Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Weight a Minute

Think weight lifting isn’t for you? Reconsider the idea. Strength training has numerous benefits for males and females, and no—you’re not too old for it. There are several misconceptions when it comes to weight lifting.

Myth # 1: “If I want to lose weight or burn fat, I should only do cardio exercises.” While cardio is important for burning fat and losing weight, it isn’t the only component to consider. Strength training helps build and restore muscle.  The more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn in a day. A pound of muscle burns between 10 and 20 calories per day, while fat burns only 2 to 5 calories. Furthermore, strength training builds lean muscle tissue, strengthens bones, and speeds up your metabolism.

Myth # 2: “Lighter weights and more reps should be used to tone muscles.” While using lighter weights and performing more reps will increase your muscle endurance, it is not what creates the lean, defined look. To do this, you have to burn fat by creating an overall caloric deficiency through diet and exercise. This doesn’t mean that you cannot ever use the light weight/high rep method, but for weight loss use a variety of reps and weights. You should use enough weight to feel tired after roughly 12 repetitions.

Myth # 3: “You can reduce fat around specific areas of the body by performing exercises designed for that section of the body.” How we lose fat depends on genetics, hormones, and age. Losing fat around the mid section is most effective when creating a caloric deficiency. Meaning, you should eat less calories than what your body burns. Generally wherever you store excess fat is the place you’ll lose it last. For best results, health experts suggest regular exercise (comprised of both cardio and strength training) at least three times per week, along with a healthy low-calorie diet.  

Myth # 4: “After every workout you should be sore.” It is important to remember that soreness is normal for beginners of new activities. Soreness is due to the muscle fibers tearing and repairing, and the intensity of this process gradually decreases over time. To engage in a good workout, follow these guidelines: warm up, lift weight, work all muscle groups, and cool down. Make sure to change up your routine at least every six weeks.

Myth # 5: “Strength training makes women bulk up like men.” Women, and even some men, do not have enough testosterone necessary to create huge “bodybuilder-like” muscles. Lifting heavier weights can benefit both genders and it is the only way to increase strength and see results. Remember, lifting weights builds muscle and assists in burning fat, helping you look leaner overall.

Myth # 6: “I’m too old to lift weights.” There is absolutely no age limit for strength training. At any age, the benefits for strength training include improved balanced and coordination, greater strength and flexibility, weight management, and decreased risks for falling. Incorporating strength training to your exercise routine one to three days a week will help transform your health and body.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Food Safety

When you are working with food it is important to practice safe habits so you can avoid disease and food borne illness. Use the following tips to ensure that your food has been stored and prepared properly.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before handing food and after working with raw meat, eggs, or fish.
  • Separate raw meats from other food when shopping, storing, and preparing food.
  • Keep meats on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator so the juices will not drip onto food.
  • Refrigerate properly. (40ºF or below)
  • Wash cutting boards and utensils thoroughly when preparing food to avoid contamination.
  • Never place cooked food on a plate or cutting board that was previously used for raw meat.
  • Refrigerate or freeze food right after eating to avoid the growth of bacteria.
  • Defrost foods in refrigerator, never at room temperature.
Following these guidelines will help ensure that you are able to enjoy your food and avoid disease. Don’t forget to look at individual food guidelines if you have questions about safe food handling.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Finding Balance

When your work begins to interfere with your personal life, it is easy to become stressed and lose sight of what is important. There was a time when there were clear boundaries between work and home. These days it is easy to let work take over your personal time with email, texts, and instant messaging. To restore balance, please consider the following ideas:

Leave work at work.  As technology advances, it is up to you to create the separation. Remember you are not married to your work.  It is important to take time for yourself, family, and friends. Whenever possible, turn off or silence your electronics and enjoy your time away from work.

Manage your time wisely. This can be done by creating a daily to-do-list. Complete the tasks with the highest priority first and gradually work your way down the list. To prevent your work issues from running into your personal life, make a to-do-list at the end of the work day with what tasks need to be addressed the next morning.

Nurture yourself. When you take care of yourself, you are more likely to feel better both physically and emotionally. Nurture your body by eating healthy foods, exercise most days of the week, and get adequate sleep. Discover new activities and healthy foods you have not tried. Examples include joining a hiking group, taking a dance or cooking class.

