Sunday, October 30, 2016

Activated Charcoal:The Detox Cure-All? (Or Not)

It seems there are always new cure-all Detox recipes popping up on the internet and tabloids.  Read this great article about using activated charcoal as a detox.  Charcoal is thought to be a detox because it is good for helping with accidental poisoning.  Once again there is no evidence that activated charcoal would effectively help you feel better.  The best line of defense is a healthy diet packed full of fruits and vegetables with an adequate supply of water to help your body's detoxing organs do their best work.

Activated Charcoal:The Detox Cure-All? (Or Not)

Friday, October 28, 2016

Are you carving a pumpkin the weekend?

Its time to carve the pumpkin for Halloween, and I have always felt that we should do something with the seeds, but never taken the time.  Tonight I have been doing some research and learned that pumpkin seeds are very healthy.  They are packed full of antioxidants.

To start with remove the seeds from the pumpkin and try to get most of the stringy pulp off.  Some people recommend washing them.  Dry them on paper toweling, then spread in a single layer on an ungreased cookie sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes at 375 degrees F in a pre-heated oven.

At this point you may sprinkle with a variety of seasoning mixes and eat shell and all.  You may also eat them like pumpkin seeds, shelling them one at a time and eating just the inside nugget.

Pumpkin seeds may also be purchased at health food stores to use in a variety of recipes.  This is can be a great time saver.

You may easily shell a large bunch of pumpkin seeds by first rolling them with a rolling pin to break the shell, then boiling in water for 5 minutes.  When cool enough to handle, you can pull the shell off with your fingers.  Then roast them in the oven with your choice of seasoning.

Pumpkins seeds can be eaten as a snack, added to soups, breads and cookies.  Make your own granola or used to top a salad.

Here is a seasoning option that I am going to try.

Maple Chipotle:
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt

Instructions say to mix ingredients and then add two cups of seeds.  Spread on baking sheet and roast.

Happy snacking!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Oh My Aching Back

Do you wake up in the morning with a sore back or have a sore back after a long car ride?  You are not alone.  Many of us have back issues and believe or not it is often caused by lack of exercise or the wrong type of exercise.  One of the best ways to prevent back pain is to build up your stomach muscles.  A strong core can relieve many problems.  You should do back-strengthening and stretching exercises 2 to 3 times a week.
Other tips include standing straight and sitting up straight.  Avoid heavy lifting.  Eat a balanced diet. Remain active.  Losing weight will also relieve strain on your back.
There is more information on this topic on the Government Employees Hospital Association Webpage
Prevent back pain | GEHA

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Improving Your Child's Relationship With Food

Many of us have poor eating habits as adults.  These habits can lead to serious health problems.  Over the years as we have been watching the weight of American's rise, researchers have been studying ways to reduce weight. 

Food is an important part of many family and cultural activities and often we use food to make us feel better and get through a hard time, but these relationships often lead to overeating.

Our eating habits begin in childhood and are influenced by many people.  Parents can help support and foster good eating habits with these simple strategies.
  • Never reward or discipline with food.
  • Don't hold dessert until someone finishes their vegetables, etc.
  • Remove any guilt or shame from eating any foods.
  • Link healthy foods to activities children care about.
  • Be a role model.
  • Avoid fat diets.
  • Have family meals without technology.
  • Have a calm unrushed meal.
  • Never force food.
  • Allow children to use their own hunger to determine how much to eat.
For more information, here is a great article from the Government Employees Hospital Association Newsletter.
Improving your child's relationship with food | GEHA

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Mindful Eating With Diabetes

I ran across this blog article that summarizes what we have been studying the last 6 weeks.  This has been an interesting series.  I am planning on offering an abbreviated version in March for people without diabetes.  Watch for advertising and join us.

THINK - Mindful Eating with Diabetes

Monday, October 17, 2016

How Thoughts Become Habits

I have learned so much during our workshop series on eating mindfully for people with diabetes.  Just recently I came across this blog post that can help us deal with the temptations of Halloween candy.

How Thoughts Become Habits

By Michelle May, MD
Co-author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat with Diabetes
Halloween can be a challenging time of year when you have diabetes. Every time you open your cabinets you might be faced with this...

This can set off a chain reaction of thoughts and feelings, conflict and struggle, and sometimes overeating and high blood sugar. And it all starts with a thought.

Pause for a moment to consider the thoughts that might arise when you see candy in your cabinet.

Rewire Your Brain

It’s essential to realize that what you think causes you to feel a certain way. That, in turn, causes you to do certain things that ultimately lead to specific results. It's a chain reaction we call TFAR—your Thoughts lead to your Feelings, which lead to your Actions, which lead to your Results, and this reinforces your initial thoughts. In other words, your thoughts become self-fulfilling prophecies.

That is how thoughts become beliefs. Beliefs then become automatic thoughts that drive your behaviors—in other words, habits.

If you don’t like your results, ask yourself what you were thinking first.

