Why am I so tired all the time? Why am I gaining weight? Is 30 the new 40? Dr. Diana Kumar from Premier Integrated OBGYN gives us some tips to feel younger, healthier, and more energized in our 30s (or at any age!) [ read more ]
, ,

Is 30 the New 40?

[ Tuesday, August 22, 2017 | 0 comments ]
Guest post by Diana Kumar, MD, Premier Integrated OBGYN

One of the more frequent questions I am asked by my patients in their 30s is, “Why am I so tired and gaining weight?” Most of us think of these symptoms as early signs of menopause, which usually manifests in our late 40s. So why are these young women suffering?

Fatigue can have many components including physical, emotional, and hormonal causes. Our 30s is usually a time when our lives are not just about us anymore: We are successful in our careers or making job changes with longer and sometimes more stressful hours. We are getting married or adding to our families. These life changes all can result in weight gain by affecting our time, or simply put, our lack of time.

Women are natural caretakers who multi-task, whether for their families and friends or their careers and workplace – or all of the above. The end-result can be that the priority to take care of our own physical and emotional well-being falls lower and lower on the list; however, these are the keys to feeling healthy and well!

Physically, there may be changes in a woman’s metabolism and how her body reacts to different foods. You may notice you could eat the large pizza and dessert in your 20s, but now those same foods suddenly cause heartburn, changes in your bowel, and a more sluggish feeling after a heavy meal.

My patients tend to say that during their “30s is when I felt like an adult, finally!” Of course, independence brings along stressors. How people cope with these stressors can change their sleep habits and eating habits. Hormonally and health-wise, this is the decade where genetics and lifestyle catch up with us. For example, this is typically a time when a family history of diabetes or thyroid disease makes an appearance.

The good news is that 30 is not the new 40. If anything, it is the opposite. The early 30s is a great time to make lifestyle changes. It is the time when we realize the lifestyle we were living in our 20s – whether it was staying out late at night, staying up with our electronic devices, sloughing off exercise – may not be the best choice anymore.

We are learning how to take better care of ourselves than ever before. We are always trying to achieve the balance, and accepting and recognizing that sometimes this is really difficult to achieve is normal.
Here are some lifestyle tips I recommend for women in their 30s:

  • Take a look at your diet and keep a food diary. Visit a nutritionist.
  • Set small goals such as walking daily for 20 minutes.
  • Have a set time to meet your friends or exercise together.
  • Try to make a family goal, such as riding bikes or going swimming every Saturday morning.
  • Evaluate what motivates you and use that to incentivize yourself. It could be simply getting to buy the new pair of shoes if you add a salad to your diet daily for a month.

Ask your doctor if you are noticing any changes in your body. Or make an appointment at Premier Integrated OBGYN. Visit PremierOBGYNdenver.com or call 303-393-4330.

About Diana Kumar, MD
Dr. Kumar earned her medical degree at Texas A&M University. Always drawn to taking care of women, she completed her internship and residency in obstetrics and gynecology at St. Joseph Hospital in Denver. Fluent in Vietnamese, Dr. Kumar enjoys sharing all the life milestones with her patients and taking care of them and their families. Outside of the exam room, Dr. Kumar enjoys trying new restaurants, traveling, and trying to keep up with her husband and two kids. Make an appointment with Dr. Kumar online or call 303-393-4330.

Read the full story »
, , , , ,

Delightful Date Night with “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”

[ Friday, August 18, 2017 | 0 comments ]
My husband and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary last weekend and decided to have a “dinner-and-theatre” date night to celebrate.

After a speedy dinner (we knew there was construction, but didn’t allow for the giant punk-rock concert happening at the DCPA so arrived later than we planned), we headed to the Garner Galleria Theatre to see John Gray's Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus Live!

If you haven’t been to the Garner Galleria, it’s not a traditional stage – instead, it’s also a bar (with appetizers!) and you’re seated at tables of four with a stage at the front. Waitstaff will take your food or drink order even during the show. This makes for a much more casual, intimate experience than in a traditional theatre.

Like most people in a relationship in the early-mid-90s, I read John Gray’s book (although it had been around 20 years, so I was due for a refresher). I was intrigued to see how the show’s creators had morphed this relationship how-to into a comedy.

My husband thought it would be more geared towards women, so was surprised to learn that the sole cast member was a Martian (read: a guy). The director was a woman, lending an interesting balance. For all the guys out there, it’s not a chick show.

