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Introducing OSC:Wellness

New Series! OSC:Wellness brings you “quick tip” changes for healthier living. A more balanced sense of wellness can come One Small Change at a time.

We all want to live our best lives possible, but sometimes that can seem overwhelming. There’s so many recommendations! Where do we start? Sometimes it feels better not to change anything.

Introducing OSC:Wellness. This new series will bring you “quick tip”changes for healthier living, in small, implementable ideas. Taking steps toward a more balanced life doesn’t mean massive overhauls of your current habits. A more balanced sense of wellness can come One Small Change at a time.

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The first tip:

Drink a glass of water before every meal or snack you eat. (If you don’t like plain water, try flavoring it with herbs, citrus slices, or cucumbers). This has multiple benefits like maintaining hydration and reducing the likelihood of overeating or choosing a sugary beverage.

-Shelly Najjar, MPH, RDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Be sure to sign up to make sure you don’t miss future wellness tips.

Beat-the-Heat Recipes (43 no-cook, microwave, slow-cooker, and outdoor grill recipes)

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Photo Credit: Ken Marshall via Flickr, Used unmodified under CC BY 2.0 license

If you don’t want to add to the heat by heating your oven or cooking on the stove, no-cook, microwave, and slow-cooker recipes are the way to go. Or, if you have shade, keep the cooking heat outdoors by cooking on the grill.

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18 NO-COOK Recipes

8 MICROWAVE Recipes

8 SLOW-COOKER Recipes

9 OUTDOOR GRILLING Recipes

Read more:

5 Quick and Healthy Meals without Using the Stove

25 Healthy Snacks for Kids (…or anyone. Many don’t require cooking)

Heart-healthy grilling recipes

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3 Health Lessons from Star Wars

Technology is your health accountability partner

R2-D2 and C3PO were created to help humans live better lives, and we have many tools that provide that same function today. From wearable tech and health-related apps that track steps, food, and medications to help you meet your health goals, to the availability of free recipes and health information online, technology makes it easier to live healthy lives.

Physical activity keeps you healthy

One of the most memorable scenes in the prequel trilogy was the fight between Yoda and Count Dooku. Yoda fights nimbly thanks to many hours spent in practice. Practicing martial arts (like light saber fights – or other more common activities like judo, karate, kickboxing, etc.) is just one way you can keep up your skills and meet the recommendation for 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week.

Protect your skin

Those oversized hoods on the cloaks do more than create ominous shadows. They also protect the wearer’s face from the harmful effects of solar radiation. You don’t need to live on a planet with two suns to be exposed to UV radiation. Earth’s sun is the major source of UV rays for most people, but tanning beds or occupational hazards can also contribute to UV exposure. To protect yourself from the effects of UV radiation (such as dryness, wrinkles, dark spots, cataracts, and even cancer) wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and avoid indoor tanning.

What other health lessons did I leave out? Leave a comment…

Happy Dietitian Day!

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) Day is almost over, but that isn’t going to stop me from posting about it! 😉

Dietitians are food and nutrition experts who have at least a bachelor’s level education along with supervised training in multiple areas of dietetics, have passed a national exam, and participate in continuing education every year.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics posted about some of the things that a dietitian can do for you, including

  • helping you understand food labels,
  • giving you tips about eating for improved athletic performance,
  • suggesting flavorful additions to make sure your healthy food isn’t boring food, and
  • helping you figure out how to enjoyably treat yourself to special foods – without guilt or bingeing.

Dietitians also work in many other ways, including fighting for anti-hunger causes, researching nutrition treatments for diseases like cancers or heart disease, and working with farmers to help create sustainable food systems.

Click to read the post about how a RDN can help you reach your health goals.

If you would like to find a dietitian to help you on your health journey, you can use the Academy’s Find a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist feature, where you can search by location and specialty.

Do you know a dietitian? Please thank them for the work they do. 🙂

Reducing Sodium: From Menu to Mouth (Infographic and text from the CDC)

Reducing Sodium: From Menu to Mouth. Excess sodium can lead to high blood pressure, a major contributor to heart disease and stroke. Home prepared meals have less sodium than meals prepared in fast food or sit down restaurants. What Can You Do? Ask for sodium content before ordering, or check online before eating out. Home prepared meals have less sodium per calorie than meals prepared in fast food or sit down restaurants, on average. Food from fast food restaurants contains 1,848 mg sodium per 1,000 calories, on average. Food from sit-down restaurants contains 2,090 mg sodium per 1,000 calories, on average. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg/day, and about 6 in 10 adults should further limit sodium to 1,500 mg/day*. Choose wisely to stay under 2,300 mg**. Top 6 Sources of Sodium from Restaurant Foods1,2: 1. 170 to 7,260mg sodium per sandwich. 2. 393 to 4,163mg sodium per slice of pizza containing meat. 3. 200 to 2,940 mg per burger. 4. 62 to 7,358 mg sodium per chicken entrée). 5. 250 to 4,870 mg per Mexican entrée. 6. 4 to 4,530 mg sodium per salad)* *Refers to those age 51 and older, and those of any age with high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease. ** Averages are for 2012–2013. 1 IOM Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake in the United States. 2 Sodium content was determined using MenuStat.org. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Infographic and text from Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Click to go to the CDC webpage about Salt/Sodium

Reducing Sodium: From Menu to Mouth

Excess sodium can lead to high blood pressure, a major contributor to heart disease and stroke. Home prepared meals have less sodium than meals prepared in fast food or sit down restaurants.

What Can You Do?

Ask for sodium content before ordering, or check online before eating out. Home prepared meals have less sodium per calorie than meals prepared in fast food or sit down restaurants, on average. Food from fast food restaurants contains 1,848 mg sodium per 1,000 calories, on average. Food from sit-down restaurants contains 2,090 mg sodium per 1,000 calories, on average.

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg/day, and about 6 in 10 adults should further limit sodium to 1,500 mg/day*. Choose wisely to stay under 2,300 mg**.

Top 6 Sources of Sodium from Restaurant Foods (1,2):

  • 170 to 7,260 mg sodium per sandwich.
  • 393 to 4,163 mg sodium per slice of pizza containing meat.
  • 200 to 2,940 mg per burger.
  • 62 to 7,358 mg sodium per chicken entrée.
  • 250 to 4,870 mg per Mexican entrée.
  • 4 to 4,530 mg sodium per salad

*Refers to those age 51 and older, and those of any age with high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease.
**Averages are for 2012–2013.

References

  1. IOM Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake in the United States.
  2. Sodium content was determined using MenuStat.org.

Infographic and text from Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Resource: Science-Based Goal Setting Worksheet

The Goal List

First page of Science of Goal Setting worksheet, showing the Goal Wheel / Click to go to the worksheet and instructions by Vanessa Van Edwards (scienceofpeople.com) Science of Goal Setting worksheet, with the Goal Wheel – Click to go to the worksheet and instructions by Vanessa Van Edwards (scienceofpeople.com)

It’s the time of year when everyone thinks about restarting and creating new goals. I’ve already written about the SMART goal technique for writing Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely goals. Recently, I found something similar, that also includes an assessment to help you focus on what goals would most benefit you at this time.

This technique comes from Vanessa Van Edwards at the Science of People. She has also created a worksheet that you can use, but since it does not include explanations, it’s best to first read the instructions in the post titled The Science of Goals, and then use the worksheet.

This goal setting technique is broken down into 10 steps:

  1. Check your emotional temperature (using the Goal Wheel in the worksheet)
  2. Think about what you want your legacy…

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