Over The Top Mommy


More Halloween Time Fun at Disney California Adventure Park

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

I’ts almost Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort and the latest news is that this year, more spooky fun will expand into Disney California Adventure Park!  Halloween Time will kick off on Friday, Sept. 15 and go through Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017. It’s truly a time of year you won’t want to miss out on experiencing!guardians-of-the-galaxy-monsters-after-dark-logo

Just last week, exciting news was released about the special nighttime overlay for Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! and how it will be transformed nightly into Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After the Dark! I can’t wait to ride it! To read more about that, please click here.CarsLand-Halloween-overlayGuests visiting this year during Halloween Time will be able to experience Halloween for the first time in Cars Land in Disney California Adventure, as it’s transformed with a special HaulO-Ween makeover.halloween-time-materThe citizens of Radiator Springs will don Halloween costumes and decorate their respective homes for the season. Lightning McQueen, Mater, Cruz, Red and DJ will be all dressed up–as a super hero, a “van-pire,” a pirate, a clown and a punk rocker, ready to go “trunk-or-treating.”halloween-time-flos-cafeAttractions will be transformed, too, with Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree turning spooky as the Graveyard JamBOOree, and Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters getting a seasonal twist to become Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween. halloween-time-luigisScary the Scarecar will stand guard over the entrance to Route 66, a preview to the Haul-OWeen transformation awaiting guests in Cars Land. With Fillmore’s Jack-Oil Lanterns, the web spun over Flo’s by a Spider-Car, and the Cozy Cone dressed up in car-stumes, the townsfolk turn Radiator Springs into Radiator Screams.halloween-time-carthay-circle
Oogie Boogie will appear for the first time at Disney California Adventure, too, taking over with his twisted tale of a forever Halloween, inspired by “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Oogie Boogie’s oversized silhouette beckons guests through the main entrance of the park and he brings to life a swarm of bats around Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge. Guests walking down Buena Vista Street will also be greeted by a new 10-foot-tall statue of the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow, holding his jack-o’-lantern head up to the sky!halloween-time-dca-headless-horsemanDisney California Adventure also will be featured for the first time as part of the pre-party mix-in for Mickey’s Halloween Party, a separate-ticket event that features special entertainment, Disney characters in their Halloween attire, and trick or treating at locations throughout Disneyland. Halloween-time-Disney-California-Adventure-EntranceThis year, a ticket to Mickey’s Halloween Party has even greater value as guests will be able to visit Disney California Adventure as well as Disneyland during the three hours prior to the beginning of the party in Disneyland.

mickeys-halloween-party-mickey-and-minnieTickets for Mickey’s Halloween Party went on sale July 17 for Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club members and Disney Visa Card holders and on July 24 for the general public so you should purchase yours before they sell out. For more information about Mickey’s Halloween Party, including dates, read the post I wrote about hit here. Party tickets may be purchased online and on mobile devices at http://Disneyland.com/party as well as at the Disneyland Resort main gate and by phone at 714.781.4400.halloween-time-at-disneyland-resort-giant-mickey-pumpkinWhat are you most excited about this year during Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort? Share with me in the comments!

Images and renderings are property of Disney and used with permission. 

Raising a Child With a Healthy Mind, Body & Spirit

This post was sponsored by Boys & Girls Clubs of America as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

As a parent, it’s my main priority (and responsibility) to raise a daughter who is well-rounded. I want my daughter to grow up having a healthy mind, body and spirit. Sometimes it’s easier said than done though. Parenting is definitely a lot of work, requires constant effort, and can often times be very challenging. I’m going to share some of the things I’m doing as a parent to raise a happy and healthy child.
promote-an-active-lifestyleOne way I encourage my daughter to lead a healthy lifestyle is by modeling it for her. There are also some things our family does to stay active together and have fun doing so. We enjoy going on family walks together. We also love to enjoy other outdoor activities such as a hike in the foothills or a jog along the beach. Being active together a perfect opportunity to bond as a family.

