Resolve to Make Real Nutrition a New Year Priority

A new year signals a chance to renew your commitment to healthier eating, but many of the most popular diets, like the keto diet and paleo diet, eliminate entire food groups, which can cause you to fall short on nutrients you need.

For example, a study in the “Journal of Clinical Lipidology” suggests low-carb diets may not have meaningful long-term benefits for weight or heart health compared to other diets and could actually restrict foods that are good for your heart.

This new year, instead of jumping on restrictive diet bandwagons, focus instead on consuming real, wholesome foods you can still enjoy, like dairy milk, that deliver benefits backed by decades of research.

Consider these tips for incorporating nutrient-rich foods into a few trending diets to make them work for you.

Intermittent Fasting: Skipping meals could do more harm than good if you’re not getting the nutrients you need to be your best. A better bet: balanced, flavorful meals that incorporate multiple food groups. If you really want to try intermittent fasting, consider not eating past a certain time in the evening so you can “fast” throughout the night, and make sure to eat a nourishing breakfast in the morning, like oatmeal made with real milk, topped with fruit and a handful of nuts.

Plant-Packed Plates: If you’re considering a vegetarian or plant-based diet in the new year, it’s important to pack the right nutrients into your meatless meals, particularly protein, calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12. Make sure you’re getting enough by enjoying a variety of plant-based foods like beans, nuts, fruits and vegetables along with some other thoughtfully chosen options. Real dairy milk is a good choice in a vegetarian diet, providing as much as eight times more protein than many non-dairy milk alternatives. Each 8-ounce glass is also a source of vitamin D, and an excellent source of calcium and vitamin B12.

Focus On Fats: If you’re keeping closer tabs on your fat intake, it’s important to choose the right ones and know that a growing body of evidence suggests not all saturated fats are the same. For example, whole milk, which has more dairy fat than skim or low-fat varieties, may actually help raise “good” cholesterol and could be considered part of a diet that’s also good for your heart, according to research in the “European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.”

Calorie Conscious: Monitoring the calories you consume versus the calories you burn through exercise and everyday activity can help manage the fuel your body needs. When you consistently burn more calories than you eat, you are more likely to effectively lose weight. However, that doesn’t mean you have to forgo all your favorite foods. For example, when it comes to dairy, swapping full-fat options for skim or low-fat alternatives is one way to receive the same nutrient package with less fat and calories.

Make better nutritional balance a priority this new year and find more advice and recipes at MilkLife.com. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
MilkPEP

How to Start a Keto Diet

(Family Features) Starting a keto diet continues to be one of the leading trends in nutrition, though many find the transition to be daunting. Kristin Kirkpatrick, RDN, Quest Nutrition spokesperson and former nutrition lead for the Cleveland Clinic, recommends these guidelines for a day on the meal plan to help you get started. Find more information at questketo.com.

SOURCE:
Quest Nutrition

Understanding Rare Cancers

Four facts to know about one type of rare cancer, soft tissue sarcomas

Although rare cancers don’t occur often, they can affect people of all ages and genders.

A rare cancer is defined as fewer than 15 new diagnoses per 100,000 people per year, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Additionally, as noted by the American Cancer Society (ACS), the 5-year survival rate is lower for people diagnosed with a rare cancer than for people living with more common cancers. Greater awareness of rare cancers may lead to earlier diagnosis and management, and potentially better survival rates.

  1. There are more than 50 types of soft tissue sarcomas (STS). STS account for about 1% of all cancers and affect soft tissues such as muscle, fat, nerves, blood vessels and skin. Although STS can be found in any part of the body, they are often in the arms or legs, internal organs, the back of the abdominal cavity or in the trunk, head and neck area.

If you have recently been diagnosed with STS, it’s important to ask your doctor for more information about the specific sub-type you have. For example, if you received a diagnosis of undifferentiated sarcoma, ask your doctor for an integrase interactor-1 (INI1) test to see if you have a rare STS called epithelioid sarcoma (ES). (See sidebar for more on ES.)

