Don’t ask me why, but when I first saw the words oil pulling popping up on Facebook, I thought it had something to do with ear wax.  When someone asked me about if I did oil pulling, I decided it was time to some research.

WHAT IS OIL PULLING?

Basically, oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic dental remedy that involves swishing coconut oil (you can also use sesame or sunflower oil) for 20 minutes. Advocates of oil pulling boost that this practice will improve oral health, whiten teeth, detoxify the body and improve your complexion, along with multiple other health benefits. Unfortunately, there just isn’t much medical evidence to support these health benefits.

Oil pulling is a practice still used for oral hygiene in some parts of the world. In these areas there often isn’t access to items like tooth brushes, tooth paste, and mouth wash.

Because I was curious and wanted to write a blog post on oil pulling, I decided to give it a try and purchased a big ol’ container of coconut oil. The next morning I scooped out some and put it in my mouth. (Kind of gross at first…it reminded me of the Crisco shortening I use when I make pies.) After a minute or so the oil melts in your mouth and the pulling begins. The instructions say to gentle push the oil back and forth between your teeth. Since I can’t stand still, I decided to shower at the same time. After the shower, which was quickly shortened to 5 minutes, I spit out the oil.  I have been doing this practice for about two weeks…so far haven’t noticed any difference in my health. (Not that I expected too J).

Side NOTE: Don’t spit it into your sink because it could re-harden and clog up your drain.

After reading numerous articles on oil pulling, my thoughts are it appears as oil pulling won’t hurt you…but I don’t believe it is the magical cure that some promote it to be.

Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/shulamis/3899334463/

Try it Thursday: Lime Asparagus

March 26th, 2014 | Posted by admin in Recipes - (0 Comments)

April just so happens to be the prime-time for asparagus. Give your green beans and corn a break for this tasty side dish, just in time for spring.

Lime Aspargus

Ingredients
  • 1 large bunch of thin asparagus, bottom ends removed
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large nonstick sauté pan heat up the oil and the butter over medium low heat. Add the asparagus, cover and cook for about 3 or 4 minutes until crisp tender. Take off the cover and add the garlic, lime juice, salt and pepper and cook for another minute or two. Stir to combine. Serve with more lime, if desired. Enjoy!

Photo and Recipe Credit

2014 Pound Pledge Week 11 Results

March 24th, 2014 | Posted by admin in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Greetings South Dakota!

Week 11 of the 2014 Pound Pledge is now complete. Just one more weigh-in to go! This week we lost 97 pounds! Great job!

We would like to congratulate Dori S. as this weeks lucky winner! She will be receiving a Be Well South Dakota Prize Package and Subway Gift Card. Do not forget to submit your own results to info@bewellsouthdakota.com by 12pm Wednesday, March 26th to be eligible for this week’s prize and for one more entry to the Grand Prize of $200 to Scheels!

Be sure to check your email for this week’s email for great tips!

Good Luck Everyone!

There is something about the ooey gooey comfort food, mac ‘n cheese, that brings us back to the kitchen table as a child. A healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to kick all your childhood favorites to the curb. Try the ‘grown-up’ version of mac ‘n cheese as your new family favorite.

Broccoli Mac ‘n Cheese

Ingredients
12 oz. wheat pasta
1 large head broccoli (florets only, about 4-5 cups)
1/2 onion, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups plain soymilk (or skim milk)
2 cups low-fat shredded sharp cheddar
1-T Tbsp. butter (We love Smart Balance Omega Plus with Olive Oil)
3 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. salt

Directions
Cook pasta according to package directions, leaving it al dente. Drain.
Steam broccoli florets for 4-5 minutes.
In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter.
Add onion and garlic. Saute about 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to med-low, add in flour. Whisk continuously for a couple minutes.
Add soymilk and dry mustard. Increase heat to medium and heat for 5 minutes or until it thickens.
Add cheese and salt, whisk to melt and turn off heat.
Stir in cooked pasta and broccoli. Salt/pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Try pairing a scoop of mac n’ cheese with a lean protein and side salad for a well-rounded meal!

Measuring Success

March 19th, 2014 | Posted by admin in Lifestyles | Wellness - (0 Comments)

Measuring Success

 

So as many of you may or may not know; I get the pleasure of working with individuals each and every day to create healthier lifestyles.  Whether it is a weekly weigh-in, starting a physical activity challenge, or educating someone on cholesterol, it never fails that I encounter someone who imposes some sort of negative talk on themselves.  All of us have been there at some point!  You have worked your tail off and made changes to your nutrition and fitness like never before and then you go to step on the scale and……your heart sinks when the number doesn’t show what you had anticipated it would.  Why can this number simply put us in a bad mood and even discourage us to continue with the changes we have been making?

Why do we let the scale measure all of our success?  Recently I was weighing in a woman who after stepping on the scale, realized that despite getting in all of her workouts for the week, the scale showed she had gained weight.  We then took her blood pressure to find that despite the numbers on the scale, her blood pressure (which has been border line in the past) was exactly where any health professional would want to see it.  Recently I came across an article that talked about this exact thing…..reminding us that the scale can’t show everything!  Below is a list of things that the scale won’t tell you, but you can tell yourself:

1. What a good spouse/son/daughter/mother/father/grandma/grandpa you are
2. How much better your clothes are fitting
3. How much water you drink every day
4. How much your blood pressure/cholesterol/blood glucose numbers have improved
5. How many flights of stairs you can climb
6. How much easier it is to carry your groceries since you’ve started working out
7. How good you are at making healthy food choices
8. How much muscle mass you’ve gained in relation to fat lost
9. How many times you’ve passed up a treat for a healthier option
10. The number of fruits and veggies you eat every day
11. How you handle stress
12. How much knowledge you’ve gained about healthy living…Thanks Be Well South Dakota!
13. The number of medications you’ve been able to stop taking since getting healthier
14. How much weight you can lift
15. How much you’ve touched the lives of others

So after reading this…..how many of you are now realizing that the scale doesn’t know everything?   The next time you step on the scale to measure your success, take the number with a grain of salt. Never let the number on the scale become the only measure of your worth; make healthy choices, be consistent and trust the process…..and always remember…….Be Well South Dakota!

Photo Credit