Posts tagged with "healthy living"

illustration by Anh Hoang use by 360 Magazine

E·Z Breathe Offers 20% Off

E-Z BREATHE VENTILATION SYSTEM MARKS 20 YEARS OF PROVIDING IMPROVED AIR QUALITY TO CUSTOMERS NATIONWIDE

E·Z Breathe Ventilation System to offer customers 20% off for 20-years in business during National Indoor Air Quality Awareness Month through October.

Investing in indoor air quality has never been more important than it is in 2021. With households around the country and beyond spending more than 90% of their time indoors, the conversation around the health and safety of indoor air quality has become top of mind for many. The rise of time spent indoors since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the nation coupled with colder winter months approach has made E·Z Breathe Ventilation System a necessity to transform the entire home into a healthy living environment and to keep families safe from poor air quality, excess moisture, molds, toxins, allergens, and more. To commemorate 20 years of providing customers with improved indoor air quality, E·Z Breathe Ventilation System will offer 20% off during National Indoor Air Quality Awareness Month, observed annually in October.

“We have been dedicated to building on our commitment to helping people improve their indoor air quality since we installed the first prototype of our ventilation system 20 years ago,” said E·Z Breathe President Erika Lacroix. “Everyone deserves a safe and healthy home, and we are proud to continue not only evolving our product, but expanding and sharing our knowledge around the relationship between our home and our health, the importance of our indoor air quality, and the challenges our modern-day practices pose to the quality of the air we breathe in our homes.”

Having sold approximately 200,000 ventilation systems since its inception, E·Z Breathe Ventilation System continues to be a leader in fresh air systems nationwide. Providing complete home air exchange solutions, the system improves indoor air quality, reduces indoor humidity, and lowers allergen and pollutant levels. Air polluted with mold, allergens, pathogens and other toxins and odor-causing pollutants are vented at the lowest level of the home to the outside in a revolutionary way, introducing and circulating fresher, cleaner air throughout the home.

The E·Z Breathe Ventilation System can improve the indoor air quality with up to an 85% reduction in airborne particulates and common indoor air pollutants. This ventilation system has the ability to help alleviate many common homeowner concerns such as mildew odors, mold growth, pet dander, dust mites, humidity and moisture, pollen, chemical smells, leaving homes feeling fresh and allergen-free.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, reports that the air in the average American home is a minimum of five times and, in some cases, up to 100 times more polluted than outdoor air, and building science experts agree that more than 20 gallons of water vapor are absorbed into the average home through basements and/or crawl spaces every single day. Even though it is installed in one room, E·Z Breathe achieves whole-home air exchanges six to ten times daily by gently drawing air throughout the home to replace the stale, polluted air being exhausted.

E·Z Breathe products work for up to 7,000 square feet of living space, and operate efficiently at only $2 to $4 a month; the same as a 40-watt light bulb. Known as a set it, then forget it product, E·Z Breathe systems are low maintenance and do not require extra attention after installation. Now offering self-installation kits for all DIY homeowners, as home improvement has skyrocketed this past year, those who would feel more comfortable setting up the E·Z Breath on their own have the ability to now do so.

For more information on E·Z Breathe and their product benefits, call 1.866.822.7328 or visit HERE.

photo of Dr. Stephen Sinatra for use by 360 Magazine

Secrets for Healthier Hearts and Sharper Minds

Secrets for Healthier Hearts and Sharper Minds By Dr. Stephen Sinatra, cardiologist, Healthy Directions

A sharp mind and a healthy heart are both keys to living a long, healthy life. However, did you know that your heart and brain – two seemingly different organs – are highly connected? In fact, they are highly dependent on one another. As a result, your brain and heart act almost as a figurative game of dominos – when one falls, the other falls with it. That’s why I’ve made it my mission as a cardiologist to focus as much on brain health as I do on heart health.

Making the Connection Between the Heart and Brain 

Your brain acts as the control center of your body, giving orders here and there to ensure that your natural bodily functions continue without issue. However, there are times when the signals your brain is sending to the different parts of your body can go awry. This can directly affect the heart because faulty signals can send its rhythm into haywire.

These two organs are further intertwined because of their relationships with the vascular system, which both depend on to bring them oxygen and nutrients while carrying away any waste.

Plus, both organs are highly susceptible to several ailments that can affect their efficacy. The main culprits include oxidative stress, disruptions in blood flow and chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation can be brought on by a lack of exercise, poor diet and exposure to pollutants, among other triggers. The intricate network of your brain and the 100 billion cells (or neurons) that make it up are even more vulnerable than your heart to these stressors.

