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  • Nikole
  • March 12, 2018 12:24:21 AM
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A Little About Us

Nourished Minds is an online resource for individuals and families providing specialized family services, empowerment coaching, and self-help guides. Social worker Nikole Seals helps families manage and recover from challenging life events like a health crisis, mental health issues, addiction, and other common social issues.

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Parent Hack: What Is Sexting, Sextortion, and Revenge Porn?

The best way to protect your teen is to be informed. Learn about the risky trend of sexting and how it can lead to sextortion and devastating consequences. The post Parent Hack: What Is Sexting, Sextortion, and Revenge Porn? appeared first on Nourished...

Sexting, Sextortion, & Revenge Porn: What You Need to Know

I know it’s a scary and sensitive topic but we need to have some real talk about these acts because they are having a profound impact on the safety and self-worth of our young girls and women. It’s time we use our voice instead of allowing ourselves to be silenced and shamed. If we’re ever going to step into our inherent role of being leaders and agents of change, then we need to start having these difficult and often sensitive conversation about the sexual exploitation of women.

 

In this post, I’m specifically calling on anyone who is plays a role in the life of our young girls; whether you’re a parent, teacher, coach, mentor, or family member. We shouldn’t be waiting for things to go horribly wrong to have this conversation. Prevention is empowering. Trying to piece back a life and do damage repair is a heartbreaking journey. I hate getting calls from parents whose worse fears have come to pass. Trust me, the discomfort you may experience in initiating a discussion about sexting with your teenage daughter does not compare to the guilt and remorse you may have from choosing to stay in the dark.

Sexualizing and Desensitizing Our Young Girls

 

According to a recent report on National Public Radio, the rate of suicide among adolescent girls has nearly tripled in recent years. Not to say that the trend of sexualizing youth does not affect adolescent boys. It does—just not in the same ways. Girls are subject to shaming, sexual exploitation, and sexual violence at higher rates than their male counterparts. Boys on the other hand are encouraged and taught to see girls and women as sexual objects. The male identity is tightly wrapped in the beliefs of male domination and conquest. These beliefs are constantly being reinforced in the media, in legislation, and in certain cultures and religions.

 

We can see this trend happening all around us. We hear stories. We think these issues will never find their way into our lives and our homes. But we can longer deny the alarming trends of teen sexting, sextortion, and revenge porn. So, let’s get you informed on the basics so you know why this happening and why you should be concerned.

 

Kids today are exposed to an enormous amount of adult content. They are growing up with technology that encourages them to behave like an adult which naturally, requires them to think like an adult. Yet, development theorist such as Erikson, Piaget, and Skinner tell us that children and teens have certain developmental limitations when it comes to judgment, identity, and decision-making. It’s the reason why we have laws that prevent youth from engaging in adult behaviors like drinking alcohol, driving, or sex with an adult.

 

The Trends

 

Let’s start by getting clear about exactly what the terms sexting, sextortion, and revenge porn mean.

 

Sexting is the act of sending or posting provocative or sexually explicit personal images, video or text via a cell phone or other electronic device. Teens will engage in sexting to attract attention from the opposite sex, satisfy a partner, delay sexual relations, show off their body, or for pure entertainment.

 

Sextortion or Revenge Porn is the use of threat or blackmail of a friend, partner, enemy, or stranger with public or selective disclosure of their private information to include text messages, pictures, video, or contact information. People resort to sextortion or revenge porn with the intent to humiliate or shame their victim, to feel powerful, for entertainment, to get sexual benefits, or to solicit graphic pictures and video.

 

The Consequences

 

The most important take away from this article is in understanding that there are physical, emotional, and legal consequences for adolescents who engage in these behaviors.

 

Physical consequences. Young girls and teens that engage in sexualized behavior and talk are at increased risk of victimization. They are also at an increased risked of being coerced or physically forced to engage in a sexual act.

 

Emotional consequences. Young girls and teens are at an increased risk for experiencing symptoms of anxiety, depression, or emotional trauma when they engage in sexting. If the situation escalates to sextortion or revenge porn, adolescent girls are at a heightened risk of having suicidal thoughts and ideation.

