Posts Tagged ‘healthy eating’
December 6, 2013
The holidays are upon us once again. The invitations to parties are probably starting to roll in, or perhaps you’re preparing a bit of a feast in your own home. As people become more concerned with healthy aging and sticking to a healthy eating plan, there are more questions about how to fully enjoy holiday festivities – and everything good that comes along with them – without ruining your healthy lifestyle.
The good news is that you can stay on track this holiday. Here are some tips for throwing a memorable, healthy holiday party this year.
Tip #1: Create side dishes featuring plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
One of the best parts of a great holiday meal are the side dishes. Roasted green beans, fruit salad, vegetable quinoa pilaf are all dishes that feature ingredients that are highly nutritious and taste great. Be sure to prepare a mixture of fresh and cooked vegetable dishes that offer variety.
Tip #2: Try using plain yogurt in dishes that call for mayonnaise.
Mayonnaise is high in calories, fat, and can be loaded with added sugars and preservatives. Try switching out your usual mayonnaise for a plain, nonfat yogurt in your potato salad, spinach dip, or salad dressings. You will still get the cool creamy affect without all the added junk your body doesn’t need.
Tip #3: Ask your guests to bring a healthy dish.
Asking others to share in your desire for a healthy holiday party is a great way to learn about new dishes. It’s also a great way for you to share your knowledge with others who may be seeking a healthier lifestyle, as well.
Tip #4: Use applesauce as a substitute for butter or margarine in your baked goods.
If you love to bake pumpkin muffins, blueberry cake, or apple quick bread you may want to try substituting applesauce for butter or margarine. Doing so will add moisture to your creation without the extra fat.
Tip #5: Try using fat free chicken broth instead of oil.
Chicken broth in your mashed potatoes, rice, and sauteed vegetables adds a punch of flavor without the added fat. Be sure to use broth that is low in salt and preferably has no added preservatives.
The holidays are a time when you shouldn’t have to feel guilty about being a bit more indulgent than usual. However, you don’t have to go overboard. Utilize these tips to help keep you on the road to healthy aging no matter what time of year it may be.
November 21, 2013
We all know that as an important part of healthy aging, we need to keep up with nutritious diets, regular physical activity and the necessary health screenings. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving can be a tricky time of year to stay on top of healthy lifestyles. With the assortment of delicious foods at our many gatherings with loved ones, it’s no wonder this holiday is often a major source of weight gain.
To help combat those pesky unwanted pounds during the holidays and maintain your healthy aging routines, here are three steps for a healthier Thanksgiving this year.
Step 1: Keep up with your exercise habits.
According to Health.com, one way to have a healthy Thanksgiving is to keep moving. People who exercise together as a group are far more likely to work off additional calories that can be packed on after a large Turkey-Day meal. While you might not be able to say no to all of the trimmings, you should say yes to family time that gets you moving. Suggest a post meal walk and the calories can be burned while still enjoying time together.
Step 2: Lend a helping hand.
The second step to healthy aging during the holidays is helping to clean up after dinner. This not only allows you to help out and be a helpful guest, it also keeps the body moving. Yes, it is tempting to simply lie down on the sofa and watch football with loved ones after a mouth-watering meal, but a healthier bonding activity is to clean up the dinner mess together.
Step 3: Listen to your body.
A third way to keep things healthier at Thanksgiving is to learn the body’s triggers. The human body is a remarkable machine that, much like a car’s gas tank, lets the person know when it is full. However, it can often take up to 15 minutes for the trigger to go off in the brain that signals the stomach is full. The key to avoiding overeating is to eat slowly. One trick many people utilize is talking to fellow diners. This allows them to eat slowly and also allows them to savor foods that may typically not be on their diet plan.
Each of these tips can be combined with other healthy aging methods to ensure you’re staying on track this Thanksgiving. In all things involving healthy aging, it’s all about moderation. Thanksgiving doesn’t have to mean tossing diets out the door. You can stay healthy this year. Those of us at Life Line Screening believe in you, and we wish you the best of luck.
November 15, 2013
Fall has arrived and the weather is changing. Many of us enjoy the fall season, but some of us regretfully know that with fall here, winter isn’t far behind. Before winter shows up, it makes sense to take advantage of the many delicious varieties of produce coming from the fall garden.
Certain foods can help promote all of the components of a “good mood”, including both physical and mental components. Fall fruits and vegetables are chock-full of vitamins and other healthy nutrients to maintain healthy aging, balance moods and ward off disease.
Energy: Oatmeal or Pumpkin
As the days get shorter, it can be tempting to hide inside and take advantage of the warmth. The cold air makes it hard to find the energy for tasks that were simple during the summer. However, for healthy aging, it is important to eat right and exercise.
Luckily, fall provides many opportunities to eat foods for a boost of energy. For example, a hot breakfast was unwanted in the heat of summer, but it is welcome now. Oatmeal is rich in complex carbohydrates to stabilize blood sugar and maintain satiety longer. Mixing in a little pumpkin will add valuable vitamin A to improve eyesight.
