No Time for a Nutritious Breakfast?

This Tasty Dish Takes Just Minutes to Serve!

It’s easy for time to slip away when you’re trying to get yourself and your family out the door for work and school. Breakfast is often skipped, and it’s easy to pick up fast food or hit the vending machine mid-morning.

How cool would it be to make a nutritious, delicious breakfast the night before that you can assemble in the morning in just a few minutes?

That is where overnight oats come in. You don’t have to cook the oats, and you just add in your favorite toppings. Store in the refrigerator till morning and you’re good to go. Oats are a good source of fiber and help keep cholesterol levels down.

Here are 5 tips to make overnight oats:

Use Rolled Oats

Steel-cut oats are too firm, and instant oats break down too much when making overnight oats. Purchase a rolled oat such as Quaker Old-Fashioned® for better texture.

Experiment

Add your favorite fruits such as blueberries or strawberries to bump up the nutrition and flavor. Spoon in some peanut butter for extra protein and if you like chocolate, add some Nutella®. Greek yogurt is smooth and tasty and supplies needed calcium. Try almonds, peanuts, macadamia’s or your favorite nuts.

Don’t Add Fruit Too Soon

There are so many fruits to choose from, and most should not be added until you are ready to eat. Bananas are an exception, and can be added when you mix everything else the night before. If you don’t want to wait, you’ll need to mash the fruit up.

Add Nuts Just Before Eating

That delicious crunch blends so well with the oatmeal and fruit, but nuts will get soggy unless you wait to add until you’re read to chow down.

Make Extra Batches

On a day when you’re not so busy, make up extra batches of overnight oats. You can use cottage cheese containers or mason jars for storage. Any container with a tight seal would be just as good. Now, you’re ready at a moment’s notice to serve your family a nutritious breakfast.

 

3 Sure-Fire Tips to Clean Your Tongue

Leave Your Breath Kissing-Sweet!

You’ve probably been told from an early age that brushing and flossing is the way to keep gums and teeth healthy. Of course, if you have dental insurance, regular cleanings are scheduled twice a year.

One area of the mouth that is often overlooked is the tongue. A healthy tongue should have uniform pink coloring. A tongue that is white on the top may be harboring harmful bacteria, dead cells and food debris.

It may gross you out to think about cleaning your tongue, but it’s not a difficult process. Here are 3 tips for proper cleaning of your tongue:

Tongue Scraper

A tongue scraper is usually made of soft, flexible plastic, and helps remove the top layer of white film. The key is to apply gentle pressure, so scrape in a downward motion at least three times. Rinse the scraper in warm water after each swipe.

Take your time and start from the back and work your way forward. For easier bacteria removal, coat the tongue with toothpaste before scraping.

Special Toothbrush with Tongue Cleaner

Purchase a quality toothbrush with a tongue cleaner such as the Colgate 360. Don’t brush your tongue with the same side of the toothbrush that you use to clean your teeth. A good time to do this is right after you brush and floss.

Mouthwash Rinse

After you’re finished cleaning your tongue, rinse thoroughly with water. If you have a favorite mouthwash, swish it in your mouth for 30-60 seconds.  This moistens the mouth and kills additional bacteria.

Are Your Legs Killing You?

Compression Stockings Will Put A Spring Back In Your Step!

 

If your job requires that you stand for long periods of time, your legs may be killing you by the end of the day. This is particularly true if you have varicose veins. Varicose veins are enlarged and twisted and most commonly occur on the legs and feet.

Compression stockings put graduated compression on your legs which improves the blood flow. There is little evidence that compression stockings keep you from forming new varicose veins, but your legs won’t be so tired and achy.

Here are four helpful guidelines for purchasing compression stockings:

Take Measurements

Start with your ankle and place the measuring tape around the smallest part of the ankle about a half an inch above the ankle bone. Next, measure the widest part of the calf. For your thigh measurement, place the measuring tape right below the buttocks. Finally, measure from the bottom of the buttocks to the floor.

Knowing your measurements will help you select the best size for your compression needs, and most places you order from will have a size chart for reference.

Determine Length

In most cases, knee-length compression stockings will work the best. However, if you have varicose veins or swelling in your thigh, then order the thigh highs.

Choose a Compression Level

Most people find that the 15-20mmHg compression works the best. Consult your doctor before purchasing stockings with higher compression.

Ordering

If you need more help or have further questions, purchase from a medical supply store. You can receive an accurate set of measurements and know you’re buying a quality product. It will probably be more expensive, but you shouldn’t worry about cost when it comes to your health.

On the other hand, if you prefer to buy online, there are usually more styles to choose from, and it is more economical.

 

Do You Weigh Yourself Every Day?

Why You Could Be Sabotaging Your Diet!

Dieting is very popular at this time of year. Feasting on holiday goodies may have you pinching more than just an inch, and you are anxious to drop the pounds and get back in shape.

