Tell Your Story

Everyone has a story. Within each are identifiable life experiences connecting us all;Designed to teach encourage and inspire not only the individual but another too. What’s Your Story?

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Welcome to the “Tell Your Story” highlight reel.

If you haven’t guessed it as yet, everyone has a story. Within each is identifiable life experiences, anyone can glean from if open to receive.

This is a Highlight Reel of another’s life journey designed to inspire.

So, prepare your mind and enjoy a coffee/tea as this mother-daughter  Stephanie/Sydney of @smalltownliv share their story.

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Hey everyone! Small Town Living USA is a lifestyle blog started by Stephanie and Sydney, a mother and daughter duo. We blog about several things that we are passionate about. Recipes and restaurants are definitely at the top of our list, being the foodies that we are. We also enjoy blogging about small towns and small businesses.  Shopping local and supporting small businesses is extremely important to us! Travel, holidays, family and home décor are other things you will find us blogging about.

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Introductions: I am Stephanie, the Mom of this duo. Some of my hobbies are reading, journaling, planning with the Happy Planner, cooking, baking, traveling and spending time with my family. I love all things coffee and chocolate! They seriously should be a food group! My husband (Jim) and I have been married for 33 years. We have two children, Sydney and Mason. Jim and I have just started into the empty-nester phase of our lives. Definitely looking forward to being a grandma in the (hopefully near) future. 😊

Prior to blogging, I was a medical biller and coder in a busy pulmonology practice. I really enjoyed the challenge of getting medical claims paid and working with insurance companies. I gave up this position because I was needed to help with my father-in-law who was suffering from Alzheimer’s. I helped take care of him until he lost his battle this past June. I wouldn’t have traded this time with him for anything in the world! I learned a lot about life and what is truly important during this time.

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Introductions: I am Sydney, the daughter of this duo. I absolutely love Christmas!!! I am an absolute Christmas fanatic!!! I always have my tree up by November 1st (please don’t hate me!). I also love to bake, cook and travel. My husband (Austin) and I have been married for two years. We both are looking forward to children in the future (and it can’t come soon enough for my mom and my mother-in-law). Austin and I hope to be able to adopt a baby with down syndrome, as well. We both have a passion for children with down syndrome! 

Prior to blogging, I worked as a paraprofessional in a kindergarten class for a sweet little guy with Cerebral Palsy. I loved this position and had planned on staying in this field, but when my husband accepted a position that would take us back to Ohio we couldn’t turn down the opportunity. We were living in Florida and both wanted to get back home before we had children. We were so blessed to be able to get back home!

Why did you start blogging?

I (Stephanie) have always loved writing. Journaling is a huge passion of mine. There is something about an empty sheet of paper or a blank computer screen that just seems to speak to me. Sydney has loved photography for years. She really enjoys taking people pictures and capturing those special moments for them. We had been tossing around the idea of a blog for several years and the timing just seemed to fall into place for us. I do the majority of the writing and Sydney does the majority of the photography. 

Blogging is such a creative outlet for us, but also gives us a chance to share so much with the world! Whether a recipe or a place we have traveled to someone always seems to appreciate the story and the photography. Our favorites are when we get a message that something we have shared has really touched someone and made their day! Those are the best!

Sydney and I have always been very close. Blogging together gives us the opportunity to do what we both love and spend time together. What could be better? 😊

What hurdles (mental or physical) did you have to overcome to get your blog started and continue on today?

For me (Stephanie) that is easy, technology. I am a complete technological misfit! I have always been a paper and pencil kind of girl (remember, I am 53!!). Facebook was the only social media platform I used. Learning how Instagram and Twitter worked was a huge deal for me. But…I hung in there, asked a lot of questions and finally got them figured out. I laugh now at how easy they are, but what a huge obstacle I made them. 

For me (Sydney) it was learning how to design the blog and all the background work that goes into it. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes. SEO is still an ongoing lesson for me…

Patience is something we both have to work at if we are being honest! I (Stephanie) get impatient when there are computer glitches and Sydney can’t get them fixed quickly. Sydney gets impatient when I can’t grasp a technical concept. This definitely is a hurdle some days! 