  1. STS can be visible or invisible depending on location. STS may appear as painless bumps under the skin, usually on arms or legs. Some sarcomas begin in the abdomen and typically don’t show symptoms until they grow and press on nearby organs, nerves, muscles or blood vessels. When this occurs, symptoms may include pain and trouble breathing.
  1. Early diagnosis can help inform disease management. As with other types of cancer, early diagnosis of STS is key, as earlier treatment may result in more favorable outcomes. Because other conditions can cause similar symptoms, it’s important to check with your doctor if you are experiencing any of the warning signs listed above. If your doctor decides it’s best to “watch and wait,” consider developing a six-week follow-up plan in partnership with your health care team if your symptoms have not improved.
  1. Seeking care from a specialist is key. Given the rarity of STS, finding a sarcoma specialist who understands the complexity of this rare disease and can help determine which treatment option is best for you is important. Treatment options depend on multiple factors, including your overall health, the location and type of tumor, its size and whether the disease has spread elsewhere in the body. STS are typically treated with a combination of options including chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery. A specialist may also speak to you about participating in a clinical trial where investigational therapies in STS are being studied.

Learning More About Epithelioid Sarcoma

A rare type of STS, epithelioid sarcoma (ES) accounts for less than 1% of all STS, which themselves account for approximately 1% of all cancers, according to research published in “Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine.” ES can present as a lump or sore on the skin.

Notably, more than 90% of ES tumors do not express the INI1 protein, which when present acts to suppress tumor growth. INI1 loss plays an important role in the diagnosis of ES, according to researchers with “The American Journal of Surgical Pathology.”

Data from the NCI indicates that approximately 150-200 people in the United States are diagnosed with ES each year. Research published in “The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology” found the disease often occurs in young adults in their 20s and 30s. Because most ES patients are adolescents and young adults, there is a gap in the unique psycho-social needs for this patient population, including resources for patients who miss school while undergoing treatments, as well as fertility considerations later in life.

If you or someone you love is living with ES, you can find resources, information and the real-life perspective of an ES survivor at ESsentialsforES.com. (Family Features)

Content courtesy of Epizyme, Inc.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

SOURCE:
Epizyme

Does Your Skin Have a Holiday Hangover?

What to Do When Libations Take a Toll on Your Skin

‘Tis the season…for eating…and drinking.

We’re all aware of the effects binge drinking can have on our health, but that doesn’t stop most of us from overindulging during the party season. What many people don’t realize is that drinking alcohol in excess can have a negative impact on our appearance. Alcohol dehydrates your body including the skin, your body’s largest organ. This happens every time you drink. Extra cocktails can be adding years to your face in the form of wrinkles, poor texture, and lack of radiance.

Dr. Gretchen Frieling is a Boston Area Board-Certified Dermatopathologist. She explains that frequent alcohol consumption is also thought to deprive the skin of vital vitamins and nutrients. “Over time, drinking heavily can have other, more permanent, detrimental effects on your skin. Rosacea, a skin disorder that starts with a tendency to blush and flush easily and can eventually lead to facial disfigurement, is linked to alcohol. Since alcohol increases your blood flow, it often causes blood vessels in your face to dilate (sometimes permanently) and often burst, leaving behind broken capillaries and red spots that are difficult to get rid of,” offers Dr. Frieling.

Here’s a look at what alcohol can do to wreak havoc on your appearance.

Brittle hair.

What’s worse, drinking too much doesn’t only affect the appearance of your skin; it will dehydrate your hair, making it more prone to breaking and split ends. Weak, brittle hair in addition to premature wrinkling, can easily add 10 years to someone’s appearance.

Dark circles, bloodshot eyes, and even blindness.

In much the same way that alcohol causes broken capillaries on your face, it irritates and enlarges the tiny blood vessels on the surface of your eye (the sclera) causing a “bloodshot” appearance. If vanity doesn’t get your attention, how about blindness? “Because excessive drinking robs the body of some nutrients required to maintain eye health, it can lead to a condition called alcoholic optic neuritis, which impairs eyesight and, over time, can result in blindness,” cautions Dr. Frieling.

Some tips to avoid a “skin hangover” include…

1. Stay hydrated.

Aside from giving up booze altogether, Dr. Frieling says it is possible to minimize the unwanted effects of alcohol by constantly staying hydrated. “That means drinking a full glass of water for every cocktail you have. Drink even more water before you go to bed to flush the alcohol out of your system, so you wake up less dehydrated, puffy, and flushed,” she advises.

2. Take care of your skin before bed.

Taking care of your skin before hitting the sack is also crucial. Dr.  Frieling advises fully washing your face and then applying a moisturizer, like a hydrating serum before getting into bed. “Sleeping with dirty skin makes it prone to clogged pores and acne.”

3. Prop pillows and use tea.

One of the best ways to minimize the eye and face puffiness is to sleep on two pillows, slightly propped up. In the morning, rubbing ice cubes all over your face helps, too. “One of the best ways to deflate eye puffiness and reduce the redness is to place cold tea bags over the eyes. The tannins in the tea help constrict blood vessels,” adds Dr. Frieling.

