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An Affair of the Heart - Guest Author Post About Heart Disease

Monday, February 8, 2010
By Margaret Lewin, MD, FACP – Medical Director, Cinergy Health

February is National Heart Month and not just because of Valentine’s Day. According to the American Heart Association, one in 2.4 American women will lose their lives to heart disease and stroke – the first and third biggest killers of women. In comparison, breast cancer kills one in 29.

So let’s look at V.A.L.E.N.T.I.N.E.S. Day from another vantage point: reducing our risk of heart disease.

Vitamin D plays a significant role in the cellular structure of the heart and its pumping ability; deficiency can lead to heart disease and stroke. Although Vitamin D is created after direct exposure to sunlight, our appropriate efforts to protect our skin from cancer can block this path. It’s difficult to get enough Vitamin D from food, short of drinking four glasses of milk daily. Ask your doctor to check your blood level of Vitamin D and ask whether supplements are appropriate.

Avoid “bad fats” like hydrogenated and saturated, and eliminate trans-fats altogether. Replace them with vegetable oils such as olive, canola, corn and soy, and those supplemented with omega-3’s. Do recognize that all fats have the same number of calories, so use even “good” fats sparingly.

Lose that belly fat as it increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer. Belly fat is usually the first area to shrink with moderate-intensity aerobic exercise and strength training with weights.

Exercise has other heart-healthy benefits: it can help control blood lipid abnormalities, blood pressure and diabetes, as well as make the heart work more efficiently during exercise and rest. Even after suffering a heart attack, people who embark on a graduated exercise program have better rates of survival, as well as a better quality of life.

Note package labeling in prepared foods and look for the types and amounts of fats and sugars. Choose foods absent in trans-fats and low in other ‘bad fats’; and look for “no added sugar” or “unsweetened” products.

Take time each day for relaxation. Stress contributes to heart disease by turning on hormones that cause a rapid heartbeat, rise in blood pressure, increased turbulence in the bloodstream, and – some scientists believe – speed up the process of fatty material collecting in the coronary arteries. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation and t’ai chi can break the cycle. (OK mom entrepreneurs that means take some quality me-time every day)

Be Informed about your blood pressure, blood sugar and lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides). If you’re not in optimum ranges, discuss with your doctor how to get there.

Nix sugars. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar daily for women (9 for men). This isn’t much – for example a bottle of cola with 44 grams of sugar contains 10 teaspoons! (Be aware that “naturally sweetened” products often contain added fruit juice or lactose from milk, which are added sugars.) These recommendations do not include natural sugars, like in fruit.

Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables and grains.

Stop smoking – the major preventable risk factor for heart disease. It increases blood pressure, decreases exercise tolerance, and increases the risk of abnormal blood clots leading directly to heart attacks and strokes.

Don’t just limit healthy heart habits to National Heart Month – extend them to every day of the year.

About Dr. Margaret Lewin, Chief Medical Director of Cinergy Health:
Board-certified in Internal Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology, she is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. She is affiliated with New York-Presbyterian Hospital and The Hospital for Special Surgery.

Dr. Lewin has worked throughout her career to improve the American healthcare system. She has been on the boards of state and local medical societies and is Immediate Past President of the New York County Medical Society and Immediate Past District President of the American College of Physicians. Her decades-long volunteer work has included service to many local projects and organizations and has been enriched by her medical missions to the Third World.

Dr. Lewin has authored numerous articles in leading medical journals and lay magazines, as well as chapters for medical textbooks. Her areas of special interest and expertise include primary and preventive care, travel medicine, men's health and women's health.

A graduate of Case Western University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. Lewin's undergraduate degree from Purdue University is in Aeronautics, Astronautics, and the Engineering Sciences and she holds an M.S. in applied mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Listen and learn...the truth always comes back around!

Friday, February 5, 2010
This video has circled around the blogosphere quite a bit. But in case you have not seen it, I highly recommend. It is very creative.

It is a palindrome, which reads the same backwards as forward. This is only a 1 minute, 44 second video. Make sure you read as well as listen…forward and backward.

This is a video that was submitted in a contest by a 20-year old. The contest was titled "u @ 50" by AARP. This video won second place. When they showed it, everyone in the room was awe-struck and broke into spontaneous applause. So simple and yet so brilliant. Take a minute and watch it.

Image Building Tip #10 for Mom Entrepreneurs - Place well-written articles online

Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Articles rich with keywords and placed with online article directories are a great way to spread your expertise virally. Article directories are a great source of information for bloggers and others looking for content for their posts. Your bio information, included with every article, is now showing up in several different locations online increasing your chances of being found. There are hundreds of article directories to choose from. I suggest placing your articles with the top directories according to Alexa and page rank.

Working Naked Day is February 1st. Time to Strip Down and Get to Work!

Monday, February 1, 2010
Whether you're working in your business suit or birthday suit, working from home offers many challenges, benefits, and adventures.

Working Naked Day on February 1st is dedicated to helping the more than 37 million home office professionals who are working naked—working without the support of the corporate workplace—to improve the way they work from home.

Home office expert and author Lisa Kanarek offers five tips for making working from home a little easier:

Know the best place to do it. Before you decide where to set up your home office, evaluate every room and ask yourself: Will I actually work in this area? Can I keep distractions to a minimum? Is there enough lighting and are there enough outlets? Is there enough room for all of my equipment, files, and supplies?

Find the right position. There are five basic furniture arrangements for your home office: L-shape; U-shape; Parallel (desk with credenza behind you); corner (desk faces the wall); or reverse corner arrangement (desk faces into the room). The arrangement you choose depends primarily on the size of your office, the type of furniture you have, and how much work surface you’ll need.

Size doesn't matter. You can work in a 15’ x 15’ home office or inside a small, walk-in closet. The size of your home office won’t affect how productive you are. What matters is how you use that space. Make use of your walls and add shelves above or near your desk. Use a 3-in-1 printer, copier and scanner to save space.

Decide if it’s better by yourself or with your spouse. Before you share a home office with your spouse, consider whether you have compatible working styles. A neat spouse can drive a pack-rat up the wall and out of the office. Spouses work better together if each person has his own desk and “space” that’s off limits to the other spouse.

Don’t wait until you’re in the mood. Set a specific time to work in your home office each day. The time will change daily, but if you don’t target a certain start time, it may be late afternoon before you get to work.

With these five simple tips, your home office will be a place where you enjoy working, even if your commute is only seconds each day. For more home office tips, visit Kanarek’s site at

Image Building Tip #9 for Mom Entrepreneurs - Create an email signature

Having a complete email signature is like running a free advertisement every time you send an email. Include your name, company name, address, phone numbers, website and/or blog link, tagline and a few social networking links (i.e. Follow me on Twitter). I also include a message at the bottom of The Mom Entrepreneur signature. Currently, it says: Enter to win the Business Baby Shower, a contest that celebrates entrepreneurial moms.

Image Building Tip #8 for Mom Entrepreneurs - Write a professional bio

Sunday, January 31, 2010
Your bio should outline your experience, credentials and anything else you feel is important for your target audience to be aware of. This is especially important when trying to establish your personal brand. Use this bio, tweaking as needed for the different social networking sites, on your blog, website and anywhere else your profile appears online.

Image Building Tip #7 for Mom Entrepreneurs - Dress to impress

Saturday, January 30, 2010
The way you dress says a lot about who you are. Balance your individual style with clothing that will appeal to those you are trying to impress. Be aware of colors and how they influence people. For instance, research shows that a sales person who wears a dark blue suit during a meeting will have a higher closing rate.