For both of us, it was pretty easy to know who was going to do what. Figuring this out was a much smaller hurdle. I (Stephanie) do the writing, set up the appointments at the small businesses to do interviews, do most of the face-to-face talking with people and post on our social media platforms. Sydney does the photography, editing, maintenance of our blog and computer troubleshooting. These decisions were definitely the easiest to make of all the things we had to figure out. 

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What advice would you share with someone who wants to start blogging?

Do a lot of research! Read a large variety of blogs! Sydney and I spent about 4 months doing major research. She researched the technical side while I researched the writing and content side of blogging. 

We also enrolled in a 30-day blogging course. That was so helpful! They had so many different sites for us to check out and answered questions for us we didn’t even know we had. 

Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. Questions are how we learn. Make mistakes, if you aren’t making mistakes you are not growing and learning. 

Finally, make sure to have fun! That is what this is all about. If you are not enjoying it then it becomes just another thing you have to do. Blogging is about sharing what you love and are passionate about with the rest of the world

Sydney and I would like to thank Al Bell for allowing us this opportunity to share a little bit about ourselves with you! Hopefully, you learned a little bit more about us.

In short, we did ladies. Thanks for sharing your experience with us and much-continued success to you both.

To follow and stay up to date on what Stephanie and Sydney are doing connect with them through their website listed below.

Blog: https://www.smalltownlivingusa.com/

Twitter- @smalltownliv

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Tell Your Story

Everyone has a story. Within each are identifiable life experiences connecting us all;Designed to teach encourage and inspire not only the individual but another too. What’s Your Story?

Welcome to the “Tell Your Story” highlight reel.

If you haven’t guessed it as yet, everyone has a story. Within each is identifiable life experiences, anyone can glean from if open to receive.

This is a Highlight Reel of another’s life journey designed to inspire.

So, prepare your mind and enjoy a coffee/tea as Kirsten of @f00dventuresRD shares her story.

First off, a big “thank you” to Al for asking me to be apart of his “Tell Your Story” highlight reel. I am honored that he chose to feature my story 🙂 

So a little about me. My name is Kirsten and I am a Registered Dietitian but I am also a huge foodie and a bit of a free spirit (if you didn’t already guess that from my picture lol). While on my journey towards becoming a dietitian, I knew I didn’t want to take the traditional career path which is clinical work. It just wasn’t for me. The problem was, I didn’t know what I wanted to do as a dietitian. I had hoped my dietetic internship would open some doors for me but all it did was confirm what I already knew- clinical work would slowly kill me inside. So I decided to take a little time for myself and teach myself how to cook.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is FullSizeRender-1024x1024.jpg honestly never set foot in the kitchen other than to make frozen meals and I figured as a dietitian it would be extremely helpful if I knew how to actually make healthy meals. Not just for my own benefit but also so I could better help potential patients/clients in the future. And that’s how I first got into blogging. 

I started my blog in April 2012 just talking about my kitchen failures. But eventually my kitchen failures evolved more into “experiments” and adventures in the kitchen as I learned how to cook and bake and that’s how my name came about food + adventures = “f00dventures”.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is D2AF38B7-5043-4324-9E19-55BA23AD60A6-e1544298051968-768x1024.jpg

 I have always been a very creative person and I love being able to take that creativity and use it to “healthify” food so I can show people that you don’t have to cut out all the foods you love to live a healthy lifestyle. I regularly eat desserts, mac, and cheese, pizza, etc either through making “healthified” versions or just enjoying the real thing in moderation. I started to share my experiments on Instagram and in 2013/2014 things really started to pick up for me as I got better at recipe development. I started entering food contests through Instagram and ended up winning a lot of them. Within a pretty short period, I had gone from 80 followers on Instagram to close to 20,000. And this is when my struggles with blogging and social media kicked in.

