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Showing posts from 2018

Beating the Holiday Blues

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After the excitement of the holiday rush is over, many people may feel sad, lonely or depressed. This is very common. Try these suggestions below to beat the holiday blues.

Follow your usual schedule. Re-create your pre-holiday routine, and be sure to exercise as often as possible. Regular routines of self-care can help the post-holiday blues fade away.

Practice moderation. Rather than continuing to splurge on holiday feasts, get back to a healthy diet with reasonable portions. Use holiday leftovers for an occasional treat, but try to serve better portions! Eating better will help you feel more energized.

Get enough sleep and exercise. It is important to make sure you are resting and getting regular exercise after family and friends come to visit. Take a daily walk to enjoy the outdoors, or try a new workout.

Be realistic. Take things day by day, and make a to-do list for the week. Work on one item at a time, and set reasonable goals for yourself. Make sure to set aside time for fun, too…

Tips to Get Back on Track after the Holidays

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Expensive gifts, elaborate décor, and holiday feasts can weigh heavily on your wallet. Don’t get discouraged! Try these tips to help you get back on track after the holidays!
Limit your spending. You may have splurged a bit during the holidays, but now it’s time to cut back! Say no to frivolous spending. Instead of eating out, eat what you already have in your home for a month. Resist the temptation of buying clothes or shoes. Try doing this for one or two months and watch your savings grow! Give yourself an allowance. Put away the credit cards and stick to a set amount of cash. This strategy will help you control your spending. Calculate your monthly expenses and subtract that from your monthly (take-home) income. The money you have left over is your spending allowance. Try to focus on the necessities like gas and food; put the rest in a savings account. Challenge yourself! Set a goal and try to stick to it. If you normally spend $100 on food a week, try to spend $70 instead. Save t…

Six Family Friendly Activities to Get Your Hearts Pumping!

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Looking for a family fun activity to get hearts pumping during the holidays? Don’t let the holidays stop you from getting in physical activity. You might find that it’s much easier when you include the entire family!
Try these activities to get your family moving! See how many steps you can get on your pedometers while cleaning your home after all the holiday festivities have ended.Plan a post-holiday walk or nature hike.Create a scavenger hunt and have a race to see who can find everything on the map.Dance the night away while playing upbeat music as you and your family complete chores.Play four square and organize a fun family tournament.Create a family video of exercise routines.

Five Holiday Survival Tips for Diabetics

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Holidays can be a difficult time for people with diabetes. Food is plentiful, and spirits are bright! Family gatherings, parties and holiday travel can disrupt daily routines, but there are ways to manage your diabetes and control blood sugar levels during the festive season. 
These 5 tips can help: Plan food selections. If you’ve had your eye on that pumpkin pie all day, skip the dinner roll or serving of sweet potatoes during the main course. Enjoy your pie!Control portions. Instead of a full-size plate, grab a smaller plate and fill it with the foods you like best. Be sure to start with vegetables to take the edge off your appetite.Bring your own healthy dish. If you are going to a gathering, bring your favorite healthy dish. Spread the love by helping to create healthier habits.Nibble away! Fill a platter with raw veggies and your favorite low-calorie dip. Snack on the veggies while you cook or wait for dinner to be served.Compensate with exercise. If you ate a little more than you …

A Holiday Ham to Remember

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Tis the season for a delicious spiral-cut glazed ham! If you’re looking for a tender, juicy dish that will WOW your guests at your next holiday feast, this ham is sure to please the crowd!

What you will need:  1 (7- to 10-pound) spiral-sliced bone-in half ham 1 large plastic oven bag 1 recipe glaze (recipes below)
Preparation:  Leaving ham’s inner plastic or foil covering intact, place ham in large container and cover with hot water; set aside for 45 minutes. Drain and cover again with hot water; set aside for another 45 minutes.
Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 250 F. Unwrap ham; discard plastic disk covering bone. Place ham in oven bag. Gather top of bag tightly so bag fits snugly around ham, tie bag, and trim excess plastic. Set ham cut side down in large roasting pan and cut 4 slits in top of bag with knife.
Bake ham until center registers 100 degrees, 1 to 1 1/2 hours (about 10 minutes per pound). Remove ham from oven and increase oven temperature to 350 F. Cut…

Reduce Stress During the Holidays

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Planning for the holidays can leave us feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. There are some key things you can do to minimize the stress that comes with the holidays.
Try these five tips from the American Heart Association:
1. Keep up healthy habits. Make a pact with yourself during the holidays. For example: “For the next three weeks I will move more and do something active every day, have a healthy breakfast and limit the sweets, and get at least seven hours of sleep each night.” If you don’t completely give up your healthy habits, you won’t feel like you have to start over once the holidays are in the rear-view.
2. Beware of party perils. Special holiday events often serve up extra helpings of less-than-healthy foods.  If you’re a guest, eat a healthy snack before you go to avoid overdoing it at the event. If you’re the host, challenge yourself to offer some delicious and healthier options using our recipes and cooking tips. Your guests will thank you.
3. Stay active — even in the hu…

Thanksgiving Dinner on a Budget

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Thanksgiving is just around the corner! That means it’s time to plan your holiday feast. If you are on a budget, don’t worry! There are some thrifty ways to create the perfect Thanksgiving dinner party.
Follow these five steps for a delicious holiday feast without breaking the bank.
Visit your local farmer’s market. Seasonal ingredients are often cheaper and almost always better quality than what you’ll find at your local grocery store. While you’re at the market, load up on herbs! They’ll pack stocks with flavor, add nice garnishes and give an extra layer of flavor to your dishes.
Take an inventory. Before you head to the market, be sure to take an account for what you already have in stock. You may have several canned goods leftover from last year’s dinner preparations.
Shop around. Several markets and grocery stores will offer discounts during the holiday season. Start your planning by checking out the sales online. You might find a great bargain for a turkey at one store and anoth…

Bounce Back After the Holiday Feasts!

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We often indulge during the holiday season. From turkey dressing to that sweet, creamy pumpkin pie, it can be difficult to stay on track with diet and exercise. Avoid sinking into a slump after the holidays and boost your energy with exercise.
Try these three tips to help you get back into your fitness routine.

Take it one step at a time! After the holiday festivities, try to ease back into your routine by taking brisk walks. Walking is the most convenient and affordable form of aerobic activity. Studies have shown that brisk walking for at least half an hour, five times a week, has nearly the same health benefits as more vigorous exercise. People who take brisk walks have a lower risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, colon cancer, osteoporosis and perhaps other diseases. Even mental health problems are less frequent in regular walkers.
Invite a friend! An exercise buddy can provide you with the social and emotional support you need on your wellbeing …

Four Ways to Tackle Your Emotions

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Negative emotions like fear, sadness and anger are a basic part of life. Sometimes we struggle with how to deal with these emotions effectively, but there are ways to respond and cope with negative feelings in productive way.

Try the four steps to tackle negative emotions.

1. Pause. 
Instead of acting on feelings right away, stop yourself and think things through. Count to 100 or say the alphabet backwards.

2. Acknowledge what you’re feeling. 
Are you mad at someone or are you sad because your feelings were hurt by what they did? Whatever it is that you are feeling, it is ok to feel that way.

3. Think. 
Now that you have taken a few moments to figure out what exactly it is that you are feeling, think about how you can make yourself feel better.

4. Help. 
Take an action to help yourself based upon what you came up with in the “Think” step.

~Mental Health America

Is Your "Sweet Tooth" Really a "Fat Tooth"?

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Think your diet is suffering from your persistent “sweet tooth”? Think again. Our brains are designed to prompt us to seek out natural sources of sweet carbohydrates and foods containing fat. These naturally higher calorie foods were necessary for survival in times when food was scarce. Now we have 24/7 access to foods manufactured to be highly desirable and loaded with sugar and fat.
Food manufacturers continuously come up with new combinations of sugar and fat that are cheap and easily accessible. The more we eat, the more we crave. Most people who think they have a “sweet tooth” often desire cookies, cake, ice-cream, donuts or chocolate that contains more fat than sugar. These cravings add up to more calories and 12-14 more grams of fat per day compared to people who avoid these sweets.
Take control of your “fat tooth” by cutting back on sugar and processed fats. If you get a craving, grab a fat-free sweet, like hard candy and ride your “crave wave” for 15 minutes until the desir…

Measure Your Intensity

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Do you know when you've reached your physical limit during exercise? Your body will show signs of overexertion. If you are short of breath, in pain or can't workout as long as you had planned, you have probably reached your limit.

Listen to your body andchoose the right workout intensitylevel for you.

Finding Balance When Working Shifts

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Are you working nights or shifts that have your internal clock off its schedule? Follow these tips to get the rest you need to maintain focus and stay healthy:
1. Keep your sleep environment quiet and dark. Use black out drapes or wear a sleep mask. 2. Wear dark glasses on your drive home to reduce the effects of daylight so your body will be ready to sleep when you get home. 3. Block noise and sounds with ear plugs or use a white noise machine to reduce distracting sounds. 4. Keep your room cool at around 65° F. 5. If you drink coffee, soda or other caffeinated beverages, try to do so early in your shift to prevent the caffeine from keeping you up when you’re ready to sleep. 6. Avoid eating high-calorie or high-fat meals and get plenty of exercise.
If you still find yourself having trouble getting your body adjusted or experience excessive sleepiness, talk to your primary care provider. Some shift workers develop a sleep disorder that can be treated.

Butternut Squash Fries

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Get the most out of seasonal vegetables! Try these crispy, nutrient-rich fries made from butternut squash.Makes 4 servings, about 1 cup each. INGREDIENTS 1 large butternut squash1/2 tablespoon olive oil1 teaspoon homemade CajunSpice blend (see recipe below)
CAJUN SPICE BLEND 1 tablespoon chili powder1 tablespoon garlic powder1 tablespoon onion powder1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika1/2 tablespoon black pepper1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Combine all ingredients in a jar. Shake well. Store in an air tight container for up to one year.
PREPARATION Preheat oven to 450°F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Use a large spoon to remove all of the seeds. Peel the squash with a sharp knife or vegetable peeler. Slice into french fry shapes. Try to keep the fries all the same size for even cooking. In a large bowl, toss the fries with the olive oil and Cajun seasoning. Place fries on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Make sure the fries are in a single layer and try to keep them from touching. Bake for 20 minut…

Finding Balance When Working Shifts

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Are you working nights or shifts that have your internal clock off its schedule? Follow these tips to get the rest you need to maintain focus and stay healthy:
1. Keep your sleep environment quiet and dark. Use black out drapes or wear a sleep mask. 2. Wear dark glasses on your drive home to reduce the effects of daylight so your body will be ready to sleep when you get home. 3. Block noise and sounds with ear plugs or use a white noise machine to reduce distracting sounds. 4. Keep your room cool at around 65° F. 5. If you drink coffee, soda or other caffeinated beverages, try to do so early in your shift to prevent the caffeine from keeping you up when you’re ready to sleep. 6. Avoid eating high-calorie or high-fat meals and get plenty of exercise.
If you still find yourself having trouble getting your body adjusted or experience excessive sleepiness, talk to your primary care provider. Some shift workers develop a sleep disorder that can be treated.     

Jazz Up Your Water!

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Want a refreshing drink, but still crave something sweet? Cut up fresh fruit or veggies and add to chilled water. Make sure you squeeze the fruit to release the juice. Try these combinations for healthy alternatives to soda and other sugary drinks: Strawberries and blueberriesLemon slices and strawberriesOrange slices, lemon slices and lime slicesCucumbers with mint
Get creative and make your own combination. Try adding vanilla, mint or basil to mix it up. Watermelon mint is quite refreshing. The possibilities are endless!
Tip: Freeze fresh fruit with water in ice trays and add to your water for a refreshing treat that’s good for your body.

Black Bean Burrito Bowl

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This easy Black Bean Burrito Bowl will hit the spot! It’s packed with protein and fiber. This vegetarian meal can also be the perfect addition to your weekly meal plan. Makes 4 servings.
INGREDIENTS 2 cups cooked rice 1/4 cup chopped cilantro Juice of half a lime 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed 1 15-ounce can whole kernel corn, drained 2 cups shredded lettuce 1 red bell pepper, diced 1 avocado, diced 4 tablespoons non-fat sour cream 1 cup salsa
PREPARATION Stir the cilantro and lime juice into the warm, cooked rice. Heat the beans and corn separately in the microwave until warm. Place 1/2 cup of the rice mixture into a bowl. Top with 1/4 of all remaining ingredients.
Nutritional Information Per Serving Calories 377 Total Fat 6 g Sodium 444 mg Carbohydrates 58 g

Soothing Banana Smoothie

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Need a soothing snack to help you slip away to dreamland? Reach for foods that contain tryptophan, a sleep-promoting substance found in dairy foods, nuts, seeds, honey, eggs and bananas.
Ingredients ·1 whole ripe banana, cut in chunks ·1 1/2 cups ice ·1/2 cup skim milk or nonfat plain yogurt
Directions 1. Put milk or yogurt and banana into the blender.Add the ice. 2. Blend on high for 30 seconds or until the smoothie thickens.

Nutritional Information Calories 90
Total Fat 0g
Sodium30mg
Carbohydrate 16g
Fiber 1.5g

Feeling Sluggish? Skip the Energy Drink.

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Do you reach for energy drinks when you feel tired thinking they can keep you focused and provide caffeine with vitamins and supplements that are good for your body? You might want to reconsider.
According to the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the term energy drink was created by beverage companies and is not recognized by the United States Food and Drug Administration or the United States Department of Agriculture. These high energy drinks are loaded with caffeine and sugar and show limited evidence of improving concentration, performance or any other health benefit.
A single serving of an energy drink may not lead to excessive caffeine consumption, but individuals should pay close attention to ingredients such as guarana and ginseng that can increase amounts of caffeine. Consuming more than 400 mg of caffeine leads to many negative side effects, including nervousness, irritability, sleeplessness, abnormal heart rhythms and upset stomach.

Ease Tension with Neck Stretches

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Standing for long periods of time or sitting at a desk all day can take a toll on your neck. To prevent or reduce stiffness and pain, try simple neck stretches throughout the day. Neck pain is one of the most common types of pain among Americans, but as with any other part of your body, exercises and stretches can make the muscles in your neck stronger and more limber. 
This can be done while you're seated or on your feet. Keep your moves slow and smooth.
·Start with your head squarely over your shoulders and your back straight. ·Lower your chin toward your chest and hold for 15-30 seconds. Relax, and slowly lift your head back up. ·Tilt your chin up toward the ceiling and bring the base of your skull toward your back. Hold for 10 seconds, then return to the start position. ·Repeat the set several times. Do it every day.
If you already have pain in your neck or elsewhere, talk to your doctor before you start. You will feel some tension in your neck muscles when you stretch. But you shou…

Managing a Digital Diet

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Does your smartphone or mobile device have all of your attention? It might be time to give yourself some breathing room and limit your use. You don’t have to quit cold turkey, but there are ways to reduce your use. Here are some tips to help you set limits to maintain a healthy relationship with your devices. Track how much time you spend connected. There are different apps available to help you track usage and set daily limits to maintain a healthy balance.Start setting reasonable limits each week to cut back on your usage.Give yourself a break from social media. Spend a day without posting or checking your feed. If a day is too much time, start smaller and gradually increase your time to unplug.Turn off notifications to avoid distractions throughout the day.Set limits on answering emails after hours. Give yourself time to recharge. You’ll avoid burnout and be more productive.

Blueberry Pineapple Smoothie

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This antioxidant rich smoothie is a great way to add some protein and fiber to your day. It also helps you reach your daily goal to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables. This delicious recipe makes two 16-ounce servings. INGREDIENTS • 1 medium banana • 1 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt • 1 cup frozen blueberries • 1 cup frozen pineapple • 1 cup water PREPARATION Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. If using fresh fruit, replace the water with one cup of ice to maintain the temperature and texture. TIP: Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for a healthy after-school snack. Nutritional Information Per serving (16 ounces) Calories 212 Total Fat 0.4g Sodium 47mg Carbohydrates 41.8g

Choose a Healthier Option!

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The hot summer days may have you parched, but don’t give in to sugary soft drinks, fruit drinks or sweetened teas to quench your thirst. They are high in empty calories. For example, just nine ounces of soda has 110 to 150 empty calories. These sweetened drinks are empty calories that increase cholesterol, blood pressure and fat storage.
Here are three ideas to help you make healthier choices to save your calories for the food you eat to fuel your body. Replace the sodas and other sugar-sweetened drinks with water or two to four servings of fat-free milk.Limit fruit juice to a half cup or less.Read drink labels before you buy them to be aware of the sugar content.

Balancing Emotions

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Emotional health can lead to success in work, relationships and health. In the past, researchers believed that success made people happy. Newer research reveals that it’s the other way around. Happy people are more likely to work toward goals, find the resources they need and attract others with their energy and optimism.
What You Can Do Turning Lemons into Lemonade: Hardiness Helps People Turn Stressful Circumstances into Opportunities Research shows hardiness is the key to the resiliency for not only surviving, but also thriving, under stress. Hardiness enhances performance, leadership, conduct, stamina, mood and both physical and mental health.
The Road to Resilience
Learn how to develop and use a personal strategy for enhancing resilience despite challenging life experiences.
Communication Tips for Parents
Parenting is hard work, but there are things you can do to maintain a good connection with your children and keep the lines of communication open.

Source: American Psychological Associa…

Snooze or Your Body Will Lose

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Regardless of what age we are, it’s important to get the sleep our bodies need. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lack of sleep increases your risk of serious health conditions, such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, stroke and heart disease.
Here are four ways to help you get the recommended amount of sleep you need to feel your best: Establish a routine. Stick to the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends. This helps to regulate your body's clock and can help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night.Give yourself time to relax and wind down. Spend the last hour before bed doing a calming activity such as meditation or reading. Check out the website calm.com to help you relax.Exercise daily. Not only will you feel and look better, you will sleep better.Having trouble falling asleep? Get out of bed and go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy. Make sure to avoid electronics before bed or in…

Get Off to a Healthy Start!

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Studies show that children who eat a nutritious breakfast function better. They do better in school, have better concentration and more energy. Many children eat one, if not two, meals in school each day, making nutrition an important part of school life. These tips can help you consider how to offer the best nutrition options for your child.
Learn about what your child’s school is already doing to support nutrition. Ask the school cafeteria manager how often fruits and vegetables are available as a la carte options for students.Most schools regularly send schedules of cafeteria menus home and/or have them posted on the school's website. With this information, you can plan on packing a healthy lunch on the days when the main course is one your child prefers not to eat.The body needs carbs (sugars), fats and sodium, but they should be eaten in moderation. Too much can lead to weight gain and other health problems.When packing your child's lunch or going over the lunch menu, enco…

Reach Your Financial Goals

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Whether you have a short-term or long-term goal to save money, it requires discipline. Saving money means that you find ways to pay less when you shop. Saving may also mean deciding to NOT buy everything you want.
Learn more about smart options to reach your financial goal!

Smart Workout!

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The American Heart Association recommends adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, or at least 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, such as running, each week. You should also do moderate- to high-intensity muscle strengthening at least two days a week.
Children age two and older should participate in at least 60 minutes of enjoyable, moderate-intensity physical activities each day that are developmentally appropriate, such as walking, bicycle riding and gardening.
Need help to get started? Try this body weight circuit workout:
• Run in place for 60 seconds • 10 Squats • 10 Jumping Jacks • Rest 60 Seconds • 10 Push-ups • 10 Jumping Jacks • Rest 60 Seconds • 10 Lunges Each Leg • 10 Jumping Jacks • Rest 60 Seconds • 20 Crunches • 10 Jumping Jacks • Rest 60 Seconds • 30-Second Plank • 10 Jumping Jacks • Stretch
Perform this workout two to three times per week with at least one day between workout days. WEEKS 1 & 2: Perform e…

Drop the remote!

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A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association reported people who watch three or more hours of television a day double their risk of death at a younger age. This research reinforces the dangers associated with a sedentary lifestyle, which include high blood pressure, obesity, cancer and heart disease.

Too much technology and screen time for children can also lead to learning problems and expose children to more violence and sexual content, which can lead to fear, aggressive behavior and acting out.

Turn the TV, computers and electronic devices off and make sure your family stays under the two hours or less of screen time recommendation. Here are a few ways to limit your family’s screen time:

• Keep the TVs and other electronic devices out of bedrooms. • Turn off the TV, smartphones or electronic devices and enjoy family meals together. • Replace watching TV or playing on computers, gaming systems and other electronic devices with fun family activities that encoura…

Blueberries and Oatmeal with a Cool Twist!

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Try this grab-and-go breakfast that's rich in fiber which is known to help lower levels of bad cholesterol. Customize it with your favorite fruit and enjoy!

Ingredients 1/3 cup skim milk 1/3 cup nonfat, plain Greek yogurt 1/3 cup rolled oats 1/3 cup blueberries (or your favorite fruit) Preparation Stir all ingredients together and spoon into a jar or container with a lid. Cover and refrigerate overnight. OPTIONAL: In the morning, top the oatmeal with a tablespoon of chopped nuts or half a sliced banana. Enjoy chilled, right out of the refrigerator. Nutritional Information Serving size: 1 1/3 cup Calories 195 Total Fat 2g Sodium 75mg Carbohydrates 14g

Healthy Breakfast on the Go!

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Mornings are a busy time for many families. It’s hard to prepare a healthy breakfast to satisfy all taste buds. Here are some quick and healthy suggestions to get your family out the door.
Fresh fruit:
Use fruit that’s easy to transport, such as apples, bananas or grapes. Cut your favorite fruits into chunks the night before and place in zip-lock bags.
Boiled eggs:
Boil a dozen eggs and keep them in the refrigerator for a high-protein grab-and-go breakfast.
Smoothies:
Blend your favorite fruits and vegetables with ice, yogurt or milk. Reduce the calorie count by choosing fat-free dairy or unsweetened milk alternatives.
Refrigerator Oatmeal Cups:
The whole grains, protein and calcium in this grab-and-go breakfast make it a great breakfast option.

Overwhelmed? Transform your thinking!

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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:
Acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses and set realistic expectations for yourself.Never beat yourself up when you don’t reach your goals. Failure teaches you how to improve.Stay positive and seek the positives in every situation.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

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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 …

Cauliflower Recipe

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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.
INGREDIENTS 1 head fresh cauliflower, cut into pieces1 quart water1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth16-ounce package of spaghetti1/2 onion, chopped2 garlic cloves, mincedSalt & pepper to taste
OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS Parmesan cheese to tasteLeft-over rotisserie chicken
PREPARATION 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!

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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 stor…

Sports Drinks vs Water for Children

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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.

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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 morningand 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.


Jazz up your fruit salad!

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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.
Ingredients 1/2 cup sugar1/2 cup water1/2 cup basil leaves, packed1 tablespoon lime rind, grated4 cups pineapple, cubed3 cups strawberries, quartered4 kiwi, peeled and sliced2 cups mangoes, peeled and cubed
Directions 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 Cal…

Eat your water!

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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% waterWatermelon (1 1/2 cup) 92% waterBroccoli (1 1/2 cup) 91% waterGrapefruit (1 1/2 cup) 91% waterMilk (1 cup) 89% waterOrange juice (3/4 cup) 88% waterCarrot (1 1/2 cup) 87% waterYogurt (1 cup) 85% waterApple (one medium) 84% water

Beat the heat this summer!

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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 th…

Maintain a Healthy Weight

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It is important to look for savory substitutes to help against obesity and the problems that come with it.Traditionally, nutritious snacks couldn’t compare to junk food when someone had a sweet tooth or craving.However, eating fruits and veggies can be just as satisfying for everyone looking to maintain a healthy weight. Here are six ways eating fruits and vegetables can help keep your weight in shape: Most fruits and veggies have low amounts of calories compared to the same volume of other foods.  This means you can snack on these healthy foods throughout the day without overindulging.Fruits and veggies consist of large water and fiber quantities.  Eating foods with these qualities will keep you full and delay hunger.  End those constant cravings with these healthy alternatives.Raw or steamed veggies are chewy and require a bit more work to get down.  This is a good thing.  Slowing down the pace of eating limits the amount of overall food intake.  Take your time and enjoy the moment as…

Summertime Family Fun

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Take advantage of the beautiful weather and get outside with your family for some fun and physical activity in the sun. Experts recommend adults participate in moderate physical activity for at least 30 minutes per day for five days a week. Children and teens should get at least an hour of moderate to vigorous activity each day.

Are you out of ideas on how you can motivate your family to get moving? Grab the sunscreen and some water to keep everyone hydrated and check out these suggestions for summer adventures your whole family will love!  Plan a hike, bicycle ride, canoe trip or walk to check out the sights and sounds of nature. Search trails.com to browse trails by the outdoor activity you love and find a path near you. Going to the beach? Make sure to include a family walk or jog across the sand. Don’t forget to bring a Frisbee for a quick game in between dips in the ocean.Enjoy amusement and water parks? Along with being fun for all ages, these parks get everyone on their feet and …

Stand Up and Burn Calories!

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Did you know that sitting at your desk all day can be just as bad for your health as smoking? According to Harvard Medical School, even if you exercise regularly, a desk job minimizes the health benefits of your workouts.

Compared to sitting, standing burns slightly more calories — about 0.15 calories per minute. But that tiny difference adds up: a person who weighs 143 pounds could burn an extra 54 calories per day by standing instead of sitting for six hours, as researchers report in the Jan. 1, 2018, European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

Assuming that person kept eating the same number of calories per day, that translates to 5.5 pounds of weight loss after one year. The estimate comes from data pooled from 46 different studies. A separate study of more than 2,600 people ages 60 and older looked at how sedentary habits affect heart disease risk. Participants reported how long they sat (on one weekday and one weekend day) at the start of the study and again two years later. The fol…

Men and Depression

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Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the U.S. While both men and women suffer from depression, their willingness to talk about their feelings may be very different. Research shows that men are less likely than women to recognize, talk about, and seek treatment for depression. More than 6 million men in the U.S. suffer from depression each year.  Traditional signs of depression (sadness, worthlessness, excessive guilt) may not represent a man’s bout with depression. Instead, men may express their depression through increased fatigue, irritability and anger, loss of interest in work or hobbies, and sleep disturbances. The three most commonly overlooked signs of depression in men are:
Physical pain. Sometimes depression in men shows up as physical symptoms—such as backache, frequent headaches, sleep problems, or digestive disorders—that don’t respond to normal treatment.
Anger. This could range from irritability, sensitivity to criticism, or a loss of your sense of humor…

Watermelon, Blueberry, and Mint Fruit Salad

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Want a light and colorful treat your family will love? Enjoy the fruit of the season with a fresh watermelon, blueberry, and mint fruit salad. Makes 6 one cup servings.

INGREDIENTS 4 cups diced watermelon2 cups fresh blueberries1/4 cup honeyJuice of one lime1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
PREPARATION In a small bowl, whisk together honey, lime juice and mint. Pour over watermelon and blueberries and gently toss to coat fruit. Serve chilled.

Nutritional Information Calories 103
Total Fat 0.3g
Sodium 3mg
Carbohydrates 26.9g