 

Legal consequences. Sending semi-nude or nude photographs of a person under the age of eighteen via a digital device is essentially transmitting child pornography. Even if it is one teen sending it to another teen. This is a federal law but some states have an exemption for “voluntarily self-generated intimate images”. Although the law was not intended to persecute adolescents, it still applies.

 

If you want to learn more about your parental responsibility and ways to protect young girls you can download my eGuide Raising Kids in a Digital World. It gives you specifics tips on what you can and should do as a parent. My informative eGuide also has a Texting Dictionary to help you decode common acronyms that teens use to secretly talk about sex and drugs.

Join me in the conversation. Share your question or thoughts in the comment box below.

The post Parent Hack: What Is Sexting, Sextortion, and Revenge Porn? appeared first on Nourished Minds.


Are ADHD Meds and Study Drugs Safe for Your Kid? – Podcast

In today's episode, we're going to talk about the controversial topic of putting kids on medications. Specifically, we'll discuss stimulant medications like Ritalin, Adderall, and Concerta that are used to treat symptoms of ADHD or taken as "study" aides. I'll share with you what you need to consider before putting your kids on these powerful drugs. The post Are ADHD Meds and Study Drugs Safe for Your Kid? – Podcast appeared first on Nourished...

This podcast episode is from the archives of the Nourishing Bits Podcast. In this episode, I talk about the controversial topic of putting kids on medications. Specifically, we’ll discuss stimulant medications like Ritalin, Adderall, and Concerta that are used to treat symptoms of ADHD or taken as “study” aides. I’ll share with you what you need to consider before putting your kids on these powerful drugs.

For more parenting tips and useful information to help you make important decisions read my book Empowered Parenting.

Join me in the conversation. Share your question or thoughts in the comment box below.

The post Are ADHD Meds and Study Drugs Safe for Your Kid? – Podcast appeared first on Nourished Minds.


Feed a Cold & Feed a Flu Too!

As doctor's advice goes you should feed a cold but you don’t have to starve yourself when you have the flu. Learn which foods can help you to recover. The post Feed a Cold & Feed a Flu Too! appeared first on Nourished Minds.

How to Feed a Flu

I know this goes against everything you have been taught. I’m not saying the old adage, “Feed a cold, starve a flu,” is wrong; but you don’t have to starve yourself when you have a flu. So yeah, I guess I am saying the old adage is wrong…sort of.

I understand the logic behind the advice which is that the body needs to conserve energy during bouts of illness. Eating big meals requires energy so the body will have less energy for healing when it’s trying to digest a steak and potato. So you should refrain from eating big meals or processed foods that are big energy sucks.

The best thing you can do is listen to your body. The first day you start to feel sick is typically when you lose your appetite. That’s your body’s way of conserving energy. And let’s be real…we all have enough stored body fat to go a day without eating and not have to worry about withering away.

But if your illness starts to drag out two or three days or more; then you must give your body the nutrients it needs to repair and heal. Try these tips to give your immune system a helping hand.

  •  Eat small amounts of protein (peanut butter on whole grain toast or my favorite, Egg Flower Soup)
  •  Avoid dairy products
  •  Increase your water intake!! (note that I said water not soda, not OJ from concentrate, not Gatorade)
  •  Increase your intake of vitamin C by eating oranges/berries, drinking herbal teas with lemon or soups made with lime juice
  •  Eat sweet-n-sour soup or chicken tortilla soup made with lime juice, tomatoes, and cayenne pepper
  •  Try juicing; it’s a great way to get high nutrient content in liquid form; a mix of apple, carrot, kale, lime juice, and ginger will give your body a boost of nutrients
  •  Eat plenty of garlic
  •  Eat lightly cooked or sautéed greens like kale, spinach, or mustard greens; these are high in vitamin A and will help keep mucous membranes soft and moist
  •  Eat chicken soup; Yep…this old adage is very true; it’s a great source of fluids, veggies, protein and essential fatty acids

Get well soon!

