Healthy Eating Tips

myplateBy April Irvine, Dietetic Student, Master’s of Science Nutrition and Wellness
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I am all about making small and easy changes to your everyday life that can make a huge impact on your overall health and wellness. Here are some tips that I have personally seen to be successful but also evidence-based research has shown that these lifestyle changes can improve your health.

  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables – vary your veggies, eat the rainbow so you get all the phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals that your body needs.
  • Any starch or grains that you eat, make at least half of it whole wheat
  • Eat calcium rich foods such as low-fat or skim milk, low-fat yogurt, and low-fat cheese
  • Eat lean sources of protein such as chicken with the skin removed, 90%> lean beef, or even try tofu or beans.

Empty calories are foods that contain no nutritional value i.e. no vitamins or minerals. Examples of these types of foods are soda, processed foods, cakes, cookies, and pastries. It’s not necessary to restrict yourself completely; you can treat yourself once in a while.

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How to Reduce Anxieties and Increase Motivation


The Glenbard Parent Series:  (GPS) Navigating Healthy Families presents: “Choke:Performing At Your Best Under Stress-How to Reduce Anxieties and Increase Motivation”, with Sian  Beilock Ph.D at 7p.m.Thursday, Dec 4 in the auditorium at Glenbard South High School 23W200 Butterfield Rd. in Glen Ellyn.

It happens to all of us. You’ve prepared for the big day but when the big moment arrives, nothing seems to work. It’s not fun to think about, but now there’s good news: This doesn’t’t have to happen.

Dr. Sian Beilock, an expert on performance and brain science, reveals new discoveries of why people so often “choke” under pressure when the stakes are very high.

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Get smart about antibiotics Nov. 17 – 23

3495411871-1Infections caused by resistant bacteria have become more common, and many bacteria have become resistant to multiple antibiotics. In fact, each year more than two million people in the United States get infections that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die as a result.

The DuPage County Health Department is joining public health partners across the United States to encourage everyone during Get Smart About Antibiotics Week (Nov. 17-23) to be more aware of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic prescribing.

Here is what is known:

  • Antibiotic resistance is one of the world’s most pressing public health threats.
  • Antibiotics are the most important tool we have to combat lifethreatening bacterial diseases, but antibiotics can have side effects.
  • Antibiotic overuse increases the development of drug-resistant germs.
  • Antibiotics can cure bacterial infections, not viral infections. Treating viruses with antibiotics does not work, and it increases the likelihood that you will become ill with an antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection.
  • Patients, healthcare providers, hospital administrators, and policy makers must work together to employ effective strategies for improving antibiotic use – ultimately improving medical care and saving lives.

Here is what you can do:

  • Take the antibiotic exactly as the doctor prescribes. Never skip doses or stop taking an antibiotic early unless your doctor tells you to do so.
  • Only take antibiotics prescribed for you; do not share or use leftover antibiotics. Antibiotics treat specific types of infections. Taking the wrong medicine may delay correct treatment and allow bacteria to multiply.
  • Do not save antibiotics for the next illness. Discard any leftover medication once the prescribed course of treatment is completed.
  •  Prevent infections by practicing good hand hygiene and getting recommended vaccines.
  • Do not ask for antibiotics when your doctor thinks you do not need them. Remember antibiotics have side effects. When your doctor says you don’t need an antibiotic, taking one may do more harm than good.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies

sun-clipart.1-wt3ukb“Myfitnesspal” shared that you can you enjoy cookies with no sugar and none of the artificial stuff! Skinnytaste’s recipe for chewy chocolate chip breakfast cookies whips together just 3 simple ingredients: ripe bananas, wholesome oats and chocolate chips! You can make a batch of these the night before and watch them disappear at the breakfast table. If you’re not into chocolate chips try subbing in toasted coconut, dried cranberries, raisins and/or almond bits.

Skinnytaste Cookbook ImageGina Homolka is the founder of, the award-winning blog that’s been featured on Fitness, Better Homes and Gardens,, and, among other media outlets. She lives on Long Island with her husband and their two children. Look for Gina’s new cookbook, The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor on sale September 30, 2014.


Lunches packed at home are generally not as nutritious as school lunches

unhealthy lbThe Daily Herald also shared this information on November 17, 2014:

Researchers compared more than 750 school meals with more than 560 packed meals given to pre-K and kindergarten students in three schools, analyzing them for nutritional value over five days, CBS News reports.

