The Connection Between Eating Spicy Food and Sweating

It’s the right time of year for eating a nice hearty and hot bowl of chili. If you like yours on the spicy side, you might find that little beads of sweat start to form on your upper lip after one or two bites. Or you might break out into a full-blown sweat from your head down to your toes. Did you ever wonder why that happens?images

Spicy foods impact the receptors in our skin that usually respond to heat. The active ingredient in chili peppers is a chemical called capsaicin. When eaten, those pain receptors, known formally as polymodal nociceptors, become stimulated and respond in the same way they would to heat. According to an article in Food Republic, titled What Makes Food Spicy?:

“Capsaicin molecules in your food come in contact and bind to the pain receptors on your tongue. What ensues is a burning sensation, signaled by the brain, which is identical to what happens when you get your hand too close to a hot fire—it burns! The difference with the burn from capsaicin? No physical damage is actually done to the tongue.”

Now that you know why the burning sensation occurs, we’re going to let you in on what to do about the burn if it becomes intolerable.

  1. Drink whole milk or cream.
  2. Eat a dairy product like sour cream, cheese or yogurt.
  3. Eat starchy foods.
  4. Let a spoonful of sugar rest on your tongue before swallowing.
  5. Have some lemon, lime, or other acidic food such as pineapple or tomatoes.
  6. Coat your tongue with honey or peanut butter.
  7. If none of these are available, swish around some warm water in your mouth.

And if you’re still sweating, whip out the coldfront and go from “WAHHHH!” to “AHhhh!”

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coldfront® is a registered trademark of Personally Cool Inc.

Breast Cancer Awareness – An Interview with Dr. Nancy Roberge

About two years ago, a good friend called to tell me she had breast cancer. Stunned, I did the best I could at dealing with the shock while offering whatever verbal support came to mind. I also sent her coldfront. After thanking me, Sheri gently explained that she didn’t need a personal cooling system. I told her to hang onto it, because chances were that she would. While going through the treatment and healing process post surgery, her physical therapist asked her to bring in whatever she was using to make her feel better. Sheri brought in coldfront.

After her appointment, Sheri called to let me know that her doctor was intrigued and would be calling me later in the day. Ten minutes later, Dr. Nancy Roberge and I were talking. Since then I have come to understand and appreciate just how passionate Nancy is about her breast cancer patients, along with the importance of physical therapy as it relates to optimal healing.

I am delighted that she agreed to participate in this interview, and to introduce you to Nancy Roberge, Physical Therapist, Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master of Education.

Nancy J. Roberge, PT, DPT, M.Ed. has specialized in the care of women after breast cancer treatment since 1993. Her focus and emphasis has been on helping people get through their cancer journey in a more positive, more healthful way through manual physical therapy, exercise, use of the mind-body connection, and patient education. She believes that with Physical Therapy intervention, the cancer journey doesn’t have to be as difficult as she has seen it be for so many.

She is known nationally for her work in Physical Therapy for the patients who have undergone axillary node dissection and/or treatment for breast cancer. Dr. Roberge is focused on helping her patients regain the use of their arms, return to their maximal level of function, and minimize the after-effects of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapies. Educated in the LeDuc method of manual lymphatic drainage, she also teaches patients how to lower their risk of getting lymphedema.

Dr. Roberge is the director of Chestnut Hill Physical Therapy Associates and focuses her work on helping women move through breast cancer diagnosis, recovery, and beyond, achieving the highest quality of life possible. She has developed a two-day comprehensive breast cancer rehabilitation course and teaches nationally and internationally.

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 “Doctors will tell their patients, ‘If you can exercise, you don’t need PT.’ This is just not true.” 

 

Q: How did you get into Physical Therapy (PT) for breast cancer patients?

A/NR: A dear girl friend, also a PT, was diagnosed with BC in 1992. We did everything we have been trained to do as Physical Therapists (PTs) and she had a speedy, quick and complete healing of her wounds and after effects from treatment. She worked through chemo and radiation therapy and her doctors were all amazed at her quick and full recovery and asked her what she had done. She looked at them and said, “You know I am a PT and I just did what I was trained to do…” It was a light bulb moment for me, realizing that we knew what to do to get her whole again. But not everyone diagnosed with breast cancer is a PT and they won’t know what to do. It was from that moment forward that I realized, this would be the rest of my professional career work, focused on those being treated for breast cancer.

Q: Who needs PT during recovery?

A/NR: Everyone. Not everyone needs long-term PT, but most women need some. Education is so important for these women. They thirst for the knowledge and information I bring to them. So PTs offer support, education or information, manual therapy to heal their wounds, and therapeutic exercise to remediate the effects of the treatment.

