate health and vitality.

Intermittent fasting (IM) is a concept that has been around for ages. It is not about what foods you choose eat. But it is all about the timing of when you eat and don’t eat, cycling between periods of feasting and fasting.

Intermittent Fasting Nutrition

Many people will tell you that you can eat whatever you want and still lose weight while intermittent fasting.

And, while this may be true, if you want to be the healthiest version of yourself, then you may want to upgrade your diet and make healthier choices when it comes to nourishing your body with life-giving food.

Here are a few tips to guide your food choices and maximize your results when intermittent fasting:

fasting nutrition
Be sure to eat high-protein foods, such as chicken, grass-fed beef, beans, eggs, fish, Greek yogurt and whey protein.
  • Include a serving of protein with each meal or snack. Examples include plain Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, whole eggs, chicken breast, grass-fed beef,  fish, whey protein, a can of tuna or beans.
  • Eat plenty of leafy green and cruciferous vegetables, such as spinach, romaine lettuce, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.
  • Include healthy fats, such as grass-fed butter, coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, nuts and nut butters.
  • If you’re in the mood for something sweet, fruit is an excellent choice.
  • A bit of dark chocolate (at least 70-80% cocoa) is full of antioxidants and makes a delicious and indulgent treat.
  • Complex carbohydrates, including sweet potatoes, brown rice, oats and quinoa are okay if you are able to reach your weight loss goals. Just keep in mind that if your weight loss is stalling you might try eating smaller portions (or eliminate these foods until you reach your goal weight) and see if that helps.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Coffee and green tea are healthy beverages you can include in your periods of fasting.
  • Avoid simple sugars and simple carbohydrates found in white bread and baked goods.
  • Avoid packaged and processed foods.

The Takeaway

fasting nutrition
Berries are chock full of antioxidants and are an excellent choice when you’re craving something sweet.

To sum up, intermittent fasting is a timing concept, cycling between periods of feasting and fasting.

It is essential to nourish your body with healthy foods such as protein-rich foods, healthy fats, and antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. Complex carbohydrates are tolerated fine by some people, but this may be something to pay attention to if you have difficulty meeting your weight loss goals.

Finally, avoid sugary, simple carbohydrates and prepackaged foods. And always drink plenty of water.


Have you tried intermittent fasting? What do you like to eat?

Please share your thoughts and comments below in the comment section. I love hearing from you!


You may want to read more about intermittent fasting here:

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The Intermittent Fasting Workout: Benefits Of Exercising In A Fasted State

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If you’re an intermittent fasting (IF) pro, or fasting for the first time, you may be wondering how this lifestyle will mesh with your workouts.

Or if it’s safe to work out at all while fasting.

The great news is that, yes, you can continue your fitness regimen.

As it turns out, training while intermittent fasting has some pretty impressive health benefits which I know you’re going to love.

The Benefits Of Exercising While Fasting

Did you know that exercise and fasting combine to cause oxidative stress on your muscles? It may sound bad, but in this case it’s actually beneficial.

Fitness expert Ori Hofmekler explains acute states of oxidative stress are:

” … essential for keeping your muscle machinery tuned. Technically, acute oxidative stress makes your muscle increasingly resilient to oxidative stress; it stimulates glutathione and SOD [superoxide dismutase, the first antioxidant mobilized by your cells for defense] production in your mitochondria along with increased muscular capacity to utilize energy, generate force and resist fatigue.

Hence, exercise and fasting help counteract all the main determinants of muscle aging. But there is something else about exercise and fasting. When combined, they trigger a mechanism that recycles and rejuvenates your brain and muscle tissues.”

Exercising in a fasted state can help you:

  • burn fat (1)
  • lose weight
  • improve body composition (2)
  • boost cognitive function (3)
  • increase growth hormone (4)

All great reasons to work out before breakfast!

What Kind Of Workout Should I Do While Fasting?

Technically, you can simply fast and reap the benefits. But many people want to work out and further maximize their results.

Thankfully, this doesn’t have to involve going to the gym everyday for an hour, unless you want it to.

The great thing is, this is highly individualized. You can find what works best for you and what activities you enjoy most and do that. Depending on your commitment level and your current personal fitness, your workouts can be tailored to your goals and abilities.

Because intermittent fasting is a lifestyle, you’ll likely find different workouts and schedules that best suit your goals and needs over time. Here are some examples of workout options you might choose while intermittent fasting:

  • Many beginners starting out with IM enjoy taking a gentle walk 2 or 3 days a week for 20 minutes.

    workout
    Intermittent fasting workouts are individualized and fun!
  • If you’re looking for full-body training, you might want to check out 20 Reasons To Try A Kettlebell Workout or The Health Benefits Of Rebounding On A Mini Trampoline for kettlebell and rebounding workouts, which are both fun and invigorating.
  • Many people who love the IM lifestyle find that short, quick bursts of exercise followed by brief recovery periods, such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is very effective.
  • Looking for muscle gains and definition? Strength training may be what you’re looking for.
  • Swimming, hiking, yoga, rollerblading, skiing, jogging, dancing, Pilates, team sports, etc. Any activity that gets you moving it great!

So now that you have some ideas for how to train while fasting, I want to share some important tips to help you get the most out of your workouts, as well as some special considerations to be aware of.

Tips For An Intermittent Fasting Workout

  • An easy way to get the fat-burning effects of working out in the fasted state is by exercising first thing in the morning before you eat your first meal of the day. This works great with the 16/8 (or other) IF plan and allows your body to tap into its fat stores.
  • If you’re planning on doing heavy lifting, or other strenuous activity, make sure to eat a protein-rich meal within 30 minutes after your workout. Whey protein is especially beneficial and makes for a quick meal on the go. This is our favorite whey protein. It has 30 grams of whey protein per serving, is gluten-free and has no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners.
  • Listen to your body. Be mindful of individual factors such as medical history, whether you’re taking prescriptions, age, and physical fitness level. If you need/want to drink a whey protein shake before your workout, do it. If you feel light-headed, your ears are ringing, or you feel like you’re going to pass out during a workout, don’t “tough it out”. Use common sense and pay attention to warning signs like these. Plus, here’s something to consider: A study published in the Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise journal revealed that consuming 20 grams of whey protein 30 minutes before a resistance training session boosted metabolism for up to 24 hours after the workout. (5)

The Takeaway

To sum up, working out and intermittent fasting can be done together, with many health benefits. These impressive benefits include fat burning, weight loss, improved cognitive and hormone function and improved body composition.

There are a variety of workouts you can do while enjoying the IF lifestyle. Keep in mind if you’re doing heavy lifting or other strenuous workouts, you should eat a high-protein meal, such as a whey protein shake, after your training session. Everyone is unique and requires a specialized fitness regimen. Always listen to your body and use common sense when working out and fasting.


What tips do you have for working out and intermittent fasting? Please share below!


You may want to read more about intermittent fasting here:

Connect With Me Below:

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