swim-teamWe also allow my daughter to make choices of physical activities that she enjoys doing to maintain that active lifestyle. She is pretty athletic and has participated in a variety of activities ranging from dance & cheer to swimming & martial arts.martial-artsmake-healthy-food-choicesIt’s also very important to teach children about the importance of making healthy food choices, whether they are eating at home with you or our somewhere on their own. Our family spends time together on Sundays doing meal planning and grocery shopping for the upcoming week. farmers-market-more-produceSince our work, school, homework, and extra-curricular activity schedule are somewhat busy ones, we try our best to prepare meals together in the kitchen about 4 times a week. Dinnertime is when we share about our day and talk about anything else we’re excited about.give-backIt’s also important to teach your children to give back to the community. I believe that giving back is one of the most important things you can do for others. Also, by doing so, you are modeling the importance of thinking about others’ needs and serving others for your child(ren). We seek out different ways to give back including volunteering with the homeless and bringing necessary supplies to the animal shelter.
Anthem Logo- CAThe Boys & Girls Clubs of America has  a great resource for families trying to live an overall healthy lifestyle called Triple Play. The program is the leading comprehensive health and wellness program and serves young people at Boys & Girls Clubs. Triple Play gives kids the tools and awareness necessary to put them on the path to a great future. This is exactly what we want for our children.

As part of this program, parents can download The Triple Play Parents Game Plan. It offers a holistic approach with three key areas of focus:

  • Mind: Develops a knowledge base for young people to acquire healthy habits, such as making smart food choices, understanding appropriate portion sizes and creating fun and balanced meals.
  • Body: Promotes young people becoming more physically active through fun daily fitness, including activities to get kids active and moving.
  • Soul: Strengthens interpersonal skills, positive behavior and good character through social recreation programs and activities.

At the start of the new year, Boys & Girls Clubs of American established a key mantra, “I Feel Better When..”.  As many people recommit to improving their health and wellness practices at the start of a new year, the BGCA is committed to implementing this phrase, which can lead to how small, daily behavioral changes can have a long-term, lasting impact. Triple Play is focused on healthy lifestyle changes at a young age.active-together

i-feel-better-whenIn our own family, we do a few different things to promote a healthy lifestyle. I feel better when…we model an active lifestyle, make healthy food choices, and give back. What about you and your family? What can you do to support this mantra?

National support from the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation and Coca-Cola make it possible for Boys & Girls Clubs around the country to operate Triple Play.

For more information about wonderful programs like this one, visit the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Triple Play Website here. Connect with Boys & Girls Clubs of America on Facebook and Twitter, too.

Best Tips For Managing Stress

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kaiser Permanente Orange County. All opinions are 100% my own.

I wear a LOT of different hats, like many other people I know. There’s just so much to do every day! Sometimes all of it starts to get to me and the stress sets in. Can you relate? i-amI recently discovered (the hard way) that I can’t possibly keep up at that pace without having some kind of backlash. Although stress is inevitable, trying to do too much all the time, will only result in your body screaming at you to slow down. In my case, I ended up with the flu.    According to the doctor, that was my body telling me to slow down!listen-to-your-bodyOne of the benefits of being a Kaiser Permanente member is having access to the wide range of services available. Not only can members schedule a medical appointment with their doctor when they need to but they are also able to discuss things like stress management, that can also affect your health.kp-orange-countyI had the pleasure of spending some time chatting with Dr. Michael Hanna of Kaiser Permanente Orange County about my own stress and kind of picked his brain for some advice on how to best manage it all. I told him about my tendency to try to “do it all”. His first suggestion was this:put-your-energyThere are certain situations that we really have little to no control over. Dr. Hanna highly recommended putting my energy into things I can do something about. As a father, himself, Dr. Hanna had some other great advice for busy parents who find themselves in the same boat and juggling a lot, about how to best manage & combat their stress. Here are some of his best tips for managing stress:
It seems like we should all know this already but hearing how important proper nutrition is for building your defense against stress was a great reminder. It’s crucial to start each day with a good breakfast. If you’re busy and on-the-go constantly, it’s extra important to pack food to take with you, so you can eat something nutritious every 3-4 hours. Ideal foods are high in fiber, such as toast, bread, beans and cheese, tortillas, and popcorn, and help you feel fuller for a longer time period. Eating 3 daily meals along with a couple of snacks is ideal.farmers-market-more-produceHydration
Keeping yourself hydrated is another important and beneficial step you can take. If you have a difficult time getting enough water, try adding cucumber or even sliced fruit to your water bottle to give your water slight flavor. Bring my water to work in a fun water bottle seems to motivate me to drink more. It’s also a good idea to limit your caffeine intake, as it can be dehydrating.drink-your-water-bottleExercise
There are many health benefits associated with exercise. Whether it’s yoga, cycling, running, or even going out for a walk, a minimum of 30 minutes 3-5 times per week is a general recommendation for everyone. Not only can regular exercise help with stress, it also helps you sleep better. get-fit-festival-yogaSleep 
According to Dr. Hanna, the most natural way your body restores itself is through sleep and rest. Adults should sleep at least 7-8 hours a night. The ideal sleeping temperature that a room should be is in the mid 60’s. This seems pretty chilly but I actually sleep better when it’s cool like this in my room. You should refrain from TV and computer time for at least an hour before going to bed. One other important tip I got from Dr. Hanna is “Don’t go to bed with worries!” I try my best on this one but sometimes it’s hard.

