Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Is childhood obesity dangerous?

Childhood obesity is at an all time high. It makes you wonder what’s
happening to the kids in our community and what can we do about it.

Research shows that type 2 diabetes (adult onset) is closely linked to those that are
overweight or obese. This used to be a disease associated with adults, but its
prevalence has increased dramatically in children and adolescents. In 2000, 28% of
children age 6-19 years of age in the US were overweight (nearly tripling the totals
from 1980-2000). By 2004, the statistic rose to 33.6%. Overweight adolescents have
a 70% chance of becoming overweight, or worse yet, obese adults. That’s almost 3 of
every 4 children!

Without a change, these children become overweight or obese adults who not only
risk getting type 2 diabetes, but various other health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, orthopedic problems, and some forms of cancer.

Do these diseases sound familiar? So much of our health is under our control. These are lifestyle diseases, so change your lifestyle! It’s important to lead by example, as your children will take on your habits. And unhealthy habits not only affect physical health but emotional health as well.

Start living a healthier life today and change your tomorrow!

FREE natural health reports at
Written by Dr. Heather Yost
Urbandale Living Magazine – March 2010

What foods should I feed my children?

The link between the food kids eat and their health and well‐being is widely recognized today. And when it comes to the health and happiness of our children, I think that all parents will agree that only the very best will do.

Nutrition can be a confusing subject and many parents wonder where to start. Since diet is crucial to the health of our children, we should not rely upon processed foods from jars and boxes. There is nothing better for your child than home‐cooked meals made from fresh ingredients. And the good news is, that cooking doesn’t have to be time‐consuming or complicated. The key is to choose your 4‐5 recipes for the week ahead of time, make a grocery list, and make meals in bulk so you can freeze extras.

Make sure to pack your meals with fruits and vegetables. Researchers estimate that a diet filled with fruits and vegetables instead of unhealthy fats and refined foods, combined with increased exercise, could reduce the occurrence of cancer by at least 30%. Who doesn’t want those statistics for their child? The more colorful the food, the more nutritious it is. Choose spinach over regular lettuce, sweet potato over an ordinary potato, and go for the brightest peppers, tomatoes, broccoli and fruits you can find.

Pick recipe books that help you make nutritious and easy meals. Some of my favorites are as follows: First Meals by: Annabel Karmel (too much dairy.. just alter recipes), Crazy Makers by: Carol Simontacchi, Feed Me I’m Yours by: Vicki Lansky, and Growing Healthy Families by: Holistic Moms Network.

Remember to give your children the very best start possible and start their day with nutritious foods!

For more information and opportunities to learn more, contact us at Yost Family Chiropractic.
Written by Dr. Heather Yost
Provided for Urbandale Living Magazine (April 2010)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Is it a journey? Or a destination?

"I will be happy when I've lost 10 lbs."
"Life will be so much easier when the kids are older."
"Once we're through the holiday season, things will slow down."
"If we just had more money......"
"I have no time for myself."

So often we find ourselves searching for the next great... the next great something. Looking towards the day when things are "easier", more routine.... different. And then we wonder why we never find ourselves "there".

Stop, stop, stop.

You ARE "there"... wherever "there" is. You're exactly where you're supposed to be at this exact moment in time. Are you open to learning and growing? Are you open to the lessons? So much is happening around you. So many blessings are coming your way... every moment of every day. Are you acknowledging them or letting them slide right by you???

Have you ever looked at a glass of water? A glass of water that was half empty?
Or... was it half full? Hmmmmmm........
I guess that depends on your perception right?
If you haven't heard this, allow me to be the first to tell you that NOTHING has any meaning other than the meaning you assign to it.
You have power in your ability to define what's happening to you and the stressors that are coming your way. I KNOW you have stress. I know you do, b/c if you say you don't you lie about other things too. :) :)
It's not what's happening around you, it's how you define it. It's how you choose to experience it.