Amadeo Fusca, a Pittsburgh-born Italian-American from New York, single-handedly walked the audience through some of the content in Gray’s book using stories from his own life with his wife, Sarah, and their five-year-old son, Dominic. His comedic style was in-your-face and brash, but lots of fun. (He apologized to the first row several times for the large quantities of hip gyrating in their faces.) My husband laughed a ton through the entire show and really enjoyed it. I laughed equally hard, and we both also appreciated some of the nuggets of wisdom from the book.

For example, men’s and women’s brains work in reverse, so while men use all their go-go-go chemicals during the day (dopamine) and are ready to relax at night (serotonin), women run out of the calming chemicals during the day and are in busy mode at night. Two brief videos starring John Gray and using animation highlight some of these nuggets, and while the animation was weird and Gray reminded me of Varys from Game of Thrones, the information was actually helpful and presented in a funny way.

In short, we had a great time, and both men and women will really enjoy this show on several different levels. Several times we both laughed so hard we almost cried, and it was nice to have a night out together, enjoying a funny-yet-useful show about relationships (do not bring your kids!).

Show information
The Off-Broadway hit comedy Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus Live!, is a one-man fusion of theatre and stand-up, and is a light-hearted theatrical comedy based on the New York Times #1 best-selling book of the last decade by John Gray. Moving swiftly through a series of vignettes, the show covers everything from dating and marriage to the bedroom.

Now through August 27 at the Garner Galleria Theatre in the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Complex.

Run time: 2 hours
Ticket price: $39+
Age recommendation: Adults

Guest post by Mindee Forman

Mindee is a freelance writer, editor, web designer, and social media consultant. She lives in Denver with her own Martian, two kids, and two crazy cats.

Read the full story »
, , , , ,

What I learned from being pregnant that makes me a better OB/GYN

[ Monday, July 24, 2017 | 0 comments ]
Guest post by Laura Boyer, MD, Premier Integrated OBGYN

Most moms-to-be experience anxiety during pregnancy. But what’s it like for an OB/GYN physician to feel anxiety during her pregnancy? I can tell you, because I just gave birth to my daughter less than a year ago. And it has changed how I practice medicine with my patients.

Honestly, I was surprised at how much anxiety I experienced early on. I worried about possible miscarriage because I had one once before, and later I worried when I wasn’t sure I was feeling enough fetal movements, as I had an anterior placenta which can make it harder to feel the baby move. That experience helps me now when talking to moms who are newly pregnant or who have experienced miscarriage previously. I voluntarily share my story with my patients, and then I ask them about their specific worries at every visit.

Some of the most common worries my patients tend to have include “the unknowns,” such as infertility, how long it will take them to get pregnant, pregnancy itself (including “how will my body change?” and “what if complications arise?”), labor, and parenthood in general. Having been there myself, I feel that the most important thing I can do for my patients is to first listen so I can have a clear understanding of their specific concern so I can next identify how I can help ease their concerns. Once I have identified their needs, then I tend to share a combination of evidenced-based information along with my personal experiences from myself as well as with other patients. I often recommend links online or books that I think will be helpful depending on their specific concerns and background.

Like many of my patients, when I was pregnant, I turned to my friends who are moms to ask questions. One told me something that really stuck with me: When I told her how much better I’d feel when I was out of the first trimester, she said, “That’s parenthood! There is always something to worry about. Once you’ve passed one thing, there will be something else.  You just have to learn to put it in the back of your mind and focus on the good things.”

I have found this to be so true – it really put things into perspective for me!

Once my little girl arrived, I became anxious about breastfeeding. It was so difficult for me! It was painful, tiring, and stressful. I had to get help from lactation nurses and friends. I actually found so much relief when I learned I wasn’t alone in my struggles.  I appreciated advice from them such as what nipple creams worked the best, what pumps and supplies worked best for them, and how they managed breastfeeding schedules with the baby as well as pumping at work. Now I try to share all of this with my patients, including my personal struggles with milk supply.

Again, this personal experience shed light on how I could better support my new-mom patients. Now I discuss with my patients beforehand that worries and anxieties are a normal part of being a parent and are inevitable. Sometimes, though, anxiety can become overwhelming and can cause dysfunction. When this happens, I can help by identifying specific worries and easing concerns through education and reassurance.

