A Shopper’s Guide to Greens
What’s summer without a refreshing bed of greens morning, noon, or night? While (most) salads are nutritious no matter how you plate them, some greens provide a better bang for your bite. Feel free to pile these on your plate all summer long!
This dark leafy green reigns supreme in the antioxidant category; it’s chock-full of vitamins A, C, and K. Plus, it contains three grams of protein per serving. Mix up your standard salad by trying kale’s many varieties, including baby, curly, and lacinato.
A powerhouse green that boasts potassium and iron, spinach is a salad staple for a reason. Its mild flavor makes it easy to pair with a wide range of fruits and veggies.
If your salad could use some crunch, toss in this low-calorie option. Romaine is a solid source of vitamin A, and each cup contains approximately 44 grams of water.
While it contains some folate and vitamin A, iceberg lettuce has a bad rap as being the least-nutritious salad green. But don’t avoid it entirely – simply mix this lettuce with other greens for a better nutrition profile.
One Step at a Time
A bad bout of plantar fasciitis can slow down even the most active individuals. This heel pain is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia (the thick ligament that runs along the bottom of your foot). Experts believe 1 in 10 people will develop plantar fasciitis in their lifetime, and it’s more common in women than men.
Although there’s no way to know how long you’ll have this frustrating condition, there are steps you can take as you work toward recovery.
1. Put your feet up.
The golden rule of injury, rest is essential at the first sign of foot pain. Take a break from your regular workout routine, and if you must train, swimming is a great option that won’t irritate your feet.
2. Stretch & ice.
Stretching the calves and plantar area has proven beneficial for healing plantar fasciitis – tightness in these areas usually contributes to the condition. Icing the bottom of the foot can help decrease pain and inflammation.
3. See a podiatrist.
If plantar fasciitis persists, a podiatrist can help you explore other treatment methods, such as night splints or orthotic insoles. Physical therapy may also be recommended.
When to Stop the Swaddle
Swaddling newborns can help them transition from the womb to the world. It provides them with warmth and security, and it can improve their quality of sleep. But the season of swaddling isn’t meant to last forever – here’s how to know when your baby should be weaned.
The Shelf Life of Swaddling
Most babies start to transition out of swaddling between four and six months, although three months is not uncommon. Signs that your baby is ready include: fighting being swaddled, waking multiple times in the night, and breaking out of the swaddle wrap. Additionally, when your baby learns to roll over, it’s time to stop swaddling.
The Swaddle Shift
Sure, you can quit cold turkey, but your baby may prefer a more gradual transition from swaddling. To start, try swaddling with your baby’s dominant arm out for a couple of nights, then try both arms. Once your baby has become comfortable with this new routine, you can transition to a sleep sack or wearable blanket – these tools help provide some of the coziness and security of swaddling, but your baby’s arms are kept free.
Ponderings from Pregnancy
You’ve just discovered you’re pregnant – congratulations! If this is your first baby, you probably have a million questions running through your head. Here, we’re listing the top questions to ask your OB/GYN on that first prenatal visit.
For Your Lifestyle
- Are there any foods I should be avoiding? What about medications?
- What exercises are safe for me to perform?
- Does my current work situation pose potential risks for my pregnancy?
- How much weight should I ideally gain throughout the pregnancy?
- Are there changes I should make to my beauty routine?
- How frequently will I have appointments?
- Will that change from trimester to trimester?
- What screenings do I need to schedule?
- Should I get genetic testing?
- How often will I have ultrasounds to see my new baby?
In Case of Emergency
- Are there any warning signs that should signal a trip to the hospital?
- Who should I contact with important, especially time-specific, questions?
How to Keep Your Pet Healthy
Part of being a responsible pet owner is keeping your furry friend feeling happy and healthy. If you’re new to the pet-ownership party, these guidelines can help!
Help your pet maintain a healthy weight.
Don’t overfeed them. This will reduce their risk for a laundry list of conditions, including diabetes, kidney disease, and different types of cancer.
Exercise your pet.
All pets need activity – cats need to chase and dogs need to run. Whether a game of catch or a walk around the block, set aside time each day to exercise with your pet.
Feed your pet a balanced diet.
High-quality pet food should provide all the nutrients your pet needs to thrive, such as protein, vitamins, and healthy fats.
Schedule a veterinarian exam at least once a year.
During these wellness exams, your pet will receive a head-to-tail physical, so any potential problems are caught in the early stages. Medications and booster shots may also be administered.
Vaccinate your pet.
Vaccinations protect against many contagious, and even deadly, diseases. Work with your vet to stay up to date on your pet’s vaccinations.
