• Mercy Kids B
  • Giveaway: $100 for YOU to FFO Home
  • Health Help: Q&A with Dr. Lakshmi Parvathaneni
  • 5 Minutes with a Mom on the Run: Melanie Roach

Fitness Tips from the Heart

BPFitnessSeries_SWMom_640x128-hdrby Kelsey Fields

Feb, 1February. The month of celebrating love.Where greeting card companies make out like bandits, and your beautiful flowers (that cost your husband $75) die in a week.

Single? By far one of the most depressing months of the year. Kids? Expect to spend five hours of your life decorating an insanely elaborate Valentine’s Box. So instead of wasting your time with a post about couple’s workouts, how to yoga your body into the shape of a heart, or top ten ways to meet your future husband at the gym, I figured we would take a bit to get serious.

February is, more importantly, American Heart Month. Most of us are young mothers and heart disease isn’t on our radar. Not to scare anyone, but it should be.  

Studies show that heart disease is the #1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year.  If you do the math, it’s approximately one death per minute.

feb, 2


Growing up, I often heard about the famous “Payne Family Curse.” According to my dad, men in the Payne family never made it to their 55th birthday due to heart attacks and heart disease. Knowing I had a genetic disposition for this, I armed myself with knowledge on how to prevent myself from falling victim to this terrible disease.

Now that I’ve been Debbie Downer, there is some good news! Heart disease is often times preventable! My dad and his brother are proof that it’s possible to break the curse! Want to break the curse? All you have to do is make healthy choices!

  • Pass the salt (and keep passing it until it’s far away from your plate). Salt is a leading risk factor for high blood pressure, which can cause heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Try different seasonings and spices instead. Swap salt for finely chopped onion or garlic powder instead.
  • EXERCISE! It’s no secret this is my favorite way to combat heart disease. Put on your favorite workout leggings (you know, the black ones from Target that have the mesh panels that magically make you run a mile in record time? Yeah those.) and handle it. 30-60 minutes a day is enough to lower blood sugar and blood pressure while boosting good cholesterol.
  • LOSE THE LAST 20 LBS LEFT OVER AFTER HAVING BABY MICK. I mean…if you are twenty pounds or more overweight, it’s time to consider finally getting off those extra pounds. As your body mass index (BMI) increases, so does your risk for heart disease and stroke. Since January I have been working incredibly hard to lose the remaining baby weight I am carrying. I want to be there for my children in the future, and knowing my family history, staying a healthy weight is the first piece of the puzzle.

Interested in learning more? Go Red for Women has some great information and additional resources to keep you educated and aware. Don’t let your first sign of heart disease be your last. Knowledge is power, and by making the right choices you drastically increase the odds of surviving and avoiding heart disease.

SWMO Moms fitness category, which is full of healthy tips for all women,  is sponsored by Bass Pro Shops Fitness Series.  

Their mission is to celebrate health and wellness, outdoor adventures and wildlife conservation in the beauty of the Ozarks. Programs are designed to include activities for people of all ages, backgrounds, fitness levels and areas of interest. CLICK HERE for more information or give them a call at 417.873.5214.

KelseyKelsey is a stay-at-home mom and just recently completed her degree in elementary education. She is a Beachbody certified Insanity instructor, avid runner and yoga enthusiast. 

When she is not working out, you will find her cheering on the Denver Broncos, substitute teaching and spending time with her family. She is wife to Blake and mom to busy 2 year-old son Max and soon to be one-year-old, Mick.FitnessSeries2017_SWMom_640x186-ftr

Health Help: Fighting the Flu


Has the flu bug hit your house this season? If your answer is no, count yourself as one of the lucky ones in Southwest Missouri (then go wash your hands. Again.)! The flu has hit SWMO and it has many of us wondering, what to do?

Thankfully, we are not fighting alone. Our sponsors at Mercy have several great tips when it comes to getting rid of this nasty bug.

St. John Doctors

Dr. Middleton

Thank you to Dr. Rachelene Middleton, Mercy Clinic Family Medicine, for helping us out on this one. For many of us, besides snuggles, Sprite, and saltines, we are not really sure what to do with ourselves or our loved when we become sick with the flu. Dr. Middleton took the time to answer a few basic questions for us and we hope they help you as much as they did us!

Her number one tip? Get the flu shot! And no, it is not too late! Dr. Middleton says it is best to get the vaccination before the end of October, however, it is still available now and may be helpful for everyone ages 6 months and older.

What are the symptoms of the flu and when should I go to the doctor? 

Not everybody that has flu symptoms need to come in to see their doctor right away. Depending on the patient, their medical history and severity of the symptoms, you may be able to treat with cold medicines, Tylenol and ibuprofen. If the symptoms are long-lasting or the patient is running a high fever, it is best to come into the office and have a physician take a look to make sure there is nothing else going on.

fluSymptoms include:

  • runny nose
  • sore throat
  • cough/congestion
  • headache
  • fatigue
  • fever/chills/body aches

How long does the flu last?

A patient with the flu could have symptoms anywhere from 5-7 days, however, you are contagious a day before you show signs of symptoms.

If I have one child or family member in the house that has the flu, what is the best way to keep others in my house from getting the flu as well?

This can be tricky because as mentioned, you are contagious a day before you show signs or symptoms of the flu. Besides receiving your annual flu shot, one of the best ways to prevent the flu is hand-washing with soap and water. Other ways to help prevent the flu from spreading include using alcohol-based hand sanitizer, sneeze or cough into your elbow and make sure others are getting plenty of rest and eating a nutritious diet.

I also encourage my patients to stay home and rest if they are sick. Don’t go out and expose other people to what you have.Mercy kids logo

Think you may have the flu? Dr. Middleton can help! If you would like to make an appointment to be seen by a Mercy physician, you can contact the Mercy Clinic Family Medicine-Smith Glynn Callaway office at 417.888.6709. The clinic is located at 3231 S. National Avenue, Springfield.

SouthwestMissouriMoms.com does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is for informational purposes only and isn’t a substitute for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor if you have questions about a medical condition. Don’t delay getting professional medical advice because of something you read online. This website doesn’t necessarily recommend or endorse or any specific tests, doctors, products, procedures or options discussed on the site.

Sunday Devotion: When you don’t know what to pray for

By: Kelli Artherton

“Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans, He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” Romans 8:26-28 MSG

Ia353fe44a0329bd832e573ac696333c7 don’t know about you, but I simply love this verse. It happened to pop up on my daily bible verse today and I thought how fitting for how I feel right now. So often I don’t know how or what pray to pray for.

I think I know what is best for my life, and I think I know what to pray for. However, that isn’t always the truth. I find myself sometimes praying for the same things over and over. I know Jesus hears me, but sometimes he isn’t answering me. I am sure we have all felt this way.

Even when it’s hard to pray, or if you feel mad that He isn’t listening. Trust me momma, He is. He knows everything about you, what you are going through. He is there watching and waiting for you to let Him take over. Just let Him. You won’t be disappointed.

I hope this simple bible verse is just what you needed to hear today. I know it popped up on my phone at just the right moment.

Happy Sunday Mommas!

Giveaway: $100 for YOU to FFO Home

tax return sliderNow that Valentine’s Day has come and gone, it is time to show yourself–and your home–a little love!

This week, we are giving away a $100 gift card from our mom lovin’ sponsors at FFO Home!

I don’t know about you all, but if we are lucky enough to get a tax return, we like to sttttrrreeeettttccchhh it out and get the most bang for our buck! While we love a good price, we also like quality items, thankfully, FFO Home has both. In fact, many of their furniture pieces are are up to 50% off the price of other furniture stores. They also offer flexible financing options for any budget that allow you to take your pieces home the day you purchase.

In the market for a new comfy mattress? FFO Home can help! Looking for a new trendy chair, they have that too! FFO Home has a great selection, so you shouldn’t have ANY problem spending the $100 gift card! Here’s a quick look at a few of our favorite FFO finds:

  • serta mattress imageliving room furniture such as sofas, sectionals and recliners starting at just $198
  • dining room furniture from small sets to 6-chair dining sets
  • queen size pillowtop mattresses from just $248
  • kids furniture including bunk beds, trundle beds and futons
  • adorable home decor like accent chairs, wall art, pillows and lamps from only $5

We can’t wait to give away $100 to FFO Home! Here is how to register to win:

HOW TO ENTER ONLINE: To put your name in the online drawing for this giveaway, click the word “comment” at the top of this story and tell us–are you a saver or a spender? If you were given a nice chunk of change (let’s say $1,000), would you save it or spend it?

diningTO ENTER VIA EMAIL: You can also throw your name in the hat by answering the question above via email. Just email us at giveaways(at)SouthwestMissouriMoms.com.

MORE BONUS ENTRIES: And here’s another way to get extra chances to win: Post an update on Facebook about this giveaway  and let us know that you told your Facebook friends. If you’re a Twitter fan, feel free to tweet this news as well for extra chances to win. (Tell us in your posted comment or email if you shared it on Facebook or Twitter or both.)

Please note, that winners are always chosen at random using a random number generator so anyone can win.

We will select a winner on Monday, February 27 at 12 noon.

Health Help: Q&A with Dr. Lakshmi Parvathaneni


food_heart_stethoscope_healthy_nutrition_472072552For many of us, when we think of February we think of Valentine’s Day, the final stretch of winter and making that last attempt to keep those New Year’s Resolutions (I have failed miserably, by the way).

This February, we encourage you to shift your focus to you. Take a minute and ask yourself–are you making a conscious effort to improve your heart health?

February is heart health month. According to The American Heart Association, heart disease is the number one killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year. That is approximately one woman every minute.

This month, we had the opportunity to ask our sponsors at Mercy a few questions pertaining to heart health. Thank you to Dr. Lakshmi Parvathaneni, Mercy cardiologist, for taking the time to educate our readers, friends and fellow SWMO mommas about the importance of focusing on our heart health.Dr. Laksmi Parvathaneni_

Describe your typical day.

I am in the clinic 3 half days a week and the rest of the time I do procedures at the hospital. I perform stress tests and ultrasounds of the heart. I also see patients admitted to the hospital with heart problems.

heart_female_woman_hands_active_exercise_464841199We understand that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women. At what age should we start to think about our heart health?

It is never too early to start thinking about heart health. Studies have shown that cholesterol starts building up in the arteries as early as teenage years!

If we have a history of heart  disease in our family, are there extra measures we should take regarding heart health?

While we cannot modify our family history,  we can definitely modify things we have control over. For example, choosing a healthy diet, avoiding smoking and making the choice to exercise. I encourage everybody to be proactive about monitoring for high blood pressure and diabetes.

If you could only choose 2 heart healthy habits for women to practice, what would they be?

  1. I would encourage women to eat a healthy diet the best they can.
  2. I would also recommend exercising.

What new medical advancement do you get most excited about regarding women’s heart health?

I am very excited about research regarding women and heart disease. Currently, there is a lot of research being done to help understand and develop treatments to provide better care for women with heart disease.

Describe the best part of your job.

The best part of my job is to be able to make a positive difference in the lives of others by improving their health.

Interested in learning more about heart health? Our sponsors at Mercy can help. Click here to download a free heart healthy guide and/or schedule a vascular screening.

Prefer to talk to somebody on the phone? No problem! Call 417.820.3911 to speak to a trained Mercy professional about your heart health. If you have questions or concerns, don’t wait. They are ready to help you!

SouthwestMissouriMoms.com does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is for informational purposes only and isn’t a substitute for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor if you have questions about a medical condition. Don’t delay getting professional medical advice because of something you read online. This website doesn’t necessarily recommend or endorse or any specific tests, doctors, products, procedures or options discussed on the site.