Q: What are your patients’ most common complaints?

A/NR: Not enough information for one. Cancer related fatigue is the most common complaint from most. Inability to function and do what their families need them to do. Low endurance.

Q: What are the most common misconceptions of PT for breast cancer patients?

A/NR: Doctors will tell their patients, “If you can exercise, you don’t need PT.” This is just not true. We offer support. We educate our patients about the short and long term after effects of treatment. We help them with lymphedema risk reduction strategies for those at a higher risk. We help them with their return to work schedules so they can be successful through pacing of their efforts, mindful of their energy.

Patients have told me that they are made to feel ‘inadequate’ because they ask for PT and are trying to advocate for themselves. No patient should be made to feel inadequate because they can’t exercise or need help getting through the rigors of breast cancer treatment! PTs help patients to advocate for themselves. A woman has a right to want to be whole again. A woman has a right to be as strong as she once was. A woman has a right to function as she wants to or needs to. She shouldn’t offer anyone an apology for advocating for herself by asking to be sent to PT!!

Q: How can PT help during the recovery process?

A/NR: PT can speed recovery in many ways. First of all, patients often don’t know when enough is enough. They may over or under exercise. PTs help them here. PTs are great about offering emotional support. I believe the first cheerleaders were PTs! We know how to get people to move or exercise even when it doesn’t feel good to do so.

Patients need to understand the differences between ‘acceptable’ pain and ‘unacceptable’ pain. This is difficult to judge and PTs help the patients to figure this out. After surgery, PTs do manual therapy (often during chemotherapy) to get the patients range of motion (ROM) as good as it can be for radiation (which follows chemo). If a woman doesn’t have enough ROM to get her arm up for radiation, she may have significant pain and difficulty and radiation can last 6-7 weeks. One of my patients said she couldn’t imagine that “…Medieval torture was any worse than what I experienced every day of 6 1/2 weeks of radiation. She had a torn rotator cuff that she had put up with for years, and came to diagnosis causing significant pain during radiation.

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“PTs use the ‘F’ word every day. Function. Function. Function. This is what people want, their function back”

Q: How often is PT prescribed?

A/NR: PT is prescribed routinely in some centers, non-existent in others (sadly).

Q: What are the current standard protocols for treating breast cancer?

A/NR: Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapies. You’ll find an overview of each here.

There are no current standards of PT care. Some Comprehensive Cancer Centers have routine PT intervention and have since the 1950s (MD ANDERSON, Houston, TX). For others, it is non-existent or only exists “when the patient has a problem.” This is the paradigm shift I often talk about. PTs should be part of the critical pathway of professionals who see the patient being treated for breast cancer and NOT just for “problems only.” Most RNs and MDs think of PT when the patient has a problem that they can’t solve. We need to be there before a problem exists. Prevention is kinder to the patient than remediating a problem.

Q: Why and how are hot flashes associated with breast cancer treatments?

A/NR: A hot flash is a vasomotor response caused by the extreme hormonal shifts that breast cancer patients go through. Menopause is known for causing hot flashes. But for women who experience menopause as a result of chemo or certain medications, the hot flashes can be more intense.

Q: How can PT awareness be raised for breast cancer patients?

A/NR: Through people reading articles such as these. Through our in-service educational programs that we offer in hospitals. Through educating the public at large, so that women can be empowered to advocate for themselves and say to their doctors, “Please, I would like a referral to a PT.” and not feeling badly as they advocate for themselves.

Q: What resources do you recommend?

A/NR: You can find a list of resources here.

Q: Do you have some words of wisdom you’d like to share with those going through breast cancer treatment?

A/NR: “Damn the torpedoes. Full steam ahead!”

Treatment for BC or any cancer is a protracted journey and you will see just how strong you are. But don’t despair, soon, treatment will be in the past, like an object in your car’s rear-view mirror getting smaller and smaller as time goes on. You will be whole again and PTs will help make this happen. Your new normal may be different. But hopefully, you will be new and improved because you will be cancer-free and with a sense of how strong you really are.

Eleanor Roosevelt said it best: “A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it is in hot water.” This is the strength I see every day in women.

To learn more about Nancy, click here.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’re offering coldfront at a 10% discount on our website. Use code: BCAM10 at checkout.

coldfront® is a registered trademark of Personally Cool Inc.

