Happy Thursday!

Let’s kick off 2018 with one healthy habit change! How about we start with breakfast!

Eating a good breakfast makes sure there is plenty of blood sugar in your bloodstream that your body converts to energy. For many of us, when our blood sugar dips, our body responds with food cravings. These cravings tend to lead us to unhealthy choices.

When it comes to breakfast, which group do you fall in?

  • “I’m a champ and I eat a healthy breakfast every day!”
  • “Do you call coffee and a donut breakfast?”
  • “Who has time for breakfast, lunch is my first meal of the day!”

Eating breakfast is a great way to fuel up and energize your body! The key is what type of fuel are you putting in?

A healthy breakfast should include one starch (grain), one dairy (high calcium), one piece of fruit and/or vegetable. 

Examples of one starch (grain)

  • 1 cup cereal (think baseball size)
  • 1/2 cup hot cereal (think 2 golf balls size)
  • 1 slice toast (whole grain preferably)

Examples of one dairy or high-calcium food

  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 cup low-fat yogurt

Example of fruit

  • 1 orange
  • 1 apple
  • 1/2 cup berries

Here are some ideas for healthy breakfasts:

Breakfast 1

1 English Muffin
1  scrambled egg
1 orange

Breakfast 2

1 slice of toast
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup berries

Breakfast 3

1/2 cup low-fat granola
1 cup low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup mixed fruit

For breakfast on the go:

Breakfast 1

1 hardboiled egg
1 apple
4 Whole Grain Crackers

Breakfast 2

1 low-fat cheese stick
1 4 oz glass of 100% juice
1 Slice of whole grain toast

A few healthy breakfast recipes:

Low-Carb Breakfast Enchiladas

  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/4 c. low fat milk
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsp. butter, divided
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 c. baby spinach
  • 1 1/2 c. black beans
  • 1 c. quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 c. enchilada sauce
  • 1/2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 c. Shredded Monterey Jack
  • Chopped avocado, for serving
  • Cilantro, for serving
  • Pico de gallo, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 350° and grease a square baking pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and milk until very froth. Season mixture with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook “tortillas”: In a small nonstick pan over medium heat, melt about a half tablespoon of butter. Add about 1/4 cup of egg mixture and swirl pan. Cover with a lid and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the middle of the eggs are set. Remove from heat and repeat, adding more butter as necessary.
  3. Make filling: In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook bacon. Remove bacon pieces from skillet and drain most of fat, leaving about 2 tablespoons of bacon fat. Add spinach, black beans and cherry tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally until the spinach has wilted, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. On a cutting board, lay one egg tortilla. Top center with spinach filling and bacon then roll up tightly. Repeat with other tortillas and filling.
  5. Spread a thin layer of enchilada sauce into baking pan. Add enchiladas in a single layer. Drizzle more sauce on top, then top with cheddar and Monterey jack. Bake until cheese has melted, about 15 minutes.
  6. Garnish with cilantro, chopped avocado and pico de gallo. Serve warm.

Recipe Source: Delish

Carrot, Cranberry, and Pecan Muffins

  • 1 c. wheat bran
  • 1 c. whole-wheat flour
  • ½ c. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch Kosher salt
  • ¼ c. unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ c. buttermilk
  • ¼ c. olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 c. fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 medium parsnip
  • 2 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger
  • ¼ c. pecans
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a 12-hole muffin pan with 10 paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the wheat bran, flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the applesauce, buttermilk, oil, and egg. Add the flour mixture to the bowl and mix to combine. Fold in the cranberries, carrot, parsnip, and ginger.
  3. Divide the batter among the lined muffin cups, sprinkle with the pecans and bake until a wooden pick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 25 to 27 minutes. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.

Recipe Source: Good Housekeeping

DID YOU KNOW?

Alzheimer’s disease is

  • One of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States.
  • The 6th leading cause of death among US adults.
  • The 5th leading cause of death among adults aged 65–85 years.

In 2013, an estimated 5 million Americans aged 65 years or older had Alzheimer’s disease. This number may triple to as high as 13.8 million people by 2050.

In 2010, the costs were projected to fall between $159 and $215 billion.4 By 2040, these costs are projected to jump to between $379 and more than $500 billion annually.

Death rates for Alzheimer’s disease are increasing, unlike heart disease and cancer death rates that are on the decline. Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, has been shown to be underreported in death certificates and therefore the proportion of older people who die from Alzheimer’s may be considerably higher.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

  • The most common form of dementia.
  • A progressive disease beginning with mild memory loss possibly leading to loss of the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to the environment.
  • Involves parts of the brain that control thought, memory, and language.
  • Can seriously affect a person’s ability to carry out daily activities.

Although scientists are learning more every day, right now, they still do not know what causes Alzheimer’s disease.

What is known about Alzheimer’s Disease?

