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20 Ways to Get Your Family Onboard with Healthy Eating
July 16, 2014
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When your fitness tribe also happens to be your family, it might be challenging to get everyone excited about kale, quinoa dv2014018and cauliflower — especially little mouths that aren’t accustomed to eating these foods. Here are 20 tips to help you get your family on board with healthy eating.

1. Don’t suddenly overhaul your family’s diet. Start small with one healthy change at a time.

2. Be a role model. Eat the nutritious foods you want your family to eat.

3. Nudge, don’t nag. You want your family to want nutritious foods.

4. Introduce new foods gradually and prepare them a few different ways to see what everyone likes best.

5. Stock healthy snacks in plain view — place a bowl of fruit on the counter, for example.

6. Eat nutritious meals together as a family. They don’t have to be fancy, just delicious.

7. Make the farmer’s market a family affair. Have the kids choose one vegetable they want to help prepare that week.

8. When making casseroles, meatloaf, chili, soups and stews, toss in some grated, chopped, or pureed vegetables, too!

9. When you talk about healthy foods with your family, highlight the nutrients the foods provide.

10. Explore new ways to prepare veggies. If you usually steam, try roasting or grilling. Start by trying some easy, 5-star recipes online.

11. Teach your kids to honor their hunger cues. When they tell you they’re full, don’t insist they clean their plate.

12. Take pride in food presentation. Research shows beautiful food actually tastes better.

13. Get your family involved in meal planning and food prep. For example, have your kids choose something to eat for Meatless Monday.

14. Limit fruit juice intake to one 6-ounce glass per day. Any more than that and those calories will quickly add up.

15. Have fun with healthy foods to make them more appealing to kids. Try making celery boats, or cutting fruit and vegetables into fun shapes with small cookie cutters.

16. Stir frozen vegetables into canned soups or frozen entrees. This is something older kids can do even when they’re fending for themselves.

17. Select snacks that provide around 150 to 200 calories, and also make sure they contain some protein, fiber, or healthy fats.

18. Teach your family how to read the Nutrition Facts Label and have them help you scan the ingredients at the grocery store.

19. Adopt a “No Sugar-Sweetened Drink Policy” at home. Make milk or water the go-to beverage at mealtime and save soda, fruit punch, and sports drinks for special occasions.

20. Learn a few healthy ingredient swaps, such as using Greek yogurt in place of sour cream, or coconut oil instead of butter in baked goods, to cut down on saturated. Simple substitutions go a long way in helping your family eat more healthfully.

Got a great suggestion for getting your family onboard with healthy eating? Share it with us in the comments section!!

Summer In Texas – Protect Yourself from the Sun
June 25, 2014
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Did you know that your risk for skin cancer (melanoma) doubles if you have had more than five sunburns in your lifetime? You can reduce your risk by 50 percent with the use of sunscreen. The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 am and 2 pm. Even cloudy days can cause a burn. It is recommended that you use a broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.

If you spend a lot of time in the sun, do you regularly apply sunscreen, wear a hat or use other protective clothing? If you don’t, you increase your chances of developing skin cancer. Each month, inspect your entire body for any skin changes. The following ABC’s will guide you on what to look for:

  • A – Asymmetry: One half does not match the other half
  • B – Border Irregularity: The edges are notched or ragged
  • C – Color: Varied shades of tan, black and brown
  • D – Diameter: Greater than six millimeters (1/4 inch)
  • E – Evolving: Change in size, shape, or shade of color

If you have a spot that looks suspicious visit a dermatologist right away.

Want more information? You can learn how to check a spot on your skin and get additional tips on protection from the sun’s harmful rays. Go to SpotTheSpot to learn more.

Sobering Facts about Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes
June 16, 2014
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One out of three people with type 2 diabetes don't know they have it.

One out of three people with type 2 diabetes don’t know they have it.

The CDC just released its 2014 National Diabetes Statistics Report (PDF), and the results are alarming: 29.1 million Americans have diabetes, and 8.1 million of those are undiagnosed. Type 2 diabetes strikes people of all ages, and early symptoms are subtle. In fact, about one out of three people with type 2 diabetes don’t know they have it.

This chronic condition thwarts the body’s ability to use the carbohydrates in food for energy. The result is elevated blood sugar. Over time, this excess sugar raises the risk for heart disease, loss of vision, nerve and organ damage, and other serious conditions.

The CDC created two excellent infographics (on diabetes and pre-diabetes) that you should definitely check out. You can view full-size versions them here and here.It really reinforces the need for biometric screenings on at least an annual basis. For many people, it’s the only screening they have all year — and the cost of untreated diabetes can be staggering.
For Father’s Day, Get Him to the Doctor’s Office
June 5, 2014
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For Father’s Day, Get Him to the Doctor’s Office

Father’s Day is a time to honor our loving parent. And there is no greater way to show that you care than by ensuring that they live a long, healthy life.

Does this description sound like your dad: stressed, stubborn, and just can’t spare a moment to visit the doctor’s office? Well, this year, give him a gift of peace of mind (for himself and for everybody that cares about him). Consider scheduling an annual checkup or routine physical for your father. If he does not have a regular family doctor, many neighborhood pharmacies and local grocery stores have mini clinics that can run routine checks for patients at around $60 to $100 a visit.

Recent research has showed that one in three men have not seen a doctor in the last year. In fact, further research shows that one in four men have not seen a doctor in the last three years. Their reasons for not visiting a doctor range from lack of time and the hassle of waiting to proclaiming that they feel “just fine.”

Here are a few tips for getting your father to the doctor’s office:

  1. Prevention is key. Even if he feels fine, patients with diseases and chronic illnesses that are detected early (heart disease, high blood pressure, etc.) have a higher rate of recovering and surviving longer than those that wait it out.
  2. What is the baseline? Collecting patient’s basic data is crucial in setting a baseline or patient history–in case of emergencies (heart rate and cholesterol counts), a patient’s normal/regular health information provides key insights to his or her health.
  3. Increase age=higher risk. As men get older, they are in more risks of developing colon and prostate cancer. Getting screened early means early detection and saving lives.
  4. Get over it and talk. Encourage your father to open up and talk about his health. Be persistent and pose direct questions that make it hard for him to avoid answering them. By showing how much it means for you to see him visit the doctor, he will be more likely to show up for the visit.