10 Tips For Dining Out Healthy

Portion sizes are much larger in most restaurants. Try ordering an appetizer as your entrée, or split a meal with a friend. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Portion sizes are much larger in most restaurants. Try ordering an appetizer as your entrée, or split a meal with a friend. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Dining out doesn’t have to expand your waistline. Here are 10 tips for eating healthy when you’re out on the town (via The Biggest Loser Resort):

  1. Don’t arrive starving. It’ll make you more likely to eat too quickly and overeat.
  2. Drink water. Water helps keep you hydrated, and fills you up without calories. Add lemon, orange, lime or cucumbers to your water for a splash of flavor.
  3. Look up nutrition and calorie information beforehand. Be knowledgable!  These days, most restaurants provide nutrition facts online, and many offer lower calorie meal options.
  4. Watch your sodium intake. Sodium makes your body retain water, which can leave you feeling bloated and uncomfortable. Continue Reading …
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10 Fun and Healthy Lunchbox Ideas for Kids

These healthy and tasty lunch ideas will help keep young schoolchildren full and focused. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

A healthy lunch that kids want to eat helps keep them full and focused. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Nutrition is a family affair. Send young children off to school on the right nutritional foot with these 10 tasty (and easy!) ideas for packable school lunches (via FamilyEducation.com):

1. All-American Favorite
Many kids love turkey. Make a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with lettuce and mayonnaise or butter. Add a small juice box or water bottle, sliced apples and baby carrots.

2. Make Your Own
Pre-packaged lunches are loaded with fat and sodium, but you can make your own for less money. Invest in a few sectioned containers (or repurpose a small, plastic, fish tackle box) to pack the food in. For mini pizzas: Arrange round crackers, shredded cheese, pepperoni slices, and a small amount of tomato sauce packed in doubled plastic snack bags. Add sliced carrots and low-fat ranch dressing, or celery and peanut butter.Continue Reading …

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12 Desk Stretches to Increase Flexibility

Try the "look up" stretch to release tension in your back and shoulders. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Try the “look up” stretch to release tension in your back and shoulders. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Desk job? No worries. Do these stretches daily to avoid back pain and increase flexibility and energy (via WebMD):

  1. Try the no-hands stand and sit. Try a few rounds of standing and sitting without using your hands for balance. This increases your core strength.
  2. Sit on an exercise ball. Trading your regular desk chair for an exercise ball engages your entire body as it uses its muscles to keep you balanced.
  3. Shrug your shoulders. This release tension in your neck and shoulders. Inhale deeply and shrug your shoulders, lifting them high up to your ears. Hold. Release, exhale and drop. Repeat three times.
  4. Make air circles. Clench your fists, stretching both hands out in front of you. Make circles in the air, first in one direction, to the count of 10, then reverse the circles for 10 more counts. Shake out the hands.
  5. Point your fingers. This is good for your arms, wrists and forearms, which can hold tension during long periods of typing. Stretch your left hand out in front of you, pointing fingers toward the floor. Use your right hand to increase the stretch, gently pushing your fingers down and toward the body. Do the same with the other hand. Next, stretch your left hand out straight in front, wrist bent, with fingers pointing skyward. Use your right hand to increase the stretch, pulling the fingers back toward your body. Do the same on the other side.
  6. Twist your torso. This releases tension in your entire upper body. Inhale and as you exhale, turn to the right and grab the back of your chair with your right hand, and grab the arm of the chair with your left. With eyes level, use your grasp on the chair to help twist your torso around as far to the back of the room as possible. Hold the twist, then slowly come back to facing forward. Repeat on the other side.
  7. Do leg extensions. These work your legs and your abdominal muscles. Grab the seat of your chair to brace yourself and extend your legs straight out in front of you so they are parallel to the floor. Flex and point your toes five times, then release and repeat.
  8. Give yourself a hug. Hug your body, placing the right hand on your left shoulder and the left hand on your right shoulder. Breathe in and out, releasing the area between your shoulder blades.
  9. Cross your arms. To stretch your shoulders and upper back, extend one arm out straight in front of you. With the other hand, grab the elbow of the outstretched arm and pull it across your chest, stretching your shoulder and upper back muscles. Hold. Release. Then stretch out the other arm in front of you. Repeat.
  10. Give yourself a “leg hug.” To release tight shoulders and back, sit on the edge of your chair. If it has wheels, wedge the chair against the desk or wall to make sure it does not roll. Put your feet together, flat on the floor, then lean over, chest to knees, letting your arms dangle loosely to the floor. Release your neck. Bring your hands behind your legs, right hand grasping left wrist, forearm (or elbow if you can reach that far), left hand grasping the right. Feel the stretch in your back, shoulders and neck. Hold. Release your hands to the floor again, and repeat three times.
  11. Look up. To release your upper body, sit up tall in your chair, or stand up. Stretch your arms overhead and interlock your fingers. Turn the palms to the ceiling as you lift your chin up, tilt your head back, and gaze up at the ceiling, too. Inhale, exhale, then release.
  12. Walk instead of email–and don’t eat at your desk. Instead of dashing off an email to an office colleague, walk over to the person you want to talk to. And instead of eating at your desk, walk around the block before you eat, or walk to a local sandwich place. The more steps you can get in throughout the course of your day, the better. They do add up!

