December 2019

Tis the Season…to get sick!

by Michelle on December 18, 2019

With the weather turning colder and most of us spending more time inside, it’s easy to see why getting that lingering cold and cough happens to so many of us.  If just one person at work, at home, or even in a crowded store or restaurant is sick there’s a good chance someone within their vicinity will get sick as well.  And the multiple germ-ridden surfaces are major contributors on the fast track to illness.

It seems no matter what you do there is still a sniffle, cough, and/or sore throat that makes an appearance at the end of the year.  Maybe this year you can not only shorten the stay of these unwanted visitors in your body but possibly prevent them from rearing their ugly heads all together!  With a few natural items and some purposeful behavior you might do better this year at staying healthy.

Prevention:

  1. Hand washing is the best way to rid yourself of the germs you pick up through contact, but also important is not touching your face…specifically your eyes, nose, and mouth. These are three easy areas for germs to enter the body and cause illness.  Avoid rubbing your eyes, wiping your nose without a tissue, and touching your mouth unless you are sure your hands are clean.
  2. Keeping an even body temperature is also important because that way your body doesn’t have to work as hard to regulate your temp. AND fight off germs. While being cold doesn’t make you sick (germs do) it certainly makes your body work harder to keep your temperature at 98.6 degrees which lessens its ability to keep you healthy.
  3. Eating healthy and getting plenty of sleep is crucial to keeping your body and immune system in the best state possible to defend you against illness. Avoid processed, fatty, calorie-laden foods and beverages and be sure you’re sleeping as close as possible to 8 hours each night.
  4. Vitamins and supplements are great at filling in the gaps of your personal nutrition that you can’t quite meet with diet alone. Besides a good multi-vitamin try taking individual supplements that are specific to aiding the immune system and fighting off germs.

Natural Remedies:

  1. Vitamin C: supports the immune system and fight off colds.
  2. Ginger: helps bring down inflammation, clear congestion, and supports the immune system.
  3. Apple Cider Vinegar: helps to alkalinize the body (most people are more acidic) and being more alkaline may be more effective at fighting off viruses that cause colds and the flu.
  4. Honey: boosts the immune system and soothes sore throats and coughs.
  5. Eucalyptus Oil: breathing this potent oil helps open nasal passages for easier breathing.
  6. Neti Pot: this is a small pot that flushes out the nasal passages and can be effective in relieving sinus symptoms.
  7. Avoid Sugar: sugar weakens the immune system and can prolong a cold.
  8. Eat Healthy & Light: doing so allows for less energy going to digestion and more energy available for the immune system.
  9. Rest: The body needs a lot of rest and sleep (yes, they’re different) to allow it the time and energy to fight off germs and recover.  Overdoing it will only make the illness last longer.

Make this year the one that doesn’t end in illness, missed work, missed fun, and too much misery over poor health.

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To help you keep track

by Michelle on December 11, 2019

Regardless of what holiday you may celebrate this time of year, food seems to be a uniting theme of them all.  And if you’re trying to keep from gaining weight it can be difficult with all of the delicious temptations.  Here are some charts that will hopefully help…keep in mind these are just estimates, read labels carefully:

APPETIZERS/DIPS/SNACKS

Food Item Serving Size Calories Fat Grams
Olives (green) 1/2 cup 77 8g
Cheeseball (w/ nuts) 2 Tbsp. 246 20g
Mixed Nuts 1/2 cup 407 35g
Crackers 10 177 7g
Potato Chips (regular) 1 oz. (10 chips) 150 10g
Tortilla Chips (regular) 10 chips 140 7g
Onion Dip 2 Tbsp. 60 5g
Ranch Dip 2 Tbsp. 70 6g

 

MAIN DISHES

Food Item Serving Size Calories Fat Grams
Roasted Turkey (no skin) 4 slices (4 oz.) 190 6g
Baked Ham (fresh, cooked) 3 slices (4 oz.) 345 21g
Beef Brisket (cooked, lean) 3 slices (4 oz.) 291 15g
Beef Pot Roast 3 slices (4 oz.) 387 27g
Rib Roast 3 slices (4 oz.) 336 21g

