Tuesday, May 31, 2016

How recycling can help eradicate mosquito-borne illnesses like Zika

Guest blogger, Trisha Miller, joins us again today to share some important developments in the fight against the mosquito-borne illness, Zika.
Recycling to End Illness

Diseases including malaria, typhoid, dysentery, cholera, and the newly discovered Zika are affecting millions of people each year. What is the cause? In one simple word -- trash. All of these diseases are a direct result of poor waste disposal. Not to mention, each of these illnesses are quite aggressive and can be fatal if not treated properly. Unfortunately, many impoverished communities are not equipped with the necessary tools to rid themselves of such a plague. With proper filtering, responsible waste placement, and recycling, we could potentially rid many areas of these illnesses. Luckily, there are numerous organizations out there working to make it a reality one day at a time.

As many are aware, the malaria infection is spread through disease carrying mosquitoes. Stagnant, unfiltered water and trash covered areas are a common breeding ground for insects such as these, which means any areas accumulating said trash could become a hot spot for the spread of this type of illness.

Recently, an outbreak of the illness Zika has traveled across South America. Scientists have concluded that the disease is spread in the same way as the malaria infection - through mosquito bites. The symptoms include rash, headache, red/sore eyes, joint pain, and a mild fever. Although these effects don’t sound deadly, it’s what’s hiding beneath the surface that is really concerning. An astonishing 20% of pregnant women who become infected with Zika have babies with serious birth defects. As of right now, there is no cure.

The birth defects include a condition called microcephaly, which is a smaller than normal head size. It is believed the disease interrupts the child’s growth process while in the womb, slowing the natural formation of the brain and skull. Of course, this type of abnormality can cause an array of irreversible mental health issues.

However, many volunteer organizations are now stepping in to provide relief for those affected. Researchers have concluded that colonies of mosquitoes are forming around trash that does not quickly decompose, such as old tires and used plastic containers. So they have decided to use the mosquito’s own resources against them. Volunteers and scientists are using recycled tires in order to trap the infected bugs for good.

Mosquitoes are attracted to the old tires, commonly equipped with a small pool of water inside. Once the colony has chosen this nice shelter for breeding, the entire family of mosquitoes moves into the oasis of trash. Researchers are then carefully capturing some of the insects for further study, as they work towards discovering a cure. And, in order to stop the spread of Zika, they are destroying the eggs of the infected mosquitoes.

This provides a solution at little to no cost to those looking to eradicate the disease. The used materials can be donated or scavenged from around the world for such a wonderful cause. What’s more, if the elimination of Zika proves fruitful in this way, these recycled traps may be used similarly in order to gain control of the spread of other infections like Malaria.


Trisha Miller is a freelance writer from Boise, ID. She is a dedicated vegan and is committed to an all-around eco-friendly and healthy lifestyle. You can follow her on Twitter @thatdangvegan and her blog (www.thatdangvegan.com)

Friday, May 27, 2016

Stop! Do NOT thank a veteran this weekend

I have a confession. I screwed up. Again and again. I somehow mixed up Memorial Day with Veteran's Day and, though well-intentioned, sent out the wrong message. Actually, I didn't really confuse the two dates or their purpose. I just did something that wasn't appropriate on Memorial Day.

Photo courtesy of Morguefile

While we honor those who've served, both past and present, on Veteran's Day, Memorial Day is set apart to honor those who have died. We memorialize them with parades and programs and visits to the cemeteries. We honor their sacrifices. We pay homage to their courage. 

So how did I fail? By thanking the veterans I know who are still living on a day meant to pay tribute to the dead. My son-in-law, who was a sergeant in the Marines and served two tours of duty in Iraq, is the one who corrected me a couple of years ago as I was thanking him for his service. Apparently, today's veterans do not want to be honored in any way on this particular day in May. Many have lost comrades as they served side-by-side. Others grew up without fathers who sacrificed their lives in wars and conflicts throughout the years. Some simply want to not forget those who went before them and now lie in flag-marked graves.

So as we remember and honor those who are no longer with us, let us also respect the purpose of the holiday. It's the very least we can do.

Be safe this Memorial Day weekend,

Monday, May 23, 2016

You're eating WHAT? A short guide to edible weeds

Everyone already knows that dandelions make for some good eating and some dandy wine, right? Whether you add the greens to your salads, saute the roots, or batter and fry the blooms, you're in for some tasty and nutritious treats that are absolutely free. While it's better to harvest and use dandelions than kill them off with toxic weedkillers like Roundup, it's good to also keep in mind that they are often the first real food for our beloved bees, so make sure you leave plenty behind for them!

