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November 14, 2008

Fitness: Forget the Workout – Let’s Play!

Dancing Girl A girlfriend of mine called the other day, unfortunately just missing me, and left a feel-good voicemail. She heard a man on the radio talking about recreation as re-creating ourselves. Because recreation for fitness and intrinsic movement are such powerful components of the healthy lifestyle program at Green Mountain, it really hit home. Finding an activity we really love – in the way that it re-creates our most genuine self – is such a big idea.

At the end of a long day this week, I popped in a CD, and began to work on some choreography for a Zumba class I would be teaching later in the week. Zumba is a fantastic outlet for me, in that dancing and music have always made my “Favorites” list. It’s still something I have to learn, however, and I just couldn’t seem to de-stress with it that day. I tossed in a different CD with a few of my newest favorite songs, and just began to throw out whatever choreography came, whatever the music inspired. Forty minutes later, I was more breathless than I’d been in nearly a month…and I hadn’t even noticed. I was lost in true self-expression, in passionately exhibiting everything in my unique makeup. It was more than enjoyment…it was the satisfaction that only comes from being wholly honest in participating in an activity that brings us sincere joy. When we find something like that, the parts of us that sometimes get hidden are allowed to come out, re-creating us.

Someone once told me that you can learn everything you need to know about that person by watching the way they play the sport they care about. I think you can learn by watching the way the play, period. In a country where a majority of working men and women list work as their biggest stressor, I think the idea of play gets lost, which is quite sad when you consider this entire discussion. If we never take the time to re-create the part of us we love most, we may start to lose touch with who we really enjoy being.

So get fit to play, because playing will keep you fit!


Posted by meredith beckman on November 14, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack


November 13, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Butternut Squash-Apple Cider Soup

Some things do bear repeating. A tradition at Green Mountain at Fox Run for many years, fall is the time for this favorite healthy eating soup as we take advantage of the seasonal harvest. A deliciously healthy recipe, it’s also easy to make!

Makes 8 servings

2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded (seed reserved) and chopped (about 4 ½ cups)
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
2 cups apple cider
2 cups fat-free (skim) milk
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon grated fresh ginger (optional)
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Reduced sour cream, if desired
Spiced Squash Seeds (below), if desired

Heat squash, onions and chicken broth in 6-quart Dutch oven or large stockpot to boiling. Reduce heat to low; simmer about 30 minutes or until squash is tender. Place squash mixture in blender or food processor. Cover and blend on high speed about 30 seconds or until smooth. Pour squash mixture into Dutch oven. Stir in cider, milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, sugar, salt and pepper until well mixed. Reheat soup over low heat. To serve, garnish each serving with 1 teaspoon sour cream and/or a few Spiced Squash Seeds.

Spiced Squash Seeds

Reserved squash seeds
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 350°. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Rinse reserved squash seeds in bowl of water; pat dry with paper towels. Toss seeds with sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Spread seeds evenly on cookie sheet. Bake about 25-30 minutes or until seeds are golden brown.

Posted by Laura on November 13, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack


November 12, 2008

Healthy Eating: Walk Off Your Food Cravings

Ice cream Sometimes I have the attention span of a gnat, it’s true. But, when it comes to food cravings, I can zero into my desire like a guided cruise missile.

Case in point, the other night I was sitting at home battling the urge to leave the cozy confines of my living room. It was like I was on a reconnaissance mission to get ice cream. Not just any ice cream, mind you, it had to be vanilla, and it had to be that certain brand I like. So, I was running an inventory in my mind of the stores closest to me that I knew had this particular brand, how late the store was open, and whether I could I get back in time to see who got the boot on Dancing With The Stars, when the doorbell rang.