Scientists do not yet fully understand what causes Alzheimer’s disease. There probably is not one single cause, but several factors that affect each person differently.

  • Age is the best known risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Family history—researchers believe that genetics may play a role in developing Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Changes in the brain can begin years before the first symptoms appear.
  • Researchers are studying whether education, diet, and environment play a role in developing Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Scientists are finding more evidence that some of the risk factors for heart disease and stroke, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and low levels of the vitamin folate may also increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Evidence is also growing for physical, mental, and social activities as protective factors against Alzheimer’s disease.

How do I know if it’s Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging.

Memory problems are typically one of the first warning signs of cognitive loss.

According to the National Institute on Aging, in addition to memory problems, someone with Alzheimer’s disease may experience one or more of the following signs:

  • Gets lost.
  • Has trouble handling money and paying bills.
  • Repeats questions.
  • Takes longer to complete normal daily tasks.
  • Displays poor judgment.
  • Loses things or misplacing them in odd places.
  • Displays mood and personality changes.

If you or someone you know has several or even most of the signs listed above, it does not mean that you or they have Alzheimer’s disease. It is important to consult a health care provider when you or someone you know has concerns about memory loss, thinking skills, or behavioral changes.

  • Some causes for symptoms, such as depression and drug interactions, are reversible. However, they can be serious and should be identified and treated by a health care provider as soon as possible.
  • Early and accurate diagnosis provides opportunities for you and your family to consider or review financial planning, develop advance directives, enroll in clinical trials, and anticipate care needs.

How is Alzheimer’s disease treated?

Although there is no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease, active medical management can improve the quality of life for individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers.

Treatment focuses on several different aspects:

  • Helping people maintain mental function.
  • Managing behavioral symptoms.
  • Slowing or delaying the symptoms of the disease.

For more information on Alzheimer’s disease visit National Institute on Aging for more information.

Hello….and Happy Wednesday!

We all know we should move more, but reality is some days it is a challenge to fit in a workout. We’d like to encourage you, DON’T “throw in the towel” on the days that time is short. Instead, try and do a few of these simple steps.

1-Take the Stairs. Whenever possible take the stairs. Every time you take the stairs instead of the elevator, you are choosing YES to activity.

2- Clean your House. Cleaning your home is a great workout. You walk, lift, stretch and bend. When standing doing dishes or cooking dinner, do some calf raises. When you are dusting, turn on the music and do a little two-step.

3-Walk while You Wait. Don’t just sit in the car while you wait for your child to finish piano or soccer practice, get out and walk. Every 5  minutes counts to a healthier you.

4-One Bag at a Time. Instead of carrying in 4 bags of groceries at a time, carry them in one by one. Those few extra minutes leads to many extra steps.

5-Wear a Pedometer. This can be a game changer. After all, how can we really know how active we are if we aren’t measuring it.

6-It’s Park Time. Take the kids to the park and play. Show the kids what you are made of…cross those monkey bars, slide down that slide, and pump your legs on that swing. It’s amazing how great of a workout you can get…and have fun too.

7-Take Five. Every hour, take 5. Do 5 jumping jacks, 5 push ups, 5 sit ups, 30-second wall sit…or any of your other favorites. At work, no problem, find an empty conference room, the garage, or under the stairwells.

8-Brush and Squat. Do a few squats when you are brushing your teeth.

9-Walking Meeting. Add some pizzazz and steps to your day by making your next meeting a walking meeting.

10-Keep Hand Weights at Your Desk. Do bicep and tricep exercises while on phone calls.

Which one of the simple steps are you going to try today?

Hello…and welcome to our September Simple Steps to Wellness Series. 
 
Doesn’t it seem like every where we turn someone is talking about wanting to lose weight? Or knowing they need to get more active? Or eat out less? Or choose more nutritious food? Or needing more sleep because they are soooo tired? It’s interesting for as much as we talk about wanting to be healthy, few of us are making the choice to be healthy.  
 
Have you ever stopped and asked yourself what good health looks like? Not what the TV, social media, magazines, family or friends say what it means to be healthy. But our own definition.
 
What is health?
 
In 1948, the World Health Organization (WHO) defined health with a phrase that is still used today.
 
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” WHO, 1948.
 
Did you notice that the definition of health isn’t running a marathon, or be super skinny? Did you notice that it doesn’t say you have to eat organic, eat paleo, or be a vegetarian? Did you notice that there isn’t anything about working or relaxing too much or too little?  
 
I’m sure if I asked each of you “What does health mean to you?” You’d each have a different answer. A healthy lifestyle will look and feel different for each of us.
 
Let’s break down the WHO definition of health a bit more: 
 
Physical Health
 
Good physical health is where your body is working at optimal performance. This is because of regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and adequate sleep. 
 
Mental Health
 
Mental health refers to a person’s emotional, social, and psychological well-being. Mental health is as important as physical health to a full, active lifestyle.
 
