Sleep Hygiene

Ever since we were children, we were taught to have good hygiene habits, like bathing or showering every day, brushing and flossing our teeth, and washing our hands. But as adults, many of us do not know how to practice good sleep hygiene.

What is sleep hygiene? Good habits that lead to a good night’s sleep. Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being. Getting enough quality sleep can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.

The way you feel while you’re awake depends in part on what happens while you’re sleeping. During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. In children and teens, sleep also helps support growth and development.

Ongoing sleep deficiency can raise your risk for some chronic health problems. It also can affect how well you think, react, work, learn, and get along with others.

Here are some tips* to help you get a good night’s sleep:

*You can download the flyer here.

Don’t Forget Your Sunscreen!

Summer is here! And there’s so much to look forward to at summer gatherings — food, drinks, games, and sunshine.

But as enjoyable as it can be to fire up the grill and spend an afternoon with friends and family, outdoor parties can present health risks too. Before you head out to a barbecue or outside party, apply sunscreen.

Although the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends wearing sunscreen every day of the year, when you know you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors, it’s especially important to put it on.

The ACS and the Food and Drug Administration suggest choosing a sunscreen with the following:

Broad spectrum protection. This will ward off UVA and UVB rays. You want protection from both because while UVB rays are the main cause of sunburn and skin cancers, exposure to UVA rays also puts you at risk for developing skin cancer, as well as premature aging.

Sun protection factor (SPF) 30 or higher. SPF refers to how much sunscreen can protect against UVB rays. To understand the significance of these numbers, the ACS breaks it down this way: SPF 15 sunscreens filter out about 93 percent of UVB rays, SPF 30 about 97 percent, SPF 50 about 98 percent, and SPF 100 about 99 percent.

Water resistance. While no sunscreens are waterproof, those that indicate they are water resistant must state whether the protection lasts for 40 or 80 minutes while swimming or sweating. To best guard against sun exposure while in water or while sweating, reapply sunscreen at least every two hours.

So put on your sunscreen and have some fun in the sun!

Office Yoga

It’s no secret that sitting at a desk for hours each workday is not the best thing for our bodies.

“From a posture standpoint, it weakens the legs, can cause tight hips and low back pain, and stiff shoulders and neck,” said Michael Gervais, director of group programming for Equinox. “These are the biggest complaints we see these in our classes, and much of what we do in Western yoga is to counter the effects of this lifestyle.”
The good news is that doing small movements at your desk, even while seated, can make a difference.

“At minimum, you should stand and move around once an hour,” Gervais said.

Ready for a stretch break? Try these five yoga moves from Gervais to break up your workday.

1. Standing cat/cow
Use the side of the desk to arch and curl the spine. Inhale arch the spine, exhale round the spine, five to 10 deep breaths.

A standing cat/cow pose is demonstrated.

2. Standing twist
Use the desk or a wall as leverage and take three big breaths in a twist to each side.

A standing twist pose is demonstrated.

3. Crescent lunge variation
Put one leg behind you, then reach up with that same arm to stretch the front of the hips. Three breaths each side.

A crescent lunge variation pose is demonstrated.

4. Chair pose variation
With your feet touching, lift your butt a few inches off your chair, so your legs are working.

A chair pose variation pose is demonstrated.
Lift your chest and either keep your hands at your hips, or reach them overhead. Either way, keep opening across the shoulders. Five to 10 breaths.
It should feel like work for the legs.

5. Standing forward fold variation
With the feet hip distance apart, clasp your fingers behind the back and fold forward over the legs.

A standing forward fold variation pose is demonstrated.
Focus on squeezing your wrists together and opening across the chest. Let your head hang. Five breaths. Come out slowly.

Source: https://www.goodmorningamerica.com/wellness/story/yoga-moves-desk-international-yoga-day-56012758

Free Summer Meals for Children

Any child can come to Redwood Elementary School at 324 S. Lincoln Street in Fort Bragg to receive a FREE BREAKFAST and/or a FREE LUNCH from June 13 through July 10. Breakfast is served 8:00-8:30 a.m. and Lunch is served 11:00-11:45 a.m. Mondays through Fridays. Kids can just drop in during service time.

