Food for thought about how to live healthy!

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Long Overdue Post

Hello readers!

I know I have been absent from this blog for a while. Despite the fact that I haven’t posted in over 8 months, this blog is still averaging 25 viewers a day. The other day my blog got 108 views. That’s insane to me, and I thank all of you so much for supporting this blog.

For those of you who don’t know me or this blog, I am a student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. I started this blog the beginning of my sophomore year as part of a project for one of my online classes. I am now in my senior year, my last semester actually, at the Cronkite School. I wanted to keep up this blog because I love learning about health and medicine, and also because I wanted to inform people on how their bodies work so they could understand how easy it is to be healthy. Since starting this blog, I have interned at The Arizona Republic during two separate semesters (during which my stories have become nationally circulated, including having a front page story on USA Today), I have studied in New York City and interned for NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, produced a live, afternoon TV newscast for Cronkite NewsWatch (the Cronkite school’s flagship program), and have also done freelance video work for several nationally known journalists.

As you can tell, my life has become a whirlwind of journalism. I am so grateful and blessed to be offered so many opportunities. This semester, I will start applying for post-graduate jobs, and my dream is to move back to NYC and advance my career there.
My life is changing and is only getting busier by the minute. I love this blog, and I love researching topics about and health and medicine and then delivering them to people in a way they can understand. But I cannot commit to maintaining it anymore. So this is the last time I’ll be posting on An Apple A Day, at least for the foreseeable future. Maybe one day, when I’m at my new job in NYC, I’ll log back on and find some time to write a post. But until then, I’m signing off.

 

Stay healthy 🙂

A Lip Balm Love Affair

Walking around Downtown Phoenix, or any desert city, in the hot summer months is not too painful if you keep a couple necessities with you. A bottle of water, sunscreen, and, my personal favorite, lip balm. I’ve developed this habit where I need to put on lip balm almost every time I step out, which is frequently. Is there such a thing as lip gloss addiction?

It’s not technically an “addiction.” It’s more of a game of “cat and mouse” with your body’s natural reactions. Your lips are one of the most sensitive parts of your body and thus your skin cells are constantly drying up and dying. Underneath your many layers of skin cells is the basal layer of skin, which is responsible for creating new skin cells when the old ones have dried up. When you put on lip balm, you basically create a new layer of moisture that traps the underlying moisture in the basal layer. That means the basal layer never gets the signal to make new cells.

Once that layer of lip gloss is gone and your cells begin to dry up again, the basal layer goes into overdrive to replace both the old skin cells and the new ones. The basal layer send a stronger impulse to the brain to let it know it’s going into overdrive which, in turn, makes you more consciously aware of your dry lips and tempts you to use lip balm as a quick fix.

You add another layer of lip balm, it stops the basal layer, and the cycle continues. The more you use lip balm, the more you’ll get hooked onto it.

Treatment? Self-determination. There’s really no fixed solution for breaking a lip balm “addiction”. Try cutting down the number of times you use lip balm daily. Also try switching to a lighter, natural material of lip balm that’s less overbearing on your lips. If you need to use lip balm, only go outside when you need to and go out during the cooler parts of the day (early morning or later in the evening).

A helpful tip I use is applying a fresh coat of lip balm after every class I go to. Since I only have 2-3 classes a day and they’re fairly well spaced out, it’s a nice schedule to live by. A similar suggestion would be to apply a fresh coat every time you’re on break or lunch at a job. Having a routine time to apply lip balm will help you keep track of how often you use it and can help you adjust to using less.

It’s not that using a lot of lip balm is bad. But if you’re living on a small budget, $2.00 a week for a stick of lip balm isn’t exactly the definition of a tight wallet.

A far worse habit than applying too much lip balm is licking your lips. Your saliva is naturally warm to help digest food. Coating your lips with warm fluids literally sucks the moisture right out of them, leading to dry, cracked, and chapped lips. If you have a lip-licking habit, you really have no choice but to switch to lip balm.

Fortunately, summer is nearing its end and the need for lip balm won’t be so dire, unless you live in the desert where every day it’s either hot, windy, dry, or all of the above.

Post-First Post Introduction

Ever heard that phrase, “You are what you eat?” My diet consists of Cheerios for breakfast and mystery pizza from my dorm’s cafeteria. But brand name cereal and sketchy pizza doesn’t quite paint the portrait of my personality.

I am a sophomore college student studying journalism at ASU. I am taking an Online Media class this semester and we’re learning how to utilize social media to capture an audience of readers. Each student was told to create a blog about a unique topic that fits his or her interests.

I wanted to blog about health and medicine, but I knew that was too generic. I, therefore, came up with the idea to gather a bunch of different health sites together via a Twitter account and dissect whatever was being published into an easy to read guide on how to live healthy. It’s like a Health 101 or Health for Dummies blog.

It’s difficult for a journalism student with a minor in political science to establish her credibility as a health blogger, but I’m actually more informed about medicine than it would appear. My mother has been a Health writer for the Los Angeles Times for over 10 years. She’s mentored me and inspired me to become interested in health and medicine. I’ve taken two advanced biology classes in high school, and I took a Human Anatomy and Physiology class (designed for students going into nursing) last semester.

I know the difference between tachycardia and bradycardia, I can identify the gallbladder on an open cadaver (which I did last semester), and I’m humorously known by some of my friends as “Dr. Jane.”

As far as the whole “Apple Theme” goes, apples are my favorite fruit. And I wanted to do something linking that old cliche about keeping doctors away with apples with my blog.

Even though I’m only required to blog 10 times this semester, I really enjoy doing this so I’m probably going to blog 2-4 times a week.

I created a tumblr and a twitter for my blogs in case anyone is interested in following those. And if you ever want a brief summary of who I am and what my blog is about, I created a page titled “My Blog and I” that can be found in the top right corner of the home page.

My goal is to educate people on living healthier. Even if only one person views my blog post, I’ll be happy knowing that at least some one learned something about how to live healthier.