5 Surprising Uses for Baking Soda
Thought baking soda was just for breads and cakes? This white powder truly is a wonder product – here’s how to take advantage of it:
1. Multi-purpose cleaner.
The versatility of baking soda is best demonstrated in the kitchen. Making a paste with baking soda and water, you can clean your oven, microwave, coffee maker, and more. It even works on tough stains!
Foul odors sticking around your fridge, trash can, or litter box are no match for a box of baking soda, all thanks to its odor-removing qualities.
It’s already a featured ingredient in many toothpaste brands, but baking soda can also act as a stand-alone homemade toothpaste – just form a paste with water. Add peppermint oil to the mixture if you need some flavor.
Own silverware that’s starting to see some tarnish? All you need is a paste made from baking soda and boiling water, and you’ll have perfectly polished pieces in no time.
5. Produce scrub.
No need to spend money on pricey produce washes! You can clean residue off your fresh fruits and veggies with a damp sponge and a sprinkle of baking soda.
Lowering Blood Pressure Naturally
The American Heart Association reports that more than 100 million American adults have high blood pressure, a dangerous condition that can lead to heart damage. Fortunately, there are ways to lower blood pressure, even without medication. Take note of these natural remedies!
Go for a walk.
It’s no secret that exercise is good for your heart, and just 150 minutes of moderate exercise – like walking – per week can have a positive effect on your blood pressure.
Skip the salt.
Processed foods are often packed with excess sodium, which puts you at risk for high blood pressure. Instead of these products, reach for heart-healthy foods like potatoes, berries, bananas, nuts, and seeds.
Or at the very least, limit your intake. Sticking to light-moderate drinking (or two drinks a day for men) is recommended.
Stress is directly linked to high blood pressure. In order to reduce your stress levels, try a relaxing activity like meditation, yoga, or listening to soothing music.
Even losing as few as 10 pounds can help manage high blood pressure! And you don’t need a fancy diet or routine – simply start by eating well and moving often.
A Balancing Act
Finding that perfect blend of work responsibilities and family time can seem like an impossible task. These tips can help make a healthy work/life balance achievable:
Evaluate how you’re spending time outside the office: Are you staying up late to answer emails? Taking work calls at the gym? Try instead to use your personal time to unplug and focus on the people and tasks in front of you. Place a boundary on what you will and won’t do outside of work hours and hold yourself to it.
SCHEDULE YOUR TIME.
Keeping a schedule can help you prioritize your appointments and work more efficiently. If you see your schedule getting too full, learn to say “no” to save your time and your energy. Treat non-work activities that are important to you (working out, time with children) like appointments that need to be kept.
Life can be overwhelming at times, so it’s important to ask for help. Outsourcing chores like home repairs and yardwork is one way to keep tasks off your plate. Surrounding yourself with a support system, including family, friends, and even a mental health professional, can also ensure your health and happiness.
10 Signs of Eating Disorders in Teens
It’s been reported that 95% of those exhibiting disordered eating are between 12 and 25 years of age. As such, it’s important to watch for signs of these complex illnesses in your teen. Telltale signs of disordered eating include, but are not limited to:
- A preoccupation with dieting, calories, or weight
- A refusal to eat specific foods or food groups
- A withdrawal from friends and once-favorite activities
- Skipping meals or eating smaller portions at regular meals
- Food rituals (excessive chewing, not allowing foods to touch)
- Extreme mood swings
- Noticeable fluctuations in size or weight
- Symptoms including dizziness, sleep problems, or difficulty concentrating
- Compulsive exercise
- Menstrual irregularities (for girls)
Some signs are specific to the type of eating disorder that’s present. The three most common eating disorders in teens are anorexia nervosa (characterized by weight loss), bulimia nervosa (binge eating followed by purging), and binge eating disorder (frequently consuming large portions of food in a single sitting).
“Can you pull over? I think I’m going to be sick!”
Whether you’re fortunate enough to have that timely warning or not, a child suffering from motion sickness is never a pleasant experience. Help prevent carsickness with these tips:
1. Stop the car.
At the first sign of symptoms, pull the car over and take a break from driving; for young children who cannot verbally express their discomfort, symptoms may include irritability and restlessness. If nausea or dizziness is present, have your child lie down until it passes.
2. Provide a distraction.
Whether your child is reading or playing a video game, looking downward can make symptoms worse. Instead of a book, distract them by talking or tuning in to a radio station they enjoy.
3. Give a boost.
If old enough to face forward in the car, elevate your child using a booster seat – that way, they can view the horizon through the vehicle’s windshield. This will help with any sensory issues that are causing the sickness.
If car sickness is a regular occurrence, over-the-counter medication may be helpful. Speak with your child’s doctor to determine the best course of action.