Tag Archives: health

The fight of the century: Carbs vs. Me

The fight of the century. No, I’m not referring to the #MayPac fight or Avengers vs. Ultron. I’m talking about carbs.

My relationship with them has been complicated over the years. In the early 90’s, I watched my parents and their network of friends get swept up in Phase 1 of the Atkins diet. All of the chatter about the benefits of eating as much as one liked on the no-to-low carb diet was pan-seared into my brain.

Fast forward 20 years. When I  haven’t had enough sleep or when I’m stressed out and then faced with food choices, it can sometimes still feel like a battle royale of Good vs. Evil.  “Are all donuts bad? What if they’re vegan and made of alternatives like egg replacer, almond flour, coconut flour, applesauce and pumpkin puree?”

My fellow TK bloggers and I believe that carbs are an important part of a balanced diet and that some carbs are better than others. Today, we’re sharing a few of our favorites. Starting with…

Bri… Months ago I was at the store looking for sprouted whole grain bread. I wasn’t looking for low-carb/low-calorie, but I came across this gem and decided to give it a go. At 50 calories and 6.5 net carbs per slice, this flax seed bread is now part of my breakfast almost every morning. The first five ingredients: sprouted organic whole wheat berries, filtered water, wheat gluten, flax seeds (see this article on benefits of flax seeds!), and oat fiber. Toasted with a tablespoon of almond butter, it’s a delicious part of my day.

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Kristi… I have had a lifelong friendship with starchy carbs! Nothing beats mashed potatoes, creamy mac n’ cheese and the delicious crunch of fresh French bread. Unfortunately, my 30-something life now includes a slower metabolism and a husband that doesn’t eat many carbs at all. The compromise? A blossoming friendship with sweet potatoes. Sure it’s not completely the same, but it’s a fairly good substitute, and it has become a staple in our household. In addition to just roasting sweet potatoes in the oven, I love cubing them into a breakfast hash to accompany fresh veggies and over-easy eggs, and mashing them with a dab of non-fat Fage Greek yogurt to make a creamy, yet flavorful, dinner side.

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Meredith…I live with a man who would choose to the eat simple carbs for each meal (if I let him). We’re big pasta fans in our household, but with a wedding on the horizon and the need to be healthier, we have found a perfect alternative to white pasta: Brown Rice & Quinoa Pasta from Trader Joe’s. This pasta has no “bad carbs” and instead has a blend of 20% organic quinoa flour and 80% organic brown rice flour—so we still get our pasta fix without the sugar-rush that comes with a simple carbohydrate. This pasta can be used for an easy weeknight meal—top with marinara sauce or olive oil and a squeeze of lemon and you’re ready to go! For a quick protein addition, sauté chicken or shrimp and serve on top.

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If you have a favorite carb, let us know what it is and how you like to prepare it.

Healthy Tips for Your Work Day

I was reminiscing the other day about middle school. We had it pretty good during our teenage years. We arrived at school around 8:30 a.m.  By mid-morning we had a 10-minute break. Around noon, we had a nice long lunch with plenty of time to move around, prior to the “long stretch” of three torturous hours of sitting still until freedom at 3:00 p.m.

As adults in the working world, our days often begin earlier and end later, and the middle portion is full of sedentary time. As a result, there’s a growing emphasis on understanding how we can mix healthy habits into our 8+ hours of office time.

Below is a short list of a few easy-to-incorporate tips that can put the “healthy” in your work day.

  • Drinking, Drinking and More Drinking – And no, I’m not referring to the good stuff, but just plain H20. Staying hydrated is such an important step to good health, and I find that having it conveniently placed on my desk keeps me drinking, even if I get stuck for an hour or two in my office. To maximize my water intake, I like to keep several vessels for drinking water on my desk.
    • The first is my CamelBak Eddy 1L water bottle ($16). This water bottle is spill-proof, so it’s a versatile item that can go from a my desk to a designer purse to a hiking backpack.
    • The second is an inexpensive Ikea Water Carafe ($2.50). I get a few glasses worth of water, which minimizes the number of trips to our coffee station, and I can conveniently pour it right into my desk mug.

Healthy Tips 1

  1. Calendar a Break Time – I also like to add a break reminder to my ever-busy Work calendar. Whether you use an electronic or paper organizing system, don’t forget to schedule a quick break in between your meetings and calls. As an electronic organizer, I like to schedule “Stretch Time” on my Outlook calendar. The electronic pinging sound and the pop-up reminder jogs my memory to take a break. Depending on my day, a break can just be a quick stroll outside for some fresh air or even just a reminder to stand up and stretch.

Healthy Tips 2

  1. Stand Up Conference Calls – Another tip is to take conference calls on speaker phone and stand up. I have terrible posture, and I find that by standing it helps me to get my shoulders back a bit more. Several long-winded conference calls haven taken place in the past few months, so this is now a common practice that I’ve come to appreciate. On a similar note, consider bringing a bolster or other amenities for your chair to help your posture when you’re seated.
  2. Disinfect Your Workspace – I am not personally a huge germ-a-phobe, but I am a proponent of good cleaning. I like to wipe down my keyboard, mouse, phone (including mobiles) and general workspace on a consistent basis. Our supply room has a multitude of these convenient antibacterial towelettes which make a quick clean quite handy, but you can also easily pick up a Lysol container at your next grocery trip and store it in your drawer.

Healthy Tips 3

  1. Snack Healthy – Are you an in-between-meal snacker? Consider stocking your desk drawer with healthy snacks. For those with office space, consider bringing in a more stylish home décor piece like a fruit basket and stock it on Monday with healthy, grabbable snacks. This will help you avoid running to the kitchen when someone emails that they brought in doughnuts.

The bottom line is that we spend more and more time in our workspace, and thus have to have a stronger awareness of how we can adapt our lifestyles to ensure we’re staying healthy.

Do you have any work-related healthy tips that you utilize? If so, we’d love to have you share.

Medicine Organization: How to File and Sort Health Products [Video]

When I’m not feeling well, I typically just want to lie down and do nothing. Even getting up to get a tissue or a glass of water seems like a tremendous effort. You know what else takes a lot of effort? Finding the right medication. Sifting through a box of boxes, pouches and packets with various cold and flu remedies can be frustrating.

Not anymore! Last week I was feeling quite well, so I took that burst of energy and reorganized my medicine box. No more hunting around for what I need; it’s all labeled clearly and within easy reach.

Watch the video to learn how I organize my medication.

I hope you find these tips are helpful. How do you organize your health and wellness products? Let me know in the comments below. We learn by sharing!

Be well!