The good news is that many of the same recommendations I make for keeping your heart healthy also boost the health of your brain and entire body. Here are some of the most important things that you can do to nurture the heart-brain connection:

  • Switch Up Your Diet: I’ve always been a proponent of the Mediterranean diet. Another diet that I recommend for heart and brain health combines elements of the Mediterranean diet with elements from the Asian side of the Pacific Rim, also known as the Pan-Asian Modified Mediterranean (PAMM) diet. This diet puts an emphasis on healthy fats derived from sources like fish, nuts and seeds, avocados, olive oil and DHA-fortified eggs, supporting overall brain health. In addition, the diet includes considerable amounts of vegetables and fruits. While doing this, you should also keep in mind the importance of limiting processed sugars and simple carbohydrates, two major contributors to inflammation.
  • Be Wary of Chronic Stress: Believe it or not, stress can play a major role in the health of your brain and heart. When you are stressed, your body releases cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone.” Short-term stress is okay because the body can return to normal. However, chronic stress accompanied by high levels of cortisol can affect the regions of the brain associated with memory and emotion, causing your autonomic nervous system to be on constant alert. Making time for exercise, maintaining health sleep cycles, and connecting with people around you can help combat stress. Additionally, you can practice meditation, yoga and breathing exercises to help. 
  • Put the Kibosh on “Invisible” Brain Threats: When people think of invisible pollutants, they typically think of carbon emissions and greenhouse gases. However, there are other invisible pollutants out there that can affect the brain directly. Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are emitted by everything from cell phones to wireless networks. Even home appliances can emit these EMFs that affect the electrical currents within your body, including the crucial ones tasked with regulating your heartbeat and the synapses in your brain. Limiting EMF exposure can be tough, but it’s also extremely important. Some steps include using a corded landline and only using your cellphone on speaker, which limits the exposure of radiation to your brain. You can also hardwire your computer instead of using Wi-Fi. Lastly, you can engage in earthing, which is when you connect to the Earth by walking barefoot or using a grounding pad, protecting you from EMF radiation.
  • Know the Link Between Your Brain and Statins: When looking at your medication list, it is crucial to be aware of cholesterol-lowering statins. These drugs suppress the production of cholesterol and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), resulting in brain fog. Additionally, lowering your cholesterol too much can also affect brain function since it depends on cholesterol to process information.
  • Keep a Close Eye on Your Blood Pressure: High blood pressure can pose a threat in ensuring your brain gets the oxygen it needs. Your brain takes about 20% of the oxygen you breathe, so a healthy blood pressure of around 120/80 mmHg will help maintain that. Include foods like beets, garlic, onions, and apples to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.
  • Step Up Your Supplement Game: If you don’t have a solid supplement routine, now is the time to find a regimen that works for you. I recommend starting with a good multivitamin, CoQ10 (100 mg daily if you are taking a statin), omega-3 and magnesium. All these supplements will help support brain and heart health. For added protection, my new Focal Point Plus supplement uses a unique combination of clinically validated ingredients including Longvida Optimized Curcumin, CogniBoost American Ginseng, and vitamin K2 menaquinone-7 (MK7), which together can help support cognitive health and memory, healthy blood flow and arterial health.

As I mentioned at the start, think of your heart and brain as two dominos sitting next to one another. In optimal positions, they work in tandem—but when one falters, it can take the other one with it, leaving your entire body vulnerable. So, it’s important to keep both organs in tip-top shape so they can support you for a lifetime.

About Dr. Stephen Sinatra

Dr. Stephen Sinatra is one of the most highly respected and sought-after cardiologists whose integrative approach to treating cardiovascular disease has revitalized patients with even the most advanced forms of illness. He has more than 40 years of clinical practice, research, and study, starting his career as an attending physician at Manchester Memorial Hospital in Connecticut. He is known as one of America’s top integrative cardiologists, combining conventional medical treatments for heart disease with complementary nutritional, anti-aging, and psychological therapies. He is an author, speaker and adviser for the research and development of nutritional supplements with Healthy Directions. Sinatra is a best-selling author of more than a dozen books, including, “Heartbreak and Heart Disease,” “The Great Cholesterol Myth,” “Reversing Heart Disease Now “Heart Sense for Women,” “The Sinatra Solution” and “Metabolic Cardiology.”

Dog illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Backyarding is Here to Stay

Backyarding is Here to Stay & It Has a Purpose. What’s Yours? 