Good mental health is a person’s ability to fulfill these key functions: *the ability to learn *the ability to feel, express and manage a range of positive and negative emotions *the ability to form and maintain good relationships with others *the ability to cope with and manage change and uncertainty.
 
Social Well-Being
 
Social well-being is when you feel a sense of belonging. Enjoying good relationships with others. Your lifestyle, value system, and beliefs are all important to our social well being.
 
Simple Steps
 
For some of us, trying to establish healthy habits can be overwhelming. That’s why this month our focus is on Simple Steps to Health. We want to make the healthy choice, the easy choice. Make sure you check out our Facebook page as we will be sharing daily tips through September.
 
With only 4 months left of 2017, there is still plenty of time for us to walk into 2018 being in our best health ever.

Given the health benefits of regular physical activity, we might have to ask why two out of three (60%) Americans are not active at recommended levels.

Many technological advances and conveniences that have made our lives easier and less active, many personal variables, including physiological, behavioral, and psychological factors, may affect our plans to become more physically active. In fact, the 10 most common reasons adults cite for not adopting more physically active lifestyles are (Sallis and Hovell, 1990; Sallis et al., 1992)

  • Do not have enough time to exercise
  • Find it inconvenient to exercise
  • Lack self-motivation
  • Do not find exercise enjoyable
  • Find exercise boring
  • Lack confidence in their ability to be physically active (low self-efficacy)
  • Fear being injured or have been injured recently
  • Lack self-management skills, such as the ability to set personal goals, monitor progress, or reward progress toward such goals
  • Lack encouragement, support, or companionship from family and friends, and
  • Do not have parks, sidewalks, bicycle trails, or safe and pleasant walking paths convenient to their homes or offices.

Understanding common barriers to physical activity and creating strategies to overcome them may help you make physical activity part of your daily life.

Suggestions for Overcoming Physical Activity Barriers
Lack of time Identify available time slots. Monitor your daily activities for one week. Identify at least three 30-minute time slots you could use for physical activity.
Add physical activity to your daily routine. For example, walk or ride your bike to work or shopping, organize school activities around physical activity, walk the dog, exercise while you watch TV, park farther away from your destination, etc.
Select activities requiring minimal time, such as walking, jogging, or stair climbing.
Social influence Explain your interest in physical activity to friends and family. Ask them to support your efforts.
Invite friends and family members to exercise with you. Plan social activities involving exercise.
Develop new friendships with physically active people. Join a group, such as the YMCA or a hiking club.
Lack of energy Schedule physical activity for times in the day or week when you feel energetic.
Convince yourself that if you give it a chance, physical activity will increase your energy level; then, try it.
Lack of motivation Plan ahead. Make physical activity a regular part of your daily or weekly schedule and write it on your calendar.
Invite a friend to exercise with you on a regular basis and write it on both your calendars.
Join an exercise group or class.
Fear of injury Learn how to warm up and cool down to prevent injury.
Learn how to exercise appropriately considering your age, fitness level, skill level, and health status.
Choose activities involving minimum risk.
Lack of skill Select activities requiring no new skills, such as walking, climbing stairs, or jogging.
Take a class to develop new skills.
Lack of resources Select activities that require minimal facilities or equipment, such as walking, jogging, jumping rope, or calisthenics.
Identify inexpensive, convenient resources available in your community (community education programs, park and recreation programs, worksite programs, etc.).
Weather conditions Develop a set of regular activities that are always available regardless of weather (indoor cycling, aerobic dance, indoor swimming, calisthenics, stair climbing, rope skipping, mall walking, dancing, gymnasium games, etc.)
Travel Put a jump rope in your suitcase and jump rope.
Walk the halls and climb the stairs in hotels.
Stay in places with swimming pools or exercise facilities.
Join the YMCA or YWCA (ask about reciprocal membership agreement).
Visit the local shopping mall and walk for half an hour or more.
Bring your mp3 player your favorite aerobic exercise music.
Family obligations Trade babysitting time with a friend, neighbor, or family member who also has small children.
Exercise with the kids-go for a walk together, play tag or other running games, get an aerobic dance or exercise tape for kids (there are several on the market) and exercise together. You can spend time together and still get your exercise.
Jump rope, do calisthenics, ride a stationary bicycle, or use other home gymnasium equipment while the kids are busy playing or sleeping.
Try to exercise when the kids are not around (e.g., during school hours or their nap time).
Retirement years Look upon your retirement as an opportunity to become more active instead of less. Spend more time gardening, walking the dog, and playing with your grandchildren. Children with short legs and grandparents with slower gaits are often great walking partners.
Learn a new skill you’ve always been interested in, such as ballroom dancing, square dancing, or swimming.
Now that you have the time, make regular physical activity a part of every day. Go for a walk every morning or every evening before dinner. Treat yourself to an exercycle and ride every day while reading a favorite book or magazine.

Source: cdc.gov