The "Whiz-ard" That Is Dr. Oz

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Mosquito Magnet

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Image courtesy of camptimberlane.ca

I love the summer – it’s my favourite time of year!  Warm weather – Yipppeeee!!!!  Sunshine almost every day – YIPPEEEE.  Not having to wear a coat HOOORRAAYYY!!!!  Mosquitoes out in full force – Ya…seriously?  I am a mosquito magnet.  One time, after going to a friend’s cottage, I had 41 bites on my legs.  How did I know this?  I was so itchy, that I couldn’t sleep so I counted them.  Another time, my friend and I had a glorious day in Little Rock, Arkansas visiting the Bill Clinton library – LOVE the man!  Anyway, guess what happened?  No – I didn’t get a bee sting – that’s close, but no cigar (a little Monica Lewinsky humour)…you got it – I was out of the rented car at a truck stop and was promptly bitten by a blood thirsty skeeter.  Thank heavens for mint toothpaste.  if you are prone to bug bites like me, it is a miracle worker at getting the itch out.

Last weekend, I went to my cousin’s wedding at a camp near Haliburton (cottage country about 3 hours from Toronto).  As much as I enjoyed the joyous celebration, immediately I was on high alert after seeing bugs the size of birds flitting about.  I am a ‘fraidy cat when it comes to bugs you see.  I know you are going to sneer at me when I tell you what I did to prevent being eaten alive…I doused myself with Off Active (3 applications – love me some deet) and I even had a clip on Off to be doubly sure that the only things dining around me were my fellow wedding guests.  I came home with nary a bite to be seen.  I love the city – country outings make me a bit of a nervous-wreck.  I am about to go on a trip shortly to Iceland, the Faroe Islands (midway between Iceland and Norway) and the Norwegian Fjords.  What does this nature fearer decide to do?  Go on a hike.  Guess where you hike?  In nature!!!! I’m going to be extra vigilant to ensure that I am once again bite-less.  I checked on doctoroz.com for some tips and here are some suggestions if you are like me and a skeeter’s dinner:

  • Cover your exposed arms and legs with long-sleeved shirts and pants.  (Not always possible, but you better believe if I’m hiking, I’m going to cover up)
  • Use a good fan to reduce the likelihood of pesky mosquitoes from landing on prime biting surfaces … you! (I’d feel pretentious carrying a fan around, so thanks Dr. Oz, but this tip is a no go)
  • Keep windows closed with air-conditioning on to keep them out.(Um…hello…I’m trying to protect myself from the great outdoors)
  • Make sure your screens on windows and doors are in good shape. (Good one…if you are indoors)
  • Consider wearing mosquito-resistant clothing that may contain chemical repellents. (Ugly – no thanks)
  • Try to eliminate standing water that can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. (Cleaning up standing water in Norway is not on my agenda for my holiday)
  • Use an appropriate insect repellent (chemicals such as DEET, pyrethrum) as well as natural botanical oils, such as oil of lemon eucalyptus.  Always follow instructions on the label, especially for children, and apply in a well-ventilated area.  (Yes, I’ll be bringing Off with me – I can use this one)
  • Avoid being outside at prime biting times such as dawn and dusk. (I’m lazy and am doing the hike at 9:30am so I’m good with this one)
  • Take a shower; body odor can be an attractant to mosquitoes. (I shower at least once a day, so I’m covered)

Well – this really didn’t teach me anything that I didn’t already know, but at least Oz didn’t tell me not to use Off.  

Today, I am grateful that as of July 4th, I will be on a two week cyber-break.  I love all of my faithful readers, but this blogger needs some r&r – mosquito free, of course.  Until next time, I am…

Gratefully yours,

Jill

 


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Don’t Hate the Whiz-ard, Hate the Game

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Image courtesy of hlntv.com

I wish that I didn’t have to interrupt my fun summer topic to write about something more serious, but I would be a bad Oz blogger if I didn’t comment on the recent scolding of Dr. Oz at a meeting of the US Senate’s Consumer Protection Panel.  More specifically, he was called out on some of the weight loss aids that he showcases from time to time on “The Dr. Oz Show.”  Oz, himself, admits that his language when speaking about these aids can be “flowery”.  He also promised to include a list of supplements that he honestly believes works on his website.  He says that he believes in the supplements that he talks about and even gets his family to try them but was fairly contrite by the end of the hearing.  If you look at his appearance during the panel, he looks over-tired and stressed and maybe a little in need of his own advice.

