Did you know that it's important to replenish your protein levels after a tough workout? This helps your body to repair damaged tissues. The following recipe provides you a wonderful post-workout shake that's full of protein and antioxidants:
You Will Need:
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup pomegranate juice
3 cups kale or spinach leaves
1 kiwi, peeled
1/2 cup green grapes
1/4 cup avocado, peeled
1/8 slice of lime with rind
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
tsp Stevia (optional)
2 cups ice cubes
Place all ingredients into a high-powered blender and fire it up. Run for a minute, or until smooth. Drink and enjoy!
This word makes most people cringe. It is a topic that very few want to discuss. Even healthcare providers fail to have medical discussions with their patients about obesity. But this topic is so very important, not for reasons of vanity, but also for your health.
Let’s start with the definition of obesity. The National Institute of Health defines obesity as a BMI (body mass index) greater than 30. This number correlates height and weight to determine an estimated body fat measurement. To calculate a BMI, simply type “BMI calculator” into google! Plug your height and weight in and you get a number. A normal BMI is 18.5-24.9. A BMI can tell you if you are underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese. Another measurement of obesity is waist size. For women a waist size over 35 inches and 40 inches in men with two or more medical problems linked to weight is considered obese.
The biggest problem with obesity is the health complications that are associated with it. Obesity affects every single organ system. Some medical problems can be reversed, but others are permanent. Some of the most common medical problems that stem from obesity include, but are not limited to: heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, vascular disease, stroke, cancer, gallbladder stones, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea and depression.
There is no magic pill or quick fix for obesity which is why 1/3 of the population struggles with it. Everyone knows the treatment, but people hate to diet and exercise. Many wait until they have a dreaded “wake up call”, a personal health scare or that of someone close to them before they take steps to deal with obesity. However, the best time is right now. The only way to manage obesity is to adapt to a lifestyle change. Unfortunately, some motivated people diet and exercise to reach their goal for a special event, but regain the weight again within 5 years. It is more than essential to make this a lifestyle change and stick to it, rather than a short-term challenge with a goal.
Many programs are now available, some are even covered by your medical insurance to help you eat properly and get appropriate exercise. There are lifestyle centers to aid with all aspects of weight loss, physical, diet, mental and medical. It is important to have a network of support around you and to take little steps toward a big goal. Small steps can drastically reduce the risk of permanent health problems. Start small and build on your progress. For example, use the steps for 1 flight of stairs at work or cut one soda from your day. Each week, increase that number. Then add other steps. Little sacrifices are often less drastic and not as unpleasant as quitting everything and exercising until you are too sore to move. When you work in this manner, you are more likely to achieve and more importantly, maintain your healthy weight goals.
Start the steps to a healthier lifestyle now!
Distracted driving seems to be the norm now, which is downright scary. Here are some facts that might help keep your eyes on the road:
1. The average time your eyes are off the road is 5 seconds. That's enough time to go the length of a football field if you're speed is 55 mph.
2. Texting is the most dangerous form of distracted driving because it requires visual, manual and cognitive attention from the driver.
3. Ten percent of all drivers ages 15-19 that were involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes.
4. Texting is not the only type of distracted driving. Other forms: eating, reading, applying make-up, sexual encounters (for real!), arguing, dealing with rambunctious children, looking at sights outside of the vehicle, unsecured pets, and adjusting electronics.
5. Talking on a cell phone quadruples your risk of an accident, which is about the same as if you were driving drunk. That risk doubles if you are texting.
We were all taught not to talk to strangers or to take anything from strangers. Childhood abduction is on the rise, and it is essential to talk to the children in your life about what to do if a stranger approaches them. You may think it will never be an issue for you family, but life has a way of surprising us. The term stranger danger itself can be misleading to children. They may misinterpret who a stranger is to them. They may feel strangers are big, mean, ugly men, but perhaps a nice lady offering them candy or an attractive young man looking for his puppy and seems friendly may not be interpreted as a stranger. Furthermore, you child may actually need to rely on a stranger for help.
First, always tell your child to trust their instincts. If they are uncomfortable in any situation, get out of it as quickly as they can and call you. It is important to teach your child to come to you if anyone approaches them, asks them to keep a secret or invites them to leave with them.
Teach your children to ask certain kinds of people for help, for example a police officer, store clerk, or someone with other children.
Allow your child to have a cell phone. You can track their location and they can message or call you if they find themselves in an uncomfortable or unsafe situation. Always have them check in to school, after school and when going to and from their friend’s homes.
Make a secret password for you and your children. If a stranger ever approaches you child telling them their mother sent them, your child should ask for the password. If the stranger does not know it, they should run and seek help.
Sign your child and yourself up for a local self-defense class. Then practice those skills at least once a week so that if you are grabbed you have a better chance of escaping.
Role play possible situations with your children to give them examples of what to do in possible abduction scenarios.
Keep the children in your life safe!
As I am preparing to head out on our annual storm chasing trip, I am reminded about how many people do not know the proper safety measures if you are faced with a tornado in your area.
First, know if there is a chance of a tornado in your area. A tornado watch means that there is a chance of tornados in your area and conditions are favorable for a tornado to form quickly. A tornado warning means that an actual tornado has been spotted in your area. There are apps to download onto your phone to alert you to tornado warnings. Keep the news channel or weather channel on so you are aware of the danger and updated on the most recent changes.
Make a family plan. Everyone in your family should know where they are to meet in the event of a tornado. The safest place is a storm shelter. If you do not have a storm shelter, meet in the basement away from windows. If you do not have a basement, seek shelter along an interior wall away from windows. Closets, bathrooms and corners of interior rooms are the most sturdy to protect you. Do not open windows; doing that will allow flying debris into your home and increase your risk of injury.
If you live in a mobile home, it is not safe to remain there. Go to a local storm shelter, public building or neighbor’s home with a basement. If you are outside and no shelter is immediately available, lie down in the lowest area (ditch, ravine, depression) and cover your head. Do not lie near a tree as it will not protect you in a tornado. Furthermore do not seek shelter under an underpass. Underpasses have stronger wind currents and collect flying debris putting you in increased risk of being harmed. Do not try not to outrun a tornado in your vehicle.
Be prepared. If there is a tornado watch in your area, have everyone put on sturdy shoes and a jacket nearby so that if you need to evacuate, everyone is safely ready. Having a helmet for everyone to protect their heads is ideal, but if no helmets are available, have a blanket in your meeting area to cover everyone to protect from flying debris. Have bottled water and non-perishable food available. Ideally have an emergency, battery operated radio. Most cell phones will not work in disasters due to towers being down and numerous people trying to make calls at the same time.
The key to safety during severe weather is to be aware, prepared and calm.
As the temperature increases, we shift our focus from hot comfort drinks to cool and refreshing drinks. It is important to stay hydrated, especially when exposed to summer heat. Most recommend 8 glasses of water per day. Many tell me they just hate the taste of water, so I often steer them in the direction of adding a healthy, low calorie flavor to their water. In a very large glass, pitcher, or Mason jar add fresh chunks of fruit, add a spring or couple leaves of an herb, top with water and enjoy!
Here are some of my favorite combinations. Let us know what your favorite is!
Cucumber & pomegranate
Strawberry & lemon & basil
Blueberries & oranges & basil
Grapefruit & rosemary
Pear & ginger
Blackberry & sage
Pineapple & orange & mint
Raspberry & mango & lime
Raspberry & lemon & sage
Cherries & lime
Blackberry & orange
Strawberry & mint
Watermelon & basil
Apple & cinnamon stick
Lemon & thyme
Having trouble sleeping? It could be your diet. Studies have found that consuming too much saturated fat and sugar, and not enough fiber, could cause disruptive sleep patterns. The greater the amount of fiber in the diet, the more time an individual spent in the deeper stages of restorative sleep.
This is another reason a healthy diet is so important! Be sure you are eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, Limit the amount of sugar you consume, and aim to eat leaner forms of protein such as chicken, turkey, and nuts.
Another culprit of deep sleep is alcohol. It can interrupt the normal cycles and cause you to wake up throughout the night. Try to limit the amount of alcohol you consume before bedtime.
Hopefully this will help you to bag some vital zzzzzz's!
This is a very easy recipe that is full-proof. Make it on a Saturday or Sunday and you'll have enough for several more meals throughout the week (or to put in the freezer for future use).
2 tsp salt
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 pounds pork shoulder roast (or butt)
2 bay leaves
2 cups chicken broth
Mix dry ingredients and rub on to the pork.
Put bay leaves in bottom of crock pot, place pork on top. Gently pour the chicken broth around the sides of the pork, being careful to not rinse off the spice mixture.
Cook on low for 5 hours, flip the meat, then cook for 5 more hours.
When done, shred with fork and serve however you wish.
Possibilities:: tacos, enchiladas, in salads, as a potato topper, with rice/veggies.
If you want to freeze for later, save some of the liquid and put in a freezer container with the meat so that when you re-heat it won't be too dry.
Ah, chocolate! If you're a fellow lover, then the word alone can make you smile. I can be having a lousy day, but if I pop a chocolate square in my mouth the world is bright again!
Here are some fun facts about chocolate:
I know. I know. I gave you more than 5 facts. It's kindof like chocolate. Once you start eating it....it's tough to stop!
Have a wonderful weekend, and include a bit of chocolate!!
Do you have a weak immune system? Do you tend to get colds easily and suffer longer than everyone else? Do you have tummy trouble ? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then a good bone broth could be the answer. Research has found it heals the lining of our intestines and boosts immunity. What's more, it tastes great and is often the base for a hearty soup!
You will need:
2 lbs bones (from a whole chicken, turkey, or ham)
2 chicken feet (optional)
3 stalks celery
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 bunch parsley
1 Tbs sea salt
1 tsp pepper
2 cloves garlic
Place all the ingredients in a slow cooker on medium to high heat.
Cook for 2 hours and scoop out any foam that forms.
Reduce heat to low and cook from 24 to 48 hours. This allows time for the vinegar to pull the rich nutrients out of the bone.
Strain. You can then drink the broth on it's own or use it as a base for soup.
Nothing says spring more than seeing a robin in your yard. They are often the first to arrive after a long, cold winter. As I write this, there is a mama robin outside my window. She is hunkered down in her nest and is glaring at me. Yep. It's spring.
Here are some fun facts you might not have known about robins:
The next time you step outside, pause for a moment and listen for the robin's song. It might just put an extra spring in your step!
We began April with April Fool’s Day, a day when many think it is funny to announce a pretend pregnancy and see the response. However, April 24-30, 2016 is also Infertility Awareness Week, where the other side of the line does not find those jokes too funny.
The National Infertility Awareness movement began in 1989, The Department of Health and Human Services recognized National Infertility Awareness Week in 2010.
This topic affects me personally and I often struggle with it during the holidays and family functions. From my wedding day until now, someone has always asked the dreaded question, “When are you going to have a baby?”. It seems innocent enough, but it opens a big can of soggy worms when someone has been struggling with fertility, especially if there is a long story behind it. Often the person who asks regrets the question and feels bad about the response.
Infertility is a disease that has medical specialists to diagnose and treat the illness. 1 in 8 US couples of childbearing age is diagnosed with infertility. Men and women both struggle with infertility for many difference reasons and everyone handles it in their own way. Infertility can be expensive, disappointing, frustrating and depressing. It often leads to feelings of failure and marital disputes.
Being aware of infertility and sensitive to the disease process can help you be a more informed and supportive person to those in your life that may be struggling. Please be considerate and ensure that others around you follow your lead when it comes to addressing infertility among family, friends and even strangers. What may seem innocent to one can be quite hurtful to someone diagnosed with infertility.
The RESOLVE group (a non-profit The National Infertility Association, Est in 1974) has issued the following:
25 Things to Say (and Not to Say) to Someone Living with Infertility
I do love a brisk cup of coffee in the morning. As I am writing this article, I am sipping on a cup and marveling at the wonderful world in which we live. Mind you, I woke up as grouchy as any gal could be at 5:00 AM. But then I took my first sip, and things started to look brighter.
That’s the beauty of coffee. It’s a gentle mood booster. Research is starting to discover it has other health benefits as well:
· Lower risk of heart disease.
· Lower risk of neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s.
· Lower risk of diabetes.
· Lower risk of car accidents.
· Lower risk of suicide.
These benefits were identified in those who drank caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee. They believe there are compounds in the beverage that reduce insulin resistance and systematic inflammation (IDEA Fitness Journal, 2016 March).
So how much can you drink? It really depends on your body. I know that if I drink more than one cup I am jittery all day long. Other people can consume five cups and not feel a thing. Researchers suggest from 3 to 5 cups is safe.
There are some conditions, however, where coffee consumption is not recommended. If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, then you will want to avoid the beverage. Those with osteoporosis should also limit the number of cups they drink. In both cases the caffeine is harmful. However, if you switch to decaf then you eliminate this problem.
Another thing I want to caution you on is what you’re putting in your coffee. The health benefits are greatly diminished when you add sugar and heavy cream. Try to limit these as much as possible. Liza recently broke me of my mocha habit, which is loaded with sugar, chocolate, and whipped cream. She introduced me to café lattes which have milk and nothing more. I get mine with reduced fat milk and they are divine.
As I wrap up this article I am also taking my last sip of coffee. It’s time to tackle the day!!
Looking for new ways to stay motivated with your exercise program? Consider using Skype. Skype is a free program you can download by going to www.skype.com. It requires you to have a camera built into your computer. Once installed, it allows you to “call” someone (similar to calling them on the phone) and talk to them through your computer. You can also see them, and they can see you.
From an exercise perspective this allows you to workout with your exercise buddy without ever leaving home. Just set your computer up so that the camera catches you at a good workout angle. Then call your friend and start the workout.
There have been studies on the use of Skype to motivate exercise. The results were extremely positive. The use of this simple tool resulted in a 93% attendance rate for exercise (IDEA Fitness Journal, 2016 March). That's high!!
If motivation is a problem, consider using Skype with your exercise pal. It could be just what you need to stay focused!
April is national handwritten letter month. This is a skill that seems to have dissipated as technology has taken over. Cursive handwriting has been removed from many school curriculums as an outdated and unnecessary skill. Perhaps it is time to make it popular again. As Ronald Regan recently passed, his love letters to his wife, Nancy were one of her most cherished possessions.
In this era, a handwritten letter is particularly special. First, someone took the time to purchase paper, sit down with a pen and write their thoughts and feelings down, purchase a stamp and go to a mailbox or post office to send it. These letters take more time and personal attention then composing an email or text message. Furthermore, remember the excitement you get when you receive a card or letter in the mail. It is so nice to have personal mail that is not a bill or advertisement. Letters can be saved and enjoyed over and over again in the future. Often they are cherished from loved ones that have passed away.
Letters can be used to let someone know you are thinking about them, thankful for a gift or good deed, to encourage them or to update on significant life events. Even more you can add photos, cartoons or jokes to make them extra special. Handwritten letters can be included in home-made cards that enable you to express your creative side.
We have many holidays and events coming up that are good reasons to sit down an put pen to paper. Consider Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, graduations, weddings, births and reconnecting with friends you have not talk to for a while. Take the time to compose a letter to let someone know just how special they are to you.
The facts are in. The more time you spend sitting each day, the greater toll it takes on your body and your health. But what's a working woman to do? Most jobs require us to sit for long periods of time. Below are some tips to counter the negative effects of sitting:
We all know that eating a piece of fruit is far better for us than drinking juice, but when in a pinch its an easy way to get some good vitamins.
1. Fruit juice has more calories than whole fruit because its sugars are concentrated, so your body will experience a quicker rise in blood sugar than if you eat a piece of fruit..
2. Grapefruit juice has the least calories, and prune juice is one of the highest.
3. Juices fortified with calcium and vitamin D are a good way to get much-needed bone nutrients.
4. Concentrated juices have almost as many nutrients as fresh fruit, but not the same amount of fiber.
5 Juice "drinks" are packed with sugar and have very little nutritional value. Look for labels that say 100% juice.
Thanks to El Nino, it has been a pretty mild winter in Northeast Ohio. But we are still very eager for spring to arrive. Of course the groundhog promised us an early spring, so it is time to get started on your spring décor. Nancy and I recently made this spring craft and love it! It was so simple that anyone can make one. Here are the steps:
1.) Find or order an umbrella with a hooked handle. (We ordered ours from Amazon)
2.) Purchase artificial spring flowers that have a long stem from your local craft store.
3.) Arrange the long stem flowers in your umbrella.
4.) Secure with ribbon.
5.) Display on your door.
6.) Marvel at your lovely new spring decoration.
Spring is finally here! I'm a big fan of Spring, but I also have a skewed view:
1. Golf season begins, so say goodbye to your husband.
2. Yards need mowed, weeds need pulled, mulch needs spread. MORE WORK.
3. Allergies kick in to full swing. Time to stock up on tissues.
4. The kids only have 2 more months of school, then all chaos begins!
5. Bathing suit season is just around the corner. YIKES.
I know we harp on it a lot. But heart disease is the number one killer of women over the age of 50. It’s also something that can usually be prevented. You know the drill for prevention…exercise, eat right, get plenty of sleep, and decrease your stress levels. Here’s some things you might not have known:
· Heart attacks happen earlier and are more life-threatening in women.
· Abdominal fat is more strongly associated with early death in women than in men.
· Type 2 diabetes is a stronger risk factor for stroke in women than in men.
· Women 60+ who have type 2 diabetes also have higher levels of hypertension.
· Exercise can help, but women need to exercise more and at a greater intensity than men to reap the rewards (IDEA Fitness Journal, 2016 March).
Hopefully this motivates you to get out there and get moving! How much exercise is enough? It depends on who you’re talking to. At a minimum you need 2 hours per week of activity. That translates into 20 minutes of exercise on 6 days of the week. On the 7th day you can rest.
Please don’t be a statistic! Take care of your heart and it will take care of you. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go get in a walk.
So what are you doing for Easter? I will be going to church and then getting my eat on with the family. This is one of those holidays that some do up big, while others barely acknowledge. To help get you in the mood, I have researched some fun facts about Easter:
The CDC declared March 6-12, 2016 to be National Sleep Awareness Week. I cannot stress the importance of getting adequate sleep each night. Many of my colleagues tease me for going to bed so early each night, but I know my body and my needs. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend adults need 7 or more hours of sleep each night to promote health and well-being. Many admit they do not routinely sleep for this duration.
So what’s the big deal if you do not sleep for a least 7 hour most night? Research has shown that adults who do not get enough sleep are more likely to suffer for chronic medical conditions that include obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and poor mental function.
It may seem easier said than done. Here are some tips to help you get a better night sleep. Make a family routine and plan your evening to allow ample time to get ready for bed and asleep by the necessary time to get 7 hours of sleep. Further tips to help aid in a good night sleep include:
· Avoid eating 2-3 hours before bedtime
· Avoid alcohol, nicotine & caffeine before bedtime
· Avoid exercise 2-3 hours before bedtime
· Turn off all electronics 1-2 hours before bedtime
· Avoid checking email or working prior to bedtime
· Keep your bedroom cool and relaxing
· If your partner disrupts your sleep, consider sleeping in separate rooms
· Consider aroma therapy lotions or a white noise machine to aid in sleeping
If you have tried all of the above for a week and are still struggling to sleep 7 hours night, talk to your doctor about medication supplements or a sleep study. Your sleep is essential to your health! So stay healthy and take care of yourself!
April 15th is drawing near. That means you have to get your taxes in! Since none of us like to do it, I thought we could all use a chuckle with these fun facts:
March 17th is St Patrick's day. Many Americans celebrate, although few truly understand what the day is about:
Don't forget to turn your clocks ahead one hour on March 13th. Yes, it's that time of year again...Daylight Savings Time! Here are some fun and interesting facts:
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