Over The Top Mommy

Kaiser Permanente Orange County

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?

Open enrollment kicked off November first. 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, and Instagram.



Nutritional Tips to Help Minimize Migraines

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. 

I’m a busy mom. I have no time to waste being sick but when I get a migraine, it literally ruins the entire day. Do you ever deal with migraines? They’re the worst! migraines-are-the-worstWhat starts off as a headache just seems to escalate and get so intense that my head feels like it’s going to pop off! The pain can get so bad that I need to go lay down in a dark room to sleep it off, which usually means sleeping until the next morning. Even worse are those migraines that last more than one day.prevention-and-wellnessI decided to set up an appointment to meet with a Kaiser Permanente Orange County Clinical Dietician. I wanted to chat in person and talk about my own experiences with migraines, what I’m eating, and if there’s anything I can alter in my diet to help minimize my migraines? I’ve had a few friends mention certain foods being related to the cause of migraines,so that was one of the things I wanted to inquire about. I also wanted to ask for other tips to help minimize the frequency of my migraines. I was anxious for my appointment with Natalie Lloyd, R.D., who’s a Clinical Dietitian from Kaiser Nutritional Services. kp-all-under-one-roofThe first thing I learned was about 90% of migraine sufferers have a family history of migraines, which means, if your parent has migraines, you’re pretty much guaranteed to experience them also. My mom does get them, so that was discouraging news, however, there are still things I can do to combat that statistic. I’m not giving up hope.genetics-matterSome other factors that can be related to migraines include lack of sleep, dehydration, hormones, and stress. Well, I fall into every one of those categories, too. its-time-to-get-pro-activeI decided that it was time to make some big changes and get more pro-active in my efforts to do things to counter what could be making me get migraines. eat-more-fruitDuring my appointment with the Clinical Dietitian, I learned that there’s no actual evidence that’s been found to link any certain food as the actual cause of a migraine. So weird because I swear there are foods that set mine off. We discussed this further though and although there isn’t actual evidence to support that, there are certain foods and ingredients used in foods (and some drinks) that can be avoided to help minimize migraines.
Here are just some of the foods to avoid:

  • anything fermented 
  • canned foods
  • processed, aged cheeses 
  • overripe tomatoes and avocados
  • heavily processed foods
  • caffeine – This is actually a tricky one. Sometimes people who drink caffeine regularly haven’t had enough caffeine which may cause a migraine, while others have had too much.
  • aspartame – This chemical can be found in several diet drinks and other beverages that claim to be low-cal or sugar free. It’s just bad overall and should be avoided. *Tip: Try drinking sparkling water.
  • alcohol and wine – Although many people talk about the sulfites in wine as being a problem, tannins are also something that can be a culprit of a migraine after consumption. Both sulfites and tannins should be avoided.

Some of my favorite things to snack on are actually on the list to try to avoid. The good news is that I was told that I didn’t need to completely eliminate these foods altogether, just to cut back on them significantly. Basically, just enjoy them every now and then and not on a daily basis.everything-in-moderationThe Clinical Dietitian also gave me some great general nutrition tips to follow as well. I feel like her tips were great for maintaining overall wellness, which is something that Kaiser Permanente Orange County strives to teach all of its patients and staff. It’s really more of a general guide to daily living, that could easily keep you on track and I feel like it’s really helpful. She also suggested keeping a food journal or food log, especially if you’re attempting to eliminate certain foods to see how your body reacts.
Take a look at the general tips I got: general-daily-recommendationsI learned so much at my appointment with the nutritionist. Although there’s no cure and nothing will completely eliminate my migraines, it’s been a big help to be more educated about some of the things to avoid. Since my appointment, and after making some changes in my diet and regimen, I feel a lot better and have experienced far fewer migraines lately.

Do you have issues with migraines? If you do, I highly recommend seeking professional advice from your own doctor.
To learn more about Kaiser Permanente Orange County, visit http://www.kp.org/orangecounty. Connect with them on Facebook and Twitter, too.


Getting to Know Kaiser Permanente: My KP Experience

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

I recently had the opportunity to visit Kaiser Permanente Orange County (in Irvine) for the first time and experience it through the eyes of a new patient. The KP Experience” is on boarding experience for new members as a way to get familiar with Kaiser Permanente.kp-orange-countyWhat to expect as a new member
Your first visit includes assistance with such things as the check-in process and the scheduling system. On that same visit, you actually meet with your primary care doctor to get to know them and allow them to go over your health and medical history. kp-welcomeAs a new member in a network, health care can sometimes seem hard to navigate, especially when it’s new-to-you health care. There are often different offices or labs to visit. Even having to drive to a pharmacy after an appointment can be another task. Did you know that most Kaiser Permanente Orange County locations include a pharmacy, a lab, X-ray services and more? During my visit, they literally walked me through everything and were so happy to answer any questions I had.kp-hospital-and-medical-officeThere are locations throughout Orange County, as far north as Brea and as far south as San Juan Capistrano, which include Tustin Ranch, Foothill Ranch and the new Radiation Oncology Center located at the Anaheim Medical Centerkp-all-under-one-roofKP members have easy access to services they need. Along with primary care, urgent care, emergency care, and labor and delivery, they have access to a wide choice of specialty services.  Busy families need convenience, and it’s simple to find the care your family needs at Kaiser Permanente Orange County

My Own KP Visit
Upon arrival, I noticed how soothing the decor and design was in the lobby. They brought elements of the outdoors inside. I especially enjoyed the artwork and murals throughout the building. As you walk around the buildings and courtyards, it’s evident that Kaiser is big on preventative care and healthy living as there are many signs with encouraging messages for good health on them. kp-hallway-mural-1I was quickly checked in at the main desk but I also learned you can access all of it on their app as well. (continue reading to learn more about their app)  After I was called into the office, I first sat to chat with the nurse while she took my vitals. They take the utmost precautions to preserve patient confidentiality. I like that you’re not just sitting out in the open, answering private questions about your healthy history, for all to hear.kp-check-in-processOnce I was placed in the room, my doctor came in promptly and introduced herself. As a new patient, this first visit is done with the doctor that’s going to be your primary care doctor. I loved how thorough my doctor she was and I never felt rushed during my visit.kp-choose-your-doctorDid you know that at Kaiser Permanente Orange County, you can actually choose your own doctor? I think sometimes people have the wrong perception and think that you must stay with the primary care doctor they’re assigned to initially, but that’s not true.  You can go to KP.org and search the doctors according to their personality and experience to find the best fit for you.

Going above and beyond traditional office visits
I loved the doctor I was put with so I don’t think I’d switch from her. In addition to traditional in-office visits, Kaiser Permanente also offers video visits with doctors, telephone appointments, and new clinics and a conveniences for their members. Also, primary care doctors can make referrals in office that are pre-approved which means there’s no waiting around for that authorization call after your referral to a specialist. It saves everyone so much time and waiting around. In this day and age, convenience is key and a necessity.

A KP mobile app
Wow! They even have a mobile app where kp.org members can schedule routine appointments, view their past office visit information, refill most of their prescriptions, and view most of the lab test results. Whether it’s at home, at work, in the grocery store, wherever, you can access all of that from your mobile device.
As a health care provider, Kaiser Permanente has been recognized consistently for providing high-quality care by reputable organizations, such as JD Power & Associates, the Leapfrog organization, U. S. News & World Report, WomenCertified and many others.

To learn more about Kaiser Permanente Orange County, visit http://www.kp.org/orangecounty. Connect with them on Facebook and Twitter, too.