Stress And Diet!

 

Think of all the things you do in a day.  Perhaps feeling tired, irritable, or nauseous can be stress related.  Too much stress without some relief can cause some serious health issues for you now and later in life.  Heart disease and high blood pressure can be a result of being stressed-out.  In you already have been diagnosed with diabetes, stress can worsen it.  Those headaches that you may often get, can be related to stressful situations. How about that depression and/or anxiety you sometimes or often times feel?  Don’t be surprised that chronic stress is also related to more frequent episodes of depression and anxiety.  

I mentioned nausea earlier.  Stress can make ulcers worse, cause heartburn, and even irritable bowel syndrome.  Other culprits of too much stress in your life worsen asthma and Alzheimer’s, interrupt sleep, accelerate aging and even cause premature death.  

So, now that you have realized that you have some of these symptoms, what do you do about it?  Here are some ways you can fight back.  Try breathing deeply, as just a few minutes can calm you.  You don’t need any special equipment or location for this.  You can do this while at work, while driving, cooking, or anytime you start to feel stress taking over.  

Focus on the present.  Don’t get too anxious about what you are going to next or feel guilty about something you may have forgotten to do.  Take some “me” time and perhaps a walk, a stretch, or healthy snack break will bring your focus away from stressful things occurring.

I have found that when I am in traffic, I try use the time as an opportunity to catch up on the news, listen to some soothing music, or listen to an audio book.  It takes my mind off of the traffic and really does lessen the stress.  

Once you begin making some of these changes in your life, look ahead to some bigger changes that can become a new way of life for you.  Start a regular exercise routine, as studies show that this can elevate your moods and give you more energy.  Learn some techniques such as yoga or meditation which will relax you. Not only will you will your mood improve, but the long-term health benefits can be quite significant.

Enjoy!
 Judy 

Source: http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/how-stress-can-make-us-overeat

The cheapest way to improve your health, drink water!

 

Lucky for us, in America water is free just about anywhere you go. Drinking water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages will not only help your wallet but could help to improve your health.

Although there are currently no set requirements for water consumption, the Food and Nutrition Board recommends that the average women consume 91 ounces daily (about 11 cups) and men consume 125 ounces daily (about 15 cups). (Certain groups may require higher intake levels, check with your doctor for more information).

This may seem unattainable to some but don’t worry, typically 20% of this amount is consumed within the foods you eat. With this in mind, women should aim to drink 8 cups of water-based beverages daily and men, 12 cups. This may still seem like a daunting task for some, below are some tips to include healthy drinks into your daily routine.

  1. Reusable water bottles can be a good way to encourage water consumption.
    Tip: Look for a 16-ounce water bottle and every refill counts as 2 cups!
  2. Infuse your water with your favorite fruits and herbs. See the recipe below to get you started.
    Tip: Freeze fruits when they are in season, and usually a great deal. Once you need them they can serve to flavor your water and help keep it cold!
  3. Soda-lover? Try switching to seltzer water or club soda. Look in your grocery store for calorie-free, carbonated drinks, available in a variety of flavors.
    Tip: Most restaurants have club soda available on draft, just ask!
  4. Attention caffeine-lovers: coffee and tea count towards your daily intake as well! Take it easy on the cream and sugar and these drinks can be a healthy way to reach your recommendations.
    Tip: As a Northern originally, I am allowed to say that tea does not always have to be sweet…sorry! Try different flavors and make it hot or iced. My new favorite is honey vanilla chamomile!

Try this: Strawberry Mint Water: -1/2 Cup frozen strawberries -1/4 Cup fresh mint -8 ounces water -Combine all ingredients in a cup or water bottle.

Enjoy!!

Megan
Megan is the Adult EFNEP Program Assistant in Orange County Cooperative Extension.

Source: https://www.choosemyplate.gov/ten-tips-make-better-beverage-choices

Indoor activities for your family on bad weather days

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Just a couple of weeks ago, many folks were watching to see if the groundhog saw his shadow. According to the tradition, if he sees his shadow there will be six more weeks of winter, but if he doesn’t, an early spring can be expected. Whether you are a follower of this tradition or not, I believe that we will see more cold days. As such, parents will continue to keep the little ones inside when the forecast calls for rain, snow or downright chilly temperatures.

Don’t let your family’s activities be hampered by the weather. There are many indoor activities that are weatherproof alternatives guaranteed to keep you and your children occupied until the sun starts shining again. Here are a few inexpensive examples of great indoor activities that you and your family can enjoy.

Museums are a great indoor playground for curious young minds with lots of hands on offerings for children. If your family is interested in history, science, the arts or culture, the museum may be for you.

Theaters and tours are other great options. Escape indoors and get lost in your local theater for an hour or two. There are many options around town that cater to the young and the young at heart. The only challenge is to decide what to see! Look for special seasonal promotions such as 2-for-1 ticket deals, free admission for kids of a certain age and same day discount deals. Take a tour of your city’s local attractions. You may see something that you didn’t see before.

Concerts and comedy shows are also good choices. From kid-centric musical performances to a comedic troupe that caters to the younger set, there are family-friendly options in most towns and cities. If you live in an area where your options are limited, have your own concert or comedy show at home. Dance, sing and laugh any inclement weather away.

Libraries and bookstores are wonderful opportunities for indoor activities. Instead of curling up at home with a good book, add a little excitement to your family’s reading repertoire at bookstores and libraries. Find storytelling sessions and other events such as performances, screenings and workshops at these popular book retreats for young visitors.

The bowling alley is another indoor activity that will spare you and your family from the inclement weather blues. Most bowling alleys are open during the day, evenings and on the weekends. On Friday nights, families can pay a discounted rate for bowling, shoes, and a complimentary snack/drink. Younger bowlers also get assistance from ramps and bumpers.

Play spaces make great indoor options where kids can burn off excess energy. At many of these places, there are opportunities to play sports and to explore imaginative environments.

A little inclement weather is no excuse for an empty agenda. Get up and get moving… even if it’s indoors. What other ideas and suggestions do you have for family friendly indoor activities?

Stephanie

Screen Free Week

Screen Free Week is May 4 – 10, 2015. Are you willing to unplug and spend your free time hiking, walking, crafting, or finding a quiet place to sit and enjoy the outdoors?

In just the last 10 years or so, technology has made it possible for nearly every member of the family to own a digital device. Unfortunately, for some kids (and grown ups), screen time has replaced playtime or physical activity. This is concerning because excessive screen time has been linked to obesity for both children and adults.1Kid in front of TV

Children born in the last 10 years will never know what it was like before smartphones and tablets. I’m grateful for my memories of playing outside from morning until dark, using my imagination to be an explorer, a treasure hunter, a soccer player, and a bug collector. I remember waking up extra early for Saturday morning cartoons. Afterwards, the rest of my Saturday was spent outdoors. I remember when TV networks played the national anthem indicating it was signing off. Now we have kids’ networks running 24 hours a day.

In celebration of Screen Free Week, I encourage you and your family to spend your free time interacting with each other rather than a digital device. For ideas, click here.

What do you remember doing as a child that didn’t involve a screen?

-Lisa

“You” as the role model for physical activity

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What is a role model? Someone you look up to, someone you want to model your life or actions after.  Many of us do not see ourselves as role models, especially in the area of physical activity.  With Hollywood actors and actresses portraying unrealistic images of attractiveness, and extreme sports being in the spotlight (i.e. Crossfit), it is hard to think about leading anyone, including yourself, to be fit.

Fortunately, you do not have to spend hours at the gym to set a good example for others.  Taking the stairs instead of the elevator, going for a walk after dinner, or attending a dance class consistently relays the message that physical activity is not only fun, but a part of daily life.   Influence the ones you love today by getting (and staying) active!

Amber