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Living the Healthy Lifestyle

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How to Pack Your Own Lunch, Like a Champ

At 5 am my alarm goes off.  Up and at it I go.  Goal one: Put in my contacts.  Goal two: Grab all of my belongings for the day and head to my 6 am workout.  I have definitely forgotten my fair share of essential items for the day (e.g., you can ask a few of Hilton Head Health’s employees, ha); but one thing I will never forget is my packed lunch.  I always bring my lunch box/cooler filled with breakfast, lunch and a few ice packs.  After my workout, I have my breakfast within the hour post-training.  I wish I could do a hot breakfast every now and then, but I save those for weekends. My two typical breakfast options:

BREAKFAST ONE BREAKFAST TWO
  • ¾ cup 1-2% cottage cheese or Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup fresh berries (whatever is on sale)
  • ¼ cup nuts (cashews, pecans, or almonds)
  • 2-3 T. toasted oats or low sugar granola
  • 1 cup cooked cereal (oats or buckwheat) or ½ cup cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup mango + ¼ cup blueberries
  • 2 T. homemade nut butter (almond or cashew)

Meal Planning Tip:  I portion out 3-4 breakfasts on Sunday.  Grab & Go daily. 

My work day begins and soon enough it is 12 or 12:30 pm and I am ready for some lunch.  I typically take a thermal walk after lunch or get in a walk before I eat to clear my head.  Chef Karla Williams and Chef Carrie know the drill…I take my cooler to the Healthy Kitchen and I typically sit in one of my favorite H3 rooms while they are prepping for an event.  It is like my own personal demo while I reheat my lunch.  I am thankful I prepared most of my lunches on Sunday, just like breakfast.  I can’t imagine hitting the 12:00 hour five days a week and not knowing what I was doing for my food.  It is too important for me to forget.  No one “forgets” to eat…it simply isn’t a priority in that person’s life at the moment.  Below are a few lunches that are easy to meal prep on Sunday while tasting delicious a few days later.  I usually repeat these lunch items a few days in a row for meal prepping purposes and will most likely switch things up once or twice during my Monday through Friday.

WEEK ONE WEEK TWO WEEK THREE WEEK FOUR
  • ½ cup cooked whole grain (rice, farro, etc.)
  • ¾ cup cooked roasted eggplant and onions
  • 4-5 oz. coconut slow cooker pulled chicken
  • ¾ cup roasted sweet potatoes
  • ½ cup balsamic roasted Brussels sprouts
  • 4-5 oz. herb grilled pork tenderloin
  • ½ cooked cilantro brown rice
  • 1 cup stir-fried peppers and onions (seasoned)
  • ¼ cup black beans
  • 3 oz. grilled chicken
  • 3-5 cups spinach
  • ¼ cup blueberries, cherry tomatoes, avocado
  • 2 T. sunflower seeds
  • 4 oz. Salmon (from night before)
  • 2 T. homemade dressing

 

To some, these lunches may appear more like traditional dinners; however, it is essential to have a balanced and satisfying mid-day meal.  These meals carry me through most of my afternoon and I know I have done everything possible to set myself up for success.  Put in the effort to create a lunch that you enjoy and I promise everyone will start coming to you for daily lunch inspiration. icon wink How to Pack Your Own Lunch, Like a Champ

 

SUCCESS STORY: OVER 100 LBS LOST IN 1 YEAR

Capture Jans Story 300x152 SUCCESS STORY: OVER 100 LBS LOST IN 1 YEAR

We applaud past Hilton Head Health Guest, Jan Gregory, for all her hard work! She stayed motivated and focused and lost over 100 pounds. But we’re not just proud about her weight loss, we’re estatic about what she’s gained through the process. She can not only see her results but she feels much healthier and happier.

After finally deciding she needed to make a healthy change, she choose to come to H3 for some help on making that change a reality. She has accomplished more than just a drastic physical transformation, she’s achieved a mental transformation. Keep on keeping on, Jan! 

Read what she wrote about her journey to a healthier lifestyle.

