Courtesy of BPT
Archive for September, 2013
Let’s face it – flip-flops are mainstream, and not just because they’re stylish, easy-to-wear and cooler when the weather warms. For many of us, flip-flops are the equivalent of comfort-food for the sole. Slip into those comfy, light, lovely shoes and you feel like summer really has arrived.
The APMA offers some tips for choosing flip-flops:
Courtesy of BPT
As every parent knows, the dinner hour can be fraught with friction and frustration – how can you get your picky eater to abandon his “no green foods” rule or make your chatterbox stop talking long enough to take a bite?
Relax, says mother of three, parenting expert and author of “The Big Book of Parenting Solutions,” Dr. Michele Borba, who notes that all parents want to feed their kids well and enjoy the time together at the table. “Sometimes, the littlest members of the family establish patterns at mealtime that are difficult to break,” Borba says. “Thankfully, there are scores of parents out there who have gone or are going through the same challenges; communities where moms can discuss and, hopefully, provide solutions to the everyday dinner time challenges from picky eaters to table manners.”
Other tips for dealing with picky eaters, provided by Borba and registered dietician, Dr. Felicia Stoler include:
- Don’t make it a big deal. “Research shows that picky eaters can become even pickier depending on how we respond,” Borba says. “It’s best to be neutral and calm and hold off on lectures. In fact, the less said about the food, the better.”
- Branch out. “The best way to get the pickiest eaters to discover new foods is to send them to a friend or family member’s house,” Stoler says. “I am amazed at what picky kids will eat at my house and what my kids have tried at other people’s homes.”
- Turn your kid onto cooking shows. “One mom swore her kid was the world’s pickiest eater,” Borba says. “One day she caught her daughter watching a cooking show and it was the ‘moment’ she’d been waiting for. She bought her a small recipe box and showed her daughter how to find recipes on the internet. Each week her daughter found a recipe and encouraged her mom to make it. The best part: she ate it.”
- Mix favorites with new tastes. “Children will refuse to try new foods without anything familiar on their plate,” Stoler says. “Try filling their plate with their favorite foods and add a small amount of the new food to inch them toward exploring new flavors. My son loves pasta so I just make sure to mix in different vegetables each week to have him try something different. On top of that, traditional pasta sauce has two servings of veggies in every half cup so I always feel confident that he’s receiving a wholesome meal.”
Finally, trying a family-friendly recipe like Veggie Pizza Cupcakes that’s fun to make and eat with the kids will get everyone around the table and asking for seconds.
Veggie Pizza Cupcakes
For meat-lover’s cupcakes, substitute cooked ground beef for the veggies. Simply mix it in with the sauce and continue as in recipe.
1 package (12 oz.) refrigerated biscuits (10 biscuits)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1-1/2 cups assorted diced fresh vegetables (red bell pepper, zucchini, summer squash, onion)
1-1/2 cups Traditional Pasta Sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (about 2 oz.)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unroll biscuits and press each into a 3-inch round. Evenly press each biscuit in bottom and up sides of each cup in 12-cup muffin pan; chill until ready to fill.
2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in 10-inch skillet and cook vegetables, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in pasta sauce and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer 2 minutes or until slightly reduced.
3. Evenly spoon vegetable mixture into prepared muffin cups. Bake 15 minutes. Evenly sprinkle tops with cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and biscuits are golden. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Gently remove pizza cups from muffin pan and serve.
Preparation time: 15 Minutes
Cook time: 20 Minutes
Yield: 10 pizza cups
Nutrition Information per serving
Calories 140, Calories From Fat 45, Total Fat 5g, Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 5mg, Sodium 460mg, Dietary Fiber 1g, Sugars 5g, Protein 4g, Vitamin A 6 percent, Vitamin C 25 percent, Calcium 4 percent, Iron 6 percent.
Courtesy of BPT
Courtesy of BPT
In a perfect world, you’d develop a workout schedule for the next six months, stick to it flawlessly and find yourself at the level of fitness you hoped to achieve. But as many know all too well, life sometimes gets in the way, be it in the form of an injury, lack of motivation or simply running out of time. While sticking to a regular workout schedule is a challenge, there are a number of ways to keep you moving both physically and mentally.
Making your workouts fun, getting creative with both your routine and schedule, and making a few simple changes to stay healthy are all great steps toward sticking to your fitness goals. Ryan Sutter, a former professional football player who also happened to be the top choice on “The Bachelorette”, now finds himself in the role as a fulltime firefighter and family man. Yet he still enjoys amateur athletic pursuits to keep himself if shape, such as mountain bike races and marathons.
