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Tag Archives: Health

  • Update: Naya Health

    Back in December, we featured the trailblazing work of a young non-profit organization called Nyaya Health that is focused on a remote part of northwestern Nepal where there was not even one physician just a few years ago. Achham is one of the poorest areas in South Asia with some of the world's highest mortality rates, particularly among women and children. Today Nyaya’s all-Nepali staff provides free healthcare to the community through its hospital and mobile health services. The organization’s open source approach  with complete transparency of expenditures, operations protocols, and clinical outcomes is one of the things that we really love about Nyaya.

    In honor of World Health Day  today, we thought we would check in with Nyaya for an update on their work.

    Naya Health

    Patients wait outside of Bayalpata’s outpatient department to be seen. On an average day Bayalpata Hospital sees between 100 and 150 outpatients

    Since we last caught up with them, the team at Nyaya has published its 2010 Annual Report. With a population of 250,000 to serve, the staff of Bayalpata Hospital are always busy. They recently had a challenging case in which a patient had been bitten by a bear. And, because children will be children, they have had to pull a few foreign objects out of ears.

    Thanks to hard work and donations,  like the ones made by members of the Daily Grommet community, Nyaya has made progress on two very important projects over the past three months: x-ray technology  at Bayalpata Hospital and further development of the Safe Motherhood Project  in collaboration with the Nepali Ministry of Health and Population.

    Members of Nyaya have published a report  in which they explain why diagnostic ultrasound and x-ray are ideal tools for effective healthcare delivery in resource-limited areas. Nyaya wants to work together with others to generate sufficient demand for the types of machines that would meet the needs of rural healthcare settings. For now, Bayalpata Hospital is home to one of only three x-ray machines in western Nepal which serve a combined population of over one million people.

    In a place where women used to give birth at home without access to emergency care, more and more women in Achham are giving birth in the hospital which should lead to a marked decrease in maternal and child morbidity and mortality rates. Nyaya is firmly committed to education and outreach that improve health outcomes for women and children, and the organization continues to develop its cadre of community health workers who travel to surrounding villages.

    Nyaya Health will be making significant investments in 2011 by building the first surgical theater in the region and powering Bayalpata Hospital with solar energy.

    Thank you to all of the members of the Daily Grommet community who are supporting the work of Nyaya Health. Your donations are making a difference, and you can continue to follow Nyaya’s updates on the organization’s blog. At the moment, thanks to a matching donor foundation, all donations to Nyaya are being doubled.

    To learn more about Naya Health or to donate, please visit our original feature here.

  • New Fitness & Health Products in this Weeks Grommet Wrap-Up

    This week was full of new products for the kitchen, personal care and several fitness products that will help you stick  to those New Year resolutions!

    New Products for the KitchenJoseph Joseph is constantly creating new products for the kitchen that pair modern design and functionality. This week we've shared their new collection of unique kitchen tools including this Double-Dip Bowl (perfect for snacking) and a modern food/liquid kitchen scale. (Starting at $9.95) Wouldn't this make a wonderful hostess gift? Learn more about Joesph Joseph's Shell Scale, Salad Tongs and Double Dip Bowl here.

    Immune BoosterMaine Medicinals offers a (great tasting) immune booster with their Elderberry Syrup. This anthoimmune delivers therapeutic levels of antioxidants. It combines organic elderberries, which are traditionally used. Founded by a mother-son team, Maine Medicinals is on a mission to create plant-based medicines and herbal supplements from organic, sustainable sources. (Starting at $17.95). Buy Maine Medicinals here.

    Krochet KidsKrochet Kids intl.’s hand-crocheted beanies have an easy, relaxed style with an edginess that hints at the founders’ snowboarding and surfing roots. But style is just the beginning of the story. What started as an unusual hobby for three young guys from Spokane, Wash., has turned into a life-changing effort to help impoverished people learn how to crochet and, by extension, to support themselves. (Starting at $24.00) Learn more about Krochet Kids here.

    Organic Skin CareLooking for organic skin care? LEAP Organics is raising the (soap) bar on organic skincare products. Each of its products is made entirely with plant-based ingredients, including lemongrass, eucalyptus, cucumber and pomegranate extracts. In addition, 91% of the ingredients have natural antioxidant properties. Founder Luke Penney has even met USDA certified organic standards, the world’s strictest standards, which require that products have at least 95% organic ingredients. (Starting at $14.00) Buy Organic Skin Care from LEAP Organics here.

