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5 Probiotic Food that Help with Depression and Anxiety

darkchocolate2In our world today, there is most definitely a pill for every ill! From Tylenol to Viagra, It seems that people love to get a prescription and take a pill to not only take care of a medical issue, but also to take care of every day issues that can be taken care of with a healthy lifestyle. For those who don’t like to take prescription drugs, there are many different herbal supplements, vitamins and powders.

One supplement that has been popular in the past few years has been probiotics. Probiotic supplements have been popular, especially with people who have to take antibiotics, or suffer with stomach issues. The fact is, probiotics are very important, and with poor diet and medications, replenishing probiotics is very important. Before you start downing probiotic pills and powders at will, here are a few natural probiotic foods that you can add into your daily plan that can surely help.  Another great thing about these foods, they can help with issues such as depression and anxiety.

1. Almond Milk
This EXTREMELY popular milk alternative is actually a great source of probiotics. Containing bifidobacterium, which helps with physical and mental ailments, almond milk on a daily basis can help keep you feeling good, and a healthier way to eat your cheerios. 🙂

2. Red Wine
This most wonderful alcoholic beverage has actually been a great way to help with heart and stomach problems, and most recently discovered to help with mental problems like anxiety and depression. Let us of course not that with all alcohol beverages, moderation is key (Sorry, I know, I had to say it).

3. Miso Soup
I know for myself Miso soup is not an everyday meal, however maybe it should! Miso soup, is packed with probiotics, and is very popular to help with digestion, and can also be helpful in dealing with anxiety.

4. Pickles
Now before you skip over to #5, let me just say, YES PICKLES! Researchers say that pickles tend to be the most popular choice to help with anxiety and depression, since it is packed with bifidobacterium. Don’t worry, if you don’t like pickles, pickled fruit will work just the same.


#5 Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is one of those “well yeah!” foods when it comes to aiding in depression and anxiety. Also packed with bifidobacterium, dark chocolate, while aids in helping against depression and anxiety, also has been proven to help with health and stomach issues. And of course, who doesn’t like chocolate!

By Chris Haro

The Mighty Power of Music Therapy

The first time I had to set foot into the cancer treatment center, I was scared. I was in a place I never thought I would have to deal with in my life. I sit in the waiting room, and just like any other medical facility, it was quiet, with just the sound of soft music in the background, sounds of intercom calls to doctors, and the sound of pages being turned from the borrowed magazines from the other patients as they wait. sitting there, all you can really do is sit and think of the situation at hand. Since this was the first time I was going to undergo treatment, I was scared of so many things; how would it affect me, how it was going to feel, and would it work. Then after a while, or what seemed like hours, I finally got called in.

EleanorAfter talking with the doctors and nurses, I headed in for my first dose. The nurse who was helping me gave me a nice comforting hug, and said to me, “you are going to do just fine.” I guess I was not good at hiding my feelings after all. Then she noticed that I had my ipod with me, and asked me, “who do you like to listen to?” I told her that I love the old standards, and always wanted to be a crooner like Sinatra, Dean-O, or even Buble. She told me that she loved that thought, and that I should use that dream, and that music to help me during this time. So before I got started, I put my headphones in, and selected that playlist, and started to imagine that dream.

Through my time of battling cancer, I used music as a way to mellow me out, or even to give me energy, or drive to continue on. From the old standards, to Metallica and AC/DC, music was always in my ears. As a musician and theater major, I have always loved music, and as emotionally attached as I already was to it, it meant even more to me to use it to help in my medical and healing process.

We all have music that helps us in some sort of capacity. I have seen small children sing along with the TV as Elmo and the Sesame Street gang sing songs to teach them how to count or do their ABC’s. As teenagers, we dive into music that moves us, helps us through our emotions and to celebrate at dances, graduations and parties. And now as adults, we use music in so many ways in our lives. As a matter of fact, I am listening to music as I write this post! Music can helps us remember the past, enjoy the present moment, and to even ponder the future. It only goes to show that music is and will always be a part of our lives.

