January 8, 2016

Roasted cabbage

Yes, roasted cabbage.
Recently I received two large heads of cabbage from my mother in law. Like, HUGE. So I decided to try roasting the cabbage because I’ve never made it nor tried it before. And it was good!
I got this recipe from allrecipes.com and then I modified it a little.
2-3 T olive oil
1/2 head of cabbage
A few pinches of cayenne pepper
A few pinches of garlic pepper
Some salt, to taste
Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Cut cabbage into wedges. Put wedges on cooking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over the wedges, then spray all the wedges with cooking spray to ensure all areas are covered. Lightly sprinkle the garlic pepper, cayenne pepper and salt to taste.
Cover with foil. Roast for 15-20 minutes until slightly charred in some areas. Then flip wedges to the other side, slightly spray with cooking spray and more seasonings to taste then roast without the foil for 10-15 minutes.
Done! Yum!
December 14, 2015

Our internal dialogue

It’s finals week and I just finished all the grading of my student’s last project. In that project, there was a reflection portion where they comment of areas of the course which were the most influential for them personally. In the course we cover everything from nutrition, physical activity, sexual health, cancer, emotional health, stress, etc. And can I tell you something? Most students list a series of topics and concepts which were most influential. But one item that comes up frequently- emotional health. Our self talk, body image, our internal dialogue.
Negative self talk and body image doesn’t discriminate. Male, female, older, younger, rural, urban, ethnicity, etc. And the issue is that sometimes we are not nice to ourselves. Sometimes we wouldn’t be our own friend. 
Most of us are smart enough to know the main concepts of changing certain behaviors. For example, let’s say weight loss. We all would agree that eating healthier, watching our portion sizes, tracking our calories, and increasing our intensity and frequency of exercise are the main concepts to lose weight- in a healthy way. 
However there’s also that mental state. The self talk. The conversations that occur that nobody knows about because they are hidden in your head. It can influence our motivation, comparison to others, unrealistic expectations, distorted perceptions of reality, etc. 
And continuous and hurtful negative internal dialogue can influence our self esteem, self efficacy (the belief that we can do something), and self confidence, to name a few. Our self talk is so influential that it impacts our behaviors and sometimes, how we treat others. 
Here’s the thing- we can all take some action steps to improve our internal dialogue. 

  • Create a positive support system
  • Set reminders in visual locations- i.e. positive affirmations or quotes on the bathroom mirror, in your planner/schedule book, post its on your car dashboard, etc. 
  • Sign up for an email listserv for daily reminders, scripture, quotes, etc.
  • Communicate with others whom you trust. Express your feelings- frequently
  • Keep a gratitude journal- the only things you can write in there are things you are thankful for
  • See a counselor
  • Establish internal dialogue boundaries
  • Dig deeper into your spiritual wellness for true meaning and your value
  • Meditate
When reviewing the reflections of my students, I was constantly reminded that we can forget how awesome we really are. We let our mind wander without boundaries. 
But surrounding ourselves with people who positively support us, encourage us, and whom we trust is key. Every thought influences us in unbelievable ways. Almost like a ripple effect in the ocean. 
That’s one reason why this little part of the online world is named WellFitHappy. It’s because we can all strive for our own positive well-being (well), aiming for physical health (fit), and deciding to be happy in a too often negative world (happy). 

So take one more step today to choose happiness. Choose positive thoughts. Choose belief in yourself regardless of the world around you. With internal dialogue boundaries, we can guide our thoughts to eventually remain on the positive side of the fence. 
June 19, 2015

Being Happy

We all like to being around happy people. Genuinely happy people. Not the fake kind. Those individuals who enjoy life, smile and are filled with joy much of the time. I genuinely try to be cheerful and smile to others as often as I can. Sometimes when I’m in a cranky mood, I won’t smile I will try to smile just to “fake it until I make it” because sometimes all it takes is a little smile to change your mood and others. Recently I was at church and this one women asked me, “You are always so happy- is it real or do you fake it sometimes?” It caught me off guard because usually I am just genuinely happy. HOWEVER. Yes, I am human and I get in a bad mood but I try to be pleasant when around others.