Dandelions aren't the only yummy weeds sprouting up in yards across the country, however. Here are just a few harvest-worthy weeds to tempt your palate:

  • Purslane [Portulaca oleracea] -- The greens are a nice addition to a tossed salad and are packed full of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids (who knew, right?). And from what I understand, it's best to harvest this week early in the morning when it has 10x the malic acid content than later in the day. WARNING: Hairy-stemmed spurge looks quite similar to purslane, but is poisonous! Make sure you know the difference before you consume these greens. Click here for more information.
  •  Henbit or dead nettle [Lamium amplexicaule] -- Don't let the name scare you! The leaves boast a sweet, peppery flavor and can be eaten cooked or raw. Again, this weed is another great addition to a salad. Even though it's in the mint family, people tend to equate its taste to that of kale. Just make sure you snip 'em before they blossom! 
  • Common or ground plantain [Plantago major] -- If you harvest the leaves when they're young and tender, this weed is quite tasty. Older leaves tend to be tough, but are good for stews. Common or ground plantain is known around the world for its medicinal properties and nutritional benefits. The leaves contain a variety of minerals, including calcium, along with the same amount of vitamin A as a large carrot (100 grams of plantain).
  •  Lamb's quarters [Chenopodium album] -- The leaves of this weed, which often look dusty, are similar to spinach and can be eaten raw, sauteed, or steamed, although they are quite acidic, so cooking is recommended to eliminate the oxalic acid. Every part of this plant is edible, including the seeds, shoots, leaves, and flowers.

This probably goes without saying, but please, please thoroughly wash any and all weeds you harvest. All sorts of nasties, chemical and otherwise, could ruin a good thing!

Happy foraging!

Disclaimer: I am not a health professional or nutritionist. I'm just a blogging grandma. While I am providing pictures, many weeds have similar appearances and could be poisonous. Always seek more information for your own health and peace of mind.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

A bit of a derailment on the train

The legendary Horseshoe Curve in Altoona, PA

I'm on the train again this morning heading across Pennsylvania. It's a beautiful sunny day and I'm looking forward to another writers' conference. I've been on faculty for 4 conferences in the last 6 weeks and, while I'm looking forward to it, I'm also looking forward to a break. I'm not scheduled for another conference until early August.

For the Pennwriters Conference in Lancaster, I will be teaching 3 workshops -- The Business of Writing, From Blog to Book, and my popular Fictional Characters Anonymous. If you're somewhat local to Pittsburgh, I would love to present one of my workshops to your writers' group. Contact me for a list of my presentations. I also enjoy delivering talks about green living, particularly the ones based on my book, Vinegar Fridays.

My intention for this trip was to work on my book, Lincoln and Laura Celebrate Earth Day (available soon on iStoryBooks.co), but I was sidetracked for awhile by another passenger who discovered I was a writer. She, too, was an aspiring writer and for over an hour, we shared stories about writing and tossed about names familiar to both of us. 

Life's like that sometimes, isn't it? We have our plans made and then something or someone derails them. I will admit, at first I was annoyed. People pick my brain about writing all.the.time. I wanted to be alone and ... gasp ... actually write. But is it so bad to step away from our plans and actually connect with people from time to time? Of course, it's not. The way I see it is that God has gifted me with the talents I have -- talents to write, to teach, to communicate. And I have to be ready to share those talents in numerous ways. I want to share those talents. This morning, that meant my plans had to be derailed (pun intended) for awhile. Big deal.

Another shot of the Horseshoe Curve

What about you mamas out there? Or you dads? Do you get impatient and frustrated when your children (young or old) distract you from your plans? Do you snap at them for disturbing you when you're in the middle of working? Do they get the feeling that your computer is more important to you than they are? Or your phone or tablet? Is what you are doing ever more important than your child when they want to talk to you? 

I admit, this is one area (and there are many) where I failed my children horribly. And I will always regret it. For more of the story, click here.

Now, I'm not saying your children should have free rein to interrupt you whenever they feel like it. There must be boundaries, particularly if you work from home. But I am asking you to evaluate the boundaries and your priorities. After all, I don't want you to have to live with the kind of guilt I live with. Because nothing, and I mean nothing, is as important to me as my family. And I'm sure you feel the same.