    Fitness ProductsIf you’re running long on resolutions but short on motivation, maybe you need some shiny new gear to strengthen your resolve? Here are some of our favorite  fitness products to help you stick with all your healthy New Year’s resolutions. Check out our RoundUp of top Health and Fitness Products here.

  • Be Bold, Be Bald!

    Today we would like to share a unique philanthropic organization with you. Small Army for a Cause has founded an event called Be Bold, Be Bald! — a fundraiser to honor cancer patients and raise money to fight the disease itself. Participants are sponsored to wear a bald cap showing support and solidarity with those battling cancer. Here is a photo from this year:


    Be Bold, Be Bald! (founded in Boston, Massachusetts) was launched in honor of Mike Connell, co-founder and former Creative Principal of Small Army for a Cause, who lost his battle with cancer in 2007.

    Witnessing Mike’s heroic, two year fight, the team saw first hand the courage and strength cancer patients have. He inspired them to continue that fight - and to do so in a way that would truly represent the boldness of Mike and his ideas.

    It really is easy to help. No shaving heads. No training. No time off from work. No interfering with weekend plans. Just wear a bald cap, and go about your day. Do it on your own - or, better yet, do it as a team with your work, school, organization or family members.

    Last year, they brought the boldness alive with the 1st Annual Be Bold, Be Bald! event. Participants ranged from sororities, fraternities and offices in the U.S. to individual supporters in Alaska and Puerto Rico. With their help and incredible enthusiasm, they raised nearly $100,000! I am thinking that with our help, they can surpass that number this year, what do you think?

    The registration fee to participate in the Be Bold, Be Bald! event on October 22 is just $15. Check here for the simple steps to help this deserving cause.

  • Grommets to keep bugs at bay

    Perhaps you have read the articles or heard the news segments about the recent bed bug epidemic. Did your skin crawl? Ours did! Don't let pesky bugs of any kind get the best of you. Here is a round-up of  three Grommets that are proven to help keep bugs at bay.

    Don't let the bed bugs bite.

    Are heading to a hotel for a weekend trip? Afraid of what will be hiding in that hotel room bed? What about at home, are there bugs hiding in your own bedding? CleanRest MicronOne fabric technology protects you from dust mites, mold spore, dust and other allergens. Dust mites can colonize  mattresses and pillows by the billions. Forget the monster under your bed. It’s the monsters inside your bedding that are really scary. Check out CleanRest Ultra Pillows, Pillow Encasements (perfect to take when traveling), and even the CleanRest Matress Encasement (starting at $19.95).

    Mosquitoes, bug off!

    protect from mosquitoes

    Are you one of the "lucky" people who always seem to be covered head-to-toe with itchy mosquito bites? Well, with ThermaCELL you will never have to work about pesky mosquitoes again. ThermaCELL isn’t like most mosquito repellent devices. There’s no open flame, and ThermaCELL doesn’t contain DEET or any other harsh chemicals. Instead, it uses butane cartridges and a repellent called allethrin, which is a synthetic form of a natural insecticide found in chrysanthemums. The combination repels up to 98% of mosquitoes, black flies, no-see-ums and sand flies. The technology has been tested and approved by the EPA and the U.S. Army. Check out ThermaCELL Patio Lantern and Portable Unit (starting at $24.95).

    Keep lice out.

    protect from lice

    There’s a four-letter word that strikes fear and panic in parents, school nurses, teachers and everybody else who has ever had to deal with its aftermath: L-I-C-E. No one is immune from these creepy crawlers that all too often infiltrate classrooms and other kid havens. Fear no more, the Bug Bag can help. This brightly colored, patented nylon tents with a hermetically sealed top will prevent lice from spreading to your child's coat or other belongings. Check out Bug Bag and protect from Lice ($21.99).

  • Need an allergy friendly restaurant? Visit Allergy Eats

    As families enjoy more free time this summer, they’re likely to be eating out, either in their hometowns or while traveling during summer vacation. Allergy Eats, a new, fast-growing, interactive website, is a valuable resource, helping people with food allergies find allergy-friendly restaurants, whether they’re dining close to home or hitting the road for summer adventures.

    I recently chatted with Paul Antico, founder of AllergyEats.com who started this online community because:

    “When I take my family out to eat, sometimes we have trouble finding restaurants that will accommodate my children’s food allergies," [and] "I knew we weren’t the only family facing these challenges, and I vowed to make it easier for people with food allergies to find safe restaurants.”

    Paul Antico (center) with his son Keegan, 8, on his left. Keegan is allergic to tree nuts, peanuts, dairy, eggs, and sesame. On his right is his son Tucker, 13, who is allergic to tree nuts.

