American Heart Month

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. The good news is that 80% of heart disease can be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health.  Read below about healthy strategies that can help prevent heart disease.

Monitor Your Blood Pressure. Keep your blood pressure below 120/80 mm Hg.

Get Active. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity, 75 minutes of vigorous activity, or 10,000 steps/day to maintain a healthy heart.

Eat Heart Healthy. Eat a diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats such as fish, avocado, and nuts. Limit sodium intake to 2,300mg/day or 1,500mg/day if you are at risk for a heart condition. Limit saturated fats and avoid trans fats as well as added sugars.

Maintain a Healthy Weight. Target a body mass index (BMI) of less than 25 or make sure that your muscle to fat ratio is within a healthy range.

Live Smoke Free. Smoking can put you at risk for cardiovascular disease. Contact ASHLine today for help quitting.

Watch Your Cholesterol. Keep your daily cholesterol under 200mg/dL per day and cut out Trans fats. You can find cholesterol in meat, cheese, and eggs.

Control Your Blood Sugar. Aim for a fasting blood glucose of less than 100mg/dL per day.

 

January Health Resolutions

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January marks a change for many things.

A New Year, new commitments, and new start! Make 2017 your year with whatever you decide you want to do in your life. Here are some tips to stay motivated and achieve your New Year’s Resolutions!

Be Realistic. Deciding on a New Year’s resolution that is realistic for you and your life is the first step towards being successful. For example, if you tell yourself you’re going to stay completely away from sweets but you have a huge sweet tooth and you know you’re bound to encounter some holiday treats somewhere, you may be setting yourself up for failure. Instead, challenge yourself to limit sweets to a couple times a week.

Start Small. Setting smaller goals more frequently can lead to a higher chance of overall success than setting one large goal. If we use our sweet tooth example above, we start by saying limit our sweets to once a week.  From there we can move to a three times a week and go from there. Being successful is the most motivating factor in keeping a New Year’s resolution. Also, the smaller the goal, the easier it is to stick to it. We can’t start training for a marathon by running 26.2 miles, but we can start with a 1 mile walk.

Reward Success. Positive reinforcement works for not just our kids and dogs, but adults too! Make sure to reward yourself for your accomplishments as long as it’s not counterproductive to your overall goal.  For example, if you are starting to train for a 5k and you were able to run for a full mile without stopping, go get a pedicure or take a day off from training and spend a day with your family. Doing these activities are especially rewarding because they have been earned through YOUR hard work.

Friends. Invite a friend or co-workers to join you in your New Year’s resolution. We find that people are almost 50% more successful when they have someone to hold them accountable. Help each other stay on track and stay healthy.

Don’t Quit. It’s almost unavoidable that you may have a slip up. Our lives and routines are always subject to change which can get in the way of your new routine and goals. Don’t quit! Change is hard and it won’t happen all at once. Stay positive and remind yourself why you set your goals and why they are important to keep up!

YOU can do this.

Check out these local runs and walks to get started on those resolutions! RUSA, SIERRA

New ‘Fake Meat’ Smells, Tastes And Feels Like Meat, But Is Actually Made Entirely From Plants!

What would your reaction be if someone told you that the delicious steak you were gorging on was actually made of plants? No, I’m not talking about cheap (read: horrendous) substitutes like tofu, or those godforsaken nutri nuggets. This is actually ‘fake meat’.

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Ethan Brown is the mind behind this. Founder and CEO of the startup ‘Beyond Meat’, Brown wants to manufacture fake meat by using patented technology, and plant products, eliminating animal slaughter, along with any other negatives that meat brings to the table.

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He realised that meat is nothing more than just a combination of amino acids, fats, carbohydrates, trace minerals and water. Convinced that he would only do epic stuff in life, and nothing else, he took the exact same nutrients from the plants and combined them to match the taste, texture and nutrition of real meat. Boss!