Your bathroom scales definitely play a role in any weight loss program, but how often should you weigh yourself?  Opinions vary, between once a day, once a week, or once a month or less.

Weighing too often doesn’t always give you the most accurate results because changes take time. Here are four reasons why you shouldn’t weigh yourself everyday:

You’re Gaining Muscle

If you’re weightlifting or doing resistance training, you may be gaining muscle, which can make the scale go up instead of down. That’s a good thing because your body fat is going down and you’ll look slimmer.

Salt Retention

If you ate a salty meal such as a double cheeseburger with fries, you may be retaining salt. Too much salt leads to water retention, and until your body can expel that unneeded sodium, you may weigh more than normal.

You Feel Too Guilty

If you step on the scale and have lost weight, it’s a happy day, but if your weight goes up, you feel too guilty and may get so discouraged you throw in the towel on your diet.

Weighing on Different Scales

For the most consistent results, weigh yourself on the same scale. I know it’s tempting when you’re in the gym for your daily workout to hop up on the scale, but since it’s a different scale, the numbers may be higher. It’s also important to weigh yourself at the same time as before, and in the same type of clothes.

When Your Life is a Mess

Help is Always Available!

I’ve certainly had my share of problems, and if I had a dollar for every time I’ve made a mess of things I would be a rich woman.

I know you’ve had your own problems, and it can often seem like you’ll never find your way back into the light. This is the time to call on God or your Higher Power to see you through.

Here are four tips to remember when your life is a mess:

Trials Make You Stronger

I didn’t say that trials are enjoyable, and you can’t always control what happens to you. As you pray, God will use these trials to strengthen your faith. It may not seem like it at the time, but every trial you go through has a purpose.

Choose to Be Thankful

When you’re going through a rough patch, it’s tempting to complain to anyone that will listen. Focus on the things that are going right and give thanks. A thankful heart and a positive attitude make things seem a lot brighter.

Trust God’s Timing

If my life is any indication, things tend to move a lot slower when you’re working in God’s timing. I tend to want to run ahead of God, but when my prayer is answered, it’s always better than anything I could have done on my own.

You’ll Never Walk Alone

Hard times are often lonely, and you feel like you’re out of step with the rest of the world. No one else seems to be struggling, but always remember God is walking beside you. You may not feel it, but He is always there.

How do you get through the hard times in your life?

 

Thanksgiving- A Time to Count Your Blessings

What Are You Thankful For?

Do you remember the Mac Davis hit “Stop and Smell the Roses?” Let me refresh your mind by posting the lyrics to this thought-provoking song.

You’ve got to stop and smell the roses
You’ve got to count your many blessings everyday
You’re going to find your way to heaven is a rough and rocky road
If you don’t stop and smell the roses along the way

People always seem to be in a hurry in our modern-day world. Car horns beep from annoyed drivers, and video games and TV have replaced meaningful conversation. People are so busy that they are texting while driving, eating in a restaurant, and even in the movie theatre. Is it any wonder that people are so stressed out?

This Thanksgiving stop and smell the roses. Shut off the electronics and reconnect with your loved ones. Eat dinner together and have some real conversation where everyone contributes. Go outside, get some fresh air, and admire God’s handiwork.

We have so many things to be grateful for, and when we slow down long enough to count our blessings, even the smallest things in our lives take on a new meaning.

5 Ways to Make Thanksgiving Safe for Pets

 

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into some turkey, dressing, pumpkin pie, and of course for me, it is not Thanksgiving without that sweet potato casserole.

The same foods that you enjoy so much, could be toxic for your pets. Many foods are on the no-no list, so you need to be vigilant, but it doesn’t mean pets can’t enjoy safer Thanksgiving treats.

Here are five ways to make Thanksgiving safe for your pets:

Feed Small Bites of Turkey

Those begging eyes are hard to resist, and you can give your pets small bites of turkey. Make sure the turkey is boneless and well-cooked, so they don’t digest salmonella bacteria.

Don’t Let Your Pet Lick the Dessert Bowl

You can’t celebrate Thanksgiving without dessert, at least in my opinion, but don’t let your pets stick their nose in the batter. This is particularly true if you are using raw eggs. I have seen warnings on cookie and cake mixes to not eat raw dough, so this applies to people as well as pets.

Give Dog Chews Instead of Turkey Bones

Dogs usually love to chew on turkey bones, but bones can splinter easily and cause blockages in the digestive system. Instead, offer chews made specifically for dogs.

Don’t Feed Foods with Nuts

Nuts are commonly used for Thanksgiving favorites such as sweet potatoes, Waldorf Salad, and as a filling or garnish for holiday pies. High fat nuts such as walnuts, pecans, and almonds can cause diarrhea and vomiting in your pets.