And LIFE is happening right now. Happening in front of you!!! Or maybe you're letting it pass you by. Maybe.... just maybe you're thinking it's about the destination.

And, maybe it is.
But if it's only about the destination, you're going to be missing the journey. And the journey is what gets you to the destination.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

WARNING: Sunscreen -- may increase your risks of cancer

The more I read about sunscreen the happier I am that we avoid it at all costs. There is continual evidence that suggests the chemicals in sunscreen can cause damage to the body, even leading to some cancers. The chemicals absorb through the skin into the blood stream and later accumulate in fat stores.

Researchers at the University of California state that the increased use of chemical sunscreens is the primary cause of the skin cancer epidemic. Other research has shown the greatest rise in melanoma is seen in countries where chemical sunscreens are heavily promoted and used (one such place being the USA). AUHHHHHHHHH. Imagine smearing this stuff on your baby’s skin and face…

So how do you know if you’re using a sunscreen with chemicals? There are only two different types of sunscreen -- chemical and physical.

The chemicals in sunscreen actually work by absorbing the sun's rays and contain things like Paba, Benzophenone, Oxybenzone and metal oxides (nano chemicals). Physical sunscreens work by blocking or reflecting the sun's rays and contain minerals like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide (have you seen someone with the white covered nose? That’s a physical blocking sunscreen).

So what’s a parent supposed to do?
• Make sure to get your kids out in the sun so they can benefit from its healing rays and build up their body’s vitamin D supply (75% of the body’s Vit D comes from the sun).
• When summer begins, start gradually with sun exposure. Limit total exposure to no more than 10-20 minutes spurts of time.
• Watch the skin for signs of redness. If red, the skin has had it’s full share of sun time for the day.
• Cover up with hats, sunglasses, umbrellas and shirts if you plan to be in the sun for an extended period of time.
• Carefully select sunscreens that have natural, mineral based ingredients, are free from synthetic sun ingredients and are safe, non-toxic, preservative free and bio-degradable. Check out Campbells (locally), Lavera Natural Cosmetics, (, and Natural Health Newsletter recommends These sunscreens are worth the extra investment!
• Physical barrier sunscreens are better, in terms of absorption.
• Take an omega 3 fatty acid (beneficial for all ages) supplement.
• Replace traditional fluorescent lighting with full spectrum lights in places where children spend a lot of time. (ask your schools what lighting they have)

As long as we do not over-indulge, the sun is a fabulous thing. So get out and enjoy this spring weather. You’ll be healthier because of it!

Teaching your children to love

I remember, as a young child, asking my parents to kiss each other.
"Kiss my mom! Kiss her!!!!! Come on!!!"
Then I would giggle and giggle when they finally kissed.

That memory came flying back to me the other day when I read, "the number one way to teach your children to love is by loving their father." (and visa versa)

This struck me in a powerful way! I strive daily to show my children the love that I have for their dad. We don't hold back hugging, kissing, rough housing, or even giving "da dip" (Ben uses his Italian accent when dipping me :) :)) in front of our kids. We want them to see us together. We want them to see us loving each other... showing and demonstrating our commitment to our marriage.

I know that someday when my three children get into a relationship, they're going to look back on the strength they saw in our relationship and want that!

That's why we put our marriage first. We have goals for ourselves, our careers, our family, AND our marriage. Your marriage can't be left to chance and it certainly can't be left to get whatever's "left over". It must be a priority! And YOU get to decide how you do that.

For us, we have monthly date nights. We tell our children that we need to concentrate on each other and spend some time together. We tell them how important it is to us and to them as well.

We also strive to get away for 1 weekend every 6 months. We swap time with my sister. She and her husband watch our kids while we get away and then we watch their kids while they get away. It's been a great way to spend more time with our niece and nephew as well as more time as a couple. Double blessing!

So here's the point of this blog. About a year after having my twins, I remember looking at Ben and thinking... "You.. I know you....Hmmmm? You're the guy I used to spend a lot of time with right?"