I can also provide resources in the community such as therapists, mental health providers, and labor coaches/doulas. I encourage my patients, especially first-time moms, to attend childbirth classes at the hospital. There are classes about labor, breastfeeding, parenting, and even specific classes for dads.  Sometimes medications for depression and anxiety are also necessary.

Lastly, I had – and still have – the most anxiety about the pressure to be perfect. Women tend naturally to put a lot of pressure on themselves to be perfect, and social media tends to feed into this pressure. Social media is full of women who “bounce back” to having a perfect body. As a working mom, I struggle with guilt about not spending enough time with my daughter, my husband, and my friends, as well as being constantly tired!

We need to remind ourselves that Facebook and Instagram tend to depict the “ideal world,” which is rarely entirely accurate. I have started to talk with my patients about this more because I am so much more aware of it myself. I give them permission not to feel guilty about things they're not doing “perfectly” and remind them that there is the "ideal world" as well as the "actual world,” and both are totally different for everyone.

Remember, anxiety and worry during and after pregnancy can be normal and are very common, but you have resources to lean on, especially through your OB/GYN and his or her practice. Be sure to call your doctor with any questions or concerns you may have, or contact me at PremierOBGYNdenver.com or 303-393-4330.

About Laura Boyer, MD
Dr. Boyer is a board-certified physician at Premier Integrated OBGYN which opens in Lowry on August 1. She received her medical degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and completed her residency at Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver. Her passions include delivering babies and working with patients in the clinic as well as performing minimally invasive surgery. She and her husband welcomed their first child last October. Make an appointment with Dr. Boyer online or call 303-393-4330.
Read the full story »
, , , , , , , ,

Neighborhood Spotlight: Abundantly Clear Design

[ Wednesday, July 19, 2017 | 0 comments ]
When we went art hunting in New Mexico for Spring Break, we bought some art we loved, but knew we wouldn't receive it until after the artist had a show at the gallery in July. Last week, we finally received our art, but realized we were in over our heads in terms of actually hanging it. One painting was huge (48"x48"), and the other was a diptych of two individual 24"x24" paintings that needed to be hung together.

We asked around, and several people recommended Holly Lange at Abundantly Clear Design. Holly is a Stapleton resident who started her business in 2005 and is an absolute pro! Our art came with no hardware, so she attached D-rings, a wire, and padded feet to keep it in place and protect our walls. She was in and out in an hour, and we couldn't be more delighted with the results. She was so precise in hanging the diptych, we discovered that the two paintings aren't actually identically sized - one is 1/8" bigger... Who knew?

She does much more than hang art - she also offers:
  • Paint color consultations using Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams color kits
  • Vacant home staging (with rental items)
  • Occupied Home staging and consultations (using existing items)
  • Space planning with an organizing emphasis/efficient use of space
  • Decorating and redesign services - including buying new items, rearranging, and picture hanging
In the last dozen years, she has staged or decorated more than 3,000 homes. She was telling us about her latest client, an older, single gentleman who wanted help furnishing and decorating his home. They formed a plan together, she handled all the shopping, and he has a tastefully decorated new home (pictured)!

Holly says, "I love to introduce new colors into a neutral room with art and accessories, and decorating bookshelves by combining sentimental treasures with books and small pieces of art in a layered look."

I highly recommend Holly to anyone in need of help hanging art, staging a home, or redesigning/refreshing the look of a home - she's friendly, prompt, reliable, and has a fantastic eye. Thanks for helping us out, Holly!

Learn more about Holly and her work at www.abundantlycleardesign.com.

Guest post by Mindee Forman

Mindee is a freelance writer, editor, web designer, and social media consultant. She lives in Denver with her husband, two kids, and two crazy cats. Read the full story »
, , , ,

Need a trusted babysitter? Sitter to the rescue!

[ Tuesday, July 18, 2017 | 0 comments ]
Sitter was created by Kristen Stiles, a Denver mom who almost lost her job when her son got sick and she couldn’t get a babysitter she trusted in time. The other online solutions didn’t work for her because she didn’t trust strangers to watch her son. She wanted a sitter she knew or a sitter her friends recommended, hassle-free, so she started Sitter to help parents nationwide book and pay the sitters they already use and love, instantly. No more texting and waiting. And, find new, trusted sitters through friends.

Learn more at sitter.me and enter to win $100 of free babysitting!

Read the full story »