Monthly Archives: March 2012

Savoring Your Taste Buds

Spring has arrived and the warm weather has me wanting to sit out on the front porch with friends and a koozie in my hand. I usually enjoy having a few beers when I socialize but lately I’ve been craving ice-cold refreshments that serve as a healthy alternative to my typical choice of budlight lime. (which is a devious source of calories and sugar). I have been experimenting with healthier drink options to indulge in this summer without having to consume twice as many calories. I’ve turned it into a type of domestic project, which I think will be worth it in the end because not only will it be hale and hearty, it’ll taste good in the process. Here are some of my own recommendations if you want to try a healthy and flavorful drink that’s a change from what you’re used to.

Size matters. Don’t spoil yourself with limitless margaritas. Keep track of your liquid calories and limit yourself to one serving which is around 8 ounces.

Be able to resist. Mixed drinks can contain a lot of alcohol so if you’re experimenting with your own home remedies, try to limit yourself to one shot per drink. It will really make a difference when you’ve put a few cocktails down.

Choose healthy ingredients. Believe it or not, sugar and empty calories aren’t the only ingredients in your favorite drinks. I’ve found that some cocktails have lemon juice and even coffee that have their own benefits. If you stick to drinking four loko’s all the time, you’ll end up dehydrated and wake up with the worst hang over of your life (the alcohol and caffeine don’t tend to mix well.)

Use bright colors. It’s always fun to show off your flashy drinks with the fancy straw, so go ahead and stick a strawberry on the size or throw in some diced peaches. Using whole fruit rather than artificial sugar is a great way to receive your daily amounts of vitamins and fiber.

If making your own drinks at home is too much work, FitDay is a good source in discovering a variety of healthy drinking options to order at your local bar/grille.


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Diving Into A New Workout

As a child, I was enrolled in swimming lessons at one of the local public pools. I can remember waking up eager to go (regardless of how frigid the water temperatures are at 7a.m.) swim with the other kids. When I reflect back on my youth, it seems pools were meant for water gun fights and jumping off the highest diving boards to impress your friends. Now that I’m older, it’s become a symbol of physical fitness rather than child’s play. With that being said, physical activities don’t stay exciting forever which is why it’s important to participate in an exercise that’s going to keep you motivated. Therefore, I’ve recently decided to take it upon myself to start swimming at the rec center three times a week because it’s a rigorous workout, yet fun in the process.

When I got into the water today, I didn’t understand why I had waited so long to take laps in the pool. I’m no elite swimmer so it took me a minute to get started, but I began practicing various techniques that I learned from childhood. The three basic styles I could remember learning were the backstroke, freestyle, and underwater techniques. It felt so good to take another approach to exercising, and implement other parts of my body that haven’t been applied in awhile. For instance, I’m not flexible at all, but in the water you feel weightless and are able to move so freely.

There are many advantages to swimming which is why I’ve started conditioning. Moving through the water really improves your heart rate and lung capacity because you don’t have the ability to breathe in oxygen at all times. In addition, I like to swim because it’s not too strenuous on your body. It increases your muscle strength, but it’s not a higher impact workout like weightlifting. I swam at a comfortable pace, which allowed me to exercise all parts of my body including my cardiovascular system. My upper body became tired eventually so I switched to using a swimming board to work out my legs.

After about 45 minutes, I finished up and felt great about what I had accomplished. It’s a great way to lose weight or just tone your figure. I’d highly recommend utilizing an indoor community pool until summer is in session. This is a big step towards a positive change and I want to make it a long-term practice. You never know, I may be one of the old lady’s you see participating in water aerobics someday. It’s healthier than playing bingo, right?

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Saving Lives By The Numbers

I’ve attended several doctor appointments, dentist appointments, and other various check ups but never had a breast examination. I recently discovered that the Betty Puskar Breast Care Center is offering same day results for mammograms. I think this is a great idea because it raises awareness about breast cancer, but also gives women a peace of mind by having instant results before leaving the clinic. Breast cancer may not be a prevalent issue for young women, however an occasional mammogram should still be on your to do list.

I never knew what signs and symptoms to look for, but it’s just like anything else.. You may not be experiencing a tooth ache but it’s still important to attend regular check ups. The doctor found a small benign lump in my mother’s breast last summer and it scared me to death. Everything turned out fine because the lump was detected early but it left my mind racing and put into perspective how it’s vital to monitor your health. According to the U.S. Breast Cancer Statistics website, approximately fifteen percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer have a family member with the disease. Even if your family doesn’t have any type of history with cancer, it’s important to be proactive. In addition, there were almost 40,000 deaths last year as a result of breast cancer. There may be scarce treatment options for some types of cancer but early detection always helps.

By participating in mammogram screenings and self-breast exams, women can catch the deadly disease before it’s too late. If you’d like to have a screening done, patients can receive a mammogram at the Breast Care Center from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday-Friday. I’m all for a procedure that saves lives.

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