We Are Thankful for You, Forney!

The winter holiday season is approaching, and it feels as though Thanksgiving is just around the corner. As everyone begins to devote their time and thoughts to friends and family, we want to take a moment to express just how thankful we are for the most important people at our dental office: you.

Here are three reasons why we are grateful for you and all of our patients for making our Forney dental practice such a wonderful place to be.

  1. This Amazing Connected Community

We truly appreciate the connection with our patients and the community. You’ve stayed with us year after year and remained loyal as our business has grown, giving us the opportunity to offer additional dental services and access to improved technologies. You keep us grounded and integrated with the Forney community through various school activities and neighborhood causes and events. As a local business, your willingness to refer friends and family members to our dental practice is the biggest compliment we can receive. We enjoy being a part of your lives and this connected community.

  1. Your Giving Attitude

We were blown away by the generous nature of our patients during our donation drive to help victims of Hurricane Harvey this year. We are incredibly proud to be a part of such a giving community that cares so deeply for our neighbors, both near and far, and that is so personally invested in making the world a better place. Forney is a community of friends with remarkable, huge hearts, and we are honored to call this city home and to care for the wonderful families that live here.

  1. You Keep Us Smiling!

As your Forney dentist, we know it is technically our job to keep you and your family smiling, helping you maintain the healthy, vibrant, and beautiful smiles you all deserve. We honestly believe we have the best job in town because seeing your smiling faces coming through our door every day ensures each workday is a joy for our team and makes everything we do worthwhile. Your smiles keep us smiling, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.

We are incredibly thankful for all of our patients, and we hope that you all have an extraordinary holiday season.

Halloween Safety Tips for Your Forney Family

Halloween is a fun time of year for kids (and often adults!) to get dressed up in fun costumes and head out to Trick-or-Treat. While you enjoy the festivities, it’s also important to focus on safety.

Being a part of the Forney community, we just want to make sure that families and kids stay safe this Halloween. With that in mind, here are a few tips courtesy of the CDC.

Trick-or-Treat in Groups

No child should head out on the hunt for candy alone on Halloween. In most parts of the country, trick-or-treating begins after dark, and small children might not be easily spotted by drivers on the road.

Additionally, being in a pair or group, with at least one adult, ensures everyone is well-supervised. So, make it a group adventure and share the experience with friends and family members. Not only is it the safer way to go, but it can also be more fun too.

Use Reflective Tape or Clothing and Carry a Flashlight

Most trick-or-treating occurs after nightfall. To help ensure you are seen by passing drivers (especially if you or your child’s costume is predominately a dark color), use reflective tape on clothing items and bags to ensure you stand out. Carrying a flashlight is a great idea to make sure you are easy for drivers to spot you while also lighting the path ahead so you don’t trip!

Examine All Treats Before Eating

Every sweet your child collects while trick-or-treating should be closely examined before anyone (including adults!) takes a bite. Review the contents of your kid’s bag for potential choking hazards, items that may have been tampered with, or those that aren’t completely wrapped or sealed.

Homemade treats should only be accepted from people that you know well, especially if anyone in your family has a food allergy.

Use Safe Accessories

Many costumes come with items like swords and knives to complete the look. When this occurs, examine them carefully to make sure that they are an appropriate size and made of soft, flexible materials. This helps lower the risk of accidental injury to yourself, your family, and others you may pass.

Additionally, check all masks to make sure they provide a suitable amount of visibility. The ability to see out of a mask is important for you or your child to avoid tripping hazards and obstacles.

Typically, it’s always best to avoid decorative contact lenses, as they have the potential to cause serious eye injuries even in experienced contact lens wearers.

By following the recommendations above, you can help keep your family safe while enjoying everything Halloween has to offer including trick-or-treating in the Forney area!

Happy Father’s Day to All of the Dads Out There!

Now is the time of year where we recognized all of the wonderful dads out there by wishing them a Happy Father’s Day. In recognition of this special time, we wanted to do our part to help those in our lives recognize the great dads in their lives. Here are 10 gifts that are sure to please the great dads in your life.

1. Noise-Canceling Headphones

Sometimes the best gift you can give is the gift of silence, or the ability to block everything else out and enjoy some music. For the dad that could use some peace, noise-canceling headphones are a great option.

2. Brewing Kit

With craft beer being so popular, brewing kits have become more sophisticated, allowing everyone to try their hand at making a great beer at home!

3. Shaving Kit

Whether your dad prefers a smooth shave or a full beard, there are tons of great shaving items designed to keep their skin and facial hair in ideal shape, no matter their preference.

4. Sonicare Toothbrush

Considered one of the leading ways to keep teeth and gums healthy, the Sonicare toothbrush makes a great gift. The DiamondClean comes with five brushing modes for a customizable experience and is available in black.

5. Virtual Reality Headset

As more companies have begun producing the devices, virtual reality headsets are becoming more affordable. The Samsung Gear VR can be found for just $99, and you can get the Google Cardboard for about $15, making VR accessible to almost everyone with a smartphone.

6.Watch

A watch is a classic gift for men, whether it be smart or old-school. Just consider his personal style and select an option that suits his everyday needs.

7. Bluetooth Trackers

For the dad who can never find his keys, consider giving him a Bluetooth tracker. These devices connect to his smartphone, allowing him to find his keys through the accompanying app. Certain versions are designed specifically for keys while others can also be stored on other important items like his wallet or placed in luggage to keep an eye on his checked bag when he travels.

8. Better Coffee

Whether his coffee brewing system could use an upgrade or he simply needs a higher quality coffee, the number of available options is immense. If there is a better way for him to enjoy his favorite coffee beverage than he’s doing it today, you almost can’t go wrong.

