The Hell That Is Migraines

My journey with migraines began when I was 19. My headaches were so bad they caused me to frequently miss class and I can vividly remember crying in pain, not knowing what to do. Throughout the years I tried everything under the sun- diet, chiropractors, acupuncture, TMJ therapy, cranial sacral therapy, massage, and various prescriptions. Only within the last few years (a work in progress over 20 years!) have I gotten my migraines under control so I thought I’d share what has been helpful.

First, if you experiencing migraines for the first time, go to see your doctor. You will want to rule out other potentially serious problems. Things like brain tumors, cysts, a brain arteriovenous malformation (AVM) are very rare but should be ruled out before a migraine diagnosis.

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Next, begin to track your migraines. Do they correlate with your cycle? Are there certain foods that trigger headaches? There is a great tracking app called Migraine Buddy that will allow you to recognize patterns and potential triggers. For both myself and one of my daughters, our migraines fall in a predictable pattern with our cycles. Knowing this helps to prepare.

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Finally, up your supplement game. Currently, I take a chewable magnesium supplement by GNC and my all time favorite, Natural Calm, another magnesium supplement that has so many other benefits (just read the over 7,000 positive reviews on Amazon!). In addition I take a vitamin B complex , along with a multivitamin. I really feel like that is what has been a game changer for me.

Don’t get me wrong; I still get migraines. I take the prescription Relplax as soon as I feel one coming on. However, once I started the supplements, I noticed a big change in the frequency of my migraines which I’ll take. Is there anything specific you’ve tried and had success with? Please share in the comments!

*This post may include affiliate links which means if you chose to buy something I mention, please do so using the links above. There is no additional cost to you and it’s a nice way to say thank you and help offset this Mom’s addiction to Amazon Prime*

 

 

 

 

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Juuling Basics- A MUST READ for anyone who has a child in middle/high school

I find myself envying my parents more and more these days when it comes to raising teenagers. Gone are the days when your child would come home and you could give them the once over- pull them close and give them a good sniff- and detect if they’ve been smoking cigarettes or pot. E- cigarettes, AKA vaping, AKA Juuling, has taken smoking to a whole new level.

The Basics (taken from E-cigarettes and vaping: Everything you need to know)

  • E-cigarettes are battery operated inhalers that consist of a rechargeable battery, a cartridge called a cartomizer and an LED that lights up at the end when you puff on the device.
  • Vaping is defined as the act of inhaling water vapor through a personal vaporizer or electronic cigarette. When users draw on the device, the battery heats the liquid, which is then atomized into an inhalable vapor.
  • Juul is a specific, very popular type of vaporizer.

So in essence when you hear about “Juuling”, you are hearing about vaping and e-cigarettes.

 

What You Need To Know

What it looks like…

 

 

 

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A Juul looks just like a USB drive and could very easily be overlooked or mistaken for something else. They also sell skin decal wraps in the most popular brands.

What it smells like…

The vapor from Juul smells super, super sweet. I’m talking toothache sweet. If your child is Juuling, you may be able to pick up the fruity scent on them. They come in flavors such as creme brulee, mango, and fruit medley. Kids are Juuling in school (bathrooms, cafeterias, even in the classrooms! because there is no scent of smoke and the vapor disappears in an instant.

Why it’s dangerous…

Kids are under the very wrong impression that juuling is not dangerous. While it’s true, e-cigarettes and Juul do not have tobacco, they do have nicotine. In fact, one juul pod has as much nicotine as an entire pack of traditional cigarettes.

Another danger is the possibility of something called popcorn lung. Diacetyl (which is found in Juul) is a buttery flavored chemical. “When inhaled, diacetyl causes bronchiolitis obliterans – more commonly referred to as “popcorn lung” – a scarring of the tiny air sacs in the lungs resulting in the thickening and narrowing of the airways. While the name “popcorn lung” may not sound like a threat, it’s a serious lung disease that causes coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath, similar to the symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.” (taken from Popcorn Lung: A Dangerous Risk of Flavored E-Cigarettes)

It’s also important to note that these devices can be modified to use THC oil. A quick search on youtube and your child will know how to if he/she has the desire.

 

The most dangerous thing of all, in my opinion, is that the same kids who think cigarettes are disgusting think juuling is cool. It literally checks all the boxes- it looks “cool”, it smells good, it tastes good and it charges like all of their other devices. Boys, especially, are very into doing tricks with the vapor and even have instagram accounts set up to document it all.

What’s a parent to do?

Stay informed. Talk to your kids- A LOT. Do spot checks on their phones (when you check their phones, make sure to check their pictures and screenshots) and every now and again, give a quick look in their rooms/backpacks. Make sure they know how dangerous juuling is and that it is addictive. Good luck- we all need it!

Think your kid is Juuling? Pick up a nicotine test kit.

 

Friday Favs

Friday Favs- a spot where I share my favorite products, apps, sites, articles, and moments from the week.

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Struggling with a phone addiction? Who isn’t? Read these innovative tips to cut back.

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Attention Foodies! Have you checked out The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017? The world’s best restaurant is right in our backyard! I’ve listed the other restaurants that are also in NYC- Cosme is the only one I’ve been too and I can say it most definitely IS amazing.

1. Eleven Madison Park (New York City)

17. Le Bernardin (New York City)

40. Cosme (New York City)

Best Pastry Chef: Dominique Ansel (Dominique Ansel Bakery, NYC)

Speaking of food, please tell me you’ve jumped on the avocado toast bandwagon. How can something be so healthy AND delicious? Check out the below ideas from The Ambitious Kitchen for making your avocado toast even more fabulous.toast-1

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Finally, this moment from our Mother/daughter trip to Florida for our last college visits. Decision time!

Friday Favs

Friday Favs- a spot where I share my favorite products, apps, sites, articles, and moments from the week.

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A fun new Cuban restaurant in Garden City with live entertainment – food was good, drinks were better, entertainment was best!

The most delicious ice cream I’ve ever had.

SERIOUSLY.  If you’re near Barclays, you must check it out!

After I enjoyed the ice cream above, I decided to kick spring off with a week of clean eating. I used to do this every month but fell out of that practice a few years ago. It’s a great way to to get back on track. Here is a great reference on meal prepping which helps A LOT.

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I also made this healthy dinner (which I make only when my husband is traveling because he would disagree that it is actually, in fact, a dinner).

Kick off Spring by trying some of these 5 rituals

Friday Favs

Friday Favs- a spot where I share my favorite products, apps, sites, articles, and moments from the week.

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An afternoon pick-me-up for you and a friend- now through Saturday, Macchiatos are buy 1, get 1 free at Starbucks from 2-5 each day.

Speaking of Starbucks, I grabbed this bar for the baby a few weeks ago. I was so impressed I looked for them in my local grocery stores with no luck. Amazon to the rescue! I ordered a case and I may like them just as much as she does 🙂

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This isn’t new but every time I start to use it again, I wonder why I stopped. Natural Calm is a magnesium supplement that helps with stress, helps you sleep, helps with headaches, and helps keep you regular. Read the reviews on Amazon and check it out for yourself.

Finally, with the weather warming up, I’ve got Spring on my mind. Check out the sale at Shop Bop until tomorrow. The more you buy, the more you save at Shop Bop until 3/4.

 

 

Friday Favs

Friday Favs- a spot where I share my favorite products, apps, sites, articles, and moments from the week.

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This delicious Vegetable Cheddar Soup– perfect for the final days of winter.

Looking for something to do on a beautiful day in NYC? The Seaglass Carousel was amazing! My teens enjoyed it as much as my 19 month old.

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I’m loving this new-to-me app called Scannable. Scan anything with your phone! Easy enough for my tech-challenged husband to embrace. Can I finally stop scanning things for him? Only time will tell…

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Favs

Friday Favs- a spot where I share my favorite products, apps, sites, articles, and moments from the week.

Between taking an online class this week, two going down with the stomach virus, and my mom visiting from Florida, it was a busy week. Here are my Friday Favs a day late 🙂

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By know I’m sure you know what an Acai Bowl is but have you heard of a Buddah Bowl?

Check out these recipes.

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If you have a toddler and play their tunes in the car, you may love this rendition of If You’re Happy and You Know It just as much as I do- and yes, I need a car wash desperately 😉

I loved reading these reminders on Ways to Raise Good Kids.

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Favorite moment of the week- getting to see a bucket list concert with my 17 year old.

I’ve loved Red Hot Chili Peppers since I was 12 when Under the Bridge came out 🙂

Friday Favs

Friday Favs- a spot where I share my favorite products, apps, sites, articles, and moments from the week.

I hope you enjoy!

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I know I’m late to the game with this but I swiped my daughter’s S’well (that she HAD to have and now never uses) and it really is AMAZING! I’m not a big water drinker so my goal has been to fill it in the morning and finish it by dinner. I’ve actually had to refill more often because I’m drinking so much.

