Author: Amy Paturel

Spread Healthy Cheer with These Good-For-You Gifts

The holidays are filled with gift-giving anxiety. What if my mother-in-law hates her present? What if my hubby thinks I spent too much on his? The good news: A recent survey by Tada.com revealed that the majority of holiday revelers are happy with the gifts they give and receive. And with a brand new year (and new resolutions to make!) just around the corner, you can’t go wrong with health and wellness-related gifts. Here are my top five good-for-you finds for all the loved ones on my list. 1. For Your Chocoholic Sister Cissé Traing Company’s Delectable Dark Chocolate Cookie and Cocoa Gift Sets One bite (or sip) of Cissé delicious chocolate goodness and you’ll be hooked. Not only are their cookie mixes and cocoas chock full of disease-fighting antioxidants, but they boast all-natural ingredients you can actually pronounce. A bonus: you can feel good about your indulgence since Cissé only uses fair trade cocoa powder in their mixes, which means fair labor practices and no child labor. Apparently, I’m not alone in singing Cisse’s …

You, Unplugged: 6 Steps to Healthy Bowels

I’ve always been prone to painful poops. Growing up, my mom gave me tall glasses of prune juice to get things moving. By the time I was a teen, I popped Correctol any time my movements slowed down. Even into adulthood, romantic getaways and weeklong vacations created a digestive gridlock that rivaled LA freeways during rush hour. But it wasn’t until I was pregnant with twin boys that severe constipation, complete with bloating, cramps and excruciating pain, consumed my life. Surging pregnancy hormones relaxed my muscles (including my bowels). Add to that a daily iron supplement to compensate for anemia, myriad constipating meds to manage pre-term labor and immobility due to physician-prescribed bed rest. My gut became a waste product traffic jam. Unfortunately, advice for how to unplug isn’t exactly clear-cut. The doc told me to load up on fruits, vegetables and whole grains without explaining that certain foods within those categories can exacerbate the pain (think bananas, apples and potatoes). Granted, my case was extreme — I took twice daily stool softeners to keep …