It seems that certain studies would agree that music can be a great healing tool. Recently, Medical News Today shared that music therapy is used to help many, and has even helped young cancer patients. Researchers conducted a study with young patients from 11-24 over a three-week period to see music had any effects as they started their treatments. Some of these patients were in the process of very difficult treatments such as stem-cell transplants. Though they were all going through these rigerous treatments, music helped keep their spirits up.

Some patients shared that the music therapy helped build improved relationships with friends and family, even after 100 days. These effects not only helped these patients, they helped the families to see what the patient was going through.  Dr. Joan Haase of Indiana University School of Nursing was quoted as saying,

“Adolescents and young people who are resilient have the ability to rise above their illness, gain as sense of mastery and confidence in how they have dealt with their cancer, and demonstrate a desire to reach out and help others.”

I would have to say that I am sure that not only the young patients benefit from music therapy during these types of moments. Many older patients reach for their favorite music, sing songs and even participate in events to help ease their pain, take their focus to a positive atmosphere, and to give them feelings of strength, courage, and determination.  Music was a part of my therapy, and I have to say, as a patient in remission, that was quite successful.

By Chris Haro



Diabetes and Contact Lenses: A Technological Connection

contactFor millions of people all over the world, diabetes has become a way of life. Not only do diabetics have to monitor their blood sugars, they must be aware of any other health issues that come along with diabetes including heart, eyes and nervous system conditions like Neuropathy.  While many diabetics with type II are able to control diabetes with diet, exercise and pills, Type I diabetics often have to use insulin, have better monitor tools to track their levels at all times. No matter what stage your diabetes is, if you are a diabetic, the key to success is truly a defensive game, monitor where you sugars are at, and do what it takes to minimize the effects diabetics to your body.

Blood sugar monitors have been a huge help for diabetics for many years. Some diabetics have also seen help in pumps, that monitor levels, and can even shoot insulin into the body when needed. These devices can be bulky, troublesome and require lots of care at times, however diabetics are willing to deal with it until something better comes out.

There are some indications that something promising is rising. Google has announced that they are working on a new device that could monitor, and could even possibly help warn you of any issues through your mobile phone and other devices. the amazing part about it is, it is a contact lens.

The thought of the contact lens is that as it fits into the eye just like a regular contact lens, these lenses will have sensors attached to them that though look like glitter, are able to use the tears of the eye to read blood sugar levels. there will also be antennae’s attached that would be no bigger than a fine hair. Developers have also talked about ways to add led lights that would give indication of low or high blood sugar levels.

Though this technology and the Diabetic contact lenses are only in the development stage, it is quite amazing to think that this is something that could be in the near future. If this kind of technology can be a reality, this could possibly open up the door for more of these kinds of devices that could help with all sorts of diseases and disabilities.

Who knows, perhaps they will come up with a cool contact lens that helps us surf the web or watch TV from anywhere! That would be cooler than Google Glass!!

By Chris Haro



Diet Soda and Calories – Empty Calories and What You May Want to Consider

FoodIt is a Thursday afternoon and you have been working heavily on a project. Lunch is way past, and dinner is soooooooo far away! You are thinking about something to eat, however the bowl of candy and left over donuts in the conference room are not on your “healthy” eating plan. The only things that are on your plan are the splenda packets next to the coffee pot and a bottle of honey. Since you are not feeling the inner Winnie the Pooh, you look for something different. Ah, how about a diet soda! Calories are low, and it is not crammed with sugar. Well, before you grab for that Diet Coke and a smile, here are a few things that you might want to consider.

Choose Your Calories
In a recent study given by Johns Hopkins, overweight people who chose to drink diet soda rather than regular soda consumed the same amount of calories throughout the day. Yes, diet soda can have fewer calories than other foods, your body will still be hungry for nutrients rather than overall calories. For instance if a can of Diet Soda has roughly 100 calories, a piece of whole wheat toast with avocado, which also has roughly around 100 calories also has more nutrients, which is what your body is truly looking for. Soda truly is just empty calories, leaving your body hungry, jittery, and can have other negative side effects.