But for now, I think it's time to get back to work on my children's book. After all, deadlines are deadlines. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Vaping -- Is it really safer than smoking?

So what's with this whole vaping craze? Everywhere you look, new vapor stores are popping up, promising the best of the best. Best of what? Carcinogens? Toxins? I mean, seriously, is vaping any safer than smoking? Perhaps. But there are growing concerns. The fact is that e-cigarette generate toxins much like the ones found in tobacco. Studies out of Johns Hopkins University suggest vaping may be harmful not only to the lungs but to the immune system as well. 

Like many research studies, testing was done on mice and the findings were disturbing, especially in light of the fact that three years ago, an estimated 250,000 teens in the U.S. were using e-cigarettes, even though those same teenagers never smoked regular cigarettes.

According to Professor Shyam Biswai, who led the study (published in the online journal Public Library of Science ONE), the findings indicate that e-cigarettes negatively affect the lungs. 

"We have observed that they increase the susceptibility to respiratory infections in the mouse models," Professor Biswai said. "This warrants further study in susceptible individuals, such as COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder] patients who have switched from cigarettes to e-cigarettes, or to new users of e-cigarettes who may have never used cigarettes."

Dr. Thomas Sussan, co-author of the study at Johns Hopkins, added, "E-cigarette vapor alone produced mild effects on the lungs, including inflammation and protein damage. However, when this exposure was followed by a bacterial or viral infection, the harmful effects of e-cigarette exposure became even more pronounced. 

"The e-cigarette exposure inhibited the ability of mice to clear the bacteria from their lungs, and the viral infection led to increased weight loss and death, indicative of an impaired immune system."

Even though e-cigarettes do not produce combustion products, they still pose a possible risk to health. Additional research reveals a correlation of vaping to multiple health problems, including "asthma, lung inflammation, MRSA infection risk and exposure to harmful chemicals."

In case you're not familiar with e-cigarettes, here is an explanation from the American Lung Association: "The main component of e-cigarettes is the e-liquid contained in the cartridges. To create an e-liquid, nicotine is extracted from tobacco and mixed with a base (usually propylene glycol), and may also include flavorings, colorings and other chemicals. Because there is no government oversight of these products, nearly 500 brands and 7,700 flavors of e-cigarettes are on the market, all without an FDA evaluation determining what's in them. So there is no way for anyone -- healthcare professionals or consumers -- to know what chemicals are contained in 3-liquids, or how e-cigarette use might affect health, whether in the short term or in the long run."

Granted, I often have little use for the FDA, but the above statements are disturbing. If you're vaping, you have no idea what toxins you may be inhaling. Yikes.

And it's not just your lungs at risk, either. Additional research links vaping with mental health issues and heart disease. Not good.

Researchers at the UNC Center for Environmental Medicine, Asthma and Lung Biology suggests vaping could be linked to suppressed immune genes, which actually is more harmful than cigarette smoke. The study was presented at the 2016 American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Washington, D.C. and included these findings:

E-cig users showed the same changes in immune genes as cigarette smokers. However, e-cig users also demonstrated suppression of several additional immune genes, suggesting even broader suppressive effects on respiratory mucosal immune responses as compared to cigarette smokers.

So, back to the original question. Is vaping really safer than smoking? And again, I say, perhaps. But the emerging concerns seem valid enough to stay away from it. Far, far away. 

What do you think?

Click here for more information on the health risks associated with vaping.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Sorting through your stuff . . . what do you do with it all?

Happy Friday! This is the time of year when lots of us are cleaning out our garages, attics, and basements. After all, it's not too hot and it's not too cold. But the question always arises -- what do I do with all this stuff? Here are your options:

  • Garage/yard sale -- Selling the stuff you no longer need or want is a great way to earn some money to pay for something you do need or want. It's also a nice way to save up for a vacation. My husband and I have a jar where we put the money for things we sell on . . .
  • Craigslist -- I love selling my stuff on Craigslist. You just have to be smart about it in order to stay safe. Click here for suggestions on how to protect yourself.
  • eBay -- There's a slight learning curve, but eBay is one of the most popular ways to unload your stuff for a buck (or more). I personally hate getting packages ready to be mailed, so I avoid selling to someone who lives too far away to pick up the item.
  • Consign -- Items in good condition or clothing not older than a couple of years can bring in some nice change, too.
  • Donate -- Sometimes the very thing you no longer like is something someone else will absolutely love. Why hold on to it when you know it just might bless another's life or be the perfect accent in their home? If you do long forms for your taxes, don't forget to list everything you donate and then use a program like It's Deductible to get the fair market value of every donation. It can add up to a considerable tax deduction!
  • Reuse -- Maybe that workshop table in the garage has outlived its usefulness there, but would be a great addition to your craft room. Rethink, reuse, and repurpose whenever possible. We're redoing our bathroom and I've been going from room to room trying to figure out if any of our furniture could be repurposed as a sink/vanity.
  • Recycle -- My husband is huge into recycling. He's been doing it since long before I met him. He absolutely hates throwing things away. But if you're like me, sometimes you struggle to find the right places to recycle your items. Well, I have good news -- there's an app for that! And it's received some great reviews! "Even when you think you're eco-savvy, sometimes you still find yourself asking, 'Can I recycle this? If so . . . who takes it?' Kinda cool your phone can now answer that for you." ~ Treehugger.com. And here's what Mother Nature News had to say, "Earth911 makes their fabulous recycling search feature into an iPhone app with some convenient features."  But it's not just for the iPhone. There's an app for Android users, too. Click here for iPhone and here for Android.
  • Store it -- If you absolutely cannot part with something right now or if you think your kids might need/want it for their first apartment someday, pack it up and store it out of view so you don't have to make a decision about it each and every year when you start your spring cleaning.
  • Toss it -- NOTE: This is a LAST resort! In most cases, you don't have to contribute to the growing landfill problem. But sometimes, it's just necessary. Like in the case where we had a perfectly good upholstered chair out in our kids' playhouse (It's a large structure with a loft and everything -- they used to sleep out there a lot when they were children). Apparently, the mice thought it was comfy, too, and made several nests in it throughout the years. As much as we don't want to throw it out, we have no choice. I mean, seriously . . . ewww.
That's my advice for today. I hope you found it helpful. Happy sorting!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

How to Stay Green During Your Big Move

Today, I'm happy to feature another excellent post by guest blogger, AJ Earley.

So, you’ve found a new place to live. First off, congratulations! Second, I guess it’s time to get ready for the dreaded task we all hate: moving.

I recently helped a friend move, and I was very disappointed to see her using a ton of plastic and paper products during the process, as well as a whole smattering of chemicals when it came time to clean up the empty house. The fumes got so bad I had to to bow out and let her finish the cleaning on her own.

There are varying levels of green you can strive for when you are moving, but even a little effort is better than none at all. Here are some tips to reduce your environmental impact when you switch to your new house.

Get Organized

You’ll want to start organizing well in advance of your move. It will be a lot easier to follow the rest of these tips if you’re prepared every step of the way. Something like this moving checklist that is broken down by weeks before the move can help you with that process. Six weeks is a good amount of time to start sorting out all the details, but if you don’t have that much time, get started as early as possible.

Purging is another thing that can help you stay green and organized once moving day comes. You can start early and try to get rid of as much as you can, or streamline the process and sort out unused items while packing. A good rule of thumb is if you haven’t used it in a year, and don’t see yourself using it again in another year, it can go. Of course, donate and recycle everything possible.

Pack Smart

Let’s face it, moving without a single cardboard box is generally not a possibility. What’s most important is to avoid buying boxes before the move just to throw them out afterwards. Re-use as many old boxes as you can, and either save them or donate them to someone else afterwards.

There are also a couple of options to avoid cardboard boxes. You can purchase plastic bins made from recycled material if you intend to repurpose or reuse them after the move. Old milk crates or wooden vegetable crates can come in handy for organization after the move.

There are a few eco-friendly packing materials available, but the easiest and greenest way to go is to just use your towels, linens, and clothing. Use these to keep your dishes and fragile knick-knacks safe or to wrap up your pictures and artwork. Not only will your linens do a great job of keeping your items safe, it will also ensure you don’t waste a bunch of plastic trash bags or cellophane on packing clothes and wrapping materials.

Rent a Truck

In the end, it’s more environmentally friendly, and more cost-effective, to rent a moving truck. You’ll only have to make one trip as opposed to several, which will help keep those greenhouse gasses out of the air. There are also a few moving companies that have greener, more fuel-efficient options, so do your research to see if you can find one in your area.