So what do I think?  I think that as a physician, Dr. Oz has a responsibility to do no harm to his patients.  Unfortunately, through TV, print and his website, his patients are now not just in his examining room – they come to him from living rooms all around the world and he now has become the people’s doctor.  I understand, from my years of working in TV, that he probably heard about many of these weight loss aids from segment producers who thought it would be good TV – a quick bang for the viewer’s buck with the ultimate goal of getting people to watch the show and let the content get you hooked into become a regular viewer.  We all love a quick fix and this is what gets people interested in the show.  The reality is, if you do a lot of reading, from Dr. Oz himself, and many of the experts on his show, there is no quick fix.  Take a look at this video about the latest and greatest in weight-loss, Garcinia Cambogia, http://www.doctoroz.com/video-series/supplement-score-card?video_id=3302688594001

Pretty interesting isn’t it?  Bryce Wylde isn’t fully supporting the supplement even though it enjoyed some positive feedback on the show.  What does this say to the audience?  It says DO YOUR HOMEWORK!  If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Don’t just depend on Dr. Oz to be your one and only source of information.  Consult with your doctor.  Double check information on the web.  Be your own health care advocate.  I can tell you from experience that Dr. Oz has a lot of really great information available and it has made a positive impact on how I feel.  He also has some information that I completely disagree with including making coconut oil a daily part of your diet.  For my thoughts – check here https://jillschnei.wordpress.com/2014/04/11/cuckoo-for-coconut-oil-no-way/.  If you don’t feel like re-reading it – I can tell you, I gave Dr. Oz a big shame on you (as well as some naturopaths) for ever promoting this as something remotely healthy for you.  

Am I going to give up on Dr. Oz’s advice?  No – there is a lot of good there – I’ve been reading a lot of what he puts out there.  You have to know how to sift through the sensational though to get to the practical. There is a lot of worthwhile information out there – you just have to get over the desire for things to work overnight, because they won’t.  You also have to consider a couple of things if you are going to what Dr. Oz says to heart.  He is a a cardiothoracic surgeon – he had amazing knowledge in this field.  He is not a registered dietician.  He also doesn’t have a weight problem, so many of the supplements that he touts, he has never had to take. You have to take what he says with a grain of salt and cross reference it to see if there is any medical efficacy to what he is talking about.  Without scientific evidence and my doctor’s approval, I wouldn’t try any of these health care supplements.

 

 

 

 


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Enjoying an Almost Summer Event!

 

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I originally posted something similar to this last Friday and it was deleted!  It was likely a lot better than this version, but here we go…

Dr. Oz always speaks about the importance of family on all of his platforms, from his show, to facebook to You Being Beautiful. I fully agree, that family is so important.  One of the most important members of my family had a special event last week.  My baby niece graduated from college last week.  I was tickled, honoured, thrilled, excited and deeply touched that she wanted me to be there.  I know in her mind it was “just a graduation” but it is a rite of passage.  You worked hard to finish and you did!  You can always try harder, but that’s a lecture for another day.

Let’s face facts, when you attend a graduation, unless there are twins and triplets involved, it comes down to it, you really only care about that one little person walking across the stage.  As the graduates were led in to the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance”, I scanned the crowd for my niece and couldn’t see her.  My sister (her mother), her boyfriend and I made the decision while we were waiting to “WOOOOOO HOOOOOOO” as loudly as we could, both out of pride, and partly because there is almost nothing more fun in life than embarrassing my little niece and after all, everyone else was doing it.