We’re happy to accommodate groups of children. If you are bringing a group, please call the kitchen in the morning at 961-3570 and leave a message saying how many will come, so they’ll have plenty of food ready for you.

Free meals are only available to minors during the dates and times listed.

Meals are provided by Fort Bragg Unified School District and USDA. USDA and FBUSD are equal opportunity providers and employers.

For more information please call Pilar Gray at 961-3521.

5 Habits of Healthy Eaters

Most eating habits are established during childhood. But that doesn’t mean it’s too late to adopt new, healthy habits.

Making healthy changes doesn’t require you to completely overhaul your diet. Start at your own pace by practicing these key healthy-eating habits.

Eat breakfast
Research indicates that eating breakfast every day helps with weight loss and weight maintenance by reducing hunger later in the day. When you break the overnight fast with a healthy breakfast, it’s easier to resist unhealthy choices during the day.
Include at least two food groups — such as whole grains, lean protein, dairy, or fruits and vegetables — at breakfast to put you on track for a day of healthy eating.

Drink water
Water is a crucial nutrient that often gets overlooked. Sixty percent of your body weight is made up of water and every system in your body requires it to function properly. Fluid needs depend on several factors: your health, your environment, how active you are, and if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. The Institute of Medicine recommends that men need about 13 8-ounce cups of water a day and women need nine 8-ounce cups of water a day.
Sometimes thirst can be misinterpreted as hunger. Check in with your body when you feel hungry, especially later in the day. Drinking a glass of water before eating can satisfy thirst and keep you from eating unnecessary calories.

Know what’s in your food
Eat foods that contain only ingredients that you can easily identify and foods with just a few ingredients. Eating more “real food” will help you cut out processed food, such as chips, cookies and frozen meals.

You will naturally choose fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein sources, and healthy fats. These foods are high in nutrients, but it’s important to keep portion control in check when it comes to foods in the protein and fat groups, since they tend to be high in calories.

Be politely picky at restaurants
Most restaurants serve large portion sizes, loaded with salt and fat. To keep from overeating, request a to-go box right when your meal is served and save half for the next day. That way, you won’t be tempted to eat more than you really want or need.

Ask your server how foods are prepared and choose menu items that are baked, broiled, roasted, seared, poached or steamed. Also make sure to ask for sauces or dressings on the side, and look for vegetables or fruit as side options instead of French fries.

Practice mindful eating
Mindfulness is a form of meditation that involves focusing intently on the present — what you’re feeling or sensing in each moment, even while eating.

The practice of mindful eating allows you to slow down and savor your food, which can help prevent overeating. How? It takes up to 20 minutes for your brain to register the chemicals that let you know when you are no longer hungry. Slowing down helps your brain catch up to how full you’re feeling.

Take a moment before eating and think of the food you are about to eat as fuel for your body. Remind yourself that you would like to feel satisfied, not stuffed.

Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/5-key-habits-of-healthy-eaters/art-20270182

The Risks of Inactivity: Why You Need to Exercise to Be Healthy

What do sitting and smoking have in common? Both are risk factors for chronic disease.

Researchers have been investigating ways to reduce our risk of chronic disease for decades. One big question: How much exercise is needed to prevent disease? The answer is at least 150 minutes per week. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ physical activity guidelines, adults should participate in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, including at least two days of muscle-strengthening activities. Exercising up to 300 minutes per week has even greater health benefits.

This guideline was developed with the assumption that we are doing light physical activity throughout the day including walking and standing. However, many adults are mostly sedentary during the day. Many of us sit all day at our jobs and technology has replaced our need to do physical work.

Research shows that individuals who sit all day, even if they go to the gym for an hour, are at greater disease risk than those who are more active during the day. “Informal” physical activity such as walking to a coworker’s desk, around the mall or through the parking lot can add up to a lot of minutes throughout the day and is beneficial to overall health.

What is physical inactivity?

Physical inactivity is any time you are not standing or moving. Sitting at your desk, watching TV or being in your car for a long commute all fall into this category. Our health is impaired by how many hours we spend each day sitting, as well as the duration of those stints of inactivity.

