Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wellness Wednesday / "Delia's Dose"



Inspired by the Easter Holiday this weekend I want to talk about EGGS! This week we will be dying them, decorating them, hiding them, finding them, peeling them, and making egg salad with them! YUMMMY!!

The egg is a symbol of renewal and new growth… Springtime! Eggs symbolize fertility (shhhhh… if you listen very carefully you can hear my biological clock ticking). The egg, in ancient times, represented the entire universe…it was round like the world and symbolized all life.

So let’s talk about “THE INCREDIBLE EDIBLE EGG!” For only 70 calories each, you get a TON of vitamins and minerals!

*Remember last week’s blog about Vitamin D? An egg now contains 41 IU(international units) of it, that’s about 10 percent of your daily need.

*Eggs are high in protein, which helps you feel fuller longer, which contributes to maintaining a healthy weight. 1 egg has the same amount of protein as one ounce of meat.

*Egg yolks have 250 milligrams of choline, half of the daily recommended intake. Choline contributes to fetal brain development and also aids in adult brain function. It keeps our brain cells strong, which helps them relay all the messages to our nerves and muscles!

*Eggs have 2 amazing antioxidants, zeaxanthin and lutein, which helps prevent macular degeneration(that’s what causes age –related blindness)

*Eggs are rich in Vitamin B12 which helps us make new cells and aids in normal nervous system function.

Now, for a long time, we heard how you shouldn’t eat too many eggs because they are high in cholesterol. Yes, as foods go, the egg does have a lot, but only a small amount actually goes straight into your bloodstream and then into your arteries. Saturated fats and the ones artificially produced from partially hydrogenated oils have a much bigger effect on your cholesterol levels and eggs have none of those bad fats.

If you want to watch your cholesterol levels, use egg whites instead. I like to use one whole egg with the yolk and then 2 egg whites when I make my scrambles or omelets.

Here is one of my favorite EGG RECIPES!

BREAKFAST IN A MUG
*1 egg
*3 tbsp of milk
*1 or 2 dashes of Worcestershire
*1/4 tsp of dry mustard
*dash of pepper
*slice of bread(pulled apart into cubes)
*1/4 cup of cooked ham(some of that leftover Easter ham diced up would be delicious!)
OR I’ve used a cooked sausage link and diced that up too
*2 tbsp shredded cheddar cheese

Spray a coffee mug with nonstick spray or coat it with olive oil
In a small bowl whisk the egg until frothy. Add milk, Worcestershire, and spices, whisk some more
Stir in the bread and meat
Pour the mixture into the mug and cover with a large piece of wax paper(I’ve used parchment paper and even a paper towel!)
You have to tuck the paper under the mug and then cut a slit in the top of the paper
Microwave mug on medium-high for approx 4 minutes. Now, as you know all microwaves cook differently, so you may have to experiment with the time, but you want the egg to set.

I make a couple of these the night before(with assembly help from my 3 yr old) and its ready to cook the next morning! Throw it in the microwave while you put your make up on!

Have a healthy week!
-Delia

DISCLAIMER: Delia is not a Doctor, Nutritionist, or Registered Dietitian. She is simply a person dedicated to eating healthy foods and living a healthy lifestyle. She loves to help and inspire others to do the same!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wellness Wednesday / "Delia's Dose"



Happy 1st day of Spring!  You may feel the earth tilting 23.4 degrees today (my Mother SWEARS she can feel it-if you know my Mom, you know that is probably true!) which means we get more hours of sunlight each day!

Now, for a fair skinned gal like myself, this means more sun block, scoping out the shade tree and big sun hats!  As much as I try to protect myself from the sun, I know that I also NEED the sun. The sun provides a very important Vitamin to our bodies, Vitamin D. People call it the “Sunshine Vitamin” because our bodies produce it in response to sunlight. When the sun’s UVB rays hit the skin, a reaction takes place that helps the skin cells to make Vitamin D.  If you don’t get enough Vitamin D it can lead to many problems!

