Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Healthy Cookie Recipe

1/2 cup Pumpkin Seeds
1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds
1/2 cup Sesame Seeds
2T Flax Seeds
4 cups Flour
1 cup Chocolate Chips
1t Salt
1t Baking Powder
1 cup Canola Oil
1 cup Raisins

Combine the seeds and roast them in a frying pan until they crackle. Remove from heat, place in large bowl adding the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix together with fingers or a large spoon. Add water until you have a moist, stiff batter with no clumps of dry ingredients. Press down with hand to flatten or use a fork. These cookies will not spread when baked. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 14 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Remove from oven and cool.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Eat Your Colors!

“The idea that a healthy plate of food will feature several different colors is a good example
of an old wives’ tale about food that turns out to be good science too. The colors of many
vegetables reflect the different antioxidant phytochemicals they contain-anthocyanins,
polyphenols, flavonoids, carotenoids. Many of these chemicals help protect against chronic
diseases, but each in a slightly different way, so the best protection comes from a diet
containing as many different phytochemicals as possible.” (Pollen, 57)

Training the Core Muscles

Core training has become popu-
lar over the last few years, and for
good reason. The "core" consists of
the muscles of the back, abdo-
men, buttocks, hips, sides of
trunk and pelvis. A strong core
helps stabilize the spine when you
sit, walk, twist, and bend, plus many
other movements, like picking up
your children, playing catch or hula

When your core muscles are
weak, other muscles pick up the
slack, which may place abnormal
stress on the joints due to muscle
imbalances or
muscle tight-
ness. A strong
core may also
prevent lower
back pain by
keeping the
spine in align-
ment, sometimes referred to as
"neutral" spine.

Good exercises to strengthen
the core muscles may involve hold-
ing your body in certain positions
without movement of the
joints. Examples are bridges and
planks. Dynamic movements may
be used to improve core strength as
well. Examples include abdominal
crunches on a stability ball, or using
a suspension trainer like TRX.
Incorporating core muscle train-
ing into your fitness regimen will
keep your back healthy and your
movements pain-free!

- Jamie Bullard

Monday, April 2, 2012


Did you ever wonder what the term "fitness" actually refers to? Physical fitness is a
set of attributes that allows our bodies to respond and adapt to physical effort. Being
physically fit can also reduce our risk for certain diseases. Physical fitness can be im-
proved by engaging in exercise at an intensity that overloads (challenges) our body.
There are several areas in which fitness can be improved: cardiorespiratory endur-
ance, which is the ability to perform exercise using large-muscles at a moderate to high
level of intensity for a prolonged period of time; muscular strength and endurance, or
how much force you can produce in a single effort (strength) and how well your muscles
resist fatigue (endurance); and flexibility, the ability to move your joints through a full
range of motion.

While you may like doing one type of exercise more than another (for example,
preferring running to weight lifting), it is important to include exercises that improve all
the areas of fitness.

Cardiorespiratory endurance can be improved by engaging in activities such as brisk
walking, running, cycling, swimming or aerobic dancing. Exercise sessions should be con-
ducted 3-5 days per week for at least 20 minutes (which can be broken into 10 minute
segments) at a moderate intensity.
Muscular strength and endurance can be improved by doing resistance training at
least twice a week on nonconsecutive days and working all of the major muscle groups.
Improved flexibility can be accomplished by stretching all the major muscle to the
point of mild discomfort and holding each stretch for 15-30 seconds.
Improving your level of physical fitness will benefit you in both the long and short
term. Find activities you like and make the time to do them!

- Jamie Bullard

Thursday, March 1, 2012

March is Berries & Cherries Month

Cherries are certainly one of today’s most popular dessert fruits, but they have been recognized
for their medicinal purposes since the 1400’s. One cup of sweet cherries has just 90 calories and is a
good source of fiber and vitamin C. With these great attributes, it’s no wonder why many nutritionists,
dietitians, and other health professionals often refer to cherries as a super food. Read on to learn
about the many “super-powers” of cherries:
Cherries and Antioxidants:
Did you know that cherries rank among the top 20 foods with the highest concentration of antioxi-
dants. In fact, the standard one-cup serving of cherries has the capacity to carry 4,873 antioxidants!
Antioxidants are substances found in foods that may protect cells from damage caused by unstable
molecules, known as free radicals. Cherries are especially rich in a phytochemical called anthocyanin.
They also contain melatonin, phenols and quercetin.

Cherries and Melatonin:
There are many instances in life when your sleep patterns are disrupted. Whether it is expected
jet lag or an ongoing sleep disorder, fresh cherries and the melatonin they contain can be an ally for
you! Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain. It plays a
key role in regulating the body’s internal clock and helps determine when we fall asleep and when we
wake up. Eating a handful of cherries just before bed is a great way to naturally regulate your sleep

Cherries, Arthritis and Pain Relief:
Great news for arthritis sufferers! A bowl full of cherries may help alleviate pain and inflammation
associated with arthritis and gout, the most severe form of arthritis. A gout attack occurs when exces-
sive amounts of uric acid (waste product found in the blood) accumulate in the joints, and cause in-
flammation and pain.
Back in 2004, researchers from the Agriculture Research Service and University of California-Davis
teamed up to study the effects consuming cherries could have on reducing pains caused by gout. They
found that participants who ate 45 sweet cherries during breakfast significantly decreased their blood
plasma levels while simultaneously increasing the amount of uric acid removed through urine. Accord-
ing to the researchers, these two changes are signs of a healthy immune system fighting inflamma-

Cherries and Heart Health:
Cardiovascular disease, or heart disease, is the single leading cause of death in America. One of
the many health benefits of cherries is that they contain powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins,
which may reduce a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Just like red wine, anthocyanins give cherries their deep red color and also protect cells from dam-
age during an interaction with oxygen. This important process also serves to protect the heart and
surrounding tissue, inhibit plaque formation and reduce inflammation.
Cherries and Brain Health:
Cherries are one of the few foods that contain melatonin. In addition to helping regulate sleep pat-
terns, melatonin is an important antioxidant that helps maintain optimum brain functioning and may
deter the onset of age-related chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s. Research also suggests that the an-
thocyanins found in cherries further protect neural cells and promote brain health.