dont-go-to-bed-with-worriesDeclutter and Organize
Believe it or not, the more organized your life is, which includes both your home and work space, the better. There’s just something to be said about not having a piles of paper everywhere or a bunch of stuff lying around. Organization is something I’ve been working on at home. I’ve eliminated a lot of extra “stuff” that I rarely use. By donating these unused items, it also helps out someone else.the-best-version-of-youHow to Manage Stress When It’s Actually Happening to You
I asked Dr. Hanna for some strategies to try when I’m actually experiencing stress. An example would be stress at work. I teach first grade and there are some days that just get very hectic. He suggested I take some time out in the midst of chaos. Obviously I can’t just walk away from my students, but during recess or my lunch hour, I can certainly set aside 5, 10, or even 15 minutes to get into “a slow zone” and just relax and be away from that chaos. Another great recommendation is to take deep belly breaths to slow my breathing down, which will result in a calmer version of me.walk-awayAt the end of our talk, Dr. Hanna said something that really stuck with me. He said, “Have hope! This too, shall pass!” Honestly, if you can just rally through the trying times, there’s going to be something good that will eventually show up for you. have-hopeKaiser Permanente strives to help all of its members and employees work towards total health and wellness. Members can take classes, covering a wide variety of topics relevant to health, that are a good fit for their own situation. Being able to successfully manage stress, or in simpler terms “life management”, can only have positive benefits for an individual. To learn more about Kaiser Permanente and the services health and well-being services available to its members, go here.
Connect with Kaiser Permanente Orange County on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram.

Always seek medical advice from a medical professional. 


Meal Planning and Smarter Snack Choices

This post was sponsored by Weight Watchers as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review. All opinions are 100% my own.

It’s a brand new year and I’m really excited about striving to reach some new goals I set for this year. As a busy mom, who works full time outside the home and stays occupied driving my daughter around to all of her activities, I started to feel a bit overwhelmed at the end of last year and and kind of let my self-care fall to the side. During the holidays, I was feeling pretty sluggish and just blah.