The post Feed a Cold & Feed a Flu Too! appeared first on Nourished Minds.


Raising Emotionally Healthy Kids

Your behavior is the greatest influence on your kid's emotional health, but you don’t have to be a perfect parent to raise an emotionally healthy child. The post Raising Emotionally Healthy Kids appeared first on Nourished Minds.

The Key to Raising an Emotionally Healthy Child

Your behavior is the greatest influence on your kid’s emotional health. The way in which you choose to parent has a direct impact on their social and emotional development. That can feel like an enormous responsibility. The good news is that you don’t have to be a perfect parent to raise an emotionally healthy kid. Sometimes it’s just a matter of having some proven-effective tools that will help to bring out the best in you.

“Parents who are informed and educated have a greater likelihood of raising children who experience excellent health and emotional well-being”
Center for Disease Control

I’ve compiled a list of simple techniques you can use to promote healthy development of your child’s: self-esteem, coping abilities, problem-solving skills, empathy towards others, and healthy expression of emotion.

Research has shown that this type of emotion coaching is a tremendous help in reducing future problem behavior in children.

 

What Empowered Parents Can Do:

  • Start by accepting that there is no such thing as a perfect parent. Accept that parenting is an evolution.

  • Honestly look at your own coping skills. Your child’s ability to cope is learned from how they watch you cope.

  • Accept help and advice from those parents who you admire. They learned from someone else too.

  • Learn your child. Your child has unique needs and sometimes you need to tailor parenting towards those needs. Know how your child learns.

  • Don’t try to solve all their problems. Let them come up with solutions. It helps them to learn problem solving and builds their confidence.

  • Place value on time spent together rather than on material possessions. Children may associate feelings of the love to the material items rather than to the parent.

  • Promote self-worth by creating opportunities for them to demonstrate their gifts, talents, uniqueness, and abilities.

  • Establish routine acts of giving; donate at certain times of year, give away used clothes and toys, sponsor a family, walk an elderly person’s pet; if they get a toy, allow them to pick a second toy to give to a less advantaged child.

  • Celebrate accomplishments; don’t compare child to other kids but show them how they can improve to have skills like kids THEY admire.

  • Accept your child’s limitations; pushing them on something they don’t love may prevent them from ever finding their true purpose.

  • Put their needs first even if it goes against what you would like. Do not live vicariously through them as if may foster resentment in the child.

  • Truly listen to your child; use their words whenever possible; it makes them feel heard and confirms you are listening.

  • Encourage questions; don’t worry about having the answers and be okay with telling them that you don’t know.

  • Encourage the expression of emotion and resolution; expression helps them to release the energy and then you help guide them through process of de-escalating.

  • Promote mutual trust and respect.

  • When kids need to talk, stop what you are doing and listen. You want to encourage them to come to you with their problems rather than going to friends or social media. If you are always too busy they will eventually stop coming to you.

 

For more parenting tips and useful information to help you make important decisions read my book Empowered Parenting.

Join me in the conversation. Share your question or thoughts in the comment box below.

The post Raising Emotionally Healthy Kids appeared first on Nourished Minds.


Nutrition to Reduce Symptoms of ADHD

More and more parents are seeking natural ways to ease the symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). While it is good to consider all your options, it is always best to start with the least harmful interventions. The post Nutrition to Reduce Symptoms of ADHD appeared first on Nourished...

How Can Nutrition Helps to Reduce ADHD Symptoms?

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 11% of children ages 4-17 were diagnosed with ADHD in 2017. Boys were almost three times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls.

More and more parents are seeking natural ways to ease the symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). While it is good to consider all your options, it is always best to start with the least harmful interventions. Natural treatment options like nutrition have very little risk involved and no side effects.

Dietary and lifestyle changes have proven to be effective courses of action for many children. If natural interventions do not seem to ease or reduce your child’s symptoms then medication should be considered as a last resort. We say last resort because there are serious risks when using drug interventions.