*rickets(soft bones, skeletal deformities)
*severe asthma in children
*cardiovascular disease
*cancer
*respiratory infections
*muscle weakness
*chronic kidney disease
*depression
*insomnia

Have your doctor do a blood test to see if your Vitamin D levels are healthy and be sure to get your daily dose of sunshine! Docs recommend approx 5-30 minutes of sun exposure between 10am-3pm at least twice a week for optimal Vitamin D levels. Now, the amount of time you need to spend in direct sunlight various based on how light or dark skinned you are. African Americans may require 6 times the amount of sun exposure to make the same amount of Vitamin D than a very fair-skinned person. The more melanin you have in your skin, the longer it takes for your body to absorb the UVB rays. Vitamin D deficiency is more common than ya think. People living in northern latitudes  don’t get enough sun, mainly because it’s colder for a longer portion of the year and people stay indoors.  Surprisingly people living in sunny climates may also be at risk because they cover up and use sunscreen more consistently.  Older people are also at risk because they are less likely to spend time in the sun and the fact that as we age, our skin has fewer receptors that help convert the sunlight to Vitamin D.  

Now, I bet you are confused because most of the time we are told NOT to spend too much time in the sun because of the risk for skin cancer. Like everything…in moderation…but you can get your Vitamin D from supplements(ask your doctor) and from foods. There are a few foods that contain Vitamin D.  Fatty fish(salmon, tuna, mackerel) are the best sources. Beef liver(yuck!), cheese, egg yolks, and mushrooms exposed to ultraviolet light(yes, they are doing that now!). Milk and most breakfast cereals are fortified with  Vitamin D.

Here are 2 of my favorite recipes for getting a dose of Vitamin D!

BAKED SALMON PATTIES(or as my daughter calls them PINK CIRCLES)
Makes approx 14 patties, depending on what size you want them to be!
*4 cans of salmon, drained
*1 egg, beaten
*2 cups cheddar cheese(I’ve used mozzarella too!)
*1/4 cup chopped green onion(or whatever onion you’ve got in the fridge)
*2 cups finely diced celery
*3 tbsp parsley
*juice from one lemon
*salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, break up the salmon with a fork, stir in egg, cheese, onion, celery, parsley, and lemon juice
Use your hands and form the mixture into about ½ inch thick and 2.5 inches wide patties
Coat a baking sheet with olive oil or parchment paper, put your pink circles on there
Bake at 350 for about 15 min, then flip for another 15 min (I like them a bit browned)
ENJOY with a side of brown rice and steamed broccoli! Mmmm


TUNA SALAD(with hidden veggies!)
Serves 4
*2 cans tuna packed in water
*1/2 cup of cauliflower puree(steam or boil some cauliflower and throw it in the food processor!)
*1/4 cup mayonnaise
*2 stalks celery, finely chopped
*1/4 tsp chili powder
*1/4 tsp sweet paprika
*1/4 tsp garlic powder
*salt and pepper to taste

Drain the tuna, put in a large bowl and break it up with a fork
Fold in the cauliflower puree and mayo
Add all other ingredients
Stuff into a whole wheat pita or go gluten free with a lettuce wrap!

Both of these are great to make a batch of and have on hand for lunch on the go or a quick dinner!
Have a Healthy Week!
-Delia

DISCLAIMER: Delia is not a Doctor, Nutritionist, or Registered Dietitian. She is simply a person dedicated to eating healthy foods and living a healthy lifestyle. She loves to help and inspire others to do the same!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Bunions



What Is a Bunion?
Bunions are often described as a bump on the side of the big toe. The visible bump actually reflects changes in the bony framework of the front part of the foot. With a bunion, the big toe leans toward the second toe, rather then pointing straight ahead. This throws the bones out of alignment—producing the bunions “bump.”
            Bunions are a progressive disorder. They begin with a learning of the big toe, gradually changing the angle of the bones over the years and slowly producing the characteristic bumps, which continues to become increasingly prominent. Usually the symptoms of bunions appear at later stages, although some people never have symptoms.

What Causes a Bunion?
Bunions are most often caused by an inherited faulty mechanical structure of the foot. It is not the bunion itself that is inherited, but the certain foot types that make a person prone to developing a bunion.
            Although wearing shoes that crowd the toes won’t actually cause bunions in the first place, it sometimes makes the deformity get progressively worse. That means you may experience symptoms sooner.