As soon as the new year started, I really wanted to get myself on a better eating plan. After feeling like I was having way too much drive thru, towards the end of the year, I knew I needed to change some things. I  added a healthy eating plan for myself (and my family), which includes weekly shopping and weekly meal prep. It’s important to plan healthy, meals that give you balanced nutrition from all of the food groups. It’s equally important to include healthy snacks in your day because you don’t want to leave gaps in between meals where you get hungry and reach for just any old unhealthy snack! meal-planning-and-smarter-snacking-choicesI added more fresh fruit (I love citrus), trail mix, and Weight Watchers Light Mozzarella String Cheese to my snacks and carry them in my lunchbox to work as snack options.citrusstring-cheese-has-been-my-favoriteSince I was a kid, I’ve always loved string cheese. It’s so fun to to peel it as you eat it. I was surprised (in a good way) to find out how full of flavor and fun to pull apart, this Weight Watchers Light Mozzarella String Cheese is. individually-wrappedIt’s definitely a satisfying choice when you need a snack on the go. I shop for mine at Walmart, in the cheese section and they come in a package, individually wrapped, to help with portion control.ww-cheese-hanging WW-cheeseEach serving is only 1 SmartPoints. I feel good eating that kind of a snack and knowing it’s made from real milk.snack-choicesRight now, until January 31, 2017, Walmart has a digital savings offer for shoppers to save $1.00 on 2 Weight Watchers Cheese items at Walmart. To grab your own digital coupon, click here. (Please note that there is a limited quantity of coupons available.) Weight Watchers is providing a money back guarantee for shoppers who are concerned about the taste of the product. It’s a great way for them to say, “Love it or get your money back”! It’s “Great Taste GuaranCheesed”! For rebate details, including full terms and conditions visit http://www.TakeTheGreatTasteChallenge.com.trail-mixSince starting my new meal planning and meal prep, I feel a lot better and have more energy. My pants are also a little looser-fitting, which is a good thing! How are your New Year goals going?

Take Control of Lower Back Pain (Don’t Let Anything Slow You Down!)

This post was developed in partnership with Bayer, as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received the Aleve® Direct Therapy TM TENS Device and compensation to facilitate my review. All opinions are 100% my own.take-control-of-lower-back-pain

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been “on the go”! As a kid, I enjoyed running around and playing outside and could never get enough of the outdoors. As I grew up, I continued to remain active, spending a lot of my time in dance classes, figure skating, going to the gym, and running on the beach. Being active is all part of living the Southern California lifestyle.southern-california-lifestyle-beach

Fast forward to present day…Now I’m a mom of one very busy daughter. I spend a lot of time driving her back and forth between sports practices and playdates, volunteering as team mom for her cheer team, and I pride myself on being involved at her school.im-always-on-the-goI also teach school and am a first grade teacher, which requires me to be up on my feet a majority of the day. I spend a lot of time on the carpet with my students reading to them and doing many activities. A first grade teacher has to be able to get down to her students’ levels, often times bending down or even kneeling. 

a-first-grade-teacherSadly, as I get older, I seem to experience more back pain, specifically in my lower back region. Sometimes it literally flares up from doing the most minor thing and the pain just makes me want to withdraw from all of the things I need to get done. It’s disheartening to have to opt out of a family hike on a weekend because my back hurts. My daughter is only 11 years old and needs me to be out and about doing things with her.she-keeps-me-on-my-toes

When I was recently offered an Aleve Direct Therapy TENS Device to try out for this specific problem, I jumped at the chance to try it, in hopes of finding some relief. It’s a device that’s designed specifically for the temporary relief of pain associated with sore and aching muscles in the lower back due to strain from exercise or normal household and work activities. It’s easy to use and I was thrilled to have positive results from using it. 

aleve-direct-therapy-tens-deviceAleve Direct Therapy TENS Device uses TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation), which is a therapy that uses electrical stimulation to relieve pain. There are two clinical theories of how TENS can relieve pain: by blocking the transmission of pain, and by stimulating endorphins, the body’s natural pain-reducing chemicals.

After I used the device a few different times, I really felt some relief and didn’t have to worry about missing out again on anything with my family. I feel like I took control of my lower back pain. I don’t have the time to let anything slow me down!

The Aleve Direct Therapy TENS Device can be found at major stores in the Analgesics aisle, near other topical pain relief products, but is also available at online retailers. For more information about this product, click here.

*As always, read the directions on the package and only use as directed.


Tips For Packing More Nutritionally Balanced Lunches

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kaiser Permanente Orange County. All opinions are 100% my own.