Sutter offers six tips to fellow weekend warriors looking to stay in shape:
* Set successive short-term goals to keep you going. For example, schedule a 5k one month and a mountain bike race for the next. The feeling of accomplishment you get from fulfilling each goal will help you achieve the next. You can even set weekly goals with rewards, such as allowing yourself to order a pizza after sticking to your schedule for that week.
* Use peer pressure in a positive way. Enrolling in team sports or group activity can help provide the motivation for sticking to your plan. When others are depending on you, you’re less likely to skip out.
* Vary your activity. Run one day, play basketball another and hit the weight room the next. One benefit to a varied routine is keeping you interested, but it’s also great for your body. Different activities use different muscle groups, meaning a varied workout helps you become more comprehensively fit and can help you avoid overuse injuries. “Focus on being an athlete rather than a specialist,” says Sutter.
* Listen to your body. You’re likely to have some aches and pains, but those can be reduced with the proper treatment. Always take time to warm up before and stretch after workouts, and ice sore areas after your workout. To make icing easier, keep an ACE Brand Reusable Cold Compress in your freezer at both home and work. More injury prevention tips can be found at www.acebrand.com.
* Get creative with your scheduling. Look for ways to make workouts a part of your daily routine. “I really enjoy yoga in the morning with my kids,” says Sutter. Rather than heading out to dinner to catch up with your friend, see if he wants to hit the racquetball court instead. Or maybe you can occasionally bike to work instead of driving, spending the minutes you normally would be sitting in the car working out.
* Always keep your gym bag stocked and with you. This way, you can’t back out of your workout because you weren’t prepared. “There are three essentials I keep in my gym bag: food for energy, hydration to keep me going and clean clothes to change into when I’m done with my workout,” says Sutter. “You may also want to keep an ACE Brand Bandage that offers compression to help you deal with any soreness that might arise.”
“The most important thing is to have fun,” says Sutter. “Otherwise, it’s easy to lose sight of why you’re working out in the first place.”
Courtesy of BPT
It’s common knowledge that an inactive and sedentary lifestyle is a sure way to trim years off your life. However, only recently has research been able to confirm that your job is a silent killer, assuming you’re sitting at a desk for much of the day. And although many of us try to squeeze in a workout or two a week, the studies also indicate that it’s not necessarily enough to offset the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle.
Experts say that the cure is very simple and recommend we aim for 10,000 daily steps as a goal and fulfill that goal by moving throughout the day. To be motivated and reminded of this goal, using a step counter is an easy way to keep yourself on the path of being consistently active and beating that silent killer.
Recent technology advancements in step counting have made these devices barely resemble the pedometers you grew up with. One of the market leaders in the new type of step counters is the Fitbit Wireless Activity Tracker.
The popularity of Fitbit trackers seems to be driven by their ability to create a fun fitness experience by providing a small, sleek, high-tech device (containing a 3D accelerometer and altimeter) with a fun and helpful online experience. The tracker is small and comfortable to wear (no one can see it), and the displays provide real-time stats on your fitness. The device wirelessly uploads, so people don’t have to manually enter their information online. On Fitbit.com, users can set and track fitness goals, compete and share fitness achievements with friends, win badges for achieving daily and cumulative goals and track their progress in real time.
With the constant battle against the bulge, why not build healthy active habits now? Here are a few tips to build in a more active lifestyle without devoting hours each week to working out.
* Buy a step tracker that fits with your lifestyle and is easy for you to use. Find one with a real-time display to motivate you to move throughout the day. Track your steps for a week to get an accurate sense of your activity level.
* If you are consistently below 3,000 steps per day, track when and where you are most sedentary. If it is during the work hours, consider walking around for 5 minutes every hour. And if you are able to take breaks, try getting out for a walk rather than sitting.
* If you are in the 7,000 to 10,000 range daily, consider a few minor changes to build those extra steps and establish long-term healthy habits like parking farther away and taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
* Consider taking the stairs when you can, as studies have proven that regular stair climbing has significant health benefits. A good place to start is climbing three more flights of stairs than you usually do each day. Fitbit Ultra has a setting that tracks stair climbing so you can track this fitness metric as well as distance, steps and calories burned.
* Commit yourself to a long term stair-climbing goal, like climbing 10,000 stairs for a month or 100,000 stairs by Thanksgiving. While psychologist may disagree on how many days it takes to form a good habit, all would agree it takes more than a week’s commitment. Fitbit.com can track how many steps you have taken daily, monthly or cumulatively.
Once you have established a goal that’s easy to track, you’ll be much more likely to reach the fitness level that will help you live a long and healthy life.
Courtesy of BPT