Green Health

April 28, 2010

With this month’s focus on the environment, and preserving its integrity, I thought I would touch on some ways you can maintain a health conscious attitude while focusing on the health of the environment as well.

Eating Local

Locally grown food can provide fresh produce while avoiding some of the shipping costs associated with importing goods over long distances. With the shorter distances, less people are handling the food throughout the transportation process and there seems to be more of a focus on quality and freshness over ease of production and transport. If you are cooking larger meals, and your doorstep delivery won’t fit the bill, try checking out a local farmer’s market for some high quality meats and produce. (You could even ride a bike to save some energy and get your exercise in the process)

The New Oxford American Dictionary selected their word of the year for 2007 to encompass these concepts of eating locally with; locavore. The Oxford University Press states, ““Locavore” was coined two years ago by a group of four women in San Francisco who proposed that local residents should try to eat only food grown or produced within a 100-mile radius. Other regional movements have emerged since then, though some groups refer to themselves as “localvores” rather than “locavores.” However it’s spelled, it’s a word to watch.” If you are short on time and are not able to make it to your local farmer’s market, Chef By Request is here to help. Let us do some shopping for you!

According to Sue Nicholson Butkus, PHD, RD, director of Cornell University’s Farmers Market Nutrition Program, “The reality is that if you get tomatoes right out of the field, the vitamin C content is higher, as well as other nutrients. And I would believe that would hold true for other produce, too” If you have the time, and resources, growing some produce at home can be a great way to save some energy. Plants inside the house can provide food, supply additional oxygen and air purification, and have been known to psychologically affect your attitude in a positive way.

Use your own energy for exercise

Exercising occassionally without the use of a gym can also lower your total energy consumption. Getting outside for a run, or bike ride, will still allow for some serious calorie burn without having to plug in a treadmill or power the overhead lights. If you are not a runner, or don’t have  a bike at your disposal, try just going for a walk. Especially if you are short on time, an uphill walk can burn more calories than a run in some cases. Although, there are many benefits of the local gym workout like personal training, or the various weight programs, so if you live close enough to your local workout facility; try running or cycling to the gym for a solid warm up.

-Karl

Oxford University Press

Planet Green

American Diabetes Association

Immunity Aid and Myths

April 9, 2010

The human immune system is strongest when the body is active and well nourished. In order to fight off, or help prevent, a cold, proper hydration and nourishment are crucial to the battle.

Make sure you have a jacket

The common cold cannot be picked up by solely stepping outside without a coat on. This is achieved by picking up a virus. Take, for example, the polarbear swim. For those of you who consider yourselves fitness enthusiasts, this one may be worth a try. For more information, check out the Dolphin club for some swimming aficionados. http://www.dolphinclub.org/polarBearinfo.html So go ahead and enjoy the cold weather. You may actually be safer outside as everyone else will be inside passing around these germs.

Spring Fever

A fever is the body’s response to a virus and is there for a reason in many cases. The increased temperature will improve the function of cells to help fight the infection as well make it more difficult for the illness to spread further. It is important you have plenty of fluids and nutrition as a fever requires excess energy from the body. Keep drinking plenty of water and eating a regular diet.

Sleep Tight

Proper amounts of rest can also boost the immune system as the body needs to time to rebuild. Energy expensed needs to be replenished and a full nights sleep can help. A recommended 7-8 hours a night will be beneficial.

Stressed out of work

Although hard to document specifically, it is proven that a more stress free lifestyle can boost the immune system. Emotional health is important to balancing out physical wellness and response to infection.

Exercise can help limit stress levels as well. A mild exercise program will get that blood pumping but too vigorous of an exercise routine can actually work the opposite direction. It can wear the body out and make you more likely to get sick.

-Karl Norelius

WebMD

WebMD2

MSN Health