4. Cover up what you can’t cure.

To camouflage the redness in the face, use a green-tinted primer before applying makeup, which should help neutralize any redness. If you must use foundation, look for a lightweight, moisturizing formula.  Avoid powders, as they are often more drying.

5. Consider lasers.

When at-home remedies aren’t making much of a difference. There are pricier measures you can take to minimize the effects of alcohol. “Certain laser treatments can reduce redness and spider veins on the face. It’s important to see someone who is well trained to administer the laser treatment,” suggests Dr.  Frieling.

6. Choose your booze wisely.

If you are going to consume alcohol know that different alcohols have different effects on the skin, but as a general rule, the clearer, the better. Vodka, gin, and tequila leave your system quicker. “If you’re going to drink anything, drink vodka that doesn’t have a grain in it, like potato vodka. It’s a lot clearer and smoother, so it gets in and out of your body quickly,” says Dr.  Frieling. Most dermatologists agree that although everyone metabolizes alcohol differently if you can remember to drink in moderation and stay hydrated, you can save your skin.

About Board-Certified Dermatopathologist Dr. Grethen Frieling

Dr. Gretchen Frieling

Dr. Gretchen Frieling

Dr. Gretchen Frieling (“Dr. G”), MD is a Harvard-trained, board-certified Dermatopathologist, with over 10 years of experience in Medicine and Dermatopathology.  With a background notable for intensive ballet, including the Juilliard School, Dr. G combines her artistic eye, perfectionistic qualities, and medical expertise, to give her patients the ability to be better versions of themselves.  Dr. G has an extensive academic background, including numerous publications in peer-reviewed medical journals, selected Editor of medical journals, an author of noteworthy medical textbook chapters, an educator at the Harvard Medical School, and speaker at many national medical conferences.

When it comes to non-surgical cosmetic procedures, Dr. Frieling has mastered the art of re-defining and re-vitalizing the face by eliminating fine lines, wrinkles and re-establishing volume with a minimalistic approach.  She is the founder and CEO of the GFaceMD luxury medical skincare line.  GFaceMD is a unique, boutique, client-focused aesthetic practice, with a mission to optimize beauty through advanced microenhancement techniques with the utmost professionalism, education, and confidentiality.  Services include injectables from neurotoxins to dermal fillers, fat dissolving treatments, collagen-stimulating treatments, laser treatments, medical facials, microneedling, chemical peels, dermaplaning, and more.  Along with splitting her time as a practicing Dermatopathologist, Dr. Frieling enjoys spending time with her husband, her two kids, and extended family, as well as volunteering in the community. She is an avid philanthropist, serving as a judge in the Miss Pink Organization, an active member of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and a contributor to many non-profit organizations, including My Life My Choice and St. Jude.

Dr. Alok Trivedi Offers Ten Tips on Setting and Keeping Resolutions

It’s almost that time again when people everywhere will be setting their annual New Year’s resolutions. Whether it’s making more money, losing weight or anything else, what can you do to make good on your New Year’s resolutions in 2020?

Dr. Alok Trivedi is a human behavior and psychological performance expert. He is the founder of the Aligned Performance Institute and author of the book Chasing Success.

He offers these ten tips when it comes to setting and keeping resolutions:

  1. Start small: Having a big goal in mind is fine but realize the best way to be successful is to see it as an incremental process. Maybe you want to lose 50 pounds. That’s great but focus on losing ten pounds at a time. If you constantly look at the big picture, you’re going to get overwhelmed. Smaller goals are easier to accomplish and will leave you feeling motivated and inspired to keep moving towards your larger goals.
  1. Keep your mouth shut: When you keep your goals to yourself, it creates an inner drive to achieve them. Telling everyone else what you want to accomplish only puts more pressure on you and makes the process much more difficult to manage. If you feel like sharing, tell other people about your failures. It makes you a humbler person. The other reason to speak about your failures is because there is so much learning in failure for yourself as well as those around you.
  1. Don’t compare your goals to someone else’s goals: This is your life, your goals and your reality. What you want to accomplish in your life is going to be very different from what someone else wants to achieve. For example, in the next few weeks, so many people are going to say they want to lose weight in 2020. Do they really want to lose weight or are they saying that because it’s the popular thing to do? Set goals that are truly valuable to you.
  1. Master your failures. Master the areas you have failed at by finding out why. Why didn’t you succeed in the past? If you didn’t accomplish your goals last year, figure out what went wrong so you don’t make the same mistakes. Treat your failures as a learning experience to move you closer to success.
  1. Focus on the experience, not the goal: It’s not the million dollars that you’re after, it’s the experiences you get to have because of the million dollars. It’s fine to have your goals, but rather than spending so much time obsessed with them, focus on the experience. Every day is a new experience with new people and new adventures. Knowing where you want to go is important, but don’t miss out on the ride.
  1. Expect bumps in the road: Trying to accomplish any goal is a process filled with ups and downs. Most people enter the new year expecting things to just magically change without any effort or obstacles. The person who accomplishes his New Year’s resolutions is the person who overcame the most obstacles.
  1. Listen to the negative talk: All the self-help gurus, while well-intentioned, encourage you to only think positive thoughts. This is unrealistic because you’re living in a fantasy world. Paying attention to your negative self-talk is extremely important because it’s trying to break you of your addiction to that fantasy. The key is to be optimistic about what you want while listening to the negative thoughts because it will keep you grounded in reality.
  1. Focus on your ‘why not:’ Most personal development people will tell you to focus on your ‘why.’ Instead, you need to focus on your ‘why not.’ This is the real reason you’re not going after your goals. Until you figure out what’s really holding you back, you can’t have any forward progress.
  1. Stay away from vision boards: These should be called nightmare boards. All they do is slap you in the face and constantly remind you of all the things you haven’t been able to accomplish. Staring at million-dollar mansions, Lamborghinis and super fit models with bulging muscles isn’t going to inspire you for greatness. It’s delusional thinking that will leave feeling down on your luck.
  1. Don’t wait until January 1: Why wait until January 1? Thinking you’re going to make a magical change come the New Year is delusional thinking, gives you more time to indulge in the bad behavior and digs a deeper hole. If you’re serious about making a change, start right now, this very second.

Learn more about Dr. Alok Trivedi by visiting www.alignedperformanceinstitute.com.

Two Homes for the Holidays . . . and How Divorce Affects Your Children

Written by Hara Wachholder

At the young age of two, I became quite the traveler. Well . . . not in the way you might think. I did not have extra miles sitting on a card to travel around the country. My traveling consisted of venturing several times a month between two cities about twenty minutes apart. What sounds like an easy trip between neighboring towns felt like a journey that never seemed to end.

I am the adult daughter of divorced parents. While I now have the ability to decide who to visit, I was not given this privilege until the age of seventeen or eighteen. Instead, I would bounce back and forth like a ping pong ball between my parents’ homes for over fifteen years. Just as I would start to get comfortable somewhere, I would have to pack my bag and start all over again.

I am not going to sugar-coat this. Being the child of divorced parents can be traumatizing. Parents ted to argue over who will get to have their child for birthdays and holidays as well as for spring, summer, and winter break. Plus, there is the issue of different parenting styles and different rules in each of the households. Children are often caught in the middle witnessing the arguments or at least sensing the tension if they are not directly involved. Trust me when I say that children know a lot more than they may let on. On a personal note, I did not want to hurt anyone’s feelings, so I chose to continue to shuffle back and forth between my parents without speaking up for myself. There are many children out there that have also selected this path.

This is why I have chosen to share my perspective as a child of divorce. There are so many thoughts and feelings that swirl through the mind and heart of a child. No child can prepare themselves for what is to come, and this is my point to all of the divorcing or divorced parents out there. Yes, I know you are hurting; however, you still have the crucial job of raising your children and supporting them before, during, and after this difficult process. We, the children of divorced or divorcing parents, often feel like collateral damage, a pawn being dangled or a prize to be won.

I want you to think about this as you put together a structured plan for your children or begin the very overwhelming process of fighting for custody. This is a huge transition and not an easy one. This is not about maintaining control or “winning” in the outcome. This is about taking the time to understand the needs and concerns of your children.

During the holiday season, there can be added pressures. For instance, parents may feel it is necessary to create the illusion that everything is “picture perfect” and are waiting until after the holidays to drop the bomb of the divorce. There might be some parents who choose to try to keep everything the same, including past holiday traditions to avoid upsetting anyone. There are also the parents who feel that they have to overcompensate now that they are alone. Or we have the parents that want to compete with their former spouse to provide the children with better gifts or more exciting holiday plans like a week-long cruise to the Caribbean.

Of course, in the eyes of a child, the thought of double the gifts can be quite appealing. However, double the gifts does not mean that it will cancel out the fact that their lives are changing. If, as you are reading this article, you realize that you have been guilty of the aforementioned examples, it is important to remember that the holiday season would be a great time to establish new traditions that meet the needs of your new family dynamic as well as focus on creating a more positive environment for yourself and your children.  That would be a very meaningful gift to give this year. As the saying goes, “Stay in your lane!” Focus on your relationship with your child and make new memories rather than making this a competition.

