All posts filed under “Winter

happy snowman
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Stress less this holiday season

Holidays can be as exciting and fun as they are stressful. If you are anything like me, you wait until the last minute to get all of your holiday arrangements together. This year I am attempting a new tradition: planning ahead!

Some tips I will be following this season that I hope can help you too are:

  1. Make a to-do list with what you have for holidays and what you still need (ex: wrapping paper, gifts, food, tags, etc.)
  2. Set a budget for your gift list and how much you plan to spend on each of your loved ones. This will help keep you from overspending and make sure everyone is taken care of.
  3. Wrap as you go, but leave the tags and bows for last so you can easily store them. If you don’t like wrapping, try using gift bags.
  4. Have some  back up gifts on hand in case you accidentally leave someone out.  Gift cards, cookies, or holiday mugs are always good options that everyone enjoys.
  5. Having a holiday party? Try cleaning the day before and leave the last minute things for the next day. Get your dishware ready to go, clean the restrooms, but leave the sweeping and kitchen for last!
  6. Take time for yourself. Holiday’s are stressful so you need to make time for you. Go for a massage, walk, or read a book. Do something that is just for you.

These are just a few ideas to help get you through the holidays this year! Have any tricks or tips that I didn’t think of? Let me know!

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Shutter Fotos

fist bump
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Why You Need to Start Fist Bumping

Please join us in welcoming our new Wellness Intern, Karey, to the Moda Health Team. We are excited to have her contribute to the My apple a day blog! 

How do you like to say hello? The traditional hand shake may be the wrong way to say hello.  A study conducted in the UK finds that shaking hands spreads 10x the amount of germs than fist bumping! This is because shaking hands spreads germs easier than the fist bump, especially if they are unwashed hands.

The new study suggests  that fist bumping may be the cleanest way to say hello. So wave goodbye to the handshake and start bumping more fists! The same study also found that fist bumping beat out high fives! Check out the link to the article for more information at healthfinder.gov.

With going back to school, and the flu season arriving, this study couldn’t have come at a better time! Make sure to wash your hands, and comment below to tell us how you like to say hello!

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Brady Tulk

 

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The 12 Ways to Health Holiday Song

“On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me a partridge in a pear tree.”

Are the holiday songs surrounding you yet? Here is a catchy little holiday tune that I ran across from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Check it out below! I can’t promise it won’t get stuck in your head…

new years res for stikk app
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New Year’s Resolutions that Stickk

While many people are thinking about the holidays soon approaching, I can’t help but start brainstorming New Year’s Resolutions. Now before you start yelling, “not yet!” hear me out.

What if you had some sort of extrinsic motivation for this New Year’s goal? Meaning, what if someone were to pay you to keep your goal. Would you do it?

What if the tables were turned and they made you pay them say $10 each day you don’t meet your goal? Read More

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Zombies, Run! Fitness App

Today I ran across the Zombies, Run! app. Have you heard of it? Check out the video below for a quick explanation.

If you know me, you know that I like challenges with my fitness routine. I typically try a new physical activity every few months to help keep my attention without getting bored. The Zombies, Run! 5k Training app consists of 24 training sessions that each last approximately 40 minutes – that’s 3 runs a week for 8 weeks. This looks like an excellent challenge. And starting next week, there just happens to be 8 weeks until the New Year. Count me in!

Feel free to join me in this journey and we can chat about the different missions in the comments below. Looking forward to this new adventure. Be sure to check back to get my full review at the end of my 8 weeks.

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February is American Heart Month

Heart disease kills an estimated 630,000 Americans each year. It’s the leading cause of death for both men and women. To prevent heart disease and increase awareness of its affects, ODS is proudly participating in American Heart Month.

In the United States, the most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease (CAD), which can lead to a heart attack. You can greatly reduce your risk for CAD through lifestyle changes and, in some cases, medication. Read More

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Enjoying your skiing vacation – 7 tips to keep you healthy

Check out these 7 tips from our ODS eDoc team regarding the winter ski season to make sure you have a happy and healthy day in the snow.

1) Prepare yourself physically. Preparing yourself through physical activity, both aerobic and strength training, will help you to be able ski more proficiently and to avoid post-exercise soreness. Many articles that you read about exercises to prepare for ski season have merit. A couple of the better articles can be found here and here.

2) Respect the altitude. Particularly during the holiday season and spring break, most people at my local ski area are “flatlanders”, living thousands of feet lower than the base elevation of 10,700 ft. It is virtually impossible to travel from near sea-level to this elevation without experiencing some symptoms of altitude sickness. Not to mention the effect of altitude on physical exertion in an environment with a reduced partial pressure of oxygen. While it can take several weeks to acclimatize to a higher elevation, after just a few days, the body becomes more efficient at extracting oxygen from the air and physical performance improves. Altitude-related symptoms can include difficulty sleeping, dizziness or light-headedness, headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, rapid heart rate, and shortness of breath. Any of these can be accentuated by overexertion, dehydration or alcohol consumption. Most can be lessened by a more gradual increase in elevation or by moderating activity levels during the first few days at altitude.