I gained so many followers so fast that I constantly felt pressure to keep the momentum going. I started to forget why I had started blogging in the first place and started posting things I thought my followers wanted to see rather than posting what made me happy. I started to get extremely burnt out and obsessed with stats to the point that I just couldn’t handle it anymore.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 3DCA7F3F-F1AC-4B0A-8FD1-49823CB5FAAA-1024x768.jpgI got rid of all social media and stopped blogging for about a year. I got rid of not only my business Facebook and Instagram pages but also my personal ones because I  just couldn’t bear to face social media anymore.

Fast forward to 2017. It had been about a year since I had left social media and I finally started to feel strong enough mentally to make a comeback. I had a new approach this time; I was going to blog for me. I wasn’t going to let everyone else dictate what I posted about. Yes, as a dietitian, I wanted to help and inspire people but I also wanted to help myself keep my sanity. If people didn’t like it, too bad. And yes, I did lose a lot of followers. 4,000 and counting. But the great thing is that it doesn’t bother me anymore.

I still have people tell me how much I have helped them from sharing my struggles with disordered eating or inspired them to get back in the kitchen because of my fun, unique recipes. And that means way more to me than having a bunch of followers. So my biggest piece of advice? Don’t get caught up in numbers. Blog because it makes you happy. Blog about whatever you are passionate about. Your passion will shine through and that is what will draw people in.  But also remember to live your life. Don’t let your entire life revolve around blogging or social media. Don’t just let life pass you by. 

Thanks, Kirsten for sharing Your Story. Hopefully, your experience has encouraged others to go on.

You can connect with Kirsten on these social media platforms.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/f00dventures/

Instagram: https://Instagram.com/f00dventures/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/f00dventuresRD

Blog: https://f00dventures.wordpress.com/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/f00dventure0169/

Why I Love Restaurants​

Going to a good dining place could be good for your attitude. My experience was enlightening.

Why restaurants are cool spots.

I love going out to restaurants! Why? Well, not only because of the food offered but the atmosphere too.

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For me, restaurants offer three things I value. Food, casual atmosphere and a break from daily responsibilities.

The food offered is definitely a plus for any restaurant. This may seem like an obvious thought but I have been to places that have not offered a tasty array of entrees. There is nothing like going to a dining place to order a steak or pork chop that is not flavorful. It will leave a definite unfavorable imprint.

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I love all kinds of food too. Although I’m based in America I do love the taste of Italian and French cuisines. Because I like to eat, I feel it is my duty to credit each respective cultures entrees and gorge…Oops, I mean sensibly try them. Lol.

In addition to the food, I love a restaurants dining experience too. I feel that with all the potential stress life could present it only stands to reason the need to have places help to divert such pressures. For me, they are a cool place to meet and build new friends.

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Today, some places offer more than just seats for dining. Many offer TV’s for viewing and even the options for gaming. This in itself can add to an upbeat experience if that is what you are particularly into. I personally love them all and try to get the most out of what is offered.

Lastly, dining places provide an atmosphere that takes your mind away from the stresses of life we encounter.  At least for me. Although there are other forms of stress relief, I favor dining out a lot.

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I do utilize other forms of stress relief such as shopping, resistance, and cardio training, playing board games, reading an interesting book, watching a good comedy or thriller movie, and of course writing for my blog.

So now you know the reasoning behind why I love to eat out at restaurants! My guess is that you love to eat out at restaurants too. If so, what are your reasons? I would be glad to know.

Leave a comment!

Thanks for reading my friend. So glad you did. Stay tuned for my next post on ” How to stay upbeat!

 

 

Strawberries The Heart-shaped fruit

Strawberries are a nice addition to any lunch as a snack. Their claim to fame is being high in Vitamin C.

Hello there! Glad you found me. If you have, then let me fill you in.

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If you have not followed me then here is the scoop. Last year I decided to make a change. A life change that directly impacted my health.

I decided to change for the better by eating healthier and getting into better physical condition. So far so good and I am excited! Excited that I made up my mind to eat healthier and take care of my well being.