Our lives were turned upside down. AND we were loving it! But (and here's the big BUT...) I could see how having children can get you in trouble. Ben and I hadn't had a date night in months, we rarely spent time just the two of us b/c we were having so much fun with the kids, and we also shared our bed with kids so we weren't even getting time to snuggle like we used to. I could see where you could suddenly find yourself not knowing the person you married. Not knowing how to pick things up and put things back together. I also knew that marriages were only won in a prevention arena. It was time for us to make some new rules and make sure we were as proactive about our marriage as we are about our health! And our marriage stepped onto the side of the arena we would be staying on.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

"I'm not going to be fat anymore"

At YFC, I see a lot of families. Over the last 7 years, I've seen a common trend. Moms are running hard, juggling a million things at once, and often times put themselves last.
I just heard a mother tell me yesterday that she told her child, "after this pregnancy your mother isn't going to be fat anymore".
So, this child asks her when she's going to stop being fat.
This mother told me that she felt like her job was to take care of her kids, not herself.
I also hear things like, "I'm tired of being frumpy mom". "I never have time for myself."
If you hear nothing else, hear this ---> you deserve to take care of yourself. You MUST take care of yourself! Give 75% to your kids and 25% to yourself. Because if you don't, your kids aren't going to get the best of you and you're going to end up resenting your kids.
Time is the only commodity we are all given equally. Across counties, states, continents. We are all given the same amount of time. Use it wisely and quit making excuses.
Taking care of my body is a priority as I want to take the best care of my children. My alarm went off at 4:45am this morning. I crawled out of bed (reluctantly.. but I did it anyway) and came downstairs to layer on the clothes and head out in 37 degree weather to run.
Am I a superhero? (sometimes I like to be called "She-Ra... Princess of Power".... but that's another blog)
No... .I'm a mom! Just like you!
I know what I want for my future. I want a vibrant, healthy future and I want the same for my kids. So, I lead by example.
Why? Because I am entitled to health and I'm entitled (required) to take care of myself.
Begin with the end in mind. Decide what you truly want for yourself and your health. And just get started!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

To cloth diaper or not... that is the question.

When I was pregnant with the twins, I took a hard look at the health, environmental and economical advantages of cloth diapering over paper diapers.
Here's what I found....
42 million diapers go into a landfill EVERYDAY in the US. The US pays an average of $350 million YEARLY to deal with their disposal AND--> these diapers will still be in a landfill 300 years from now. (that means when your great, great, great, great, great, great grandchildren start diapering their children your STINKY diapers will still be hanging out somewhere)
The feces in landfills contaminates our water supply. (are you still drinking tap water?)
I also found out that the chemicals in paper diapers can rapidly absorb into the babies skin. I had serious concerns about dioxin. Dioxin in various forms has been shown to cause cancer, birth defects, liver damage, and skin diseases.
Paper diapers don't breath, cloth diapers DO allowing for healthier skin and less rashes.
Cloth diapered babies potty train on average an ENTIRE year earlier than paper diapered. AND the average paper diapered baby will go through 8,000-10,000 diapers before potty training.
And cloth diapering can save you 2000-5000 dollars!!!!!
Do I have your attention yet?
And let me be the first to tell you, that cloth diapering is easy! It's not gross or time-consuming like so many people think.
Even my husband is a fan! (and this is the guy who practically cried when I told him I wanted to cloth diaper)
So, when faced with cloth diapering or not, the choice was easy.... and we've never looked back!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

When do you start chiropractic care?

I often hear people ask, "When should you start chiropractic care?"

I think people worry that once you start, you have to go for the rest of your life. Almost worrying that you could in some way become "addicted" to chiropractic... or even set yourself up to "need an adjustment".

