Thursday, July 26, 2018

Overwhelmed? Transform your thinking!

Do you ever feel like you need superpowers to accomplish all your tasks and goals? Give yourself a break and stop setting the bar so high. Take it day by day! Accept that you are only human, and your best is good enough. 
Remember these tips when you start to feel overwhelmed:

  1. Acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses and set realistic expectations for yourself.
  2. Never beat yourself up when you don’t reach your goals. Failure teaches you how to improve.
  3. Stay positive and seek the positives in every situation.
  4. Ask for help when you need it. Guidance and strength is all around you; you just have to ask for it. 

Managing Stress on a Busy Schedule

Sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the day. Juggling several tasks can burn you out, leaving no room to focus on your wellbeing. Be kind to yourself and take moments to destress and reboot your brain. 
Here are five healthy techniques to help reduce stress during your busy day.

Take a break from the stressor. It may seem difficult to get away from a big work project, a crying baby or a growing credit card bill. But when you give yourself permission to step away from it, you let yourself have time to do something else, which can help you have a new perspective or practice techniques to feel less overwhelmed. It’s important to not avoid your stress (those bills have to be paid sometime), but even just 20-minutes to take care of yourself is helpful.
Exercise. The research keeps growing — exercise benefits your mind just as well as your body. We keep hearing about the long-term benefits of a regular exercise routine. But even a 20-minute walk, run, swim or dance session during a stressful time can give an immediate effect that can last for several hours.
Smile and laugh. Our brains are interconnected with our emotions and facial expressions. When people are stressed, they often hold a lot of the stress in their face. So, laughs or smiles can help relieve some of that tension and improve the situation.
Get social support. Call a friend, send an email. When you share your concerns or feelings with another person, it does help relieve stress. But it’s important that the person whom you talk to is someone whom you trust and whom you feel can understand and validate you. If your family is a stressor, for example, it may not alleviate your stress if you share your works woes with one of them.
Meditate. Meditation and mindful prayer help the mind and body to relax and focus. Mindfulness can help people see new perspectives, develop self-compassion and forgiveness. When practicing a form of mindfulness, people can release emotions that may have been causing the body physical stress. Much like exercise, research has shown that even meditating briefly can reap immediate benefits.

Source: American Psychological Association

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Cauliflower Recipe

Try this healthy "faux-fredo" recipe. It's low in fat, sugar and sodium, and high in flavor, thiamin and vitamin C. Makes four servings. Serving size is approximately 1-1/2 cups.

  • 1 head fresh cauliflower, cut into pieces
  • 1 quart water
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 16-ounce package of spaghetti
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt & pepper to taste

  • Parmesan cheese to taste
  • Left-over rotisserie chicken

Wash cauliflower and remove green leaves and stem. Cut the cauliflower into approximately 2-inch pieces. In a large saucepan, sauté onion and garlic over medium heat until tender. Add cauliflower pieces, water and broth to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until tender, but firm. Add spaghetti and cook as package directs.

Nutritional Information
Per serving (1 1/2 cups)
Calories 356
Total Fat 2.9g
Sodium 146mg
Carbohydrates 67.5g

Plan Your Meals and Save a Few Bucks!

Making your own meals is usually healthier and more cost efficient than dining out. This summer, skip the fast-food and save money by planning and preparing your meals. Here are four simple steps to help you be successful:

  • Start with the basics. Begin scheduling your healthy meals with a master list. Prioritize by placing the quickest and healthiest foods at the top. To stay on track, write down your meals and use them as references each day. Add recipes to the list as you try new things.
  • Stick with the plan. Not scheduling breakfast and lunch may cause you to skip meals in the future, replacing them with convenience foods. To avoid this, consider preparing meals ahead around schedule conflicts, such as family functions and work meetings.
  • Efficiency is key. Before you purchase foreign spices and expensive recipe books, review the materials and ingredients you already have. Organize your pantry, refrigerator and freezer to see what meals you may be able to make. When you do go to the store, bring your meal list as a guide to find necessary items. This helps reduce grocery bills and waste.
  • Cook in batches. This allows you to freeze meals to use when you don't have time to cook.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Sports Drinks vs Water for Children

Many people use sports drinks before, during, or after an activity; however, if you aren’t exercising intensely or are exercising for less than one hour, water is your best choice. Children and teens use carbohydrates for energy. A balanced diet gives most children and teens the carbohydrates and electrolytes they need. Extra carbohydrates and electrolytes from sports drinks aren’t needed, even after short physical activity or exercise.

A sports drink may be useful if children and teens have exercised intensively or for a long period of time. If your child is an athlete or takes part in intensive or long-lasting activities or exercises, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian about how to best incorporate sports drinks.

Can't stand the heat? Exercise indoors.

As the summer heat rises, don’t use the temperature as your excuse to slack on your fitness plan. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, adults should exercise at least 30 minutes a day, a minimum of five days per week, preferably seven days a week. If you can’t spare 30 minutes a day, try to break it up throughout your day and week. Do blocks of 10 minutes or more of moderate exercise throughout your day to work up to the 30-minute goal.

Here are some ideas on how to fit in short bursts of indoor activity:
  • Use an exercise DVD for 10 to 15 minutes in the morning
  • and in the evening.
  • Turn up the music and dance while you vacuum.
  • Give the kitchen floor a good scrubbing.
  • Go shopping and do some mall walking.
  • Utilize indoor walking paths.
  • Take the stairs whenever possible.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Jazz up your fruit salad!

Looking for a special treat to beat this summer's heat? Not only is this salad full of hydrating fruits, it also gives the perfect balance between tangy and sweet! Serve this savory salad and keep you and your family hydrated this summer.
To make ahead, prepare the syrup and clean and chop the fruit and refrigerate separately. Toss the fruit and syrup together just before it’s time to serve.
One serving of this dish is about 3/4 cup. Serves 12.

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, packed
  • 1 tablespoon lime rind, grated
  • 4 cups pineapple, cubed
  • 3 cups strawberries, quartered
  • 4 kiwi, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups mangoes, peeled and cubed

1. Make the syrup by combining the sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook for a minute until the sugar is dissolved.
2. Remove pan from heat, stir in the basil and lime rind. Cool. Strain to discard the solids.
3. Combine the fruits in a large bowl. Drizzle with the syrup. Toss gently and enjoy!

Nutritional Information
Calories 102.6
Total Fat 0.4g
Protein 1.1g
Carbohydrate 25.9g
Sodium 2.4mg
Fiber 2.6g

Eat your water!

Water is the best drink choice to stay hydrated because it’s usually free and has no sugar or calories. Most healthy people can get enough fluid through the beverages they consume every day. But did you know that you could get your daily water requirements to stay hydrated through food? Some fruits and vegetables are high in water content, such as watermelon and lettuce.
Keep these healthy foods and drinks stocked to stay hydrated this summer!
  • Lettuce (1 1/2 cup) 95% water
  • Watermelon (1 1/2 cup) 92% water
  • Broccoli (1 1/2 cup) 91% water
  • Grapefruit (1 1/2 cup) 91% water
  • Milk (1 cup) 89% water
  • Orange juice (3/4 cup) 88% water
  • Carrot (1 1/2 cup) 87% water
  • Yogurt (1 cup) 85% water
  • Apple (one medium) 84% water

Beat the heat this summer!

We all look forward to the summer months and fun in the sun. As you and your family get outside to enjoy the weather, follow these tips to avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke:

  • Very high body temperatures could cause damage to the brain or other vital organs. People at greatest risk for heat-related illness include infants and children up to four years old, people 65 and older, and people who are overweight or have certain medical conditions.
  • When outside, remember to wear lightweight loose clothing and find shade whenever possible. Fill up on water, especially during and after physical activity.
  • Warning signs of heat-related illness include an extremely high body temperature (above 103°F); red, hot, and dry skin; no sweating; rapid heart rate; dizziness; nausea; and fainting. If you notice these signs get out of the heat, rest, drink water and take a cool shower. If symptoms do not improve or get worse, seek medical attention.
  • Always wear sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30. Sun block that contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are the only two ingredients proven to block out both UVA and UVB rays. Even if you think your exposure to the sun is minimal, it is important to use sunscreen daily. Your skin will thank you.

Managing Medications

Prescribed medications come in several forms and are taken in different ways. Even though they are meant to improve health, taking medicat...