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I AM in Control.org Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality
May 1

Follow us on Twitter!

Posted By iamincontrol | May 1, 2014

Want to find out when IAMincontrol has a new post?  Follow us on Twitter @IAMincontrolIA for tweets about our posts and events for teens.  Retweet to share your favorite posts with your friends!
Jun 21

Celebrities are Talking about Therapy, Could it be Right for You?

Posted By iamincontrol | June 21, 2018

Therapy can feel really intimidating and shameful. The truth is, a lot of people go to therapy whether they have a mental illness or not. You also don’t have to be going through a crisis to see a therapist. Therapists can be a helpful resource for sorting through many different problems.

While it may seem like no one is experiencing the same issues as you, mental health is being more openly discussed than ever. Several celebrities have shared their experiences with mental health including Lili Reinhart, Selena Gomez, Keke Palmer, Demi Lovato, John Hamm, Brandon Marshall and Dwayne Johnson. If you’re interested in giving therapy a try, here are some things that you should know:

  • It may take you a while to find a therapist that is right for you. Psychology Today has a search feature that lets you sort therapists in your area by different criteria. You can access that feature here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists.
  • Online counseling services are becoming more common. If there isn’t a therapist near you, there may be an online service that works for you.
  • The first session is an opportunity for the therapist to get to know you and what you might want to work on. Even after having your first session, you may decide to find a different therapist. And that’s okay!

For more information about what to expect from your first therapy session, check out this article: https://psychcentral.com/lib/what-to-expect-in-your-first-counseling-session/

Jun 19

How to Stay Cool by the Pool All Summer Long

Posted By iamincontrol | June 19, 2018

Swimming is one of the most popular summer activities, but without proper safety it can be scary. Whether you are heading to a community pool, lake, or water park, here are a few tips to keep you safe all summer long.

  • Always swim with a buddy. If something goes wrong they can get help. Plus, it’s more fun with a friend!
  • Know your limits and your comfort level. Don’t get pressured into a dangerous situation.
  • Take a CPR and first aid class, nothing is cooler than being prepared in case of an emergency.
  • Only swim in designated areas. Follow directions posted on signs or caution ropes to keep everyone safe.
  • Be careful about diving. Diving injuries can be serious so if it says, “No Diving” pay attention!
  • Always wear sunscreen and don’t forget to reapply.
  • While you are splashing around in the water all day, don’t forget to take time to drink some water.

For more tips on water safety check out https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/water-safety.html?WT.ac=ctg#catsafebasics.

Jun 14

Selfies and Self-Worth

Posted By iamincontrol | June 14, 2018

It is okay to want to be liked by your friends and receive likes on Facebook or Instagram posts. But the more time we spend on social media, the more our expectations of life change. Don’t worry – this doesn’t mean you need to shut down all of your accounts this minute! Try cutting back on social media time by:

  • Be mindful of the amount of time you’re spending on social media and try to limit the time each day. Once you get used to less screen time, the less you actually want it.
  • Consider what makes you happy that isn’t based in an online post. Reading a book, cooking a healthy meal, playing a game or making art are all good ways to reduce your time online.
  • Keep your phone away when spending time with friends and loved ones. They will appreciate you focusing your time and energy on them and not your screen.
  • No one’s self-worth should be based on how other people perceive you or your life! Nobody’s life is perfect – keep living your life and not someone’s idea of what you should do.

If you are wondering how other people like you are handling cutting down on social media, visit https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/sep/21/does-quitting-social-media-make-you-happier-yes-say-young-people-doing-it.

Jun 12

Fighting Food Deserts and Food Swamps

Posted By iamincontrol | June 12, 2018

If there is no healthy food near our homes, we may not eat the right things for our body or not eat at all. Not having healthy food within reach is called a food desert. Food deserts are a problem in controlling weight for many people, but recent studies have shown that food swamps are issues too. Food swamps are areas with a lot of low-nutrient and processed foods that are within reach. Try to think of a place in your hometown that is full of fast food restaurants and gas stations with junk food – that’s a food swamp.

These food swamps are common in areas that already struggle with poverty. Some cities have tried banning fast-food restaurants from areas, while other cities have tried to bring in healthy places to eat. There are other things being done, like teaching people how to cook with vegetables or making community gardens, but the answer will need more than just these things. It is important to understand the environment that you and others grow up in and healthy foods.

Go to https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/12/food-swamps/549275/ to learn more about the topic!

Jun 7

Refreshing Summer Snacks

Posted By iamincontrol | June 7, 2018

There are plenty of fruits and vegetables in season during the summer.

You can use these to prepare a healthy snack.

There are some you can take on the go and some you can have in your fridge/freezer to help you cool off after a fun activity!

Some snack ideas include:

Jun 5

Summer Skin Care

Posted By iamincontrol | June 5, 2018

As you start spending more time outside, it’s important to make sure that your skin is protected. Use the following tips to make sure that your skin stays healthy throughout the summer:

  • Use a lighter, thinner moisturizer. This can help prevent breakouts.
  • Apply sunscreen every day – and use actual sunscreen. Many makeup products now have some SPF. But the sunscreen in these products are very weak and less protective.
  • Don’t forget your lips! Look for a lip balm with SPF to protect them from the sun as well.
  • Stay hydrated. Besides drinking water, you can eat certain foods to help get your daily water intake. Cantaloupe, watermelon, cucumbers, celery, and grapes are all very hydrating.
  • Sunburned? Look for products with aloe, chamomile, and green tea. All of these are ingredients that should help with inflammation.

For more tips on how to take care of your skin over the summer, check out this link: https://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/skin-care/summer-skin-problems

May 31

Vitamin Waters and Sports Drinks

Posted By iamincontrol | May 31, 2018

Vitamin waters and sports drinks may not be as good as they seem. Vitamin waters have a lot of added sugar in the form of fructose. Fructose is just a fancy word for sugar. You may think it is worth it because of the vitamins it provides, but many of the vitamins that are in the drink often times already present in your diet. When beverages are sweetened with sugar, it is difficult to realize how many calories you are consuming. Sports drinks are the same way. While it may be beneficial to athletes working out for long periods of time in the heat, it is not healthy for someone who is not as physically active. It provides extra sugar and potassium that is not needed and can lead to weight gain. The sugar can also cause cavities and other tooth problems. There are many other drinks like this so read the ingredient labels and look for the word fructose. If it is one of the first few words listed that probably means it is a key ingredient and could be harmful.

These drinks can be a nice treat but drink them in moderation. Don’t try to use them as your primary intake of vitamins or have them replace water. Keep these things in mind when choosing your drinks:

  • Be on the lookout for fructose on ingredient labels.
  • Drink as much regular water as you can.
  • Eat a balanced, healthy diet to get your vitamins.

Check out these tips on how to drink more water: https://www.prevention.com/food/hacks-to-drink-more-water/slide/4

May 29

Cross Contamination: Don’t Cross It!

Posted By iamincontrol | May 29, 2018

You probably know someone who has gotten food poisoning. As long as you properly prepare and store food, food poisoning is unlikely to happen. One common way people get food poisoning is through cross contamination. This is when raw meat, poultry, or seafood (or their juices) touches ready to eat food or eating utensils/surfaces. Cooking foods until they reach high temperatures kills most bacteria, which is why properly cooked meats are safe.

Here are some tips to avoid cross contamination.

  1. Do not use the same cutting board to cut anything else after cutting raw meat, poultry, or seafood on it. If you only have one cutting board, make sure to clean it really well with dish soap in between.
  2. Do not use the same knife to cut ready-to-eat food or produce after using it to cut meat, poultry, or seafood. This goes the same for any other utensils that have touched raw meat.
  3. If cleaning up with a towel, do not reuse it. Throw it in the laundry.
  4. If using plates to hold raw meat, poultry, or seafood, do not return the cooked meat back onto the same plate or any other food items.
  5. Always wash your hands with soap and water after touching raw meat, poultry, or seafood before touching anything else.
  6. Store raw meat, poultry, and seafood on the bottom shelf of the fridge in a sealed container or plastic bag to prevent them from dripping onto ready-to-eat food.

For information about cooking at home and food safety, visit: https://spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu/cook/cook-at-home/

May 24

Why Brushing Your Teeth with Charcoal Can Actually Damage Your Teeth and Make Them More Yellow

Posted By iamincontrol | May 24, 2018

Have you seen the charcoal toothpaste that’s becoming popular? I’m talking about that black-colored crud people brush on their teeth to whiten them. While having white teeth is desirable, using charcoal isn’t the answer.

Dentists warn that charcoal likely destroys your enamel and erodes your teeth. And you know what the worst part is? Enamel doesn’t grow back. Once you lose it, it’s gone. Losing your enamel causes your teeth to darken and makes them more sensitive and prone to cavities. In addition to these things, charcoal toothpaste also doesn’t contain important ingredients such as fluoride, which protects your enamel from sugary and acidic foods and beverages.

Of course, we all still want whiter teeth. Luckily there are safer alternatives. The American Dental Association approves the use of several whitening toothpastes (see list here) as well as some whitening strips. Many dentists also offer professional whitening services. Probably the simplest solution, however, is to maintain healthy dental habits. Brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day and getting regular dental cleanings will help keep stains at bay the old fashioned way.

May 22

Toxic Friendships

Posted By iamincontrol | May 22, 2018

Friends are usually the people you tell everything to. They are the ones you can’t wait to see at school every day. But sometimes you get a friend that you don’t look forward to seeing. Someone who makes you feel bad about yourself or has you worried about what you might say. This is someone who might be a toxic friend.

I once had a friend who I did everything with. We were taking the same classes and we liked the same things. Sometimes I would get excited and tell her about a good test grade I got. If she got a better one she’d always tell me that and if she didn’t she would change the subject or tell me not to brag. It wasn’t until I started hanging out with other people that I could tell what the friend was doing wasn’t nice.

A toxic friend might:

  • Tell your secrets to other friends
  • Always change the subject back to them
  • Try to get you to not hangout with other people
  • Call you a bad friend if you don’t do what they want
  • Be overly competitive

If a friend of yours fits what’s above, there are things you can do. If they share your secrets, start telling them less. Try to start spending more time with other friends. It might be hard to find the courage, but you can talk to your friend and tell them how they are making you feel. They might not notice they are doing it. You don’t have to end your whole friendship.

Checkout tips on how to deal with a toxic friend here: https://au.reachout.com/articles/dealing-with-a-toxic-friendship