ProActive Kids Summer Session at Good Samaritan Health & Wellness Center

logoProActive Kids teaches kids and their families fun ways to improve health through Exercise, Nutritional Lessons, and Open Discussion over 8 weeks. This life-changing experience is offered FREE to kids ages 8-14 who want to learn new exercises, lose weight, eat right and be more confident. (BMI must be in 85th percentile or above to participate).

UPCOMING SESSIONS
Summer 2014 June 9 – August 1
Fall 2014 September 15 – November 7
DAYS AND TIMES
Monday and Wednesday
Fitness and Lifestyle (Kids Only): 5:00 – 6:30 pm
Friday Family Day
Fitness, Nutrition and Lifestyle: 5:00 – 7:00 pm
WHERE
Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center
3551 Highland Avenue
Downers Grove, IL 60515

For more information and to enroll, please go to: www.proactivekids.org.
Please submit any inquiries to info@proactivekids.org or call 630.681.1558

Take the first step toward a healthy future. Sign up today to enroll your child and family in ProActive Kids’ next session.   Read more

Celebrate Mom's Day in a Healthy Way!

blueberry-cake-ck-1734304-lBlueberry Coffee Cake – less than 300 calories per slice
(recipie yields 8 slices)

Studded with plump, juicy berries, the cake also features a sprinkling of turbinado sugar on top that adds another dimension of texture. Ideal for breakfast, brunch, dessert, or as a snack to savor with coffee, it’s a recipe you’ll make more than once.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/4 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 1/3 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

Preparation

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. 2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.
  3. 3. Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 2 minutes). Add vanilla, egg, and egg white; beat well. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix after each addition.
  4. 4. Spoon half of the batter into a 9-inch round baking pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup blueberries. Spoon remaining batter over the blueberries; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 cup blueberries. Sprinkle the top evenly with 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
  5. Note: If using peak-season fruit, use 1 1/2 cups blueberries instead of 2 cups, and only 1 cup buttermilk instead of 1 1/3 cups. This will make the batter thicker so the berries won’t sink to the bottom.

3 Steps to Healthy Eating For Teens

Between media messages (including social media) and commercials that distort ideas of acceptable body images, glorify junk food and fast food and hype crazy fad diets that are all too accessible for impressionable teens, it’s vital for parents to take extra steps to ensure their teen maintains healthy eating habits that can make it easy to maintain a healthy weight and good health for life.  The following are some important steps to healthy eating for teens.

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1.  Breakfast is a Must

Many teens skip breakfast, but it’s not a good idea because breakfast helps teens (and everyone else in the household for that matter), with doing well in school through its impact on brain function, concentration and energy, and it helps with maintaining a healthy weight.

An ideal healthy breakfast includes high quality protein like smoothies with whey protein, eggs (more egg white in proportion to whole eggs to balance cholesterol if they have them frequently) which can be made to go in a whole wheat pita, tortilla or English Muffin, turkey bacon (nitrate free if possible) or a quality energy bar like Quest Nutrition bars made from whey protein.

2.  A Clean Plate is Not Always a Good Thing

Many of the weight loss coaching clients I work with today who struggle with weight issues can trace the messages of “clean your plate” drilled into them as a child, and often with the addition of “don’t you know there are children starving in the world” to magnify the guilt of leaving the table without finishing everything.  While you want your kids to have sufficient nutrition, it’s really beneficial to help them develop the good habit of using their own body cues to tell them when they have had enough food.

3.  Don’t Stigmatize Food

Don’t tell your teens that a food is “bad” or “good.”  All food is fuel, of course some fuel is a better choice than others, and what we have is simply a matter of choice.  You want to refer to foods in a context like “everyday” or “always” instead of “good,” and “sometimes” or “every now and then” foods instead of “bad.”

This is another common thing I have to work on with my coaching clients who have weight challenges that’s been ingrained since they were very little who often refer to themselves as “being bad” or “being good” when they consume certain foods.  When a food is dubbed as “bad” teens can end up with guilty feelings about it which could lead to eating disorders.  It also can become more desirable as something forbidden or rebellious and can foster cravings that lead to overindulgence or even bingeing that would not be the case if the food was not given special status.