Make A Game Plan For Snacking
If you are on a plan to lose weight, or to just be healthier, just like everything else you do… make a game plan. Plan out your meals throughout the week. Not only does it help you feel more organized, it mentally puts you in a mode of success, rather than being scattered. You have a goal, a mission, and planning you way through it will help you towards success.

Also, make sure you are eating enough calories. Many dieters think that by skipping meals, or eating less than 1,000 calories a day is safe, and in fact it is not. It is important to eat a good amount of calories that works right for you. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting a new health plan.

Always remember, choose healthy snacks such as healthy nuts, fruits, or even a healthy shake! They may have a few more calories than the 100 calorie soda, will be much better calories, more nutrients and will leave you feeling better and more satisfied throughout the day.

So before you grab for you 12 oz can of bubbly empty calorie goodness… check to see if there is a better option first ;).

By Chris Haro



STENDRA Now Available Online at KwikMed


We are pleased to announce the launch of the newest FDA approved erectile dysfunction medication today!

KwikMed is the first company to offer STENDRA online.

STENDRA is not only low cost but has also been shown to work in as little as 15 minutes. At KwikMed, we offer 200mg tablets. The recommended dose is 100mg so 1 pill equals 2 doses. Additionally, research has shown that 67% of the men tested found sufficient results with only 50mg. This means for some men 1 pill may equal 4 doses.

STENDRA is available by prescription only and can be prescribed by a KwikMed physician.

5 Tips to Getting Your New Year’s Resolutions Started in 2014!


It is that time of the year, the time when we look closely at the things that we want to start changing for the new year, and most of the time it is revolving around our health. Giving up smoking and losing weight are definitely at the top of the list for most resolution makers. I am sure you have experienced, or would know that as commending and wonderful these resolutions are, they are most definitely very difficult to maintain. Here are a couple of great tips to get you started on the right track.

1. Don’t spend too much money to get started.

One of the worst things people tend to do is to go crazy with spending on their resolutions. The beauty part of making a resolution for the new year is, you have the year to work out the steps on how you are going to make changes. It is in a sense, your resolution should more like a marathon than a 100 yard sprint. If you are new to exercising or have been gone for a long time, don’t go crazy with spending money on tons of equipment, gym memberships and other stuff. One great note I learned is to start with simple changes, and get some equipment for home. You can get great stuff like jump ropes, speed ladders, dumbbells and stability balls, all each for a great price. Start there, and make your way up as you make those positive changes and increase your healthy habits.

2. Be Transparent
Big changes mean you really need to understand why you have put yourself in the position to make these changes. Many times, these are not easy to swallow answers. The best method truly is to be transparent, and open for change. Get into a group, or find an accountability partner in which you can share your thoughts, concerns, frustrations and victories with! As Brene Brown writes, “Transparency is the birthplace of creativity, innovation, and change.”

3. Do Your Research
A great way to learn and change the way you do things or learn is by consistently researching your subject. If you are looking to lose weight, there are tons of great resources out there to help you with tips on eating right, exercise and focus. Just like in school, the more we focus, study and apply, the more we learn and become successful.  Don’t just make your resolution happen, understand how and why, so you can become more successful in your changes in the future.

4. Journal Your Journey
Learn from your resolution this year and journal your thoughts and circumstances. The amazing thing you will see as you journal is that you can literally see your changes come to life. You can see not only when your biggest changes happened, you can see the changes of your mindset from the beginning of the year to the end. Learn from your past, learn from step one and be encouraged by how far you will have come. The most inspirational moments come when we show ourselves that that we can do it, and then making it happen!

5. Have Fun!
But of course! Your resolution must be fun! It has to be if you are going to make it a change in your life. Find creative ways, ways you will enjoy moving toward your resolution and making it come to life. We are all individuals, so this has to be unique for you. Don’t just do what others are doing, do what works for you, and have a blast doing it. The more you move along in your resolution changes, the more fun you will have with it. So once you have your resolutions, Start to come up with a few things you would like to do that you find interesting to help you along the way, and get it started! Your journey is always better when you are smiling!

