May 29, 2015

Technology is the Future of Medicine

We use technology for everything… our smart phones and apps, digital baby monitors, interior and exterior car systems, heck cars are even driving themselves. It’s amazing what technology can do, but yet I believe some balance is always needed… as we encounter the imbalance of teens and young adults glued to the smart phones and losing the ability to communicate face to face, texting while driving and too much screen time. For technology there are pros and cons. But for now, let’s just talk about the pros. 
First, I love TED talks. Love them. I have been on their listserv for years and years. If you are not, you should be. I find their talks insightful, intriguing and yet usually around 15-20 minutes so I feel like it’s not taking them much of my time. 
This video is an oldie but a goodie. It’s called, The Wireless Future of Medicine. When it came out, technology was in its sweet spot. The snowball of technology and medicine was just beginning and ready to roll fast. Now we are seeing many more advances in robotics in fields of health, exercise and medicine which are drastically improving the lives of others. 
It’s amazing how we are living in this era of technology, and how we are ever so reliant on it at times. And yet, it’s saving lives. 
May 18, 2015

Faux Cookie Dough

Last year my dear friend, Danica, sent me this recipe. She said, “Trust me, you will like it.” I didn’t doubt her but I just didn’t make the time to make it. Months and months later she made it and I tried it. And boy oh boy, I DID like it. Since then I have made it a few times. It is delicious.
1 1/2 cups chickpeas (drained if from a can)
6 T. Brown sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter or nut butter of your choice
3 T. Oats
2 t. Vanilla
1 T. Milk
1/8 t. Salt
1/8 t. Baking soda
1/3 cups chocolate chips
Mix all ingredients (except chocolate chips) in a food processor until well blended, just so everything is all mixed together. Then fold in the chocolate chips. Serve with apple slices of pretzels (apples are my fav). Keep in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
THANK YOU Danica for the delicious recipe!!
Enjoy!!
May 18, 2015

Routine Health Screenings

Routine health screenings. They are important, right? Yes. But how important? According to the CDC, regular health screenings for everyone are key to staying on top of our health.
That’s why I have been implementing health screenings at the university for years. Thousands of students and employees have been able to find out key information about their health- either new information altogether or a follow up to check on their numbers.
What is interesting is that even though many individuals have normal results, these type of quick and easy health screenings provide us with lots of information where we may need to make changes to our lifestyle… Before things get worse.
For example, I know of individuals who have found out they surprisingly had high cholesterol or high blood sugar, or even that they have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. For these reasons alone, health screenings are imperative.
The purpose of a quick health screening is to provide awareness and prompt further discussion with your primary physician. A health screening is not meant to diagnose or treat.
Whether you are delaying a check up with your physician due to fear what what you might find out, too busy or procrastination, feelings of embarrassment or inadequacy, or fear of what others may think of you, remind yourself that fear has no place in our lives. It only binds us and dampens our life’s joy.
When was your last check up or health screening? It may be time to schedule one today.

March 28, 2015

YMCA Weight Loss Challenge (Winter 2015)

I was asked to partner with the YMCA in their Weight Loss Challenge this winter. The program was a great blend of physical activity/scheduled workouts and educational sessions. Now that the program is over and the results have been analyzed, here are the results. 
*Kudos to Tiffany Roberts who coordinated this Challenge and Haley Burdick for orchestrating the workouts!

The YMCA Weight Loss Challenge (Winter 2015)


This weight loss challenge can be summarized as
a success! It is clear that information and knowledge was gained, participants either
kept their healthy behaviors or improved their unhealthy behaviors to health
behaviors. Also participants’ readiness improved and it also helped reduce the
stress in many of their lives. 
Of 24 Weight Loss Challenge participants, a total
weight loss of 323 lbs. was lost
by the end of the program!
This program was a joy. Naturally I am an extrovert and enjoy interacting with individuals, teaching and helping others learn information to advance their health. This community program was perfect and proved that this type of program WORKS! Kudos to the planning team and to the participants who worked hard EVERY WEEK! 
WELL DONE!!
March 19, 2015

Happy Brains

We all want to be happy. All the time. But we are not always happy all the time, and that’s ok. But we strive to be happy most of the time… so that we can bounce back from negative episodes and emotions we experience. But our emotions, or our emotional wellness, can be influenced by various factors such as our family/childhood experience, our current situation (where we live, how much money we make, etc), and our intentional activities.

So I wanted to share this video from ABC because I think it’s good. I like it, and I wanted to share it. I find it encouraging. We have the power to change our emotional wellness!

March 4, 2015

Commitment

Commitment is primary factor which is truly indicative of goal success. Full, 100% commitment. We have all tried to accomplish goals, and sometimes we accomplish them and sometimes we don’t. And it all come down to commitment. How bad do you want it?
Now don’t get me wrong, there will always be non-modifiable factors which influence goal success but why fret or be concerned with things we cannot control. Instead we give 100% commitment to the modifiable or controllable factors which influence goal success.
I am surrounded by commitment all the time. In my personal life, with my family members, and in my professional life.
Personally, I have specific goals for my own health and life. Over many years, some goals have been easier to accomplish than others and it’s all due to one thing- commitment. Sometimes there were times I thought I was committed, but I was just trying to force myself into changing behaviors when I really didn’t want to. Subconsciously I didn’t really want it that bad.
My husband epitomizes the word commitment. As an Olympic Athlete, he trains for four years to make an Olympic Team. He trains for four years regardless of whether, having a bad day, or a really busy work day. After three Olympic Games he has showcased the meaning of commitment.
Professionally I see students and clients select goals to advance their health, and depending on their commitment to the goal will determine their success. It all comes down to commitment. I see it all the time.
Lastly, this weekend I visited Boston to watch the USA Indoor Track and Field Championships where elite athletes compete for national titles. There were hundreds of elite athletes who were present at this national championship meet and the only way they all got there… Was though commitment. And it made the event all the more exciting.
We desire to change certain behaviors but changing behaviors is difficult. Nicely enough, commitment is a modifiable factor. WE decide our level of commitment. Nobody else gets to choose our level of commitment. We are in control and we decide if we will be successful. We must decide if we are willing to fully commit to the goal…
Be uncomfortable. To persevere and become comfortable amist the uncomfortable. Basically be comfortable in the uncomfortable.
Spearhead into unknown territory and challenge ourselves, because true greatness and success comes with challenges.
Commit to planning ahead for success. Failing to plan is planning to fail. We all know that. But we must do it.
We can control these factors. So identify what goal(s) are realistic and attainable for you… Plan ahead and give your full, 100% commitment. If there’s anyone how can do it, it’s you.
 