Within the first two weeks of this school year, I already felt like I was in a lunch packing rut! I pack a lunch for myself and my daughter, 5 days a week, and It’s literally one of the things I dread the most.was-in-a-lunch-rut I just get bored with the same old lunches and I also find that if I don’t pack enough food or go to work without a lunch at all, I end up grabbing not-so-healthy things. One of my personal goals when this school year started (I’m also a teacher) was to reduce, or even eliminate, “driving through” for lunch.kp-orange-countyI feel like I’m just out of ideas and tired of the same old lunch: a sandwich, chips, and a diet soda. I got pro-active and set up an appointment with a nutritionist at Kaiser Permanente Orange County to talk about some healthier lunch packing options. During my appointment, I got some really great tips and ideas that I want to share with you. a-lunch-doesnt-have-to-look-like-a-lunchThe first thing I leaned was that “a lunch doesn’t have to look like a lunch“.It’s a concept that seems odd and not normal to me. When I think about packing a lunch, I visualize what my own mother used to pack for me. However, I learned that the most important part about packing what you’re going to eat all day when you’re away from home is actually the balance between nutritional value and adequate portions. packing-lunches-trail-mixThe nutritionist helped me think of a long list of “non-traditional” lunch items to include in my lunchbox. Here are just a few:

  • hummus and pita chips
  • cheese and crackers
  • peanut butter and crackers
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • egg salad
  • nuts
  • yogurt and granola
  • a whole-grain bagel and cream cheese
  • quinoa
  • nuts and trail mix
  • salads to go

fresh-salads-in-a-mason-jarHonestly, I love all of these new ideas for lunch. I’ve actually seen other teachers eyeing my lunch in our Teachers Lounge.

drink-your-waterAlthough water isn’t actually food, the nutritionist stressed the importance of drinking enough water on a daily basis. I shared my water drinking challenges with her. As a teacher, there are days when I walk around my classroom just carrying my water bottle around and still have a full water bottle at dismissal!infuse-your-water-with-fresh-strawberriesShe suggested adding natural flavoring by using things like cucumber or strawberry to my water. I love the way it tastes when it’s infused and it’s so much easier to drink my daily requirement now. I also learned that water isn’t just important for your insides, which helps regulate you, but also beneficial for your external appearance, aka your skin! Drink your water!drink-your-water-bottle

meal-prep-pays-offThe nutritionist asked me right away to describe what my weekly lunch meal prep looks like. I really didn’t have an answer for her because prior to meeting with her, I didn’t set aside much time for meal prep. Lunch making was more of a “throw-it-in-the-lunchbox-5-minutes-before-rushing-out-the-door” sort of thing! She discussed the benefits of carving out that time each weekend to do this. On Sundays, my daughter & I team up to make the shopping list for weekly lunch packing, go to the grocery store, and package and measure out portions of foods that can be done ahead of time. (ex. nuts, cut up cheese, etc.) mother-daughter-bonding-time

check-out-your-local-farmers-marketWhile I was at my appointment with the nutritionist at the Kaiser Permanente location in Irvine, there was a Farmers Market going on. I love shopping at a Farmers Market! farmers-market-offers-freshest-produceThey offer the freshest fruits, vegetables, and other products that are all locally grown and made. I found a variety of local produce, honey, nuts, teas, beef jerky, breads, and specialty foods there, many of which are organic!farmers-market-more-produce farmers-market-toasted-cornThere is also food you can order to eat right then and there, such as gourmet tamales. All of the vendors are very friendly and there are lots of great things to sample before you buy. farmers-market-beef-jerkyfarmers-market-fresh-hummusfarmers-market-samplesI found a lot of things there to grab for my lunch packing. It’s free and open to the public, every Wednesday (year-round) from 9-1. To find a Kaiser Permanente Farmers Market in Southern California near you, go herefarmers-market-kaiser-permanenteBelieve it or not, I actually look forward to packing lunches now. I feel like I have a new perspective and it’s fun to mix it up with non-traditional lunch packing. My daughter even asks to help out more in the kitchen now, since we started doing lunch meal prep together. It’s like a mother-daughter bonding time.packed-lunch

Do you have any tips or tricks for keeping your packed lunches exciting yet nutritional?

Open enrollment for Kaiser Permanente kicked off November 1 and goes through January 31, 2017. If you’re looking for a new provider, explore plans with Kaiser Permanente Orange County and you’ll have the ability to select from many services for you and your family including primary and urgent care, emergency facilities, labor and delivery, pharmacy, and lab all housed under one roof. Find out more today at: kp.org/orangecounty.
Connect with Kaiser Permanente Orange County on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

Always seek medical advice from a medical professional.



