If you’re concerned that alcohol may be playing too significant a part of your life? Here’s a 5 minute on-line survey that may help: http://www.howdoyouscore.org/
Here’s a little tip that can save you thousands of empty calories each year (and you won’t even notice!)… Most of us will add fruit to the top of our cereal, ice cream, yogurt, etc to bring some good health (and additional taste) to our breakfasts, snacks and desserts. Next time, instead of topping your ______ with fruit, put the fruit in your bowl FIRST and then top it with the cereal, yogurt, or whatever. Doing so will likely reduce the total calories in the bowl significantly, but you probably won’t even miss them. Enjoy!
Looking for a quick and easy meal to make in the midst of a busy week? Here’s a recommendation from Wellness Nation Coach Robin Brandes. There are more “Robin Tips” available in the Resources under Recipes. Enjoy! Cajun Bean Chili Prep and Cook Time: 15-20 minutes Ingredients: 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 1 medium yellow or red bell pepper, diced 3 cloves garlic, pressed 1 tsp paprika 1 TBS chili powder 1/2 tsp dried thyme 1/2 tsp dried oregano 1/2 tsp fennel seeds 1 tsp cumin Directions: Sauté onion and bell peppers for 5 minutes. If using, add cooked ground turkey. Add garlic, spices, tomatoes and kidney beans. (adjust seasonings if adding turkey) Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Season to taste … MORE
A study by Bleich, et al in the American Journal of Public Health (Feb, 2012) provided a valuable tip that can be implemented in vending machines, cafeterias and even business meetings. The researchers posted 1 of 3 different signs next to drinks in stores – calories, % of daily recommended calories and finally the “number of minutes of jogging needed to offset the beverage.” Only the jogging signs made a statistically significant difference. While calorie count certainly isn’t the “end all goal” (the studies showing diet sodas lead to more weight gain than regular soda is an example), this provides an interesting strategy that may be helpful in various areas throughout our work sites.
For many of our clients, skiing is a favorite wintertime hobby. By implementing a few basic exercises into your workout routine, you’ll feel stronger, fatigue more slowly, ski better and enjoy your day even more. There are entire books on this topic, but these will help get you started in the right direction. Note – none of these should cause any “pain” (which is different from muscle fatigue): Wall Sits: sit with your back straight against the wall and no chair, supporting yourself with (primarily) your thigh muscles. Hold until fatigued and repeat after a brief rest interval. Note that muscles are very specific in their training (approximately 5 degree overlap on angle of knee), so to maximize outcomes, you’ll … MORE
Nothing can boost energy–and brainpower–like a midday snooze. Behold, the restorative effects of a 30-minute slumber: As you nod off…Drowsiness is brought on by a sleep-promoting chemical called adenosine, which builds up in your body throughout the day. If you skip shut-eye at night, a high level of adenosine can leave you feeling desperate for a nap. Your brain pumps out GABA, a neurotransmitter that lets your head’s sleep-wake center know it’s sleepy time. GABA also helps deactivate much of the brain stem, which controls muscle movement. That’s why when you dream about, say, playing tennis, you don’t swing your arm. If you’re super-exhausted, your brain might shut down before your body is fully relaxed, leading to involuntary muscle contractions … MORE
Both Greek and regular yogurt, in their plain, nonfat or low-fat forms, can be part of a healthful diet. They’re low in calories and packed with calcium and live bacterial cultures. But our Mediterranean friend—which is strained extensively to remove much of the liquid whey, lactose, and sugar, giving it its thick consistency—does have an undeniable edge. In roughly the same amount of calories, it can pack up to double the protein, while cutting sugar content by half. Those are “two things dietitians love,” says Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietitian and author of The Flexitarian Diet. “For someone who wants the creamier texture, a little bit of a protein edge, and a sugar decrease, going Greek is definitely not … MORE
Salt – it’s critical to life. But generally we take in FAR more than we need. The recommendation for sodium in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as well as the American Heart Association is 2,400 milligrams (mg) daily for adults. This is about the amount in 1 teaspoon of salt (2,300 mg to be exact). The average American consumes 5,000 mg of sodium daily — twice the necessary amount. If you’re looking for bring more wisdom to your salt intake, here is a link that provides some valuable tips: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/lowering-your-salt-intake.navId-323518.html?print=true
For those of you who already follow us on Facebook, you’re well aware of the regular health and wellness discounts posted on the site. If you’re not yet connected with us on your Facebook page, just click the “LIKE” button down toward the bottom right side of this page and you’ll be all set to see regular features, including special discounts we’ve arranged for our members. And by the way, we don’t receive any remuneration from any of the companies who’s discounts we post. They are simply organizations we respect and we’re helping spread the word, knowing it’s one more thing we can do to help change the world… one employee at a time!
In an interview I heard this morning with Bob Seebohar (www.fuel4mance.com), he had a fantastically simple but powerful tip worth sharing that applies to everyone and not just hard core athletes. The tip was that as you approach each meal, ask “Where’s my (high quality source of) protein? and Where’s my color (fruits, veggies)?” He’s not against carbohydrates, except maybe the empty, simple sugar-dense options. There is power in simplicity, and this simple tip – if applied to each meal, and even each snack – will clearly make a difference for us all.
Are you stuck in a rut with your exercise routine? Have you looked back over the past several weeks and found that you’re stuck on hold? You’re consistent, but your performance is just so-so. Nothing special. Here’s a tip – take advantage of what exercise physiologists call “Social Facilitation.” By occasionally working out with others, you’ll perform better, and that better performance means higher intensity and of course enhanced outcomes with your own fitness. This may mean getting out for a group ride on the bike, hitting the gym with a couple of buddies, or finding a running group in the area to join once/week. Kick this Social Facilitation technique into play once or twice/week and your plateau will be … MORE
Last week we highlighted the incredible benefits to starting your day off with a homemade smoothie. Great response, with the one primary question centering around whether there’s any way to save money on this healthy treat. Absolutely! Here are a few suggestions: First, watch for deals and make good use of your freezer. For example, I just picked up 2 1/2 lbs of bananas from the “about to go rotten” shelf for 85 cents (yes, total). As soon as I got home, I peeled them and dropped them into my designated zip-lock freezer bag. Bananas make up a consistent part of my smoothies, so this was a huge bargain (about 10 cents/banana). Do the same with any expiring fruit (they’re … MORE
The Wall Street Journal this week featured an article on those unique individuals who can function quite well on just a few hours of sleep each night. One line of the article jumped off the page at me – “most of those who think they’re in this group are wrong.” In our time-crunched world, who hasn’t dreamed (sorry – poor choice of words) of getting by on 3 hours of sleep and having an extra 4-5 hours/day to invest any way we’d like? Unfortunately, the fact is that the vast majority of us (97%+) function best on 7-8 hours of sleep. And, if we kid ourselves into getting by on less, it’s no different than paying our expenses with a … MORE