Speaking of holiday gifts, I have the pleasure of announcing the release of my new book. My Parents Are Getting a Divorce . . . I Wonder What Will Happen to Me is an interactive discussion book written by yours truly and my mother, Karen Kaye. As a mother-daughter team of therapists with personal and professional experience with divorce, we wanted to provide a bridge of understanding between parents and their children. Our book creates a safe space for children to share their innermost thoughts and feelings while also teaching healthy coping skills for children to empower themselves during a chaotic and confusing time in their lives. The goal is to take children out of the middle and provide them with a voice as well as the tools that will allow them to grow into healthy, balanced individuals.

For more information or to purchase my labor of love, visit www.imstillmebook.com.

Hara Wachholder

Hara Wachholder

Hara Wachholder, LMHC is a licensed mental health counselor with the State of Florida and received her master’s degree in counseling from Nova Southeastern University. It was after the resolution of the long-winded custody battle between her parents that Hara recognized her calling to help others going through the same struggle. Hara Wachholder is currently the clinical director for a family therapy center located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

6 Keto Tips to Avoid Festive Season Weight Gain by Fresh n’ Lean

Keto

‘Tis the season for keto.

The festive season is difficult for any diet. This time of year is filled with food-centered festivities, parties, and time-honored eating traditions – and with the festive season often comes stress. The popular keto diet, which features high fats and moderate proteins with few carbs, comes with a diminished burden on calorie counting (yay!) but requires a fastidious approach to eating. Here are tips from experts on how to maintain your keto diet during the festive season and avoid weight gain.

Plan Ahead

It can be meaningful to discuss your keto eating needs ahead of time with whoever is hosting the festive season event or preparing the food.

Family and friends should be supportive and happy to help you! Keto-friendly, low-carb recipes are available for many festive season staples such as pumpkin pie, latkes, gingerbread cookies, and even eggnog – giving a new twist to traditional food that would disrupt your diet.

“Mashed cauliflower, sugar-free cranberry sauce, nut flour stuffing, low-carb pumpkin pie, and countless other keto takes on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve food are all great options for staying in ketosis during the festive season,” says Sofia Norton, RD and keto expert for Kiss My KetoWhere many diets involve restricted eating, keto is all about eating the right balance of ingredients, generally about 70% fat, 25% protein and 5% carbs.

Festive season favorites may still fit within your diet, it’s just important to ensure the right ingredients are being used. And the keto versions of your favorite foods are so tasty, they may just become your new festive season tradition. Cauliflower mash and cauliflower rice are both fantastic as a low-carb side dish that’s easy to make and great to share,” Norton said. “If you have leftover keto bread, make low-carb stuffing as you would with regular bread.”

You can also use leftover keto bread to make breadcrumbs for stuffed mushrooms and keto casseroles! And for apps, deviled eggs are a great way to sneak in some MCT oil. 

“Pumpkin pie is easy to make low-carb by swapping sugar for non-nutritive sweeteners and using an almond flour crust and Christmas cookies are also easy to make with a combination of almond and coconut flours,” Norton says. If it’s not possible to adjust your party’s food options, you could bring your own ketogenic food or eat before the event to ensure that you’re maintaining your diet.

Keep Things Simple

Sticking to low-carb whole ingredients is a smart decision when food is being passed around the dinner table.

“When making choices remember our goal of regular amounts of protein, think of a palm size piece of meat as an example,” says Randy Evans, RD. “When it comes to carbs, on keto, we are mostly targeting complex or non-starchy carbs which are often leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower and they are pretty easy to find on most tables.”

Traditional festive season meals that have few carbs are:

  • Roasted turkey 
  • Shrimp
  • Roasted Brussels sprouts
  • Roasted ham
  • Whole roasted cauliflower
  • Fish stew

Green veggies can be paired with pasture butter, extra virgin olive oil, raw nuts, or seeds. If you don’t know the type of fat being used, you could add fat on your own like adding MCT oil shots to coffee.

Know What to Avoid

Some festive season staples will not work with your diet, such as potatoes.

“You will want to avoid the starchy veggies, which is usually the mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes,” Evans said. So, instead of a helping of grandma’s famous sweet potato casserole, go for a side of green beans or Brussels sprouts instead.