Make a Holiday Meal for Your Pets

There’s no reason for pets to miss out on all the fun and food, so take a few bites of boneless turkey, mashed and sweet potatoes and put them in a puzzle feeder. Puzzle feeders come in all shapes and sizes and it takes time to get all the food to come out. This keeps pets from gobbling food too fast, or begging at the holiday table.

4 Off-Beat Tips to Help Insomnia

Easy Tips Anyone Can Follow!

 

Insomnia is another one of those pesky things that happen during menopause. There are many reasons why you can’t fall asleep.  A medical condition or medication may be the culprit, or you may be so anxious that you can’t relax.

When you’re worried about something it is even harder to go to sleep, and you wake up tired and irritable. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to relax and fall asleep. Here are four off-beat tips to help insomnia:

Stop Clockwatching

The small clocks that light up in red or blue are very popular, and it’s tempting to keep checking the time when you can’t fall asleep. Do yourself a favor and turn the clock face around so the light isn’t shining in your face.

Visualize a Favorite Place

The old-time remedy of counting sheep doesn’t always work, but if you visualize yourself on a sandy beach or hiking in beautiful mountains, you’re anxiety will go down and you may fall asleep faster.

Use Lavender Oil

Lavender can have a calming effect on your body and relax your mind. Add 6-8 drops of lavender to a warm bath or put 3 drops on a tissue or handkerchief, and inhale deeply. You can even put a few drops on your pillow.

Eat a Light Snack

This isn’t the time to pull out the leftover pizza and have a second dinner. A light snack 45 minutes before bedtime can help you fall asleep. Healthy snacks include peanut butter toast with a sliced banana, cottage cheese with a dollop of jam, or a small bowl of whole wheat cereal and milk.

If you are still having trouble falling asleep, make an appointment with your doctor. She may recommend you do a sleep study.

What do you do to get to sleep?

4 Tips to Avoid Holiday Depression

Cut Loose and Have Some Fun!

 

The holidays are here and it’s time to enjoy food, family, football, and just kicking back for some much needed relaxation.  While some people can’t wait to get started on all the festivities, others are depressed and just wish they could crawl in a hole and not come out.

For the stressed-out crowd, here are four tips to avoid holiday depression:

Don’t Neglect Exercise

I know getting everything ready for the holidays can be exhausting with buying gifts, cooking dinner, and making sure everything comes together. When you’re suffering from holiday depression, the last thing you feel like doing is exercising.

However, you can make it fun by organizing activities such as a  family walk, ice skating, or playing miniature golf.  You’ll not only feel better emotionally, but it’s also a great way to work off the calories from all your favorite holiday foods.

Ask for Help

Don’t try to do it all by yourself. Guests can bring a dish, kids can decorate the holiday table, and recruit a few people to help clear the dirty dishes after the meal is served.

Cut Gift Expenses

When you count up the expense of buying presents for the family, it can throw you into a financial tailspin. Instead of buying expensive store-bought gifts, make something homemade such as cookies or fudge. If you’re handy with a crochet hook, you can crochet items such as a scarf, braided necklaces, or baby flip-flops.

Many families draw names so you only have to buy for one person. You may feel you can spend a little more if you don’t have to buy for the whole group.

Schedule Time for Yourself

You’re taking care of everyone else’s needs, and you deserve some time to do the things you enjoy. Schedule some time and kick back in the hot tub, shop till you drop, read a favorite book, or take a long nap.

 

3 Reasons Why Physical Therapy May Not Work

 

I have had chronic back pain for 20 years and have taken medication and exercised, but nothing has helped me as much as physical therapy. It’s important to build up your core muscles, which extend beyond your abs, but don’t include arms and legs.

If you have chronic pain, it’s easy to get a referral from your doctor to see a physical therapist. However, it can be a challenge to work the program.

Here are three reasons why physical therapy may not work:

You’re Not Performing Active Exercises

It feels so good to have an ultrasound treatment or massage at the therapy office. They are relaxing with a nice massage of painful areas, and if I could get away with it, I would take the ultrasound machine home with me. However, you also need a program of active exercises that work the muscles. This includes stretching, strengthening, and low-impact exercises like riding the stationary bike.

Exercises Are Done Incorrectly

On your first visit, the physical therapist gives you a sheet of recommended exercises, and demonstrates the correct way they should be done. I had this problem with the pelvic tilt exercise, and had to have the physical therapist show me what I was doing wrong. If you are experiencing pain when you do your exercises, don’t be afraid to speak up.

You Don’t Continue Exercises at Home

Once your pain seems to be better, it’s tempting to discontinue your exercises, and eventually your pain comes back again. I know it is a drag to have to get down on the floor when all you want to do is relax, but you’ll be glad you did when your pain level improves. Schedule an exercise session on your calendar at least three times a week and stick to it.

How has physical therapy helped your pain level?