Improve Your Lifestyle

Improve Your Lifestyle

eat green2Despite the advancements in health care, the life expectancy in America has dropped. There are many reasons for this decline. One of which is the abuse of opioids. However, there are some factors that each person can control. While the rate of preventable deaths has dropped from smoking, the rate of preventable deaths from obesity has risen. It’s time to take charge of your future and improve your lifestyle. Even if you’re not overweight, a sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits are just as lethal.

Is the food you eat healthy and safe?

Eating healthy should be a top priority. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. Everyone is rushed and overburdened with too much to do and too little time to do it. Fast food and microwave meals are often the answer. If you’re a gas station food guzzler or a drive through diner, it’s hard to break the habit, but you can do it. Eating whole foods, foods closest to their natural state, is one way to bump up your nutrition and lower your caloric intake.

It all takes planning.

It’s not easy to eat healthy. Everywhere you look there are sugary temptations beckoning to your taste buds. However, it’s well worth the effort. Meal planning can take an hour of your time, but will save time and money at the store. Spend one night a week planning your meals, including snacks, create a grocery list and make meals for the week on the weekend. Make extra for future use. During the week, you have meals ready to heat and eat. Nothing goes to waste AND nothing goes to waist. Whole foods provide all the nutrition without all the added calories.

Make an effort to move.

A program of regular exercise has been proven to add years to your life and life to those years. It boosts productivity, keeps you healthier, while building endurance, strength and flexibility. If you’re out of shape and don’t know where to start, a personal trainer is a viable option to help you with a personalized program of exercise. If you’re not ready to take it to the gym, focus on increasing your daily activity. Walk to lunch. Take the stairs. Ride a bike to work or to the store.

  • Even if you’re working out regularly, sitting longer than 55 minutes is detrimental to your health. Take a break every hour and get up and move.
  • Find a way to reduce stress. Stress is a killer. Find ways to deal with it. Deep breathing, meditation and even exercise can help.
  • If you’re not ready to change your entire diet, start by cutting out food with added sugar. It’s tough. Sugar is addictive. Have healthy snacks, like fresh fruit or nuts, available so you aren’t tempted to grab a donut or a candy bar.
  • What you drink is just as important as what you eat. Soft drinks contain a high amount of sugar. Even diet soft drinks can affect your health. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day.

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Do You Need A Wellness Expert?

Do You Need A Wellness Expert?

meditationYou know the feeling. You aren’t sick, yet you really don’t feel good, either. You feel stressed and basically out of sorts. If you’ve had regular check-ups and there’s nothing wrong, maybe you need a wellness expert. What does a wellness expert do? He or she helps people make lasting changes in their life that improve their health in the future. These positive changes can include everything from eating healthier and exercise to improving their mindset and reducing stress.

It’s not all about medication.

Sometimes, meditation is medication. That’s especially true for stress related illness. Food as Medicine is a new area in medical care. Exercise can boost your energy and improve your health. Taking care of yourself should be a top priority. Everyone is rushed today and often feel uncomfortable focusing on their own needs. In reality, it’s the most important thing anyone can do. If you aren’t functioning at your peak, you’ll accomplish less. People fail to realize that everything done on a daily basis has an effect on health.

A wellness expert can identify areas where change is important.

A wellness expert not only helps identify those areas, but also creates a plan to help you do it. While the focus is always on the person receiving the help, their families and employers benefit, too. Healthy employees are more productive when they’re fit. Parents that are fit have more energy for their children. Best of all, the habits developed with the help of a wellness expert transfer to those children by example.

When you use the services of a wellness expert, the help doesn’t end at a recommendation.

Wellness experts don’t just tell you to quit smoking, they help you get into a smoking cessation program and stay in touch to provide support. They don’t tell you to lose weight, they line you up with nutritional counseling and exercise programs. They help you make the changes that will affect you for years to come by locating the services and resources you need to make those changes easier and more successfully.

  • Is stress tearing you apart? There are several ways to deal with it. A wellness expert can identify many and help you find the one that fits your needs best.
  • Wellness experts are good for both employees and employers. For employers, they help reduce sick days and can lower the cost of health insurance. For employees, they provide a service that makes getting and being healthier easier.
  • Wellness experts often work with physicians to provide more information in the areas that keep you healthier, beyond just traditional medical care.
  • A wellness coach provides information on topics that relate to good health. They help educate clients in ways to live both a healthier lifestyle and a happier one.

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Super Foods That Burn Fat

Super Foods That Burn Fat

1. Tomatoes
2. Oranges
3. Oats
4. Spices
5. Sweet Potatoes
6. Apples
7. Nuts
8. Quinoa
9. Beans
10. Egg Whites
11. Grapefoot
12. Chicken Breast
13. Bananas
14. Pears
15. Pine Nuts
16. Mushrooms
17. Letils
18. Hot Peppers
19. Broccoli
20. Organic Lean Meats
21. Cantaloupe
22. Spinach
23. Green Tea
24. Cinnamon
25. Asparagus
26. Avocado
27. Peanut Butter
28. Salmon
29. Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
30. Greek Yogurt
31. Olive Oil
32. Blueberries
33. Turkey Breast
34. Flax Seeds

Hearty Chicken and Rice Soup

Hearty Chicken and Rice Soup

Print Recipe
Hearty Chicken and Rice Soup
This hearty but lean meal will be sure to satisfy everyone in your family!
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
  1. Combine chicken broth, onion, celery, carrots, parsley, pepper, thyme, and bay leaf in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to low; simmer until the onion and celery begin to soften, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir chicken into the simmering broth; cook until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle, 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Remove and discard bay leaf. Stir rice and lime juice into the broth; cook and stir just until rice is hot and grains separate, about 1 minute. Garnish with lime slices.
Recipe Notes

Tip: aluminum foil helps keep food moist, ensures it cooks evenly, keeps leftovers fresh, and makes clean-up easy.

