Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!

Posts tagged ‘Babies’

37 Simple Pleasures You Can’t Buy with Cash

37 Simple Pleasures You Can’t Buy with Cash

1. The smile on a baby’s face when you play pat-a-cake. What other human being in the world would give you such undivided, rapt attention?

2. Catching the intriguing perfume of a flower that you can’t identify but you know is somewhere nearby.

3. Achieving the all-time highest score on a computer game and posting it for the whole world to see.

4. Actually feeling the sun on your face and the wind at your back.

5. Recalling the name of someone you’ve met just once before, a long time ago.

6. A freshly bathed toddler in fuzzy pajamas.

7. Thinking of song lyrics that express perfectly how you’re feeling at this exact moment and singing them under your breath.

8. The smell of a steaming pot of homemade vegetable soup.

9. Being in the middle of a really good novel – or, even, better, two – and knowing you have several hundred more pages to go.

10. That sound your steps make when you walk through fallen leaves on a very quiet autumn day.

11. An empty laundry hamper and a full clothesline.

12. A yummy, healthy meal prepared, served, and cleaned up by someone you love.

13. The first tiny tomato that appears in your backyard Minneapolis garden after too many months of freezing Midwest winter weather.

14. Introducing two of your friends that you know from very different circles and finding that they like each other as much as you like them.

15. Walking barefoot slowly through squishy, gooey, wonderful wet sand or mud.

16. Finding a recipe that calls for only ingredients that you already have in your pantry.

17. Listening to the symphony of birdsong first thing in the morning.

18. Realizing that your firstborn has suddenly become taller than you are.

19. Ice cubes.

20. Staying up as late as you please or going to bed as early as you want. In either case, waking up refreshed.

21. When somebody remembers to bring salt to the picnic.

22. Liking the movie just as much as the book.

23. Finding a missing earring before you throw out its mate.

24. Your boss telling you what you did right.

25. A balloon that floats by you out of nowhere.

26. Being able to “get” a joke in a foreign language. Better still, being able to tell a joke in a foreign language.

27. Spritzing yourself with a plant sprayer on a boiling summer day.

28. Teaching someone an essential skill.

29. Just enough blankets.

30. Trying the latest good-for-you food, and discovering that it’s absolutely delicious.

31. Stretching out in the grass, looking for faces in the clouds.

32. Going back to a vacation spot you loved as a kid and finding that it hasn’t changed.

33. Those few days of the year when you don’t need to switch on your air conditioning or heating.

34. Expressing your inner artist, whether it’s with paintbrush, keyboard, or garden tools.

35. Spotting a huge chunk of unblemished birch bark just lying there on the ground.

36. When your checkout line moves the fastest.

37. Fostering a rescue pet.

By Laura Firszt, Networx. empowers people to make educated, economical and Earth-friendly renovation and home repair choices. We are a community of homeowners, renters and contractors who are committed to sharing home improvement expertise and experience.


Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  

Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!   We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!  Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination.

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author of two books…
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What You Eat Before You’re Even Pregnant Can Affect Your Baby, Says New Study

What You Eat Before You’re Even Pregnant Can Affect Your Baby, Says New Study


We’ve all heard how important it is to eat well during pregnancy. Growing a baby is hard and risky work, and the better a mother eats, the healthier her child will be. But have you ever thought about the importance of maternal diet right at the time of conception? A study published last week in Nature Communications shows that the state of maternal nutrition during the periconceptual period (the period of time from before conception to early pregnancy) can alter fetal DNA.
The researchers analyzed the diets of 167 women in rural Gambia, a West African nation where nutritional intake varies greatly according to the season. Half of the women conceived during the dry season, which is known as “the harvest season,” and the other half conceived during the rainy season, or “the hungry season.” According to study author Robert Waterland, “During the rainy season, villagers have a lot more farming labour to do, and they gradually run out of food collected from the previous harvest.” The researchers also analyzed the DNA of six specific genes in the infants once they were between 2 and 8 months old.
Babies conceived during the rainy season, a time of year when women in Gambia eat more leafy greens that are high in folate, showed consistently higher rates of DNA methylation, which was contrary to the researchers’ initial hypothesis. When DNA methylation occurs, gene regions are tagged by chemical compounds called methyl groups which results in the gene not being expressed, but rather ‘silenced.’ Methylation requires the presence of key nutrients such as folate, vitamins B2, B6, and B12, choline, and methionine.
DNA methylation is an example of an ‘epigenetic’ modification, which is an external modification to DNA that turns genes on and off. These modifications don’t change the DNA sequence, but determine how cells read genes. For example, the colour of a mouse’s coat is determined by its mother’s diet, which is an external environmental, and therefore epigenetic, change that affects offspring.
The study’s senior author Dr. Branwen Heddig said, “Our results represent the first demonstration in humans that a mother’s nutritional well-being at the time of conception can change how her child’s genes will be interpreted, with a lifelong impact.”
What does this mean for pregnant women? It’s more important than ever to eat well and be healthy if you’re considering getting pregnant. The researchers hope this will lead to further study and the development of an optimal diet for mothers-to-be that would prevent defects in the methylation process and the eventual possibility of disease.
Are you or someone you know preparing to start a family and want a healthy mommy and healthy baby? Contact Leesa Wheeler, Healthy Lifestyle Coach with HealthyHighway with  for your consultation today!
By Katherine Martinko
Photo credit: Thinkstock

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

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Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

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Heat Wave Survival Tips

Heat Wave Survival Tips

Feeling the heat? A heatwave stretching across much of the U.S. has many of us  seeking relief, but it’s prime time for heat-related illness to strike.

In recent years, excessive heat has caused more deaths than all other weather  events, including floods, according to the American Red Cross. Our bodies lose  water and salt when we perspire, which can lead to heat cramps. If not  addressed, dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion leads to  heatstroke, a potentially life-threatening condition.

Young children, the elderly, and people with chronic diseases are most at risk of developing heat cramps,  heat exhaustion, or heatstroke. Do you know how to lower your risk of  heat-related illness…would you recognize the warning signs, and would you know  what to do should heat-related illness strike?

Tips to Avoid Heat-Related Illness

  • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing made of breathable fabric like  cotton.
  • When outdoors, wear a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Choose shade over the sun on a hot day.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise during a heatwave.
  • Drink plenty of water or other fluids.
  • If you feel overheated, take a cool shower or bath.
  • Avoid sitting in a hot car or leaving your child in the car. (And that goes  for pets, too!)
  • Take advantage of cooling centers during a prolonged hot spell.
  • Listen to weather advisories before planning outdoor events.
  • Check on people who live alone, especially the elderly or ill.

Risk Factors for Heat-Related Illness

  • prolonged exposure to high temperatures
  • high levels of humidity
  • dehydration

You are at increased risk if you:

  • have heart disease or other chronic illness
  • are drinking alcohol
  • exercise excessively
  • take certain medications like diuretics and beta blockers

Early Warning Signs of Heat-Related Illness

  • fatigue
  • thirst
  • muscle cramps
  • profuse sweating

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

  • dizziness and lightheadedness
  • weakness
  • headache
  • nausea and vomiting
  • cool, moist skin
  • dark urine

Symptoms of Heatstroke

  • fast, shallow breathing
  • pulse is fast and weak
  • confusion and strange behavior
  • fever
  • skin is red, hot, and dry
  • seizures
  • loss of consciousness

First Aid for Heat-Related Illness

  • Take the victim to a cool place.
  • Have them lie down with their feet up.
  • Apply cool, wet cloths (or cool water alone) to their skin. Cold compresses  can also help.
  • If the person is conscious, have them drink water or a salted drink. Do not  offer drinks that contain alcohol or caffeine.

When to Call 9-1-1

Consider it a medical emergency if the victim:

  • appears to have blue lips and fingernails
  • has a high fever
  • has difficulty breathing
  • has a seizure
  • is confused or behaving irrationally
  • has lost consciousness

By Ann Pietrangelo

Ann Pietrangelo is the author of No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis.  She is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and a regular  contributor to Care2 Healthy & Green Living and Care2  Causes. Follow on  Twitter @AnnPietrangelo

Photo credit: Stockbyte/Thinkstock

Sources: American Red Cross, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  (CDC), National Institutes of Health (NIH)

How Eye Contact Affects Our Brains

How Eye Contact Affects Our Brains


Did you ever play the Eye Contact Game as a kid? You’re supposed to  sit  directly across from another person and stare into his or her eyes  for as long  as possible while keeping a straight face. I don’t think I  won a single game;  every attempt would end in a fit of nervous giggles.  And as an adult, I feel  even weirder locking eyes with someone for too  long. There’s just something  about prolonged eye contact that makes you  feel vulnerable and exposed, as if  the person looking into your eyes has  access to your inner thoughts and  feelings. A loved one’s lingering  look can trigger a rush of happiness, but too  much eye contact with an  acquaintance or a stranger can bring on sudden  discomfort. How, exactly,  does eye contact affect us, anyway?

The Look of Love That old adage about eyes being the  window to our inner selves  isn’t far from the truth. We can feign a frown or a  smile, but it’s harder to fake expressions from the nose up. A true  smile will produce crow’s feet, and someone  who’s angry will narrow his eyes a  bit, according to body-language  experts. We learn a lot by looking into another  person’s eyes, a  behavior that’s ingrained in us from the start. As babies, we  use  adults’ gazes to figure out what’s worth our attention. In a 2002 study   published in Developmental Psychology, researchers found that  infants  followed people’s eye direction, rather than head direction. Eye  contact also  helps our younger selves with memory recall. Researchers  at MIT discovered that  four-month-olds were more likely to recognize  someone later if he or she made  direct eye contact.