It’s common for people to try to change the actions and results they don’t like without first recognizing and dealing with the beliefs, thoughts, and feelings that led to those unwanted actions and results in the first place.

Granted, it’s not always easy to recognize when a thought is driving unwanted results, especially if you’ve been thinking a particular way for a long time. Thinking thoughts that lead to undesirable results is a habit—a habit that can be changed through mindfulness.

How Mindfulness Helps

Many people react mindlessly to their thoughts. In other words, they re-act—repeating past actions again and again—feeling powerless to change. For many people, eating is a mindless reaction to their unrecognized or unexamined thoughts. However, your thoughts are just thoughts. Thinking a thought doesn’t make it true or important, or require you to act on it. In fact, a thought doesn’t even need to provoke a specific feeling.

Mindfulness is awareness of what is happening in the present moment—including awareness of thoughts—without any attachment to whatever you notice. Mindfulness is helpful because it creates space between thoughts and actions. By increasing your awareness of your thoughts, you can begin to break old automatic or habitual chain reactions between your triggers, thoughts, feelings, and actions.

Each time you choose not to activate your old trigger-thought-feeling-action-result sequences, you weaken the connections. It's as if the wires rust and eventually break. Further, each time you choose a different action, you create a new connection. With repetition, you’ll hardwire these new pathways—like insulating the wiring. Your new thoughts and responses become your new habits.

What are the old thoughts you have about Halloween candy? How can you create new thoughts that will get you the actions and results you want?

Saturday, October 15, 2016

No-Bake Breakfast Bars

Are you in search for a grab and go breakfast idea that is nutritious too?  Here is an easy recipe packed full of nutrition that takes minutes to make.

No-Bake Breakfast Bars

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened puffed rice cereal
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
1/2 cup unsalted shelled sunflower seeds
1/4 cup chia seeds
3/4 cup unsalted peanut butter
1/2 cup mild honey
1 tsp vanilla extract

Line a 7x11 or 9x9-inch baking dish with aluminum foil, leaving a 1-inch overhang along each long side.  Mix 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, 1 cup unsweetened puffed rice cereal (preferably brown rice), 1 cup dried cranberries, 1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, 1/2 cup unsalted shelled sunflower seeds and 1/4 cup chia seeds in large bowl.  Combine 3/4 cup unsalted peanut butter and 1/2 cup mild honey in small saucepan; stir over low heat until blended and smooth.  Stir in 1 tsp vanilla extract. Add to oat mixture; mix well.  Scrape into prepared baking dish; press firmly into an even layer.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.  Use foil overhang to transfer bars to a cutting board.  Cut into 18 bars.  Bars will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Yield: 18 (2 1/4x2-inch) bars.  Per serving: Calories: 190. Total fat: 10 grams. Saturated fat: 1.5 grams. Cholesterol: 0 milligrams. Sodium: 0 milligrams. Carbohydrates: 22 grams. Fiber: 3 grams. Sugars: 12 grams. Protein: 5 grams

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Last Weekend to Purchase Your Clover to Support 4-H

It's Clover Days!

Tractor Supply Company is sponsoring clover days!  Purchase a clover at check out and put your name on it to show your support of 4-H.  95% of the amount raised in our store stays in New Mexico and the majority of that comes back to Quay County 4-Hers.

How Mindfulness Improves Sleep

During the past 5 weeks we have been examining how to use mindfulness to improve eating habits and keep blood sugar in order.  During our discussion Tuesday, it was noted how mindfulness can help in many other areas of our lives.  This article gives three methods for using mindfulness to reduce stress and improve sleep.  Give it a try.

How Mindfulness Improves Sleep

Monday, October 10, 2016

Get smart: know when antibiotics work

Antibiotics can help us feel better when used for the proper purpose.  However, many of us misuse antibiotics and the result is more resistant bacteria.  Here are some tips from the Government Employees Hospital Association Newsletter to help you know when to visit a doctor for antibiotics.

Get smart: know when antibiotics work | GEHA

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Eating Purple Foods Could Help You Avoid Diabetes

Data from almost 400,000 people suggests that consuming berries and the anthocyanins they contain may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus by 15-18%.  In other words, strong evidence indicates that consuming berries may be linked to a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. This study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The goal of the study was "To investigate the associations of dietary intakes of anthocyanins and berry fruits with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) risk and to evaluate the potential dose–response relationships based on prospective cohort studies"

Encouragingly, the anthocyanins in common berries appeared to lower the risk of diabetes among the hundreds of thousands of people in the studies. Anthocyanins are water-soluble pigments that belong in the flavonoid family, which in turn is a collection of phytochemicals. These compounds help fight oxidation and improve health.

Great sources of anthocyanins include
  • Blackberries
  • Blackcurrants
  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries
  • Grapes
  • Raspberries
  • Red Cabbage
Keep berries in your freezer for a quick smoothie or to add to your bowl of oatmeal.

Saturday, October 8, 2016