    Paul, what surprised you most as you began developing www.AllergyEats.com?

    Since I began developing AllergyEats two years ago, the biggest surprise has been the unity of the food allergy community. There is a large online and offline food allergy community made up primarily of passionate individuals like myself who have been affected (directly or indirectly) by food allergies. People who have decided to commit their time in order to help make living with food allergies easier. The support within this community is terrific. Where I once thought I would be creating AllergyEats “in a bubble,” I have now found that I have a network of wonderful people I can call on for advice, support, criticism, and anything else. The feeling is that we are all in this together and to the extent that one person’s efforts succeed, we all win.

    What has been the most rewarding part of helping the allergy community?

    The most rewarding part of creating AllergyEats is very simple. It is the emails that people send thanking me for doing this and letting me know that AllergyEats is making a difference in their lives. Each time I receive one of these emails, I picture a smiling child enjoying an “exciting dining experience” (because that is what it is to them) and I can’t help but smile too. That is the greatest reward for me.

    Allergy Eats offers free membership and access to a national database of well over 600,000 restaurants. The site combines the best of Internet technology with peer-to-peer feedback to help people know in advance how well (or poorly) a restaurant responds to people with food allergies.

    Thank you Paul for sharing Allergy Eats with us. We know that you are positively impacting the lives of many families. Keep up the important work!

    For more information visit http://www.AllergyEats.com

  • Health2Go: A Phone App for Parents

    Every so often, we hear about something that doesn't quite fit as a Grommet, but it's still a great find ... something worth sharing. It might be a book, a CD, or a charity. In this case, it's an app -- the first one we've ever featured, and it's a pretty smart and useful one for families. Today, we're pleased to introduce you to Patty Kellicker founder of Health2Go who was kind enough to answer a few of our questions and introduce us to her brand new phone app for parents.

    I think most families would love to find a simpler way to manage their family's health -- can you explain how Health2Go does that?

    Sure - it's actually very simple. Health2Go® is a two part app that gives you information on common childhood illnesses and injuries right from your phone. You can access standard information like symptoms and treatment, but there’s also a whole section about what you can do as a parent to help your child, from knowing which questions to ask the doctor to how you can make them feel better.

    The second part of the app is a password protected health notebook. I don’t know about you but it always seemed like it was the middle of the night when I needed my son’s weight to give him the right dose of cold medicine, or I was halfway home before I remembered what I wanted to ask the pediatrician. Our app lets you store your family's health information on your iPhone so you can access it when you need it. Of course, we hope to build our app into other phone platforms too.

    How did you come up with the idea?

    I started working on it in 2009 because it was one of those ideas that wouldn't go away. Partly because I know I rely on my phone for everything...well, okay, it can't make dinner yet, but it does pretty much everything else. The other reason the idea stuck was because managing health information is becoming more and more crucial as the health landscape changes. Finally, we all have busy lives and if this can simplify even one part of it, then it's a success.

    What are your plans for the future?

    We definitely have a couple of ideas in the works for other people out there who could use a potable health resource like this. I’m a firm believer in the more you know about your health the better the care you'll receive.

    So at the end of the day, does Health2Go make you a better patient?

    I actually think the word "patient" is antiquated; we’re really health care consumers and like any consumer, the better informed you are, the better off you’ll be—except this time it’s your health, something you really can’t put a price on.

    Want to find out more about Health2Go? Drop by the Heatlh2Go on the website, or you can download the app right from iTunes.

    And you can reach out to Patty if you have more questions or feedback about Health2Go: [email protected]

  • Giving Tot Yoga a Try!

    Tot Yoga DVD cover imageI recently tested out TOT YOGA, a cool toddler yoga DVD, designed for parents and their 10-month-to-3-year-olds to do together. It was definitely an interesting experience. My wiggly almost-2-year-old tester was, well, a little too wiggly to focus on the program, but there was definitely a glimmer of future interest, so we're going to to keep trying. I caught up with Havona Madama (pictured below), the mom and registered yoga teacher who created the program, and got a chance to ask some burning questions.

    1) My toddler has a hard time sitting still and concentrating on just one activity. I noticed some of the children in the video seem to have the same problem! What should we expect from our kids as we introduce them to this video?