101 USES FOR COLDFRONT

We’ve told you that coldfront is: soft enough for baby’s booboos and post-op swelling; cool enough for knocking out heat waves and pain; safe enough to place anywhere on your body; and refreshing enough to perk you up while hiking, traveling, post workout or wilting in an overheated space.

How do we know this for sure? Fans and friends have shared their coldfront experiences with us. We’ve compiled them into a list of 101 ways real users take advantage of the power of cool. We are delighted to share them with you.

101 USES FOR COLDFRONT®

  1. Hot flashes and flushes – whether naturally, surgically, or chemically induced… whether pregnant, menopausal, andropausal, have an autoimmune disease, are going through chemo, or have just eaten a red hot chili pepper – a hot flash is a hot flash is a hot flash, except when it’s a hot flush
  2. Headaches/Migraines
  3. Bug bites
  4. Bruises
  5. Booboos
  6. Bee stings
  7. You burned your finger in the oven – again!
  8. You’ve got a hot date, and need to keep your cool.
  9. Sore tootsies – whether because your shoes are too tight, or you’ve been on your feet all day.
  10. Weightlifting can be hard on the knees. coldfront makes them feel better!
  11. A day at the beach – and you don’t like the ocean.
  12. Sweaty palm reducer for those who get nervous giving a presentation
  13. Sweating during a workout
  14. Long commute on a stuffy train
  15. Stuck in a stifling hot taxi
  16. Soothing relief from allergy eyes
  17. Eye treatment during an anti-aging or anti-acne facial
  18. A burst of cold to wake you up during a boring meeting
  19. Puffy eyelids after a good cry during a heart-wrenching film
  20. Menstrual cramps
  21. Minor back pain
  22. Your flight’s been delayed and you’re stuck in a stifling airplane cabin.
  23. Your cat didn’t mean to scratch you, but ouch!
  24. The heat in your office is out of control.
  25. Gardening may look like a walk in the park, but it’s hard work, and it gets hot!
  26. You can’t open the windows in your hotel room.
  27. The subway’s ac isn’t working.
  28. You take niacin to reduce cholesterol and now get flushes.
  29. Fever soother
  30. Nosebleeds
  31. Facial filler injection soother
  32. Microdermabrasion soother
  33. Post Rhinoplasty
  34. Post Vasectomy
  35. During a sinus infection
  36. Hangover
  37. Baseball game
  38. Outdoor concert
  39. Movie theatre
  40. Dancing up a storm
  41. Post aerobics class
  42. Post marathon or triathlon
  43. The latest in facials – cold therapy
  44. Post eye surgery
  45. You’re in a crowded bar and your ice cubes have melted!
  46. You stubbed your toe, again.
  47. It’s 98 degrees.
  48. Your baby has a painful ear infection.
  49. For chefs cooking in a busy restaurant kitchen
  50. MS patients
  51. Musicians and actors for chilling backstage
  52. Puffy eyes
  53. Fever reducer
  54. Lifeguards (helps keep them alert)
  55. Minor back pain
  56. Neck pain
  57. Endometriosis pain
  58. Athletes
  59. Cancer Patients
  60. Migraines
  61. Cool off at a concert
  62. Cooling off at sporting event
  63. Travel and coldfront is TSA compliant!
  64. Arthritis
  65. Putting coldfront in your bra is ooh-la-la!
  66. Long commute on a stuffy train
  67. Stuck in a stifling hot taxi
  68. Soothing relief for allergy eyes
  69. You have no control over the temperature in your apartment and it’s stifling.
  70. Eye treatment during a facial
  71. A burst of cold to wake you up during a boring meeting
  72. A refreshing wake up in the morning
  73. Puffy eyelids after a good cry during a heart-wrenching film
  74. Menstrual cramps
  75. Soothing after a long day at work
  76. Cool down after gym workout
  77. It gets awfully hot for those trimming tree branches
  78. Trigger thumb
  79. Cools you to a tee on a golf course
  80. You’ve just had a wisdom tooth removed
  81. Soothes the sting of laser hair removal
  82. Sunburns
  83. Fibromyalgia
  84. Chemo port pain
  85. The ac is on the fritz – again!
  86. You’ve got an itch that needs scratching.
  87. You’ve got 3 appointments which will have you tunning uptown and downtown.. and it’s going to be 80 degrees!
  88. Hyperhidrosis aka overactive sweat glands.
  89. Breastfeeding! Sore nipples are no fun at all.
  90. Your child just got hit with a wild pitch.
  91. Hyperthyroidism
  92. You almost cut the tip of your finger off! After the stitches, use coldfront.
  93. Plantar fasciitis
  94. Overheated office
  95. You take Lupron
  96. You need to keep your cool during a photo shoot
  97. Gym bag essential
  98. Teacher
  99. Keeping your forehead cool enough to wear bangs
  100. Easing the pain of carpal tunnel
  101. Hydrotherapy for Nausea and Vomiting – Alternating hot and cold compresses to the trunk can be effective.

