6 Reasons To Stock Your Kitchen With Blueberries

blueberryDaisy Melamed from East This Not That says ….It’s about time: The humble blueberry has never really earned proper praise.

Recently, though, researchers and nutritionists alike have been supporting the small blue fruit, informing health-conscious eaters everywhere that this average-looking berry packs a laundry list of health benefits (including weight loss) that’s anything but. We asked Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CDN to explain the recent blueberry buzz and discuss why, exactly, the blueberry is poised to become the next kale-level trend. Here, some of the top reasons to stock your kitchen with plenty of them, fresh or frozen:


Blueberries fight the risk of heart disease and metabolic syndrome, according to an early study performed on lab rats at the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center. After a 90-day trial, the rat fed a blueberry-enriched powder making up 2 percent of their diet had lower triglycerides and cholesterol, as well as better insulin sensitivity. (For a 1300-calorie diet, that’s a mere 1/2 cup a day of the berries.) This is due, Moskovitz details, to the high phytonutrient and flavonoid content. “These are called anthocyanins, which help protect against degenerative diseases such as heart disease and cancer,” she explains. Another study conducted at Harvard Medical School found that young women who had at least 1 1/2 cups blueberries per week were 34 percent less likely to have a heart attack. Those are powerful stats for such a petite berry!

Get the Benefits: Enjoy a Zero Belly-approved smoothie to jumpstart your day. Use your favorite combination of fresh or frozen fruit that includes blueberries, add unsweetened almond milk, and some spinach if you’re feeling uber healthy.


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Rethink Your Drink Video Sweepstakes Ends Friday!



General Sweepstakes Information

  • The sponsor of this sweepstakes is the Illinois Public Health Institute (IPHI), which administers the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity (IAPO). IPHI is located at 954 West Washington Boulevard, Suite 405, Mailbox 10, Chicago, IL
  • This is a sweepstakes to illustrate for Illinois residents that it is easy to make low-sugar beverages — and delicious too!

Who May Enter

  • The sweepstakes is open to all residents of the State of Illinois who are 18 years old or older as of February 16, 2015.
  • Employees of the Illinois Public Health Institute and Obesity Action Roadmap endorsing member organizations of the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity, their immediate family members (spouse, parent, child, sibling, and their respective spouses), and persons living in the same household of such employees (whether related or not) are not eligible to enter this sweepstakes.

How to Enter

  • Online submissions will be accepted beginning on Monday, February 16, 2015 at 9:00:00 a.m. Central Daylight Time and ending on Friday, March 6, 2015 at 11:59:59 p.m. Central Daylight Time, according to IPHI’s computers. Mailed submissions must be postmarked between February 16, 2015 and March 6, 2014 and must be received by IPHI no later than March 12, 2015.

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Watch 21st Century Sky Centers Ninja Live at the Fair TODAY

Sky Centers Team Elite recently starred in The Fold’s music video “21st Century Ninja” for LEGO brand toys. The music video is viewable on Youtube and the music is  available on iTunes. Today,

Team Sky Centers Team Sky Elite will be performing 21st century ninja live for you for the very first time at 12:50 PM.  Come watch their awesome presentation.

Come Zumba with Lisa Tomorrow at 12:30 PM

Lisa McDaniel from Zumba with Lisa will host a FREE Zumba experience at the Healthy Lombard Fitness February Fair on Saturday, February 28, 2015 at the Yorktown Center in LOmbard.  Come join in at 12:30 PM in the center court of the Mall.

Stage performances are being sponsored by Elite Training and the major sponsors for the Fair include Adventist Health Partners, Balance Weight Centers, and the Elmhurst Memorial Medical Group.

How to Flu-Proof Your CrossFit

bearexerciseIn a SELF Health article, by Alyssa Giacobbe it was stated that Wall Ball is a CrossFit staple, a multi-part exercise consisting of a full squat to launch a medicine ball vertically up the wall. You catch the ball in front of your face and then repeat the whole thing, squatting and launching again and again, often in multiples of 500, or so it seems.

I’m not especially new to CrossFit, and I’m not all that uncoordinated, and yet I can’t seem to Wall Ball without scraping the medicine ball against my face, often on the way up and then again on the way back down. When I think about what exactly I’m repeatedly brushing my mouth against—not just the well-worn ball but also everything that has touched the wall, the floor (where it rested before the workout began), my hands, and the hands of whomever handled the ball before me… well, you can see why I try not to think about it.

If you assumed plane travel had the lock on germ incubation, you’ll want to consider what happens at your gym this winter, and particularly at your CrossFit box, where packed classes of gung-ho athletes work with multiple forms of shared surfaces and hand held equipment, catching them, wheezing on them (or maybe that’s just me), and tossing them up again. At my CrossFit box, we’re given antibacterial wipes to clean up our sweat after we’re done, but that doesn’t do much to protect you during class, or in the case of partner WODs that have you sharing kettlebells with the neighborhood anti-vaxxer. What’s more, your body may be more susceptible to invasion during and post-workout, when it’s in recovery mode from all the physical exertion, while CrossFitters—a particularly type A lot—are often reluctant to take a day off from the gym even if they’re not feeling 100 percent.

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Reducing Sodium in Children’s Diets

saltThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued “Reducing Sodium in Children’s Diets: The Pressure is on to Keep Blood Pressure Down.” This CDC Vital Signs report shows that 9 in 10 U.S. school-aged children eat more sodium than recommended. A high sodium diet can lead to high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

To improve cardiovascular health and help to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017 the CDC is asking everyone to  join them in sharing this information and encouraging action.

The CDC suggests:

  • Sharing information on your organization’s social media channels, including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and/or Instagram
  • Following and sharing CDC’s social media posts on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, andInstagram as well as Million Hearts® posts on Twitter and Facebook
  • Adding the Vital Signs fact sheet to your website news section
  • Posting this information on your website
  • Including an article in your next e-newsletter
  •  Adding a post to your blog

It Is A Good Day For Soup

broccoli-potato-and-cheddar-soupSkinnytaste.com saved that this soup coins the term “spoon-lickin-good,” and you’ll understand why after a sip of this thick, cheesy goodness buffed up with chunks of potato and broccoli florets. The soup base itself is made using fat free milk and reduced fat cheddar helping you trim down on the fat. Recipe makes 4 servings at 1 1/4 cup each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 282; Total Fat: 8g; Saturated Fat: 8g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 45mg; Sodium: 671mg; Total Carbohydrate: 33g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugars: 8g; Protein: 20g


  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 1/2 cups fat free chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 cup fat free milk
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced small
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • 4 cups (about 2 heads) broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces
  • 1-1/2 cups 2% shredded sharp cheddar
  • 2 slices 2% American cheese
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese

Chop onion, carrot, celery, garlic in a chopper or mini food processor.

In a large soup pot, melt butter.  Add chopped vegetables and sauté on low heat until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add flour, salt and pepper to the pot and stir until smooth.

Add chicken broth, milk and potatoes and set heat to high until it comes to a boil, thencover and cook on low until potatoes are soft, about 10-15 minutes.

Add broccoli florets, parmesan cheese, and stir well. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.Cook uncovered until broccoli is cooked, about 5 minutes. Add cheddar and American cheese, stir well and remove from heat.

Using an immersion blender, quickly blend part of the soup for a quick second or two. If you don’t have an immersion blender, remove about 1-2 cups of potatoes and broccoli, place it in your chopper, then add it back to the soup. This helps thicken it a bit.

Celebrate Chinese New Year: Try Acupuncture Free!

acu web versionFebruary 19th is the start of the Chinese New Year. To celebrate, National University of Health Sciences is offering free oriental medical consultations to new patients at the NUHS Whole Health Center in Lombard.

The free consultations, offered February 17 –21 by appointment only, will include:

  • A complete oriental medical exam
  • A thorough oriental medical diagnosis
  • A free acupuncture treatment

Oriental medicine is the oldest codified system of medicine in the world and is safe and effective for the entire family. The World Health Organization recognizes more than 300 diseases and illnesses that acupuncture and oriental medicine can effectively treat and/or prevent, including: cardiovascular issues, digestive problems, respiratory conditions, pain, behavioral conditions, as well as men’s and women’s health issues.

“Many of our patients find success with acupuncture and oriental medicine, even after other health care options have failed to give them the results they are looking for,” says Dr. Hyundo Kim, chief clinician for National University’s acupuncture and oriental medicine program.

The NUHS Whole Health Center has expert clinicians and interns who are highly trained in traditional oriental medicine and acupuncture. The university offers masters degrees in both acupuncture and oriental medicine at its Lombard campus.

To make an appointment for a free acupuncture and oriental medicine consultation, call 630-629-9664.

Village Proclaims Fitness February

DSCN1152The Village of Lombard Proclaimed the 2nd month of 2015 at Fitness February Month:

WHEREAS, Healthy Lombard was formed in 2009 as a Village-wide initiative to address childhood obesity and promote healthy living throughout the Village of Lombard; and

WHEREAS, under the umbrella of the name “Healthy Lombard” over 40 businesses and organizations have joined together usint the Triple “A” Approachof Awareness, Activities, and Achievement to address this need by providing our community with iesources and information on healthy living ; and

WHEREAS, many children and adults make a resolution each January to adopt a healthier lifestyle, but often need a boost to their resolve a few weeks later;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Keith T. Giagnorio, President of the Village of Lombard,

• Officially proclaim the second month of the year as “Fitness February” in the Village of Lombard;

• Congratulate all the children, adults, and businesses who will receive a Health Hero certificates for practicing and promoting healthy living;

• Remind members of our community who want to make a change in their lifestyle to visit the Healthy Lombard websites ;

•Invite the entire community to visit the Healthy Lombard Fitness February Fair that will be held on February 28, from 10 AM until 2 PM, at Yorktown Center; and

• Recognize the Healthy Lombard Model as a blueprint for other villages and towns to follow in order to make a difference in the health of future generations.

Health Department joins ‘Give Kids A Smile Day’ on Feb. 6

smilesThe DuPage County Health Department is joining the national “Give Kids A Smile Day” observance on Feb. 6 by offering free services to children, including dental screenings for children with special healthcare needs, in two locations.

Free services will be offered from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Wheaton and Westmont to children ages one to 18 and no appointments are necessary. Call (630) 682-7400, ext. 7776, for information.

Free dental screenings will be offered inside the Smile Squad mobile facility parked in the parking lot of the Southeast Public Health Center, 422 N. Cass Ave., Westmont.

Free dental screenings and dental treatments will be offered in the Dental Clinic in the Central Public Health Center, 111 N. County Farm Road, Wheaton.

The Health Department is pleased to announce that this year, in collaboration with our “Ready, Set, Smile” program, we will also be offering dental screenings to children with special healthcare needs.


School dental forms will be given at both locations.


The Feb. 6 event is part of the national “Give Kids A Smile Day” sponsored by the American Dental Association (ADA). This activity began in 2003 as a way for dentists to join with others in the community to provide dental services to under-served children. Dentists and other team members volunteer to provide screenings, treatments and education to children throughout the United States.