Even those who exercise for 150 minutes each week aren’t safe from the dangers of sitting for too long.

What are the risks?

Many parameters to assess disease risk include blood sugar, insulin, HDL (the good cholesterol), waist circumference, triglycerides and blood pressure. Researchers have also studied the relationship between sitting and indicators of inflammation, which is common in people with heart disease. Studies have even investigated inactivity and risk of premature death. All of these outcomes can be negatively impacted by physical inactivity: The more you sit, the greater your risk for disease and early death.

How can we reduce physical inactivity at home and at work?

While there is no published recommendation for “safe” sitting time yet, a good rule of thumb is to move for at least 1 to 2 minutes each hour in addition to 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. If your job is sedentary, you can break up that time with bits of activity to improve your health. Here are a few tips to get moving throughout the day:

• Park far away from your building or use public transportation.
• Use a standing or walking desk.
• Have walking meetings, instead of sitting in the conference room.
• Take a brisk walk after lunch.
• Rather than send an email, walk to your co-worker’s desk.
• Stand during phone calls.
• Drink enough water that you use the restroom often.
• Play pool, go for a walk or play lawn games instead of watching TV.

Source: https://www.eatright.org/fitness/exercise/benefits-of-physical-activity/risks-of-inactivity-why-you-need-to-exercise-to-be-healthy

Easy Wellness Tips

Here are some easy wellness tips to help make you healthier and happier!

1. Drink more water. Proper hydration is necessary for good health. While our hydration needs can be met by drinking other beverages, drinking water provides a healthy calorie-free and sugar-free option.

2. Add 10 minutes of exercise to your day. If you don’t already exercise, aim to get 10 minutes each day. Try walking to start. If you do currently exercise, add 10 extra minutes to your routine.

3. Get moving at work. Aim to stand up more often, or take a quick walk or stretch break.

4. Go to bed 10 minutes earlier. By the end of the week, you’ll get 70 extra minutes of sleep. If you keep it up all year, you’ll have slept 60 hours more. Imagine how well-rested you’ll feel!

5. Add an extra serving of fruit or vegetables per day. Each day, find a way to eat one extra serving. You may have more opportunities than you realize!

6. Spend more time with friends and family. This can help you to relieve stress, laugh more and relax—all of which can help increase your well-being.

7. Eat breakfast—it truly is the most important meal of the day. Find helpful tips and breakfast ideas here.

8. Reduce your screen time. Much of our time is spent behind the screens of our computers, phones and tablets, or in front of the television. Spend time doing healthier, more interactive, and physical activities.

9. Brush and floss your teeth. Good oral hygiene can promote good general health. Get in the habit of brushing twice and flossing once per day.

10. Control your portions. Limiting your portions is necessary for healthy eating and weight management.

The Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15

EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™, updated every year since 2004, ranks pesticide contamination on 48 popular fruit and vegetables. The guide, called the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen, is based on results of more than 35,200 samples tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration.

If you would like to reduce your exposure to toxic pesticides, try to purchase organic versions of fruit and vegetables on the Dirty Dozen list.

The group identified the following items on its “Dirty Dozen” list of produce with the most pesticide residue:

1. Strawberries
2. Spinach
3. Nectarines
4. Apples
5. Grapes
6. Peaches
7. Cherries
8. Pears
9. Tomatoes
10. Celery
11. Potatoes
12. Sweet Bell Peppers

Here are the items the EWG identified for its “Clean 15,” which report the least likelihood to contain pesticide residue.

1. Avocados
2. Sweet Corn
3. Pineapples
4. Cabbages
5. Onions
6. Sweet Peas
7. Papayas
8. Asparagus
9. Mangoes
10. Eggplants
11. Honeydews
12. Kiwis
13. Cantaloupes
14. Cauliflower
15. Broccoli

Enjoying Nut Butters


Going beyond peanut butter, nut butters have become more widely available and made with more varieties of nuts than before. While the definition of a “natural” nut butter is not regulated, it generally refers to nut butters that contain only nuts (and perhaps salt and oil) with no stabilizers, which creates a spread that separates (oil rises to the top) and must be stirred before use.