 

2-Step Spiced Sweet Potato Smoothie by Carrie Adams

Tired of the same old sweet potato recipes? The H3 Healthy Kitchen has the perfect recipe for you! Make this delicious Spiced Sweet Potato Smoothie for breakfast or a nutritious snack. With only 5 ingredients and 2 simple steps, you can blend up this smoothie in no time!

SpicedSweetPotatoSmoothie3 2 300x300 2 Step Spiced Sweet Potato Smoothie by Carrie Adams

 
Ingredients:

32 oz Soy Milk, plain

2 each Sweet potato, roasted

1 T Honey

1 tsp Cinnamon

1 T Flax seeds, ground

Method:

  • Place all ingredients in the blender.
  • Mix until smooth.

Nutrition:

Servings: 10

Serving Size: 4 oz

Calories: 70 kcal

Fat: 1.5 grams

 

Heart Pumping Tabata

Are you ready for some tabata? This type of interval training incorporates 20 seconds of intense exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest. Tabata workouts are great for your heart and body because it provides aerobic and anerobic benefits.

Today’s tabata workout will include these 4 exercises:

1. Burpees

2. Plank

3. Lunges

4. Jumping Jacks

You’ll do each exercise  for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds for a total of 8 rounds. Do 4 minutes of each exercise with 1 minute of rest. This gives you a 20 minute heart pumping tabata workout! Check out the video below to see 3 variations of each exercise, choose to do the variation of intensity that works best for you.

Have a great workout!

 

The Beginners Guide to Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy – What is it?

Hydrotherapy involves the use of various properties of water to promote physical and mental therapeutic effects.  Done primarily in warmer water (ideally in temperatures ranging from 93-98 degrees), the temperature combined with water properties is intended to allow neural and musculoskeletal rehabilitation, as well as enhanced flexibility, balance, and coordination, which can easily be transferred to land-based exercise.

DSC33061 300x300 The Beginners Guide to Hydrotherapy

Benefits of Hydrotherapy:

  1. Increase in efficiency of total body circulation and decreases in swelling, particularly of distal joints (less issues with extremities, such as in osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis)
  2. Softens and relaxes the body, which promotes pain relief
  3. Reduces tendency for muscle spasms
  4. Increases range of motion through the joints (allows them to work through fluid movements, as opposed to jerky or abrupt and uncontrolled movements as tend to happen on land)
  5. Muscular strength and endurance
  6. Improved balance and coordination, particularly beneficial for the active older adult (as falls lead to so many serious or even potentially fatal injuries)
  7. Re-education of damaged or paralyzed muscles (as in after surgeries and/or joint replacements)
  8. Found to improve conditions such as muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurological afflictions

Properties of Water that Promote Safety/Effectiveness:

  • Buoyancy: lessened effects of gravity means less impact on the joints, particularly the knees, hips, and spine (axial load) which makes many land-based exercises doable for those who can only exercise in water. Buoyancy also allows for more reaction time so that some exercises which are difficult to do on land because they require fast actions are more doable in the water (i.e. jumping motions, lifting the legs, or even performing some stretches where it can be difficult to maintain the balance and coordination)
  • Viscosity: provides natural resistance through gentle friction against the body (about 15x more in water than on land) which conditions and strengthens the body and repairs injuries
  • Hydrostatic Pressure:  keep heart rate slightly lower than it would be on land proportionate to the work output, which means you can exert more effort without feeling as winded as quickly – this property also lends itself to improve heart and lung function.

Contraindications:

  • Prominent inflammation (clearly visible, redness and heat are present)
  • Fever (previously heightened core temperature is not advised for hydrotherapy)
  • Heart disease/hypertension/vascular conditions (increased blood flow and/or circulation is not advised for these populations)
  • Cancer
  • Hemorrhages/infections/open wounds
  • Osteoporosis – This population is not necessarily a contraindication as they DO benefit from hydrotherapy, however they also do need true weight-bearing training in order to improve bone density and reduce risk of fracturing or breaking a bone.