Healthy Lombard Partner and Certified Health and Wellness Coach Melanie Jordan specializes in helping others get back to their dream weight for good without gimmicks or deprivation.  Weight Loss Coach Melanie really “gets” those who are challenged with losing and maintaining their weight as she has successfully overcome her own weight struggles and kept off 48 pounds.  Melanie is also an ACE Certified Group Exercise Instructor and Silver Sneakers FLEX Instructor specializing in Senior Fitness (Zumba Gold® Licensed, Ageless Grace® Certified Educator and Silver Sneakers® Classic Exercise and Circuit Training Certified).

Copyright 2014 Your Healthy Life Made Easy LLC

 

National Infant Immunization Awareness Week, April 26 – May 3

cartoon_vaccine125The DuPage County Health Department shared in a press release this week that National Infant Immunization Week is April 26-May 3.  Therefore, it is  reminding parents to vaccinate their children according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommended immunization schedule for safe, proven disease protection.

Giving babies the recommended immunizations by age two is the best way to protect them from 14 serious childhood diseases, like whooping cough and measles. Parents are encouraged to talk to their child’s doctor to ensure that their infant is up-to-date on immunizations.

Immunizations not only provide individual protection to each child, but protect the health of the entire community. Immunizations have been so successful, in fact, that many people may not have seen cases of the serious diseases they prevent. Read more

G-Free Pizza – Really!

polenta-caprese-pizza-fore296SELF Magazine shared this great
Gluten-Free pizza recipe:

The polenta crust needs to chill at least 2 hours before baking, so prep it the night before (or in the morning before you run to work—it’s that easy). Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    • 3 cups 1 percent milk
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
    • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
    • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
    • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 3/4 lb fresh mozzarella, cubed

PREPARATION:
Lightly coat a large rimmed baking sheet with 1 tbsp oil. In a large pot, bring milk, 3 cups water and salt to boil over high heat. Whisk in cornmeal in a gentle stream and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring often, until polenta is thick and no longer gritty, about 20 minutes. Working quickly, pour polenta into prepared pan, spreading evenly to the edges. Let stand 10 minutes; cover with plastic wrap and press polenta along sides of pan to form edges of crust. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.Heat oven to 450°. Bake chilled crust until it begins to brown at edges, 45 minutes to an hour. Heat remaining 1 tbsp oil in a large saucepan. Sauté shallots and garlic over medium-high heat until soft, 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, 5 minutes. Mash with the back of a spoon and cook until thickened, 3 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce onto the crust, top with cheese and bake until cheese is bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes. Top with basil and cut into squares.

Laughter May Make Your Brain Work Better!

fave-exercise-800x600The Daily Herald Newspaper ran an article from ABC News  that reports that new research suggests that humor can improve short-term memory in older adults, .

In a recent small study conducted at Loma Linda University in Southern California, 20 normal, healthy, older adults watched a funny video distraction-free for 20 minutes, while a control group sat calmly with no video. Afterward, they performed memory tests and had saliva samples analyzed for stress hormones.

You guessed it; those who got to laugh the 20 minutes away with the funny video scored better on short-term memory tests, researchers said. And salivary levels of the stress hormone cortisol — a memory enemy of sorts — were significantly decreased in the humor group.

The act of laughter — or simply enjoying some humor — increases endorphins, sending dopamine to the brain to provide a sense of pleasure and reward, authors of the study say.

That, in turn, makes the immune system work better and changes brain wave activity toward what’s called a “gamma frequency,” amping up memory and recall.

DCHD Announces Every Kid Healthy Week

3495411871-1In recognition of Every Kid Healthy Week, the DuPage County Health Department is offering some ideas on how schools can take small steps to make big changes when it comes to the health of their students.

Every Kid Healthy Week™ is an effort created by Action for Healthy Kids®, a non-profit organization that fights childhood obesity, undernourishment and physical inactivity by helping schools become healthier places so kids can live healthier lives. During this national observance and throughout the month of April, schools across the country are encouraged to host events that will make sustainable changes that encourage students to eat better and be active every day.