Huh? Who’s ringing my doorbell at 9 o’clock at night? It wasn’t Denzel Washington, so does it really matter? The point is, I had to rectify a little situation which took me a good 10 or 15 minutes. (Ok, I left the lights on in my car – just another menopausal moment). But the interesting bit to this story is that I realized after returning to my condo that several minutes passed before I realized I had previously been pondering something very important - but what was it? Oh yeah, ice cream! Somehow, with the distraction, it’d lost much of its appeal and I ended up not going.

As if to solidify my own experience, scientists in the UK just completed a study which showed as little as 15 minutes of walking could take away food cravings. Even cravings for chocolate…the fiercest cravings of all!

An important note - cravings are different than hunger. It’s important to listen to our bodies and if you’re truly hungry, you should eat. Giving you permission to eat is critical to healthy weight loss , but acting out on a craving can be a knee jerk reaction to something else.

I wouldn’t recommend leaving your lights on, but a quick walk around the park just might do the trick.

Posted by Cindy on November 12, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack


November 11, 2008

Healthy Living: Life Lines

1063923_im_wet Today I was standing in front of the mirror, going through my normal morning routine, and guess what? Laugh lines. What the heck? I'm only in my twenties for goodness sake. Oh well, on the bright side, I must have a great sense of humor.

 Aging gracefully really seems to be a lost art these days. As a society, we are much more interested in covering up our laugh lines…our gray hair…ourselves. Is that really what we want? Every time I see a woman in public without makeup on, I feel compelled to tell her how beautiful she is. Getting a compliment for our authentic beauty shows that we can be appreciated for our true selves. It doesn't get much better than that.

A young woman's world is filled to the brim with worry about being accepted. And too much of that acceptance comes in the form of the size clothes you wear, whether you have the perfect hair and makeup or even a silly handbag with the right label.

I will never forget my college freshman orientation. I don't remember it because I was excited, scared, or because I was starting a new chapter oin my life. I remember it because one beautiful young girl stood out to me. It was really one of those “ah-ha!” moments that come when you least expect them. Amidst the mob of freshman in their strategically-chosen outfits (boys with backwards hats and jeans hanging just a bit too low, and girls matching from head to toe, including eye-liner and fingernail polish), this girl stood out in a simple pair of jeans, a t-shirt, no make-up, and a ponytail. By the end of the orientation, she was the only person I wanted to be friends with. She seemed to be in the moment, loving life - laughing and just ready for anything good that might happen. I knew then that she'd be my friend not because of how I looked, but because of who I was and that felt great. 

Perhaps Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best:

          “Though we search the world over for the beautiful, we find it within or we find it not.”

I guess what Mr. Emerson and I are getting down to is, learning self-acceptance, leading eventually to self-love, is one of the most important aspects of living a healthy lifestyle. Not really pushing the idea of loving every blemish or bulge or scar, but just smiling, shrugging, and letting go of the perfectionist in us. Maybe eventually we can start waking up every day loving who we are and being everything we love…regardless of the laugh lines.

By Meredith Beckman

Posted by Cindy on November 11, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack


November 10, 2008

Most Who Have Prediabetes Don’t Know It

Although a quarter of American adults have prediabetes, most aren't aware they have it, according to the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Only 4% of Americans report having prediabetes. It is a condition marked by impaired fasting glucose (blood sugar), impaired glucose tolerance, or both. People with prediabetes are at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. However, if people are aware that they have the condition and make the appropriate lifestyle changes, those changes can prevent or delay the development of diabetes.

Researchers from the CDC analyzed data from the 2006 National Health Interview Survey, which is a nationally representative survey of adults conducted through face-to-face interviews. In 2006, participants were asked for the first time about prediabetes. There were 24,275 adult participants 18 or older.

Of the 4% of people who had been told they had prediabetes, 68% had tried to lose or control weight, 55% had increased physical activity or exercise, 60% had reduced fat or calories in their diet, and 42% had done all three.

The prevalence of self-reported prediabetes increased with older age, being overweight or obese, and being female.