 

February 15, 2015

Quinoa Balls with Cauliflower and Cheese

I get the magazine, “Food & Wine.” I enjoy browsing through the pages and looking at gourmet dishes in large metro cities alongside fancy wines I’ve never heard of. However they have interesting articles and tips, and I like looking at the recipes. Well I was reading my Feb 2015 issue and the recipe was Quinoa Balls with Cauliflower and Cheese, and I thought “yum.” So I followed the recipe but I made tweaks along the way. My toddler made this with me too, so it’s also kid-friendly. 
Ingredients:
2/3 cup quinoa, already cooked
1 large egg, beaten
8 oz (or around 1 1/2 cups) grated cauliflower florets 
6 oz (or around 1 1/2 cups) finely shredded mozzarella cheese
3 T. flour (I used white whole wheat)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
Pinch of nutmeg (optional)
1/2 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. lemon juice
Makes 2 dozen
1. Cook quinoa. (I just prepare according to my box directions). Let it sit to cool. 
2. Preheat over to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. In a large bowl, mix quinoa, egg, cauliflower, cheese, flour, garlic, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. 
4. In a separate small bown, mix baking soda and lemon juice. 
5. Add lemon juice mixture to larger bowl. Mix well.
6. Scoop out 2 T. of mixture and form little balls. Arrange on baking sheet.   
7. Bake for 30 minutes until golden and firm. Serve hot. 
PS- These freeze really well too! They serve well heated up for snacks and lunches on the go! I really like these and will be making them again soon!
February 13, 2015

Healthier Apple Spice Muffins

Recently I was brainstorming how I could make a healthier muffin that my toddler would eat and provide some substance. In the end I came up with this. I didn’t follow a recipe, I just created it on my own and I have to tell you- bravo to me! Now, unfortunately I did use a cake mix so in time I may alter this recipe to eliminate the mix but it was helpful because this recipe is quick and easy. My toddler loved them best right out of the oven, and ate about 7 from the mini muffin tin immediately. 
Ingredients:
Spice cake mix
1 cup water
1/2 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
3 eggs
1/2 scoop of vanilla (whey) protein powder
1 1/2 T. Chia seeds
1 1/2 T. Flaxseeds 
Instant oats to garnish (optional)
Preheat over to 350 degrees. Prep muffin tins with either muffin cups or spray. 
Mix all ingredients together (except the oats). Pour into muffin tin(s) so they are 2/3 full. 
Optional: sprinkle muffins with instant oats on top. 
*I used a mixture of mini muffin tins and regular sized muffin tins. 
The regular muffins bake for 10-12 minutes, mini muffins bake for 5-7 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 
Voila! For the mini muffins, I didn’t sprinkle any oats on top by toddler request. 
PS… Extra’s freeze well too!

February 9, 2015

23 1/2 hours

What’s the single best thing we can do for our health? This video answers that question. It’s easy to follow and appropriate for every learner. It’s 10 minutes long.
February 4, 2015

Top 5 Things To Do For Your Health

When it comes to our health, much comes from our lifestyle which is controllable and modifiable. However there is a piece which we have no control. Our family ancestry. The cholesterol, diabetes, heart health, chronic illnesses that our ancestors had/have which is a precursor for us.
So what can we do? Learn and recognize the health conditions, identify behaviors to counter or help reduce our risk, AND ACT.
Interestingly we often times think we know about our family health (the health of our parents, grandparents, great grandparents) and depending on the communication and closeness of family members, sometimes we really do know accurate information about our family ancestry’s health. Other times, we perceive ourselves to be knowledgeable about our family’s health when really we don’t know the important details.
There are many, MANY things we can do in our lifestyle to counter the family health history which we have no control over. I will tell you the TOP FIVE things we can do:
1. Avoid Tobacco. Using it, being around secondhand smoke, etc. It is the most preventable cause of death (but it may be replaced with overweight/obesity soon).
2. Eating Healthy. This includes eating fruits, vegetables, lean protein and fiber rich foods. It also includes portion sizes. And limited alcohol consumption.
3. Move More. Engaging in 30-40 minutes of exercise most days of the week, at least. Ideally a couple of these days should be strength training to build muscle since adults start losing muscle mass in their 30’s.
4. Get Regular Checkups and Health Screenings. Every year, check in with your Physician to stay on top of your health. Every two-five years, get a health screening to identify your cholesterol numbers (LDL, HDL, Triglycerides) and fasting blood sugars in regards to diabetes. Get mammograms and colonoscopies.
5. Manage Your Stress. This is perceived as “easy” but how do we deal with everyday stress. Are we constantly on alert? Can’t go to sleep? Mind is racing? Stress directly influences our health. Identify strategies that work for you.
So call some family members soon and ask how they are doing. Ask about their health, or of the health of past family members. Learn and refresh your memory… for your health.
THEN ACT.
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