Good luck on your journey, and remember, you are worth every effort!

By Chris Haro



What’s With all the Hairy Faces – Why I Love the Movember Movement

me-movember-13This month here at KwikMed, we have taken time, as well as plenty of scratches to our faces to celebrate Movember. Yes, it is that time of year when men put away the razors, shaving cream and after shave and see how much hair we can grow on our faces in a month. While there are plenty of itchy faces, wives and girlfriends shaking their heads and men walking around looking like they are wanna-be Duck Dynasty knock-off’s, Movember is more than just about facial hair. It is about taking time to raise awareness for men’s health.

Prostate and testicular cancer are becoming more prominent in our lives today. It is said that 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lives. Just in 2013, roughly 238,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, with 30,000 deaths as a result. testicular cancer is usually predominately diagnosed in men ages 15-35 years old. Over 7,000 men will be diagnosed with testicular cancer this year alone. Though testicular cancer is very treatable when found early, many will die this year because of it.

I have participated in Movember this year to dedicate it first off to my grandfather who died of cancer. He was an amazing man, and was one of the most loving men I will ever have had the honor of knowing in my life. he was strong, however he did leave us way too soon. I do it for him, as well as many other brave men I have known who have battled cancer, are battling it, or have left us because of cancer.

I myself am a survivor of cancer. I was lucky to fight it and win, and I feel a tremendous amount of honor and blessing to be able to say that I can sit here, type this blog post and be in remission. I can say that cancer is one of the scariest things that anyone can go through, so to raise awareness on what cancer does to us, what we can do to help is huge. many go through it alone, and there are some out there that may have cancer right now and not know it. It is time that we raise awareness and help spread the word so that we can all know what to look out for, and what to do to check, know and repeat. Early detection is very key in any cancer diagnosis, so if you are someone who does not go to the doctor until you are really sick, be sure to know what to look for, and get in to your doctor more regularly, just to be more careful.

I dedicate this blog to all the men and women battling cancer today. Be strong, fight on, you can do it… and we love you.

Happy Mustaches!

By Chris Haro



The Summertime Sun is Blazing, and so could your Spray-On Sunscreen

The FDA recently reported that certain spray-on sunscreen worn to close to an open flame could produce risk of catching fire. This report comes after a handful of incidents popped up claiming that spray on sunscreens flared up causing injuries.

The biggest issue for most of these spay on sunscreen incidents is due to the alcohol used in certain brands. Many brands who include alcohol in their ingredients will place a warning label, with instructions not to apply near an open flame.  The biggest concern with the recent problems is that those who suffered injuries say that they applied the sunscreen well before the accidents happen, giving them enough time as indicated in the instructions.  The incidents happened around a welding torch, lighting a cigarette, sitting next to a citronella candle and approaching a BBQ grill.

There are other spray on products that use alcohol in their ingredients such as hairspray and bug spray, as well as some non-spray sunscreens that should be taken with caution as well.  Basic rule of thumb with these types of products is to allow the products to completely dry on the skin. I am not sure if these issues could have been avoided with taking a few extra moments to dry up before going up to a fire… however on the safe side, lets all make sure we do in the future. 🙂


By Chris Haro



3 Amazingly Simple Steps to Better Health

Today a court ruled in favor of proceeding on a class action suit by Consumer Advocacy Group the Center for Science in the Public Interest and consumers in New York and California against Coca-Cola’s Vitaminwater drinks. It was first filed in 2009. The reason for the class action suit?? Alleged deceptive labeling and marketing for the drink that claims that it could reduce rise of eye disease, promote healthy joints and support “an optimal immune function.”

Though there are good points on both sides that explain why or why not Vitaminwater is in the wrong, but in looking at this, I see a lot of blame these days for individuals health issues. Now I know, as a cancer survivor, that there are things that happen that we just can’t control. There is however a great many number of health issues and heavy concerns as well as cost to issues that, if we would just take a different approach to, we could avoid.

