Health Benefits of Walking

29 Jul

Did you know that a 30-minute walk can provide plenty of other benefits for your overall health that reach far beyond weight loss?  Remember to make sure you stay hydrated even if the temperatures are mild.

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Walking for fitness can be a great activity for beginners looking to start a daily exercise routine so whether you’re new to walking or an experienced runner, these six surprising health benefits are proven to make a daily walk worth your while:

1. IMPROVE YOUR MOOD

Researchers found in a recent study that taking a daily walk can boost your mood which can help decrease depression, negate the need for medication and put your emotions in an overall happier place.

2. INCREASE BONE DENSITY

As you age, bone density can decrease and make an injury from a fall much more severe. Studies have shown that walking can improve bone density and stop the loss of bone mass that is often associated with osteoporosis. Walking for up to 40 minutes a day may also help to reduce hip fractures and other injuries related to falls.

3. LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE

Walking has been shown to have positive effects on the overall cardiovascular health, including hypertension so consider a consistent walking routine. It can help lower your blood pressure and prevent heart disease. Although walking can be a safer alternative to more vigorous forms of exercise, anyone with existing heart conditions will still want to consult a doctor before beginning an exercise routine.

4. BOOST YOUR METABOLISM

Walking is a great way to boost your metabolism. It can help reduce fat around the waistline and prevent metabolic syndrome — the latter of which results from high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. Walking has been shown to reverse this condition and boost your metabolism so you can burn more calories during the day when you’re not exercising. The key? Try to up the pace by including 1–2 minutes of briskly walking every five minutes during your daily walk to get started.

5. AID RECOVERY

Because walking is a low-to-moderate intensity exercise that gets the blood flowing and raises the heart rate, it can be an ideal recovery activity in between harder workouts. It is ideal even for those experienced with high-intensity activities and are fit because your body still needs time to rest and recover between workouts.  Walking can also help ease any joint, back and muscular pain associated with more extreme forms of exercise.

6. REDUCE STRESS

Get outside and exercise!  It’s one way to clear your mind and distract yourself from your current problems because we all know that stress has a way of creeping into our lives. Whether you take a short walk around the neighborhood with your dog or head to the trails or track for a brisker workout, try to be more aware of your body, your surroundings and all the other good parts of life that are often ignored. This meditative state can have other positive effects on your health and well-being.

Blueberry & Apple Cobbler

25 Jul

National July Belongs to Blueberries Month!  Enjoy another sweet treat!

Blueberry & Apple Cobbler

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Servings:
2 Fruits
1 Starch
1 Nutrient

Ingredients:
1 serving Blueberries
1 small Apple, mashed
Stevia, to taste
1 serving Cereal (100 cal/serving)
1 Oatmeal Nutrient, prepared
Pam Spray
I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter Spray

Preparation:
Mix blueberries and apple in a bowl and add stevia to taste. Put in small pie pan sprayed with Pam. Mix cereal with oatmeal nutrient and pour over fruit. Spray with Pam and 5 sprays of I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until done.

Haddock with Chimichurri

24 Jul

Need a grilled fish recipe?  Try this Haddock with Chimichurri for National Grilling Month!

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**Freedom Meal Plans 5-7 ONLY**

Servings:
1 Protein
1.5 Vegetables

Ingredients:
1 portion Haddock
1/4 cup, fresh chopped Cilantro
1 tsp. Extra Light Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
1 clove Garlic
1/4 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
1 tsp. Whole Cumin Seed
1 tsp. Curry Powder
2 Tbsp. minced fresh Parsley
1/2 medium Jalapeno (finely chopped)
3 Green Onions (minced)

Preparation:
Use 1/4 cup of fresh, firmly packed Cilantro. Peel the garlic clove. Place all chimichurri ingredients (except the haddock) in a blender, blend until smooth. Grill haddock fillet over medium high heat until opaque throughout, about 10 minutes, turning after 5 minutes. Top with chimichurri and serve immediately.

How to Pick the Perfect Pineapple

20 Jul

Do you know how to pick out the best pineapple?

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COLOR
When picking out pineapples, the first thing to look for is color. Some people pick out a green pineapple thinking it will ripen when they get home. However, it’s best to get a pineapple that is mostly bright yellow. It can have a little green but should be a nice golden yellow overall.

LEAVES
You may know the old trick about checking the leaves of a pineapple… but what exactly are you looking for? You should actually tug at the leaves of a pineapple to best determine ripeness. If the leaf pulls out easily, then the pineapple is too ripe. If, on the other hand, the leaf is very difficult to remove, it might not be ripe at all. Aim for something in the middle!

SQUEEZE
After administering the leaf test, make sure to give the pineapple a good squeeze. Make sure it has a little give to it. Try to check this before cutting the pineapple open at home, otherwise, you may waste a fruit that isn’t ready to eat yet!