By Kris Kiser, President & CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute

What once only happened indoors now happens outdoors. It’s called “backyarding,” and it’s a trend that’s here to stay. From office work to working out, from eating to entertaining, if these activities were once typically held inside a home or office, they are now being brought to the great outdoors.

Simply think back over the last year and recount the number of times your backyard has taken center stage in your everyday life. The family yard became the safe and purposeful space where we could gather and recharge. Spending time outdoors is great for your physical and mental health, and our backyards are the bridge between indoor and outdoor living.

The backyard is nearly limitless with possibilities, and you can get really creative in how you expand and enjoy your yard. But before you get to work in your yard, you must first identity what type of “backyarder” you are. Then, you can keep that idea in mind to create a more purposeful outdoor space that is customized to your family’s needs.

Here are just a few of the backyarding personality types. Which one(s) are you?

Entertainer Extraordinaire
Your backyard was the neighborhood hot spot long before the pandemic made that trend posh. Family milestones, birthdays, graduations, reunions, socially distanced BBQs – your yard is *the* place to gather. Your yard is set up for success with patio furniture, fire pit, yard games, plenty of outdoor seating, string lights, and maybe even an outdoor kitchen.  The family yard and community park are five-star event spaces that are always easy to book!  

Environmentalist
You know that nature starts in your own backyard and that taking small steps in your yard can make a big impact on climate change. As the proverbial Robin to your yard’s Batman, you embrace your role in supporting the superhero powers of your living landscape. Those include capturing and filtering rainwater, producing oxygen, and absorbing carbon, just to name a few. 

Expert Landscaper
Your yard makes neighbors green with envy. You know how to maintain a healthy living landscape all year long, and you have the latest outdoor power equipment to make even big jobs easier. Your idea of a good time? Spending the weekend doing yardwork. You love the sense of accomplishment that comes from working in your yard, and friends can count on you for advice about their own living landscapes.

Horticulturist
The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is bookmarked on your browser because putting the right plant in the right place is the living landscape Golden Rule you live by. You consider location, maintenance, sunlight and watering requirements, as well as your climate zone and lifestyle needs, before you even think about sticking your shovel in the dirt.

Kid Zone Creator
You know the safest place for your kids to be is in your own backyard, and you work hard to create an outdoor fun zone they will never want to leave. A flat area of sturdy turfgrass to play sports and pitch a tent? Check. Treehouse? Check. Zipline strung safely between backyard trees? Check. An elevated garden where kids can help grow the family’s meals? Check. Natural playscapes, like a patch of sand bordered by rocks and log stump seating? Check. “Fun” is your middle name, and you are winning at this game.

Nature Lover
No binging Netflix for you. You subscribe to “Nature TV” and prefer to spend your free time watching the birds, bats, butterflies and other wildlife that count on your yard for food and shelter. You cultivate a living landscape that supports a rich biodiversity with butterfly bushes, flowering plants, water sources, and trees and shrubs with nooks for nesting and food.  

Pet Pamperer
Your focus is on Fido, and you take cues from your four-legged friends about how to purpose your backyard. You’ve planted sturdy turfgrass like Buffalo or Bermuda that can stand up to pet play, and you’ve used soft foliage to create a natural barricade between “off limits” areas and the rest of the lawn. Trees and shrubs are strategically planted for shade, and you’ve even set up a shallow water feature to help your pup cool off on hot days. For you, planting with purpose means keeping toxic plants out of the picture. (For a complete list, visit ASPCA’s list of non-toxic and toxic plants.

Work (and learn!) from Home Warrior 
You don’t need to turn to technology to create a virtual backdrop for your video calls. The natural setting created by your yard’s trees, flowers, bushes and other plants is your go-to video call background. Your kids aren’t doing in-person school? No problem. Your backyard or neighborhood park is a living laboratory for learning that supports outdoor learning, even when school isn’t in session. Your kids take online classes under the shade of a tree. Do homework at a patio or picnic table. Brush up on STEM education by planting and studying flowers, bug hunting, and weather watching.

Zen Master
Enjoying your morning coffee on the balcony as songbirds serenade you. Meditating under the shade of a tree. De-stressing by swinging in a backyard hammock. Taking a break from your busy day to feel the sun on your face and the breeze in your hair. Your backyard is your sacred space for rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation. It’s the best “green spa” in town. You know that spending time outside is good for your health and well-being and that, thanks to your yard, these benefits are only steps away.

Setting the stage for backyarding. One final and important note to backyarders of all kinds. Creating a yard that supports all of the aspects of your family’s outdoor lifestyle means taking stock of what you might need to care for your lawn. Take an inventory of your outdoor power equipment to make sure you are prepared. Then, get out there and create your canvas for even more backyard memory-making.