“We found that packed lunches were of less nutritional quality than school lunches,” said lead researcher Alisha Farris, a Ph.D. candidate at Virginia Tech University.

The packed lunches had more fat, and included more desserts and sugary drinks than the school lunches did, the researchers found.

“There was a spectrum,” Farris said. “There were some really healthy packed lunches. But overall, they were pretty unhealthy.”

The study is published in the November-December issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

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The germiest public places

germThe November 17 edition of the Daily Herald Newspaper shared this information:

Cold and flu viruses can live outside of the human body for about 24 hours, Joseph Rubio, the director of microbiology at RB, the makers of Lysol, told So, anytime you’re out in public, it’s likely there’s a cold or flu virus lurking on a surface nearby.

But there are steps you can take to avoid getting sick — washing your hands or using hand sanitizer after touching public objects, and being wary of commonly germy spaces.

Watch out for these germ-laden hot spots:

Grocery store cart handles: Anything a lot of people touch is going to be dirty, Rubino said. Grocery store shopping carts are one of the worst offenders, especially because you alternate between cart handles and fresh food. Wipe down the handle with a portable cleansing wipe if you can, or at the very least, don’t touch any food directly while you shop, he suggested.

Restaurant table surfaces: When you come in contact with restaurant tables and chairs, “you’re touching something a lot of other people touch,” Rubino said. The heath problems start when you then put your hands to your mouth, eyes or ears.

Salt and pepper shakers or condiments bottles: Rubino said he doesn’t go so far as to only handle such things with a napkin, but it’s a good practice to wash your hands before and after eating and to avoid touching food with your hands after you’ve handled public property, he said.

Introducing WT Cafe

As Lombard residents with four school aged daughters, the healthy choices or kids make (or don’t make) is important to us and if their options are healthier, their choices will be too. So aftwtcafeer 20+ years of working in food service, education and sales, we recently combined forces and purchased a WT Cafe Franchise. We’re so excited to bring WT Café to our area because now we have an immediate way to make school mealtimes exciting for kids – a way to get them into the habit of eating smarter to help them become lifelong lovers of good, quality food.

WT Cafe is a growing leader in the school lunch provider market that focuses on two things: healthy food and outstanding service. It all starts with making great food that kids will eat – it’s not nutritious if they won’t eat it. WT Cafe makes several key commitments to customers to guarantee food quality:

  • Our food is always made fresh, made locally and always from scratch.
  • We use only all-natural ingredients.
  • Our food is full of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Our food contains NO trans-fats, high fructose corn syrup, added nitrates, artificial   colors or artificial flavors.
  • Every menu item is reviewed by a nutritionist who specializes in children’s dietary needs.
  • All of our menu items are 100% nut free.
  • We offer multiple choices every day accommodating gluten-free and other dietary restrictions, allergens or choices.

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Flossing May Add Years To Your Life

girl-flossingCindy Maloney, R.N, B.A, PEL-CSN, Certified School Nurse at Glenbard North High School and member of the District 87 Wellness Committee shared this Healthy Hint:

Floss daily to remove gum-disease-causing bacteria. This important habit could add years to your life! Flossing and brushing daily, significantly reduces the amount of gum-disease bacteria in your mouth within as little as two weeks! Since gum disease may be linked to heart disease and other inflammatory conditions, taking care of your mouth actually does your whole body good.




Take control of your health

Healthy Eating

photo2jAs part of a healthy diet, it is important to get enough protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Protein is especially important and essential for the health of the immune system.1 Healthy fats, (including EPA and DHA) are important to the immune system as well.2

When choosing foods, make sure you focus on fruits and vegetables because they contain nutrients your body needs such as antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin A, and minerals such aszinc and magnesium.


Mushrooms (shiitake, matsutake, and others) have a long history of helping support the immune system, especially the reishi mushroom in traditional Chinese medicine. Modern science has shown that mushrooms contain substances (such as beta-glucans and others) that can enhance immune system function.3

Garlic and onions not only taste great but have research supporting their ability to modulate immune function.4

Herbs such as turmeric,5 ginger,6 and others have long been used as spices and to preserve foods; these herbs also have benefits for our immune system.


Vitamins and minerals can also affect the immune system.7 Vitamins B6, B12, folate, C, E, and minerals zinc, copper, and iron all support an effective immune response.8

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