Monthly Archives: December 2013

Pregnant nurse: I was fired for refusing flu vaccine


(CNN) — A pregnant nurse tells CNN she was fired from her job after she refused to get a flu shot for fear of miscarrying.

“I’m a healthy person. I take care of my body. For me, the potential risk was not worth it,” Dreonna Breton told CNN Sunday. “I’m not gonna be the one percent of people that has a problem.”

Breton, 29, worked as a nurse at Horizons Healthcare Services in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, when she was told that all employees were required to get a flu shot. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention advises that all health care professionals get vaccinated annually.

She told her employers that she would not get the vaccine after she explained that there were very limited studies of the effects on pregnant women.

Breton came to the decision with her family after three miscarriages.

The mother of one submitted letters from…

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2013 was a great year for healthy decisions. I made a list of goals at the end of 2012 and getting healthier was on that list.  Unlike years prior, getting healthy became a priority for me.  My husband and I moved to Maryland to live with my parents for a while in order to understand what living with lupus meant. After a brief period of seeming to get better, he relapsed and had another flare up in fall 2012.  He wasn’t able to work 40 hrs a week and go to seminary part-time like he was doing.  His fatigue and foggy consciousness made it hard for him to get out of bed and do anything at all.  Therefore, I was determined to learn how to be healthier so that he would become healthier also.  I also wanted to prepare myself for baby.  Even though we don’t plan to have a child anytime soon, I want to make sure that our child is carried and brought into a healthy environment.  

So here are a list of healthy things that I accomplished in 2013.

1. Go through a whole summer eating only seafood and fruits and veggies (no meat).

2. Try new workout routines so that I find out what works best for me.

3. Research, research research. Recognize what’s true and what’s a myth. Netflix, the internet, and trying new foods helped to determine what foods work best for me.

4. Buying food from farmer’s markets helped me to pinpoint exactly where my food comes from. It also helped to boost the local economy.

5. I created this health blog to educate me and others about a salubrious lifestyle.  This is also practice for what I hope to do for a living.

6. Lose weight. I’ve lost 18 pounds since April 2013.  This wasn’t easy, but it helped me realize that being healthy doesn’t come in a magic pill, its a lifestyle change.

7. Food prep is key for sticking to your diet and a lower grocery bill. Planning what I was going to eat for the week helps me to only eat what’s there and nothing extra. Going through grocery aisles and picking up things you desire but don’t eat is temptation and costs more!

8. I learned to love water.  So essential and refreshing!

Whew! I think I have a lot to be proud of! *Pats self on back*  I’ve come a looooonnng way.

So what’s next for me in 2014? 

1. No FAST FOOD 2014! Even when we travel. I’ve learned this year that things that are made quickly are generally not the best for you. #nofastfood2014

2.NO SODA 2014! I did a pretty good job this year at minimizing soda intake and drinking  more water but I want to eliminate soda completely. #nosoda2014

3. First 5k 2014!  This is happening. For Real, for real. #first5k2014

 I didn’t think that I’d accomplish all that I did this year.  All it took for me was one bold step.  I made a resolution and stuck with it.

What will your health goals be this year?

Write to me and tell me what your health resolutions are for 2014.  I’m anxious to hear everyone’s stories.

Studies explain high death rate at Christmas, New Year’s

(CNN) — There are many well-known risk factors for death — high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, and Christmas.

Yes, Christmas.

Several studies show you have a greater chance of dying on Christmas, the day after Christmas or New Year’s Day than any other single day of the year.

This is true for people who die of natural causes, which account for 93% of all deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

It’s also true, researchers say, for people who die of the five most common diseases: circulatory problems, respiratory diseases, endocrine/nutritional/metabolic problems, digestive diseases and cancer.

There’s a spike in deaths for all age groups on those days with one exception — children.

David P. Phillips who was the lead author on a couple of these studies, noticed this trend when studying U.S. death certificates.

Specifically, Phillips, a professor in the sociology department at UC San Diego, and his team…

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VIDEO: Improving College Student Health

Healthy&Fit in the City

Have you ever heard of the “freshman fifteen” or the old saying “study hard; party harder“? Our society views college as a time to find independence, have fun, and ultimately get a degree. Parents speak of the good old college days with fond nostalgia. While college may sound like a four year long party to some, there are serious pressures that affect the overall health of many students. According to a survey conducted by the Associated Press and MTV, 85% of college students feel stressed on a daily basis. Social pressures to fit in can cause students to make poor decisions, while academic pressures can leave students deprived of sleep and healthy eating. Maintaining a social life, good grades, and possibly a part-time job leaves little room for cooking a healthy meal or exercise.

“Nearly two-fifths or 38.5 percent of all students surveyed fall within…

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Five ways to preserve your teeth as you age

(CNN) — For all intents and purposes, we really get only one shot to take care of our teeth.

The good news is, science and research have taken a front seat in dental education, making today’s dentist savvy on “prevention” dentistry rather than the “drill, fill and bill” mentality of decades ago.

Things like adhesive dentistry, recalcification and dental implants have given dentists more options. But for many patients, it’s a lot of information to process.

Here are five ways you can ensure that you hang on to your teeth as you age:

Educate yourself on dental care

Dentistry today has taken a much more conservative approach. But it can be hard to know what your options are. Here are some key points that you should know about dental treatment.

