How to Nurture a Healthy Body Image in Girls

Of Life and Death

By Laraine L. Thompson

Knowing that our peas did not grow as well as they might have last year because the ground lacked proper drainage, we took pains this year to prepare the soil more carefully. We tilled the earth, added a fertilizer amendment and finally added an agent that would allow the ground to drain more readily. We inoculated our peas and soaked them in water in preparation for planting. They are planted and I anxiously await the little signs of green that will indicate that our preparations were not in vain.

At the same time we are preparing for the new life of our garden, we find ourselves facing the death of an elderly loved one. The introduction of the subject of death may seem a strange juxtaposition here. However, it has occurred to me that just as we needed to properly prepare the earth to accept and grow our planted seeds, we also need to properly prepare ourselves for the end of life.

When my mother died several years ago, I lacked the understanding I needed to recognize the signs of her imminent death. I misunderstood that like, countless before her, she was, if ever so unconsciously, preparing to die. I took personally her withdrawal from society, her detachment from all that she seemed to formerly love. We tried to cheer her up, to encourage her to re-engage in countless ways. Of course, it did no good.  And sadly, we didn’t speak of death with her at all.  It was only in reading the Hospice literature supplied to us after her death that I realized what she, along with us, had been experiencing. Read more…

Fire Safety

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Deaths from fires and burns are one of the most common causes of unintentional injury deaths in the United States. There are several steps you can take to reduce the risk of fire-related injury and death in the home. These include installing and regularly testing smoke alarms and practicing a fire escape plan at least twice a year.

Fire prevention articles:

National Fire Prevention Association

Fire Safety and Prevention from the Red Cross

Several Ways to Dispose of Medications

Uncapped amber medication bottle and tabletsBy Dr. Stan Brewer

Many of us have probably had a small stash of outdated or no longer needed medications in our house.  Perhaps some pain pills we didn’t need or outdated over-the-counter medications. When it comes to getting rid of our prescription drugs there are several dilemmas.  If we just throw the bottle away there is a chance that someone will recognize the classic bottle and use it or sell it.  There is also the chance that an animal will eat it.  Many cities used to recommend flushing drugs down the toilet, but not surprisingly, the EPA has recently found that some drugs in the water can be harmful (some medications are still considered safe to flush down the toilet, just check the label).  With so many problems throwing drugs away, many of us just hang on to them, tucked away in the back of the medicine cabinet.  But there are also risks with keeping medications at home and there are a few safe ways to dispose of medications. Read more…

Healthy Resolution

By Dr. Stan Brewer

1390212694938436134I am sure many of you, like me, made a resolution to be healthier this year.  As February rolls around, I think it is a good time to reevaluate our resolutions and recommit to them.  My resolutions this year include eating healthier and exercising more (and hopefully loosing a few pounds along the way).

A lot of research has shown that a healthy body mass index (a measurement that uses both your weight and your height) is one of the best means of preventing serious illness such as heart disease, diabetes, and countless others diseases.  The same is true for eating healthy and for exercising.  With all the diets and exercise programs out there, it is hard to decide which one is right for you and even which are healthy.  However, most of the research shows that being healthy is pretty simple.  The new food pyramid is an excellent guide to what healthy eating looks like (whole grains, lots of fruits and vegetables, fat free dairy, and a small amount of healthy fats).  As for exercising, even a little walking can have great benefit.  Just 30 minutes of walking a day has significant health benefits and an hour or more has been shown to help with weight loss.

So, what is the best way to start eating healthy and exercising more?  The most important part is motivation; you can only do as much as you are motivated to do.  Start with something you know you can accomplish. Try to eat at least one more serving of vegetables each day.  Start walking 15 minutes a day or a few days a week.  Remember, it will take a while to develop new habits and sometimes it will require some adjustment to your goals. The important thing is that as long as you are making progress your body will thank you for it.  February is a great time to recommit to our resolutions, or to make some new ones.

Photo source: US Navy/Public domain

How to Stay on a Diet

Coping with Stress

depressionBy Dr. Stan Brewer

All of us know what stress is and feels like. Stress is a natural response that helps us deal with difficult situations. In that sense it can be very helpful. Research has shown that a little bit of stress can help test takers and athletes perform better and help us respond to emergency situations. However, too much stress does just the opposite. Furthermore, too much stress can lead to psychological disorders and if severe and prolonged, physical problems. Heart disease, high blood pressure,and greater susceptability to illness have all been linked to stress.

Stress comes in many forms. Disasters and life changing events can obviously be stressful. But so can the day to day things we face at home and at work. However, stress doesn’t just have to be negative. There can be positive stress too. Celebrations, promotions, new jobs and many other things can add positive stress. How we respond to stress has a lot to do with whether it motivates us and helps us perform better or panics us and just makes things worse. In a gospel sense, how we respond to adversity correlates with how much we grow from it. Those that murmur, complain, or run away (Laman and Lemuel or Jonah) do not receive the blessings of those who pray earnestly for help and guidance and then get to work (the brother of Jared).

A major factor in determining how we will respond to stress is whether we are optimistic or pessimistic. Read more…

What You Should Know about Herbal & Botanical Remedies

By Dr. Stanley Brewer


Among the many options we have to take care of our health are herbal and botanical remedies. In many cases science has proven that these natural remedies work well to treat various ailments and diseases.  However, I have often heard people say, “it is natural and therefore it is safe.”

While many natural remedies are indeed safer than some human-engineered drugs, natural treatments are not always free from side effects. Many herbs can have the same effects, for good or ill, as drugs. Some herbs can interact with regular prescription and over-the-counter drugs in harmful and even deadly ways.  Also, taken in excess natural remedies can damage our bodies just like overdosing on drugs. In fact, many vitamins and minerals can be toxic in too large of quantities. It is therefore important to talk with your health care provider about any herbs or other remedies you are using for you health, especially if you are on long-term medications or have a chronic illness. Your health care provider can make sure that the herbs and drugs do not interact or can adjust your doses accordingly. Read more…




Providing for Self and Family