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National Drunk & Drugged Driving Prevention Month

National Drunk & Drugged Driving Prevention Month

Drinking and Driving

A Threat to Everyone


Martini glass and car keys112M
Adults reported drinking and driving about 112 million times in 2010.

Beer mug85%
85% of drinking and driving episodes were reported by binge drinkers.

4 in 5 people4 in 5
Four in 5 people who drink and drive are men.

US adults drank too much and got behind the wheel about 112 million times in 2010. Though episodes of driving after drinking too much (“drinking and driving”) have gone down by 30% during the past 5 years, it remains a serious problem in the US. Alcohol-impaired drivers* are involved in about 1 in 3 crash deaths, resulting in nearly 11,000 deaths in 2009.
Driving drunk is never OK. Choose not to drink and drive and help others do the same.
*These drivers had blood alcohol concentrations of at least 0.08%. This is the illegal blood alcohol concentration level for adult drivers in the United States.

SOURCE: CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, US 2010


Drinking and driving episodes by gender and age, 2010
 Drinking and driving episodes by gender and age, 2010
SOURCE: CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, US 2010


Some likely effects on driving
 Some likely effects on driving
Adapted from The ABCs of BAC, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2005, and How to Control Your Drinking, WR Miller and RF Munoz, University of New Mexico, 1982.


Self-reported annual drinking and driving episodes
 Self-reported annual drinking and driving episodes
SOURCE: CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, US 2006, 2008 and 2010

Fruits & Veggies: Add more to your diet!

Fruits & Veggies: Add more to your diet!

Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh, filling and heart-healthy, fruits and vegetables are an important part of your overall healthy eating plan. They are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber and low in fat and calories. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables may help you control your weight and your blood pressure.

Mom was right; eat your peas and carrots (and grapes and oranges).

The American Heart Association recommends eating eight or more fruit and vegetable servings every day. An average adult consuming 2,000 calories daily should aim for 4.5 cups of fruits and vegetables a day. Also, variety matters, so try a wide range of fruits and veggies.

When added sugars and sodium hide, you must seek:

Any product that contains fruit has some natural sugars. However, sugars are often added to packaged or prepared fruit and may be disguised as many different names on the list of ingredients. The line for “sugars,” as you see on a Nutrition Facts panel, includes both added and naturally occurring sugars. Learn more about sugars.

Sodium is also often added to canned or frozen vegetables. Check the amount on the Nutrition Facts panel (link to the Reading Food Labels page) and choose reduced or sodium-free products. Limiting sodium can help you reduce the risk for heart disease. Learn more about sodium.

Tips to boost fruits and vegetables to your diet

  • Keep it colorful. Challenge yourself to try fruits and vegetables of different colors. Make it a red/green/orange day (apple, lettuce, carrot), or see if you can consume a rainbow of fruits and vegetables during the week.
  • Add it on. Add fruit and vegetables to foods you love. Try adding frozen peas to mac’n’cheese, veggies on top of pizza and slices of fruit on top of breakfast cereals or low-fat ice cream.
  • Mix them up. Add fruits and vegetables to food that’s cooked or baked, or mix vegetables in with pasta sauces, lasagnas, casseroles, soups and omelets. Mixing fresh or frozen berries into pancakes, waffles or muffins is another great way to make fruits and veggies a part of every meal.
  • Roast away. Try roasting vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, onions, carrots, tomatoes or eggplant. Long exposure to high heat will cause these foods to caramelize, which enhances their natural sweetness and reduces bitterness.
  • Use healthier cooking methods. Steaming, grilling, sautéing, roasting, baking and microwaving vegetables are ideal preparation methods. Use fats and oils low in saturated fats sparingly; don’t use trans fats.
  • Enjoy vegetable dippers. Chop raw vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Try bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower and celery, and dip your favorites into low-fat or fat-free dressings. Dip tip: Read the food label of sauces and dressings to make sure they are not overloaded with saturated fat and salt.
  • Sip smoothies. Smoothies are a great way to increase the amount of fruit you eat and they’re really easy to make. A basic smoothie is just frozen fruit, some low-fat or non-fat milk and/or yogurt, and 100% fruit juice all processed together in a blender until smooth. Experiment with different fruits to find out what you really like. Note that some cholesterol-lowering medications may interact with grapefruit, grapefruit juice, pomegranate and pomegranate juice. Please talk to your health care provider about any potential risks.
  • Try fruit pops. Put 100% fruit juice in an ice tray and freeze it overnight. You can eat the fruit cubes as mini-popsicles or put them in other juices. Frozen seedless grapes make natural mini-popsicles and are a great summer treat.
  • Enjoy fruit desserts. Fresh or canned fruit in light syrup or natural fruit juice, gelatin containing fruit and dried fruit are good choices for a dessert.