Though only 4% of participants reported having prediabetes, researchers believe that 26% of adults have it, a figure based on laboratory test results in the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

(from Medical News Today)

Posted by Laura on November 10, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack


November 07, 2008

Healthy Eating: Cranberries - The SuperDuper Fruit!

410830_cranberries First of all, is that even how you spell 'duper'? One thing I know, there are never enough reasons to use the word superduper.

I realize that we just published a recipe yesterday, but I always like to share a good thing when I can. (Martha Stewart and Oprah got nothin' on us...and that goes for their personal chefs too!

We have phenominal chefs at Green Mountain at Fox Run . And as a member of our staff , I'm blessed not only with delicious, healthy lunches everyday, I also get to sneak into the kitchen for some unofficial taste testing.

What I've been most recently crazy about is our Executive Chef's newest creation, Cranberry Pesto. It is fabulous! On top of that I feel really excited about the fact that I finally have a sexy and delicious side dish to take with me to an holiday celebration. This tasty cranberry treat rocks! See for yourself.

CRANBERRY PESTO

1/2 cup Craisins

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons fresh basil

2 tablespoons fresh parsley

2 2/3 tablespoons toasted almonds

1/2 dash cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

Heat the water to a near simmer. Add the craisins. remove from heat and  hold in the fridge overnight. In a food processor combine all ingredients and puse until chunky paste is formed. Serve with a smile!

So, stop dieting, start living and eat some delicious cranberries, they're good for you!.

Have a yummy weekend!

For other delectable Green Mountain Healthy Living recipes, check here.

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Posted by Cindy on November 7, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


November 06, 2008

Healthy Recipes: Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

Are you a fan of Mexican food? This healthy recipe that is muy delicioso! Great for a gathering of friends or family, these enchiladas are packed with nutrients and flavor.  Make them mild or add more jalapeños for an extra kick! Full of protein, this healthy eating dish satisfies even the hungriest hombre.

Makes 6 Servings

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded into bite-sized pieces
4 cups torn fresh spinach leaves or 1 10-oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 8-oz. carton of nonfat sour cream
1/4 cup plain, nonfat yogurt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup 1% milk
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
6 flour tortillas, 6-8 inches in diameter
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

In a medium sized saucepan, cook fresh spinach with a small amount of water, covered, for 5 minutes on medium-high heat. If using frozen spinach, do not cook it. Drain well. In a large bowl, combine cooked chicken, spinach and green onions. Mix well and set aside.Make the sauce: In a medium sized bowl, combine sour cream, yogurt, flour, cumin and salt. Add milk and jalapeño pepper and mix well. Pour half the sauce into the chicken and spinach mixture and mix well.

Divide the filling among the tortillas. Fold opposite ends of a tortilla up about 1 inch over filling then fold the left and right sides over the folded end, overlapping. Place filled tortillas, seam sides down on an ungreased rectangular baking dish.Spoon remaining sauce over the tortillas and bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until heated through.Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and let stand for 5 minutes.Top with salsa and chopped green onions as desired and serve.

Posted by Laura on November 6, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack


November 05, 2008

Women's Healthy Lifestyles: Self-Esteem & Loving Ourselves

We've written a lot about self-esteem and self-acceptance over the years we've had this blog.  The issue is that we spend our time apologizing for who we are because we are ashamed or otherwise feel bad about our body size.  But for the last 36+ years, we at Green Mountain at Fox Run have been trying to move women beyond the issue of body size and women's weight loss.  We have always proclaimed that we are much more than our body size and to be successful in achieving a healthy lifestyle and living a healthy, happy life, we need to like ourselves for who we are, regardless of our body size.  Thelma, our founder, began our program with the phrase "You're going to like you!"  Sounds simplistic but is so at the core of the issue.


Pat Ballard, self-described "Queen of Rubenesque Romance Novels," recently published a non-fiction book titled "10 Steps to Loving Your Body (No Matter What Size You Are)."  Check out the 10 steps to building your self-esteem independent of body size.  Here's her tenth tip that I think rings true for all of us as we traverse this challenging journey called life.