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This moment from a new class. What’s sweeter that babies holding hands?!

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I’ve spent way too much time on this FB group this week- you could say I’m slightly obsessed. If you have a child 15 or up, check it out- you won’t be disappointed!

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I’ve loved this free app for a few years but had forgotten about it. Bring that my current workout routine is non-existent, I decided to bring it back it my daily rotation. You can choose which type of workout and set the time and do it anywhere. I started with full body for 10 minutes (no laughing) and I’ve done it everyday while the baby plays next to me 🎉👍🏼🎊

And lastly, tips for dealing with toddler tantrums.

Wishing you all a great weekend 😘

How “clean” are your beauty products?

A few months ago, my daughter began collecting “pocket bacs,” the small, hand sanitizers from Bath & Body Works. Personally, I’m not a fan of the store- I feel like I get a headache from the scents just by walking in- but since she wasn’t actually using them (don’t even ask), I didn’t give it much thought.

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But then the obsession quickly grew to include their body washes and lotions, as well as body washes, lotions and bath bombs from other stores. I decided it was time to do a little research to see just what was in all of these products.

My first stop was Skin Deep, a great site where you can type in a product and get a rating on how good/bad it is based on the ingredients.  The only problem was most of the products I was looking up weren’t on there. Hmmm. I needed to do a bit of digging.

Have you heard of the “dirty dozen” for fruits and vegetables? Well, apparently there’s a list for chemicals too!

1. BHA and BHT– Used mainly in moisturizers and makeup as preservatives. Suspected endocrine disruptors and may cause cancer (BHA).
2. Coal tar dyes: p-phenylenediamine and colours listed as “CI” followed by a five digit number
In addition to coal tar dyes, natural and inorganic pigments used in cosmetics are also assigned Colour Index numbers (in the 75000 and 77000 series, respectively). Look for p-phenylenediamine hair dyes and in other products colours listed as “CI” followed by five digits.1 The U.S. colour name may also be listed (e.g. “FD&C Blue No. 1” or “Blue 1”). Potential to cause cancer and may be contaminated with heavy metals toxic to the brain.
3. DEA-related ingredients– Used in creamy and foaming products, such as moisturizers and shampoos. Can react to form nitrosamines, which may cause cancer.
4. Dibutyl phthalate– Used as a plasticizer in some nail care products. Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant.
5. Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives– Look for DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine and quarternium-15. Used in a variety of cosmetics. Slowly release small amounts of formaldehyde, which causes cancer.
6. Parabens– Used in a variety of cosmetics as preservatives. Suspected endocrine disrupters and may interfere with male reproductive functions.
7. Parfum (a.k.a. fragrance)– Any mixture of fragrance ingredients used in a variety of cosmetics — even in some products marketed as “unscented.” Some fragrance ingredients can trigger allergies and asthma. Some linked to cancer and neurotoxicity.
8. PEG compounds– Used in many cosmetic cream bases. Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer. Also for related chemical propylene glycol and other ingredients with the letters “eth” (e.g., polyethylene glycol).
9. Petrolatum– Used in some hair products for shine and as a moisture barrier in some lip balms, lip sticks and moisturizers. A petroleum product that can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which may cause cancer.
10. Siloxanes– Look for ingredients ending in “-siloxane” or “-methicone.” Used in a variety of cosmetics to soften, smooth and moisten. Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant (cyclotetrasiloxane).
11. Sodium laureate sulfate– Used in foaming cosmetics, such as shampoos, cleansers and bubble bath. Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer. Look also for related chemical sodium lauryl sulfate and other ingredients with the letters “eth” (e.g., sodium laureth sulfate).
12. Triclosan– Used in antibacterial cosmetics, such as toothpastes, cleansers and antiperspirants. Suspected endocrine disrupter and may contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria.

Pretty scary stuff, not to mention overwhelming. I decided we’d start by going paraben and BHA/BHT free.

Needless to say, my daughter was not thrilled when I began confiscating her products to analyze the ingredients. To include her in the process, I used this very cool, FREE app called Think Dirty. With this app, you can scan products with your phone and it will give you a score (much like the other website I mentioned but the scanner makes it fun!). Within moments, she was scanning away and screaming when she came across a 10 (“OMG! Get this out of here!“). I love that she could see that the items weren’t good  for her so she didn’t resist. She even joked she could become a “paraben hunter” 🙂

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Her products that she will no longer be using.

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My products that didn’t make the cut.

Do you have any favorite “clean” products? I’d love to hear about them!