Customization of Intensity:

  • Hydrotherapy can be approached as simplistically as floating in the water to benefit from increased temperature and relaxation properties.
  • Intensify your experience with some static and dynamic stretching in the water.
  • Intensify further with some dynamic movement including squats, lunges, kicks from the wall, water walking or even light jogging and other aerobics movements.
  • Increase speed, duration and range of motion as other methods of intensifying the work or increase turbulence in the water to challenge balance and stability.
  • Add objects such as floatation devices or water weights to enhance resistance and increase surface area.

Hydrotherapy Exercises:

  1. Standing lunge stretch (shallower water if possible)
  2. Standing calf stretch
  3. Standing hip flexor stretch
  4. Quad stretch (one hand against wall)
  5. “Floating” full body stretch (both hands on wall, outstretched and core musculature engaged)
  6. Knee-to-chest exercise (one hand on wall, leg outstretched to front, draw knee in and extend)
  7. Leg raise exercise (one hand on wall, leg outstretched to front, pulse leg up and down)
  8. Reverse leg raise exercise (one hand on wall, leg outstretched behind, pulse leg up and down)
  9. Pool walking exercise (versions include arms out, arms to front, feet directly in front of one another, calf raise, backwards walking, arm circles, forward kicks, hamstring curls, breaststroke arms, etc.)
  10. Quadruped floating exercise (lying supine with engaged core, paddle arms and feet simultaneously)
  11. Floating char exercise (seated in chair position with levitated legs, use arms to keep balance)
  12. Any other low impact aerobic move you enjoy!

 

I had an Eating Disorder, then I Received a Rose

It’s 2015 and I am 30 years old. I am 5’ 8’’ wearing shoes and I weigh 131 lbs. I am a size 2 at Banana Republic and a size 6 at Lululemon. In 2004, I was 18 going on 19 years old. My height was the same as today. I weighed as little as 110 lbs and tested at 9.9% body fat. I was a size 0 or extra small—a size 6 would have been extremely baggy. I was entering my first season as a Division I collegiate soccer player and I had an eating disorder.

Why it started?

It began with a speech from a high school track coach discussing leaning up for endurance sports. I internalized this talk as “time to cut out the fat from my diet.”  Skipping my favorite ice cream in the world, Greaters, turned into eliminating oils, fatty meats, peanut butter and cheese from my diet. At that point,I thought dietary fat would literally make me fat and anything containing what I considered too much fat would give me anxiety. Not too many people knew what was going on until I started dropping the weight.

My parents saw me at my first pre-season soccer game and took me home, ASAP. My heart rate lying down was 47 and 60 seconds later I stood up and my heart rate jumped to 88. According to my doctor, my heart had atrophied (my heart had to work too hard just standing) and I was officially told to stop playing soccer until I could get up to 120 lbs. I was frail, weak and completely unhealthy. I was losing my hair and I was always freezing. My energy levels went up and down. I started seeing two different Dietitians and I had weekly weigh-ins with a doctor on campus. I would drink 2 bottles of water before weigh-ins because I knew I hadn’t done what I was told to do. I knew I didn’t look good, but I wasn’t mentally strong enough to comply with what was necessary for my health. Of course I was seeing a counselor on a regular basis, but something wasn’t clicking. I felt completely out of control, yet I still controlled everything.

How I gained back control.

My teammates were amazing. They kept me strong and full of hope. They invited me to church and I went. They invited me to Athletes in Action, a campus ministry targeting collegiate athletes, and I joined them.  At this point in my life, any genuine support felt amazing. Later on in the school year, I signed up for a summer camp conducted by Athletes in Action that would change my life forever. One of the seminars was a female-only seminar. I walked into the room and everyone received a red rose with the same bible verse, “Let the King be enthralled by your beauty; Honor Him for He is your Lord.” Psalm 45:11.

Boom. This struck a chord with me. It felt like a stack of bricks being lifted off my chest and I finally had a taste of what recovery could feel like—a feeling of freedom with the loss of shame and guilt. I learned a lot in the seminar and since then I have slowly grown to better understand and appreciate that verse. I had to give it all to God and lay down my struggles. I was able to replace my eating disorder with a passion for nutrition and helping those that battle with their weight.

Guess what I continue to learn….no one… I mean NO ONE should define themselves by their weight.

No one is defined by their sport. No one is defined by being a regionals contender or being the best athlete in the gym. No one is defined by an idealistic family of two kids, a perfect house and perfect job. It goes much deeper than that and it comes from a place much higher yet 100% by your side when you don’t even realize it. The rose was more than a rose. It was a symbol that I was enough. It was a symbol of God’s perfect love.

During the holidays, it’s easy to get wrapped up into what the next year will bring.  New Year’s resolutions are made and we often strive for something that is either unrealistic or we hope for something within an unrealistic time frame. Instead of figuring out how much weight you want to lose in January or how much you want to squat by March, ask yourself what defines you and how will you let that flow through your life. I realize this is a very open and honest blog post, but I felt it was necessary during this time of the year. Tis the season for lots of roses.

Small Red Rose1 300x224 I had an Eating Disorder, then I Received a Rose

 

Heart Healthy Snack Ideas

As Heart Health Month comes to a close, the H3 Healthy Kitchen wants to remind you that your pursuit for a healtier heart shouldn’t end with February. Keep up with your heart healthy lifestyle by staying active and eating healthy foods. Speaking of food, we have 2 easy and yummy snack ideas to help you continue eating healthy for your heart.

1. Green Pea Guacamole - Yes, we said green pea! No, it doesn’t actually taste like peas. It’s only 70 calories a serving and it’s delicious with fresh baked pita chips.

DSC 3119 300x300 Heart Healthy Snack Ideas

2. Peanut Butter Hummus – An H3 staple, this is a versatile snack also serves as a healthy dessert option. Dip apples, bananas, or whatever fruit you choose into this delicious creation for a sweet treat. If you have some mini chocolate chips on hand, try making our Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Hummus!

DSC 3110 300x300 Heart Healthy Snack Ideas

 

We hope you enjoy these recipes, they’re definitely 2 of our favorites! What is your favorite healthy snack?

 

5 Facts about Heart Disease

With February being National Heart Month, this is the perfect time to commit to taking better care of ourselves. Here are 5 facts you should know about heart disease and disease prevention.

1. Heart disease and strokes are not just disease of the elderly.

Most of you probably know that  cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the leading cause of death in both men and women in the U.S., with heart disease and stroke being the 2 top killers, representing 1/3 of all deaths. But what might surprise you is that more than 200,000 of those deaths per year could be prevented and that 60% of those preventable deaths occur in people under the age of 65.  While there is an impression that CVDs and stroke are diseases that affect only the elderly, the reality is that those diseases are taking the lives and affecting the quality of life of relatively young adults.

Music Cardio1 5 Facts about Heart Disease

2. Thousands of lives could be saved if people recognized the symptoms of a heart attack or stroke and were treated promptly.

The classic “movie heart attack” shows a man clutching  his chest in pain and dropping on the floor, leaving little doubt that he is having a heart attack. And while that does happen in some heart attacks, in most cases the symptoms are not that clear and they are often different for men and women.

Symptoms in Men -

  • Chest pain, tightness, pressure or discomfort
  • Pain or discomfort in the neck, jaw, back, shoulders or arms
  • Feeling weak, light headedness, or faint
  • Shortness of breath

Symptoms in Women –

  • Shortness of breath
  • Unusual weakness
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Cold sweats
  • Anxiety

If you think you may be having a heart attack or think you may be witnessing one, act fast and call 911 immediately. There are medications available, the so-called  “clot busters”; if administered with within the appropriate time frame, they can minimize, if not prevent serious damage.

Those same medications are effective for strokes as well. If they are administered within 3 hours of the onset of stroke symptoms, there is a 75% better chance of having no significant disability 3 – 6 months after the stroke. Think of the acronym FAST to spot a stroke:

F- Face drooping

A- Arm weakness

S- Speech difficulty

T- Time to call 911

To help you spot a stroke using FAST, watch this video from Lafayette General Hospital.

3. You can reduce the risk of heart attacks by 80% following 4 healthy habits. Even small changes in these behaviors translate in significant risk reduction.

  • Regular physical activity. Moving  from being inactive to moderately active ( for example, walking 30 minutes a day 5 days a week) lowers  the risk by 50%.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight. For those who are overweight or obese, losing as little as 3% of their body weight (200 lb person loses 6 lbs) results in “clinically meaningful” risk reduction.
  • Following a healthy diet. Women in the Nurses’ Health Study who consumed 3 half-cup servings of mixed blueberries and strawberries lowered their risk of a heart attack by 34%.
  • Not Smoking. Within 20 minutes of quitting, heart rate and blood pressure drop  to normal levels; within 2 weeks, circulation improves and within 1 year, the risk of dying from heart disease drops by 50%.

no smoking sign1 300x300 5 Facts about Heart Disease

4. It is never too late to get benefits from improving your health habits.

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found men and women aged 45 – 64 who changed their lifestyle to meet recommendations regarding the  behaviors mentioned above, lowered their risk of a heart attack by 1/3. Lead author Dr. Dana King commented, “We want to emphasize that it is not too late to change, and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle don’t accrue only to those who have been doing it all along, but you can make changes in your 50’s and 60’s and have a healthier, longer life because of it.”  Dr. David Katz, Director of the Prevention Research Center at the Yale University School of Medicine also commented saying,

“healthy living is the most powerful medicine of all. It requires no prescription, and all of its side effects are beneficial. It can be tough at times getting there from here, but it’s well worth it and ANYTIME is a good time to start.”

5. Sex is good for your heart. (Maybe I should have put this one first.)

A study published in the American Journal of Cardiology found that compared to men who reported having sex 2-3 times a week, men having sex once a month or less often had almost a 50% increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

I know what most of you women are thinking, this was obviously a study designed and conducted by men. But at least one of the  researchers was a woman, Dr Susan A. Hall, and she commented,

“our results suggest that low frequency of sexual activity predicts cardiovascular disease.”

The bottom line is that the heart is the most important, hardest working muscle in the body and when it stops working so do we. Why not commit to take at least one step to improve your heart health? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure which step most men will be willing to take first.

 

Stretch and Strengthen for a Healthy Heart

In honor of American Heart Month, Hilton Head Health has a quick circuit to get you moving and get your heart pumping. And since everyone has different fitness levels, you can choose to perform the low impact movements, high impact movements or a mix of the two. Plus, we added some balance and stability moves for good measure. Watch our H3 Fitness Specialists perform and explain the moves below.

Perform each numbered exercise for 45 seconds and perform the active recovery movement between each exercise for 15 seconds. 

1. Hop side to side

Single leg deadlift

2.  Hop forward and back

Single leg deadlift

3. Plyo-lunge

Single leg deadlift

4. Plank position

Single leg deadlift

5. Burpee

Single leg deadlift

Enjoy your workout!

 

 

Indigo Spa InSPArational Speaker: Michelle Poitier

“We need advocates when we can’t connect to our own inner strength.” – Michelle Poitier

Hilton Head Health’s Indigo Spa InSPArational Speaker for February, Michelle Poitier​, shared a snippet of her life’s journey during her lecture, “The Power of You”.  She spoke openly and personally about: how she’s a “surviror”; why and how she became an advocate for  survivors of domestic & sexual abuse and homelessness among female veterans, and those battling Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); and more.

MPoitier1 e1424441439441 281x300 Indigo Spa InSPArational Speaker: Michelle Poitier

 

“What’s within you is stronger than what’s in your way.” – No Barriers Warriors

 

Her journey and what she’s learned along the way is truly inspiring.  Her “The Power of You” Lecture was filled with empowering words, endearing life experiences and so much more. Below we’ve shared a brief interview following her lecture where Michelle shared a little about herself and how she was able to connect her journey to Hilton Head Health Guests’ journeys.

 

Explain who you are and what do you do?

Why is it important?

How were you able to connect with Hilton Head Health Guests?

 

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