But most of all, you have to love yourself. When you love yourself, others will love you and respond to you in the exact manner as you feel about yourself.

Posted by Marsha on November 5, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack


November 04, 2008

Women Under The Influence - Rock The Vote!

Make your voice heard, it's a privilege and a right.1026145_stars_and_stripes

I believe that the influence of woman will save the country before every other power. - Lucy Stone

... even if the right to vote brought to women no better work, no better pay, no better conditions in any way, she should have it for her own self-respect and to compel man’s respect for her. - Susan B. Anthony

... we are not dreamers or fanatics; and we know that the ballot when we get it, will achieve for woman no more than it has achieved for man.... The ballot is not even half the loaf; it is only a crust—a crumb. The ballot touches only those interests, either of women or men, which take their root in political questions. But woman’s chief discontent is not with her political, but with her social, and particularly her marital bondage. - Laura Bullard

... today we round out the first century of a professed republic,—with woman figuratively representing freedom—and yet all free, save woman. - Phoebe W. Couzins

... while one-half of the people of the United States are robbed of their inherent right of personal representation in this freest country on the face of the globe, it is idle for us to expect that the men who thus rob women will not rob each other as individuals, corporations and Government. - Susan B. Anthony

In the courts women have no rights, no voice; nobody speaks for them. I wish woman to have her voice there among the pettifoggers. If it is not a fit place for women, it is unfit for men to be there. - Sojourner Truth

No matter how well-born, how intelligent, how highly educated, how virtuous, how rich, how refined, the women of to-day constitute a political class below that of every man, no matter how base-born, how stupid, how ignorant, how vicious, how poverty-stricken, how brutal. - Mary Putnam Jacobi

So long as State constitutions say that all may vote when twenty-one, save idiots, lunatics, convicts and women, you are brought down politically to the level of those others disfranchised. - Susan B. Anthony

The right to vote, or equal civil rights, may be good demands, but true emancipation begins neither at the polls nor in courts. It begins in woman’s soul. - Emma Goldman

Women have had the vote for over forty years and their organizations lobby in Washington for all sorts of causes; why, why, why don’t they take up their own causes and obvious needs? - Dorothy Thompson

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Posted by Cindy on November 4, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


November 03, 2008

Diabetes: US Rate of Diabetes Doubled in Past 10 Years; High Incidence in South

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest the rising rate of obesity is behind the 2 fold increase of type 1 and/or type 2 diabetes. A breakdown of the incidence rate by 33 individual states is available in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weeky Report (MMWR), published just last week.

"The figures came from a telephone survey of more than 260,000 adults across the country who were asked if they had ever been diagnosed with diabetes and where that diagnosis took place. In 1995-97 the survey included 33 states although in 2005-07 it included 40 states. However, the study only shows comparisons for the 33 states.

The age-adjusted figures for 33 states show that the incidence of diabetes was 90 per cent higher in 2005-07 than in 1995-97, confirming fears that diabetes will continue to be a major public health problem in the US, said the CDC. "(Medical News Today)

Although ageing, a sedentary lifestyle, physical inactivity and minority status/ethnicity are all contributing risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes, the CDC report indicates that the rise of obesity matches the increase in diabetes. People in Southern states have a higher incidence rate of type 2 diabetes risk factors. 90 to 95 percent of US diabetic patients have type 2 diabetes.

Limitations of the MMWR report are the lack of consideration of improved rates of diabetes detection/diagnosis and limited data collected from certain states. 

"State-Specific Incidence of Diabetes Among Adults --- Participating States, 1995--1997 and 2005--2007."
KA Kirtland, YF Li, LS Geiss, TJ Thompson.
Div of Diabetes Translation, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC.
MMWR, October 31, 2008 / 57(43);1169-1173.

Click here for the full MMWR report.

Posted by Laura on November 3, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack