HOTFLASHES | January 2024

What the HPV Vaccine is and Why Your Child Needs It

If you have a pre-teen or teenager, you’ve likely been asked about the HPV vaccine for your child. If you’ve declined the vaccine in the past because you weren’t sure of it or its purpose or if your child will turn 11 or 12 soon, this article is for you. We’ll go over what the HPV vaccine is and why your child needs it, answering some frequently asked questions along the way.

What is HPV?

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus spread through intimate skin-to-skin or sexual contact. It is extremely common, and it’s estimated that nearly all people will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives. While most HPV infections go away on their own in two years or less, they can last longer and have also been linked to cancers later in life.

How does the HPV vaccine work?

The HPV vaccine aims to prevent your child from getting HPV before they are sexually active. This vaccine works like other vaccines, in that it exposes your child to a weakened HPV virus, allowing their body to produce antibodies and prevent them from getting the virus later on. Even though they are exposed to HPV through the vaccine, it is a weakened version, and will not affect your child negatively.

Why is it important for my child to receive the vaccine?

As we mentioned earlier, HPV infections have been linked to cancers later in life and because so many people are at risk of contracting HPV, they are also at a greater risk of developing these cancers, including:

  • Cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers in women
  • Penile cancers in men
  • Anal cancers in both men and women

Cancers of tonsils, base of tongue, and back of the throat in men and women

The HPV vaccine works to prevent HPV and in turn can prevent over 90 percent of the cancers caused by the virus. While your child is young, and you may not want to think about them being sexually active, this virus is intended to be given well before sexual activity happens. Children aged 11-12 are recommended to receive the vaccine, but children as young as nine up to young adults aged 26 can also receive the vaccine.

If you have more questions about this vaccine and why your child needs it, talk to their medical provider about your questions and concerns.

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/hpv.html#:~:text=HPV%20(human%20papillomavirus)%20vaccine%20can,penile%20cancer%20in%20men

Lose the Weight and Keep it Off

Fad diets come and go, but the way to lose weight and keep it off hasn’t actually changed that much over the years. And while so much weight is put on the food you eat, your relationship to food and weight is just as important. In this article, we’ll go over our top five tips to losing weight and keeping it off.

  • Set realistic goals. Many of us want to lose weight, and it may even be something you set a goal for at the beginning of the year. And while goal making is great and an extremely important part of achieving weight loss success (or any other type of success for that matter), it is crucial to set realistic goals. While you might love to lose 30 pounds, it’s not realistic to think you’ll lose that amount in just a month or two. Additionally, when you have your overarching goal of losing 30 pounds, getting down to a specific pants size, or lowering your BMI numbers, it can be really helpful to break those big goals down into smaller, more achievable goals.
  • Understand how much and why you eat. Many of us are emotional eaters and don’t always have the best relationship with food. Learn where your personal pitfalls are by keeping a food diary or using a tracking app to understand what you’re eating, how much you’re eating, and when you’re eating (which can usually point you towards the why too). Understanding what and where your hang-ups and habits are can help a lot when trying to make meaningful and lasting change.
  • Manage portion sizes. The U.S. is known for our large portion sizes, and when big portions are so normalized, it’s no wonder why so many people are overeating and overweight. Familiarize yourself with what a portion and a serving look like and practice smaller portions. If you’re at a restaurant, portion half of your meal into a togo box right away. If you’ve cooked at home, go ahead and portion out any leftover food into containers to lessen your chances of getting seconds or thirds.
  • Make smart choices. By now, most of us know what foods are healthy and what foods are unhealthy. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, making smart food choices is a crucial part of doing that. Try to use simple substitutions for the less healthy options and work on healthy snacking.
  • Be physically active. Another important part of losing weight and maintaining it? Exercise. While it can be hard to find time to work out, there’s no way around it, exercise or moving your body in some way is integral to losing weight.

Many of us have been trying to lose weight off and on for years, without as much success as we’d like. If you’re really struggling to do it alone, or you’ve tried everything and it’s just not working, our hi-energy weight loss program may be able to help. Call 229-800-1378 today for an appointment!

Air Fryer Kale Chips

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed, washed, and patted dry
  • 2 extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 finely grated Parmesan
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional seasonings: everything bagel seasoning, smoked paprika, crushed red pepper flakes, or garlic powder

Directions:

    1. Tear kale leaves into large chip-sized pieces and transfer to a medium bowl. Drizzle with oil and lemon juice and toss to combine. Using your fingers, ensure each piece is lightly and evenly coated.
    2. Add Parmesan and toss to combine; season with salt and black pepper, then add any optional seasonings to taste. Toss again to combine.
    3. In an air-fryer basket, arrange kale in a single layer. Cook at 350° until edges are just starting to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. (The more delicate the kale variety, the quicker it will cook.) Transfer kale to a sheet pan and let cool in a single layer. Kale will continue to crisp as it cools.