Challenge Your Brain with Activities

Challenge Your Brain with Activities

Written by Stacey Naito, DO
on Tuesday, 08 December 2015

One of the best ways to protect brain function is to engage in activities which are mentally challenging, yet enjoyable. The trick is to pick an activity which promotes learning or skill, without aggravating or frustrating you.

Before you assume that you’re too old to make positive changes in your brain power, keep in mind that scientists have determined that older brains are still receptive to boosts in cognitive function.
On the Tip of Your Tongue

On the Tip of Your Tongue

Written by Stacey Naito, DO
on Tuesday, 08 December 2015

What IS that Word? 

It can be rather frustrating to find yourself struggling to remember a word, especially when you are engaged in lively conversation with someone and excited about the topic. It's the Tip-of-the-Tongue Phenomenon in action.

You stand there, pausing, digging into the far recesses of your mind, probably hanging on the fact that the word you are trying to find begins with an “S,” but it just won’t emerge, no matter how hard you try to locate it.
Tired of Being Tired?

Tired of Being Tired?

Written by Kathleen Barnes
on Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Kathleen Barnes, guest from the “Food is Medicine” series, has answers to these questions and more:

Do you wake up feeling like you’ve never been asleep? Do you lie awake at night?

Do you feel fuzzy-headed and are prone to headaches, muscle aches, and general pains?

These symptoms are part of a basket of maladies that might be chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). They could also describe hypothyroidism or adrenal fatigue.
7 Food Habits for a Healthy Life

7 Food Habits for a Healthy Life

Written by Carolina Lima Jantac, MS, RD, LD
on Thursday, 22 October 2015
There are so many “healthy” eating diets, trends, tricks and new food miracles hyped in the media that it can be quite stressful to follow. Some of them encourage complete opposite food groups, like fat and sugar. Some have emphasis on a specific food group, and others offer one solution to fix all your problems. 

At the end of the day, the most important thing is to notice what they all have in common: eat foods that will promote health and cut out the junk.
Should You or Shouldn't You Eat Fish?

Should You or Shouldn't You Eat Fish?

Written by Ellen Briggs
on Monday, 19 October 2015
Fish has three strikes; no, four strikes against it.

Many don't like the taste. They feel anxious about preparing it. Often thought to be a big ticket item for their food budgets, they avoid it. And, it is reported to be contaminated with the dreaded heavy metal, mercury.

Yet, fish has a huge nutrient plus side. It gives us at least five significant life-giving benefits:"major source of healthful long-chain omega-3 fats, rich in vitamin D and selenium, high in protein. Research reveals fish oil is good for your heart and blood vessels. An analysis of 20 studies involving hundreds of thousands of participants indicates that eating approximately one to two 3-ounce servings of fatty fish a week—salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, or sardines—reduces the risk of dying from heart disease by 36 percent.1"
Ok, Scale. Truce.

Ok, Scale. Truce.

Written by Sylvia Anderson
on Monday, 24 August 2015
That day was a good day.

In today’s world, a “good day” is often hard to come by. We have stress, pressures, obligations. Whatever you want to call that thing that makes us contemplate the struggle of either crawling back into bed and giving the world the middle finger or getting out there one more day and just freaking get it done.

My victory was, in some people’s eyes, a small victory. In my world, it was like winning a gold medal. Or, winning the emotional lottery. I finished first in the race of Sylvia. 

What I’m about to tell you is probably not going to make sense to the majority of you. In my rational brain, it doesn’t make sense to me. In my irrational brain, the brain that rules my hatred of self, of body image, of weight and everything that comes with the word “weight,” this victory had been seemingly insurmountable… until now.
Overfed Yet Undernourished

Overfed Yet Undernourished

Written by Ellen Briggs
on Sunday, 16 August 2015
Does being overfed and still undernourished sound like an oxymoron to you?

If so, you are not alone.

You could be overfed with nourishing food which is one step better, but sadly, many feed themselves more calories than needed with man-made nutrient-empty food. This past 4th of July holiday, I was once again discouraged with what I saw and heard from a community of well-educated American parents.

While walking through a grocery store, I couldn't help but notice baskets being filled with stacks of pure white deli potato salad, deli-made BBQ chicken wings, bags and bags of chips, stacks of packaged hot dogs and processed cheese slices, pounds of hamburger meat, bleached white buns, boxes of cookies and crackers, dyed popsicles, sodas, colorful energy drinks, ice cream, bags of candy, a few stalks of corn (yeah!) and some iceberg lettuce.

