How to Cut Carrots 4 Ways

22 Sep

Do you know how to cut carrots?  Here are 4 different ways to cut carrots.  Sticks, matchsticks, slices or roll cuts will add a little fun no matter how you choose to eat them! 

 

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Start Walking – 7 Tips to Get Moving

14 Sep

Image result for seniors walking

Starting up a walking program can have numerous benefits for overall health and well-being for all ages. It can help you lose weight, strengthen your bones and muscles, improve balance and coordination and lower the risk of diabetes, stroke and heart disease.

We’d love to see you at the American Diabetes Association‘s Tour de Cure!  Join MWLC on Sunday, September 30th at Comerica Park!

Consider these 7 walking tips before you get started.

1. WARMING UP AND COOLING DOWN
Despite the fact that walking is a low-impact activity, prevent muscle strains or other injuries by properly warming up and cooling down.

Warming up helps increase blood circulation, delivering oxygen and nutrients to the tissues. This helps make your muscles more pliable and reactive, readying the body for exercise. On the other hand, cooling down helps decrease the buildup of lactic acid, which helps prevent aching pains and soreness.

2. PAY ATTENTION TO THE WEATHER
If you aren’t prepared, rain, cold and intense heat in the summer can all make for uncomfortable walking conditions. When it’s cold outside, layer your clothing so you can remove them if you start to get too warm. In warmer temperatures, bring plenty of water to stay hydrated. Don’t forget sunscreen, even on cloudy days.

Also, it’s important to recognize when the conditions aren’t safe for walking outdoors. In the winter, sidewalks can become slippery, frigid temperatures can cause numbness and make your muscles stiff and summer’s extreme heat can make heat stroke more likely. On these days, opt for a treadmill, or walking indoors at the mall or another low-impact activity like swimming or cycling until it’s safe to head outdoors again. Similarly, air quality indexes should also be checked before you head outside to protect your respiratory system and overall health.

3. GEAR UP
Moisture-wicking sportswear with pockets to hold personal items, a hat and sunglasses are all pieces of equipment that can help make your workout more comfortable. Rain slickers, gloves and good socks are helpful too. But when you begin walking, the most important piece of equipment you can invest in is your footwear.

Consider purchasing a dedicated walking shoe instead of any ordinary shoe. A walking shoe will generally have a lower heel than a running shoe but will also be supportive during the activity and provide good traction to prevent falls on loose or wet surfaces. Your local running shoe store will be able to help fit you with the proper shoe.

4. WALKING SURFACES
Hard walking surfaces like the sidewalk or road can be harsher on your joints and muscles, especially for seniors or those that have problems with hips, knees, ankles or feet. Softer walking surfaces like smooth dirt trails or grass will be easier on your joints.

The treadmill is also an excellent choice that’s softer than walking on the road and offers a safe, controlled environment to exercise.

5. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR BODY
During exercise and in the days that follow a workout, listen to your body. Pay attention for any changes that are out of the ordinary. An aching back, sore knees or a cold you can’t shake are all things you shouldn’t try to push through. Swollen feet could be a sign of a circulatory problem and difficulty breathing could mean you need to have your allergies and lungs tested for an underlying condition. The key to maintaining your health and continuing a walking program safely is getting these things checked out early.

6. WALKING THROUGHOUT THE DAY
In general, it is recommended that adults over the age of 65 complete a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. While 30 minutes of exercise a few times per week gets the job done, it’s perfectly fine to work your way up to a goal of 60 minutes per day.

This might seem like a tall task if you are out of shape or not used to a workout routine, but it’s actually easier than you think. Instead of going out every morning for a 60-minute walk, break it up into several different sessions throughout the day. A 20-minute walk in the morning, another in the afternoon, and perhaps a third in the evening might be easier to manage than trying to get the entire workout done at once. Even parking your car further to get your steps in can help.

7. MAKE SAFETY A PRIORITY
As with anything else, your personal safety should be your primary concern. It’s a good idea to carry a smartphone in case you need to call for help, carry a flashlight or wear light colored/reflective clothing if you plan to walk at night and keep a watchful eye on the ground in front of you for potential hazards. And if you experience any pain while you’re exercising, it’s wise to stop and take a break.

