Articles Tagged with health

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Venn Crawford

How many things went into your trash can last night? How many of them were plastic?

On average, Americans throw away 4.4 lbs of trash a day. That ends up being about 1600 lbs a year. Now, think about what’s in that trash: packaging for food, empty bottles, napkins, clothing tags, broken toys, and so on. Most of that stuff is made of plastic.

Plastic is forever.

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Carolyn Woodruff
Dear Carolyn,

I am a new Father, and I think the mother of our new baby is depressed. I am concerned. She seems exhausted and stressed. I am helping and her mother is helping, but there seems to be a problem.  What should I do?

– Stressed with New Baby

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Venn Crawford

It’s hard not to appreciate spring in North Carolina –  the air is just the right temperature, birds sing good mornings and lullabies, and sunlight feels like warm caresses. Though much of the country is still feeling the cold of winter, my corner of the world is getting ready to bloom.

I’ve written a lot about spring lately because I feel that it’s such a positive time of the year. Like all animals, we humans follow the cycles of nature. And while we can hide from the summer heat with air conditioning and grow indoor plants out of season, the emotional effects of the seasons are not so easily mitigated. Winter is a period of waiting and hibernation, a time of sharing food and enduring. It’s only natural that our bodies long for spring.

The energy of spring isn’t just a vague phrase either – studies have shown that the first few warm days of spring boost our mood and make us more openminded. Spending time outside during spring improves mood and memory, and makes us more flexible in our thinking.

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Carolyn Woodruff

Today’s Ask Carolyn addresses Borderline Personality Disorder and how it can affect the divorce process. Borderline Personality is a Cluster B personality disorder characterized by unstable behavior, moods, and relationships. BPD is challenging to deal with in relationships, and can become even more difficult during divorce.

Dear Carolyn,

My custody file is at least a foot thick at the courthouse.  I thought this would be the year that we were done with custody, but custody is an ongoing saga.  My children are 8 and 10 year old boys. Every time I think we are finished, my ex (the mother) files a new motion. She has fired every counselor and psychologist that she has had. She is always right about everything, in her opinion.  She is intensely angry. She has even been married again and divorced again in the five years that this custody battle has been going on.  The court gave me fifty percent of the time with my sons at the initial hearing and this has been confirmed by the court at every subsequent hearing.  She just filed another motion for primary custody this week. What do I do?

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Venn Crawford

New year, new you, right? At least, we want to think so, but oftentimes our resolutions end up getting abandoned because we tried to start doing too much at once. This is especially true for health-related resolutions. We want to get healthy and think we have to make the big changes all at once, but too much change is hard to stick to. Instead of making a complete health routine step 1, try easing yourself into a healthier lifestyle with some of these simple healthy habits.

Drink a Glass of Water Before Meals

Most of the time, we want to get healthy so that we look good. Your diet is a huge part of that. There’s tons of advice on what to eat or what not to eat or what new “superfood” you should put in every meal. Often though, how much we eat is the more important part.

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Venn Crawford

Every year we gather around a table with our family, friends, and a roasted turkey to celebrate. But what are we celebrating? We’ve all heard some version of a historically inaccurate story about pilgrims and Native Americans, but a lot of times we seem to miss out on the thanks part of Thanksgiving. We may go around the table and say what we’re thankful for, but do we really sit down and spend a moment sitting in gratitude?

For most of us, the answer is no. The day that’s set aside for “giving thanks” is usually overshadowed by turkey and family drama, and the rest of the year we have too little time and too much to do. So when do we make time for gratitude? We should be making time for it every day.

Gratitude Makes Us Happier

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Venn Crawford

I know that kale has spent some time as a fad food, but I have to admit that I’m sold on it. I’m not crazy about kale by itself, as it tends to be a bit bitter, but this massaged kale salad is incredible. You can make it with any kind of kale, but my favorites are the deeper green varieties, such as Tuscan kale.

Massaged kale salad unsurprisingly starts out with kale. Make sure to rinse it well. Tear the leaves off the stems and break them into small pieces, setting them aside in a bowl. Add the lemon juice and salt, and massage the kale as if you’re kneading bread. As you massage it, the kale should start to break down and become darker in color. Depending on your hand strength, this can take several minutes.

Once the kale has been massaged with the lemon juice, drizzle it with a bit of olive oil and massage for another minute. You don’t want to add too much olive oil here, though. If it creates a noticeable pool in the bottom of the bowl, it’s too much.

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Venn Crawford

The Washington Post and “60 Minutes” released a report this weekend revealing how Congress and pharmaceutical companies deliberately allowed the opioid crisis in America to worsen by passing a law that crippled the Drug Enforcement Administration’s ability to combat the epidemic. The opioid epidemic itself has resulted in over 200,000 deaths in the past two decades, a number which continues to increase.

The effort succeeded in April 2016 when Congress passed the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act, which the DEA had fought for years. The law makes it much more difficult for the DEA to freeze suspicious drug shipments by making the criteria for such actions more stringent. The effect is immediately visible – the DEA has issued only six suspension orders this year, compared to 65 in 2011.

The DEA’s troubles began far before 2016, however. In 2013, Jim Geldhof, the Detroit DEA program manager, discovered that Miami-Luken, a medium-sized Ohio-based drug distributor, had shipped 11 million doses of oxycodone and hydrocodone to Mingo County, West Virginia, which has a population of 25,000. Of those, 258,000 were shipped to one pharmacy in Williamson, which has a population of 2,924. West Virginia has the highest opioid death rates in the nation. However, Geldhof’s attempts to suspend Miami-Luken’s shipments were unsuccessful as he was dismissed by the company and lawyers.

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Venn Crawford

Tuesday’s blog touched on the difficulty that some survivors of domestic violence have when they try to reconcile the good memories of their relationship with their abuse. In trying to reconcile the good with the bad, victims may start to rationalize the abusive behavior and second-guess themselves.

This tendency of the victim to downplay their abuse (especially while still in the relationship) is reinforced by the abuser’s talent for hiding their behavior. Abuse occurs in a cyclical pattern called the cycle of abuse, and abusers tend to perpetrate abuse only during half of this cycle. During the other half, they attempt to “atone” for their behavior, creating a sort of push-and-pull dynamic where they abuse their partner, then keep them from leaving by promising to change. This dynamic often serves to make the victim even more dependent on their abuser, and the inconstancy of the abuse makes it harder for both the victims and others to identify it.
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Published on:

Venn Crawford

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and #maybehedoesnthityou has resurfaced on twitter as victims and activists use the hashtag to speak out about non-physical forms of domestic violence.

While physical violence is what most people think of when they hear “domestic violence,” emotional abuse often occurs alongside or before physical violence, and can be just as damaging. However, because this form of abuse doesn’t leave physical marks, it can often be harder to recognize for both the victim and those who know them.

Most abusers are seeking to control their victim – emotional abuse undermines the self-worth of the victim until they believe they are totally dependent upon their abuser. The abusive partner may use a variety of tactics, such as minimizing the victim, isolating them by cutting them off from their support network, humiliating them, or gaslighting them. Gaslighting is a particularly insidious tactic, as it seeks to make the victim question their memory. This is frequently done by denying any abuse ever occurred, and makes it that much harder for the victim to seek help.
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