9.Sunglasses

With the summer sun high in the sky, a quality pair of sunglasses can make any day more enjoyable (or, at least, less squinty).

10. “Dad’s” Diaper Bag

For the new dad, consider a diaper bag that doesn’t feature cute animals. This one comes in khaki and wears like a backpack.

Want to Lose Weight? Stop Trying So Hard.

Being a health coach, people ask me all the time about losing weight.  Everyone seems to want that elusive “magic bullet” pill or potion that will take the weight off with the least amount of effort.  The truth is, you CAN lose weight without trying, but it’s not as simple as popping a pill or drinking a shake.

When I share with patients that I used to be overweight, they always stare at me in disbelief.  Yes, I have a “before” and I’m living the “after”, but the secret to my personal success wasn’t a pill or diet.  It started with a change in thought process and ended with something called “therapeutic lifestyle change”… a little TLC, if you will.  Therapeutic Lifestyle Change is exactly what it sounds like; lifestyle or habit change that has a therapeutic or healing effect on your health.  Trust, me, I tried the potions and pills – Slim Fast, Diet Coke and fat burners were my staples – but, this was a game changer for me.  Since TLC can seem ambiguously overwhelming to a newbie, I thought I might share a few ways to easily incorporate the TLC’s that changed my life and my weight forever.

 

  1. Stop weighing yourself. Observing your own weight loss is like watching water boil, except worse.  At least with water, the change from still to bubbling is blatantly obvious.  Seeing your own reflection and adapting daily to small changes in your appearance makes it nearly impossible to notice weight loss.  Standing on your scale has a similar effect – it seems like a tortured lifetime before it actually reflects the hard work you’ve put in at the gym or on your plate.  I’ve got some news for you, though.  Are you ready?  Read this carefully and really let it sink in:  If all your healthy living efforts are chained to the expectation that your scale or mirror will reward you, you will always fight a losing battle.  So, THROW AWAY YOUR SCALE and stop letting your appearance be the only motivation you have for creating healthy habits!  When you focus on TLC in itself, weight loss happens as an afterthought.  It’s freakin’ awesome!  Your scale on the other hand will suck the motivation right out of you, because it’s not showing you the big picture – body composition.  And your mirror is a little liar, quite frankly, since its reflection is altered by your perception.

 

  1. Focus on quality of food instead of quantity. Food is the FUEL our body uses for every organ system to function the way it was designed to.  It is a mixture of macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutritive substances).  When you sit down to eat a greasy bag of McD’s OR a “healthy cuisine” microwave meal, YOU may see food, but your body doesn’t see that.  Your body is busy separating out actual nutrients from the other substances often added to these meals to enhance flavor, texture, color and shelf-life.  In both fatty fast foods AND low calorie diet foods, there are A LOT of these mystery ingredients – maybe even more so than actual food.  THIS is the stuff that breaks down the complex machine we live in called a human body and makes it fat and sick.  So, START SEEING FOOD FOR WHAT IT REALLY IS.  Make choices based on how they affect your health, not your taste buds.  The sad truth is that your taste buds have been hijacked by food chemists and turned into little drug dealers, pushing you to take another hit of the food equivalent of crack.  Just Say NO!  Choose lean protein/veggie menu items at restaurants and don’t get sucked into deceptive marketing verbiage at the grocery store  – “low carb”, “zero sugar“, and “fat free” foods are some of the most toxic.  Always remember, the numbers in the Nutrition Facts don’t mean anything if the ingredients aren’t actual food.  So, shop the perimeter of the grocery store for fresh foods, avoid the boxed crap, use caution at restaurants and read the ingredient label when there is one.

 

  1. Engage in exercise-like activity. Well, I hate to tell you what you don’t want to hear, but exercise is kind of a necessity.  We weren’t designed to sit at a computer typing away at a blog (yeah, that’s me).  Our human body machines were designed to use physical activity in the same way it uses food.  Exercise improves nearly every physiological function we have – digestive, hormonal, cardiovascular, neurological, and musculoskeletal to name a few.  But we dread exercise, right?  Who wants to hit the gym before a long day of work, or AFTER a long day of work?  No one!  So how do we get past our excuses and start including exercise in our daily routine?  First, I want you to think back to your childhood.  What physical activities did you enjoy as a kid – swimming, riding your bike, running with friends, baseball, volleyball, or soccer?   Now think of what the adult version of that might look like.  Maybe in a group setting, like an adult sports league, a running club, cycling club, swim team, cross fit group, boot camp or anything else you can think of.  Now, you have group accountability combined with an activity that could actually be enjoyable.  Not bad, right?  Commit to training for an event like a meet, a triathlon or marathon and dangle that carrot as long as necessary to get you past the 6 weeks it takes for a new behavior to become a habit.  If none of this sounds do-able, try using a TABATA work out daily.  TABATA is a HIIT (high intensity interval training) method that uses 20 seconds of intense exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest for 4-8 minutes.  It can be modified for whatever YOUR intensity level is and you can use any movement that gets your heart rate up in the comfort of your own home.  No excuses!  We all have 8 minutes to spare for the sake of our good health, right?  Right!

So, this is it folks.  This is my personal secret to dropping pounds without giving any thought to dropping pounds.  Fad diets, potions and pills may create short term weight loss, but Therapeutic Lifestyle Change creates long term, sustainable weight loss.   If you still feel like you need a helping hand getting started, find a certified health coach or lifestyle educator in your area, or come see me at the clinic – I’d love to help!

To glorious health and a beautiful body,

Ashley Howell, CHC

ash before picture

“Before” – age 16, addicted to Diet Coke, Slim Fast and Taco Bell

Ashley Howell

“After” – age 36, addicted to sprouted pumpkin seeds and Beanitos (and pregnant with baby #3!)