*This is to exclude individuals who struggle with the challenge of mental health barriers such as depression (*disclaimer), there are some actionable items we could try to implement into our lives to boost our happiness and live more frequently in JOY.

This article is a lighthearted, quick list of “things happy people do differently.” There is value is the items listed, and the focus is to acknowledge these items and identify if these are items which you believe could be helpful for you. 
Enjoy! And best wishes on your happiness journey…
June 18, 2015

“An Apple a Day”- The Role of Health Education

Lately I feel like I am continually reminded, educating and advocating for health education over and over and over. It’s importance, it’s benefits to save lives, save money, and preserve the earth. Sometimes I get tired, and sometimes I run into a cute little video like this which I think is fun to share. It’s titled, An Apple a Day, and it’s a poem made into a video which catches your attention because it uses kinetic typography, or “moving text.”
Interestingly, my husband and I both work in the field of health prevention and promotion, just in two different focuses. We realize the benefits associated with “front loading” the preventative to minimize the injury, need for tertiary care, etc. 
Let’s continue to be health role models for our young people!
June 17, 2015

Time to Put the BUTTS Out

Now when I said BUTTS, I didn’t mean your derriere. Sorry. I meant tobacco. 
We are very blessed to have so much information and knowledge about tobacco and its impact on the body. Fifty years ago, knowledge and information was not widely available. But now, it’s here and it’s available and present. And that is awesome. We can take active steps to be healthier and live longer. 
Here is what we do know- most adult smokers want to quit and also half of all adult smokers have tried to quit within the last year (source). We also know that the percentage of smokers is slowly going down (currently 17.5% of adults use cigarettes, per 2013). 
Starter Resources
Global Impact
Interestingly, have you seen this video?? It’s a couple years old, but I find it helpful to share with others. It’s about a toddler in Indonesia who smokes PACKS of cigarettes EACH DAY. The video went viral and NBC’s Today Show shared a segment. Watch it. 
Since we are talking about the global impact, THIS WEBSITE- TobaccoAtlas.org, is awesome. If you are going to look at any website, look at this one. Click on the tab countries and even look at the data comparison among countries. Start with the US, then explore. It’s interesting. 
There is so much misinformation about smoking hookah. “It’s safe”, “It’s not as harmful as cigarettes”, etc. False. False. 
Here are some resources to look at…
Hookah smoking FAQ’s {video}. This clip is from The Doctor’s TV show… but it has good info in it. 
Let’s all continue working together towards healthy communities and healthier lives!
June 15, 2015

Health // Idea Stream

Here in Northeast Ohio we have not-for-profit public service organization, Idea Stream, which strives to strength our local communities. They partner with WVIZ/PBS and 104.9 radio. The link provided is specifically focused on health and wellness topics and news.  But this site also provides programs on demand, live streams, newsletters, podcasts, and more. If you are from NE OH, check it out!
June 4, 2015

What’s Most Important to You?

I mentioned in my last post that I love TED talks. Well here’s another video I want to bring to your attention because it brings up a good point. A foundational point. The title of the talk is, “Before I Die, I Want To…”. Now, hang with me…. I know the title has a negative tone, but the message is good. I like it because it addresses the bigger picture- What’s most important to you? What makes the priority list and why? 
There are two reasons why I like this video. First, what I like most about this is the importance of others. Giving to others. Serving others. The act of helping others can be a GRANDE gesture or it can be small. Recent research indicates that it’s not the type of act or service conducted, but just the act itself boasts personal rewards. 
Another reason I like this is because we are all SO BUSY. Anyone else get tired of hearing the excuse of, “Oh, I’m just so busy.” (I’m raising my hand, because I’m guilty of saying that over and over). But the truth is- we are all busy, but where are we choosing to allocate our time? We all have choices, and we are all “busy” to some extent. But this video centers to- we can be busy, but are the tasks and events that are really meaningful or is it all just STUFF? Love it.
So watch the video and see what you think…. 

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!!
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.

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