Stay Healthy During the Holiday Season

This post was sponsored by Nature Made® as a part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central. All opinions are 100% my own.

The holiday season is a fun, busy time which requires a lot of energy and running around. It’s also one of the most common times of the year when people get sick. Busy moms like me don’t have time to get sick and be “down for the count”. I have too much to get done!stay-healthyThis year I got a head start on making some changes to achieve more balance in my life, which has resulted in my being healthier entering into this holiday season. I added things to my daily routine such as drinking more water, eating healthier meals and snacks, and adding in a daily probiotic, which I’ve found have made a noticeable difference in my overall wall-being. nature-made-vitamins-at-walmartAs Fall neared this year, I also decided to add some new vitamins and supplements into my daily regimen because it’s impossible get your entire daily requirement just from food. Nature Made® has a variety of vitamins, minerals and supplements (VMS) to help support nutritional gaps with your health goals in mind ranging from Digestive Support, Heart Health & Function, Energy Metabolism, Women’s Health and much more!†Nature Made® is the #1 Pharmacist Recommended brand for many key dietary supplement categories* I feel confident choosing Nature Made® brand for myself and my family. I also love that I can run over to Walmart to stock up on them because they’re always offered at such affordable prices, even without being on sale! stay-healthy-during-the-holiday-seasonNature Made® vitamins and supplements: An easy, convenient way to help your body get the nutritional support it needs every day, whether it be to support bone health, immune health or energy metabolism (helping convert food into energy).†For more information on Nature Made® vitamins and supplements available at Walmart and to enter to win one of 60 Walmart gift cards (each worth $50) by taking part in the sweepstakes on the site, visit here. (No Purchase Necessary).

Find Nature Made® on Facebook & Twitter and Walmart on Facebook and Twitter.’

*Based on the 2016 U.S. News & World Report – Pharmacy Times Survey.
†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease.
†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease.

Kaiser Permanente Orange County’s 4th Annual Get Fit Festival

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kaiser Permanente Orange County. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Saturday, November 4 was the perfect sunny, Southern California day for the 4th Annual Get Fit Festival held at Kaiser Permanente Irvine Medical Center. Although the event was held at the Irvine location, people from all over Southern California made the trip for this fun and pro-wellness-filled day!get-fit-festival-balloonskp-teamKaiser Permanente strives to promote wellness and preventative care to its members and its employees. I have seen 100% buy-in to this program from the doctors, nurses, and staff who have been there to assist me on my visits to Kaiser Permanente Orange County. They even sport the “Thrive” apparel to work!2016-get-fit-festivalHere’s an overview video of the Get Fit Festival: 

Some of the events they offered to participants included:

  • Thrive 5K Fun Run/Walk—Proceeds benefited Special Olympics Southern California
  • a 30-Mile Bike Tour of Orange County
  • a 6-Person Relay (36 miles)get-fit-festival-bikes-startingthrive-starting-line

Other activities not requiring running or biking at the event included: 

  • The Thrive Zone – Challenging carnival games to test anyone’s luck
  • The Fitness Zone – Zumba, yoga, and line dancing sessions
  • The Kid’s Zone – activities for kids ages 4-12, to bounce & blast their way through
  • Food trucks – some of OC’s finest food trucks
  • Live music – the great sounds of Catfish Junction played live on the main stage
  • Fitness and Health Expo – a select group of fitness and health professionals were on hand as health vendors at the Festival. get-fit-festival-yoga

Kaiser Permanente hosts a variety of “Get Fit” events throughout the year. For more information about upcoming events, go here.kp-team-2Open enrollment for Kaiser Permanente kicked off November 1. If you’re looking for a new provider, explore plans with Kaiser Permanente Orange County and you’ll have the ability to select from many services for you and your family including primary and urgent care, emergency facilities, labor and delivery, pharmacy, and lab all housed under one roof. Find out more today at: kp.org/orangecounty.kp-orange-countyConnect with Kaiser Permanente Orange County on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram.

Always seek medical advice from a medical professional. Video is property of Kaiser Permanente. 

Teacher Wellness Is Essential For A Successful School Year

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kaiser Permanente Orange County. All opinions are 100% my own. Always seek medical advice from a medical professional.