 

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How to Treat Flu Symptoms with Food

There is now scientific evidence that chicken soup can reduce inflammation and improve the ability of cilia, the tiny hair-like parts of the nasal passages, to protect the body from bacteria and viruses. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

There is now scientific evidence that chicken soup can reduce inflammation and improve the ability of cilia, the tiny hair-like parts of the nasal passages, to protect the body from bacteria and viruses. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Home sick with the flu? You’re not alone. Here are 10 foods that can help your body to recover and feel better faster (via WebMD):

  1. Popsicles. These icy treats can soothe a sore and swollen throat, and also work to keep you hydrated. Opt for 100 percent fruit juice versions to make sure you’re getting vital nutrients, too.
  2. Turkey sandwich. If you can stomach it, getting some lean protein into your system powers it up to fight your illness and make a faster recovery.
  3. Vegetable juice. Low-sodium vegetable juice offers many of the same immune-boosting antioxidants of a salad in an easier-to-digest liquid. Craving a sweeter taste? Try 100 percent fruit juice.Continue Reading …
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The 8 Most Nutrient-Dense Foods on the Planet

Kale's incredibly high concentration of antioxidants can prevent inflammation and even reduce cancer risk. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Kale’s incredibly high concentration of antioxidants can prevent inflammation and even reduce cancer risk. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Tired of hearing about all the foods you shouldn’t eat? Here are eight foods you should eat plenty of–they’re among the healthiest on Earth! (via Care2.com):

1. Spirulina. It has more antioxidants than any other food on earth and is loaded with protein and minerals, making it the most nutrient-dense food. Try blending it into a smoothie for a nutritious way to kick-start your day.

2. Kale. Many experts rank kale as the most nutritious food. It’s chock-full of minerals, vitamins, fiber and amino acids, as well as important antioxidants that reduce inflammation and can prevent cancer.Continue Reading …

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7 Foods to Banish Winter Blues

Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, eating walnuts can help reduce feelings of sadness, pessimism and anxiety. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, eating walnuts can help reduce feelings of sadness, pessimism and anxiety. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Less sunlight got you feeling down? Try adding these foods to your diet for a wintertime pick-me-up (via Care2.com):

  1. Dark chocolate. It’s good for your mood– in moderation, of course. That’s because dark chocolate contains phenylethylamine, the same feel-good endorphin that’s released when you fall in love.
  2. Rosemary. This aromatic herb has been shown to make you feel more content and increase awareness – it’s also chock full of essential vitamins. Try adding some to a chicken, pasta or rice dishes, or taking it as a daily supplement.Continue Reading …
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Top 10 Tips for a Healthy New Year

The best way to stay motivated is to do a workout that you love. Hate running but love swimming? Hop off the treadmill and into the pool. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Keep motivated by doing a workout that you love. Hate running but love swimming? Hop off the treadmill and into the pool. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

It’s a new year, so why not work towards a new you? Here are 10 healthy–and reasonable–ways to get and stay in shape from champion body builder and personal trainer David Barton (via New York Daily News):

1. Get off the couch. No marathon workouts are required–just get up every day and do something. To start, take a walk around the block once a day.

2. Find a workout you love. It’s easy to stay motivated when you’re having fun. If you hate spinning but love swimming, skip the bike and get in the pool.

3. Exercise in a positive environment. Whether it’s a gym, a trail or your living room, it’s important to work out wherever you are most comfortable.

4. Stay motivated by picturing your post-exercise self. Not looking forward to your workouts? Think of how great you’ll feel once you’re done. The anticipated endorphin rush will help you get started.Continue Reading …

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15 Natural Ways to Ease Heartburn

Take a cue from ancient culinary traditions, and try to work a digestive aid, like miso soup, into each meal. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Take a cue from ancient culinary traditions, and try to work a digestive aid, like miso soup, into each meal. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

If you suffer from heartburn, follow these 15 dos and don’ts to minimize it naturally (via Care2.com):

1. Do find out the root cause of your heartburn. Heartburn has many root causes, including stress, food allergies, and structural problems with your esophageal sphincter.

2. Do consider raising the head of your bed. Elevating your head keeps the contents of the stomach from sliding up against the LES (the sphincter that separates the esophagus from the stomach) while you sleep. Try placing a 4-by-4-inch piece of wood under the top two legs of your bed, or using a foam wedge under your mattress.Continue Reading …

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How to Survive Cold and Flu Season

When you have a cold or the flu, drink extra fluids. This will thin your mucus, allowing your sinuses to drain more easily. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Cold and flu season is upon us. Here are 11 things you can do to stay healthier and feel better faster (via WebMD):

  1. Wash your hands. Many viruses are spread through germs that congregate on your hands, then get into your nose, mouth or eyes. Use real soap and warm water, and wash as often as you can, especially before eating.
  2. Get your flu shot. It’s a myth that the flu shot can give you the flu. Getting it each year can prevent you and your family from getting sick.
  3. Stock up. Make sure you are prepared in the event that you do get sick, so you don’t have to run to the store when you’re not feeling well. Keep any medications you use, like decongestants and pain relievers, on hand, make sure your thermometer’s battery still works, and stock up on tissues and soap.Continue Reading …
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5 Ways to Protect Your Skin from Winter Sun Damage

In winter, UV rays are even more dangerous, as they bounce off snow to hit your skin a second time. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Sunscreen isn’t just for summer days at the beach. Here in Minnesota, sun protection is even more important in the winter, when the sun’s UV rays bounce off snow to hit your skin a second time. Here are five ways to protect your skin this winter (via The Huffington Post):

  1. Use physical sunblock. It might be messy, but sunblock with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide offers the best protection in comparison to chemical-based sunscreens, which are usually either UVB or UVA blockers. It also requires less frequent application, and is less irritating to your skin.Continue Reading …
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