Category Archives: Health & Wellness

Health & Wellness

Guest Appearance on Taboo Talk with Lady Charmaine Day on BlogTalkRadio

Tomorrow (Wednesday, May 15, 2013) from 2-3 p.m. eastern standard time, I’ll be a guest on Taboo Talk, a Christian talk show featuring ordained Pastor, Wife, Publisher, Author and Radio Host, Lady Charmaine Day.

The show, which is syndicated and appears on BlogTalkRadio, YouTube and Itunes, features insightful commentary from Lady Charmaine Day on a variety of topics. It airs live on BlogTalkRadio each Sunday and Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. EST.

On tomorrow’s show, we’ll discuss health and fitness tips, ways to balance home and work life, as well as advice for people who want to make a career transition in order to pursue their true passion.

I hope you’ll join us!

(Click the image below to link to the webpage):

Taboo Talk with Lady Charmaine Day

Too Busy For Fun?

DrLanierWebCroppedPic-revHow abandoning my Saturday things-to-do list at my daughter’s urging, helped me to live in the moment and enjoy a perfect mommy-daughter afternoon adventure.

Saturday had arrived and I had my weekend chore list in hand, ready to engage and conquer, item by item.

I was on chore #3 (loading the dishwasher), when my daughter quietly came to me and asked if we could do something fun today.

Now the boys (my husband and son), were on an overnight father-son trip (an away-basketball game with the team)… so the fact that she was looking for a similar adventure on the home front was legitimate.

But in that moment, crossing things off my to-do list, felt like fun to me.

“Sure, what would you like to do?” I said. “I’m not sure,” she replied.

“Well, why don’t you write a list of things you’d like to do,” I answered.

To my surprise, she said, “I already have one.” I asked in disbelief, “You already have a what? A list?”

“Yes,” she answered, “I started it the last time you told me to make a list, then added things onto it, every time you were too busy.”

Yikes! “Every time you were too busy…”

Was I that busy, that my almost 10-year old daughter had to master the art of delayed gratification by keeping a list of things she’d love to do, whenever Mom finally had time?

Well, that was going to end today. After completing a few more chores, we set out on our adventure!

As we got closer to downtown Austin, however, my excitement turned into frustration, as we were met with traffic that only a big-time event could generate… in this case, SXSW (South by Southwest).

Now, I love Austin and it’s major events, especially the musically themed ones. But, as we drove through traffic at a snail’s pace, passing parking lot-by-lot, and garage-by-garage, with ‘LOT FULL’ signs out front—I could feel my frustration (and my daughter’s impatience) building.

It was definitely time for an attitude shift and change in perspective!
I suggested we focus on people watching, rather than the traffic.

Before long, we were lost in our observations—spotting quite a few people with pink hair and a few mohawks; some were stylishly attired, and others more casually dressed—all were very unique (and fun to watch). Finally, after finding a parking garage, we were on our way.

Our adventure started with a wonderful lunch at PF Changs where no electronics, only great conversation, was allowed at the table. Afterwards, we went to the Austin Children’s Museum where we enjoyed all of the exhibits (especially the Tinkerer’s Workshop and the Global City). We finished our mommy-daughter date at Le Café Crepe, with crepes to share (one with baked apples and cinnamon; and another with brie, pear, walnuts and honey)!

What lessons did I learn from this outing with my daughter?

1. Living in the moment is key.

If you’ve ever watched a child at play, you’ll notice that they are truly living in the moment. They explore, discover and play, without concern for what happened before and what will happen later. As adults, living in the moment requires revisiting that child-like sense in our approach to different tasks or situations.

When I was hanging out with my daughter, I wasn’t focused on what I needed to do when I got back home, or what I hadn’t completed before I left—I was just having fun… in the moment.

2. Spending quality time with our loved ones builds lasting memories.

Much has been written about the subject of “quality time.” So much so, that the very mention of the phrase may cause your eyes to roll upwards.

But, taking a break to enjoy the company of a loved one benefits all parties involved. The quality of that time (undistracted and undivided) matters much more than the quantity in most cases.

What my daughter enjoyed the most about our time spent together, was the fact that she had my complete attention. I looked at her as she spoke, and really listened as we talked during lunch. I held her hand as we walked through the streets of downtown Austin, navigating SXSW attendees and locals alike.

photo (1)I fully participated in the exhibits at the Children’s Museum—building a car in the Tinkerer’s Workshop, climbing into the wood block igloo with her, and even pretending to eat the plastic food she “prepared” for me at the diner in the Global City area.

The quality of our time spent together was more impactful than the quantity.

3. Allowing time for fun allows you to focus better and work more effectively.

There have been many studies that point to laughter as the best medicine; physical activity and social interaction improving our moods; and fun in the workplace (and in general), leading to better productivity overall.

Fun can inspire and motivate you. It produces a sense of well-being that can carry over into other areas of your life. That well-being allows creativity and inspiration to flow more easily and enables you to take on tasks (or obstacles) more energetically, and with a better attitude.

In allowing myself to take a break and have fun with my daughter, I was better able to focus on the things I had to do afterwards and I felt better doing them.

Try to make infusing fun into your day a priority. You’ll be glad you did!

Working It Out

j0437080This is a blast-from-the-past blog re-post from my first blog, Words of Wellness. These tips still hold true, so I figured I’d share them once again!

I enjoy watching a show on Fine Living Network called “Bulging Brides.”

At the start of the show, the brides-to-be are lamenting the fact that they are unable to fit into their wedding gowns (usually with the wedding in two months). Their poor eating and exercise habits are revealed. Then the hosts, a personal trainer and a nutrition consultant, arrive on the scene to help them turn over a new (and healthier) leaf… and to get them into those wedding gowns!