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1. But why avoid something as delicious as real meat? It’s the greatest ever, right?

Because it requires huge efforts and resources to get meat, he says. “Raising livestock is an incredibly inefficient way of producing protein. It takes a lot of land, a lot of energy, and a lot of water just to generate one pound of meat from an animal. About 30% of the animal is meat we eat; the rest is not useful.”

2. Manufacturing meat can solve a bunch of other issues like global warming, animal welfare, natural resources, and the alarming effects processed meat has on the health of humans.

3. Not to forget, it also addresses the concerns of people who have been fighting against the slaughter of animals.

While the company’s main plant is located in Missouri, it’s headquartered in El Segundo, California.

 

 

3. Not to forget, it also addresses the concerns of people who have been fighting against the slaughter of animals.
While the company’s main plant is located in Missouri, it’s headquartered in El Segundo, California.

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In fact it worked so well at blind tastings that people really could not tell the difference. Even people like Bill Gates and the founders of Twitter got up and took notice of Beyond Meat. Bill Gates even went out to call it the future of food for humans. Writing a blog post describing his experience of having a Chicken Taco made from plants at Beyond Meat, he said – “Like most people, I don’t think I can be easily fooled. But that’s just what happened when I was asked to taste a chicken taco and tell whether the meat inside was real or fake. The meat certainly had the look and the smell of chicken. I took a bite and it had the taste and texture of real chicken, too. But I was surprised to learn that there wasn’t an ounce of real chicken in it. The ‘meat’ was made entirely of plants. And yet, I couldn’t tell the difference.”

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This is something really cool, but none of us would actually believe how authentic it feels until we test it out on ourselves. Anyhoo, if this technology does work out, it will totally change the way the food industry functions.   Keeping our fingers crossed.

Children’s Eye Health Month

August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month promoting education and awareness about getting children’s eyes checked before they return to school.
Most children have healthy eyes, however there are certain conditions that can threaten good vision. Because it’s difficult to determine if the child is having any vision problems it’s important to bring them to their pediatrician regularly. Vision testing should typically start around the age of three.

Funny kid girl in glasses reading books

Funny kid girl in glasses reading books

Signs that may indicate a child has vision problems:

  • Wandering  or crossed eyes
  • Family history of vision problems
  • Disinterest in reading or viewing distant objects
  • Squinting or turning head in an unusual manner while watching television

More than 12 million children suffer from vision impairment in the United States while the leading cause of vision loss is due to eye injury.

There are an estimated 42,000 sports-related eye injuries every year and most are in adolescents.

Take some time this month to talk to others about the importance of regular eye exams for our youth.

Healthy Summer Snack for Kids!

Zu-Canoe Ingredients

  • 2 medium 2 inch wide zucchini
  • 1/2 TSP salt
  • 1/2 TSP freshly ground pepper
  • 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 TBSP white wine vinegar
  • 1 TBSP minced shallot
  • 1 cup quartered grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup diced mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1 cup chopped celery
Make Zu-Canoes for you and your family! 

Trim both ends off zucchini; cut in half lengthwise. Cut a thin slice off the backs so each half sits flat. Scoop out the pulp, leaving a 1/4 inch shell. Finely chop the pulp; set aside.
Place the zucchini halves in a microwave-safe dish. Sprinkle with 1/4TSP each salt and pepper. Cover and microwave on high until tender-crisp, 3-4 minutes.
Whisk oil, vinegar, shallot and the remaining 1⁄4 TSP each salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
Add tomatoes, cheese, basil and the reserved zucchini pulp; toss to combine. Divide the filling among the zu-canoes.Nutrition per serving: 87 calories; 4g fat (1g sat, 3g mono); 3mg cholesterol; 7g carbohydrates, 0g added sugars; 7g protein; 2g fiber; 408 mg sodium; 545mg potassium. Bonus: Vitamin C (48% DV), Vitamin A (19% DV), Zinc (30% DV), Calcium (16% DV)
Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1/2 starch, 1/2 high-fat meat