Symptoms
Symptoms occur most often when wearing shoes that crowd the toes—shoes with a tight toe bow or high heels. This may explain why women are more likely to have symptoms than men. In addition, spending long periods of time on your feet can aggravate the symptoms of bunions.
            Symptoms, which occur at the site of the bunion, may include:
·         Pain or soreness
·         Inflammation and redness
·         A burning sensation
·         Perhaps some numbness

Other conditions which may appear with bunions include calluses on the big toe,
sores between the toes, ingrown toenail, and restricted motion of the toe.

Diagnosis
Bunions are readily apparent—you can see the prominence at the base of the big toe or side of the foot. However, to fully evaluate your condition, your doctor may take x-rays to determine the degree of the deformity and assess the changes that have occurred.
            Because bunions are progressive, they don’t go away, and ill usually get worse over time. But not all cases are alike—some bunions progress more rapidly than others.

Treatment
Early treatments are aimed at easing the pain of bunions, but they won’t reverse the deformity itself. These options include:
·         Changes in the shoewear. Wearing the right kind of shoes is very important. Choose shoes that have a wide toe box and forgo those with pointed toes or high heels which may aggravate the condition.
·         Padding. Pads placed over the area of the bunion can help minimize pain.
·         Activity modifications. Avoid activity that causes bunion pain, including standing for long periods or time.
·         Medications. Nosteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NAID’s), such as ibuprofen, may help to relieve pain.
·         Icing. Applying an ice pack several times a day helps reduce inflammation and pain.
·         Injection therapy. Although rarely used in a bunion treatment, injections of corticosteroids may be useful in treating the inflamed bursa (fluid-filled sac located in a joint) sometimes seen with bunions.

When is Surgery Needed?
When the pain of a bunion interferes with daily activities, its time to discuss surgical options with your doctor. Together you can decide if surgery is best for you.
            Recent advances in surgical techniques have led to a very high success rate in treating bunions.
            A variety of surgical procedures are performed to treat bunions. The procedures are designed to remove the “bump” of bone, correct the changes in the bony structure of the foot, as well as correct soft tissue changes that may also have occurred. The goal of these corrections is the elimination of pain.
            In selecting the procedure or combination of procedures for your particular case, the doctor will take into consideration the extent of your deformity based on the x-ray findings, your age, your activity level and other factors. The length of the recovery period will vary, depending on the procedure or procedures performed. 

Written by: Anthony Lombardo, DPM

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wellness Wednesday / "Delia's Dose"



This past Monday I went for my 6 month dental check up. As I was laying there with my mouth wide open and that bright light aimed at my mouth worrying about how my nose hairs probably look magnified, I thought…how much does our oral health affect our overall health?

Our mouths are FULL of bacteria and most of the time proper brushing and flossing keeps the bacteria under control. If that bacteria gets out of control and causes tooth decay or gum disease and is allowed to enter into your bloodstream…bad things can happen!

Bad bacteria can end up in your arteries and form plaque, which can lead to a heart attack. If your gums are inflamed, your body will think it needs to send out chemicals to fight infection. It is believed that these chemicals circulating in your blood may also lead to plaque in the arteries. So, without getting too technical here…TAKE CARE OF YOUR TEETH!

Healthy teeth and gums are also important if you are planning on having a baby. Studies show that gum disease increases the risk for low birth weight and preterm labor! Oh my!

Other studies show that breathing in all that bad bacteria can actually lead to certain types of pneumonia. Researchers wonder if this is why pneumonia in nursing homes can be common because of the percentage of patients that have poor oral health. There are also studies being done to see if there is a  connection between gum disease and arthritis. Apparently there is a great number of people with rheumatoid arthritis that have periodontal disease…hmmm…we shall see what the scientists decide.

It seems we have like 400 different types of bacteria in our mouths(WOW! Again, I will chose not to expand on that, since my boss will be reading this…but knowing this kind of makes me rethink all that kissing I did in high school…. and college… YIKES!), but only 15 of them actually cause gum disease! You can avoid gum disease and tooth decay by not smoking, brushing at least twice a day, floss at least once a day, replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months, and make sure to see your dentist twice a year for regular cleanings! See…it’s THAT EASY!

