Try-It Thursday: Wake Up Happy!

October 29th, 2015 | Posted by admin in Lifestyles - (0 Comments)

I have never understood morning people. There is absolutely nothing to be smiling about at 7 a.m., thank you very much. Sadly, most of us morning-haters have to wake up just as early as the sadists who actually enjoy dawn. To even the playing field, I’ve compiled a list of ways to wake up happy for all of those with a similar temperament.

1. Wake Up To Sunshine

When you wake up to sun pouring through your windows, your body is signaled to stop its flow of melatonin, a hormone that makes you sleepy. This always works for me; waking up to a sun-filled room means that the day has begun and I need to start my morning routine. If you are worried that leaving your blinds open will cause the sun to wake you up before your alarm goes off, buy an eye mask.

2. Don’t Snooze

Apparently, our brains know all about the snooze button, so when you are in your morning tussle with your alarm, your brain won’t put you back in a deep, restful sleep — it knows that you will have to get up in a few minutes. This means that you are messing with your sleep cycle, and you will wake up more tired than you would have in the first place.

3. Put On Music

Putting on good music will put you in a good mood in the morning, for obvious reasons, and if it’s upbeat, it will help you stay awake. Be careful about setting your favorite song as your alarm, though — you might end up hating it. Try turning on music once you are up and moving. You’ll make fewer negative associations, and you’ll be too busy dancing to bad remixes to be upset about being up.

4. Drink Water

Drinking water when you get up is a great way to provide energy by making up for the fluids your body lost while you were asleep. Because everything your body does requires water, when you’re dehydrated, it has to work harder, which can make you feel even more tired. Plus, drinking water is amazing for your body in general, and this is a great trick for getting your daily eight ounces.

5. Power Down Before Bed

Turn all of your screens off an hour before bed. TVs, computers, and iPads are all stimulators, so it can be hard for your brain to wind down for sleep right after you use them. You’ll have to decide for yourself if the benefit of this outweighs the joys of falling asleep watching your favorite team.

 

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Breast Cancer 101

October 28th, 2015 | Posted by Kimberly Vanderpoel in Kim's Posts | Wellness - (0 Comments)

1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Breast cancer is a leading cause of cancer death, second only to lung cancer.

With October being breast health cancer awareness month, we thought we would share the new guidelines, risk factors, symptoms and ways to reduce breast cancer.

Breast Awareness Guidelines: 

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What are Breast Cancer Symptoms?

Symptoms may include:

  • A new lump in the breast
  • A lump that has changed
  • A change in the size or shape of the breast
  • Pain in the breast or nipple that does not go away
  • Flaky, red, or swollen skin on the breast
  • A nipple that is very tender or that suddenly turns inward
  • Blood or any other type of fluid coming from the nipple that is not milk when nursing a baby.

If you have any of these symptoms, talk to your health care professional.

Ways to Reduce Cancer Risk

breast cancer risk factors infographics

breast cancer risk factors infographics

For additional information, please check out American Cancer Society.

Good posture makes you look better, improves confidence, helps with breathing and circulation, decreases muscle spasms, and helps your mood! If that isn’t enough incentive to make you want to make a change, then what will it take?!

Too many of us are spending the entire day, five days a week, at our desks and that is a recipe for disaster. Having poor posture can cause pain in your back, jaw, hips, and knees– all of which, when compromised, can deter you from regular day-to-day activities with family and friends.

It’s time to take a stand, literally! Strengthening the proper muscles and focusing on how you sit and stand can help you attain proper alignment. If you find yourself constantly slumped over, consider trying some of the following tips for better posture.

GET UP AND MOVE

Stand up from your desk for at least three minutes for every 60 minutes that you are sitting. Go to the farthest restroom, get a drink of water or engage in some simple stretches.

SWITCH TO A STANDING DESK

While this may not be possible for everyone, getting a standing desk allows you to stay upright while you’re working and avoid the slouched-over position that’s so detrimental to our alignment. You don’t need to purchase a fancy standing desk for hundreds, or even thousands of dollars…all you need is one of those empty boxes sitting in your recycling area!

TRAIN YOUR MUSCLES

By taking up a regular exercise regimen, you can train your body to not only be stronger, but to hold itself up properly. if you are concentrating on your posture on a regular basis and engaging those muscles to help you stay in that position, it will begin to come natural to you.

DO A DESK STRETCH

There are many stretches you can do while seated at your desk that incorporate the shoulders, neck, back, and legs. Try something like a reverse hand stretch so as to pull your fingers back towards you instead of letting them always point away from you typing downwards or try the butterfly stretch on the floor where you sit down and have the bottoms of your feet touching while pushing your knees down with your elbows as your hands grasp your ankles. Whoa that one feels great!

TAKE UP YOGA

Many yoga poses incorporate back stretches, strengthen your core, and help with relaxation and flexibility. Yoga also helps bring more awareness to your body, which can help you pay attention to how you carry yourself.

CHANGE THE WAY YOU SIT

You can have the fanciest, most ergonomically sound chair, but if you are sitting improperly in it, your posture will be affected. Your eyes should be at the top of your monitor, your elbows should hang at your side (not slumped up on an arm rest), your feet flat on the ground with your knees at about a ninety-degree angle, and your hips should be a little more open than ninety-degrees so that your knees are lower than your hips.

Avoid That Flu Bug

October 21st, 2015 | Posted by admin in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as many as 20 percent of Americans are diagnosed with the flu each year. Of these individuals, the CDC estimates that about 200,000 receive costly hospital treatment as a result of complications of the illness. However, there are many things we can do to protect ourselves and our families from getting sick. Since flu season is nearly upon us, here is a list of information on how to take care of your body and home to prevent the spread of illness.

Contracting the flu doesn’t have to be inevitable, and by practicing good personal and home hygiene habits, we can significantly cut our risk.

 

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Ingredients

  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • ⅔ cup dried cranberries
  • ⅔ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup ground flax
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Line a baking sheet.
  2. In a small bowl, warm coconut oil and honey (either microwave, inside preheating oven or on the stove top).
  3. In a large bowl combine both kinds of oats, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, ground flax, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Add pumpkin puree, eggs and warmed coconut oil and honey. Stir until fully combined.
  4. Drop about ¼ cup sized scoops of the mixture onto a cookie sheet and flatten (cookies won’t spread while baking). Bake for about 15-20 minutes until edges are lightly browned.
  5. Let cookies cool on baking sheet before moving to an airtight storage container.