Friday, November 30, 2018

Cranberries!

I'm guessing most of you had some cranberries last week as part of your Thanksgiving dinner. I enjoy cranberry sauce, too, but have recently found that cranberries are not just for sauce. Include them in your weekly meal plan  - they'll add variety and a little tart surprise to your meals.

Cranberries are a healthy addition to your diet due to their high nutrient and antioxidant content. They are often referred to as a "super food." Half a cup of cranberries contains only 25 calories. They are high in vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K. They also contain proanthocyanidins (PACs), an antioxidant that may help prevent a range of diseases, especially cardiovascular disease. Cranberry may help prevent Streptococcus mutans (an oral bacteria that contributes to tooth decay and cavities) from sticking to teeth, according to a 2015 study.

Dried sweetened cranberries are a special sweet treat. Try these ideas for incorporating fresh unsweetened cranberries into your day. The tart flavor will add sparkle to your meal.

*Add to your morning smoothie

*Mix sliced cranberries with vanilla yogurt

*Add to a chicken and spinach salad at lunchtime

*Roast with cubed butternut squash. Top with a little feta.

*Try this recipe for acorn squash and cranberries.


Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Cranberries This Week

Friday, November 23, 2018

Symptoms of Stress

Most of us agree that stress has a physical affect on our bodies. What are some of the ways our bodies react to stress? Becoming aware of some symptoms could help you know when you need to implement tools to make changes to a hectic lifestyle, especially during this holiday season.


Your ears become super sensitive
Stress-related exhaustion can cause sounds to bother you a lot more than normal. Even a standard-level conversation can grate on your nerves.
To Try: noise-canceling headphones or soothing nature sounds.


Your memory takes a hit
Chronic stress weakens brain synapses, reducing the ability to form memories. Researchers found stressed animals that exercised had the same synapse function as those that were stress-free.
To Try: keep up with a regular workout, especially when you are extra busy.


You gain weight
Several studies have linked stress to a larger waist and BMI. Stress hormones trigger your body to store more fat, and tension can make you eat more sugary, fatty foods for comfort.
To Try: During tense times, avoid using food as comfort and go for a walk. Walking can relieve stress and bump up your metabolism.


Your stomach is messed up
Anxiety can be as bad for your digestive system as bingeing on junk food. Stressed animals had gut bacteria that looked like they'd been eating a high-fat diet.
To Try: Probiotics. Not only do they add good bacteria to your colon, studies have shown that eating foods with probiotics can help prevent stressful habits, like rumination. 


Find quiet, keep walking or try a probiotic to help reduce stress this holiday season.

Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food

Friday, November 16, 2018

Holiday Running Streak


The holiday season is a perfect time to ditch your workouts with excuses of too little time, lack of energy, and no motivation. That doesn't have to be you! More and more people are turning toward a “running streak” to stay motivated, running at least one mile every single day, from Thanksgiving until the New Year

But isn't running every single day bad for you? Running hard and long every single day will certainly lead to burnout or injury. However, you only need to run one mile every day to keep this streak alive, and that mile can be as slow and easy as you want it to be. 



I've done this running streak the last few years and I really felt good. If I had done a tough workout that day or it was late in the day when I was tired, my mile might be a stroll. On the other hand, if I felt energized, I jogged the whole mile. My dog, Sadie Mae, benefited by getting in an extra mile walk or jog during the holidays, too.

This year I am adding something new! I will host a New Year's Day 5K and Pancake Breakfast. We will meet on New Year's morning, run or walk 3 miles and then celebrate our amazing achievement with pancakes! I'll share more details as you get close to finishing your running streak. 

But this is your motivator. Get out there and get that daily mile in so you can celebrate in 2019. Start with the YMCA Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day and keep moving until the New Year's Day 5K & Pancake Breakfast. Begin 2019 with energy!



Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food

Friday, November 9, 2018

Burbank YMCA Turkey Trot

More Americans participate in races on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year! 

Join the crowd and start your holiday on the right foot by participating in the Burbank Community YMCA Turkey Trot. This family-friendly 5K/10K race is open to runners, walkers, stroller-pushers and pets. Costumes welcome!

There is a Pre-Race Expo for all and a Kid's Fun Zone for the little ones. In addition, you'll get a commemorative tech T-shirt to wear around town throughout the year. Everyone will know you did the race Thanksgiving morning.

The Turkey Trot is a great Burbank community day with people from all areas of city life coming together to move their bodies before sitting down to dinner.  It's fun to see so many friends gathered for the event.

John and I will participate with our family, including a stroller, two babies and two dogs, while wearing turkey headwear and Pilgrim hats.  Look for us!

The race is only a couple of weeks away! Register at burbankymca.org


Stay Active, Keep Moving on Thanksgiving Day and
Enjoy Your Food

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Power Snacks

One of the keys to eating right is forethought. It requires you to think about your daily schedule, plan good food choices for each meal or situation, and then shop and prepare the ingredients.

Snack times can be food-quality landmines if you are not prepared. Plan amazing treats for those mid-afternoon munchies and then shop, prepare and pack them for office success.

Better Than Peanut Butter
NuttZo is a spread that blends seven nuts and seeds. It's packed with protein, healthy fats and fiber. Pair it with apple or banana slices for a winning protein/carb combo. It even comes in chocolate!


A Twist on Bagels & Lox
Rediscover Wasa crackers. I bought these again recently and have thoroughly enjoyed them. Spread with labneh, top with smoked salmon and  pickled red onion. The combination of fiber, protein and healthy fat is a guaranteed hunger buster.


New Veggie & Dip
Trade carrots and ranch for radishes and almond butter. The combo is creamy & crunchy, rich and fresh.


Choose good fuel to power you past the afternoon nap and fuel your work for the rest of the day.

Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food