This decision should not be made without thoughtful consideration of long-term consequences. Medications often have side effects that can disrupt other aspects of your child’s health and well-being.  We now know that these medications can become gateway drugs for kids who go on to become young adults that develop a heavy reliance on pharmaceuticals or illicit drugs.

There are other alternatives that can be used to alleviate the symptoms of ADHD. Both conventional medicine and alternative medicine agree that changes in diet have shown to help reduce symptoms and minimize the need for medication. Unfortunately the majority of studies suggests there is no direct link between attention disorders and sugar and processed foods.

But empowered parents know that many of these studies are funded by food manufacturers and biochemical companies that have a vested interest in the outcome. We suggest you conduct your own study by removing specific foods from your child’s diet to see if it has a noticeable effect on behavior.

 

What Empowered Parents Can Do:

  • Begin with eliminating sugar, processed foods, dyes, and artificial sweeteners from your child’s diets. These are stimulants that contain chemicals that inhibit brain functions. Chemicals in processed foods can offset the chemical balance in the brain. These chemicals are known to cause allergic reactions in children which may be a contributing factor to your child’s behavior.
  • Have your child tested for any nutritional deficiencies and allergies to specific foods. Allergies have been linked to ADHD and a lack of nutrients (especially B vitamins) may cause problems in thought processing and impulse control. Magnesium can be supplemented to bring about a calming effect to those who suffer with anxiety and irritability as it helps to regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Add healthy fats to your child’s diet. The brain is nearly 60% fat so essential fatty acids are required for brain development, healing, and play an important supportive role to brain neurotransmitters. Foods like avocados, nuts, seeds, and fish oil promote healthy nerves and brain functions.
  • Encourage grazing and nibbling on raw fruits and vegetables (organic when possible). They are rich in dietary fiber and can help to stabilize blood sugar levels. Plus they contain vital minerals and nutrients.
  • Chicken, fish, and eggs (provided no egg allergy) are complete proteins which can provide your child with the necessary amino acids needed to for growth and development.
  • Dr. Ben Feingold of the Feingold Diet suggest that many children are hyper because they are sensitive to salicylate containing foods: apples, apricots, blackberries, cherries, cucumbers, grapes, oranges, peaches, plums, raspberries, strawberries, tomatoes and the antioxidants, BHT and BHA. Try temporarily removing these foods from your child’s diet and note any noticeable changes.
  • Limit exposure to TV, internet, and video games which can over stimulate the mind.
  • Set clear boundaries and enforce them. Children will push limits if they have even the slightest belief that they might get away with it. Many parents don’t believe this but children crave boundaries. It makes them feel safe. They thrive in an environment where they know the rules and learn how to work within the confines of these rules. This is also a great way to prepare your child to enter into the adult world where rules are abounded. Giving them options will help them to develop decision making skills and learn accountability.
  • Most importantly, encourage your child’s talents and creativity. This can serve as a great outlet for energy whether it’s drawing, singing, skateboarding or sports. The child that you think is out of control may just be the struggling artist in him trying to find his way.

RESOURCES

The Feingold Diet

AllergyKids

For more parenting tips and useful information to help you make important decisions read my book Empowered Parenting.

Subscribe to my newsletter to get posts like these right in your inbox.

Join me in the conversation. Share your question or thoughts in the comment box below.

Get coaching on the Go…Subscribe to the Nourishing Bits Podcast on iTunes.

The post Nutrition to Reduce Symptoms of ADHD appeared first on Nourished Minds.


3 Quick Tips for Spotting Information You Can Trust

There is an enormous amount of misleading information on the web. Use these quick tips to determine if you can trust the information by looking for key indicators. The post 3 Quick Tips for Spotting Information You Can Trust appeared first on Nourished...

Finding Information You Can Trust

I have been wanting to write this post ever since I saw this article back in September of last year. I remember thinking it’s the perfect example of what I call bad journalism. Misleading articles like this confuse the heck out of people and leave them questioning “what’s right” and “what’s wrong”?

I want to help make this decision process easier for you because who has the time to read something that has a much validity as a Dr. Seuss rhyme. Actually, Dr. Seuss’ work is brilliant and does not deserve the comparison, but you get my point.  I’m going to show you how to quickly determine if there’s any merit to an article or book by looking for key indicators.

#1 Qualify the Author – I’d like to think that the author’s intentions were good but being a writer myself, I know that an eye-catching title is used to lure a reader in. Have you ever taken the bait only to realize that the article had absolutely nothing to do with the title? Yeah, I’ve been hoodwinked too. Matter of fact, it was said title, “Sorry, Your Megadose Vitamin C is Basically Useless” that struck a chord with me. That’s a bold statement to make. So I clicked. But before I started actually reading, I do what I always do. And what you should do too. Qualify the author. By that I mean, you need to make a determination that the person whose advice you’re going to absorb into your brain is actually qualified to be giving such advice.

Author bios can usually be found at the end of a book or article or by link when you click the author’s name. So what did I find? The author appears to write regularly on the topic of healthy living for the Huffington Post, an online news source that is known for publishing some credible content. What’s more interesting is that the author notes her educational background as a double major in Rhetoric and Spanish. Hmm, so she studied the art of effective writing and use of exaggerated language. Interesting. Not exactly what I’m seeking when it comes to a nutritional advisor.

badarticlepic2#2 Look for Credible Sources – Now that we know the author does not appear to have any education or experience in health and nutrition, let’s see if she did due diligence in using a credible source to back up her claim.

You’ll note that the author references the Institute of Medicine’s RDAs or Recommended Daily Allowances. There’s two problems with this. First let’s look at the data. RDAs are basically what the suggested minimum intake should be. In this example, the IOM suggest that men should get, AT LEAST, 90 milligrams of vitamin C daily. However, the author acknowledges that the IOM actually suggest a much higher dose of 2,000 milligrams to ward of deficiency. Yep, you heard right. She just contradicted her own title by using data that supports high doses of vitamin C. And we’re only a quarter way through her article.

badarticlepic3I have to assume here that the author thought this bit of data would lend support to her claim. There are two things that immediately stood out to me about this section. The first is that she does not name, identify or provide a link to the clinical trial research. You can’t see me but I’m SMH right now. Here’s how I interpret that. If an author wants to appear credible, they’ll show their work. A credible author should be able to prove how they came to their conclusion. They’ll even help you get access to the research by citing sources. If they don’t then maybe you should be asking yourself, “why aren’t they willing to show their work?”

The second item to note is the date of the review and the outcomes. This data is 8 years old. Great if it’s a fine wine but you want your science to be a little bit fresher. More importantly, this review found “statistically significant” data to show that taking vitamin C is a powerful preventative measure. Is it me, or is this author throwing a lot of mix signals our way? By this point, I can’t tell if she’s pro vitamin C, if she thinks it’s a waste of time, or if she’s just happy to be using her rhetoric skills.

badarticlepic5#3 Is There Evidence to Support Title? – The last point I want to make is about the author’s conclusion statement. Hopefully, you would have never made it to this point and would have moved on to watching a cat video. But I really want you to be able to weed out the “good” advice from the “bad”, so I’ll share this last tip. If an author actually writes that there is no research to prove or disprove their point (aka title) then press the mental delete button and move on. Why have you just wasted my time author who shall remain nameless?! (although I have clearly put her on blast, sorry but I have peeps to help).

The lesson here is take a quick look before you leap. Check out the author, their bio, and their sources before you buy in to what they have to say. Not all information is good information. Remember, your time is extremely valuable so spend it only on those things that will bring more value into your life.

Make your own decision and view this full article at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/emergen-c-airborne-does-it-work_55f3709ee4b063ecbfa486c8?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living

Subscribe to my monthly newsletter to get direct links to my new guides & videos

Join me in the conversation. Share your question or thoughts in the comment box below.

Get coaching on the Go…Subscribe to the Nourishing Bits Podcast on iTunes.

 

The post 3 Quick Tips for Spotting Information You Can Trust appeared first on Nourished Minds.


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