3) Don’t try to squeeze every minute out of your daily ski pass. Read More

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What’s green & red & freshens the air?

A poinsettia! That’s right: leafy potted plants can remove pollutants from indoor air, which may help to improve your health today and over time.

NASA scientists were the first to consider house plants as way to remove indoor air pollutants in space crafts that commonly cause headaches, itchy eyes, and eventually lead to chronic health problems. Decades later, studies suggest that plants may reduce toxic air pollutants from building supplies in homes as well.

Plant leaves, roots and micro-organisms in soil work together to capture toxic “VOC” gases that come from furnishings, building supplies, and other household products. It’s best to avoid toxics and get good ventilation, but plants are a good idea, too.

For more details, check out this story in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

So, go ahead and adopt a leafy friend! Some poinsettias are grown here in Oregon. They are not particularly toxic to kids or pets, and they take little care to last with bright color through March.

 Worried about your pets or kids around a poinsettia

Per the ASCPA poinsettias are not the deadly flowers that popular legend has made them out to be. These striking plants (Euphorbia pulcherrima) are part of a family of plants known as spurges.  During the 1820s Joel Robert Poinsett, the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, first brought poinsettias to the U.S. from a Mexican city he had visited. The myth of the plant’s toxicity began in the early part of the 20th century when the two-year-old child of a U.S. Army officer was alleged to have died from consuming a poinsettia leaf.

As a result of this rumor, the toxic potential of poinsettia has become highly exaggerated. In reality, poinsettia ingestions typically produce only mild to moderate gastrointestinal tract irritation, which may include drooling, vomiting and/or diarrhea. Keeping this plant out of the reach of your pet to avoid stomach upset is still a good idea, but you need not banish the poinsettia from your home for fear of a fatal exposure.

Source: Oregon Environmental Council

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How to have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving

Untold thousands of turkeys will be prepared for Thanksgiving dinner this year. Safe turkey preparation requires special knowledge since it is a large item that is typically frozen prior to cooking and, with the exception of holidays, is not commonly prepared. Here are some helpful tips:

What’s the best way to thaw frozen turkey? There are three ways to thaw turkey safely – in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave oven. In order to get your turkey out of the freezer in time to thaw in the refrigerator, you should allow approximately 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds. For example, a 12 to 16 pound turkey would take 3 to 4 days to thaw and a 20 to 24 pound turkey would take 5 to 6 days to thaw. Keep the refrigerator at 40 degrees or lower while thawing with a pan or tray under the turkey to catch any leaking juices. If thawing the turkey in cold water, you should allow approximately 30 minutes per pound. This can shorten thawing times considerably with a 12 to 16 pound turkey requiring only 6 to 8 hours and a 20 to 24 pound turkey requiring 10-12 hours. A turkey thawed in cold water should be wrapped securely so that water is not able to leak through the wrapping and be kept completely submerged. Change the water every 30 minutes while thawing. Thawing in a microwave may be limited by the size of the oven. Since energy levels of various microwave ovens vary, it is best to check the owner’s manual for the minutes per pound and power level to use for thawing. Remove all outside wrapping prior to thawing in a microwave. Once thawed, the turkey should be cooked immediately and not refrigerated or refrozen. Always wash hands, utensils, the sink, and anything else that comes in contact with raw turkey or its juices with soap and water.

How do you know when a turkey is thoroughly cooked? Most cookbooks offer a guide for time required to roast turkeys of various weights. You can also find this information in the Consumer Guide to Safely Roasting a Turkey from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. At an oven temperature of 325 degrees, the lowest safe level for roasting, an unstuffed 18 to 20 pound bird will take from 4 ¼ hours to 4 ½ hours to cook thoroughly. A whole turkey is safe when cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F. It is always best to use a meat thermometer to confirm this. Check the temperature in the innermost portion of the thigh and at the thickest part of the breast. You should not depend on a “pop-up” temperature indicator alone since these are not as accurate as food thermometers. The turkey will carve more easily if allowed to stand for 20 minutes after roasting.

What about leftovers? There is nothing better than turkey sandwiches made from leftover turkey. However, numerous cases of food poisoning have resulted from improper handling of leftovers. Avoid leaving turkey dinner on the counter for family or guests for “grazing” after dinner. Discard any turkey, stuffing, or gravy left out at room temperature longer than 2 hours. Even refrigerated, these items should be eaten within 3 to 4 days after the Thanksgiving meal.

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Super Bowl Favorites – Fried Chicken Made Healthy

Southern-Style Oven Fried Chicken

In celebration of Super Bowl this weekend, I thought I would share a lighter version of an all-American favorite. And the best part, it’s a healthy recipe from Weight Watchers! Only 5 PointsPlus! For those who prefer counting calories, I have also included the nutrition label at the end of this post. We will be having this in my house on Sunday. If you make this, let me know how it turned out in the comments below.  

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