Why?

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Well, to feel better, live longer, and enjoy the rest of this life I have been gifted with. If you feel the same way then you definitely know the feeling.

In this process, I have accepted a better eating plan and fitness regimen that encourages healthy eating, increased energy, and improved stamina. My eating plan includes lean meats, potent vegetables, and tasty fruits. The posts I share are about my journey with better eating. In them, I highlight a few of the foods I have included in my daily eating plan.

In this posts, I share how including strawberries in your diet help to fight against cardiovascular disease and encourage good blood flow.

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Strawberries are a nice addition to any lunch as a snack. Their claim to fame is being high in Vitamin C. You would not think of it as compared to an orange but strawberries are a worthy proponent of being high in Vitamin C., In fact, eating about a serving of strawberries (about 8) provides more Vitamin C than what an orange provides. This is good to know as this offers a bit of variety for us especially if you do not care for oranges.

The first clue that strawberries encourage good heart health is the fact that they are shaped much like a heart. Who knew!

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Strawberries possess a unique variety of compounds that help lessen the formation of whats called excessive platelet aggregation(coagulation). This, in short, is the ability of the body to naturally form clots which is a healthy function; Especially with an injury.  But there is an unhealthy condition that causes overactive clotting and this could potentially lead to a more serious issue when in conjunction with cancers and certain blood diseases.

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Strawberries complex mix of polyphenols also make it a serious anti-oxidant competitor and a great anti-inflammatory agent. The anti-inflammatory properties assist with allowing more blood flow through veins and arteries which ultimately leads to sufficient oxygen and nutrients being delivered throughout the body.

Strawberries are a low fat zero trans fat product with a decent amount of fiber which is a potent combination for weight loss management. They are composed of about 91% water which can aid in digestion.

One of the best healthy points of including strawberries in your diet is it has one of the best Glycemic index numbers around. Compared to many fresh fruits such as apricots, bananas, watermelon, cantaloupe, or pineapple, strawberries have a number of 40. This is great! Especially for combating blood sugar spikes and the regulation of insulin.

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Strawberries can be consumed a variety ways.

  • Strawberries can be included in smoothiesimages-19
  • As a dessert topping on cakes, pies, ice-cream
  • Sliced atop your favorite pancakes or waffle
  • Sliced topping on your favorite meat dish
  • Slivered in salads
  • In your favorite pie
  • Wrapped in vegetable or fruit wrap
  • Made into a bread
  • Jellied and canned
  • Made into a strawberry mousse
  • Added to your favorite cereal

 

 

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So including Strawberries in your daily food consumption can be a definite healthy choice. Maybe you are a regular with including this fruit in your diet or maybe not so much. Whatever the case I hope this finds you well and encourages you to at least begin a regimen to include.

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Disclaimer:

Many thanks to those sites who provided information to encourage this post. This post was written with the intent to encourage and enlighten one to the benefits of strawberries with regards to eating healthy.  I have no professional license, certificate or degree in nutrition or dietary matters.

Credits: Giphy, Google images, Associated links

 

Cauliflower-a formidable weight-loss agent

Cauliflower, that formidable weight-loss agent is a must to include in any meal plan. Have you tried?

How are you, friends? Hope you are doing good. I am well!

As a recap, for the last couple of post, I have presented information about my journey. My health and fitness journey.

Here, you will see that I’ve shared a few nuggets on why I changed my eating habits and adopted a structured physical fitness plan. If you search for my blog entitled “So why the change” I go into some depth as to why. Check it out here!

Cauliflower pronounced Cau·li·flow·er is a vegetable that is a member of the cruciferous family that includes broccoli, cabbage, kale, turnips, and host of others. It is white in color and develops as a combination of compacted florets(curd) as compared to broccoli.

 

Nutritionally, cauliflower comes as a surprise boasting a serious stat sheet. Normally, it is accepted that color in any fruit or vegetable signifies that item as being a definite producer in the fight against cancer, cardiovascular disease, and aging. Cauliflower is the exception.

Its stat sheet shows it to be high in Vitamin C, K, and Manganese. It is a serious producer of Folate and fiber too while being high in antioxidants and phytochemicals.

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What makes Cauliflower different from its close sister broccoli is the fact that it contains sulfur-based compounds called Glucosinolates. There are a few and more in-depth study of them is ongoing. So far, these compounds are being regarded as formidable agents in the supporting good health.

Here’s what it brings to the game:

  1. Regulates Blood Cholesterol-Studies show that cauliflower helps to regulate cholesterol levels by binding cholesterol bile acids to pass into the intestines. Processed foods lack many of the essential properties that help to activate this.
  2. Improves digestionStudies show that sulforaphane found in the glucosinolates within cauliflower helps to remove the harmful bacteria within the stomach walls. This ultimately leads to improved digestion within the digestion tract. In addition, the fiber assists with more bulkier and softer stools as compared to watery or hard ones.
  3. Anti-cancer agent-In short, the Sulforaphane compounds released from the consumption of Cauliflower release additional compounds that assist with the binding away of cancer-causing agents. The properties help to control the harmful free radicals associated with degenerative diseases.
  4. Anti-Inflammatory helper-Cauliflower has Omega 3 fatty acids and a healthy amount of Vitamin C which help to inhibit an enzyme responsible for inflammation. It also has a few powerful anti-oxidants to boast. Cinnamic acid, ferulic acid, and quercetin are just a few to name that help to keep inflammation at bay. This ultimately leads to better circulation of blood and air passages.
  5. Aids in weight loss-Cauliflower is low in calories, low in sugar and high in fiber which makes for a nice combination to help one feel full. Definitely, need to add in any weight loss plan.

So what are the ways to consume Cauliflower:

  1. Sprinkled in and over salads
  2. Minced and stir-fried lightly-add in a dish of your choice.
  3. Pulverized in a Smoothie.
  4. Minced or quartered in a soup of your choice. The vegetable is my favorite.
  5. Add on a vegetable tray
  6. Hummus Dip
  7. Casseroles-all varieties

So there you have it! If you have not included this vegetable into your meal plan shame on you. This is definitely a go-to vegetable. Unless under doctors orders you have other instructions.

I know, I know! Its white, dry looking and admittedly not that appealing. I had to get over that too. It’s not that bad, though. Lol.

This is how I look at it. When I went through my change, of course, I had to change the way I thought. I had to reprogram the way I perceived eating ALL foods. So, I had to refocus on the nutritional benefits as opposed to the appearance. The taste buds could be manipulated. Haha!

Now, I will try almost anything.

If you fall into this, try your hand at expanding your food sources. You might be pleasantly surprised.

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Cauliflower is a great addition to any meal plan. It is loaded with phytochemicals and antioxidants that help with everything from encouraging proper digestion in the gut area to encouraging good vascular circulation. Today, with the foods being processed and losing much of the anti-inflammatory properties, including Cauliflower into your meal plan is definitely a plus.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned! Next, we’ll look into how asparagus stacks up on the meal squad.

Did you miss last posts notes on how Arugula may help in maintaining strong bones?

Credits: Google Images, Associated links.

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Arugula-the other green leaves​

Arugula, the other green leaf is packed with beneficial nutrients. Include in your next spring mix salad.

Hello Friends! How are you? Hope all is well.

As promised, let’s continue on with sharing a few of the healthy foods I have adopted into my health and wellness plan.

If you need to catch up just do a search for “Why the Change” and you will quickly find my motivation for launching on this path of renewed health and wellness.

Staying consistent with the fruit and nutrient-packed vegetables that I now include on a regular basis, I introduce Arugula. pronounced [uh-roo-guh-luh].

Arugula is a green leafy vegetable that is apart of the Brassica family of cruciferous vegetables. It is in the family of vegetables that is likened to broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, kale, and Swiss chard.

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It is a vegetable loaded with plenty of vitamins and minerals. Vitamins include Vitamin A, K, and C. The minerals include Folate acid, potassium, Manganese, Iron, and Calcium.

Here is the breakdown nutritionally:

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So what health benefits do you receive from eating Arugula?

  1. Weight Loss-since it is nutrient packed with minerals, vitamins and very low in calories, Arugula will meet ones nutritional and satiation needs. No need of feeling like your missing out on meeting those nutritional goals.
  2. Improves eyesight-Arugula being a good source of carotenoids, may help in improving eyesight. Carotenoids have been accepted as being agents for improving eyesight. Arugula is loaded with them. It is considered to be a positive agent against macular degeneration, an age-related condition involving the deterioration of parts of the eye.images-13
  3. Boost Immune system-Vitamin C is abundant in Arugula. It is linked to helping fight against the free radicals within the body. This can lead to helping support your immune system.
  4. Encourages heart health-Vegetables that are high in low calories and anti-inflammatory properties tend to be very good agents for protecting the heart. The anti-inflammatory properties encourage proper circulatory flow and consistent heart rhythms.
  5. Promotes Bone Health-In short, Arugula is a great source of vitamin K which is essential to maintaining strong bones. In some circles, it is a close second to Calcium.

Here are a few ideas on consuming Arugula

  1. In salads mixed with other types of greens.
  2. Used in soups to give it a healthy kick.
  3. Sprinkled atop Sandwiches to boost nutrition count.
  4. Spotted on (vegan style)pizzas. Yes, you have to try it.
  5. Pulverized in fruit and vegetable smoothies.
  6. Added as an edible side piece to vegetable dip trays.

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I have tried it in all meal prep situations. My favorite is on sandwiches. I usually add a bit of herbs to give it a kick too. If you have included Arugula in your meal plan, excellent! It is a great addition. If you have not, then the opportunity is here. I would recommend it.

I definitely believe we are what we eat. If we consume high calorie, high fat, low fiber, empty calorie food the body will respond over time lethargically. On the contrast, if low fat, high fiber, nutrient dense foods are consumed the body will respond over time with vibrancy.

Hope you enjoyed!

Thanks for reading and connecting.

Courtesy: Google photos and associated links.

What’s the benefit?

What are in the foods we eat and how they benefit the body. 

Hello friends. How are things? I hope all is well.

Got to thinking about writing a series on certain foods we eat and how they benefit the body.

Since I have changed the way and what I consume now, I thought I would share those thoughts with you all.

Why I changed? Well, I shared a bit of it in a previous post entitled “So Why the Change”. Here I kinda talk a bit about how I was feeling and the struggles I endured. I share the decision to make an about face with my whole eating and fitness plan. Yay! Glad I did! I feel absolutely great.

In this post, and the ones to come I want to share a few of the foods I consume as well as a progress report on my fitness journey.

So, here we go!

First, I changed a few of the foods I consume. I included more vegetables. In either a salad, blender or cooked way. One of those is the addition of cucumbers. Let’s see what this fella has to offer.

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The Cucumber:

  1. Provides a good amount of water and soluble fiber-Water is always good to include in any diet. It helps with lubrication and flow of any waste or receiving nutrients. The fiber is a plus too. Fiber helps to remove waste from the body(intestines and gut). Kinda like a scrubber. Lol.
  2. Low in calories-A cucumber with the peel offers about 45 calories and is high vitamins and minerals.
  3. Good source of anti-oxidants-Cucumbers offer properties known to be associated with being an excellent source of antioxidants. Without going to chemically deep, in a nutshell, these are properties that help to fight against those molecular forces that encourage breakdown(oxidation), whatever that may be. In the sense of health, these forces(free radicals) are studied and believed to be associated with a few diseases today.
  4. Aid in weight loss-Due to the low-calorie content cucumbers can be a nice way to manage one’s weight. It is always a nice addition to any salad.
  5. Maintain Blood sugar-because of it low caloric value and high vitamin/mineral content cucumbers are believed to help in lowering blood sugar levels.
  6. Reduce swelling/inflammation-Cucumbers have the properties in them that help to reduce inflammation and swelling.

