Archive for July, 2016

Foods to Help Fight Stress!

Saturday, July 30th, 2016

Food for Thought

STRESS.  We all deal with it at some point in our lives.  But having too much stress in your life can be very harmful to your health and can make you more vulnerable to everything from colds to high blood pressure and even heart disease.

While there are many ways to cope with stress, eating stress-fighting foods is one good way to start.

From boosting serotonin levels to lowering stress hormones, there are a number of foods that actually counteract the impact of stress on our lives.  The following foods should be part of your diet for stress management:

 

stress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Complex Carbohydrates – All carbohydrates give a signal to the brain to produce that “feel good” chemical, serotonin.  To keep a steady flow of serotonin, dieticians suggest complex carbs like whole grain cereals, breads and pastas and oatmeal.

Oranges – Because they are a wealth of vitamin C, studies show that oranges are great stress-busting foods, as well as a great immune system strengthener.  Experts suggest taking 3,000 milligrams of vitamin C before a stressful event.

Fatty Fish – Omega-3 fatty acids are important to prevent surges in stress hormones, as well as protect against heart disease.  Try fatty fish like salmon or tuna for your Omega-3’s.

Black Tea – Good for lowering levels of cortisol following stressful events, many experts swear by the healing powers of black tea.  Black tea helps you to recover quickly following stresses and helps you to remain calm.

Pistachios – Chosen for their ability to soften the pre- and post-effects of stress, experts suggest eating a handful of pistachios every day to help lower blood pressure so it won’t spike when faced with stressful situations.

 

Health Food Hacks

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

No one ever wants to admit that their breath may not be the best smelling or even worse that they have some pretty stinky flatulence… but they are both issues that many people have to deal with, among other pesky health problems.

Fortunately there are some easy “food hacks” that will tackle bad breath, smelly gas and much more! Food is your “best weapon” when it comes to helping your body deal with some of these not-so-pleasant situations.

 

Health Food Hacks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some foods that can help:

Have bad breath?  Try eating some yogurt.  According to experts, eating unsweetened yogurt can reduce the level of odor-causing hydrogen sulfide bacteria in your mouth.  Good bacteria found in yogurt, like streptococcus thermophilus and lactobacillus bulgaricus, overpowered the hydrogen sulfide and helped lower levels by more than half – helping to eliminate the smelly mouth odor.

Have acne? Indulge in some salmon.

Skip the expensive creams and treatments that say they can reduce your pimples and acne and have yourself a big plate of salmon instead!  Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which decreases inflammation.  Studies show that inflammation is one of the underlying causes of acne and pimples.

Gassy? Have some peppermint.

If you find yourself in a situation where flatulence is coming on, find a piece of peppermint and you will be in the clear – instead of clearing out a room!  Peppermint soothes inflammation and pain in the gastrointestinal tract, helping to reduce the amount of flatulence as well as the odors associated with your gas.

Can’t sleep? Try some kiwi.

Because of the high levels of antioxidants and serotonin in kiwi, many people with sleep disorders have found that eating kiwi one hour before bed will help with their insomnia.  Peoplhave increased levels of oxidative stress and low levels of serotonin can cause insomnia.  Eating kiwi counteracts this process and can help people catch their ZZZZ’s.

Understand SPF and Sun Block

Saturday, July 23rd, 2016

In the News

sunblock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to an About.com report, SPF is actually determined indoors by exposing human subjects to a light spectrum to determine how the light affects their skin.

The study said that sunscreen with an SPF of 15 filters 92 percent of UVB rays.  In other words, a sunscreen with a SPF of 15, will “delay the onset of sunburn in a person who would otherwise burn in 10 minutes to burn in 150 minutes. The SPF allows a person to stay out in the sun 15 times longer.”

Unfortunately there is currently no measure of UVA absorption that has been determined.  Most sunscreens offer protection from UVA and UVB rays, although the time factor that a person can stay out in the sun and not be affected by UVA rays cannot be determined like that of UVB rays.

Either way, it is extremely important to wear sunscreen of at least a SPF of 15 when you are outdoors and reapply every two- to three hours.

 

 

 

 

Easy Treadmill Workout

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

Fitness for All

Tired of your same old treadmill routine?  Why not spice things up this week and try this easy treadmill work out that will help you burn a quick 2,000 calories in just seven days.

 

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Day One:

Power walk – 30 minutes

Strength train – 20 minutes

Day Two:

Warm-up (walk easily, then briskly) – 3 minutes

Power walk – 2 minutes

Run fast (don’t sprint) – 2 minutes

Repeat steps 1 and 2 – 10 times

Cool down (walk easily) – 2 minutes

Day Three:

Warm-up (walk easily) – 5 minutes

Do your favorite strength-training move – 12 reps

Power walk (4-6% incline) – 3 minutes

Repeat steps 1 and 2 – 6 times

Day Four:

Warm-up (walk easily, then briskly) – 3 minutes

Power walk – 2 minutes

Run fast (don’t sprint) – 2 minutes

Repeat steps 1 and 2 – 6 times

Cool down (walk easily) – 3 minutes

Day Five: 

Repeat Day One’s Routine

Day Six:

Warm-up (Walk easily, then briskly) – 5 minutes

Power walk – 2 minutes

Run fast (don’t sprint) – 4 minutes

Repeat steps 1 and 2 – 6 times

Cool down (walk easily) – 4 minutes 

Day Seven:

Rest

Repeat this workout weekly or every other week.  Remember to mix up your workouts to keep things fresh and exciting.

 

 

Summer 101: Avoid Pesky Bugs

Friday, July 15th, 2016

pesky bugs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just like we have been cooped up all winter, many insects have been cooped up, too.  But now they are making their appearance known.  Researchers suggest that the best way to deal with insect bites and stings is to prevent them before they happen:

  • Apply repellents to exposed skin. Do not apply repellents directly to your face, instead spray the repellent into your hands and apply to your face that way.
  • Wear shoes when walking around outdoors.  Avoid going barefoot whenever possible.
  • Do not swat or attempt to hit a flying insect.  This will only make them mad and attack you more frequently.
  • Avoid bright colored clothes when you are outdoors for extended periods of time as insects are attracted to bright colors.
  • Try not to wear heavy smelling perfumes outdoors as insects are also attracted to the smells.

How Soda Impacts Your Body

Monday, July 11th, 2016

Food for Thought

May 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weight:

Drinking just one soda per day equates to ingesting 39 pounds (yes 39 pounds) of sugar per year! Drinking soda on a regular basis interacts with the genes that affect weight and more than 180,000 obesity-related deaths each year are linked to drinking sugary beverages.

Kidneys:

The extremely high levels of phosphoric acid (especially in colas) have been linked to kidney stones and other renal problems.  Diet cola packs a two-fold risk – especially if you drink more than two servings each day.

Bones:

Soda consumption has been linked to osteoporosis and bone density loss, mainly because of the phosphoric acid and caffeine.

Teeth:

The high levels of acid in soda corrode your teeth, almost as badly as drinking battery acid.

Heart:

Habitual diet and regular soda consumption leads to an increased risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke.

Brain:

Having too much sugar in your diet reduces the production of a brain chemical that helps us learn, store memories and process insulin.  Consuming too much sugar also dulls the brain’s mechanism that tells you to stop eating.

Lungs:

The more soda you drink, the more likely you are to develop chronic lung conditions like asthma and COPD.

 

 

Spotlight on: Tomatoes

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

Eating Healthy

  • Besides containing 40 percent of your daily value of vitamin C, tomatoes also contain 15 percent of your daily value of vitamin A, 8 percent of your daily value of potassium, and 7 percent of your recommended dietary allowance of iron for women and 10 percent for men.
  • Lycopene, what gives tomatoes their red pigment, acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing free radicals that can damage cells in the body.
  • Studies show that men who at least eat 10 servings of tomatoes a week can reduce their risk of developing prostate cancer by a whopping 45 percent.

tomatoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Corn and Black Bean Salsa

  • 3 to 4 small ears of corn
  • 1 can (15 to 16 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly
  • 1 large tomato, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup minced red onion
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons finely minced jalapeno or poblano pepper
  • Juice of one lime, about 3 tablespoons
  • 3 tablespoons fresh, chopped cilantro
  • Dash salt and pepper, to taste

Grill or broil corn to char slightly; let cool. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl.  Cut corn from cobs and add to the mixture.  Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving time.

Great alternative to sauces, and is especially tasty on grilled fish, chicken or pork!

Recipe: Tomato Casserole with Sweet Onions

  • 6 medium tomatoes, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
  • 1 large Vidalia onion or other sweet onion
  • 1 teaspoon fresh dill, or scant ½ teaspoon dried dillweed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, or scant ½ teaspoon dried leaf thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil

Place peeled tomato wedges on paper towels to drain.  Peel onions and slice into ¼-inch rings.  In separate bowl combine dill, thyme, salt, pepper and bread crumbs.  Layer half of the tomatoes and onions in a lightly buttered baking dish and top with half of the minced garlic.  Sprinkle with half of the bread crumb and seasoning mixture, half of mozzarella cheese, and drizzle with half olive oil.  Repeat layers.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until bubbly.