Monthly Archives: June 2013

LIVING TIPS

photo

  1. Come up with a life mantra.
    You know, like “Carpe Diem” or “Live life to the fullest,” but not as cliché. Make it something that really hits home with you so that you will actually stick to it. Make sure it’ not so specific that it rarely applies but also not so general that it’s not personal.
  2. Get good at something.
    Call it a hobby or a passion, whatever it is, just get damn good at it. Your occupation does not count! Make it something that you can practice often enough to excel at. Examples: Magic tricks, surfing, ping-pong, creating short films, and unicycling. It can be anything but I would recommend choosing something that: 1) You are passionate about 2) You can bust out at any moment to display your skills for any discerning crowd.
  3. Work out those abs.
    Above any other muscle group in the entire body, the abs are the most important. They constitute your core, the center point of your body. Your ability to balance comes almost completely from the strength of your abdominal muscles and balance is vital to performance in any physical activity.
  4. Keep your brain sharp.
    The majority of people are stuck in ruts. They go to the same job everyday, hang out with the same friends and eat at the same places. While that may feel safe, it’s not the most stimulating lifestyle for your brain. Those synapses have been built up enough, so try something that you do NOT know how to do! Buy a model car kit, master the art of sudoku or crosswords, or go pick up another major at your nearest college. The point is you need to be learning new things to keep your brain honest. Form new synapses by forcing your mind to work in ways it has not worked before. Just like physical workouts, doing too much of the same exercise will eventually give no results. Switch it up!
  5. Read something inspirational right before bed and after waking.
    This will set get you in a great mood for sleep and for the day. Read anything from a famous speech to your favorite self-improvement book. Try to read something that get’s you really excited in the morning especially so that you’ll leave your house beaming with energy and wonder.
Categories: Reflections | 1 Comment

Point to Point Walks!

TR

07/06/2013
Hours: 9-12
Sponsor: Sagamore Hill National Historic Site
Address: 20 Sagamore Hill Road , Oyster Bay, NY 11771
Phone: 516 922-4788
Admission: Free
URL: www.nps.gov/sahi

Great family fun while enjoying nature!

FREE Point-to-Point Walks lasting approximately 45 minutes each. Theodore Roosevelt along with his family and guests would take similar walks during their time at Sagamore Hill. These walks were called “Objective” walks or “Point to Point” walks. On these walks, TR and his companions, (his favorites being the children,) “would set out for a definite objective under the rule that they must not turn aside for any obstacle.” If there was a wall in the way they would have to climb it, if there was an area covered by water they would have to wade or swim through it. These walks were supposed to be quite active and full of adventure for those who attended.
On the point-to-Point Walks there were rules to which everyone would have to adhere. Attendees were expected to go “Over, under or through but never around” objects that were blocking their path.TR would always use free time to teach any person about animals and the natural world, especially birds. He was his children’s “special friend, champion and companion,” as well as an effective teacher.

Categories: Events, Off-Campus | 1 Comment

K is for…

KPotassium is a chemical element with symbol K so, it seems appropriate to introduce it here (and ultimately convince you to seek out whole foods containing it).  If you’re wondering why potassium is important to good health, consider this; nutritional research suggests potassium may offer relief from stroke, high blood pressure, heart and kidney disorders, anxiety and stress.  Regular and managed consumption through various foods offers enhancement to muscular strength, metabolism, water balance, electrolytic functions, and nervous system.  Potassium naturally occurs and accumulates in plant cells and thus, fresh fruits and vegetables are a primary and reliable dietary source of this marvelous mineral.

Livestrong.com reports:

A September 1998 study published in “Circulation” found that men who had high intakes of potassium were less likely to have a stroke than men who had low levels of potassium intake. This was especially true among men with high blood pressure. Diets rich in potassium also help lower and manage blood pressure. When compared to a control diet containing only a few servings of vegetables and fruits each day, the fruit and vegetable-rich ‘Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension’ diet reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure numbers in test subjects.

Eating good sources of potassium may also contribute to improved bone health. High potassium intake contributes to bone health by neutralizing acids in your body that preserve bone calcium. The Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center also reports that consumption of potassium-rich fruits and vegetables is associated with increased bone mineral density. Your risk for osteoporosis increases as you age and a high potassium intake can lower your risk of developing this condition.

An adequate intake level for potassium has been set by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Institute of Medicine. Both men and women ages 14 and older should consume at least 4,700 mg of potassium each day. This is an adequate level to promote the health benefits associated with potassium intake. Nursing mothers should increase potassium intake to 5,100 mg of potassium each day.