 

SIDE DISHES

Food Item Serving Size Calories Fat Grams
Cornbread 1 square 152 5g
Biscuit 1 2″ roll 106 5g
Crescent Roll 1 100 6g
Cornbread Stuffing 1 cup 363 18g
Giblet Gravy (w/milk and flour) 1/2 cup 178 13g
Sweet Potato Casserole 1 cup 276 6g
Mashed Potatoes 1 cup 238 8g
Green Bean Casserole 1 cup 143 8g
Carrots (glazed) 1 cup 217 12g
Cranberry Sauce 1/2 cup 209 0g
Potato Salad 1 cup 277 15g

 

DESSERTS

Food Item Serving Size Calories Fat Grams
Cheesecake 1/12 of 9″ cake 412 25g
Apple Crisp 1 cup 402 9g
Pumpkin Pie (w/o whipped cream) 1/8 of 9″ pie 323 15g
Apple Pie 1/8 of 9″ pie 356 17g
Pecan Pie 1/8 of 9″ pie 456 21g
Sweet Potato Pie 1/8 of 9″ pie 295 14g
Coconut Cream Pie 1/8 of 9″ pie 429 24g
Bread Pudding 1 cup 311 10g

 

BEVERAGES

Food Item Serving Size Calories Fat Grams
Eggnog (w/whole milk and alcohol) 1 cup 439 19g
Eggnog (w/o alcohol) 1 cup 342 19g
Wine (dry, red or white) 7 oz. 142 0g
Wine Spritzer 7 oz. 91 0g
Beer 12 oz. 148 0g
Apple Juice/Cider 1 cup 117 0g

 

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Happy Pets…Happy Holidays!

by Michelle on December 4, 2019

If you’re like me you just can’t believe it’s already the first week of December!  Maybe you’ve waited until now to put up your decorations or perhaps they’ve been up for a while.  Whichever applies, if you have pets this means there is some important information you need to be aware of.

Pets of all types need to be considered both for safety as well as comfort when it comes to the holidays.  Here is a list of the main items to be aware of as well as some treats that we might love but must be kept away from our pets:

  1. Christmas Trees: Cats can climb up the trunk of the tree and dogs might try to jump up and get ornaments (or the climbing cat), knocking over the tree and injuring themselves.  Also, if you have a live tree the water basin it sits in poses another hazard.  Many times adding a preservative to the water keeps the tree fresh longer but is poisonous to pets who might drink it.
  2. Imitation Snow: Also called “flocking”…is poisonous and can flake off, falling to the floor where it’s easily ingested.
  3. Edible Ornaments: Cookies, cranberry and/or popcorn garlands, candy canes, etc. all are alluring to pets and pose a possible toxic problem.  Be sure to put them high up on the tree (out of reach) if you do wish to use them.
  4. Tinsel: Whether you like the single shiny strands or a garland it needs to be kept far away from pets.  It’s toxic and can clog their intestines and lead to poisoning.
  5. Light Strands: Keep lights out of reach since both cats and dogs might love to chew on the cords, posing an electrocution problem as well as a toxic hazard.
  6. Plants/Flowers: Poinsettia, Holly, Mistletoe, Christmas Cactus, English Ivy, and Amaryllis are considered toxic and result in gastrointestinal irritation & depression of the central nervous system.  They can even cause death.
  7. Foods: Chocolate, onions, garlic, chives, grapes, raisins, most nuts (especially macadamia nuts), and dairy can cause everything from mild irritation to a fatal toxic reaction.

Our pets, like small children, are naturally curious and tend to put everything into their mouths.  Keeping them safe needs to be a priority and keeping them stress-free is also important.  This time of year there is more clutter in the house with the decorations and sometimes extra people so be aware of the stress that the altered surroundings and visitors can pose.  Pets can stay safe with some planning and hopefully stay calm when they’re needs are considered.  These things can make them more pleasant when socializing with house guests and save you from some stress as well.

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