Maintaining a conscious diet of the foods you love, with healthy portions and thoughtful consumption times, is the best way to stay on track and love what you eat! See more recipes here

 

 

Men’s Health Month

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As started by the congressional health education program, Men’s Health Month is celebrated across the country in June. The goal of this national observance is to increase awareness about the preventable health problems in men and promote early detection and treatment of disease among boys and men.
This month gives healthcare providers, friends, family, and the media a chance to encourage men to seek regular medical advice for disease and screenings. See what activities are going on in your community that relate to this month and don’t forget to wear blue on the Friday before Father’s day to support the cause! Check out the list of standard exams:

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Physical Exam. Needed every year or more often if recommended by your provider. Please talk to your healthcare practitioner to determine how often you should get an exam.

Testicular Exam. As the number one cancer for men between 15-35 years of age it is important to check yourself frequently and discuss an exam with your doctor during your physical exam.

Blood Pressure Screenings. Needed every 2 years unless it is elevated, then it may need to be checked more frequently. Please talk to your healthcare practitioner to determine how often you should be screened.

Cholesterol Screenings. Needed every 5 years unless it is elevated, then it may need to be checked more frequently. Please talk to your healthcare practitioner to determine how often you should be screened.

Diabetes Screenings. Needed if your blood pressure is above 135/80, you have a BMI of over 25 in addition to other risk factors, or you have an out of range glucose or A1C reading.

Dental Exam. Needed 1-2 times per year. Please talk to your healthcare practitioner to determine how often you should get an exam.

Eye Exam. Needed every 2 years or more often if recommended by your provider.

Other. Immunizations, infectious disease. Please talk to your healthcare practitioner to determine how often you should get an exam.

How to Increase Dopamine Naturally

Low dopamine levels can lead to lack of motivation, fatigue, addictive behavior, mood swings and memory loss. Learn how to increase dopamine naturally.

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There are about 86 billion neurons in the human brain.

They communicate with each other via brain chemicals called neurotransmitters.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that’s a key contributor to motivation, productivity, and focus.

Let’s take a closer look at dopamine — what it does, the symptoms of deficiency, and how to increase it naturally.

What Does Dopamine Do?

Dopamine has been called our “motivation molecule.”

It boosts our drive, focus, and concentration.

It enables us to plan ahead and resist impulses so we can achieve our goals.

It gives us that “I did it!” lift when we accomplish what we set out to do.

It makes us competitive and provides the thrill of the chase in all aspects of life — business, sports, and love.

Dopamine is in charge of our pleasure-reward system. (1)

It allows us to have feelings of enjoyment, bliss, and even euphoria.

But too little dopamine can leave you unfocused, unmotivated, lethargic, and even depressed.

Dopamine Deficiency Symptoms

People low in dopamine lack a zest for life.

They exhibit low energy and motivation, and often rely on caffeine, sugar, or other stimulants to get through the day.

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Many common symptoms of dopamine deficiency are similar to those of depression:

  • lack of motivation
  • fatigue
  • apathy
  • procrastination
  • inability to feel pleasure
  • low libido
  • sleep problems
  • mood swings
  • hopelessness
  • memory loss
  • inability to concentrate

Dopamine-deficient lab mice become so apathetic and lethargic they lack motivation to eat and starve to death. (2)

Conversely, some people who are low in dopamine compensate with self-destructive behaviors to get their dopamine boost.

This can include use and abuse of caffeine, alcohol, sugar, drugs, shopping, sex, video games, online porn, power, gambling, or excessive internet use.

How to Increase Dopamine Naturally

There are plenty of unhealthy ways to raise dopamine.

But you don’t have to resort to “sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll” to boost your dopamine levels.

Here are some healthy, proven ways to increase dopamine levels naturally.

Dopamine Boosting Foods

Dopamine is made from the amino acid tyrosine.