To learn more about creating the yard of your dreams, visit TurfMutt.

Bike Ride illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Bike4Tourism × Cycle the World

Bike4Tourism Invites Would-Be Travelers to Cycle the World, Virtually

Seeking a Global Community to Bike Together While Apart and Share Images of Each Other’s Routes

Missing international travel?   Wishing you could host some out-of-town friends to show them your most beautiful locations? Then Bike4Tourism has an inspiring global event tailor-made for you this Memorial Day weekend, on Sunday, May 30th.

Bike4Tourism aims to promote healthy living and sustainable tourism. The goal of the event is to have as many participants as possible, in every country, riding bikes and sharing photographs to the global community of the most beautiful places near their homes.

In sharing each other’s images, cyclists will virtually visit cities, countries and continents, without need for a passport — just a helmet and the will to discover or rediscover the places that surround us and show them to others.

Organizers are hoping for more than 115,000 participants around the world to break the current record.  Proceeds will support environmental conservation charities and aid tourism businesses in financial need following Covid-19 travel restrictions.

It’s hoped that participants are left with even more desire to travel, sustainably, with a huge selection of photos of beautiful places from which to choose their next journey.

All are welcome to participate, and free tickets will be made available for children to encourage family bike rides.   Early bird tickets are available from April 20th.  For more information, visit Bike 4 Tourism, and Facebook.

10 Supersmart Superfoods Your Kids Will Love

Having trouble getting your kids to eat healthy? When you package these superfood hits into a child’s menu you can be sure it’s a surefire way of giving them the nutrients they need and show them great nutrition is just around the corner!

Basil

This superfood packs in vitamins A, C and K, iron, potassium and calcium kids can grow their own basil at home. toss it on pasta sauces or pizza! It’s rich in plant chemicals, chlorophyll and other happy mood plant compounds.

Cocoa

Add cocoa powder and honey to kefir for a healthy quick breakfast for kids who won’t sit still to eat a meal. Or a cup of hot cocoa (at least 70 percent pure cocoa) promotes oral health and helps to protect delicate skin from sun damage over time. You can also sprinkle cocoa powder on fruit, snacks and desserts for a healthy punch of flavor. Plant chemicals and antioxidants increase concentration and decrease inflammation!

Black Beans

Adults aren’t the only ones who suffer from high cholesterol, they just get checked more often than kids. Black beans help kids keep cholesterol levels down and provide plenty of calcium and protein to boot. Make a tasty black bean dip with some fresh veggies for a fun snack.

 Cinnamon

This superfood is great sprinkled on breakfast foods. it regulates blood sugar, which will keep energy from crashing after breakfast in the middle of a school day, tastes great and is so easy to use. Its natural sweetness is a plus and goes with so many foods and beverages!

Avocado

Avocados are full of good fat. Kids need a daily diet of 30% monosaturated fat and a little avocado a day provides more than enough. Use it like ordinary mayo for a great mix-in to creamy dips and sauces or sliced fresh for an afternoon snack. Guacamole is a no brainer for kids!

Tomato

Here’s a switch, a tomato a day can keep cancer away. That’s right, the plant version of vitamin A can best fight off all kinds of stressors and the potassium they contain helps to boost energy and stabilize hydration. In-season tomatoes are amazing with basil and olive oil or lightly sautee for a very tasty sauce for pasta, fish or veggies!

Fruit

A sweet spot you don’t want to ignore, kids have a natural liking for fruit and its energy-boosting plus. Encouraging eating fruit curbs drinking sugary beverages and snacks. Go for seasonal fun and plan a harvesting trip to a local orchard or bring your kiddies to the local green grocers to pick out what they want. A variety of colors provides kids with essential vitamins and minerals they need to grow and fiber to keep their bodies healthy. Introduce your kids to a daily fruit plate at a young age and they will probably continue the habit into adulthood.

Sweet Potatoes

These orange tubers are high in Vitamin A which helps kids develop healthy vision and eyes. And they’re delicious roasted, mashed or baked. For an amazing marshmallow flavor, use vanilla extract and honey for a not to be missed sweet treat.

Flaxseed

Flaxseed is bursting with Omega-3 fatty acids that little guys need to grow their brains to their full potential. Buy it ground and sprinkle it over their cereal or add 1/4 cup to their favorite baked-good recipe. They’ll get better nutrition without even knowing it.

Oatmeal

Kids who start their day with oatmeal concentrate better in school all day. oatmeal breaks down slowly to give continual bursts of energy over a long period of time. Add honey, nuts or chocolate chips to make it more kid-friendly, for a great way to use oatmeal be sure to check out the recipe section for a granola recipe the whole family will love.

About Nicolette M. Pace MS, RDN, CDE, CBC,CDN, CFCS ,FAND

Nicolette founded NutriSource Inc. ( www.nutrisource.org )  in 2002 to provide high quality education, counseling and nutrition services for a diverse community population. Prior to founding NutriSource Inc, she served as Director of Clinical Nutrition at the NYHQ/Silvercrest Center where she provided both administrative and direct care for sub-acute and chronically ill patients. Nicolette was a key member of performance improvement projects and as Chair of the Nutrition Committee; significant positive changes were made in the standard of care. 

 Nicolette has been featured in CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox News, the New York Times, Seventeen, Fitness, Men’s Journal, More, Dr. Oz, Everyday Health, AOL, IVillage, Health, Shape and other magazines. She is also a contributing writer for Minerva Place, as well as an adjunct professor of Nutrition at CUNY and Touro Colleges. She believes in emphasizing a holistic approach toward food, nutrition and preventative healthcare.

Nicolette Pace Demo Reel watch HERE.

 
Gym Illustration by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

The Beach Body

Kupah James has the raw and positive energy it takes to be motivational. Although he grew up in Boston, he now resides in LA as a Celebrity Group Fitness Instructor. With over 15 years of experience, Kupah is also a Private Party Dj (Global). With best friend and business partner, JENI Lin they created the very popular #BodyWeightBootKAMP – a 45min total body circuit for all fitness levels.

If you don’t find him amongst small groups of people motivating and coaching you can catch sneaking in afternoon naps and binging streaming services…before/after napping (LOL). His long term goal is to travel the world bringing #BodyWeightBootKAMP to each and every shore!

Health During the Holidays

With the 2020 holidays approaching, here are some activities you can #MakeMoves with first thing in the morning to get your mind right for the ensuing “craze that is the holidays.” Let’s agree, we are searching for a quick “win,” nothing super complicated and “thinking” should not be in the cards. Load up your “GoTo” workout, the one where you kill it and always feel your best every time.

If you’re feeling a more chill holiday workout, something meditative like a yoga practice, a long walk, a light jog or meditating can be helpful. One of these exercises can calm your nerves and allow you a moment of calmness. You can take this peaceful time to celebrate making it to another festive season. 

If you’re looking for help with the holiday feast, we all know we don’t want to ruin our appetites. By making sure we get a “healthier” breakfast in the morning, hopefully, we can avoid extra guilt come dessert time. Drink lots of water and if your a coffee person grab one to help suppress your hunger until “DINNAH,” lol. If you really want to balance out the equation, ease up on the carbs 24-48 hours before it’s time to dig in. Bon appétit!

Keeping a Daily Routine

With so many people working from home, parks and other creative spaces, how does one maintain a good routine if your living space becomes your workspace as well?

A couple of ways to maintain a good routine are using your smartphones/devices, friends/roommates/spouses, or an accountability coach. All devices come with apps, timers and reminders to help keep you on task. For me, I’m always on the go so I use food reminders to help me with my routine. Sometimes I’m so busy interacting with clients I forget to eat, so I created a reminder just to chug a protein shake every couple of hours. ICONIC makes a perfect pre-made protein shake, so it’s even easier, no excuses.

Do you have people around you that you can lean on for “check-ins” and support? Asking a friend, relative or spouse could be a great way to “stay the course” and build on an existing relationship. 

Accountability Coaches do just that, hold you accountable with calls, texts, meets and quality time invested into the things you SAY you want to do but allow distractions to get in the way. Sometimes a person you’re close to might not be the best for this job, rather finding an objective, trained professional to work with your motivations might be best. 

A Critical Muscle to Tone

It is critical to develop a strong healthy back simply because your back is essentially the most important part of your skeleton next to your skull. It bears the weight of your upper body while stabilizing your balance and “kindly” houses your Central Nervous System (CNS). Your CNS allows signals from the brain to travel throughout your body. If that isn’t reason enough it’s also a major component to posture, and everyday activities like walking, running, sitting and lifting. 

Some of the primary benefits of a back workout are the strengthening of the shoulder and increasing stability. Many shoulder injuries can be treated simply by strengthening your back. Another benefit to back workouts is the positive effect on your posture and balance. Not to mention, a well developed back will aid in your quest for that Super Hero Body that many of us dreamed of as little boys. 