While the vast majority of us are not trying to fit into a wedding gown in 6-8 weeks, there are some things we can learn from the show:

1. Be consistent.

In order to achieve your desired results, you need to eat healthy and exercise on a consistent basis.

2. Keep a food diary.

I think it’s a great idea to do this for a week. Keeping track of everything you put in your mouth gives you a better idea of what and how much you are eating. It also shows you trends and triggers (e.g. after-dinner snacking, jumbo morning lattes, etc.).

3. Tailor your workout.

In the show, the trainer tailors the workouts to achieve a certain goal (shape the back, flatten the abdomen and tone the arms). While the show’s workouts are intense and frequent, we all could benefit from tailoring our workouts as well. Making sure to include aerobic, strength and flexibility components is also important.

4. Push yourself without overdoing it.

You definitely don’t want to overdo things, but some of us could benefit by pushing ourselves a little more. For example, if you’re walking as exercise, pick up the pace a bit (as if you’re in a hurry to get somewhere), versus a leisurely stroll. Of course, check with your doctor before starting a fitness program, especially if you have health conditions.

5. Make it a priority.

I remember how busy I was when planning my wedding (it didn’t help that I was in my first year of medicine/pediatrics residency). The brides on the show have to juggle wedding planning and taking care of themselves. Likewise, we all have to juggle busy lives, including stress and temptation, while keeping ourselves (or getting ourselves) healthy. Making exercise and proper nutrition a priority is a must.


Sleep Your Way to a Thinner You

Woman Sleeping
Everyone is trying to eat better and exercise more to be healthier,
but did you know you could be sabotaging your efforts by not
getting enough sleep?

American adults sleep less than 7 hours per night on average (compared to 8.5 hours per night in 1960 and 9 hours per night in  1910).

So why is it important to get the sleep you need?

According to Harvard Women’s Health Watch, chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way your body processes and stores carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect your appetite.

When you get a good night’s sleep (at least 8 hours) your body produces the hormone leptin, which regulates your appetite, causing you to feel full and satisfied after a meal. Getting enough sleep also regulates the hormone ghrelin, which increases appetite and triggers hunger.

In other words, scraping by on 6 hours or less of sleep per night will cause you to have less leptin (you’ll feel less satisfied after eating) and more ghrelin (you’ll want to eat more food more often)!

Sleep debt not only increases your appetite, but it also causes you to crave calorie-dense, high-carbohydrate foods (e.g. sweets like candy and cookies; salty foods like chips and nuts; and starchy foods like bread and pasta), according to a study done by researchers at the University of Chicago.

When you don’t get adequate rest, you feel tired and your energy levels are low. It’s more of a struggle to get through the day and you’re less likely to exercise as well.

Other reasons to get a good night’s sleep include improved learning and memory, better mood (you know you’re not nearly as irritable, impatient and moody when you’ve gotten enough sleep), and cardiovascular health (serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormones, and irregular heartbeat).

The National Sleep Foundation reports that fewer than 7 hours of sleep each night is associated with increased risk for obesity, diabetes and other health problems as well.

It’s important to mention, children need much more sleep than adults. Because growth hormones are released during sleep, sleep is vital to proper physical and mental growth. Just remember any occasion when your darling baby/toddler/child/teen morphed into the fussy, cranky, difficult version of themselves, all due to lack of sleep!

If you want to maintain (or lose) weight by sleeping more, you need to set a regular bedtime (preferably in a bedroom that’s quiet, dark and cool)… a stick to it!

Take care and God Bless,
Dayo Wilson Lanier, M.D.

Something To Smile About

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt has certainly been a while!

I hope you’re enjoying 2011 and that you’re still on track with your New Year’s Resolutions!

It’s February, and in addition to celebrating the Chinese New Year and Black History Month (we’re planning a great Children’s Church Black History program at Faith Church, by the way), it is also National Children’s Dental Health Month! So let’s brush up on some dental care basics (pun intended):

1. Remember to Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day.

It’s the best way to a great smile, so be sure to take your time while brushing. I have a timer in my kid’s bathroom set to 2 minutes, to make sure they don’t rush this step.

The American Dental Association recommends using a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. An electric or battery-operated toothbrush is great too, and allows you to brush your teeth more effectively. My children and I use them (my husband hasn’t jumped on board yet)! It feels a bit intense at first, but you quickly get used to it and your teeth feel really clean afterwards.

It’s also important to hold your toothbrush at a slight angle against your teeth and brush with short back-and-forth motions. Also, remember to brush the inside and chewing surfaces of your teeth and don’t forget to brush your tongue!

2. Daily Flossing is Important.

Flossing allows you reach the tight spaces between your teeth and under your gum line (places your toothbrush can’t reach).

Be sure to do one tooth at a time, and pull the floss from gum line to the top of the tooth to scrape off any plaque. I find the waxed variety of dental floss to be easier to use, and I buy the ready-to-use disposable dental floss applicators (for sensitive teeth) for my children.

3. If You’re Having a Problem With Your Teeth or Gums, See Your Dentist.

The best way to prevent oral health problems is to schedule regular dental cleanings and exams twice a year preferably (at least once a year for sure).

If you experience any dental problems (gums that bleed easily, unusual sensitivity to hot and cold, etc.), don’t be afraid to see your dentist to have it checked out.

I came across a wonderful workbook provided by the American Dental Association. It has cool coloring and activity sheets for children, and can be found at:  Take a look and have fun!

Take care and God bless,

Dayo Wilson Lanier, M.D.