Bonuses!

  1. Post tattoo application to aid in healing
  2. Little dogs get terribly overheated.
  3. Overheating makes us cranky.

The versatility of coldfront is unparalleled. We go where no other personal cooling system has gone before! That’s what makes coldfront the go-to for immediate, comforting and soothing relief.

What did we miss? If you know of additional uses for coldfront, please let us know in the comments section here by clicking the little speech bubble, or via email here.

Want to learn more about coldfront? You can navigate through the links up top, or visit our homepage here. And if you like this post, please free free to share it with your friends.

 

coldfront – a love story

It’s Valentine’s Day! And what better to post than a story involving love.

We hear from friends and fans regularly. Some have questions, others have suggestions and still others write to tell us about how coldfront has helped them through their heat,  pain or swelling. On a rare occasion, we receive a letter the old fashioned way – hand delivered through the good old United States Postal Service.

Just after the New Year, we received a letter via USPS from a gentleman who purchased coldfront as a Christmas gift for his sweetheart, Nancy – his wife. We were so taken by Dave’s story, that we asked his permission to share it with our community. With a nod from Nancy, he agreed.

On this Valentine’s Day, we are delighted to post a very cute story of gift-giving, love, and coldfront!

Dave and Nancy Morgan

“Dear Susie –

Thank you for the very nice note attached to my packing slip. After reading it, I felt like you might appreciate the story behind this ‘supposed to be’ Christmas gift for my wife, Nancy.

I actually ordered and received the Coldfront product a couple of months before Christmas. With lots of time ahead of the holidays, I needed to stash it somewhere I could remember its hiding place. So I found a safe place somewhere in the house, in plain sight, where I thought I could hide it without Nancy knowing about it.

Clock forward to December 15th – I am getting all of my sweetheart’s presents wrapped for placing under the tree and I can’t find the Coldfront! I look for three days, everywhere I can think, and no Coldfront! This wouldn’t be so bad except for the fact that I have repeated this scenario several times over the last few years!

So on December 18th I went online and ordered a second Coldfront with the remote hope that is would be delivered before Christmas and of course, that didn’t happen. We left to go out of town on 12/23 in the wee hours of the morning. When we returned on 12/30 I picked up the mail from the post office, the package was there. I presented it to Nancy that night and she was thrilled with it.

Now I have two Coldfronts, one in the freezer, all cold and prepared for use, and the other, hidden in “plain sight” but certainly out of my sight waiting to be discovered sometime in the future, we hope!

I thought you’d get a kick out of my story about your wonderful Coldfront product.”

- Dave M.

Many thanks to Dave and Nancy for allowing us to share this lovely story with our wonderful community, and… Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

 

Running In Cold Weather vs Hot Weather – An Interview With Patty Cakes

The number of running event finishers increased dramatically between 1990 and 2012. According to runningusa.org, over 15 million men and women completed running events in 2012. To put that number into perspective, 15 million is more than the populations of New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago combined!

Running Event Finishers 1990-2012 JPEG

 

If you follow us on twitter or Facebook, you might notice that we post a lot about exercising in cold weather. Along with pros such as burning more calories, lessening the impact of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and an increase in endurance – there are cons -particularly in sub-freezing temperatures- such as dehydration, hypothermia, and frostbite. Being prepared for cold weather exercise is paramount and something in which our interviewee, marathon runner and soon-to-be triathlete, Trish Steen – known in the running community as Patty Cakes, is well versed.

Trish and I met on a train bound for New York City back in 2006. When her phone rang with the Mission Impossible theme song, our friendship was a fete accompli. I’m so pleased to share with you running advice from Trish Steen – who doesn’t just walk the walk, but runs it – even during a polar vortex!

Trish Mt. Washington

Trish, please tell us a little bit about yourself.

As an athlete, I would describe myself as a late bloomer. While I ran track in Junior High School and High School, my pursuits were always more focused on the arts (I got my BFA from Pratt Institute in Fine Arts Sculpture and have a serious love of design and product in women’s accessories!) and I never considered myself an athlete.

Always at the gym, first came step classes (remember those?), then boxing, then spin…but all the while, I was running. It was my go to. I can do this on my own without a scheduled workout routine. It wasn’t until a few years ago though that I became serious about distance and speed.