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Although not a complete list, I have highlighted a few benefits to including cucumbers into your diet.

They are always great to have in salads, smoothies, and sandwiches.  My favorite is in salads. I eat them with skin or no skin and in the pickled variety too.

Try them if you have not. And if not your favorite, that’s cool, there are a variety of other vegetables to choose from with similar properties.

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Glad you read. Stayed tuned for the next vegetable. Arugula.

Credits to Google images and associated links.

Part II Expected benefits from New Year Health resolutions

Welcome back, friends! So as promised this is part II of what benefits to expect if you have invested in New Year Health resolutions.

Welcome back, friends! So as promised this is part II of what benefits to expect if you have invested in New Year Health resolutions.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

  1. Increased bone density-You may have heard this at some point. Exercise helps to increase bone density. What’s the big deal about this? Well, as we get older we age. Just as a home, a car, or a stamping machine parts begin to wear out. We can prolong its operation though through good maintenance. When it comes to our bodies, the same is true. A study conducted in 2000 showed there was a slight increase in bone mineral density in subjects that engaged in High-intensity routines.  The bones, in particular, can lose bone density as time passes. This loss can be combated against though through good maintenance. A well-balanced eating plan and exercise are key. Studies have shown that with resistance training specifically bone density was increased. The graph shows the relationship between age and bone mass. As one ages, the bone mass changes also. Physical fitness routines help the body respond positively, meaning muscles grow, oxygen is circulated, and bones are strengthened.

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2.  Develops goal setting-If you feel you are one that has a hard time accomplishing anything, having a workout and eating plan is a sure way to get started. Meal and workout plans are offered by a variety of companies who can customize them for the individual. Getting help here is crucial if you are serious about changing your position and reaching your goal. Once these tools are offered all one has to do is accept the change mentally. All else will fall into place. Goal reached!

3.  Expand socially-If you have a fear of being around crowds and others, having a gym membership can start you on the path of being socially mature. Accepting a gym membership is an important part of any workout plan. Unless you workout at home having a gym membership is the way to go. You can immediately meet others who are enduring the same challenges. The similarities of others fitness journey can be a sure fire way to gain friends.

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4.  Increases strength and flexibility-Are you feeling weak in areas or not as flexible as you once were? Fitness routines can definitely help you achieve this goal. Stretching regularly reinforces flexibility. Adding weights to any workout plan helps. The trick here is that one does not have to start out with a lot of weight. Generally one tends to overdo it and quickly becomes discouraged trying to lift too much weight. Always start off with a low manageable weight that encourages proper form. As your body responds( muscle definition, fat loss, increased strength, flexible joints, mental endurance, energized cardio) you will automatically adjust the resistance to meet the challenge.

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5.   Increases confidence-So your confidence is low. You’ve gained more weight than expected. Your annual checkup revealed a few health issues directly related to behaviors that put one at risk. This is an all too common scenario which can be changed by one’s attitude. When one accepts a plan to change the condition of their health, meal and fitness plans follow. Over time with discipline, mental and physical results become visible. One becomes mentally energized with an awareness to choosing better foods that are nutritionally packed. One’s physical appearance changes. Through disciplined workouts, the body is looking leaner from the loss of fat and building of muscle. This combination mentally motivates the individual and builds confidence. Ultimately replacing doubt and shyness present before the transformation.

So, investing in your health for 2018 is promising! Never let doubt hinder you from at least trying. You will never know how far you can travel if you never go out. My hope is that these words of encouragement serve you well.

Much love my friends and stay encouraged.

Credits: courtesy of Giphy

https://mnepilepsy.org/patient-information/bone-health-and-epilepsy-are-your-bones-brittle/

 

 

Christmas Eve Get Together 2017

Although Christmas has passed, as promised, I wanted to share the experience of this years’ Christmas Eve get together.