Here’s a little tip that I follow: Ya know how after you’ve had that morning cup (or 2 or 3) of coffee and you want to brush your teeth to get rid of that coffee breath…well it’s best to wait at least 30 minutes before you brush. Acidic food and drink can weaken the tooth enamel and if you brush too soon you can actually damage the enamel. “Why oh Why should I care about my tooth enamel, Delia?” Well, get this…tooth enamel is the hardest mineral source in your body, even stronger than bone! It’s the stuff that helps protect your teeth against tooth decay, and now that you know that tooth decay can lead to things like heart disease,  I just know you are going to get serious about taking care of your teeth, right?!

Have a Healthy Week!
-Delia


DISCLAIMER: Delia is not a Doctor, Nutritionist, or Registered Dietitian. She is simply a person dedicated to eating healthy foods and living a healthy lifestyle. She loves to help and inspire others to do the same!


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wellness Wednesday / "Delia's Dose"



This Sunday we SPRING FORWARD! Sounds exciting…but we all know that it means we lose an hour of sleep! Sleep is very important and most people don’t get enough of it.  Lack of sleep can not only make you grumpy but it effects so many aspects of your life.

*It impairs your ability to pay attention, be alert, concentrate and problem solve. Remember those all- nighters you pulled in college…you THOUGHT staying up til 4am cramming for the 8am exam was the greatest idea in the world…NOT! Get this, as you sleep you go through various cycles, which actually help you remember things better. I think of it like this…all the things I did or learned that day get put in file folders in my mind while I sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, you actually have trouble remembering  what you learned or experienced. Scientists refer to these as “ripples” in the brain, and specifically “sharp wave ripples” occur during the deepest levels of sleep. They help transfer learned information from one part of the brain, your hippocampus, to another part of your brain, the neocortex, which is where long-term memories are stored.  Try using that excuse, when you forget your wedding anniversary! “Honey, my sharp wave ripples aren’t working right!”

*Chronic sleep loss can put you at a higher risk for heart attack, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes!

*Lack of sleep can affect your sex drive. That’s all I’m gonna say about that!(which probably makes my boss very happy)
*Insomnia, the most common sleep disorder, is linked to high rates of depression.

*Little sleep can not only give you puffy eyes, but it can lead to fine lines and  dull looking skin. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases the stress hormone cortisol. If you have too much cortisol in your system it can actually break down skin collagen. That’s the stuff that keeps your skin smooth and young looking.

*Apparently, “if you snooze, you lose” is a good thing when it comes to sleeping.  If you are getting enough good sleep, eating right and exercising you will lose weight! Lack of sleep actually increases your appetite and makes your crave high-fat, high carbohydrate foods. Ask yourself, the times in your life when you weren’t sleeping well, did you also have trouble maintaining your weight? This might explain why new mom’s who are sleep deprived have trouble losing that baby weight as fast as they’d like. Or perhaps you have a stressful thing going on at work or in your life and you find yourself grabbing those donuts in the employee break room or stopping through the drive thru for French fries! Take a NAP!

I know we live in a fast paced environment. I know we like to TELL ourselves, “Oh I can function on 5 or 6 hours of sleep a night..I’m fine.” But actually, less sleep affects our judgment, we THINK we’ve adapted to the 6 hours of sleep a night, but actually we aren’t functioning at our full capacity, we lose touch with how altered our state of mind has become. Sleep experts STILL say we need an average of 7-8 hours a night. If you aren’t sure how much YOUR body actually needs then try going to bed on the weekends and waking up WITHOUT an alarm. See when you wake up naturally. Now, don’t try this experiment after a night of drinking bourbon with your friends, since alcohol affects your ability to sleep well...it may help you fall asleep just fine, but it affects your sleep cycles and your ability to actually get a RESTFULL night of sleep…not that I know from personal experience or anything…but that’s a whole other blog!

Have a Healthy Week…and don’t forget to set those clocks forward when you go to bed this Saturday night!
-Delia




DISCLAIMER: Delia is not a Doctor, Nutritionist, or Registered Dietitian. She is simply a person dedicated to eating healthy foods and living a healthy lifestyle. She loves to help and inspire others to do the same!