The Importance of Good Posture
Posture is something that most people don’t think twice about. We tend to sit or stand in whatever way feels the most comfortable at the time. However, poor posture can wreak havoc on a person’s body, causing back and neck pain, muscle fatigue, digestive issues and even breathing problems.
Many Americans work at jobs where they spend most of their days sitting in front of computers. They then often go home and continue to sit after a long day at work. In the winter, individuals may spend even more time sitting when temperatures drop and outdoor activity becomes more difficult.
Spending many hours a day sitting and looking at a computer or a phone can lead to tight muscles in the back of the neck and upper back, which places stress on your bones and joints. Slouching or sitting in a scrunched position can also compress your abdomen and interfere with normal digestion.
To avoid the dangers associated with poor posture while sitting, make sure your computer monitor is at eye level to avoid straining your neck by constantly looking down. In addition, avoid holding a phone on your shoulder throughout the day. Instead, use a hands-free device like a headset or one with Bluetooth capabilities. Taking the time to stretch and strengthen core muscles can also help correct muscular imbalances.
Poor posture is something that affects you more over time. By taking steps now to be conscious of your posture, you can decrease your chances of developing joint pain and improve your overall well-being.
Preventing Foodborne Illnesses
Each year, approximately 1 in 6 Americans get sick from food poisoning. It’s not uncommon to hear about food being recalled or a new foodborne illness outbreak daily. Most people recover without any long-lasting effects; however, those who are pregnant, the elderly or those with chronic conditions are more at risk for developing complications.
Prevent foodborne illness at your home by being conscious of food safety guidelines. For instance, avoid eating raw or spoiled meats and eggs by checking expirations dates before purchasing and preparing food. Wash your hands, cutting boards and knives with antibacterial soap and hot water after handling raw meat, seafood or eggs. Never serve meat on the same plate it was placed on when it was raw. Use a food thermometer to make sure meat is cooked to a safe temperature.
In addition, avoid thawing food at room temperature; instead, defrost foods in the refrigerator and do not refreeze food once it’s been fully thawed. Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating, especially those that will not be cooked (like fresh apples or pears) in order to prevent foodborne illness.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day this year with this easy, healthy dessert recipe.
- 6 Tbsp. semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 large bananas, peeled and quartered
- 8 large strawberries
- ¼ cup unsalted peanuts, chopped
Place chocolate chips in a small microwave safe bowl. Heat on high for 10 seconds and stir. Repeat until chocolate is melted, about 30 seconds.
Place fruit on a small tray covered with a piece of waxed paper. Use a spoon to drizzle the melted chocolate on top of the fruit.
Sprinkle the fruit with chopped nuts. Cover the fruit and place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes or until the chocolate hardens. Serve chilled.
Makes: 4 servings
Nutritional Information (per serving)
Total Calories 151
Total Fat 10 g
Protein 3 g
Carbohydrates 24 g
Dietary Fiber 4 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Sodium 2 g
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Last week, new healthy eating guidelines were released by the US departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services. The big message was to consume less sugar. Specifically, the recommendation is to limit to 10% the maximum daily calories from added sugars. In addition, less than 10% of calories should come from saturated fats.
I want to share with you an excerpt from a 2015 New York Times piece that helped me finally understand the problem with eating too much sugar (this piece focused on soda, but the same applies to the valueless, and harmful, calories that come from white bread, white rice, and white potatoes and more listed below)…..[…]
FDA Aims to Ban Minors from Tanning Beds
Due to concerns about the rising number of skin cancer cases, in December 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed rules that would ban anyone under the age of 18 from using indoor tanning beds.
In winter, it can be tempting to jump into a tanning bed for some added color. However, tanning beds give off radiation that is 10 to 15 times stronger than the sun.
Tanning beds are linked to a number of health risks, including melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Health risks increase each time someone tans; therefore, using tanning beds at young age can be especially harmful.
The proposed rule would also require all customers to sign a risk acknowledgement form before their first tanning session and every six months thereafter stating they’re aware of the health risks.
The FDA will take comments from the public on the proposal for 90 days. If approved, violators could be subject to penalties, tanning bed confiscation and legal action.