Eating a diet high in tyrosine will ensure you’ve got the basic building blocks needed for dopamine production.

Here’s a list of foods that increase dopamine: (3456)

  • all animal products
  • almonds
  • apples
  • avocado
  • bananas
  • beets
  • chocolate
  • coffee
  • fava beans
  • green leafy vegetables
  • green tea
  • lima beans
  • oatmeal
  • sea vegetables
  • sesame and pumpkin seeds
  • turmeric
  • watermelon
  • wheat germ

Foods high in natural probiotics such as yogurt, kefir, and raw sauerkraut can also increase natural dopamine production.

Oddly, the health of your intestinal flora impacts your production of neurotransmitters.

An overabundance of bad bacteria leaves toxic byproducts called lipopolysaccharides which lower levels of dopamine. (7)

Sugar has been found to boost dopamine but this is a temporary boost, more drug-like than food-like. (8)

Dopamine Supplements

There are supplements that can raise dopamine levels naturally.

Curcumin is the active ingredient in the spice turmeric.

It’s available in an isolated form as a supplement.

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It readily crosses the blood-brain barrier and can boost levels of dopamine. (91011)

Curcumin has been found to help alleviate obsessive actions and improve associated memory loss by increasing dopamine. (1213)

Ginkgo biloba is traditionally used for a variety of brain-related problems — poor concentration,forgetfulness, headaches, fatigue, mental confusion, depression, and anxiety. (14)

One of the mechanisms by which ginkgo works is by raising dopamine. (15, 16)

L-theanine is a component found in green tea.

It increases levels of dopamine along with other neurotransmitters serotonin and GABA. (1718)

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L-theanine improves recall, learning, and positive mood. (1920)

You can get a dopamine boost by either taking theanine supplements or by drinking 3 cups of green tea per day. (21)

L-tyrosine — the precursor to dopamine — is available as a supplement.

We recommend taking acetyl-l-tyrosine — a more absorbable form that readily crosses the blood-brain barrier. (22)

Dopamine Boosting Supplements See Amazon.com for best selection and value

Phosphatidylserine acts as your brain’s “gatekeeper,” regulating nutrients and waste in and out of your brain.

It can increase dopamine levels and improve memory, concentration, learning, and symptoms of ADHD. (23, 2425)

Read our article on dopamine supplements for more details on these and other nutrients.

Boost Dopamine with Exercise

Physical exercise is one of the best things you can do for your brain.

It boosts production of new brain cells, slows down brain cell aging, and improves the flow of nutrients to the brain.

It can also increase your levels of dopamine and the other “feel good” neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine. (26)

woman stretchingDr. John Ratey, renowned psychiatrist and author ofSpark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, has extensively studied the effects of physical exercise on the brain.

He found that exercise raises baseline levels of dopamine by promoting the growth of new brain cell receptors.

Along with natural pain-killing endorphins, dopamine is responsible in part for “runner’s high”. (27)

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But you don’t need to exercise strenuously to enhance your brain.

Taking walks, or doing gentle, no-impact exercises like yoga, tai chi, or qi gong all provide powerful mind-body benefits. (282930)

Increase Dopamine with Meditation

The benefits of meditation have been proven in over 1,000 studies. (31)

Regular meditators experience enhanced ability to learn, increased creativity, and deep relaxation.

Zen12 Get all the benefits of an hour of traditional meditation in just 12 minutes

And there are numerous simple ways for beginners to learn meditation.

It’s been shown that meditation increases dopamine, improving focus and concentration. (32)

Creative hobbies of all kinds — knitting, quilting, sewing, drawing, photography, woodworking, and home repair — bring the brain into a meditative state.

These activities increase dopamine, ward off depression, and protect against brain aging. (33)

Listening to music can cause of release of dopamine.