The best exercises depend on someone’s personal goals. With that said, some essential exercises would be – in no particular order – Back Loaded Squat, Deadlifts both (Sumo and Romanian are common), Back Rows, Rear Flys, Single Arm Row, Pull-Ups and Chin-Ups and Lat Pull Down. These are all great exercises, just to name a few. 

A common mistake of back exercises is having a “poor” form. I could never express how important form is to the overall development of any muscle group and the back is no exception. Especially in the Back Squat, Deadlift and Pull Up. Those are three that I often see performed incorrectly and I can’t help myself but to speak up and try to help the best way I can. An injury is nothing to shake a stick at, so when performing these exercises, and others, please “respect the rep” and choose form over everything.

Something to consider which I believe gets overlooked is a post-workout routine. A good stretch of the muscle group you just worked on can be vital in your recovery. A protein shake that feeds the muscles with proper nutrition and the tools it needs to maximize your workout can also be necessary. My personal favorite post-workout shake is by ICONIC, it comes in a variety of flavors, a powder or pre-made, and is grass-fed. 

How often a person should add back exercises to their routine depends on the individual goals, injuries, limitations, etc. However, once someone wants to add back exercises, they can add them immediately. If someone is “newer” to fitness it might not be a bad idea to try some workouts using strictly bodyweight before adding a load, just to perfect form and technique. A great source of BodyWeight workouts can be found on my YouTube Channel, and are streaming for FREE. As far are frequency, 2x or 3x a week seems pretty reasonable unless there are specific goals in which case it would be situational. For the common fitness person, this number would be adequate. 

Susan Bowerman on how to beat diet boredom for 360 Magazine

Beating Diet Boredom

How to Beat Diet Boredom in the “New Normal”

By Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD, CSOWM, FAND, Sr. Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training, Herbalife Nutrition

If you’re bored with your diet, you probably won’t stick with it.  Here are some tips to help you beat diet boredom.

Many of us are still spending more time at home during these uncertain times which can lead to boredom – tired of our same routines, limits on autonomy and for some, bored with our diet. While being bored with your diet could be good news it might also be bad news. 

The good news is this: if you’re bored with your diet, it probably means that you’ve been sticking pretty solidly to your meal plan – at least for the moment – and it’s likely you’re seeing some results. When you eat the same foods day in and day out, you do tend to eat less overall.  But the bad news is that the reason you’re eating less is because you’re simply bored with your diet – and that can spell trouble.  When your diet gets boring, you’re more easily tempted – and you’re more likely to stray off your plan.

Why You Get Bored on A Diet

I think there are a couple of reasons people get into ruts with dieting – and they’re legitimate reasons.  For one thing, if you stick to a plan and you’re getting results, you might be worried that if you eat anything else your progress will slow down.  And, if you eat the same thing every day – as boring as it may be – it just makes it easier; you don’t have to do much planning since you know exactly what you’re going to eat at every meal and snack.

But here’s something to keep in mind.  When you say you’re ‘bored on your diet’ it suggests that at some time you’ll be ‘off your diet’…(and, therefore, ‘not bored’).  I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating – weight loss is simply practice for weight maintenance.  In general, the foods and meals you eat while you’re losing are pretty much the same as the ones you’ll be eating when you shift into maintenance mode.  If you’re bored with your diet now, it’s a safe bet that you won’t be able to keep eating this way indefinitely.  And before you know it, you’ll be slipping back into old habits and watching your weight creep back up.

Routine is good – but sometimes you can take things too far.  Just because your diet plan suggests grilled chicken and steamed spinach for dinner doesn’t mean you have to eat exactly those foods every single night.  There are plenty of things you can do that can keep things interesting and help keep you on your plan.

How to Avoid Diet Boredom

Try new fruits and vegetables.  Bite for bite, fruits and vegetables are have fewer calories than protein foods or grains – and they’re loaded with nutrients.  Learning to love a variety of fruits and vegetables helps to keep things interesting, and you’ll be offering your body a whole host of nutrients, too.  If you just can’t face a plate of spinach one more day, try spicy mustard greens, kale or Swiss chard instead.  Just because your meal plan calls for strawberries doesn’t mean you can’t swap in something more exotic like kiwi for a change.

Move meals and meal items around. In general, meal plans are designed to distribute your foods over several meals and snacks throughout the day – partly to help you control hunger, but also to help you maintain your physical and mental energy.  But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t move things around a little bit.  Maybe your plan calls for a mid-morning protein snack, but you don’t feel the need to eat it – by all means, move that snack to later in the day if it works better for you.  If you prefer your larger meal midday, rather than the larger dinner meal that your plan calls for, go ahead and swap.  The time of day that you eat your calories makes little difference as long as you don’t exceed your daily totals.  And, there’s no reason you can’t eat ‘breakfast food’ for dinner and have leftovers in the morning.