Fruits and vegetables are good sources of potassium. For example, 1 cup of cooked sweet potato contains 694 milligrams of potassium; while 1 cup cooked spinach adds 839 milligrams of potassium. Medline Plus reports that citrus fruits, cantaloupe, bananas and prunes are also good sources of potassium, as are broccoli, peas and winter squash. Including fish, nuts and dairy products into your diet can also help you reach the recommended potassium intake levels.

And though potassium finds itself on the ingredients list of most multivitamins, the majority of us give little thought to our daily intake of the mineral.   Admittedly, this article started out as one singing a solo of praises only for kiwi fruit until further research overwhelmingly compelled the author to focus on K the mineral, and not just the alphabetic precursor to a furry little fruit.  Interestingly, the health benefits of kiwi aren’t quite so fuzzy because it too, finds itself among other superfoods offering potassium as a dietary benefit.  And before those of you ‘in the know’ start sharing your appeal (a peel?) for that potassium friendly banana; consider saying “see ya later” and splitting from the banana scene in favor of a potassium rich(er) sweet potato.

Have a gander at the USDA chart for potassium sources below (and check out others online for additional sources), paying close attention to potatoes, leafy greens and nuts; one of my favorite, quick meals requires only a cooked sweet potato, a handful of baby spinach, some chopped almonds and the healthy fat of your choice (for this application, mine is olive oil or macadamia nut oil).  Toss it all together with a dash of sea salt and you have a power-packed, potassium rich meal to please your palate.  How’s that for easy?

USDA-logoAppendix B-1. Food Sources of Potassium

Food Sources of Potassium ranked by milligrams of potassium per standard amount, also showing calories in the standard amount. (The AI for adults is 4,700 mg/day potassium.)

Food, Standard Amount

Potassium   (mg)

Calories

Sweet potato, baked, 1 potato (146   g)

694

131

Tomato paste, ¼ cup

664

54

Beet greens, cooked, ½ cup

655

19

Potato, baked, flesh, 1 potato   (156 g)

610

145

White beans, canned, ½ cup

595

153

Yogurt, plain, non-fat, 8-oz   container

579

127

Tomato puree, ½ cup

549

48

Clams, canned, 3 oz

534

126

Yogurt, plain, low-fat, 8-oz   container

531

143

Prune juice, ¾ cup

530

136

Carrot juice, ¾ cup

517

71

Blackstrap molasses, 1 Tbsp

498

47

Halibut, cooked, 3 oz

490

119

Soybeans, green, cooked, ½ cup

485

127

Tuna, yellowfin, cooked, 3 oz

484

118

Lima beans, cooked, ½ cup

484

104

Winter squash, cooked, ½ cup

448

40

Soybeans, mature, cooked, ½ cup

443

149

Rockfish, Pacific, cooked, 3 oz

442

103

Cod, Pacific, cooked, 3 oz

439

89

Bananas, 1 medium

422

105

Spinach, cooked, ½ cup

419

21

Tomato juice, ¾ cup

417

31

Tomato sauce, ½ cup

405

39

Peaches, dried, uncooked, ¼ cup

398

96

Prunes, stewed, ½ cup

398

133

Milk, non-fat, 1 cup

382

83

Pork chop, center loin, cooked, 3   oz

382

197

Apricots, dried, uncooked, ¼ cup

    378

78

Rainbow trout, farmed, cooked, 3   oz

375

144

Pork loin, center rib (roasts),   lean, roasted, 3 oz

371

190

Buttermilk, cultured, low-fat, 1   cup

370

98

Cantaloupe, ¼ medium

368

47

1%-2% milk, 1 cup

366

102-122

Honeydew melon, 1/8 medium

365

58

Lentils, cooked, ½ cup

365

115

Plantains, cooked, ½ cup slices

358

90

Kidney beans, cooked, ½ cup

358

112

Orange juice, ¾ cup

355

85

Split peas, cooked, ½ cup

355

116

Yogurt, plain, whole milk, 8 oz   container

352

138

Source: Nutrient values from Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 17. Foods are from ARS single nutrient reports, sorted in descending order by nutrient content in terms of common household measures. Food items and weights in the single nutrient reports are adapted from those in 2002 revision of USDA Home and Garden Bulletin No. 72, Nutritive Value of Foods. Mixed dishes and multiple preparations of the same food item have been omitted from this table.

And finally, while you ponder the pleasantries of potassium rich foods, consider the following overview from University of Maryland Medical Center, and as with any dietary changes, consult your physician before embarking on a new plan;

Potassium is a very important mineral for the proper function of all cells, tissues, and organs in the human body. It is also an electrolyte, a substance that conducts electricity in the body, along with sodium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium. Potassium is crucial to heart function and plays a key role in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction, making it important for normal digestive and muscular function. Many foods contain potassium, including all meats, some types of fish (such as salmon, cod, and flounder), and many fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Dairy products are also good sources of potassium.

Having too much potassium in the blood is called hyperkalemia; having too little is known as hypokalemia. Keeping the right potassium balance in the body depends on the amount of sodium and magnesium in the blood. Too much sodium — common in Western diets that use a lot of salt — may increase the need for potassium. Diarrhea, vomiting, excessive sweating, malnutrition, malabsorption syndromes (such as Crohn’s disease) can also cause potassium deficiency, as well as use of a kind of heart medicine called loop diuretics.

Most people get all of the potassium they need from a healthy diet rich in vegetables and fruits. Older people have a greater risk of hyperkalemia because their kidneys are less efficient at eliminating potassium as they age. Older people should be careful when taking medication that may affect potassium levels, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and ACE inhibitors (see section on Interactions).

Whatever your age, talk to your doctor before taking potassium supplements.

Written By: Michelle Frati, SJC Staff Member

Categories: Body, Green Room | Leave a comment

Drink Your Greens!

Looking for a way to increase your intake of vegetables and fruits?  The best way to get your 5-9 servings a day is to make a refreshing smoothie!  Especially in the summer months, when the heat and the humidity are intense, a cold smoothie can cool you down while also providing a wonderful, nutritious kick.

A popular recipe at Thug Kitchen (www.thugkitchen.com), this green smoothie is sure to not disappoint!

Spinach Cooler

2 cups spinach
2 frozen bananas
1 cup cucumber chopped and skinned
4 medium pineapple chunks (optional)
1 cup coconut water or tap
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon flax oil (optional)
6-8 mint leaves (optional)

Blend. Add pineapple to sweeten if desired.

You can find more delicious recipes on their website.  Be sure to let us know some of your favorite smoothie recipes!

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Summer Weaves In…

The word solstice is born from the Latin solstitium, from sol (sun) and stitium (to stop), reflecting the fact that the Sun appears to stop at this time providing the most amount of Light to the Earth. As this pause happens, there is a ripple pause that happens within us allowing for more Light to infuse our systems. May we take a moment to absorb this goodness with each inhale while placing one sole of the foot in front of the other.

Summer Solstice At Stonehenge

Summer Solstice

Tis the changing of the seasons
where the midnight sun meets the day,
and time stands still, eerily unmoving
summer and winter at same.

Oh, earthy eccentricity
in heavens, a touch of divine
the lofty stars get mingled in confusion,
Cancer and Capricorn dance

Goddess of spring, maidens of earth,
Dakshinayana offerings,
in placid twilight, the ghost sun lingers
A god’s fleeting shadow veiled.

Composed By: Mylah Ferrer
Picture @ Stonehenge

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Waves

 WE once were waves

big blue ones 

way down there

 at the bottom of the ocean.

Way down there

  at the bottom of the ocean

where we were

once we were.

Once we were mountains

that felt the sky

of white and light

and nearly touched the ground.

Light through white

with golden blues

and towers up there

above the sky.

I’ll be here

at the bottom of the sea

I’ll see you there

atop that sea of air.

video credit: MoneySavingVideos

Categories: Audio & Visual Clips, Relaxation Space | Leave a comment

Organic vs Non-Organic Food

8076220802_963688c08a_qOrganic versus non- organic foods.  The age old debate continues to ask if buying organic food is still worth the investment.  Numerous studies have continued to question if organic foods really provide more nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants than conventional produce.  Organic foods tend to be more expensive and some studies claim that there is no significant nutritional difference between organic and conventional foods.

However, a recent study from the Environmental Working Group asks that you not throw in the towel just yet, and consider why choosing organic foods is healthier for you in the long run.  Although the nutritional component in organic foods tend to be higher than in conventional foods, many people choose to buy organic to avoid the pesticides, chemicals and hormones that are more likely to be added to fruits, vegetables and meats that are not organic.  These additives have been found to cause digestive diseases, headaches, premature aging, and food allergies.  For a complete explanation of why choosing organic foods is more advantageous, please click here.

Choosing to go organic will not only benefit you down the line, but will also help protect the environment from droughts and polluted soil, which in turn affects what we ingest.  Here’s to healthy eating!

Photo by:  Rosewoman on Flickr             License:  Creative Commons

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Healing Physical Pain…Naturally

Pain scalePhysical pain is subjective and can be assessed as feeling mild to excruciating. Pain can come on suddenly. All of us at sometime or another have experienced physical pain. It can be said, that at times commonly prescribed medications just will not make the cut. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may not go off into the sunset happily ever after hand in hand with your stomach. Other types of pain medication may not agree with your liver, and frankly, you may just be skeptical of stronger medication that may be prescribed for you.

Well…there are alternatives — of the natural kind. There are herbs that attack inflammation to natural techniques the harness our brain’s proven healing powers. Naturally, many treatments are available for painful conditions such as arthritis, neuropathic pain, acute injuries, post surgical pain, and muscle bruising or strain.

Here are five natural remedies that may assist with or replace conventional remedies known to man, and may leave you pain-free:

Capsaicin: For arthritic pain, neuropathy, or shingles
Capsaicin is an active component of chile pepper, capsaicin temporarily desensitize pain-prone skin nerve receptors called C-fibers. Capsaicin ointments and creams are sold in most pharmacies and health food stores. For arthritis or neuropathy, try 0.025 percent or 0.075 percent capsaicin cream one to four times daily; best results may take up to 2 weeks.

Arnica: For acute injury or status post surgery edema
The Arnica herb comes from a European flower. Arnica’s healing mechanism is still unknown. Arnica has been proven to have a natural anti-inflammatory property. Homeopathic arnica can be used in addition conventional pain medications, ice, or healing herbs. Rub arnica ointment on bruises or strained muscles.

Aquamin: For osteoarthritis
Aquamin is a red seaweed supplement is rich in calcium and magnesium. Aquamin users report reduced stiffness and arthritic pain.

Fish oil: For joint pain from arthritis or autoimmune disorders
Digested fish oil breaks down into hormonal like chemicals called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are known by scientists to reduce inflammation. Many medical providers prescribe fish-oil as it is proven to help our heart. In regards to pain, such as pain felt with osteoarthritis, an increase in the daily dosage of fish oil may be required as ordered by a physician. For rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus or an autoimmune disease associated with joint pain, even much higher fish oil daily dose may be in order. As with any regimen up for your consideration, you must ask and consult with a doctor first.

InflaThera: For arthritis
InflaThera is a supplement brand that contains ginger, basil, and turmeric. Each one of the aforementioned have anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric is a curry ingredient. Tumeric may be the best: A component, curcumin, eases inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. ProThera, InflaThera’s maker, sells to health care professionals only, so your doctor has to order it for you.

For more information on natural remedies to help ease pain click here

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LIVING TIPS

relax

  1. Learn to control your mind.
    What kind of skilled human are you if you cannot even control your own thoughts? While the human mind is described as being a stream of consciousness, that does not mean you can’t decide where your stream flows. Techniques like meditation and the 3 ways to flush out negative thoughts will aid you immensely in learning to control your mind.
  2. Learn to control your emotions.
    The only person that can make you unhappy is you! You are the one that decides to be affected by the words and actions of others. Realize this so that the next time you experience a negative emotion, you can find the strength within yourself to overcome it.
  3. Relax!
    This one is for you workaholics out there (myself included). Yes, work is very important and productive but you need to take some time to chill out everyday or you are going to burn out faster than a candle with no oxygen. Additionally, you need to reward yourself for a job well done. What’s the use of doing all of that work if you can’t have a little fun from time to time anyways?
  4. Work on making good first impressions.
    Practice a strong, firm handshake and the small talk that generally goes along with meeting someone for the first time. People won’t know what to think of you if you have nothing more to say beyond “My name is _______, nice to meet you.” Also make sure you remember names, as mentioned previously. Who knows, you may be going into business with or marrying this person you’re meeting for the first time if you make a good impression. Be sure and make an excellent one.
  5. Be mysterious.
    Don’t let off everything about you and definitely leave out some major details. There is something both alluring and mesmerizing about someone who no one knows fully about. I’m not saying to confide in no one or to alienate yourself. Just think James Bond.

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18 Rules of Living by the Dalai Lama

Buddhist

1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

3. Follow the three Rs: 1. Respect for self 2. Respect for others 3. Responsibility for all your actions.

4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.

6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

8. Spend some time alone every day.

9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.

10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.

12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.

13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.

14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.

15. Be gentle with the earth.

16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.

17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

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