Implementing these suggestions can help you restore balance to your life. You will feel better, be more productive, and more likely to enjoy life to the fullest. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Portion Distortion

It can be difficult to gauge how much we are actually eating. Not paying attention to how much we consume can cause us to eat several thousand, unnecessary calories. Use the following guidelines to help guide your eating habits.

First, downsize your dinner plate. The average size of an American dinner plate has grown significantly over the years. When we eat off a large plate, we are more likely to overeat because we want to fill our plate and then eat everything.

Avoid serving family style! It is better to have pre-measured portions and leave the serving dishes away from the table so you don’t snack mindlessly.

Household objects can be easy to use to determine how much we are eating.

·         Potato - 1 serving is the size of a computer mouse
·         Pasta - 1/2 cup is about the size of half a baseball
·         Pancake or waffle - 1 serving is the size of a CD
·         Cheese - 1 serving is the size of 4 dice
·         Meat - 3 oz. serving is the size of a deck of cards
·         Carrots or broccoli - 1 cup is the size of a baseball
·         Blueberries or grapes - 1/2 cup is the size of a light bulb
·         Butter - 1 portion is the size of a Scrabble tile or thumbnail
·         Ice cream - 1/2 cup is the size of a light bulb
·         Chocolate - 1 oz. is the size of a package of dental floss

If you have a hard time eating only one serving, it is best not to eat in front of the TV or while standing.  These situations can lead to mindless eating.  It is worth spending time to learn about portion sizes so you can easily judge how much you are eating. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Healthy Work Snack Ideas

·          Fat-free pudding
·          Rice cakes
·          Hard boiled egg
·          100 calorie light popcorn pack
·          Fat-free cottage cheese
·          Unsweetened apple sauce
·          Whole grain crackers
·          Carrot/celery sticks
·          Side salad with fat-free dressing
·          Trail mix
·          Unsalted pretzels
·          Fiber bar
·          Almonds
·          Tuna
·          Sugar-free jello
·          Fruit
·          String cheese
·          Low-fat yogurt

Monday, April 22, 2013

Work Out Tips and Tricks

  •          Drink water before, during, and after your workouts.
  •      Refuel your body with lean protein after exercising.
  •      Stand up when weight lifting as an effective technique.
  •      Change your routine every few weeks.
  •      Tuck your abs in while exercising to maximize benefits. 

Did you Know?
  •   Mariusz Padzianowski of Poland is the world’s strongest man. He can lift a staggering 924 pounds during a deadlift.
  • Free weights activate more muscles than machine weights.
  • The strongest muscle in the body is the jaw.
  • You don’t need to be big to be strong.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Breakfast Burrito

·        1 tbsp olive oil
·        2 eggs, 4 egg whites, beaten
·        5 8-inch whole wheat tortillas

Filling Options
·        1/2 cup grated cheese
·        1 tomato, chopped
·        1 small onion, diced
·        1/4 green or red bell pepper, chopped
·        1/2 avocado, diced
·        Salsa
·        Black olives, sliced

Over medium-high heat, warm olive oil and scramble or cook the eggs to your liking. Meanwhile, warm the tortillas for a few minutes on the rack of a 250° F oven.

Fill tortillas with scrambled eggs and your choice of ingredients. Roll into a burrito to eat on the go!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Coping With Cancer

Learning that you or a family member has cancer can be devastating. After receiving this diagnosis, try some of these tips as coping mechanisms:

Learn everything you can about your cancer.
When you go to medical appointments, bring a list of questions to ask your doctor. Also, see if a friend or family member can go with you to help remember some of the discussion points.

Find someone to talk to about your diagnosis.
You may want to join a support group or talk to someone who went through a similar experience. If you don’t feel comfortable with either of these options, talk to a counselor or therapist. A friend or family member can also be a good resource to add to your support team.

Stay connected to your family and friends.
Many people will want to help and support you, but may not know what to do. Be vocal in your needs and allow friends and family the opportunity to help you. Let them know your needs, whether it’s a meal, a ride, or a listening ear.

Take care of yourself physically and emotionally.
Follow your doctor’s orders. Eating a healthy diet can help you feel better. Make sure to get enough sleep, even if that means taking a few naps throughout the day. To take care of yourself emotionally by writing in a journal, or learning relaxation exercises.

If a family member or friend has cancer, remember that he or she may need someone to just listen. Be open to spending time without offering solutions. Focusing on happy events and interactions can help to redirect the focus and create positive memories. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Kick off your cardio

Engage in a variety of physical activities that challenge the body, prevent workout plateaus, and give you impressive results. Adding variety into your schedule can be as simple as mixing up the type of exercises, locations, time of day, the intensity, and the duration.

There are several cardio exercises that strengthen the heart and get your body in shape. Swimming, biking, walking, aerobics, rock climbing, ice skating, stair masters, elliptical, or running are all great examples. Incorporate a mixture of exercises to keep you interested in physical activity.

Take advantage of your home turf! Are you near popular hiking trails or beaches? What about fitness facilities or indoor pools or tracks? Do some research about your neighboring cities to see what exercise options are available. You may be surprised how affordable and accessible various forms of exercise can be in your area.

Once you feel comfortable with your exercise routine, keep things interesting by making slight variations. Try swimming a lap as fast as you can, then slow down for two laps. When walking on a treadmill, increase the incline for two minutes, then lower the incline for one minute. Invite a friend to join you on a bike ride and follow them on their favorite route. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Ideas to Help You Move More

Be creative. Find different ways to move more!

Pick up the pace while shopping.

March in place while filling up the gas tank.

Do some muscle- strengthening exercises during commercial
breaks as you watch TV.

Park farther away from your destination and walk.

Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Take two steps at a time when you climb stairs.

Dance in your car. While you’re stuck in traffic, work your abs. Concentrate on your rib cage — pretend you’re a salsa dancer and swirl around. Not only will you see your waist whittle and your abs harden, you’ll release lower back tension.

Keep a jump rope at your desk and use it during your breaks.

Walk around your office building, inside or out, at least once an hour.

Work your butt. When you’re in the car or standing in line, contract your buttocks for fifteen second intervals. Tighten your muscles as you breathe in and then breathe out and release. It not only firms your butt, but relieves stress.

Get free weights or use heavier items in your home/office to do exercises.

Rent or buy exercise videos. It’s like having a health club in the privacy of your own room.

Bottom Line: Find something you enjoy and move more!

Nutrition Facts

To maintain a healthy weight, you need to balance nutrition with physical activity. Americans typically consume more calories than are needed, which results in weight gain. Learning to read nutrition labels can help you make smarter choices and meet daily nutritional needs without exceeding your recommended da
ily caloric intake.

A few simple tricks can help you choose healthy foods that will be satisfying. First, decide what is most important to you. Are you trying to lose weight? If so, you will want to pay close attention to serving sizes and the calories. Do you want to reduce your risk of heart disease? If your answer is yes, start decreasing saturated fats and trans fats from your diet.

Serving size is a critical component to keep in mind as you make smarter eating choices. How many servings are contained in each package? It is possible to eat what is your “normal” serving of food, not realizing it is actually two servings.

Next, determine if a food is low, moderate, or high in the calories. Foods that are low in calories per serving contain about 40 calories per serving. A moderate food contains about 100 calories per serving, whereas a food that is high in calories contains at least 400 calories per serving. For example, if you ate three servings of a high calorie food you could be consuming 1,200 calories in one sitting.

It is also important to review the nutrients contained in food. You want to limit some nutrients and maximize others. Fats, cholesterol, and sodium should be limited, so look for a small “% Daily Value” on the nutrition label. These nutrients should have a daily value less than 5%. Try to find foods that are high in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and calcium. A food is high in nutrients if the daily value is greater than 20%.

Now that you know what to look for on a nutrition fact label, try to choose foods that will contribute to a healthy diet. A healthy diet is one that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, lean protein, and is low in fat, cholesterol, and salt. Tools such as choosemyplate.gov can help you determine the number of servings you need from each food group.

When grocery shopping, there are several considerations that help when selecting healthy foods. Before you go shopping, create a meal plan for the upcoming week and make a shopping list for these food items. You will be less likely to buy impulse food items, which often tend to be junk food, if you have a list of what food items you need. Also, foods containing less than five ingredients are generally the healthiest and are closest to its most natural state.

Lastly, a good tip to finding healthy food is to stay on the perimeter (walls) of the grocery store. The perimeters of the store generally contain fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy products, foods which typically contain fewer than five ingredients.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Smoothie Recipes

Looking for new smoothie ideas to try? Check these ones out!