Clean Up

Once you’ve got everything moved out, it’s time to clean up the old place. There is absolutely no reason to use harsh chemicals during this process. Vinegar is the answer to almost any cleaning quandary you could come up with: from floors to walls to fixtures, it’s even good for deodorizing and disinfecting appliances. Vinegar will help get rid of grease and grime, as well as sticky substances and nasty odors. Almost every surface in your home can be made brand new without harmful cleaning agents that can make you sick ... or worse.

Even if you have a serious issue like a musty smell in your basement due to moisture and mold, a few gallons of distilled vinegar can solve the problem. The exterior surfaces of your home can be cleaned with a vinegar solution.

About the only thing you shouldn’t do with vinegar is shampoo your carpets, which is probably necessary unless you are completely replacing them. When you search for a carpet cleaning company, make sure they are a Certified Green Cleaner that doesn’t use any environmental toxins that can be hazardous to you, your kids, or your pets.

Happy Moving!

I hope these tips will help you sleep better (and healthier) at night, both before and after your big move.

Do you have any tips to add? We'd love to hear about them in the comments below.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Vinegar Friday -- Not Your Grandfather's Moonshine!


This month, I'm thrilled to feature guest blogger, Shelleen Sue Weaver, a writer I met at the Lancaster Christian Writers Super Saturday conference last month. Enjoy!

Not Your Grandfather’s Moonshine!

My name is Shelleen Sue Weaver…Unusual name; I know. I was named after a monkey, but that’s another story for another day. Today, I’d like to tell you about a drink I could only describe as a vinegary twist of sheer deliciosity that brings a party to my palate and cleanse to my cells with every sip. But first, a little fun about a perhaps “not so proud” aspect of my heritage:

Grandpa ran moonshine in the Pocono Mountains.
I guess during those times, that’s what they would do.
Now-a-days however, we prefer youthful fountains,
And I’ve grown quite fond of my own home brew.

It still has a kick but not the kind that makes you stumble.
Instead when I drink it, I feel so squeaky clean.
Grandpa’s was famous, but it caused lots of trouble,
And I’m convinced I’m not missin’ a thing.

It’s full of nutrition, and the color is pretty.
Give it a shake, and it’ll pack quite a punch.
Drink it every day, and you’ll be feelin’ rather spiffy.
Enjoy it for breakfast, dinner, or lunch.

Grandpa worked hard at his craft; I give him credit.
But it stressed out grandma who feared legalities.
If only Grandpa knew how to brew my juice I bet that
He’d have ditched his recipe – Grandma would’ve been pleased!

So here you go… I never gave it a name until I had the pleasure of meeting Hana (a.k.a. Green Grandma) at a writers’ conference a couple of weeks ago. She asked me what was in my mason jar. So for now, we’ll just call it:


Ingredient List:

¼ - ½ cup of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar
1” – 2” Ginger Root (Substitute from your spice cabinet if you don’t have fresh root on hand.)
1” – 2” Turmeric Root (Again, pull from your spice rack if need be, but fresh is so much better!)
3 drops of lemon essential oil. (If you take issue with ingesting essential oils, just use lemon juice to taste – fresh squeezed is always best.)
¼ - ½ tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. Stevia Powder (You can use liquid too; again, to taste.)

Place all ingredients into a blender or vitamixer, and add several ice cubes and water until full.

Blend and Savor…It’s going to make you smile! J

For the health of it, (Sorry, I just had to say that!)


Shelleen Weaver gave her first original poetry recitation for a talent competition, the summer she won the title of Miss Teen of Pennsylvania. Her poetry surfaced again a dozen years later, as she responded to heart-ache, this time morphing into song. Out of this she recorded her first album, Rough Tracks, from which her song Enraptured, climbed to #1 on CRW’s Global AC Charts.

Shelleen’s three children have inspired her poetry to take on the form of original lullabies and bed-time stories, out of which her first book, Fruit Fables, is under contract to be published.

Shelleen Weaver is His Word Weaver, using her gift of writing to bring glory and honor to the Creator of all things beautiful. Visit her website at www.shelleensings.com to learn more.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

When the well runs dry

Image by Karen Arnold
I'm feeling a bit under-appreciated lately and I'm having a little pity party for myself today. That doesn't happen often, so I'm indulging for awhile. I think I've just spent too much time encouraging others, building them up, telling them how proud I am of them, and suddenly I don't have an ounce left to give. Nothing. Zilch. The well has run dry.

