Hey Laura, what can I do for my back pain?

Heather caught me on Facebook this afternoon, wondering what she can do for her chronic back pain during the 2 weeks that her chiropractor is out of town.

Oh, Heather! I know how it is; I get absolutely panicky inside when I can’t get instant access my chiropractor!

Luckily, there is an inexpensive tool to help you maintain a more comfortable existence between chiro appointments: the foam roller.

Just a simple cylinder of high density foam, this magical creature will become your best friend! You can find them at most sporting goods stores, or you can order from Amazon (and support heylaurawhat.com!)

The foam roller assists in self massage for myofascial release. The fascia are the...

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Hey Laura, what are some healthy, satisfying snacks?

Kristina writes:

I’m looking for some satisfying, but healthy snack options…carrot sticks may be healthy, but they’re not very satisfying.

You’ve got a good start with the carrots. Studies have shown that low calorie, high volume foods like vegetables help people feel fuller sooner, without the extra caloric load.

However, the key to a satisfying snack is protein.

Protein keeps you feeling satisfied longer than anything else you can eat. In fact, starting your day with a high protein breakfast (eggs are great!) will help you not be desperate for a snack come 10am.

The golden snack combination is a food with high water and fiber content (most vegetables and some fruits),...

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Hey Laura, how do I keep homemade bread fresh?

Betty writes:

Hey Laura,
You may not have this problem, but we are only a 2 person household.  I love to bake bread but we can’t eat the entire loaf in 2 days.  I find after 2 days the bread is really too stale and not nice to eat.  How do you keep your homemade bread fresh longer?

Well, my solution has always been to binge on fresh hot slices drizzled with honey right when it comes out of the oven. That way we only have half a loaf to finish up before it goes stale!

If you’re not a glutton like me, here are some things you can do to lengthen the life of your homemade bread.

If your recipe calls for sugar, use honey instead. Honey acts as a natural preservative and keeps the crumb tender...

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Hey Laura, what about a trip to Europe?

Katie writes:

The Euro’s down, and the experts say now’s the time to make a Europe trip.  I’ve been saving up, and come fall, I’m headed for the Old World:  I know I’m going to wind up in France with my bestie, but I wouldn’t mind a stopover in the UK to see a CouchSurfing buddy of mine, and I’ve always wanted to visit Italy…  Spain sure wouldn’t hurt my feelings either.  I’ve got about two weeks and two thousand bucks and no idea where to start; can you get me where I’m goin’?

First of all, don’t over-extend yourself. Pick no more than three destinations (and honestly, I’d just do two if I were in your shoes!) and split your time between them. I spent three weeks in Italy alone and felt...

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Hey Laura, I need a chocolate cake recipe that uses my coconut porter

I’d play around with The Pioneer Woman’s “Best Chocolate Sheet Cake. Ever.” recipe. I haven’t made it yet, but everyone I know who has totally raves about it. I think it is a good foundation for building your coconutty goodness.

Try swapping out the water for your porter. I looked up some other boozy chocolate cake recipes and they all use about a cup, so the ratio would probably be correct. If the coconut flavor is quite strong, try only using your porter for half the liquid; you don’t want your cake to taste like suntan lotion!

And remember, you can always bring me a slice for taste-testing. I’m an expert taste-tester!

Hey Laura, what are some good supplements to take during and after pregnancy?

Kael’s Momma sent this one in and it’s a good one! What are some good prenatal and postpartum supplements?

******I’m not a doctor! I’m not even really an expert; I just pretend to be one for our mutual edification and entertainment. Don’t be stupid: Listen to the real experts in your life, including the truest authority on yourself: Your Self.*****

When you’re pregnant, good nutrition is more important than ever. But good nutrition can’t be gotten in a pill, and there’s some contention whether there’s any benefit at all to prenatal vitamins. Potent vitamin supplements can also exacerbate nausea, and some care providers recommend suspending your use of a vitamin until the first trimester...

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Hey Laura, how can I boost my picky kid’s nutrition?

Tricia writes:

Hey Laura, what would you feed an extremely picky child whose diet includes chicken noodle soup, macaroni and cheese and yogurt? (considering that she needs to add more calories to her diet)

*****Standard disclaimer: I have no credentials for handing out nutritional advice, but here is some info I’ve compiled that can help!*****

My first advice is my best parenting advice: “It’s probably just a stage; just wait it out.”

That said, there are definitely things you can try to improve her nutrition, even within the constraints of her approved food items. I’ll also give you tips on helping expand her gastronomic horizons!

Chicken noodle soup is an amazingly nutritious food...

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