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

Benefits of Dairy

Dairy Food wbNutrient-rich dairy foods not only help children and adults build healthy diets, they also contribute to healthier lives. Studies show dairy foods, as part of a healthy diet, improve overall diet quality, and may contribute to better bone health, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. To learn more about the science that supports dairy’s health benefits, access National Dairy Council’s library of science summaries.

7 Research-Backed Breakfast Tips for Faster Weight Loss

breakfastWant to fend off breakfast boredom and lose some pounds? WOMEN’S HEALTH rounded up a week’s worth of ideas for your a.m. meals:

#1 Pick a Cereal with large Flakes
Size matters—even when it comes to wheat flakes. In a newstudy from Penn State, researchers crushed up cereal to create four different sizes of flakes. Because the cereal that was crushed into smaller pieces was denser when participants poured it into a bowl, people underestimated the number of calories in those bowls. The lesson here: If you choose bigger flakes, you’ll consume fewer calories without even noticing the difference.

Click here to find the other 6 tips.

The 25 Most-Pinned Healthy Dinners

popsugarPOPSUGAR shared that if you spend hours scouring Pinterest for the most delicious healthy recipes out there, it’s time to spend some time checking out the following delicious dinners — all 25 of these healthy meals have each been pinned thousands of times! Whether you follow a gluten-free, vegan, or Paleo lifestyle, there are a number of dishes here that deserve a home on your healthy-recipe board.

To see these healthy alternatives, click here!

DuPage County Continues To Be Ranked Among The Healthiest Counties in Illinois

3495411871-1The DuPage County Health Department is pleased to announce that DuPage County has once again been recognized as one of the healthiest counties in Illinois.  The rankings are based on quality of life factors such as longevity and overall health status, including physical and mental health.

The rankings—covering counties in all 50 states—were developed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The model has two separate rankings including Health Outcomes (how healthy we are) and Health Factors (how healthy we can be). DuPage County ranked No. 3 in Health Outcomes and No. 1 in Health Factors out of 102 counties in Illinois. The current rankings also show that DuPage County has rated best for length of life and overall health behaviors of its residents. The ranking process looks at the most up-to-date data available from educational and governmental sources. Counties are then scored based on comparison to a national standard.

Read more

5 easy steps to weight loss success (honest!)

Shaklee, 5stepsthe nutritional company, posted    thoughts about weight loss in Health Wise.  She writes about  five simple principles from the people who she has seen have weight loss success:

  1. Make the Commitment:  The first step for any change in your life is to commit to that change—and it seems to work best if it is a public commitmentPermanent weight loss takes a long-term commitment (really, for the rest of your life), but it also starts with the first step. So, decide what you can bite off—maybe that is two weeks or maybe you can commit to two months. I strongly urge you to try to commit to ninety days because that is a meaningful amount of time to change some habits AND to see results! Read more

FREE Cooking Class Offered by Humana

julie-marie-304x300Our very own Healthy Lombard Partner, Educator, Public Speaker, and Chef Julie Marie Christensen will be teaching a cooking class on Friday, April 4th at 12:00 noon at Humana in Naperville.
It will also  broadcasting live.
Click here for that link.
She’s fantastic!
You’ll enjoy  the class.

Rethink Your Drink

o-KID-DRINKING-SODA-facebookFORWARD shared that if you need ideas on how to educate people about the harmful effects of sugary beverages, the  Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity has created the “Rethink Your Drink” Toolkit with lots of ideas and activities for both kids and adults.

Great Resource!

Cooking Challenge Runner Up

HappyFacesBallsThe top two recipes that were sampled in theHealthy Cooking Challenge were only  separated only by 40 votes!  So there is the recipe for the runner up:

Homemade Pasta Salad

  • 12 oz. whole wheat rotini pasta
  • 1 c. grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 c. finely chopped spinach
  • 2 c. finely chopped broccoli
  • 4 c. part skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 c. rinsed and drained light red kidney beans
  • 1 green pepper, finely chopped
  • ¼ c. olive oil
  • 1 c. red wine vinegar
  • 2 t. minced garlic
  • ½ t. dried basil
  • ½ t. dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Cook whole wheat pasta according to package directions. Rinse with cool water. Drain.
  • Prepare veggies as directed above.
  • Combine pasta with tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, cheese, beans, and green pepper.
  • Mix pasta and vegetable mixture together.
  • In a separate bowl, combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, basil and oregano using a whisk. Pour over pasta and mix well.
  • Serve chilled.

Cooking Challenge Winner

Glenbard87LogoChrista Gifford, Family and Consumer Sciences, Glenbard North High School. and District Wellness Committee Chair shared with Healthy Lombard that the Nutrition and Fitness students did a terrific job creating and making delicious healthy recipes for this year’s Healthy Cooking Challenge!

The recipes were  tasted by students and staff and they voted the Cheesy Broccoli Rice Bake the winner.  Here is a copy of that recipe:

Cheesy Broccoli Rice Bake

 3 c. cooked brown rice
1 T. butter
1/2 onion, diced
1 ½ c. shredded cheddar cheese
2/3 c. milk
2 c. finely chopped broccoli florets
1 can Healthy Request Cream of Mushroom soup

 Directions:

  • Spray 9 x 13” pan with cooking spray.
  • In a large skillet, melt butter. Add diced onion and cook until transluscent.
  • Stir in cream of mushroom soup and milk, then add cheese. Stir until melted.
  • Pour cheesy mixture over rice and broccoli and stir until mixed.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 – 35 minutes or until light brown and bubbly.