Add more seasonings to your food.  It seems to me that some people don’t even try to make their food interesting when they’re dieting.  It’s almost as if they’re trying to punish themselves – and that it would be ‘bad’ to actually enjoy a tasty plate of food. Eating should bring pleasure, not punishment and you can add loads of flavor to foods with seasonings like herbs, spices, citrus juice and zest, garlic, onion or a splash of wine or vinegar.  And don’t forget condiments like mustard, salsa, steak sauce or soy sauce.  Fresh steamed spinach tastes just fine but it’s a whole lot better with a little red onion and a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar.

Give your favorite recipes a makeover.  Diet boredom can also set in when you aren’t eating your usual favorite meals because they’re not very diet-friendly.  But with so many tips and tricks for revamping recipes, you might be able to satisfy your craving for your favorite foods without breaking your diet.  Once you’ve mastered a recipe, share and swap with your friends; it’s amazing how quickly you can build a healthy recipe collection that way.

Find restaurant meals that work with your meal plan.  Dieting can be really boring if you’re convinced you can never enjoy a meal out.  But there’s no reason to avoid restaurants (including curbside pickup) altogether when you’re in dieting mode – the trick is finding items that work with your diet, not against it. Asian and Mediterranean fare, for example, tend to offer diet-friendly vegetables and lean proteins, so that might be a good place to start.  And take advantage of online nutrition information which can be a big help in pre-planning what you’ll order.

Purdue University x Flu Vaccines

Influenza, measles, mumps and coronavirus COVID-19 are illnesses people hear about on a regular basis.

While coronavirus is relatively new and does not yet have a vaccine, the others all can be prevented or at least have their severity reduced by simply getting a vaccination, says Libby Richards, an associate professor of nursing in Purdue’s School of Nursing.

“It’s important to review your vaccination records with your health care provider,” she says. “Vaccinations aren’t just for kids. Adults need them, too. The vaccinations needed for adults depends on a few things, such as age and health history. Vaccines help your immune system fight infections faster and more effectively.”

A flu vaccination is particularly important, especially during severe flu seasons. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced in its latest flu update on Feb. 14 that flu activity is still at a high level. Since October, at least 26 million Americans have suffered from the flu, resulting in the deaths of at least 14,000 adults and 92 children.

While flu vaccinations must be done annually, Richards says that the effectiveness of other vaccinations adults received as children diminish over time, so they might find themselves no longer protected. “Pertussis – whooping cough — and tetanus vaccines are perfect examples of vaccines that require booster shots throughout one’s life.”

Common vaccinations include, but are not limited to, shingles, pneumonia, Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) influenza, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), hepatitis A, hepatitis B and human papillomavirus, more commonly known as HPV.

Shingles vaccines are good for five years and are recommended for adults 50 and older. Pneumonia vaccines are recommended by the CDC for those 65 and older and should provide lifetime protection. A booster is needed for tetanus and diphtheria every 10 years. Hepatitis A and B vaccines protect against some liver infections resulting in exposure to infected body fluids or food and water; each have different vaccination requirements.

“Talk to your health care provider to see what you need and when you need it,” Richards says. “Vaccinations can save lives by helping prevent or limit a disease or illness.”

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Lokal Eatery and Bar, Jersey City, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

Clean Eating Tips for a Fresh Start This Year

If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to adopt a cleaner, healthier diet, you should start with small changes. You don’t get to erase a lifetime worth of bad eating choices overnight so here are some tips that will make the transition smoother and will help you maintain a healthier, more balanced lifestyle from now on. 

Make cooking a social activity 

One of the main reasons why people cannot stick to a diet is because their closest friends or family members are not supportive enough. So, what better way to preach a cleaner diet if not by making cooking a social activity? 

Host a cooking party every week and ask your friends to join the fun. Friday night or Saturday evening is perfect for trying out new recipes, playing with ingredients in the kitchen, and having fun with your besties. Replace the boring barbeques and fried chicken with grilled fish and veggies and swap beer for a fancy glass of wine. 

Drink more water 

As you age, you might not feel thirsty as often as you did before but this doesn’t mean you should forget drinking water. On the contrary, staying hydrated is the first step to eliminate toxins from your body and adopt a cleaner diet. 

If you’re not exactly a fan of drinking those 17 fluid ounces of water daily, you can opt for other liquids. Light soups, unsweetened tea, and lemonade are also great choices that will quench your thirst and keep you hydrated at the same time, without having to worry about calories. 

