Easy Christmas Morning Pancakes and more!

Do holiday diet damage control with this outrageously simple (and seriously tasty) banana-based recipes

pancakes-300-620x300 oatmeal-cookies-410

SELF (http://www.self.com/)  hopes that things are about to get a little bananas.

While the jury is out regarding the average number of pounds one gains durning the holiday season (The New England Journal of Medicine clocks in between 1-2), it’s a pretty safe assumtion that we’ll all indulge at least once between now and New Years Eve. And by indulge, I mean take an average cheat day and multiply it by 1,000. It’s not going to be pretty.

Don’t sweat it: Just eat pancakes and cookies. Seriously. Both of these completely good-for-you recipes use the potassium-filled fruit as the star of the show so they need none of the ingredients you don’t want—like flour or other kinds of gluten.

Also great news: these recipes are dead simple. The key to success in both of them is to blend the bananas into a smooth puree before combining them with the other ingredients. It will allow for even distribution of the fruit and ensure that each bite tastes fantastic. And that’s the hardest step—well, that and making sure to save some extras for your friends and family.

Go bananas and happy holidays!

Read more

Exercise doesn’t necessarily cancel out risks of drinking

Eve Glazier, M.D., MBA, an internist and assistant professor of medicine at UCLA Health and  Elizabeth Ko, M.D., an internist and primary care physician at UCLA Health shared the following question they received :

I just read about a study that says exercise cancels out alcohol’s higher risk of death from cancer. Is it possible that I can walk off the cancer risk of the cocktail I have each night after dinner?

They answered: While we commend your creative thinking, your husband has guessed right. In our opinion, you can’t depend on added exercise to cancel out the increased risk of cancer that can be caused by alcohol consumption. It’s not that we think the study itself is wrong. It’s the way the results have been interpreted in some news stories — as cause and effect — that is, at best, misleading.

Let’s start from the beginning.

Researchers in England looked at a decade of medical data collected from 36,370 women and men, all 40 or older. They sorted the study subjects by how much alcohol they consumed and by how much they exercised.

Not surprisingly, they found a statistical link between “hazardous drinking” and an increased risk of death from all causes, including cancer. In this study, hazardous drinking was defined as 8 to 20 servings of alcohol per week for women, and 21 to 49 servings of alcohol for men.

Then the researchers included exercise as a variable in their calculations. They found that among people who spent at least 150 minutes per week doing moderate aerobic activity, like a brisk walk, the mortality rate due to cancer dropped. This proved to be true even among the heavier drinkers, as long as they exercised. Read more

Is it the holiday blues, or something more?

frustrated young business man working on laptop computer at office

December 02, 2015 | by Erin Terada, PsyD, CEDS wrote for the Edwards Elmhurst Healthy Driven blog that on the outside, the holidays are glitter and lights, parties and gifts, warmth and family get-togethers.

On the inside, for many people, the holidays can be cold and dark, lonely and upsetting.

Grief, isolation from family or friends, bad holiday memories, stress or unrealistic expectations can let the air out of anyone’s holiday. It’s normal to feel down if you are overworked or missing loved ones while the holidays whirl around you.

When you have the holiday blues, you can often feel better with some tweaks to your daily routine:

Make sure stress isn’t weighing you down. Keep your schedule light, get enough sleep and eat well.

Plan something to look forward to. Even if it’s a solo walk around the neighborhood to look at holiday lights.

Get together with a few friends, even if you don’t feel like it. The social connection will give you a boost. Volunteer at a homeless shelter or a toy collection. Helping someone else will lift your spirits.

Exercise, even if it’s dark or cold outside! Moving improves your circulation, gives you energy and boosts your spirits. Even better: exercise with a class. Try yoga, spinning or Zumba.

Spend some time planning the year ahead. Treat the holidays as a time to set goals and get ready for a fabulous new year.

Making these changes may just help you beat the holiday blues. Clinical depression, however, doesn’t come and go with the holidays. It’s much deeper than feeling bummed.

Read more

How to Store And Use Fresh Herbs

Basil – How to store it: At room temperature in a vase of water for up to 1 week.
Use it up: Mince and combine with sugar for an aromatic fruit topping.

Chives – How to store them: In a sealed plastic bag in the crisper for 1 to 2 weeks.
Use it up: Chop and combine with softened unsalted butter; drop chunks on top of just-cooked steaks, pork chops, or fish.

Cilantro or Parsley – How to store it: In the refrigerator wrapped in plastic for up to 5 days.
Use it up: Puree 1 cup leaves with 1/4 cup olive oil and 1 clove garlic to make a pesto; use on pasta or as a dip for bread.

Rosemary – How to store it: In the refrigerator in a sealed plastic bag for up to 5 days.
Use it up: Whole branches make a perfect bed for roasted vegetables, or tuck them into the cavity of a chicken or other bird before roasting.

Read more

The change of seasons and less sunlight can affect your mood

Aunt Martha’s Health and Wellness shared in the Daily Herald that almost all of us feel sad when summer days end and fall makes way for a long and cold winter. But bad weather, cold temperatures and the dark days affect some people more than others.

We all need some sun to absorb vitamin D production, and lack of the vitamin has been proven to negatively affect individuals as it relates to depression and a healthy immune system.

The sudden change in season can actually cause one type of depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which worsens during the winter months and improves with the start of spring.

Researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health identified patients who experienced regular fall/winter depression. Also known as seasonal adjustment disorder, the condition affects about 10 percent of people in nontropical climates and about 20 percent report a milder form of depression.

“One of the most prevalent symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder is disabling fatigue,” said Dr. Saisha Gupta, chairwoman of psychiatry for Aunt Martha’s Health and Wellness.

“A sudden loss of energy, which can be both mental and physical, makes activities that were once fun and easy completely exhausting,” she said. “Another common symptom is alienating one’s self from social activities, hobbies or people that have played a large part in the individual’s personal life.”

Read more

Easy Meal Prepping Ideas and Recipe

College of DuPage Nursing Student  Christine Nwaezeapu knows that  meal prepping can be a daunting task but there are lots of benefits, such as:

  • weight control
  • portion size
  • ingredients
  • a nutritionally balanced diet

So here  are some points to follow prior to beginning the process;

  1. Pick a specific day of the week to cook your meals
  2. Start small e.g. prep only meals for 2-3 days
  3. Use proper storage containers
  4. Create a meal plan with
  • 2-3 vegetable you might like
  • 1-2 proteins
  • 1-2 different Carbs

Read more

5 Ways To Make Your Coffee Healthier

Jennifer Dawson, the Content Manager for a small health and wellness site, shared with Healthy Lombard that coffee remains as America’s favorite beverage. According to a poll, about 83% of American adults are coffee drinkers, consuming an average of three cups a day per person. Indeed, people all over the nation are investing in sophisticated coffee machines to replicate the experience that one can get in any of the coffee shops in the country. For decades, there have been conflicting findings on whether drinking coffee can be beneficial to one’s health. While it’s true that drinking massive amounts of caffeine can have adverse effects on your health and body, there are ways to make your favorite beverage healthier and better for you. Here are 5 simple ways to make your coffee healthier.

Try sparkling coffee

This is a great alternative to your coffee that doesn’t require a coffee maker. To make sparkling coffee or Aqua Java, combine organic coffee, a bit of cane sugar and erythritol (sugar alcohol) in a glass jar or a mason jar. Not only does it have only 20 calories per serving, but it also has less caffeine than ordinary coffee.

Use stevia instead of sugar

Do you take your coffee with sugar? Too much sugar not only wreaks havoc with your blood sugar levels, but it can also cause obesity and certain skin conditions. Instead of sugar, try adding stevia to your cup of joe. Stevia is a natural sweetener that has no calories and it can aid in weight loss and lower blood pressure.

Skip the artificial creamer

Artificial creamer can make your coffee taste great, but it contains lots of extra calories. Instead of powdered creamers, make your coffee healthier by adding rice milk or almond milk to your coffee. Even whole milk is more nutritious than artificial creamer, so skip it the next time you prepare your beverage. If you want to do away with dairy altogether, then add a few drops of pure vanilla extra to your pot for a special, low-calorie drink. Read more

Please Thank A Veteran Today

poems-for-veterans-day-preschool veterans-day-poems

3 Heart Healthy Mexican Dinners You will Love!

College of DuPage Nursing Student Joshua Davick found the following recipes that are delicious,  heart-healthy, have just 5 grams or less of saturated fat per serving:

Refried Bean Tostadas with Pico De Gallo

This is a vegetarian take on a delicious Mexican favorite that you can easily enjoy any night of the week.

Total Time: 15 minutes

Level: Moderate

Yield: 4 servings at 92¢ each

 Ingredients

8 corn tortillas

2 tsp of canola oil

4 plum tomatoes

1 small jalapeno

½ small red onion

2 tbsp. of fresh lime juice

Kosher Salt

Pepper

¼ cup of fresh cilantro

1 can of refried beans

Shredded romaine lettuce

Directions

  1. Heat oven 425 degrees F. Brush the tortillas with canola oil. Place on baking sheets and bake until just crisp, about 8 minutes, flipping halfway through. Transfer to a paper towel–lined wire rack to cool and harden.
  2. Meanwhile, transfer the refried beans to a microwave-safe bowl and cook on high until heated through, 1 minute, stirring halfway through. In a medium bowl, toss together the tomatoes, jalapeño, onion, lime juice, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Fold in the cilantro. Top the tostadas with the beans, tomato mixture, and lettuce, if desired.
    Read more

whole grain mozzarella sticks your kids will love!

College of DuPage Nursing Student Tomasz Grezegorzka shared that cheese is not only delicious, it’s also considered a great source of protein and calcium. With 20 minutes and a couple of mozzarella stick you can bake this cheesy snack with ease.

Ingredients

  • 5 slice – bread, sprouted, whole grain
  • 2 tablespoon – Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoon – olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon – Italian Seasoning
  • 1 large – egg
  • 1/4 cup – flour, whole wheat
  • 8 stick – string cheese

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • Place the frozen bread in a blender or food processor and pulse until uniform medium crumbs form.
  • Stir in cheese, olive oil, and Italian seasonings.
  • Place the breadcrumb mixture in a small but wide dish. In another dish, add the egg, fork-whisked with a tablespoon of water. In a third dish, place the flour.
  • Unwrap the cheese sticks, and roll each one first in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs. Make sure each stick is well coated, then place it on a greased cookie sheet.
  • Bake 6-8 minutes, checking frequently, until cheese is just melted but not too runny.
  • Serve hot with marinara sauce for dipping.

Read more