Berry Madness
•    1-2 scoops ProEnergy Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
•    1/4 cup of frozen or fresh strawberries
•    1/4 cup of frozen or fresh blueberries
•    1/4 cup of frozen or fresh raspberries
•    Add ice for extra thickness

Kale and Pear Smoothie
•    1 (130 g) orange, peeled
•    1 cup green grapes
•    1/2 Bartlett pear
•    1 (120 g) banana, fresh or frozen
•    1 cup kale
•    1/2 cup water
•    2 cups ice cubes

Groovy Green Smoothie
•    1 cup grapes
•    1 banana, cut into chunks
•    1 (6 ounce) tub vanilla yogurt
•    1/2 apple, cored and chopped
•    1 1/2 cups fresh spinach leaves

Strawberry Peach Carrot Smoothie
•    1 fresh peach
•    1 medium carrot
•    6 frozen strawberries
•    1/2 container yogurt
•    1 tablespoon flax seed oil

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Cancer Control

Cancer is a problem affecting millions of Americans each year. Many forms of cancer can be prevented through a healthy lifestyle and regular screenings. Common cancers that affect men are prostate, lung, and colon cancer. Breast, lung and colon cancers are the most common among women. Skin cancer is one of the most easily preventable forms of cancer and is common among both men and women.

Screenings can help prevent cancer deaths by detecting abnormalities early in the process. Women over the age of 40 should plan to have a mammogram every one to two years to help in the early detection of breast cancer. Prostate cancer screenings can likewise be beneficial in the early detection.

Prostate cancer screenings produce many false positives, which can lead to incorrect treatment plans and anxiety. Talk to your doctor about the recommendations for prostate cancer screenings. Lung cancer screenings such as CAT scans and x-rays can help to detect lung cancer earlier. Colorectal cancer, also known as colon cancer, can be also be detected earlier by screenings. These should begin by the age of 50 or earlier if other symptoms are present. Colorectal screenings can help detect polyps (abnormal growths) in the intestine before they become cancerous.

Lung cancer can be prevented by not smoking. Second-hand smoke can also cause lung cancer, so refrain from spending time in areas where smoke is present. Some vaccines may help prevent certain cancers. The HPV vaccine can help prevent the human papillomavirus infection which can cause cervical cancer. The hepatitis B vaccine can help prevent liver cancer resulting from hepatitis B infection.

Skin cancer can be prevented by exercising caution when exposed to UV (ultra violet) rays, in both summer and winter months. Using sunscreen, wearing protective clothing, and staying in the shade during the hottest time of the day can all help prevent skin cancer.

Some cancers can be entirely prevented through various behaviors. Seeking regular medical care, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, and eating healthy can all help to prevent cancer as well as other diseases such as diabetes and obesity.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Enchilada Stuffed Mushrooms

20 - 24 baby bella mushrooms
6 oz. reduced-fat softened cream cheese
1/4 cup grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
1/4 teaspoon taco seasoning
1 green onion, sliced (both white and green parts)
1 cup grated reduced-fat cheddar cheese, divided
salt & pepper, to taste
1 cup red enchilada sauce
any desired toppings: salsa, cilantro, etc.

Preheat oven to 376 degrees. Lightly grease baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Remove stems from mushrooms and wipe caps with damp cloth to remove any dirt. Place into baking dish.
In a small bowl, stir cream cheese to soften. Pour in parmigiano reggiano cheese, taco seasoning, green onion, 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, salt and pepper. Spoon filling into cleaned mushrooms. Pour enchilada sauce over top. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheddar cheese.
Bake 20 minutes until browned and bubbly. Serve hot.
Yields 20 - 24 mushrooms

Source: Laurens Latest

Tips To a Healthier You Part 2

Tips for a Healthier You
  • Exercise with friends or join an exercise group.
  • Include whole grains and other high-fiber foods in your diet.
  • Learn relaxation techniques.
  • Regularly set aside personal time for yourself.
  • Find someone to talk to when you are having a difficult day.
  • Practice making a to-do-list to help keep your life in order. 
Did You Know… ?
  • There are more than 100 types of cancer and any part of the body can be affected.
  • Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of cancer in the world.
  • Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%.
  • More than 90% of skin cancer is caused by sun exposure.