Overall Health: Beans or Blackberries
Carbs have taken a bad rap in recent years, but they’re not all harmful. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) notes that complex carbohydrates (e.g. starches) have to be broken down by the body before they can be converted into glucose and used for energy. These carbohydrates also contain a lot of dietary fiber, which helps aid digestion. Popular fall foods containing high amounts of fiber include:
- Dry beans and peas
- Brussel Sprouts
- Raspberries and Blackberries
Mix parsnips and cauliflower with potatoes to create a mash with unforgettable flavor. The cauliflower has a high amount of vitamin C and phytonutrients that may help lower cholesterol.
Memory: Blueberries or Apples
A 2012 study from the Annals of Neurology revealed that the antioxidants in blueberries can stall memory decline by as much as 2.5 years. Antioxidants also help to prevent disease, which can cause depression and fatigue. With winter on the horizon, fall is the perfect time to eat more of these antioxidant-loaded foods. Among them are:
While eating a varied diet is crucial for healthy aging, it’s also important to be aware of health problems on the horizon. Many asymptomatic conditions can be controlled by diet and exercise but require testing to discover them. As such, regular doctor visits, health screening, and dedication to a healthy lifestyle through nutritious diets make up three necessary components to a long, happy life.
October 24, 2013
Fall is not only the season of warm hues in the trees, cooler temperatures, cozy sweaters, football and Halloween; it’s also the season of pumpkin. It seems that everywhere we turn we see splashes of fall’s signature squash – whether it’s mixed into décor or in the foods we eat. If you like pumpkin as much as we do, you’ll love these two delicious pumpkin recipes from CookingLight.com. Try something new with pumpkin this fall. Incorporate more of this orange squash into your diet, and you just might see its many health benefits.
Roasted Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Pilau
2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled fresh pumpkin (about 12 ounces)
1 1/2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled sweet potato (about 1 medium)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup diced onion (1 small) $
1/3 cup diced celery (about 1 rib)
2 teaspoons minced garlic 4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup brown rice
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt 1 bay leaf
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Position pumpkin and sweet potato in an even layer on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 35 minutes or until tender and just until vegetables begin to brown, stirring after 18 minutes. Remove from oven. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until onion is tender. Add broth and remaining ingredients to onion mixture, stirring to combine; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 50 minutes or until rice is done and liquid is mostly absorbed. Remove from heat; discard bay leaf. Add pumpkin mixture; stir gently to combine.
Pumpkin Pie Shake
2 cups vanilla reduced-fat ice cream (such as Healthy Choice), softened
1 cup fat-free milk
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
3 tablespoons frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed Pumpkin-pie spice (optional)
Combine first 5 ingredients in a blender; process until smooth. Pour 3/4 cup ice cream mixture into each of 4 glasses. Top each with about 2 teaspoons whipped topping; sprinkle with the additional pumpkin-pie spice, if desired.
October 16, 2013
When we imagine ourselves in our golden years, many of us probably picture the kind of person who is still active and able to get around. To make that vision a reality, it’s essential to cut down your osteoporosis risk by taking necessary bone-building steps. It’s time to start preparing today for the person you want to become tomorrow.
For men and women, the older we get the weaker our bones become. Women start losing bone density in their 30s and have whopping 50% chance of contracting osteoporosis. The best way to avoid osteoporosis is through prevention. The National Osteoporosis Foundation names these three components as being essential for building stronger bones:
For your body to properly absorb calcium, it needs vitamin D. The best way to get vitamin D is from the sun. Many of us, however, don’t live in perpetually sunny climates, or we may be homebound. Talk to your doctor about what level of Vitamin D supplements may be right for you.
Building bone mass is easier than you think. Any weight bearing exercise can cut down on bone loss. Try to work simple exercises into your everyday routine. This can include:
- Walking up stairs
- Carrying heavier loads, like bags of groceries, small children, loads of laundry, etc.
- Jumping up and down for at least 2 minutes
Keep dumbbells and ankle weights at your desk or next to your television. While you’re sitting, use them to do simple exercises so you can build bone mass and cut back your osteoporosis risk even while being sedentary. Start with light 2 or 3-pound weights and slowly work your way up to heavier ones as you build up your muscle strength.
Your diet plays a huge role in the health of your bones. For optimum bone health, the most important element to work into your diet is calcium. Foods rich in calcium include:
- Low-fat dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.)
- Dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, collards, chard)
- Canned salmon or sardines (with bones)
- Soy products like tofu or soybeans
- Calcium fortified cereals or orange juice.
Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can also greatly increase your osteoporosis risk, so it’s best to avoid both.
Osteoporosis screening is also important for prevention, especially among women at high risk of bone density loss. It is a painless procedure that can help you take control of your life and allow you to become the active, happy person you envision for yourself throughout your years to come.