SNIFF
The absolute best way to select the perfect pineapple is to sniff the bottom. That’s right! You should smell a sweet, pineapple scent. If you can’t smell any sweetness, put it back!

How to Use Skewers

19 Jul

Grilling season is upon us!  Skewering foods can help ensure even cooking on the grill.

 

Berry Lemon Parfait

18 Jul

Fresh and light – this recipe is the perfect light dessert or snack!

Berry Lemon Parfait

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Servings:
1.5 Fruits
1 Dairy
1 Nutrient

Ingredients:
1 serving Plain Non-Fat Yogurt
1 MWLC Tangy Lemon Nutritional Supplement
1/4 cup fresh Strawberries, sliced
2/3 cup fresh Raspberry/Blueberry mixture

Preparation:
Prepare the tangy lemon pudding per the instructions on the packet. Next, layer the plain non-fat yogurt, lemon pudding, and all fruit evenly. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and enjoy the parfait once it is chilled.

Grilled Flank Steak

17 Jul

July is National Grilling Month!  Try our Grilled Flank Steak packed with natural flavors from fresh herbs!

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Servings:
1 Protein
Suitable for Fast Track patients

Ingredients:
1 serving Flank Steak
Unflavored Cooking Spray
1 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh Parsley
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh Sage
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh Chives
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh Rosemary
1 Tbsp. Garlic, minced
1 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper

Preparation:
Let steak stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Prepare grill for direct medium heat. Coat grate with cooking spray. Season steak with pepper. Grill, covered, to desired doneness, turning once. On a cutting board, sprinkle surface evenly with fresh herbs, garlic, crushed red pepper, and black pepper. Remove steak and place on herb/seasoning mixture, turning several times to coat thoroughly. Serve immediately.

Sweet Potato Fries

13 Jul

National French Fry Day isn’t over!  Sweet Potato Fries = yum!

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Servings:
1 Starch

Ingredients:
1/2 medium Sweet Potato, peeled and spiralized
1 tsp. Paprika
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
10 Sprays I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter
Unflavored Pam

Preparation:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray smaller baking tray with Unflavored Pam. Spread the spiralized sweet potato noodles out onto the tray. Spray I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter over top of the spiralized noodles. Sprinkle the Garlic Powder and Paprika over the top and roast the sweet potato noodles for 15-20 minutes. Toss half way through to prevent burning. Cool and serve.

Fruit Fries

13 Jul

Celebrate National French Fry Day with healthy Fruit Fries!

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Servings:
2 Fruits
Suitable for Fast Track patients

Ingredients:
2/3 cup fresh Pineapple
1/4 cup fresh Cantaloupe
1/2 cup fresh Watermelon
Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime Seasoning

Preparation:
Cut assorted fruit sticks (about 4.5 x .5 inches) of fresh fruit. Sprinkle with Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime Seasoning and serve.

The Importance of Staying Hydrated with IBD

12 Jul

Our Service Coordinator Christina was asked to share her knowledge about staying hydrated with IBD for this month’s CCFA newsletter.

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Patients with IBD can get dehydrated very easily. This mostly occurs because of increased water loss during a flare, thus making it even more important to rehydrate your body properly. Your body is made up more than half of its body weight in water.  Water is necessary for every cell and organ to function properly.  It helps in maintaining body temperature, keeping the blood flowing through your body, lubricating joints and removing waste. Because your body loses water through breathing, sweating, digestion and illness, such as vomiting or diarrhea, it is important to always stay hydrated.  Diarrhea is a common symptom of GI diseases and is the leading cause of dehydration. Diarrhea causes the body to lose fluids and electrolytes quickly, which must be replaced to prevent dehydration. In most cases you can restore most of your body’s fluid through drinking water with added electrolytes and through a proper diet.

The intestines play the biggest role in keeping us hydrated. So if you are dealing with intestinal issues, it is extremely important to rehydrate yourself. The intestines actually work with the kidneys to control the level of fluids in the body.  When you are dealing with diarrhea or other intestinal issues, you should increase your water intake so you can restore your body’s natural hydration levels. Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink water; this is not enough.  Thirst is a sign that you are already dehydrated.

If you have difficulty drinking large amounts of water, try to drink small amounts all throughout the day.  Set an alarm for every hour, and when it goes off, drink an eight-ounce glass of water.  Try drinking water through a straw or adding ice cubes, this also helps if you have difficulty drinking water.  There are no set ounces of water you should drink during the day, especially if you are having difficulty with diarrhea. Some other warning signs of dehydration include fatigue, dry mouth, decreased urination, dizziness and headache. One of the best indicators of dehydration is the color of your urine.  If it is dark yellow, you need to drink more water.  Drinking water on a regular daily basis can help decrease your chances of becoming dehydrated and feeling fatigue or dizziness.