Now with 6 marathons and untold numbers of half marathons, 5Ks and10Ks under my belt, I’m moving into the world of Triathlons! Wish me luck!

A lot of coldfront friends and fans are runners. We have questions about running in cold weather vs hot weather for you –

Q. How long have you been running?

A. I started running in JHS and seems I’ve never stopped! I have become more serious over the last 4-5 years about speed and distance and thus, a marathon runner was born.

Q. You’ve completed quite a few races including major city marathons. Can you tell us something about your experiences?

A. Among my marathon experiences are New York and Detroit. Nothing compares to running NYC. It’s so much more than a race. It’s a human wave of energy. That wave starts with the runners, approximately 45,000 runners. By mile 2 the wave has spread to the wall of spectators who give you their all. You become a rock star and you glide, albeit sometimes painfully, through 26.2 miles to the finish in Central Park. It’s more than a race. It’s a lifetime experience. I am grateful for having the honor not once but twice.

“You become a rock star and you glide…”

Q. When running in cold weather, what are the most common side effects?

A. Very similar to warm weather, your two biggest concerns are exposure and dehydration. Here I would list exposure first, followed by dehydration. In the cold, exposure can really hurt. Sure, you see folks running out doors with no hat, no gloves and shorts, but they’re taking a huge risk. It’s just not smart. You need a warm hat to preserve your heat, you need gloves to keep your hands from freezing and potentially getting frostbite, and just because your legs don’t feel cold, doesn’t mean they’re not. If your legs are turning red, they’re cold!

“Think of all the energy you’ll save for a run if your body  simply isn’t fighting the cold.”

Cold temps are very misleading. One does not feel as thirsty as you do when running in the heat, but you must stay hydrated. If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. A teammate taught me this expression, “You can’t un-cook the turkey.” Once your bird is cooked, it’s cooked! Don’t get cooked!

Q. How do you deal with cold temperature running?

A. Wear Layers. Lots of layers, you can always make like a banana and PEEL. Stash a water bottle behind a tree. Remember water fountains are turned off in the winter. You need to carry your own hydration.

Q. What do you do to warm up post run?

A. Here, dry clothing becomes critical! You must get out of wet clothes ASAP and put on warm, dry clothes. Cotton feels like heaven at this point! Drink something warm. I often go for coffee, but herbal tea would be a healthier choice. You don’t need the caffeine to further dehydrate your body. Anything with ginger and lemon will help your belly settle.

Q. What is on your list of gear essentials for running in temps below freezing?

A. Hat, Gloves, lots of layer. Chap-stick helps. As does a hankie – your nose runs like a sieve in these temps.

Running below 30 is tricky. You’re going to feel cold when you start out and that’s tough to overcome, but trust me, you will warm up. I start with a base layer that fits snug. Craft is the best for your top and Sugoi fleece lined tights on your legs. Then I layer on at least one additional long sleeve sport top…anything with wicking properties before choosing a jacket. A jacket could be anything from a very lightweight Brooks windbreaker, to something a bit more substantial. A zipper is your thermostat. Too warm, zip down a few inches to let out heat. Wind kicks back up, zip up to keep out that draft.

As for gloves and hat, I start with a pair of cheap stretchy knit gloves, you can pick them up for a buck a pair. Be warned, runners often use their gloves to wipe their noses, so don’t shake hands! If the temp is below 30 I’ll layer on another pair of gloves or mittens. At the start it’s important to ball your fingers up inside the gloves or else they will NEVER warm up. I like a fleece hat. Keep all your hair up in that hat or risk icicles. Add a buff or a gator for temps below 20.

“Be warned, runners often use their gloves to wipe their noses, so don’t shake hands!”

Socks? I only double up on socks below 20. Wool ski socks are great – WigWam are awesome, just don’t get too bulky or you’ll affect the fit of your running shoes. I also opt for silk sock liners from Land’s End under my regular running socks.

It’s cold here in many areas of North America right now, but it’s really hot in Australia, where we have friends and fans of coldfront. We now turn our attention to running in hot weather -

Q. When running in hot weather, what are the most common side effects?

A. Dehydration – always your #1 concern. Exposure is #2. Stay hydrated. Wear sunblock at all times. Just keep in mind that it’s important to keep sunblock out of your eyes! I like Banana Boat sport and Coppertone Sport for my body; the new spray sun blocks are great. But you need something a bit more sophisticated for your face. Neutrogena (SP) is good. But make sure its face specific.

