Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Childhood Obesity and Diabetes On The Rise

This morning I read an interesting article by Dr Mark Hyman.  It is not a new concept but he sure does have a strong stance and is calling the government to action.  Click here to read and even listen to his interview on CBS.

Last year, I remember my au pair (who is from China and taught at a Montessouri Kindergarten there) was appalled and amazed at how much candy my daughter (three years old then turning four) brought home from preschool.  It was not just at Halloween but also Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines Day, Easter... you name it!  Every month there was an "excuse" to party and bring home a ton of candy.  I confiscated most of it but after a few times I saw empty wrappers in her bag.  She probably caught on and started eating them before I got to them!  So I then had to tell the preschool teacher to please not let her eat candy until I can ration them to her at home.

Now the other day, coming home from the beach we swung by Burger King for drive-through lunch.  It was fast and convenient and cheap.  We normally do not eat fast food... so when I got my hands on my whopper, it was like this huge treat!  I also ate up the fries that came with it and I have to tell you... for a few hours afterwards I really felt very sick.  I'm not sure if everyone experiences this but I really felt lethargic and just "blah".  Dr Hyman mentioned in his article that you have to run 4 miles every day for a week to work off one fast food meal.  Hahahaha... I actually made myself swim like 20 laps that day because I was feeling so 'yuck'.  But you know the funny thing is.. here I am a few days out and I'm thinking about that whopper and fries and actually craving it!  It is so addictive!

Anyways, we get bombarded with the message "eat healthy" but I really do believe it makes a huge difference not only in our overall longterm health but also day to day emotional well-being... to both kids and adults!  Now childhood diabetes and obesity is on the rise in our country... a topic for another entry...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Life has been busy here for me... between an overbooked schedule while at work and house maintenance issues at my home on top of the usual busy-ness that comes with three kids ages four and under... it has been hard to find time to just "rest".  Usually, night time after the kids are down (which is usually around 9pm) is when I find that "me time" and I would do my online thing... including jotting down some random things from my days/weeks onto this blog.  Lately, I admit my mind has been shutting off and my body crashing.  Need rest! When I don't get my sleep, I am super cranky and my patience and tolerance is worse than usual.  I really need to throw exercise back into my schedule because that is my usual outlet for stress and it gives me a natural endorphin kick.

Jesus says in Matthew 11:28, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest."

I know this verse well but I admit I don't always know how to exactly achieve it.  For me, it has to be very intentional to sit at Jesus' feet as Mary does.  I am very much a Martha.  Every time, I find myself trying to go to Jesus to rest, I fall asleep!  Hahaha.  So, even my "quiet times" become an item on my "to do" list.

Well, I love music and worship.  So one way I've been able to find my "rest" in Jesus is to pump up the music and sing on the top of my lungs while I'm driving to work or other random errands.  It's tricky to find a time when the kids are not napping but I love just jamming' on my piano with different worship songs as well.

So I'm curious what you moms do out there to get your "rest"?

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Long time no blog!  We've been busy... but the craziest thing is we had to go to the operating room a couple of weeks ago with my oldest to get her cavities fixed.  I was a nervous wreck because my "baby" was going to go under general anesthesia and having seen it on the other side, I know too well what "could" go wrong.  Thankfully... other than a really horrible "waking up" all went well.

So honestly, the first question that came to my mind when I was told that my four year old has a bunch of cavities was whether it is worth fixing since she will lose them anyway.  The dentist looked at me as if I was crazy, but hey... I was just thinking out loud.  Plus, has anyone really done a randomized control trial to see if the treatment actually does decrease morbidity/mortality/quality of life and if all the trauma leading up to the treatment worth it?  Okay okay... so since no one will probably perform that study, I suppose it is better to be on the safe side.

I truly was surprised at the number of cavities because we had been brushing her teeth twice a day and she does not really eat that many sweets.  Plus, she had been seeing a dentist and getting regular cleanings since she was one year old.   So after doing a little research I realize that the reason lies in a combination of factors and circumstances.

  • First of all... cavities is contagious and I likely passed the bug to her.  I had a root canal this past fall so I definitely had the cavity forming bacteria and it is easy to pass through occasionally sharing utensils or even kissing.  I read that 80% of all cavities are found in only 25% kids!  Here are a couple of articles I found interesting:
  • So once you have the bacteria (like Streptococcus mutans), it feeds on the foods you eat.  So common preschool favorites like apple juice, fruit snacks, goldfish all are things the bacteria will feed on and produce acid as a result.  The acid eats away at the tooth.
  • Finally... fluoride and good dental hygiene with brushing and flossing is key.  Though we brushed my daughter's teeth twice day we were not so good with flossing.  Therefore, all her cavities were in between her molars.. the hard to reach places with the toothbrush.
So now what?
  • We're trying to be better with dental health and hygiene with everyone in the family... especially caregivers
  • Trying to be better at avoiding sharing drinks or utensils
  • Offering more water and less juice to the kids
  • Brushing three times a day now after every meal instead of just twice a day
  • Flossing!
  • And of course...  regular dental check-ups!  I actually need to get my other two kids to the dentist... I'm just having a hard time finding a good pediatric dentist I like in this area...
Bottom line is if the adults or caregivers have cavities themselves, your kids will be more high risk of getting cavities and may have to be more vigilant in prevention than those lucky folks who are not colonized!