Make the most out of these protein-packed spreads:

Separation anxiety. An opened jar of natural nut butter can be stored in a cool, dry place. To minimize separation, whirl nut butter in a stand mixer and then refrigerate it. Or place the jar upside down in a small bowl or plastic container (to prevent leaking), so the oil slowly seeps through the nut paste.

Upgrade frosting. For baked goods such as cupcakes, quick breads or muffins, cut out extra sugar by using creamy nut butter instead of frosting. Heat nut butter in the microwave for 10 seconds, whisk in a few teaspoons of milk, then frost baked goods.

Go savory. Use nut butters in sauces for stir-fry, pasta and roasted vegetable dishes. For a simple sauce, blend together 1?3 cup peanut butter, 2 tablespoons less-sodium soy sauce, 2 tablespoons orange juice and a dash of red pepper flakes.

Use every last spoonful. Before recycling the jar, reuse it to make overnight oats. The oats will sop up remaining bits of nut butter stuck in places of the jar that utensils can’t reach.

Grind it at home. Use a high-speed blender or food processor to make your own nut butter. Here’s a basic formula (which yields approximately 1½ cups):

2 cups raw unsalted nuts + ¾ teaspoon salt* + 2 to 4 teaspoons oil
*If you’re using salted nuts, omit the ¾ teaspoon salt.

Flavor it. Use a mixer to blend these flavor-enhancing ingredients with 1 cup of your favorite nut butter:
• Mocha Nut Butter: Add 1 teaspoon instant coffee + 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa + 1 teaspoon sugar
• Honey Nut Butter: Add 2 teaspoons honey
• Cinnamon Nut Butter: Add 2 teaspoons cinnamon + 1 teaspoon sugar
• Spicy Nut Butter: Add 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce

Refrigerate homemade nut butter for up to six months.

DIY Nut Butter Hacks

Toast those nuts: Roasting or toasting nuts before processing adds extra flavor and starts to release nuts’ natural oils, which makes the grinding process easier.
Keep it fresh: Avoid using shelled nuts that are older than four months; they will have less flavor, are harder to grind and run the risk of going rancid.
Go skinless: Opt for nuts without skins, such as blanched almonds and raw peanuts; ground-up skins become gritty and may create an unpleasant mouthfeel.
Make it chunky: Coarsely chop an additional ½ cup nuts. Once the nut butter is at the consistency you like, add in extra nuts and process for 10 seconds until they’re just mixed in.

Source: https://foodandnutrition.org/from-the-magazine/healthy-kitchen-hacks-savoring-natural-nut-butters/

Magic Beans

beans2

Beans are a magical food, in a sense. They are the only food that can count as a serving of starchy vegetables or protein (but not at the same time), and depending on the type, beans contain 5 to 8 grams of fiber per ½ cup serving. Beans also can help reduce cholesterol, blood sugar levels and improve intestinal health.

Here are just a few ways to add beans to your favorite foods, increasing the amount of protein, fiber, magnesium, potassium, folate and iron in your diet, and much more.

Mix Beans Into Breakfast
You can add hummus made with chickpeas to an egg sandwich or avocado toast. Eggs, black beans, guacamole and salsa also make a great combo for a savory morning!

Put Them in Pasta
Try adding white beans to pesto pasta or to your tomato sauce.

Stir Them Into soup
Beans are a great addition to any soup from chicken noodle to chili. Add your favorite type of bean to your next batch.

Spread on Sandwiches
Hummus tastes great and is so easy to add to just about any food, especially sandwiches. It’s a great substitution for mayo or other high-calorie spreads.

Top Your Salad with Beans
Try topping your salad with different beans like chickpeas, black or kidney beans or edamame. You also can make a blended white bean dressing.

Bake Them in Dessert
Substitute flour with a can of pureed black beans in brownies or try different bean flours to add to any of your favorite baked goods.

Roast Beans for a Delicious Snack
Roasted chickpeas are a low-calorie option to eat by themselves or add to your trail mix.

Source: https://foodandnutrition.org/blogs/student-scoop/7-ways-add-beans-diet/