Jess – you are taller than me (not by much), smarter than me (not by much), funnier than me (hugely), definitely cuter than me (by a mile and then some) – please let me have something – maybe your new purse – as a consolation prize?  In all seriousness (although I am serious about wanting your purse – look how great it looks with my outfit), I just want you to know how proud I am of you, and not just on special days like your graduation, every single day.  I hope that you know that wherever life takes you, that I am, have been and always will be your biggest fan.  You know that you have my support and…
…Love always,
Aunt xoxo
PS – You better not call me Jill ever again : )
PSS – to my readers, in case you haven’t guessed, I am grateful to have the best niece in the world.

 


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Image courtesy of hesc.co.za

A video with this adorable, heartbroken baby rhino has been circulating it’s way around the web this week – check out this link for more on the story – http://www.sooziq.com/11795/a-heartbroken-baby-rhino-was-found-crying-uncontrollably-and-there-are-no-words-for-the-end/?utm_content=buffer956c8&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer.  Watching this poor little thing’s need for comfort and companionship after it’s mother was slaughtered by evil, poachers put a huge lump in my throat.  It was like a Disney movie come to life.  Disney early on identified the hero in the story as the animal, while man was the villain.  People who support poaching either by hunting these majestic creatures for sport (former King of Spain hunting elephants angered me), or their horns/ivory, or even owners and users of these products are the villains to me anyway.  The biggest difference between an animal and a human is that animals most typically hunt to eat or to protect their family or home.  People hunt for those reasons, and I don’t have a real issue with that if it’s done ethically, but does anyone need ivory jewelry or carvings?  Does a man really need a rhino horn to make them more virile?  I think we all need to think at times on how we can live a life that is more ethical, both in terms of the products that we buy, to learning the proper place for litter is not the ocean and treating animals with the respect that they show others in their kingdom.

Rant over….for now.  Now what could a blog about the summer have to do with a rhino?  Well, if you don’t use sunscreen, that’s what your skin can end up looking like.  I won’t go on for too long, I mean we all know that sunscreen is a DAILY essential.  I am quite smug about the fact that I’ve been a major supporter of the sunscreen industry for years.  I wear it daily on my face – 365 days a year and on the rest of me as needed.  If I’m wearing jeans, I obviously don’t use it on my legs, but I wear it on any exposed skin.  I was reading Dr. Oz The Good Life, and they had a few things that I never thought about in their ageless beauty guide.  Did you know:

-You should look for two key ingredients when buying sunscreen – zinc oxide and avobenzone.  I did a check of my sunscreens and they both have them.  These ingredients block out UVA rays – the ones that cause again and skin cancer

-You should put sunscreen on 30 minutes before you leave the house – I do this as I’m getting ready so I’m ok with this one too

-Use enough to cover you – this means a golf ball sized amount if you are going to be out in the sun all day. YAY – I do this too and I am religious about reapplying

-Don’t use expired sunscreen if you have a choice.  If you don’t have anything else, it’s better than nothing, but the product starts degrading after the best before date

-I’m not going to comment on whether to use a high SPF or not – there are so many stories floating around.  I personally use an SPF 60 – I know that it may not do a lot more than a 30, but it makes me feel better.  I rarely, if ever get burns, but you have to be vigilant.

So in short, wear sunscreen – it’s easy to apply, some smell great and some are very absorbent.  Today, I’m grateful that I have been religious about wearing it for so many years.

Until next time, I am…

Gratefully yours,

Jill


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Dry As Bone or When to Wet Your Whistle

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I really tried to drink eight glasses of water, but alas, in the interest of honesty, this weekend, it hasn’t happened.  I’m on my sixth for today.  I’ll keep trying…sigh…but it isn’t as easy as I thought.  I find it especially difficult Monday – Friday when I’m at work.  If I can make every other change and fix so many bad habits, I’m sure that this one should be pretty simple.  I  just feel like 8 glasses of water is an ocean, like the picture above.  I know, I know, #firstworldproblems.  I am committed to 8 is great – my code for drinking my recommended amount of H2O.  I even went out today and bought a 24… of water – what – you thought I meant beer?  Not likely.

