Healthy Life & Soul
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Julie Miller

I am a Bay Area freelance writer specializing in health and lifestyle topics. I'm a mother of two teenage boys and an active volunteer in the community. I also enjoy reading and writing Christian romantic mysteries.

Posted 5/6/16 at 1:18 PM | Julie Miller

5 Reasons to Banish “Mom Guilt” For Good

(C) Fotolio

While having a baby is one of the most rewarding event any couple can experience, there is more pressure than ever on working women to be super-moms. We’ve been sold the idea that in order to raise a functional child, you have to follow a strict set of rules, including inflexible bedtimes, breastfeeding and absolutely no non-organic treats.

Although these ideas promote good parenting, no child-rearing advice is set in stone, and mothers (and fathers) often end up feeling guilty for straying even slightly from these guidelines. The problem is, “Mom Guilt” isn’t healthy or helpful. In fact, it’s far worse for your little one than an occasional late bedtime or sweet treat.

Next time you feel a wave of Mom Guilt (Or Dad Guilt) coming on, remember this:

1. Breast isn’t always best FULL POST

Posted 1/12/16 at 9:01 PM | Julie Miller

What Not to Say to an Atheist

(c) Fotolia

Spirituality comes in many forms. But, for atheists, spirituality can be a lot more complex and doesn't revolve around the traditional God or other higher power that most of us believe in. Too often people believe that atheists will "change their ways" if they're just convinced of the existence of god, and so atheists are subjected to incessant lectures by well-meaning individuals. Believe me, atheists have heard all of the arguments before—many times. That's the wrong way to interact with an atheist, whether the person is a stranger or a friend.

Unless you're actually trying to annoy an atheist (which would beg the question "why?"), read up on these examples below.

Preaching

Preaching at an atheist is pretty much like running your fingernails up and down a chalkboard. When you're preaching or proselytizing like this, you're not having a conversation. You're having a one-sided "discussion" as you try your best to change the atheist's beliefs or show them how wrong they are. It's actually kind of abusive, so stop it.

Quoting the Bible

Most religions, if not all of them, have some sort of religious text that provide structure and guidance for followers of that religion. For many of us, the Bible is close at hand or in our heads, and we have passages that guide is in our decisions and world view. But atheists don’t care about bible quotes for the simple reason that they don’t believe in a religion or God. Quoting religious text will only convince the atheist that the conversation no longer has a point. FULL POST

Posted 12/4/15 at 8:37 PM | Julie Miller

A Simple Guide to Dating Outside Your Faith

(c) Fotolia

When religion plays a significant part in your daily life, it may seem that your only option when it comes to dating is to choose someone who shares the same spiritual outlook. Sometimes, though, it can be difficult to find that special someone in your religious circle. If you meet someone from a different religion and find yourself interested in dating them, there are several simple steps you can take to bridge the differences between your faith and theirs and build a meaningful relationship that encompasses both of your religious points of view.

Avoid Assumptions

No matter what you've heard about the religion of the person you're dating, take time to seek out the truth. When it comes to religion, fallacies abound. You may have been misinformed about certain aspects of another religion and end up looking foolish when you reveal those wrong perceptions. Pick up a book that covers the basics of the religion, visit the official website of the organization and study its tenets or make an appointment with a religious leader from that faith so you can clarify your understanding of it. Gather facts, not fiction, when you learn about the faith and avoid accepting stereotypes that may or may not be true. FULL POST