Oddly, you don’t even have to hear music to get this neurotransmitter flowing — just theanticipation of listening can do that. (34)

10 Healthy Reasons to Drink Coffee

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Your daily cup of coffee may be doing more for you than providing that early-morning pick-me-up. The health impact of coffee has long been a controversial topic, with advocates touting its antioxidant activity and brain-boosting ability, and detractors detailing downsides such as insomnia,indigestion and an increased heart rate and blood pressure. But the latest wave of scientific evidence brings a wealth of good news for coffee lovers. Here are ten reasons drinking coffee may be healthier for you than you thought.

1. Coffee is a potent source of healthful antioxidants.

In fact, coffee shows more antioxidant activity than green tea and cocoa, two antioxidant superstars. Scientists have identified approximately 1,000 antioxidants in unprocessed coffee beans, and hundreds more develop during the roasting process. Numerous studies have cited coffee as a major–and in some cases, the primary–dietary source of antioxidants for its subjects.

How it works: Antioxidants fight inflammation, an underlying cause of many chronic conditions, including arthritis, atherosclerosis and many types of cancer. They also neutralize free radicals, which occur naturally as a part of everyday metabolic functions, but which can cause oxidative stress that leads to chronic disease. In other words, antioxidants help keep us healthy at the micro-level by protecting our cells from damage. Finally, chlorogenic acid, an important antioxidant found almost exclusively in coffee, is also thought to help prevent cardiovascular disease.

2. Caffeine provides a short-term memory boost.

When a group of volunteers received a dose of 100 milligrams (mg) of caffeine, about as much contained in a single cup of coffee, Austrian researchers found a surge in the volunteers’ brain activity, measured by functional magnetic resonance imagery (fMRI), as they performed a memory task. The researchers noted that the memory skills and reaction times of the caffeinated volunteers were also improved when compared to the control group who received a placebo and showed no increase in brain activity.

How it works:  Caffeine appears to affect the particular areas of the brain responsible for memory and concentration, providing a boost to short-term memory, although it’s not clear how long the effect lasts or how it may vary from person to person.

3. Coffee may help protect against cognitive decline.

In addition to providing a temporary boost in brain activity and memory, regular coffee consumption may help prevent cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. In one promising Finnish study, researchers found that drinking three to five cups of coffee daily at midlife was associated with a 65 percent decreased risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia in later life. Interestingly, the study authors also measured the effect of tea drinking on cognitive decline, but found no association.

How it works: There are several theories about how coffee may help prevent or protect against cognitive decline. One working theory: caffeine prevents the buildup of beta-amyloid plaque that may contribute to the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s. Researchers also theorize that because coffee drinking may be associated with a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes, a risk factor for dementia, it also lowers the risk for developing dementia.

4. Coffee is healthy for your heart.

A landmark Dutch study, which analyzed data from more than 37,000 people over a period of 13 years, found that moderate coffee drinkers (who consumed between two to four cups daily) had a 20 percent lower risk of heart disease as compared to heavy or light coffee drinkers, and nondrinkers.

How it works: There is some evidence that coffee may support heart health by protecting against arterial damage caused by inflammation.

5. Coffee may help curb certain cancers.

Men who drink coffee may be at a lower risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer. In addition, new research from the Harvard School of Public Health suggests that drinking four or more cups of coffee daily decreased the risk of endometrial cancer in women by 25 percent as compared to women who drank less than one cup a day. Researchers have also found ties between regular coffee drinking and lower rates of liver, colon, breast, and rectal cancers.

How it works: Polyphenols, antioxidant phytochemicals found in coffee, have demonstrated anticarcinogenic properties in several studies and are thought to help reduce the inflammation that could be responsible for some tumors.

6. Coffee may lessen your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

A growing body of research suggests an association between coffee drinking and a reduced risk of diabetes. A 2009 study found that the risk of developing diabetes dropped by 7 percent for each daily cup of coffee. Previous epidemiological studies reported that heavy coffee drinkers (those who regularly drink four or more cups daily) had a 50 percent lower risk of developing diabetes than light drinkers or nondrinkers.