One must carry water in warm temperatures. It’s simply unavoidable. I often try to route my runs around water fountains to avoid the extra weight, but sometimes you just need to wear a fuel belt and carry your own liquids. A hat and sunglasses are NOT accessories – they are necessities. Keeping the sun off your head is key. And again, sunblock is a no brainer.

Q. What do you do to cool down post run?

A. Drink plenty of fluids- and get out of those sweaty clothes. Drying off provides relief. This is something I can’t tell novice runners enough: “Pack Dry Clothes!”

Having a portable ice pack system is also critical on any long distance run for both cooling purposes as well as medical purposes. It’s important to get that core temp down. Coldfront provides the portable and reliable icing relief you need. Coldfront is also an invaluable tool for sore knees after a long 10 – 20 miler.

“It’s important to get that core temp down.”

Q. What is on your list of gear essentials for running in high temperatures?

A. Liquids – before, during and after. I’ll drink some Gatorade prior to a run, but stick to water on the route. After, I’ll go back to electrolytes like Gatorade or Nunn tablets. No excuses. Sunblock, I use a quick spray variety on my shoulders, arms and legs, Banana Boat or Coppertone, and a face specific variety like Clinique or Neutrogena on my face – no excuses. Dry clothes for post run. You’ll be happy you remembered, it’s not healthy to spend one extra minute in soggy, sweaty clothes.

Don’t forget your body will be running HOT after a long run. Pack Coldfront to help bring down your core temp. You’ll recover faster.

Q. What are the most common misconceptions about running?

A. That it’s boring. Like anything else in life, if it’s boring, you’re not working hard enough.

“Like anything else in life, if it’s boring, you’re not working hard enough.”

Q. How do you stay motivated?

A. By this point in my running life, I am deeply entrenched in my running community. It is truly a village. I have a support system of true friends and mentors that runs deep. My accountability to them and their successes are my motivation – then there’s just me wanting to be a rock star!

Q. What resources do you recommend?

A. Contact your local running clubs. They all have free group runs and they welcome runners. You will learn so much! Jump in and listen- no headphones please!

Q. What words of wisdom do you have for the running novice?

A. Take your time and have fun! You’ll get there. I promise.

We do wish you luck, Trish! Thank you so much for participating in this interview and sharing your sage advice and experiences with our community. 

We’ll keep you up to date on Trish’s progress on the coldfront Facebook page!

More running statistics can be found at http://www.runningusa.org/home

An Interview With Lorena Scott, Founder of MommiesFirst

Some of our favorite communications come through the coldfront website. We receive questions, suggestions, accolades, and media and wholesale inquiries. As a result, we’ve had the great fortune of meeting wonderful people. Lorena Scott is one of them. She was curious about including coldfront in her offerings for pregnant women and new moms.

Once Lorena and I started talking, we didn’t stop! It turns out that we are kindred spirits. She had a problem, couldn’t find a solution, and so she created one. It is my pleasure to introduce you to Lorena and her brilliant company, MommiesFirst.

Q. What is MommiesFirst?

A. MommiesFirst is a monthly subscription service for expectant moms and new moms that delivers a curated box of products for her to enjoy. Each MommiesFirst box is customized to the stage of the mom’s pregnancy or the age of the child.

Q. How did MommiesFirst come to be? 

A. When my first son was born, I was scared and unsure.  I also had absolutely no idea what to buy for him, but I just knew I wanted the very best for him.  At first I thought “it was just me” who had this problem, but in talking to other moms, I quickly discovered that many of us struggle to find the best products and brands for our children.  MommiesFirst was created to help other moms tackle this issue.  We do the research for moms and send them our recommendations in a beautiful box she  (and her baby) can enjoy each month.

MommiesFirst graphic for interview JPEGImportantly, I wanted to create boxes that were not only helpful and delightful, but also honest about the motherhood journey. So we’ve connected with companies like Personally Cool -which produces coldfront- that can help with issues such mastitis or the bumps and bruises little ones are destined to have in their first year of exploration.

Q. What’s your favorite aspect of the day-to-day business of running MommiesFirst? 

A. The connection I have developed with moms and the friendships I have formed is my favorite aspect. And being able to use my handsome little boys as my “super models.”

Q. What’s new for MommiesFirst in 2014? 

A. We opened up to our next round of memberships and will be serving more moms across the US and Canada. In 2014, we are also going to roll out boxes that extend beyond that baby’s first year.

