I'm Megan Muehlenbruch and health education is my passion. I love bringing information and knowledge to others that will improve their health and well-being. I love serving as a resource person for those seeking knowledge. This is my platform for sharing and organizing what I find interesting, powerful and important. Whether you call it public health, health education, health promotion or something in between, it's important and it impacts us all.

 

smartgirlsattheparty:

thisisprsnl:

Survivors of sexual assault have enough things to contend with - preventing an unintended pregnancy shouldn’t have to be one of them. Thanks to Senator Patty Murray who recently introduced a bill to make sure that emergency room staff provide education to survivors about emergency contraception and make it available to them.

This is important. 

smartgirlsattheparty:

thisisprsnl:

Survivors of sexual assault have enough things to contend with - preventing an unintended pregnancy shouldn’t have to be one of them. Thanks to Senator Patty Murray who recently introduced a bill to make sure that emergency room staff provide education to survivors about emergency contraception and make it available to them.

This is important. 

Yes - you’ve seen it posted over and over - but have you watched it yet? If not, let this be ANOTHER chance to do so. It takes endless amounts of exposure for me to watch viral videos, so for those of you like me, I’m adding to your exposure and telling you that this is worth the watch. Feminism is Humanism. It’s about everyone (regardless of gender) being able to be who they are and receive the same opportunities and treatment. “…it is not the word that is important. It is the idea and the ambition behind it.” I listened to this speech during a bus ride home. Surely there is a window in your day to do the same. He for She

If you read no part of this post, I understand, we’re all busy, but open this link (it will open in a new tab) to Endangered Bodies and check it out, either now or when you have time. Anyways…
One of the things I love most about starting my MPH program abroad in Ireland (and one of the reasons I wanted to) is being exposed to new health education campaigns and projects. While exploring my new campus I found this sticker on the mirror: 
Of course the Health Educator in me took a picture of the sticker to go and learn more about later! I’m so glad I did! Endangered Bodies is a local-global initiative that ”challenge[s] the current toxic culture that promotes negative body image. [Their] aim is to save future generations from the misery that turns people against their own bodies.” Awesome, right? They “exist to critique and respond to the limited representations of bodies that appear in the mainstream media and to provide a space for dialogue and action on the many challenges to body acceptance that exist in our culture.” 
Body image is a huge issue amongst our society and while often it is one that is often focused on women, the issue is gaining awareness amongst boys and men. If no one is calling taboo on the skewed social perceptions, media portrayals, and outlandish diet trends, how can we expect to see improvements and see individuals begin to accept themselves and others? Movements like this are important!
There are many different chapters of this initiative that work together to have a global impact, sometimes operating with different campaign names in their local communities. I personally have taken time to “Like” the global Facebook page, as well as the individual pages for the NYC, London, and of course, Ireland chapters. They also have chapters in São Paolo, Germany, Buenos Aires, Sydney and Mexico (I didn’t follow them only because they either don’t have a FB page or I don’t know the language!) I really encourage you to just start at the Endangered Bodies page and start exploring and seeing some of the work they do. 
Better yet, if you are with an organization, group or even just an individual, who wants to get involved, start your own sticker campaign to remind people to love their bodies and spread the word! NYC recently joined in the sticker campaign that has been successful amongst other chapters (hey, it got me there, didn’t it?!) NYC Sticker Campaign (stickers available in their online store).
Love Your Body, and encourage others to do the same! 

If you read no part of this post, I understand, we’re all busy, but open this link (it will open in a new tab) to Endangered Bodies and check it out, either now or when you have time. Anyways…

One of the things I love most about starting my MPH program abroad in Ireland (and one of the reasons I wanted to) is being exposed to new health education campaigns and projects. While exploring my new campus I found this sticker on the mirror: 

Of course the Health Educator in me took a picture of the sticker to go and learn more about later! I’m so glad I did! Endangered Bodies is a local-global initiative that challenge[s] the current toxic culture that promotes negative body image. [Their] aim is to save future generations from the misery that turns people against their own bodies.” Awesome, right? They “exist to critique and respond to the limited representations of bodies that appear in the mainstream media and to provide a space for dialogue and action on the many challenges to body acceptance that exist in our culture.” 

Body image is a huge issue amongst our society and while often it is one that is often focused on women, the issue is gaining awareness amongst boys and men. If no one is calling taboo on the skewed social perceptions, media portrayals, and outlandish diet trends, how can we expect to see improvements and see individuals begin to accept themselves and others? Movements like this are important!

There are many different chapters of this initiative that work together to have a global impact, sometimes operating with different campaign names in their local communities. I personally have taken time to “Like” the global Facebook page, as well as the individual pages for the NYC, London, and of course, Ireland chapters. They also have chapters in São Paolo, Germany, Buenos Aires, Sydney and Mexico (I didn’t follow them only because they either don’t have a FB page or I don’t know the language!) I really encourage you to just start at the Endangered Bodies page and start exploring and seeing some of the work they do. 

Better yet, if you are with an organization, group or even just an individual, who wants to get involved, start your own sticker campaign to remind people to love their bodies and spread the word! NYC recently joined in the sticker campaign that has been successful amongst other chapters (hey, it got me there, didn’t it?!) NYC Sticker Campaign (stickers available in their online store).

Love Your Body, and encourage others to do the same! 

"Thanks to four college students, there may soon be a life-saving nail polish. Students in the Materials Science & Engineering department at North Carolina State University have come together to invent a nail polish that will change color when it comes in contact with date-rape drugs, including Rohypnol, Xanax, and GHB.” … Read more from the buzzfeed article here

"Thanks to four college students, there may soon be a life-saving nail polish.
Students in the Materials Science & Engineering department at North Carolina State University have come together to invent a nail polish that will change color when it comes in contact with date-rape drugs, including Rohypnol, Xanax, and GHB.” … Read more from the buzzfeed article here

Makes sense, right? Of course not! And because you thought “no!”, you should instantly hit reblog because this seems to be how Hobby Lobby and the Supreme Court ruling today make it look! So disgusted with this. I’ve been seeing and reading stuff on the recent Hobby Lobby ruling all day and I can’t help but be embarrassed by it. How does the inclusion of the attacked contraceptives in health plans “substantially” burden the exercise of religion? (If you aren’t aware, Hobby Lobby prides itself on Christian values and also is a strong opposer of gay marriage). If it’s against your beliefs, don’t force that on a group of employees that keep your business running.
The fact that individuals are having health care barriers placed in front of them is pathetic. Isn’t our health care system complicated enough as it is? Health is something we all have in common, so shouldn’t we all be fighting to all have the right to access the care/services/etc. that we need? Everyone faces their own struggles. If barriers were placed in front of the medical needs of families like those who own hobby lobby because it was against someone else’s religion/beliefs, I bet they’d have a different view on it. We are not all the same and businesses do not deserve the right to tell a woman (or anyone) that her health needs are not important.
Here are a couple quick links if you feel out of the loop on the issue:
Supreme Court Rules for Hobby Lobby’s Contraception Challenge
What the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby Decision Means (CNN)
Hobby Lobby Wins Contraceptive Ruling in Supreme Court (ABC)

Makes sense, right? Of course not! And because you thought “no!”, you should instantly hit reblog because this seems to be how Hobby Lobby and the Supreme Court ruling today make it look! So disgusted with this. I’ve been seeing and reading stuff on the recent Hobby Lobby ruling all day and I can’t help but be embarrassed by it. How does the inclusion of the attacked contraceptives in health plans “substantially” burden the exercise of religion? (If you aren’t aware, Hobby Lobby prides itself on Christian values and also is a strong opposer of gay marriage). If it’s against your beliefs, don’t force that on a group of employees that keep your business running.

The fact that individuals are having health care barriers placed in front of them is pathetic. Isn’t our health care system complicated enough as it is? Health is something we all have in common, so shouldn’t we all be fighting to all have the right to access the care/services/etc. that we need? Everyone faces their own struggles. If barriers were placed in front of the medical needs of families like those who own hobby lobby because it was against someone else’s religion/beliefs, I bet they’d have a different view on it. We are not all the same and businesses do not deserve the right to tell a woman (or anyone) that her health needs are not important.

Here are a couple quick links if you feel out of the loop on the issue:

Supreme Court Rules for Hobby Lobby’s Contraception Challenge

What the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby Decision Means (CNN)

Hobby Lobby Wins Contraceptive Ruling in Supreme Court (ABC)

Let’s lose the negative stigma that comes with doing anything “Like a Girl.” Young girls (and boys!) should be exposed to positive messages that build them up and not ones that suggest that one gender/sex is better than another. Stereotyping of any type, including gender stereotypes, benefit no one - let’s break them! Thanks for a great campaign #Always!

(Source: always.com)

What #100HappyDays Meant to Me.

Over the course of my participation in the 100 Happy Days project, several people mentioned how inspiring my participation was to them. Now that the 100 days have passed, I have spent some time reflecting on what this project meant to me. Hopefully I will even encourage a few of you to try it out as well.

I am guessing that if you are reading this you know a little about this project, but if not, here is a very simplistic explanation: Each day, for 100 days, post a picture of something that made you happy that day.  As someone who loves pictures and has a pretty optimistic and happy outlook on life, I loved the project idea. Aside from that, I had several question marks in my life when I started and it seemed like the perfect project to turn the question marks into exclamation points.

A few days into the project I set a daily alarm on my phone that would remind me to make a post for the project in case the business of a day let it slip by me. Well now the project has ended and I still have the alarm set. Why? Because what I took from the project was valuable and shouldn’t be lost after 100 days, it should be a habit.

The first week or so was easy. It was fresh in my mind and I sought out the great things in those days. Inevitably though, those days come that are busy and sometimes, dare I say it, there are bad days – ones where life just seems to be getting the best of you and forcing you to put up a fight. You know what? That’s okay, it’s life. What did I do on those days? I posted my happy day post. That’s what I found to be the beauty of the project. On those days, the project was more important than on the days where life was grand. It persuaded me to find the happiness in the day. “Maybe the day wasn’t great, but what got you through it?” This is the question I would ask myself. Maybe it was a hug, maybe it was the simple coffee for a tired day, maybe it was knowledge that something good was on your horizon. Sometimes it was a quote that captured what you needed to remind yourself of in order to keep going.

Happiness is a perspective, an attitude, a habit of sorts – this is the perfect summary. I changed my perspective on the hard days to find it. It truly became a habit to look at each moment and when possible capture it in a photograph that I could reflect on when I want to remember the great blessings I have in life. Happiness truly showed to be a habit. Now each night when my alarm goes off to post my 100happydays, I find that I take a moment to reflect on the day – sometimes it’s a few seconds, sometimes it’s a few minutes. The project may be finished for me, but what I took from it will not be lost. If I can share a perspective, attitude and habit of happiness with others I will be grateful.

100HappyDays isn’t about having 100 great and wonderful days – it’s about finding something to smile about in each one of them, the good and the bad. It’s about creating a mindset of positivity and training yourself to find the happiness perspective, attitude and habit. Try it out! Set an alarm and start sharing with others what  makes you happy and what gets you through your days. Here’s the great part – this is for you. If you miss a day, you won’t be punished. Just jump back on the next day. Sometimes you’re too busy being happy and enjoying life to post and that is what it’s all about – doing what you love, living life and finding the happiness in its chaos. Here’s to #morehappydays.

 

While some jobs have people on their feet and moving all day, others of us can be stuck behind a desk and only have a short 30 minutes to eat lunch and, if we’re lucky, get some exercise into our day. So how do we make the most of our 30 minutes? Well, I find it’s easiest to cheat a little! Yes - I’m encouraging you to cheat your lunch - here’s how:
Pack a variety of food in your lunch. For example, I usually pack a small tupperware of salad or a sandwich for the main portion, then a mixture of nuts, crackers, carrots, apples (any fruits really), granola bars and anything that is easy to eat throughout the day
First 5-10 minutes: Eat the salad or sandwich (or main course), whichever takes the longest or deserves the most attention to eat.
Remaining 20 or 25 minutes: Go Walk! It takes no more than a minute to slide into your tennis shoes. I often wear layers in the summer so I can take off a cardigan and walk in a tank top on the hot summer days. I use the MapMyRun app to calculate when I’ve walked about a half mile and then turn around from wherever I am. It only takes about 15-17 minutes to walk a mile at a decent pace! If you don’t have an app, just keep an eye on the watch. 
Cheat and Eat: Now that ‘lunch’ is over (and congrats, you’ve walked a mile!) it’s time for the cheating part. Throughout the afternoon I casually eat the remainder of my lunch. It keeps me attentive and fueled from the afternoon slump, especially now that my heart rate is elevated. I often find that I don’t eat everything I’ve packed. I almost consider the lunch walk as a way to discourage overeating! 
After a lunch walk, you will be amazed at how much more alert you feel. At my job I have ways to measure my productivity and it always increases after I’ve been out moving around. Best part? If I don’t have time for a workout in the morning or night, I don’t feel guilty because I know that I got a good mile of walking in at lunch. I try to minimize my phone use on my walks, as I get plenty of screen time during my work hours, but somedays I have things to do and it happens. If lunch is your social time, walk with a friend! Agree to meet about 10 minutes into lunch and walk and talk as much as you please! 
Try it out - even if it’s only a couple days a week! Your eyes, mind, and overall body will thank you!

While some jobs have people on their feet and moving all day, others of us can be stuck behind a desk and only have a short 30 minutes to eat lunch and, if we’re lucky, get some exercise into our day. So how do we make the most of our 30 minutes? Well, I find it’s easiest to cheat a little! Yes - I’m encouraging you to cheat your lunch - here’s how:

  • Pack a variety of food in your lunch. For example, I usually pack a small tupperware of salad or a sandwich for the main portion, then a mixture of nuts, crackers, carrots, apples (any fruits really), granola bars and anything that is easy to eat throughout the day
  • First 5-10 minutes: Eat the salad or sandwich (or main course), whichever takes the longest or deserves the most attention to eat.
  • Remaining 20 or 25 minutes: Go Walk! It takes no more than a minute to slide into your tennis shoes. I often wear layers in the summer so I can take off a cardigan and walk in a tank top on the hot summer days. I use the MapMyRun app to calculate when I’ve walked about a half mile and then turn around from wherever I am. It only takes about 15-17 minutes to walk a mile at a decent pace! If you don’t have an app, just keep an eye on the watch. 
  • Cheat and Eat: Now that ‘lunch’ is over (and congrats, you’ve walked a mile!) it’s time for the cheating part. Throughout the afternoon I casually eat the remainder of my lunch. It keeps me attentive and fueled from the afternoon slump, especially now that my heart rate is elevated. I often find that I don’t eat everything I’ve packed. I almost consider the lunch walk as a way to discourage overeating! 

After a lunch walk, you will be amazed at how much more alert you feel. At my job I have ways to measure my productivity and it always increases after I’ve been out moving around. Best part? If I don’t have time for a workout in the morning or night, I don’t feel guilty because I know that I got a good mile of walking in at lunch. I try to minimize my phone use on my walks, as I get plenty of screen time during my work hours, but somedays I have things to do and it happens. If lunch is your social time, walk with a friend! Agree to meet about 10 minutes into lunch and walk and talk as much as you please! 

Try it out - even if it’s only a couple days a week! Your eyes, mind, and overall body will thank you!

The World as 100 People: Such a ‘tangible’ way to look at the world, its people and how we all differ. Often numbers in the thousands, millions, and billions seem too large to comprehend, but when you break it down to just 100 people, suddenly some facts seem to be significantly more powerful, such as 48 people in the world live on $2 or less a day . It’s important not to lose sight of the diversity in our world - good and bad. It’s important in building an open minded and conscious person, and in health education efforts across the globe. http://www.100people.org/index.php 

The World as 100 People: Such a ‘tangible’ way to look at the world, its people and how we all differ. Often numbers in the thousands, millions, and billions seem too large to comprehend, but when you break it down to just 100 people, suddenly some facts seem to be significantly more powerful, such as 48 people in the world live on $2 or less a day . It’s important not to lose sight of the diversity in our world - good and bad. It’s important in building an open minded and conscious person, and in health education efforts across the globe. http://www.100people.org/index.php 

So happy to see something like this exists. A neurologist, along with some well known artists in the Hip Hop industry came together to make health education not only fun, but memorable for kids. Who doesn’t remember those school lessons that were learned with a song?! This is just one of many songs from the group. From Stroke to Calories to Physical Activity, they bring important messages to a level that kids can understand. The following link will take you to the kids page (I created an account so I could see the videos, comics, games and more - it just took a username and password!): www.hiphoppublichealth.org. More information about the Hip Hop Public Health Project and those behind it can be found here: www.hhph.org

After watching two of the videos, I found the songs stuck in my head, which can only be promising for educating kids! Health educators, camp directors, school educators, parents and so many more people should be aware of fun educational tools like these.