• Small cavities can be recalcified. Strong doses of fluoride, or something called MI Paste, applied directly to small cavities…

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Soda sales are losing their fizz

“Health conscious consumers are buying less soda”

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Health-conscious consumers are buying less soda, especially diet sodas flavored with artificial sweeteners, which some consider risky.

Spending on soft drinks dropped 3.3% between late November and a year ago, according to sales data gathered by Nielsen.

The decline in diet beverages was even steeper: Year-over-year, consumers spent 7.2% less on diet cola and 7.8% less on diet lemon-lime drinks.

It’s a concern on the mind of Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi, who told investors in October that her company has seen “a fundamental shift in consumer habits and behaviors,” adding that “the diet slowdown has been a little more rapid than we expected.”

Industry watchers say the trend began about 10 years ago and is primarily driven by increasingly health-conscious consumers looking for ways to cut back on sugar and sugar substitutes.

The sales decline intensified in the last five years, said Hester Jeon, an industry…

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Brit’s Fit Holiday Picks: Top Fitness Gifts…a Gym Rat’s Dream!

GRIT by Brit

holidaygifts (1)

Alright Gang – it’s that time of year.  I can’t believe we are only 2 weeks away from Christmas!  In my lifelong efforts to be like Oprah, I’ve compiled Brit’s Fit Holiday Gift Picks (my version of Oprah’s Favorite Things).  Unfortunately, I’m NOT a baller and you will NOT receive a free gift set of the items above.  However, because I’m in the Christmas spirit, I will send a free GRIT by Brit workout tank top to the first 20 people who email me their preferred color (black or blue), size and mailing address (email  You’re welcome 🙂

So let’s get to right to it.  My holiday fitness wish list goes a little something like this…

  1. OMG That’s Paleo? Recipe Book ($19.85) – So I started following Juli Bauer on Instagram and quickly became a fan of her blog/social media community PaleOMG.  Her recipes are super savory…

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Why Investing In a Planner is One Of The BEST Things You Can Do for Your Health!


While everyone was up early on Friday morning ( or Thursday night) waiting in line for the coveted electronic device or piece of clothing, I was thinking about a 2014 planner. Yes, a weekly/monthly planner. For the past three years, I’ve been as excited about getting a planner for the New Year as a kid is on Christmas morning.  But a planner is not just for appointment keeping.  Nowadays your planner can be so much more! Read why I think a planner is one of the best investments for your health.

1. Logging and keeping track of your workout and eating habits. Sure, they have an App for that. Why put this in a planner when I can put it on my phone? Health apps are very helpful for logging health behavior, but they do very little for seeing how your health behavior compares to everything else in life.  Putting all of your appointments, work and school assignments, and dinner dates with friends all in one place helps you to realistically plan your workouts and meals ahead of time.  Thus, you are less likely to skip a workout or a meal.

2. Life doesn’t have to be a cacophonous nightmare. Plan for a symphony.  If you are reading this blog, you’ve probably had a time in your life when you’ve felt overwhelmed.  Maybe it was during finals time and you had a hard time balancing your extracurricular responsibilities with your workload. Or maybe you’ve started a new job and you have less time to work out or cook healthy meals. It has happened to all of us. Life gets busy, hectic, even crazy.  Utilizing a weekly/monthly planner that has slots for appointment times allows you to visualize all that you do. We’re human, and we forget things. Writing down all of your activities and birthdays and responsibilities allows us to plan to make time for all these things. This can also help you see what you’re spending too little or too much time on. Using a planner can help us visualize and rearrange our priorities.

3. “Me time-tea time”. The activities that we’re a part of help to develop us, but that’s not all there is to us. Everyone needs time to recharge and refocus to avoid burn-out and other health issues due to busy-ness.  There are a variety of different ways to reflect; art, photography, music, prayer/devotion, meditation, exploring nature, etc.  One should pencil in time for something that makes you happy and something that you enjoy at least once a week…probably more often if you are an introvert.  These stress relievers help to decrease the likelihood of emotional and mental health issues. Health is not just about what you eat or how much you exercise, its about feeling completely well inside and out.

4. “Me-time” is important but “we-time” is more important for healthy relationships. Life is not always about you. A planner helps you see reasons to celebrate other people as well. Birthdays, anniversaries, and reunions are reminders of how humans are supposed to be relational beings.  The more time we spend away from our loved ones, the more our relationships with them suffer. Celebrate someone. Hang out just because. Your friends and family will love you for it.

5. Goal planning and goal assessment.  


At the end of my planner there are 28 pages of blank, lined paper for notes. The first two pages of notes are reserved for outlining my goals for the next year. Consequently, I’m always aware of where I want to be. The other pages are reserved for my favorite scriptures, quotes, sermons, lists,  ideas, and thoughts.  In other words, its comparable to a mini-diary. All of this serves as a good reflection at the end of the year. For example, of the 17 goals that I listed at the end of last year to achieve in 2013, I accomplished 12 of them. Even though I fell short of five of the goals, I’m still pretty proud of myself. I accomplished some things that I didn’t even plan for last year. There are some things that I didn’t achieve on my list that aren’t applicable to my life anymore. Therefore they aren’t are my list for this year.  How are we expected to get to our goals if we can’t verbalize them or imagine a path to get there? Goal planning and goal assessment are vital to achieving our life and health goals.

You can’t plan your whole life, but utilizing a planner can help you look at the bigger picture. Are your activities balanced and are they working toward a healthier lifestyle physically, mentally, and emotionally? If so, then you are well on your way to successful life!