We’ve also developed a coupon program for our moms, which we have fondly named our “Thinking Outside the Box” Program. This allows products that don’t fit in our boxes to still connect with our moms. Coupon partners undergo the same rigorous review process and meet the same high standards for inclusion in our boxes. We are thrilled coldfront is a part of this program.

Q. What (or who) inspires you when it comes to being an entrepreneur?

A. My children – this journey is 100% inspired by them. I want to teach my boys that having a dream and wanting to make a difference – and then pursuing these two goals relentlessly– is both important and possible. My sons are my ultimate inspiration.

Q. What top two tips would you like to share with those considering being an entrepreneur? 

A. I have found the adventure of motherhood to be very similar to that of starting a business. So, I think my two tips would apply for new mom and entrepreneurs!

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The worst that could happen is someone says “no” and you move on. MommiesFirst has benefited from the mentorship and support of so many generous folks. I don’t know where to start. I’m just glad I asked.
  • Don’t give up if you love what you’re doing. There are days when I’m tired, scared, and ready to throw in the towel, and then something happens – an email from a happy mom, the realization that I’m my own boss, etc – and I’m reminded of why I chose this path. It’s hard, but it’s magical, and you can’t give up on your dreams of your passions.

Q. What are your top two pieces of advice for expecting and new moms? 

  1. Trust yourself and your body. You are going to get A LOT of advice and it can all be so confusing (and contradictory).
  2. Get a journal and start writing. Memory books are great, but I think you’d be surprised how much you want to write that later in life you can share with your child about your journey together (from the womb onwards).

We are so happy that Lorena found Personally Cool and proud that coldfront is being offered to MommiesFirst pregnant and new moms!

Learn more about Lorena and MommiesFirst by visiting their beautiful website here. You can also enter their current giveaway which is being co-hosted by Multi-Testing Mommy  -  a chance to win coldfront!

We enthusiastically welcome all feedback. If you have a question, suggestion or comment, or have a media or wholesale inquiry, please visit our “Contact Us” page here.

Keep Safe In Sub-Freezing Temperatures – Even If You’re Hot

Abnormally cold temperatures are being reported all over the US. The headlines are scary:

“Terrifying ‘Polar Vortex’ Causing Record-Breaking Cold Across Much of the US”

“Bitter cold temperatures break records in US Midwest”

“Polar blast barrels across the United States”

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Common sense and conventional wisdom dictate that we bundle up and not expose our skin to these temperatures. But… we know what you know – hot flashes, flushing and heat intolerances know no season and make us unbearably hot no matter how cold it is outside. For instance…

You’re standing on an elevated platform waiting for a train. The wind chill factor makes it feel like -15oF. All of a sudden, you feel that familiar and oh so unsettling rush of internal heat beginning to move through you. The dreaded hot flash, flush or heat intolerance -that comes along with certain meds, menopause and chemo treatment, or conditions such as MS and hyperthyroidism- is taking over your body and causing you terrible discomfort.

Your instinct is to strip off the hat, gloves, and scarf. Don’t do it. Here’s why:

Frostbite

  • Temperatures below freezing can cause frostbite – a condition of the skin.
  • Noses, cheeks, chins, fingers and toes are most susceptible because blood flow is being rerouted away from the surface of the skin inwards to protect the organs.
  • When temperatures range between -15 oF and -30 oF, exposed skin can get frostbitten within minutes.

Hypothermia

  • When your body can no longer produce heat faster than it loses heat, the result is hypothermia.
  • Babies and the elderly are particularly susceptible to this condition when exposed to freezing conditions for prolonged periods of time.

Please check out the Chicago Tribune’s quick video and article that discusses how to dress properly for the extreme cold, and the signs of both frostbite and hypothermia.

A few quick tips:

  • The importance and efficacy of dressing in layers cannot be underestimated. The layer closest to your skin should not be cotton as it absorbs moisture and keeps it against your body. Instead, try a synthetic wicking material, or silk.
  • Wear mittens instead of gloves. They’re warmer.
  • Popping a coldfront palm pack into your hat, scarf, or mitten can help.
  • When warming up your hands once inside, rather than rubbing them together -which can actually hurt more than help- put them in your armpits or run under warm (not hot) water.

Resources to learn more about these conditions and how to protect yourself:

coldfront – the best of 2013

I’ve been reading lots of “best” lists lately. Best movies to watch… Best books to read… Best health trends to follow… Best technological gadgets to make life easier… I have to admit it – I absolutely love them all!

Inspired by your likes and shares, we put together a “best” list, too. Here are your choices for the best of our 2013 posts  –

You Cheered Our Good Fortune

Susie puts coldfront into Anderson Cooper's hands at a taping of his show.