How it works: Scientists believe that coffee may be beneficial in keeping diabetes at bay in several ways:  (1) by helping the body use insulin and protecting insulin-producing cells, enabling effective regulation of blood sugar; (2) preventing tissue damage; and (3) and battling inflammation, a known risk factor for type 2 diabetes.  One component of coffee known as caffeic acid has been found to be particularly significant in reducing the toxic accumulation of abnormal protein deposits (amyloid fibrils) found in people with type 2 diabetes. Decaffeinated coffee is thought to be as beneficial, or more so, than regular.

Note: There is some evidence that coffee decreases the sensitivity of muscle cells to the effects of insulin, which might impair the metabolism of sugar and raise blood sugar levels.  The significance of this finding, however, is still unclear.

7. Your liver loves coffee.

It’s true: In addition to lowering the risk of liver cancer, coffee consumption has been linked to a lower incidence of cirrhosis, especially alcoholic cirrhosis. A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine demonstrated an inverse correlation between increased coffee consumption and a decreased risk of cirrhosis–a 20 percent reduction for each cup consumed (up to four cups).

How it works: Scientists found an inverse relationship between coffee drinking and blood levels of liver enzymes. Elevated levels of liver enzymes typically reflect inflammation and damage to the liver. The more coffee subjects drank, the lower their levels of enzymes.

8. Coffee can enhance exercise performance.

We’ve been conditioned to believe that caffeine is dehydrating, one of the primary reasons why fitness experts recommend nixing coffee pre- and post-workout. However, recent research suggests that moderate caffeine consumption–up to about 500 mg, or about 5 cups per day–doesn’t dehydrate exercisers enough to interfere with their workout. In addition, coffee helps battle fatigue, enabling you to exercise longer.

How it works: Caffeine is a performance and endurance enhancer; not only does it fight fatigue, but it also strengthens muscle contraction, reduces the exerciser’s perception of pain, and increases fatty acids in the blood, which supports endurance.

9. Coffee curbs depression.

Multiple studies have linked coffee drinking to lower rates of depression in both men and women.  In several studies, the data suggested an inverse relationship between coffee consumption and depression: in other words, heavy coffee drinkers seemed to have the lowest risk (up to 20 percent) of depression.

Read: Coffee: Will a cup a day help keep the doctor away?

How it works: Researchers aren’t yet sure how coffee seems to stave off depression, but it is known that caffeine activates neurotransmitters that control mood, including dopamine and serotonin.

10. Coffee guards against gout.

Independent studies on the coffee consumption patterns of men and women suggest that drinking coffee regularly reduces the risk of developing gout. Researchers in the Nurses’ Health Study analyzed the health habits of nearly 90,000 female nurses over a period of 26 years and found a positive correlation between long-term coffee consumption and a decreased risk for gout. The benefit was associated with both regular and decaf consumption: women who drank more than four cups of regular coffee daily had a 57 percent decreased risk of gout; gout risk decreased 22 percent in women who drank between one and three cups daily; and one cup of decaf per day was associated with a 23 percent reduced risk of gout when compared to the women who didn’t drink coffee at all. Similar findings have been documented for men: another large-scale study, published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism, found that men who drank four to five cups of coffee per day decreased their risk of gout by 40 percent, and that those who consumed six cups or more lowered gout risk by 60 percent.

How it works: According to the Nurses’ Health Study, coffee’s antioxidant properties may decrease the risk of gout by decreasing insulin, which in turn lowers uric acid levels (high concentrations of uric acid can cause gout).

The Cons of Coffee Drinking

The potential health benefits of drinking coffee are exciting news, but that doesn’t mean more is better. For some people, coffee can cause irritability, nervousness or anxiety in high doses, and it can also impact sleep quality and cause insomnia. In people with hypertension, coffee consumption does transiently raise their blood pressure–although for no more than several hours–but no correlation has been found between coffee drinking and long-term increases in blood pressure or the incidence of cardiovascular disease in patients with pre-existing hypertension.