To celebrate Every Kid Healthy Week™, schools can implement wellness initiatives to promote and reinforce healthy eating, physical activity and nutrition education. Some events taking place across the county include:

  •  Hosting a healthy food taste test event
  •  Organizing a family fitness night
  • Incorporating fitness breaks into the classroom curriculum

FORWARD, a county-wide, public-private partnership of the DuPage County Health Department, that is also working to fight obesity, offers resources for schools working to make healthy changes. For more information or to access our resources, visit www.forwarddupage.org.

Schools already participating in Every Kid Healthy Week are encouraged to share their planned events by registering the event on the Every Kid Healthy Calendar by going to, https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2014EKHWeek.

For more information on the DuPage County Health Department, follow us on Twitter @DuPageHD or become a fan on Facebook.

 

Steps to support brain health, improve overall wellness

cartoon-brain-1Joshua Steckler, owner of Push Fitness, a personal training studio located in Schaumburg specializing in weight loss, muscle toning, and nutrition wrote in a recent Daily Herald article that brain health is an often overlooked aspect of fitness but has a major impact on the overall well-being of the body.

Many times brain health is only addressed once there are known issues. Fortunately, many of the healthy steps we recommend for the well-being of the body will also support healthy brain function.

The following tips will support brain health while improving overall wellness.

Never stop learning. Keep your brain sharp by challenging it on a daily basis. Simple things like brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand, or trying a new activity that makes you think on your feet like a dance class, or simply reading a book on an unfamiliar topic are all great for keeping the brain active. These types of activities should make you think, learn, and use the brain while embracing the new challenges. Read more

How Much Screen Time for Kids?

young-kids-digital-media-useOn April 7, the Daily Herald posted the following article by Kendall Powell from the Washington Post:

As most parents know by now, the experts say we should limit our kids’ screen time or risk raising socially stunted couch potatoes.

Last fall, the American Academy of Pediatrics released updated guidelines for children and adolescents using media, recommending no more than two hours per day of any type of entertainment screen time for kids ages 3 to 18 and none for children 2 or younger. The guidelines cover media such as Internet and texting as well as TV, movies and video games.

As a science writer, I wondered how the AAP decided on that limit, which seems arbitrary and simplistic. As a mother raising a 3-year-old and a 6-year-old in a house full of glowing screens, I wondered, how would I ever enforce it?

Victor Strasburger, a professor of pediatrics at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and an AAP spokesman, explained that the two-hour cutoff comes from several large studies that have followed the television-watching habits and health of children over decades.

“Over two hours per day, and the more time spent in front of a screen, the higher the risk of obesity,” he said. Read more

Celebrate Public Health Week

applause signNational Public Health Week is April 7-11 and the DuPage County Health Department will be celebrating the work of public health professionals more than ever this year as public health continues to evolve at a rapid pace with the onset of Affordable Health Care.

 

Public Health Week is a nationally recognized event that takes place during the first full week of April every year since 1995. Communities from coast to coast will be raising awareness of issues that are important to everyone’s health.

This year’s daily themes for Public Health Week are:

  • Monday, April 7: Be Healthy from the Start: public health starts at home, take action to protect your health by better meal planning, conducting recommended safety upgrades and preparing for emergencies.
  • Tuesday. April 8: Don’t Panic: Disaster can strike at any moment and you can’t always predict when or what, but you can be prepared for it.
  • Wednesday, April 9: Get out Ahead: 7 in 10 deaths are related to preventable disease.  Get out ahead of them by taking preventative health measures like regular check-ups and living a healthy lifestyle.
  • Thursday, April 10:  Eat Well: Many people do not understand the important information listed on a food label or what precautions to take during a foodborne illness. This day will be dedicated to bringing awareness to these issues.

Friday, April 11: Be the Healthiest Nation in One Generation: For the first time in decades, the current generation isn’t as healthy as the one that came before it. Communities will band together to try and reverse this disturbing trend. Read more