So, in the last of my hydration series, I thought it would be a good idea to share the signs that you aren’t getting enough…water…perverts.  Here is what Dr. Oz says to look out for courtesy of his hydration handbook on doctoroz.com (my comments are in parenthesis):

  1. Dark Urine Your urine should be clear; if looks like tea when you go to the bathroom, you’re dehydrated. For more on healthy pee, click here.  (Luckily this is rare for me, and I drink immediately if I notice this)
  2. Dry Skin If your body is dehydrated, it will do everything it can to hold onto fluids. Your skin is the first place to be robbed of water. Major indicators of dehydration include skin that is less plump and flexible, sunken eyes, dark circles or dry lips. Assess your skin with a skin turgor test; pinch a fold of skin on top of your forearm. If this pinch and stays up in a tent, there is not enough water volume behind your skin.  (I did the test – it looks like like I have enough water volume – YAY!)
  3. Dizziness When your body is dehydrated, it is harder to distribute water. Dizziness can occur when you go from lying down to sitting or standing. The upright movement causes water to rush away from your heart and brain, which makes you dizzy. (There have been at least 3 or 4 times in my life when I was dehydrated enough to feel faint and only once was this due to heat.  It was periods when I was feeling stressed, not sleeping and drinking too much caffeine – so no, coffee and tea, at least to me, shouldn’t count as water.  Once I had something to drink, I felt better,  but it was a terrible feeling.  Do what Dr. Oz recommends and drink one water for every serving of coffee or tea that you have)
  4. Constipation Your body absorbs water from your intestines and draws moisture from your stool. This makes them hard, dry and difficult to pass. (No comment – if you’ve read my blog before, you know I think commenting about poop isn’t lady-like – just keep this in mind for you if you are noticing anything off with yours).

According to Dr. Oz, vegetables and fruit are important in keeping you hydrated, not just because of their high water content, but because they also may have sodium and potassium.  I eat tons of produce, especially lately.  I’ll just keep that up, especially over the summer.  I don’t know about you, but I think that this topic is turning into water under the bridge.  I’ll keep you posted on my progress but it’s on to something new tomorrow!

Today, I am grateful that a favourite cousin moved to Toronto over the weekend.  I’m sure I’ll be featuring her in this blog again – she’s really smart, and as a dietician, she has invaluable insight into a lot of the questions that come up from my research.  Plus, she’s a lot of fun.  Welcome to TO Gail and Kiwi : )

 


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Hydration – For Real This Time

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s so hard to stop making fun of Gwyneth Paltrow, but alas, I must get back on track and write about the true meaning of hydration. According to Dr. Oz, we lose more than 10-11 cups of water everyday – that’s a lot of pee and sweat.  Here is more from the man himself about why drinking – water – not wine is so important:

“Replenishing the liquids your body loses is absolutely essential to look and feel your best. Water helps to deliver nutrients to every cell and organ in your body and clears away waste and toxins. It also helps regulate body temperature, supports digestion, keeps your skin looking smooth and young and lubricates your joints.”  Pretty important stuff!

Since I stopped drinking Diet Coke 2 years ago, I have been drinking a lot more water, usually around 6 glasses a day. Lately, it’s been a little less, but to fulfill the needs of this blog, I’ll drink 8 glasses a day until the end of time or at least try to.  I can tell you, that sometimes, when I drink water, I feel like I’ve had a coffee – it perks me right up – for real.  I can also tell you, that when I don’t feel hydrated, I get very, very CRANKY.  I don’t get h-angry (angry when I’m hungry) but if I haven’t had enough to drink – look out!  I usually drink my water at room temperature, but I heard that it may be better for your metabolism to drink it cold.  Either way, as long as I’m getting close to the recommended number of glasses a day, I’m happy.

To ensure that I’m staying on track, I’ve signed up for Dr. Oz’s Water Works Challenge – and no, it’s not a crying competition.  Here is the link http://www.doctoroz.com/challenges/dr-ozs-water-works-challenge.  I was honest – I only had 4 glasses today (plus 3 teas and 1 coffee).  I’m going to aim for 6 tomorrow and 8 each day on the weekend.  Good times.  

Today, I’m grateful that I get to go to bed shortly.  Sometimes, gratitude doesn’t have to be a big, grand thing.  

Gratefully yours,

Jill