One cart was completely packed with cases of soda. (I should have taken a photo; I bet you've seen this with your own eyes.)

You say, "Okay, it's a holiday, so what?" I say, this grocery spree is repeated throughout the year.
Biking: A New & Healthy Adventure

Biking: A New & Healthy Adventure

Written by Kelly Adams
on Sunday, 16 August 2015

I love being active.

I know that this may be one of those generic statements at which people tend to be puzzled. But, I really do mean it when I say I love being active.

Exercise can be difficult for me, mostly because I often find myself unmotivated to get up and go. As a graduate student, I also have a hectic schedule. I work part-time, take graduate level classes, conduct psychology and communication research projects, and teach introduction courses in both basic and interpersonal communication.

When do I have the time to work out the way I want to?

This summer, I actually took my dusty bike off the racks in my parents' garage and brought it with me when I moved for graduate school. I was excited that I was going to finally take up biking again. As a kid, I spent many, many hours riding around the neighborhood. I had such an enthusiasm for biking.

I have not been on my bike for seven years. Seven years. That's a very long time. I tried picking it up a few years ago, but I just did not have the endurance to go for a long ride.

After several years of working out in college, I have better endurance. I love to walk and go for long hikes. But, I was still afraid that I'd be unable to ride very far and that it would take a few months to build up my endurance on my bike.

Zucchini on My Mind

Zucchini on My Mind

Written by Carolina Lima Jantac, MS, RD, LD
on Friday, 21 August 2015
I recently noticed a variety of zucchini recipes popping up on my social media newsfeeds. It could be because they are in abundant supply this time of year, but I believe it is also related to the fact that we are all searching for interesting new ways to cook and eat our veggies!

Zucchini is powerful enough to stand on its own as a side dish. It has enough flavor and texture to absorb herbs and spices, making it a versatile vegetable to cook. Nutritionally speaking, zucchini is a favorite for those watching their waistlines. At only 30 calories for each medium-sized zucchini containing no saturated fat or cholesterol, it's a very low-calorie food. Its skin is a good source of fiber, which not only helps with digestion, but also keeps you satiated. Plus, zucchini is a valuable source of folate, vitamin A, and antioxidant-rich vitamin C.

Enough reasons to stock up on this summer vegetable, right?
Self-Expansion & Growth: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Self-Expansion & Growth: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Written by Kelly Adams
on Monday, 03 August 2015

If you never go out and explore, you will never know what you are missing. 

I lived in the city of Chicago for several years when I was working on my two Bachelor’s degrees. I loved going out and taking long walks, going to the beach to soak up the sun, walking around Lincoln Park Zoo to see the animals, and jumping on the train to explore a different neighborhood. I was always the type of person who loved exploring and pushing boundaries.

When I was a little girl, my mother told me that I was always running around, busy doing whatever it was little kids like to do. I was always going, playing with my little kitchen, swimming, playing sports, baking, gardening, and running around the yard with our family dog. I was fascinated by any new toy or place. It was important for my growth to feel safe expanding and learning while exploring.

The Cost of Eating Healthier is Less than You Think

The Cost of Eating Healthier is Less than You Think

Written by Jaimie Vaughn Proctor
on Monday, 27 July 2015
Many people complain about the high cost of healthy food choices.

Just looking at the prices at Whole Foods and other well-known (as well as lesser known) food stores, you can feel overwhelmed by the high prices for food.

Yet, according to a USDA report, 14% of all deaths in the U.S. are related to poor diets and/or sedentary lifestyles. Eating a healthy diet can greatly reduce the risk of chronic disease and the associated healthcare costs.

So, we know the importance of healthy eating; but, do healthier foods truly cost more?
Healthy Substitutes for Flour

Healthy Substitutes for Flour

Written by Jaimie Vaughn Proctor
on Sunday, 19 July 2015
Wanting to get rid of white flour in your diet? You probably know that most white flours and "all purpose" flours are bad for your waistline. But there's more to it. What makes the flour white, and how can you replace it in your diet?

Most all purpose and white flours on the market have been bleached, bromated, and enriched. 

What does that mean? 

Bleached flour is just what it sounds like – the flour has been chemically bleached to make it whiter. And bromated means that potassium bromate has been added to increase elasticity and improve the rise of baked goods. But, the chemicals used in this process pose potential health risks.
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