A few years back the idea of having one was only talked about and after a little bit of persuasion, the wish was granted. Let me tell you, it has been a hit and this year was definitely better than the last. Why you ask? Well, there was plenty of good food, interesting games, and new faces.

Outside of a traditional meal of roasted beef or turkey, colorful vegetables, delicious casseroles, and eye-popping desserts the menu is toned back to more of a sporting environment. The menu consisted of buffalo chicken tacos, hot wings and a beef and potato stew. Simply delicious and satisfying! Yum yum! Christmas Day the aforementioned menu was eaten. Haha.

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Games are always fun! One game that is a highlight is the Saran Wrap Ball game. One simply buys plenty of trinkets to wrap in layers with saran wrap plastic. The size of the ball is determined by how many trinkets are wrapped. What’s wrapped can be candy, gift cards, pencils, pens, or even a notepad.  The catch is one has to use cooking mittens to unwrap the ball in 30 seconds. Several turns by everyone will ultimately shrink the ball. Hilarious! It will sure get all involved.

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The new game can involve up to 8 people or more. It is called Fact or Crap. The game consists of cards with questions that are either fact or crap. Each player gets tokens and depending on whether your answer to the question is fact or crap determines whether you increase your tokens or give them up. Gotta know your stuff about this game. Plenty of guessing too. The winner will be the one with the most chips. By the way, I was the first to depart the game due to no tokens. Bummer! The winner that ran away with the game was the youngest of us all. A 7th grader who was not only a good guesser but remembered many of the historical notes taught in school. Awesome!

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Finally, this year brought in a new friend to the group. A very close friend of mine married and his wife enjoyed the get-together. He texted me later that evening and noted they had a blast. Very encouraging. There were also a few young additions to the family that enjoyed the food, gifts, and camaraderie.

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Well, that’s it! I hope I did not bore you. This was special for me because there was a time I was not involved in anything like this. Very Thankful. I will be looking forward to next year.

Up next- I’ll share my New Year Resolutions.

Photos: courtesy of Giphy

Eat Smarter, Live Well!

Is it really about what you eat?? My hunch is that it is. If you care about your health and wellbeing eating the right thing is a must!

Hello there! Welcome back! As promised I want to share a bit about what my lifestyle entails. One of the things I have learned to accept with a positive outlook on life is the fact that we are what we eat. Before I go deep into this let us just look at what should be obvious to us today. Foods today are not what they were say in the early 1900’s. Our culture was one that lived on farms and grew most foods. Whether it was cattle, grain, or vegetable society mainly ate from the fruit of the land with very little manufactured processing. Consequently, most foods kept a majority of their nutritional value. This, in turn, helped mankind to consume a high concentration of foods with plenty of vitamins and minerals.

Fast forward to today, there are far fewer family-owned farms and most foods are processed. Advanced processes in agricultural technology have been the main cause; allowing for greater and quicker yields that are insect and disease resistant. As a result, food today appears to have lost a bit of the full nutritional value to be offered and replaced with fillers.

So with this, one has to eat smarter meaning they must educate themselves about what is consumed. Taking the time to do this will not only reward one with the self-satisfaction of doing well but also reaping the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Eat smarter and live well I say!

Personally, I’ve benefited from eating healthier!  From feeling sluggish all the time with no energy to being alert and vibrant I attribute most of the change to eating healthier. This means eating less processed foods to consuming more organic-prepped based foods.

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A quick way to gage this is just to look at the label. Are there ingredients on there you cannot pronounce? Hmmm? Far cry from just your plain descriptions.

Let me remind you though, that it has been a journey not always covered with rose petals. I have had to learn over time what promotes a healthy lifestyle and what works against it.  This is what I stress. Do what fits you and promotes a healthy lifestyle so that you:

  1. Can enjoy your family
  2. Family can enjoy you
  3. Share your ideas
  4. Enjoy travel, reading, sports, bike rides, plays, walks in the park!

With much Love