What exactly is a “free radical”? Free radicals are atoms, molecules or ions that have lost an electron due to oxidation rendering them “unstable”. When free radicals interact with certain chemical reactions in the body, they can create significant damage to healthy cells. In fact, free radicals are believed to be a major contributor to the accelerated aging process of organs and tissue.
So what is “oxidation”? Actually, oxidation is like the process we know as “rust” on automobiles. When metal interacts long enough with oxygen, it becomes weak and flaky. It degenerates and decays. A similar process takes place in our bodies when free radicals are formed due to external factors such as pollution, radiation, smoke or through internal processes such as during metabolism. An abundance of free radicals can weaken our immune system that can lead to diseases like cancer, dementia, heart disease, macular degeneration, osteoarthritis and chronic pulmonary disease to name a few.
So what is an “antioxidant”? Simply put, an antioxidant is a molecule capable of slowing or preventing the oxidation of other molecules. Often times you will hear antioxidants referred to as phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are chemical compounds that occur naturally in plant foods. It is true, some antioxidants are phytonutrients and vise-versa.
The trick is to find foods high in both. Where can we find such foods? You got it – fruits, vegetables and greens! These foods are packed with phytonutrients and antioxidants among other nutritional compounds. The richer the color, the greater its phytonutritional power; sometimes referred to as “ORAC” which stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. The higher the ORAC, the greater its antioxidant power.
You might be telling yourself: “Ah, I can get that with my over-the-counter multi-vitamin.” Guess again – these powerful plant compounds are not found in vitamin capsules or pills. You have to eat the real deal and a whole lot of them if you want to see a noticeable impact on your health.
Oh, did we mention – Green Energy by Nurish has an ORAC value of over 10,000! That’s 25 servings of fruits, vegetables and greens all in one delicious-tasking blend!
Enrich your body by incorporating Green Energy drink mix in to your routine. Green Energy is available in our clinic! Stop by or fill out this form and we’ll mail it to you.
Green Energy is made local in Chaska MN too by a company called Nurish!
It’s that time of year once again…
The time we all struggle with weight gain from all the festivities and a lack of time to take care of ourselves.
This year try to stay ahead of the battle.
Start now to develop some small habits that will help keep your weight in check this holiday season. It’s helpful to find ways to incorporate exercise into our everyday busy lives.
Start in the morning when you wake up and continue all day. Hang lists of exercises in places you can do them to remind you such as next to the TV, the kitchen, the bathroom, your office…
Be creative and find a new exercise to do that you don’t mind doing. You are more likely to do them if you don’t hate them. Don’t feel pressured about how many you do or how long you do them, don’t worry about counting, just do an exercise until you feel fatigue and then do it a little longer.
Some of my favorite at home exercise times are:
- 10 minutes first thing in the morning (stretching, jumping jacks, lunges, squats, planks, push-ups etc)
- While on the phone (squat, lunge, curl soup cans or milk cartons, contract your abs)
- Commercial time while watching TV: exercise the entire commercial (tricep dips on sofa, push-ups, seat squats (squat on and off sofa almost touching it with your bottom), lunges, planks, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, burpees)
- While cooking (squat while a timer is going, do push-ups or tricep dips on counter, leg lifts while stirring or mixing, curl soup cans or jars)
- Before using the restroom (do 20 squats before you use the restroom)
- While brushing teeth (that’s 2 minutes to squat or leg lifts or contract your abs)
- Take a brisk 10 minute walk when you feel stressed, have cravings, or get a little free time. Walking reduces cravings and stress.
- While you are at home do an exercise before any and all snacks to make you think before eating.
Enjoy the holiday season! If you make simple exercises a daily habit, you’ll be relieved to not have to work so hard after the holidays are over.
Join our blog for more tips and recipes!
~ Sarah @ Innovative Directions in Health
Starting healthy habits early!
If you have little ones at home or Grandkids near by it is always fun to make a holiday treat they can help with AND have a healthy desert option!
Grinch Kabobs were a BIG hit with my kids. Not only did the kabobs turn out adorable, the kids had a blast and were snacking on fruit instead of sugar while making them (and a marshmallow or 2). We put marshmallows on top of the hat but the kabobs still look adorable with no marshmallow.
They are so easy and require no baking or cooking skills, just have your little ones be careful depending upon how sharp the toothpick or kabob stick is.
– Lisa @ Innovative Directions in Health
Grinch Kabob Recipe
- Green Grapes
- Mini Marshmallows (optional)
- Toothpicks or kabob sticks
- Slice bananas
- Cut stem end off of strawberries
- Place kabobs on sticks in order starting with: a grape, banana slice, strawberry and top with a marshmallow on end
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