Susie puts coldfront into Anderson Cooper’s hands at a taping of his show.

coldfront made its national TV debut on The Doctors in April. It was quite the moment!

coldfront made its national TV debut on The Doctors in April. It was quite the moment!

You Shared When We Celebrated Each Other

Here's to good women on International Women's Day.

Here’s to good women on International Women’s Day, and every day.

You celebrate us and we celebrate you! It's a good thing.

You celebrate us and we celebrate you! It’s a good thing.

You Loved Being Inspired

When things are especially difficult, take a page from a duck's book!

When things are especially difficult, take a page from a duck’s book!

We relate heavily to tenacity. You do, too!

We relate heavily to tenacity. You do, too!

You Had Fun When We Had Fun

Have you tried a shower power meditation yet?

Have you tried a shower power meditation yet?

Dr. Seuss continues to be a source of inspiration for all ages.

Dr. Seuss continues to be a source of inspiration for all ages.

You Enjoyed Learning How People Use coldfront, and Asked for More

From using it on feet for plantar fasciitis...

From using coldfront on feet for plantar fasciitis…

...to placing coldfront in the back of your panties to ease back pain.

…to placing coldfront in the back of your panties to ease back pain.

Our most popular blog posts included the differences between hot and cold therapy, and our interviews with two very well respected and loved experts in women’s health – endometriosis expert, Heather Guidone, and menopause expert, Dr. Eve Agee. All together, you shared and liked them 914 times!! That’s pretty cool.

You shared and liked your favorite coldfront blog posts 914 times!

You shared and liked your favorite coldfront blog posts 914 times!

Like I always say – coldfront peeps are the best peeps in the world. We are so grateful to and for you. Please don’t be shy when it comes to making suggestions about your preferences. It makes you happier, and us better.

All the best for a personally cool 2014!

’tis the Season to Celebrate Friends

I had the pleasure of meeting Olga Cohen, CEO of Grohen Technologies, in the summer of 2012. We were both participants in the country’s first Hot Flash Mob in the heat and heart of New York City. We hit it off instantly.

Inspired by a lecture and dinner with a group of women, Olga penned the post below and put it up on her own website earlier this year. You might recognize the one who whips out COLDFRONT as yours truly. With many thanks to Olga, we share the post with you here. Celebrating friends is a fantastic way to add to the beauty of the season.

The Power of Girlfriends on Women’s Health
By Olga Cohen

In an evening class at Stanford University there was a lecture given on mind-body connection and the relationship between stress and disease. The speaker (head of psychiatry at Stanford) said, that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman, whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends. Sounds a bit funny, but he was quite serious.

mind.body connection

Women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences.

Physically, this quality “girlfriend time” helps to create more serotonin (a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well-being). Women share feelings whereas men often form relationships around activities. We share from our souls with our sisters/mothers, and evidently that is very good for our health.

He suggested that spending time with a friend is just as important to our general health as jogging or working out at a gym. There is a tendency to think that when we are exercising we are doing something good for our bodies, but when we are hanging out with friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively engaged? Not true. In fact, he said that failure to create and maintain quality personal relationships with other humans is as dangerous to our physical health as smoking!!

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I was sent this article by a girlfriend of mine and thought it so worthy that I wanted to share these thoughts with you. I have met so many remarkable women whether just by talking to clients on the phone about our common problems or several other women who are inspired by their desire to bring products to help other women feel better.

I was having dinner with a group of women a couple of weeks ago (I knew I felt very healthy that evening). We all started talking about menopause and hot flashes. I must admit I was the senior amongst them (but I still experience those awful hot flashes), when one of the ladies in our group whipped out her product “Coldfront”, a personal cooling system including cool pads to be placed on your body to cool it down until the flashes subside. She placed it in the middle of the table and each one of us at some point during the evening grabbed it, and chuckled at the commonality; we all understood each other perfectly. Thanks to all the girls in my life who have helped me stay healthy, happy and feeling very loved.

Every time you hang out to schmooze with a gal pal, just pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for doing something good for your health! And let’s toast to our friendships with our girlfriends.

To learn more about Olga, please check out her information below.

Whether it is products to help with those hot flashes or Inner Intimates Vaginal Renewal Complex for vaginal dryness, we do have one common goal;
We are WOMEN HELPING WOMEN.

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Olga Cohen

CEO, Grohen Technologies, and creator of Vaginal Renewal Complex

Website: http://www.olgassecret.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/olgassecret

Twitter: https://twitter.com/olgassecret

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/olgasecret/