The bottom line?  Our health is our choice, and the basics of taking care of it really are not that hard. It is like they say though, it is easier to say, and quite another thing to do! When looking at a basic approach to health, here are the top things I have found in the past few years that helped me to get my focus back and put the responsibility of my health on me.


1. Healthy Nutrition

Yeah yeah yeah, I know, healthy eating, no fun right? Well, the truth is, what we put in our bodies is just as important to our health, if not more important than exercise. But what do we do???? There are so many different meal plans out there today. Many follow the same principles, and some such as Paleo vs. veganism that totally promote different spectrum to your eating habits. I have been on so many nutrition plans that I have been called a  carnivore, herbavore, vegan, meat head, green-eating, grass fed animal loving foodie.  So what did I learn through it all? Don’t live in extremes! Just be you. If you like animal protein, then choose healthy kinds. If you like sweets, then look to eat foods that are more natural, than foods that are processed with tons of table sugar! We all know the rules, and we all know what is healthy, it is in our DNA. It really is not a matter of smarts, it is a matter of choice. Garbage in, garbage out. It still stands strong today.

2. Exercise

Now I could say the same thing about exercise as I did with nutrition. There are so many work out plans that it may take a full year to read through them all and try them out! From Yoga to Bodybuilding, Crosstraining to CrossFit, there are many ways for us to get our exercise in. The most important thing is that you are getting out there. Our bodies are meant to exercise! To travel, to explore… so get out there! Find exercises that you like and be active! If you are a recluse, find things you can do on your own time, and if you are a social bee like myself, join a group! Go hike, swim, lift some weights over your head… it doesn’t matter! All that matters is that you are active, period.

3. Mindset

If you don’t believe you can, you won’t. I know many people that talk about their health, their issues with weight or issues due to poor health, and even in knowing that they need a change, don’t do it. Why is this??? Simple, it is called will.  Nobody can force you to be healthy. Even with the government mandate for healthcare coming up here soon, you still have the choice to take control of your health, or do what you want until your heart gives up.  That sounds harsh I know, however, in our country, we have a bigger obesity problem than problems with homelessness and hunger. We are literally eating our way to death.  The only way to stop this crazy uphill slope of obesity is by making a choice on our own to be healthy.

Yeah, working out is not always fun… but it can be! Eating healthy foods isn’t always as good as something amazing bad for you… but it is worth it! You can choose what makes you happy… although you know in your heart, a choice to take control of your health, be positive and know that your are worth every effort to making you as healthy and happy every day you live on this earth will always be the right choice. Not just for you, but for everyone in your life.

What is your choice? Do it for you today.

By Chris Haro



Women and Smoking – Smoking Risks Greater for Women

woman and smokingWhen it comes to equal opportunity for men and women, I am all for it, but apparently it is not so good in terms of smoking. Recent studies has shown how women and smoking post a great health risk than the men. Woman who become smokers have a highter risk of cancer than men. The biggest stat, shared by Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention shares that while men have a 9% increased risk, women have a much larger rate of 19%.

In a study provided by the University of  Tromso in Norway, many of the findings showed that women, even those who smoked less than men, still had a greater risk for cancer and other related health problems. Though there were unable to factor in other risks such a alcohol and diet, they were able to show that out of 600,000 patients recorded, they discovered that the bowel cancer risk was linked to smoking twice as high for women then for men.

So with the new information, many researchers and doctors are asking and debating on whether women are biologically vulnerable to the toxicity effects of smoking tobacco. They are also unsure at this time as to why women who start smoking increase their risk of a heart attack more than men.

Though many studies are still continuing to discover new insights on the effects of smoking on men and women, these recent studies pave a great source of information for women to stop smoking, or to never start.  If you are a current smoker and looking for a way out of it, there are many ways to break the habit, effectively and safely. Many can cut it cold turkey, however there are many that need assistance. Patches, natural methods and also taking medications such as Chantix have been a great way to help people cut the habit and get back to a healthy lifestyle.

Smoking is not a path to a long and healthy life, and when it comes to women and smoking, it looks like there are more reasons for women to cut the habit!

By Chris Haro

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