Remember to set realistic goals when you begin and be honest with yourself when you have an injury. Increase your activity slowly and always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional if you have any concerns.

 

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How to Cook Oil-Free With Parchment Paper

1 Sep

Using parchment paper to roast vegetables in the oven makes clean-up a snap. No oil, butter or added fats are needed as parchment paper creates a non-stick surface. Baking “en papillote” is the fancy French way of saying “in parchment,” and you will wonder why you didn’t try this until now.

Just line a baking sheet with the parchment paper, toss the vegetables and lean protein with fresh herbs and spices.  Make parchment paper (or aluminum foil) pouches to steam and further infuse the herbs and spices into your food.  Because the steam does all of the work, you need less fat to build flavor.  The result?  A delicious, lower-calorie steamed meal.

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All About Veggie Noodles

28 Aug

HOW DO I TURN VEGGIES INTO “NOODLES?”

The most popular way to make veggie noodles is with a spiralizer. There are several different models at different price points — everything from handheld options to screw spiralizers and expensive countertop options, too. That said, if you aren’t ready to take the spiralizer plunge, you can also use a mandoline, knife or vegetable slicer to create thin strips. Lastly, most well-stocked grocery stores today carry pre-packaged veggie noodles.

HOW DO I COOK VEGGIE “NOODLES?”

Spiralized veggies are quick to cook, but there are a few tips you’ll want to employ for best results.

First, make sure you pat wetter noodles dry before cooking them — zucchini (which is 90% water) and squash are great examples. You’ll want to remove most of this water before cooking, so you don’t simply steam the noodles. All veggie noodles can be boiled, but the cooking time depends on the vegetable. Softer veggies such as zucchini only take 1–2 minutes, whereas sweet potatoes might take 4–5 minutes. For some “noodles,” you may not even choose to cook your veggies — carrots, as an example. Raw vegetables have a lovely texture and exceptional nutrition.

HOW TO BEST TOP MY “NOODLES?”

When it comes to sauces, choose less-watery options. If you are using tomato sauce, reduce it so it has less water.  Choose richer sauces with lighter vegetables (say, a pesto with zucchini) and perhaps pair more robust sauces with heartier root veggie “noodles” (chunky meat sauce with carrots or broccoli, perhaps).

Are you interested in more veggie noodle recipes?  http://patients.mwlc.com/Recipes2016.php

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Think You’re Drinking Enough Water? Try the Skin Test

17 Aug

It’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the colder months, but now that summer is here, it’s especially important that we keep our bodies hydrated. If you don’t drink enough, you can get headaches, feel nauseous, or find it hard to concentrate.
The NHS recommends six to eight glasses of water daily, but you may lose track with everything else that goes on in your life. You can easily conduct a simple skin test  to determine if you’re hydrated enough.

It relies on “skin turgor,” which is your skin’s elasticity, or how easily it changes shape and returns to normal when pulled or pressed. Skin with normal turgor should be able to snap back very quickly.

You can test your skin turgor if you pinch the skin on the back of your hand for a few seconds. If it immediately returns to normal, you are hydrated enough; if it doesn’t, you need to drink more water.

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Picking the Best Cantaloupe

13 Aug

How do you pick the best cantaloupe?  Follow these six tips next time you have a craving for this sweet treat!

Image result for cantaloupe

MOLD
The first thing you’ll want to look out for is mold, cracks, or soft spots on the rind of the cantaloupe.

SKIN
Next, examine the skin of the cantaloupe more carefully. The inside of a cantaloupe should be a subtle orange, but the outside is a different story! If the rind is green, that means it was picked too early and isn’t ripe yet. Aim for a rind that is beige.

WEIGHT
Weigh your cantaloupe! This is one situation where the heavier it is, the better!

RIPENESS
Sometimes cantaloupes can be too ripe. To double check, gently press the bottom of the cantaloupe with your thumb. A good cantaloupe will have a little give, but not too much. If the cantaloupe is squishy, that means it’s overripe and already rotting inside.

TAP
Listen to your cantaloupe! That’s right, go ahead and tap tap tap on the rind. If you hear a hollow sound, you’ve got a good fruit!

SMELL
Go ahead and smell the cantaloupe. Just like with pineapples, you should be able to smell the sweetness of the fruit. If you can’t smell anything, it’s probably not ripe yet.

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