You see, no one can constantly give and give and receive little in return. Unless you're Mother Teresa, which I'm not. And if you're not careful, you'll find yourself in the same pit I'm in. It's so important that we take care of ourselves, too. Sometimes that just requires surrounding ourselves with people who give back. 

Ladies, as Mother's Day approaches, take some time to nourish your soul. This can be a painful time for many -- those who never married and never had the family they longed for, those who are infertile, those who have lost children -- in and out of the womb, those who are waiting for prodigals to return home, and those who have lost their beloved mothers. For all of us, I wish us peace this coming Sunday. May your longings be covered in grace.


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

5 Things to Remember When Going to the ER

Today's guest post is by Rachel Berros, PA.

Image courtesy of Paul Brennan

5 Things to Remember When Going to the Emergency Department

Health and medical care can be intimidating, especially if you are more naturally minded. Having a primary care provider that you trust can be a huge benefit in this area (for more about primary care benefits, click here). But, sometimes the emergency department or urgent care are your only, or best, options. Once there, it is important that your voice be heard and desires respected. Not every clinician understands the idea of breastfeeding past 6 months or not desiring antibiotics. Due to their ignorance (not malice), they may not think to ask about these issues. As advocates of your and your child(ren)’s health, please keep these points in mind if you find yourself in an emergency department.

  1. Tell the ER provider several times that you are nursing your child, especially if the child is older than 6 months or not currently with you. The clinician may assume older children are no longer nursing and thus not ask, so be sure to volunteer the information. Once you have told them, they still may end up prescribing something out of habit. This medication will most likely be appropriate for the patient’s condition, but may not be ideal while nursing. So, politely advise them of your nursing status during the initial interview, again while discussing the treatment plan, and then when the person (usually a nurse) goes over your discharge instructions. 
  2. Include your herbal therapies as medications. Some clinicians may not understand the possible interactions of herbal remedies with prescriptions medications, but many will.  If the herbal therapy is potent enough to have an effect, it may have a side effect or interaction as well. Homeopathic treatments generally do not have a similar issue due to their nature, so generally do not need to be included.
  3. Ask if probiotics would be a better treatment—as opposed to antibiotics—if diagnosed with a bacterial infection. Certain infections, such a mastitis (a milk-duct infection while nursing) has been shown to improve as well, if not better, on probiotic therapy as on antibiotics (as described on UpToDate, a respected medical resource site for clinicians). Any time antibiotics are used (including through breast milk) during the first 6 months of life (or before whole foods are eaten and thus normal/healthy bacteria developed in the gut) there are slightly higher risks for stomach issues later in the child’s life. If antibiotics are still recommended, ask about taking probiotics with them, also remember to ask how easily the specific antibiotic will pass into the breast milk.
  4. Ask if a chest x-ray for your child is absolutely necessary. A single x-ray will not be harmful, but all radiation exposure adds up over time. Exposure can be especially problematic in the preteen and early teen years when the child’s body is preparing for and going through puberty. 
  5. Remember prevention is key, and knowledge is power. Appropriate child restraints, helmets, and other safety gear have significantly reduced childhood trauma rates in the last several decades, but we still have room to improve. Learn about proper safety gear use and insist on it with your child(ren). Also remember most fevers do not require emergent evaluation, vomiting for a day or so will usually not cause significant harm to your child(ren), and colds are almost always viral (meaning they need time, not medications to improve), so skip the trip to the emergency department unless, of course, it is a true emergency. 

Educate yourself from reputable sources, like your primary care provider or pediatrician, or well respected, science based websites, to reduce your need of medical visits. But, as I always tell my patients, if you are scared for you or your child(ren)’s health, seek out a professional evaluation. We will always be happy to tell you your child is fine or not as bad off as you imagined. Most of us enjoy seeing concerned, well informed, and proactive parents and patients. 


Rachel Berros is a Physician's Assistant and writer. Follow her on Twitter (@berrosrachel) and check out her website (www.rachelberros.com).


Sunday, May 1, 2016

May the 4th be with you -- $100 up for grabs!

Who wants to win $100 in PayPal cash? 
You know you do! 

Well, here's your chance. Because I love this community, I decided to join with some other awesome bloggers and pay out $100 to one lucky winner. Quite honestly, I hope it's someone here in the GG community! Best of all, this is a giveaway that is open to everyone 18+ Worldwide!

Contest runs from May 1 - May 31, 2016. 
Winner will be contacted via email on June 1 and will have 24 hours to claim their prize.

Good luck!

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