Caffeine affects every person differently, so if you experience any negative side effects, consider cutting your coffee consumption accordingly. It takes about six hours for the effects of caffeine to wear off, so limit coffee drinking to early in the day, or switch to decaf, which only contains about 2 to 12 mg of caffeine per eight ounces. Always taper your coffee consumption gradually. Avoid quitting coffee cold turkey; doing so can lead to caffeine withdrawal symptoms that may include severe headache, muscle aches and fatigue which can last for days.

How to Keep It Healthy

So how much coffee is healthy, and how much is too much? Two to three eight-ounce cups per day is considered moderate; heavy coffee drinkers consume four cups or more daily. Remember, the amount of caffeine per coffee beverage varies depending upon the preparation and style of beverage. Eight ounces of brewed coffee may contain as little as 80 to as much as 200 mg of caffeine per cup (an “average” cup probably contains about 100 mg).

Your best bet: Skip the fat-filled, sugar-laden coffeehouse beverages and order a basic black coffee. Alternatively, switch to skim milk or unsweetened soy or nut milk.

Editor’s Note: As much as we all love coffee, it’s important to recognize that even the most rigorous scientific studies are subject to bias–especially ones that examine something as beloved and economically important as coffee–so, by all means, enjoy your morning habit, but interpret these findings with caution.

References

Great American Smokeout

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The American Cancer Society marks the Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of November. This date is used to encourage smokers to create a quit plan or quit smoking. Tobacco remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US, yet over 40 million Americans continue to smoke.

Benefits of Quitting Over Time:

20 minutes after quitting: Your heart rate and blood pressure drop

12 hours after quitting: your circulation improves and your lung function increases

2-3 months: Coughing and shortness of breath decreases.

1 year: The risk of coronary heart disease is cut in half compared to that of a smoker.

5 years: Risk of cancer of the throat, mouth, esophagus, and bladder are all cut in half. Cervical cancer risk falls to that of a non-smoker and stroke risk can fall to that of a non-smoker after 2-5 years.

10 years: The risk of dying from lunch cancer is cut in half and the risk of pancreas and larynx cancer decreases.

15 years: Risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker.

To learn more visit the websites below to find guides to quit smoking, support tools, and additional resources to help you or a loved one when they are ready to quit.

Smoking_health_benefits_male

www.cancer.org

www.ashline.org

www.quit.com

www.smokefree.gov

www.quitnet.com

Provided by Kendall Taylor of the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) in their November 2015 Wellstyles Monthly Newsletter.

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Healthy Pumpkin Bread

Healthy Pumpkin Bread

Perfect-Pumpkin-Bread

Ingredients

 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour.

 2 cups whole wheat flour

 1TBSP baking powder

 2TSP baking soda

 2 large eggs

 2 large egg whites

 2 cups packed light brown sugar.

 3 cups canned unseasoned pumpkin puree.

 1/2 cup canola oil

Preparation 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat two 9-by-5 inch loaf pans with cooking spray.

2. Stir all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Whisk eggs, egg whites, brown sugar, pumpkin and oil in another large bowl. Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the tops.

3. Bake the loaves until the tops are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean 50 to 60 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Turn the loaves out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Nutrition Per serving: 210 calories; 5g fat (1g sat, 3g mono); 16mg cholesterol; 38g carbohydrates; 4g protein; 2g fiber; 377mg sodium; 125mg potassium. Bonus: Vitamin A (96% daily value), Iron (15% daily value) Carbohydrate Servings: 2 1/2 Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 other carbohydrate, 1/2 vegetable, 1 fat.

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Provided by Kendall Taylor of the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) in their October 2015 Wellstyles Monthly Newsletter.

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