My school year is well underway and so far (knock on wood), I’ve been lucky enough to escape any illnesses this year. I did start to get a sore throat at the beginning of the year, but that always seems to happen when you go from summer break to teaching and talking so loudly for 6+ hours a day.my-first-graders-are-adorableI absolutely adore my 31 first graders this year! They are the cutest bunch of kids and are so sweet and eager to learn every single day. They also like to give me tons of hugs and even share their snacks with meteacher-for-you.It’s a sweet gesture when one of them hands me a snack and I’d never want to crush their spirit so I kindly thank them…and dispose of it properly when they walk away. teachers-dont-have-time-to-get-sickIt’s extra important to be on top of your health when you’re a teacher because if you’re sick and have to be out of the classroom, it affects everything. (We all know what can happen when there’s a sub.) I’m very fortunate to be a “seasoned” teacher because a brand new teacher is likely to get sick more often, suffering from up to 2 colds per month. I remember those days!cold-and-flu-season-is-almost-hereWith cold and flu season upon us, I set up an appointment with Kaiser Permanente Orange County Physician Dr. Eric Troyan to chat and get his his best advice for keeping healthy in the classroom. He had some great tips and advice for me, which could be valuable information for anyone who has prolonged contact with children on a daily basis and works in a school or daycare like me. illness-prevention-tipsHere are some of the great illness prevention tips we talked about:
Hand Washing and Sanitation
Washing your hands as much as possible is actually the #1 scientifically proven way to stay healthy. In the case of teachers, if a teacher comes in contact with a child and then touches their own face, it’s an instant transfer of germs. Always wash your hands before you touch your face. In my own classroom,I don’t have access to a sink so I keep a big container of alcohol-based hand sanitizer nearby. It’s not a substitute for hand washing ,but does get me by until recess, lunch, or after school, when I can access a real sink.When you do wash your hands, it’s recommended that you use soap and warm water and lather for at least 20 seconds. (I recommend signing the ABCs to know that you’ve lathered for long enough.)lots-of-handwashingKeep Your Immune System Optimized
Your immune system is everything when it comes to illness and preventing and avoiding illness. The stronger your immune system is, the less often you’ll get sick and quicker you’ll recover. Sleep, Nutrition, and Hydration can all affect your immune system.

  • Get Ample Sleep – You should try to maintain a regular sleep schedule of at least 10 hours a night. If you get less than 8-10 hours of sleep, your immune system is more likely to take a hit. Studies show a correlation between sleep deprived people and illness. recommended-sleep
  • Nutrition – Your body depends on proper nutrition to stabilize your immune system. Eating the recommended daily servings of fruit and vegetables is very important. Vitamins in the foods you’re eating are ones that your body uses most efficiently. However, we can’t always eat a balanced diet and get every vitamin we need so supplementing your diet with things like Vitamin C and Vitamin B Complex is a great idea, too. make-smart-food-choices
  • Hydration – It’s always important to stay hydrated but doing so can also help you avoid getting sick. Everyone should be drinking about 64 oz. of water on a daily basis but increasing it to about 12 glasses per day (or 96 oz.) is ideal when you’re starting to feel under the weather. Hydration is important overall and helps with many things, not just avoiding illness.teacher-wellness-drink-your-water

Get a Flu Vaccine
It’s important to actively take care of yourself so you can avoid illnesses, especially when cold and flu season rolls around. One of the things that Dr. Troyan  highly recommended was to get a flu shot. get-your-flu-shotHe really stressed the importance of this one for people like me who are around children. He also explained that the flu vaccine this year will be more effective than the one last year and told me that it’s considered a “killed version” vaccine as opposed to a live one, which you would hear about people actually getting sick after receiving it. The best time to get a flu vaccine is before Halloween but if you don’t do it by then, you’ll definitely want to get yours before Thanksgiving! Flu season tends to peak after the New Year in California, so why not go into it well prepared to fight it off?teacher-wellness-is-essential-for-a-successful-school-yearTeacher wellness is essential when it comes to a successful school year. Do you or someone close to you work with children? What kinds of things do you do to help fight off illness during the school year?

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