Plan your meals 

Another easy trick to stick to your healthy diet choices is to go grocery shopping every week or every 4-5 days and plan your meals. Make a list of the dishes you want to prepare in the upcoming week and stick to the ingredients from your shopping list. Or if you’re a busy body, try one of many popular meal subscription kits available here.

Lean meat like chicken, turkey, and fish (rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids that are vital for your health) can be kept frozen for a longer time while fresh fruits and vegetables should be eaten 1-3 days after you bought them. Go to your nearest farmer’s market once a week and pick up fresh, organic ingredients instead of buying them from regular supermarkets. This way, you will support local agriculture and stick to your clean eating habits easier. 

Make your own seasoning mixes 

Part of a healthy diet means to watch your sodium intake, which means you should cut on the salt as much as you can. Luckily, there are plenty of other ways to season your foods to taste delicious without adding salt. 

Make your own fresh mix of herbs and spices by mixing Himalaya pink salt or sea salt (healthier choices than regular refined salt) with cayenne pepper, rosemary, basil, oregano, sage, and a few chili flakes.

Grill and stir fry instead of deep-fry 

Whether you’re from the South or not, few people can resist deep-fried chicken and mashed potatoes. Unfortunately, deep-fried foods are less nutritious and rich in bad fats which will cause you a lot of health problems, including gaining weight in the long term. 

Healthier options for cooking your food include stir-frying, grilling, and steaming. A slow cooker is a great choice for those committed to changing their diets while grilling is perfect for a weekend afternoon spent with your friends and family. No matter your choice, you should also consider healthy ingredients such as more veggies and lean meat instead of your regular beef and pork. 

Watch your sweet tooth 

Caving into your culinary temptations is only natural and you shouldn’t be worried about it if it just happens occasionally. You can treat yourself with a cheat day every two weeks but you have to watch your processed sugar intake. 

Eating too much sugar will not only make you hyperactive but is also dangerous for your blood, arteries, skin, and teeth. So, unless you want to check some reviews of denture adhesives before term and avoid cavities, replace your usual sweets with raw-vegan recipes or a simple carrot cake.  

How To Care For Your Loved One After A Big Surgery

Fighting cancer is a huge challenge. From radiation to chemotherapy, to target therapy, stem cell transplants – there are many different ways to fight it. Trying to target the cancer this way, however, will never be quite as effective as removing it from its source. Surgery does not always mean amputations, either. You can get cryosurgery in order to freeze and kill the cancer with liquid nitrogen. Or you can kill it with lasers, or even hyperthermia. Most people who have cancer opt for surgery, because if successful it can completely or at least partially remove or kill off the cancer cells, thus stopping, halting, or slowing down their cancer’s growth.

That does not make it easy, however, to recover. In some cases, patients might not be able to move at home by themselves with comfort or ease. That is why you, as their loved one, need to follow this guide on how to care for them after their big surgery:

Prepare for them to be Bed-Ridden

Depending on the surgery, they might need plenty of rest time to heal correctly. If they are completely bed-ridden, then you need to prepare adequately. Though it can be absolutely beneficial for your loved one to heal at home, rather than in a hospital, it means you need to prepare. Aside from specific medical equipment prescribed by your doctor, you will also need a stockpile of items like dry-touch adult diapers with tabs for nighttime, and in case you need to leave the house, sponge-bath equipment, as well as items like a bed tray to make their recovery easier and more comfortable. Even if they are only bed-ridden for a few days, these items can ease the time and make it more comfortable for them.

Make Healthy, Nutrient-Rich Meals

Healthy eating is a key part to healthy living, and that is especially true when you are battling cancer. This is more so true when you are healing after surgery. The only thing to remember is that you cannot give your body “extra doses” of vitamins, because that is not how it works. Instead, focus on providing your loved one a healthy and balanced diet as per the doctor’s instructions. The body needs to be at its best to heal as quickly as possible, and getting those nutrients it needs from food is a great way to go.

Hire an At-Home Nurse

If the at-home care is a bit beyond simply redressing the wound and cleaning them if they are completely bed-ridden, then it could be wise to hire an at-home nurse or getting the training yourself. It will depend, of course, on what your options are based on your health insurance and state. You could even be paid to care for your loved one, depending on your circumstances.

Having cancer is a terrifying battle, for both the patient and their family. Going through surgery can either remove it entirely or significantly reduce the size of it, thus improving their chances. It is your love and compassion, however, that will really help them, because no medicine will compare to the company of a loved one.