I understand where people are coming from, as I've found myself asking the same question from other healthcare professionals, such as my dentist. "When is the best time to get my kid's teeth checked?" To which my dentist replied, "As soon as possible!" That made sense to me as I know the "war against cavities" can only (truly) be won in a prevention arena. I also realized that one checkup with the dentist didn't guarantee my children a life without cavities. I take them in every 6 months and then daily work on prevention. Prevention of tooth decay!

The bones in your mouth are important! But let's not forget about the bones in your spine. If you want to win the "war against decay" (and preventing problems in the future), let's start getting our children checked as early as possible! I recommend getting them checked right after birth, and when they learn to sit, crawl, stand, walk and run. Mine were checked at only a couple hours old. Why? Because I didn't want to wait until aches, pain, or symptoms of any sort arose from the problem. IF there's something there, I wanted to know about!

All three of my children get checked a minimum of one time a month. We add extra visits around colds and flus (research states that an adjustment boosts the immune system 200-400%!) and around tumbles or falls. I get them adjusted because I know it helps their body function better and gives them an advantage.

So when should you start chiropractic care? I guess as soon as you want to start benefiting from care.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Natural Solutions to Allergies

Allergy season is here again! 1 in 4 kids have allergies and for those families that are suffering, it can be miserable! 2 million school days are lost because of allergy symptoms. Even when attending school, the child may be limited in their physical activities and/or concentration due to allergies.

The good news is that safe and effective natural options exist! Holistic approaches can help to address not only the symptoms but the underlying susceptibility to allergic reactions as well.

Here you’ll find some of our favorite recommendations for allergy sufferers.

o Diet -- Removal of wheat, dairy, artificial coloring and high fructose corn syrup
o Stabilize blood sugar – balance out protein and carbohydrates, especially in the mornings
o Herbs –Echinacea, Nettles
o Essential oils – roman chamomile, lavender, geranium, tea tree, lemon
o Lymphatic massage (see demo on facebook), 6 drops into bathtub, 2 drops into lotion, use in a diffuser
o Multi-Vitamin, Multi-Mineral
o Probiotics
o Omega 3 Fatty Acids
o Water/ hydration, warm fluids/teas
o Neti pot – non-iodized salt
o Yoga postures, stretching
o Chiropractic Care!

How does Chiropractic care help allergies? By releasing stress on the nervous system, chiropractic permits the immune system to function more effectively - something all allergy sufferers need! With Chiropractic care, your body will work more effectively to neutralize the allergy-causing chemicals in your environment.

Monday, September 13, 2010

We love smoothies in this house!!!!

Our family loves making smoothies and the girls love helping!

If you want a simple, nutritious snack for your kids....listen up! And "spice it up".

Ok you're going to need a magic bullet (kohl's) or a blender. Personally, I recommend investing in a magic bullet as you'll use it so much more than blender. And it's easier to store and clean.

Have your kids get involved! Go to your grocer and let them pick out the assortment of frozen fruit. Use rice/almond (no soy please) milk instead of cow's milk (soon I will blog about my disgust for cow's milk) to make it creamier.

Here's how simple it is. AND... don't forget to get your kids involved. They'll be excited and much more likely to eat it.

Let the kids choose what fruits (frozen berries and a banana are a favorite blend in our house) and fill magic bullet 3/4 full. Add rice milk to the top of the fruit, a scoop of protein (to help even out their blood sugar levels) and then "spice it up"!

"Spicing it up"
means adding a bunch of nutrients.

I always add omega 3 oil (1/4 - 1/2 tsp) and probiotics (1/4 - 1/2 tsp) and often times add a handful of spinach (they won't ever taste it and my girls think green food is "cool").

You can also add their herbs or multi-vitamin into the smoothie. Whatever liquid nutrient you have can be added (hid) in smoothies!

We love smoothies in our house. It's a great snack or "meal on the go".

Try it... you might like it! :)

"Fever Phobia"

I recently read an article that pegged many parents as having "fever phobia". A whopping 91% of parents feared fevers! And no wonder, since many parents believe that fevers are actually THE ILLNESS.
Fever is not a disease in itself... it's an important part of the healing process.
Let me repeat that -- it's an important part of the healing process.
Now, don't get me wrong. It's as uncomfortable to watch my children hot and miserable as it is for any parent. But to break the fever isn't necessary and may not be wise.
Illness-causing "bugs" or microbes thrive at normal body temperatures. So it would make sense that the body raises the core temperature to "squash" the bugs from being able to reproduce. Not only does the fever speed up recovery from the illness but helps to "prune" the immune system so the child maturates and builds an adult immune system (typically completing around 6 yrs old).
And get this -- the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology states that having a fever in the first year of life reduces allergies seen later in childhood!
I'm actually glad that Kallen (my 8 months old) has already had a fever. A nice 103.5 that resolved easily in 24 hours with lots of mommy time, nursing, a couple of chiropractic adjustments, and 1 soaking of vinegar socks to make him a little more comfortable (put socks in vinegar and then put on their feet. Fever will drop 1 degree in 15 minutes).
And for those that fear the height of the fever, the body is fully equiped to protect your child and rarely ever goes above 105 or 106. No damage has been shown to occur until 108 degrees.
When your child is hot, quit watching the thermometer and start watching your child.
Be present, be there with them and release those fears.... your child's body is doing exactly what it's supposed to.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The teething child

It's funny how some kids breeze right through teething (ie- my twins) while others seem to suffer (ie- my son). And for those kids that suffer, they can really suffer.
My son, Kallen, made 5 attempts at falling asleep tonight. And so far, he's only been sleeping for 20 minutes. (cross your fingers that he's down for the night)

So what are we to do? My husband is a "fix-it" type of guy and sometimes wants a solution for ailments, aches, and pains.
I know how he feels and we have to remind ourselves that teething is simply a part of life. We can't "fix" it, but we can help to ease the transition.
My favorite remedies are Hyland's Teething Tablets (can purchase at Walgreen's or and Gum-omile (can purchase at Yost Chiropractic or Campbell's).
These are simple but effective and definitely take the edge off.
Remember, that some of the best "remedies" simply lie in spending time with your child. Holding them, rocking them, reassuring them that they are safe...... and that we are here, on this journey with them.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Adjusting Kids

I love adjusting kids!!!! Love it!
I recently read a blog by a chiropractor that talked about the importance of brushing and flossing and how many dentists will tell you just to "floss the teeth you want to keep" (Circle Chiro).
The bones in your mouth REQUIRE you to take care of them if you want to prevent bad breath, tooth decay, gum disease, inflammation, etc. If you want healthy teeth, it's best won in a prevention arena right?
The bones in your spine are the same way. They REQUIRE that you take care of them if you want to prevent pain, spinal decay, arthritis, excessive aging, wear and tear, breakdown, and ultimately disease.

Let's start educating our population that the same holds true for our kids and their spines. They need to get checked right after birth. They need to get checked regularly and keep their spine in optimum condition -- atleast the part of their spine they want to keep.


Oh how I love sleep. I love it when my kids sleep. My twins are currently 3 1/2 (the 1/2 counts for alot in our house!!!) and we still have them napping. They are happier and more grounded when they've had a nap. Actually, I may be speaking for myself. I'M HAPPIER and more grounded when they've had a nap. :)
In truth, we need sleep for our brains and for our bodies. Sleep helps us remember what we have learned, pay attention and concentrate, solve problems and think of new ideas. For our bodies, sleep helps our muscles, bones, and skin grow as well as fix injuries. Sleep helps our body stay healthy and fight sickness. You grow, repair and rejuvenate when sleeping.
Think about how fast our kids are growing. Think about how much they run, jump, and play. They need to sleep.
Protecting your child's sleep and guiding them into good habits will help them grow stronger and be healthier.
This goes for parents too!!!!
Take care of you and lead by example!