    Havona Madama creator of Tot YogaThe first time a toddler sees this video they will likely look at the television for a short period of time and then toddle away in standard toddler fashion.  That is why we recommend that the first couple of times you use the video you have it running in the background so that you learn some of the poses and get a chance to do some of the parents’ stretching portions.  The purpose of the video is stress-free fun exercise, so if your child runs away to do something else you can choose to continue following the video and get some great warm up exercises in, or crawl over to them and see what they are doing.  Either way, you can incorporate the video in your child’s playtime.  And, when you least expect it they will run back to the area where you are, roll on the floor and grab their toes making bear noises.  Even when they are not paying attention, they pay attention, toddlers are the ultimate multi-taskers.   We intentionally used some children in the video who had no prior exposure to yoga so that parents would not feel stressed out by seeing perfect children following perfect routines, that would create too much stress and pressure, we want the child and the parent to feel free to explore and learn poses to incorporate in their daily routine.  To make up stories that relate to their life, environment, and imaginations using the poses.

    2) Which poses are generally most popular with toddlers?

    Every child is different, but most children who have used the video respond best to crawling at first.  They seem to really love to see their parent crawling around on the floor, and it is an amazing benefit for the parent, crawling has the same benefits as standing on your head, without the risk of neck injury.  My daughter particularly loves to race me while crawling, I think because she usually wins.  She also loves it when I do cat and cow, at first she uses me as a tunnel racing through one way then another – getting out all that pent up energy before she rests.  I like to make the sounds of the animals when I do the poses, and that usually gets my daughter to join me.  Stopping every so often to tell me I am doing the wrong animal, “No, CAT MOMMY”.  However, my daughter says “Look, Yoga” she always starts with a dog pose, followed by alternatively lifting one leg, then the other, then doing a donkey kick.  I never taught her the donkey kick, she thinks she invented it.  When your child masters, or creates, a pose, their confidence and sense of accomplishment will permeate everything in their world.  When my daughter turned the corner from casual observer to active participant, she became the instructor demanding I do yoga with her when she is frustrated with the attention I am giving her, and by saying yes to her demands we both benefit.  After two months of active TOT YOGA, she also tossed her pacifier to the ground saying “I don’t want binky, I’m a big girl.”

    3) Can you do those poses over and over if your child shows less interest in others?

    Yes, you should do the poses you and your child like the best.  The video is a guide and your child is your ultimate teacher, the one who gets to design the program with your assistance.  That is how it becomes stress free, we allow our often frustrated toddler the opportunity to be in charge and we all get down on the floor crawling around which naturally leads to rolling and laughing.  You can make up your own stories using the poses and your child’s interests.  If your child is interested in fire engines you can be a fire engine when you are crawling, if they love hippos you can be a hippo instead of a cow, there really are no rules, except we recommend you stay close to the floor so you and your child are on equal footing and to reduce any injuries.

    4) When is a good time to try this program with your child -- before a nap, after a meal?

    When you first start the program it is best to do it about 30-45 minutes before your child’s nap, depending on what routine you are already using prior to nap time and your child’s personal unwinding time needs.  As a rule, I don’t recommend any exercise immediately after eating a meal, however, the movements in this video are natural daily movements for toddlers, so you do not have to necessarily wait any specific length of time after a meal, I would caution against fast crawling and a lot of dog poses on a very full stomach.  Also, anytime your child is starting to get frustrated, you can get on the ground and crawl around, pop in the DVD and begin to change frustration into fun.

    5) I can see that this video could spark a love of yoga in beginners, and get parents looking into actual classes. What should moms and dads look for in an in-person toddler yoga class?

    In person toddler yoga classes are springing up all over America, and they can be a lot of fun.  However, it is not necessarily relaxing to do yoga in a room filled with toddlers.  So, smaller class size is important, with the chance for individual attention.  Also, the environment is important, I recommend studios where the floors are padded or carpeted, even if they simply bring in a large mat during the toddler class, that is preferred to small individual mats.  And it is important that the class is not simply a parents class where they tolerate children running around, it should be a class where they intend to incorporate your child, when your child is willing to participate.  If the class has a lot of standing poses, it is not really safe for the parents or the children.  It is very important to avoid whipping your neck around to see what your child is doing when you are in a warrior stance or any other alignment based pose, that is why TOT YOGA emphasizes floor poses. But most importantly, it should be stress-reducing not stress inducing, if you are stressed out on the way to class, and/or you are stressed out after class, you probably should pick another class.  That’s how TOT YOGA was born, I personally could not handle the stress of trying to get to my local class, two blocks away, on time.  Yoga is for the mind body and soul of the parent and the child, enjoy it for 1 minute, 10 minutes, 30 minutes, as long as it is fun and you are moving your bodies, it will relax and rejuvenate you both.

    Sounds good to us! And with that, we're thrilled to give away a copy of TOT YOGA today. To enter, just leave a comment or question below.

    General contest rules: To enter, you must be a U. S. resident, and at least 18 years of age and you must leave a comment or question about Tot Yoga. No purchase necessary. The winner will be randomly selected and will receive a copy of the DVD “Tot Yoga.” Employees, contractors, and the families of employees and contractors of Daily Grommet, Inc. are not eligible to enter. You are not eligible to win if you have received a prize or giveaway from Daily Grommet in the last six months. Void where prohibited. Contest will run through 10pm EST February 12, 2010.

  • Daily Grommet Spotlight: "SkinnySongs"

    Skinny Songs for weight loss by Heidi RoizenEvery day, the Daily Grommet community introduces us to all kinds of creative and inventive new ideas-- our blog Spotlight Series lets us turn around and introduce them to you. Today we're talking to Heidi Roizen, the woman behind "SkinnySongs," a popular motivational CD we first heard about from Grommet friend, Brad Feld, (you might remember Brad recommended the iRobot Looj gutter cleaner, featured on Daily Grommet).

    Welcome to the Daily Grommet blog, Heidi. Can you tell us about "SkinnySongs" and how you came up with the idea for this CD?

    A couple years ago, after a number of years of working too hard, not eating well, and getting no exercise, I got on the scale and hit a number I had never thought would be me —  forty pounds over where I had been when I got married.  I vowed that day to change my ways and get back to a healthy weight before my 50th birthday, which was about eight months away.  That very morning, getting into my car, I was already dreading my first meeting, knowing that there would be a plate of chocolate chip cookies in the center of the conference table. If I was going to resist, I thought, I had better start mentally preparing now, before I get there. I started the car and the cd player started with it -- and then it hit me.

    Where's the theme song for this battle?  You know, where was the  "I Will Survive" song for facing chocolate chip cookies?  I figured there had to be something I could listen to in the car that would motivate me to stick to my plans.  But when I went to look for it, I found meditational tracks, sweatin’ to the oldies music, and podcasts about weight loss tips, but nothing with a fun beat and inspirational lyrics.  SO I decided to do it myself.

    What's the biggest difference between your approach to weight loss and other diets or plans out there?

    While I followed a program to shed my forty pounds, there is nothing that unusual about it... Sorry to say, it is ‘eat less and exercise more’!  However, what IS unusual about SkinnySongs is it is the first music written specifically to help motivate weight loss and fitness.  There’s plenty of music to listen to when you work out; mine is music to listen to so that you’ll go to the gym in the first place.

    What's been the most fun part of this project?

    Really, two things.  First, it was incredibly fun to work with the terrific producers, David Malloy and George Daly, who took my idea and my lyrics and created music far better than anything I could have conceived.  Second, it is a tremendous kick to get ‘fan mail’ from others who have been inspired by my music, including one woman who says SkinnySongs helped her lose 200 pounds!

    If you could sum up "SkinnySongs" in one sentence, what would it be?

    Music to motivate you back into your skinny jeans.

    Do you have any words of advice for others who want to turn their big idea into a business?

    You have to be dedicated and you have to be realistic about how much time it will take and how much money it will cost.  And, you have to be able to convince other people with the skills you don’t have to do it with you.  I believe this all worked because I was willing to put my time and my money where my mouth was, so to speak.... And I was so passionate about the idea I was able to convince a bunch of talented people to work on it with me.

    Skinny Songs, motivational weight loss music, Heidi Roizen


    What's next for you and "Skinny Songs"?

    The music continues to attract fans, I’ve been on The Martha Stewart Show, CNN and many other places.  Still waiting for Oprah to call me :-).  It is up on Amazon and iTunes and I continue to promote it.  I’m looking at opportunities to turn it into a musical, now that would be fun!

    Do you know a passionate business you'd like us to feature on our Daily Grommet Spotlight Series? Tell us about it!

    We're giving away a copy of "SkinnySongs" today. Just leave a comment or question for Heidi and we'll randomly select one winner. Good luck everyone!

    Contest Rules: To enter, you must be a resident of the U.S. or Canada, and at least 18 years of age. No purchase necessary. Contest begins on 1/25/10 at 10am EST and will end 1/25/10 at 10pm EST. To enter, you must leave a comment on this post. The winner will be randomly selected and will receive a copy of the CD "SkinnySongs." You are not eligible to win if you have received a prize or giveaway from Daily Grommet in the last six months. Employees, contractors, and the families of employees and contractors of Daily Grommet, Inc. are not eligible to enter. By entering this contest, you give Daily Grommet permission to contact you regarding your submission. If the winner does not respond within 7 days, a new winner will be selected. Void where prohibited.

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