Monday, February 11, 2013

Heart Health

Matters of the Heart:
Since Valentine's Day in just a few days away and this is heart health month, Bob and Caroline Scott of the Louisville Athletic Club stopped by the studio to give us some tips for keeping our hearts healthy.
"Your heart is a muscle, and like any other muscle it must be worked to remain healthy.  So it's very important to incorporate some type of cardiovascular exercise into your routine at least 3-5 times a week for 30 minutes each time.  There are so many activities that you can do for cardiovascular health.  They include, but are not limited to: brisk walking, running, biking, swimming, elliptical, tennis, jumping rope, climbing stairs, etc.  Basically, anything that gets your heart rate up and gets it into an aerobic zone which is about 70-80% of your max heart rate.  A real simple way to find out your max heart rate is to simply subtract your age from 220." - Caroline Scott
Other Heart Health Tips from Bob:

  • Eat heart healthy foods, like those super foods we mentioned last week.  Heart healthy foods include: lean proteins, fruits, veggies, whole grains, and good fats.
  • Less Sodium: Limiting your sodium intake will help keep your heart healthy.
  • Portion Size: Make sure you keep an eye on proper portion size.  Try not to overeat at meals.
  • H2O: Drink plenty of water throughout the day.  Staying properly hydrated helps reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
  • Recharge: Get plenty of rest; aim for 8-9 hours of sleep per night if possible.  Sleeping gives your body time to heal and repair itself so it is extremely important.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Super Foods for 2013

10 Super Foods for 2013:
This morning Bob and Caroline Scott of the Louisville Athletic Club shared 10 of the best "super foods" to eat for optimal health during 2013.

  1. Grass-fed Beef: It's lower in overall fat, higher in Vitamins E and C, beta-carotene, and Omega 3s.  Studies show it is also useful in preventing cancers, improving metabolism, reducing inflammation, and lowering body fat.
  2. Eggs: Excellent and inexpensive source of protein.  Full of vitamins D and A, B Vitamins, Potassium, and Folic Acid.
  3. Dark Chocolate:  the darker, the better.  It is filled with antioxidants and can help lower blood pressure.
  4. Artichokes: These are a powerhouse for supporting the liver and maintaining a healthy digestive tract.
  5. Celery: It contains good fiber and helps to lower high blood pressure.
  6. Cabbage: It supports healthy liver function, improves blood circulation, and promotes healthy vision.
  7. Butter: After decades of misleading negative information regarding fats in the diet, researchers are now realizing that unprocessed, natural forms of saturated fat are actually good for us even crucial for physical and mental health.  Butter helps calm inflammation in the gut.
  8. Coconut Oil: Another good saturated fat, coconut oil contains numerous nutrients that are anti-microbial, support optimal thyroid function and brain health.
  9. Mushrooms: Strengthen the immune system and promotes cancer prevention.
  10. Kale: High in lutein and several vitamins, kale lowers the risk of cancer and helps detoxify the body.

For these and more great health and fitness tips, check out Caroline's blog at

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Thoughts on Joy & Healthy Living

This beautiful image is by Donna Downey
Thoughts on Joy:
On this morning's show I shared from a devotion I came across about Joy and what it really means in comparison to happiness.  The author, Kay Warren shared that finding Joy was a challenge for her.  I don't know about you, but I can relate.  I think we all would agree that happiness is less substantial than joy.  It's fleeting and emotion based, but Joy it's something altogether different.  It's like a deep current underneath the surface of our lives that remains (or should) even when our happy gets shaken.  Being a passionate and emotion driven person, I sometimes struggle to find joy too, but like Kay I think my problem isn't in finding or even holding onto Joy.  I think my problem is that Joy has never clearly been defined.  We talk about Joy being something that God can give us, but what is it?  I understand happy.  Happy crashes over us in an instant like a large wave causing us to lose our selves in the moment.  Happy is beyond our control.  Happy depends on the moment, and just like the tide it can be gone almost as quickly as it appeared.  Joy is a bit more of a mystery.  Joy is in the same category as Love and Faith for me.  It is more than an emotion although they all certainly contain them.  Yet, to limit Joy, Faith and Love to only the emotional level would cheapen them since all three also contain a resolve that causes them to be much more stable and multifaceted.  Joy isn't simply feeling happy all the time.  As I was researching Joy, one writer described Joy as the bottom portion of an Iceberg with happiness as the small peak above the waterline.  I like Kay's definition though.  Here's what she says,
"Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation. You’ll find nothing in that definition about happy feelings, because, as we all know, happiness is fleeting and temporary. We tend to think that life comes in hills and valleys. In reality, it’s much more like train tracks. Every day of your life, wonderful, good things happen that bring pleasure and contentment and beauty to you. At the exact same time, painful things happen to you or those you love that disappoint you, hurt you, and fill you with sorrow. These two tracks — both joy and sorrow — run parallel to each other every single moment of your life. That’s why, when you’re in the midst of an amazing experience, you have a nagging realization that it’s not perfect. And while you’re experiencing something painful, there’s the glorious realization that there is still beauty and loveliness to be found. They’re inseparable." -Kay Warren
If you would like to read the entire article, click here.

Surprising Rules from the World's Healthiest People:  
You would expect the world's healthiest people to tell you never to stick to a strict diet and exercise regime, but that's not exactly the case.  In fact, some of these are a bit surprising.  Here are the 9 rules to live by that I shared with you on-air this morning.  I found these on both and Well and Good NYC

  1. Hang out with positive people. Research is starting to confirm that the people around you can be good or bad influences. Spend time with folks who have the habits you want!
  2. Take a break from your militant diet and exercise regime. If you never, ever indulge, that's not living well. Take Sunday off and you’ll wake up eager to get back on track Monday morning.
  3. Get back to or into nature. There’s a reason why apartments overlooking the park are more expensive. Whether we realize it or not, humans have a profound connection with nature. Try walking through green spaces on your way to work or bringing your Kindle to a park bench.
  4. Practice Hari Hachi Bu: This is the Japanese practice for eating until you’re 80 percent full, which is helpful because we’ve all heard that it takes about 20 minutes for our brains to catch up with our stomachs. Eating less is not only associated with avoiding weight gain, but also living longer.
  5. Double Your Vitamin D: Particularly on those dreary winter days, it’s important to get enough vitamin D.  Docs used to only think vitamin D was good for bones, but new research has associated it with preventing a host of maladies, such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and depression.
  6. Try some Tulsi - Known as holy basil, this herb has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. Usually sipped in tea or taken in supplement form, tulsi is full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Even better, tulsi also lowers cortisol, the hormone associated with stress and belly fat.
  7. Eat your mushrooms: Shiitake, enoki, oyster, and maitake boost immune system activity and have anti-inflammatory properties. They’ve been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years and are getting more recognition as health-boosters in the West.
  8. Get some HIIT - That’s high intensity interval training. Short bursts of activity have been shown to be even more effective at burning fat than prolonged periods of exercise. That’s really good news for those barely able to find the time to exercise as it is.
  9. Know your “trigger points” Everyone has a tendency to overuse certain muscles, whether they're related to your desk work or your workout. It’s important to be aware of your trigger points, which can lead to pain, stiffness, and limit your range of motion and use massage and stretching to prevent injury. 

Super Bowl Recipes: 
I found some great recipe ideas for your Super Bowl parties this weekend, but since there are so many I pinned them on my Pinterest Board for 88.5 WJIE.  Check them out for some great ideas.  There are some healthy links too.  Have fun this weekend!