Other types of foods to skip include most fruits, processed foods and grains. And while you might enjoy listening to Nat King Cole’s version of “The Christmas Song” with its opening line “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,” pass on the chestnuts – they’re high in carbs – and grab a handful of pecans instead.

Drink Lots of Water – and Limit the Booze

Water is king. It flushes out toxins and fights inflammation, which can lead to weight gain and swelling. It also fills you up and fights dehydration.

This comes in handy during the festive season for sure! Evans suggests drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day but also before, after, and during meals. So, before the big meal, drink a glass or two of water. And take sips of water throughout, pausing between bites.

While you might be inclined to drink alcohol this festive season, be mindful of how it will impact your keto diet.

“The worst offender of weight gain by far is alcohol consumption during the festive season. Not only does alcohol consumption pause your ability to burn fat for 48-72 hours, but it also initiates poor decision making with respect to food intake,” says keto expert and Nutrition Scientist Christine HronecAlcoholic drinks are typically low in protein and higher in sugar and carbs, especially if they feature sugary mixers like tonic water or soda. If you want to have a drink or two, make sure you’re sticking to low-carb recipes or dry wine.

To cheat or not to cheat?

You should talk with your dietitian about how much you can stray from your diet.

Dieters on a less strict ketogenic diet could have small amounts of fruit or unsweetened sweet potatoes “and still not be too far off from ketosis,” Evans said. “I have some patients who only see good ketone levels when super limiting carbs, maybe 20g per day but I also have athletes in the 80 to 100g of carbs range on a ketogenic diet who still see good ketone levels.”

Chef Elisa, Head Chef and Nutrition Expert at WarriorMade.com, says it’s important to plan the dishes you expect to eat – as well as your recovery if you sway from your diet for a day.

“Whether it’s fasting, doing a tougher workout before your festivities, or just getting back into your normal low carb routine the next day, cheating isn’t about all or nothing, it’s about you getting to make your own rules and knowing what you need to do to get back on track,” she says.

Enjoy Yourself

The festive season can be a stressful time! It’s important to cut yourself some slack – and focus on doing the best you can.

“Remember stress has a huge impact on our health and for the most part we have no way to measure its impact other than by measuring the damage it can cause. If you are doing well on the ketogenic diet over time and have a meal or a day that is not perfect, how about we enjoy it, lower our stress level, then get back on track the next day,” says Evans.

Learn more at www.freshnlean.com/keto-meal-delivery.

How to Get Great Skin Before the Ball Drops on 2019

Most women seem to experience skin care problems just when they want to look their best. Every woman can relate to waking up with a huge zit right at the tip of her nose, or huge dark circles under the eyes, and the list goes on. There are pre-emptive measure one can take with less than two weeks until the New Year to ward off these skin care evils. We turned to Dr. Manish Shah, a Denver board certified plastic surgeon for guidance on what to do without breaking the bank or having invasive surgery.

Facial Extractions by a licensed aesthetician- Dr. Manish Shah says, “When done correctly extraction facials can clear closed comedones (AKA those tiny, flesh-colored bumps that never come to a head, yet never really go away), remove whiteheads and blackheads, and give your skin a newer, fresher foundation for your skincare products to penetrate. Basically, extractions can be the kiss of life for your lifeless broken out skin.”

Drink Alcohol in Moderation – If you plan on ringing into 2019 with a few glasses of bubbly, Dr. Shah recommends moderating your alcohol consumption leading up to the big day. He explains, “Alcohol can dehydrate the skin and cause it to appear less fresh and vibrant, which can certainly hinder your skin care efforts.” 

Cleanse your Face Every Night - You have just arrived home at 2 am from a holiday Party. It may be tempting to flop into bed without washing your face. Don’t do it! Dr. Shah says that, “Sun damage isn’t the only environmental factor you have to worry about. Small micro particles from air pollutants might just hurt your skin, too. Play it safe by remembering to take a minute to cleanse your face to remove debris that could be weakening your skin. In addition, that foundation and pressed powder you have been wearing all night can clog your pores and cause breakouts.”

Start Exfoliating – Want brighter, younger-looking skin? It starts with a great at home exfoliator! Dr. Shah explains that, “As your skin replenishes itself, dead skin cells start to build up on the top layer, leaving you looking dull. Exfoliating regularly removes this layer, revealing fresh, healthy skin. Regular exfoliation also allows your moisturizer and other topical products to penetrate more deeply, making them more effective.” 

Clean Your Makeup Brushes – You would not eat food on dirty dishes, would you? Applying makeup with dirty brushes is not so different. Not only will dirty brushes give you a spotty application, but they can harbor bacteria, dirt and oil, leading to acne and breakouts which necessitates piling on even more makeup to cover it up. 

Don’t Squeeze Your Pimples! – Here’s a secret that many a supermodel or actress use: Steroid shots. Dr. Shah explains that, “when we discuss treating acne with cortisone or “steroid” shots, we are referring to the process of gently placing a very dilute quantity of a “glucocorticoid” steroid into the cyst. Glucocorticoids are a class of steroid molecules that are naturally produced by our bodies and have numerous functions including the regulation of human metabolism, immunity, and inflammation. They have very potent anti-inflammatory effects, so they are often used to treat inflammatory diseases in medicine. They can be formulated as creams to treat skin rashes or as pills to treat systemic disease. They can also be injected directly into local areas of inflammation such as in arthritic joints and inflamed acne cysts. Within one or two days of injection into a cyst, the steroid will shrink the inflammation producing relief of pain and almost immediate cosmetic improvement.”

Peels – Look for AHA/BHA/PHA peels that will exfoliate the skin and help release the top layers of dead skin cells allowing for a more radiant underlay to come through.

Microdermabrasion – This professional treatment exfoliates at a deeper level (like a peel), with a mechanical handheld device that buffs away the upper layers of the skin. 

Add vitamin C to your routine. – Dr. Shah suggests applying several drops of vitamin C serum underneath SPF each morning to target free radical damage, help lighten brown spots, and even out your skin tone. 

Moisturizer – It may seem obvious, but when it comes to dewy, glowing skin, moisturizing is essential. “When your skin is dry, it looks dull, so hydrating ingredients can help bring back that glow,” says Dr.  Shah. For skin types already prone to shine, adding moisture may seem like the last thing you need, but an oil-free hydrator with ingredients like hyaluronic acid could actually help reduce your sebum production and even out slickness into a sleek glow.

About Dr. Manish Shah

Manish Shah, M.D., F.A.C.S. was born in Canada and raised in the Washington, D.C. area. He graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania, receiving a degree in biomedical engineering. He then completed his medical training at the University of Virginia, earning his Medical Doctorate. During this time, he also completed a one-year fellowship in microsurgery research at the New York University School of Medicine / Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery. As a prelude to his plastic surgery training, Dr. Shah completed a rigorous five-year training program in General and Trauma Surgery at Emory University and the Medical College of Georgia. His formal training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery was completed at the Univ. of Tennessee College of Medicine – Chattanooga Unit. After completing his plastic surgery training, he moved to New York City when he was selected for the prestigious Aesthetic Surgery Fellowship at Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital. He underwent extensive, advanced training in aesthetic surgery of the face, breasts, and body at the hands of some of the most renowned cosmetic surgeons in the world. This fellowship is widely considered to be the best of its kind in the world. Dr. Shah is one of only a select few plastic surgeons in the country who have undergone formal post-graduate training in aesthetic surgery.

Dr. Shah’s specialties include revision facial aesthetic surgery, rhinoplasty (“nose reshaping”), and aesthetic surgery of the breast (breast augmentation, breast lift, breast reduction). He is, however, well-trained in all areas of aesthetic surgery.

Dr. Shah’s aim is to obtain a natural appearing transformation that complements the real you!

Dr. Shah is a past Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center based at Denver Health Medical Center, the Rocky Mountain region’s only academic Level I trauma center. He is a past Chief of Plastic Surgery at Denver Health Medical Center. He also maintains a private practice in Aesthetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery on the Dry Creek Medical Center campus (DTC/Denver) and up in the Aspen Valley (Basalt – in the office of MD Aesthetics – Tim Kruse, M.D.).

Dr. Shah is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Dr. Shah is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Prevention is Better Than the Cure: How Functional Medicine Can Change Your Life

Integrative approaches to health are becoming more and more common. In the city of Tyler, the
Adventum Mindfulness Triathlon is a mind-body wellness approach that has been gaining some traction. It involves a two-mile run or walk, doing yoga for 45 minutes, and ends with 20 minutes of meditation. The triathlon also offers sessions with counselors, chiropractors, and other specialists. Meanwhile, in Amarillo, the ReCODE Program which is based on preventing and reducing inflammation, optimizing nutritional intake, and the systemic elimination of toxins in the body has been the first program to actually improve the mental state of dementia patients. These integrative approaches to treating both mental and physical ailments are reminding patients and doctors that the old adage still holds: prevention is better than the cure — the core idea behind the practice of functional medicine.

Functional medicine (FM) is a scientific approach to holistic medicine. In a nutshell, its aim is to keep you not just alive, but healthy, happy, and well. The main difference between FM and conventional medicine is that the former is focused on prevention, while the latter is about treatment. For instance, A post by Parsley Health on ‘5 Reasons Why Functional Medicine is the Only Kind of Health Care You Want’ explains that while the conventional triage approach is the best way to prevent death or further trauma when treatment is needed, it has nothing to do with your health and quality of life outside the emergency room or clinic. In contrast, FM is focused on what can be done now to mitigate or prevent trauma and disease later.

This doesn’t mean that FM is opposed to conventional and other forms of medical treatment. Far from it — treatment begins with anything and everything that can significantly improve your health, quality of life, and resistance to chronic diseases and conditions. This approach begins with knowing your medical history. Questionnaires and interviews allow FM specialists to find out every bit of information that can be used to improve their patients’ overall health and wellness. This assessment of your medical history determines the program that you need to follow.

FM programs are mostly personalized lifestyle changes geared towards long-term wellness. The biggest factor that dictates our physical and mental health is nutrition, which is where these programs begin. This is hinged on the fact that we are what we eat — scientifically speaking, whatever we consume inevitably ends up being used by our bodies to repair and maintain daily and special functions. This is why FM specialist Dr. Robin Berzin doesn’t recommend any specific diet for health purposes, but instead suggests following personalized nutritional plans to meet every person’s unique needs. For most patients, this means eating a greater variety of plants while also decreasing their intake of highly processed food. The actual recipes or meal plans will be determined by the current state of your health as well as your goals.

Also, by optimizing daily food intake, you can either avoid having to take pharmaceutical medication that might have long-term adverse effects, or at least supplement their positive effects so you’ll need less potentially harmful medication. For instance, for sufferers of gout or chronic joint inflammation, sticking to an optimized diet means not having to take too much non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which are known to wreak havoc on the liver. Through nutritional programs, FM specialists can help you decrease or completely avoid the long-term consequences of certain pharmaceutical treatments.

Regular exercise factors into FM programs as well. There’s a ton of research that shows how regular physical activity improves health. Our article on ‘Defeating Obesity with These Isometric Exercises’ shows how even the simplest, safest exercises can help mitigate and prevent chronic disease. Meanwhile, strenuous exercise has long been shown to help people deal with insomnia.

As for mental health concerns, FM specialists also either provide consultations or refer patients to mental health practitioners who can provide talk therapy and, if necessary, prescription medication. FM recognizes how the mind influences the body’s ability to heal and stay healthy, which further illustrates the value of taking an integrative and inter-disciplinary approach to health and wellness.

By combining these different approaches to human health, FM seeks to address the root causes of illness. The mind controls the body; the body affects the mind — what we do and consume with both determines the state of our health.

Are Your Lungs Trying to Tell You Something?

Do you get short of breath doing daily activities? Feel like you’re unable to take deep breaths? Are you constantly coughing or wheezing? If you said yes to any of these questions, you may be experiencing symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a serious, potentially devastating lung disease also known as chronic bronchitis or emphysema. Though it’s easy to think of these symptoms as just part of “getting older’’ or as problems that come with allergies, often they are not.

Nearly 16 million people in the United States are currently living with a COPD diagnosis, and millions more don’t know they have it. COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of disability.

In people with COPD, the airways that carry air in and out of the lungs become partially blocked, which makes it increasingly difficult to breathe. If left undetected, the disease can greatly affect your quality of life and your ability to complete even ordinary daily activities.

COPD often occurs in people who have a history of smoking or long-term exposure to secondhand smoke and other lung irritants, such as air pollution, chemical fumes, and dusts from the environment or workplace. The chances of getting COPD also increases significantly in people who have alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, a rare genetic condition.

While COPD develops slowly and worsens over time, its symptoms can be treated and its progression can be slowed, which is why early detection and treatment are so important. If you are noticing any issues with your breathing, talk to your health care provider about getting tested for COPD. The sooner you get a diagnosis, the sooner treatment can begin. Your provider will design a treatment plan to help address your symptoms and improve your lung function and quality of life.

The key to keeping COPD at bay – or preventing it from getting worse – is to understand and recognize the signs and symptoms early and discuss them with your health care provider. The sooner this happens, the sooner you can get back to doing the things you love.

Through educational efforts like the Learn More Breathe Better program (https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/breathebetter ), the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute shares valuable information about the symptoms of COPD, as well as how to diagnose and treat it. With these tools, those living with COPD can effectively manage the disease, and those who have symptoms can find the support and assistance they need. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute