Tag Archive | health

Keeping your healthy resolutions!

I don’t typically make New Year’s resolutions, because I don’t typically keep them.

But I am resolving to make 2014 the best year yet – and that means taking a little time to keep balances, focused and healthy.

So it’s a good thing that Giant Food Stores sent a press release with some of their tips to make this year’s healthy/fit resolutions a little bit easier. They’re pretty easy and intuitive ways to meld health into your life

  • Set S.M.A.R.T goals! (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely). Don’t set
    yourself up for failure by setting unattainable goals. Instead create challenging, yet
    realistic goals that set you up for mini-successes throughout the year.
  •  Focus on behaviors and not numbers. Once you’ve decided on a weight goal and a
    reasonable amount of time in which you want to lose the weight, any other goals you
    set should be goals over which you have direct control. For example, set mini goals of how many servings of fruit you eat each day or how many minutes you exercise.
  • For some people keeping a food journal can be tedious. Instead of writing down what you eat, snap a quick photo of it on your phone. Visual representation of what you’ve eaten or had to drink will hold you accountable during the day. At the end of the day you can look back and remember what you had to eat and when you ate it.
  • Become a planner. Set aside time to plan your meals for the week prior to grocery
    shopping. Make half of your plate non-starchy vegetables, a quarter protein and
    quarter starch. If you have chicken breast as the protein, pair it with a non-starchy
    vegetable like green beans and a whole grain, like brown rice.
  • Breakfast gives you the energy you need to start your day off right. Try to incorporate at least three different food groups at breakfast every day, like whole grains, fruit, and low-fat dairy. A yogurt parfait is a great example that contains all three!
  • Keep your metabolism fired up by snacking between meals. Getting a combination of
    carbohydrates and protein will help keep you full longer and stabilize blood sugars.
    Some good choices include an apple with peanut butter, reduced fat cheese and
    whole grain crackers, hummus and carrots, or dried fruit and almonds.
  •  “Veg out” by doubling the volume of non-starchy vegetables you eat at every lunch
    and dinner.
  • Too much sodium in the diet has been linked to high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease. Limit your daily intake of sodium to less than 2,300 mg and instead increase your intake of herbs and spices to boost the flavor of your plate. Get creative with garlic powder, cumin, ginger, paprika and more.
  • Make the TV room a no food zone. In addition, for every hour of television you watch,
    use the commercial time to get up and continuously move or exercise with hand
    weights. For an hour long television show, you’ll be moving about 17 minutes.
  • Stay hydrated. Even mild dehydration can leave you tired and lacking energy for daily tasks. Limit your liquid calories like soda, fruit drinks, iced teas, coffee drinks, etc. Try carrying a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go and drink from it throughout the day.
  • Plan ahead and pack a healthy lunch for work so that you are in control of your
    choices. Be sure to include a lean protein, healthy fat, and whole grains, in addition to your fruits and vegetables.
  • When dining out, go online ahead of time to look at nutrition information to determine which meal option would be the healthiest.
  • Be mindful to eat slowly, enjoy the taste and textures, and pay attention to how you
    feel. Use hunger and fullness cues to recognize when to eat and when you’ve had
    enough. Our brains need at least 20 minutes to get the message that our stomach is
    full.
  • Finally, get your rest! The average American needs between 7-9 hours of sleep per
    night. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, insufficient sleep can be associated with a number of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes,
    cardiovascular disease and depression.

Have at it, people!

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Flu ‘widespread’ in Pennsylvania

Here’s my health public service announcement for the winter: Get your flu shot now, people.

The Centers for Disease Control announced that 10 states have ‘widespread’ flu cases, Pennsylvania being one of them. And guess what? The best way to prevent and/or scale back the flu is to get a flu shot.usmap51-1024x714

Since the flu shot takes two weeks to kick in – so you should probably go today.  Like, right now if you don’t have it already.

I only ever get on my high horse about a couple of big issues and the flu virus is one of them.

You see, I have no time for people who say they don’t get the flu shot because – insert lame reason here – .

A couple of years ago, I was that person with the excuses. Then came New Year’s 2012. I was so sick I wanted the flu to just claim me as another statistic. I was resigned to that.

You see, no one needs the flu shot until they’re crouched on the bathroom  floor praying either for death or to vomit. And I could’ve cared less which happened, as long as it made me feel better.

I also ordered $20 worth of bland Chinese food just to get the white rice  and $20 was the delivery limit. But that’s beside the point.

Since then, I’ve been practically first in line for the flu shot.

So spare yourself my sad story and get your flu shot, people. Your excuses are lame anyway.

Running for Wounded Warriors

In these last days of summer, I seem to be continually amazed by how young people are  giving back to their communities.

Earlier, I told you about the Union County libraries event, and yesterday I got to talk to Devon Blair, who ran nearly 24 miles for the Wounded Warrior Project – even though he doesn’t really like running.

He’s 17 and from Selisngrove and completed the first run last year as part of his graduation project requirements.

Devon said that he realizes how special and important the Wounded Warrior Project is and he simply wanted to give back. And, he said., if running 24 miles is the best way to do that and draw attention to the cause, he will continue to do that.

Devon was also joined by about 5 friends and family members, including his father. All of them should be commended for their efforts to run and raise money for a good cause.

Here’s the group celebrating at the end of the run, which finished up at Knoebels in Elysburg:

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Blair and his friend, Logan Boyer

‘Sugar not so sweet’

Yesterday, I attended a presentation about nutrition for kids. But I also learned a lot about what is in the stuff I drink.

And it wasn’t pretty.

Instructor Cynthia Clayton had participants measure out sugars in a variety of drinks to see how that all adds up.

Here’s that demonstration:20130711-085259.jpg

20130711-085313.jpgIt was really shocking. It’s definitely interesting to see how much pure sugar is in your drink.

Here’s some facts about the sugars in our drinks:

  • By cutting out a two soda a day habit, you can lose 31 pounds in one year.
  • Bodies have to work to digest sodas and swweetened drinks, whereas water just hydrates. Therefore, drinking a soda when you’re hot will create more heat as your body works to digest it.
  • Dividing the number of grams of sugar in a drink by four gives you the number of teaspoons of sugar in the drink.

It’s a lot to think about. I know I am definitely looking at my drink choices today.