Over time, we learn the difference between eye contact that makes our hearts flutter and eye contact  that makes us cringe internally. Oxytocin, also known  as the “love” or “cuddle” hormone, plays a big part in that. It’s a  feel-good chemical that’s released  when we feel bonded with someone,  either emotionally or physically. The release is prompted by a warm hug, holding hands,  falling in love, and so forth. A recent article in Biological  Psychiatry postulated that oxytocin’s the reason we’re so inclined to make   prolonged eye contact with our loved ones. And Dr. Kerstin Uväs-Moberg,  the  author of The Oxytocin Factor, believes that eye contact can  bring  about oxytocin release as well. Perhaps that’s why gazing into the  eyes of  someone you don’t feel emotionally close with can feel so  wrong—the oxytocin  might be there, but it’s not for the right reasons.  It’s also why eye contact  is deemed so essential for couples trying to  reconnect. Looking deeply into  each other’s eyes might rekindle  forgotten feelings.

A Simple Gaze Inspires Complex Behaviors Even if we don’t  appreciate meaningful glances from just anybody, we  do look favorably upon  those who look directly at us. Researchers at  the University of  Aberdeen asked  a group of people to look at two  pictures of faces that were almost  identical—the only difference was  that one face had eyes looking away and the  other’s eyes looked into the  camera, mimicking eye contact. Whether the  subjects smiled or looked  disgusted didn’t make much difference; instead, men  and women found the  faces making eye contact most attractive and likable.  According to the  journal Nature, the brain’s reward center is  activated when one  makes eye contact with a good-looking person. Not only do we  like  looking at attractive people, but it makes us feel even better when they   look our way.

Because eye contact is linked directly to our emotions, it has an  effect on  our behavior, too, as researchers at Tufts University proved.  Study  participants encountered a dime left in a phone booth and were  approached by a  random person claiming it as his or her own. When that  person made eye contact  with the participants, they were more likely to  give back the dime. Having  someone look directly at them made them more  honest, probably because their  inner thoughts—namely, “This dime isn’t  mine”—seemed exposed.

Direct gazes also prompt increased participation from people in groups  because it makes them feel more included. Dr.  Roel Vertegaal, an expert on eye  communication between humans, showed  that the amount of eye contact a person  received during a group  conversation was proportional to how much he or she  participated. Eye  contact also forces us to pay attention more: a 2005 joint  study by the  University of Wolverhampton and the University of Stirling found  that  viewers remembered what a speaker said better if he looked directly into   the camera at least 30 percent of the time.

This improved attention to detail shifts the other way if  someone’s expected  to answer a question while making eye contact with  someone else, as evidenced  by a University  of Stirling study. Kids  answered questions correctly only 50  percent of the time if they had to  look at someone while doing it; their scores  improved significantly when  they were allowed to avert their gazes. Eye contact  requires so much  mental work that it becomes difficult to think of much else in  the  process. It’s easy when our eyes are focusing on someone we trust and   love; we can concentrate solely on the adoration, instead of on keeping  up a  conversation. But most of us can’t even look into an acquaintance’s  eyes and  keep a straight face, let alone attempt complex problem  solving.

Use Eye Contact with Discretion Eye contact can help us  feel incredibly bonded or incredibly creeped  out, depending on the person in  view. It can make people more honest or  make them appear more attractive. It  has the power to enhance memory or  cause us to forget everything else but the  irises in front of us. Think of how many people we lock eyes with on a daily   basis, be it at the grocery store or during a conversation with a  coworker.  It’s a wonder we can get anything done!

Luckily, there’s a social difference between strangers and loved  ones when  it comes to eye contact time limits. A certain amount is  necessary for social  functioning (how weird is it when the person you’re  talking to refuses to look  you in the eyes?), but anything more than  that gets far too close for comfort.  Though we do it all the time, eye  contact is clearly one of the most intimate  behaviors we engage in. We  may look into people’s eyes throughout the day, but  we reserve the  prolonged kind of gazing for those we keep closest to our  hearts.

By Vicki Santillano, DivineCaroline

At, women  come together to learn from experts in the fields, of health, sustainability,  and culture; to reflect on shared experiences; and to express themselves by  writing and publishing stories about anything that matters to them. Here, real  women publish like real pros. Together, with our staff writers, they’re  discussing all facets of women’s lives from relationships and careers, to travel  and healthy living. So come discover, read, learn, laugh and connect at


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