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    When you’re feeling down in the dumps, what do you do? You have two options: keep doing what you’re doing or try one of these happy hacks to bring a smile back to your face and ultimately boost your mood.

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    I view my home as a sanctuary, a place that I can unwind and practice self-care. Over the past year, it has also become a second office and gym. If you have kids, your home was likely serving as a classroom as well. Some of our homes are on triple duty, and that sense of sanctuary may have been lost; however, maintaining that aspect is essential to our overall well-being. A healthful home facilitates connection with friends and family, provides accessible foods that nourish mind and body and allows its inhabitants to de-stress and recharge.

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    1. A food thermometer is the best way to tell what internal temperature a food has reached. Different foods have different internal temperatures, so be aware.
    • 145°F Beef, pork, lamb, veal (with a 3-minute rest) and fish
    • 160°F Hamburgers and other ground meat
    • 165°F Poultry and ground poultry
    1. Keep foods safe!
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    June is here! This is perhaps my favorite time of the growing season because peaches will be popping up soon at my local farmers’ market. They will be in full swing come July and August. Peaches are a special treat and have always been one of my favorite fruits. I just love everything peach from body care to candles. My mom always tells me how our family started out as peach growers in southern Illinois. The peach orchard is no longer in the family but I sometimes daydream what life would be like if it were…I presume just peachy!

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    Today we’ll be talking about brain health in honor of Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month so if you have a brain, this information is for you!

    Your brain is the most complex organ you have and it’s always changing. This process is called brain plasticity. The brain is able to grow new connections and repair broken ones. While changes are normal there are several things we can do each day to stay at the top of our game and maintain brain health as we age.

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    Happy National Nutrition Month®! This is a great time of year to reevaluate your eating pattern to determine if it’s working for you. Are you getting the healthful foods you need to live your best life?

    An eating pattern represents all of the food and drink choices you make from day to day over the course of your lifetime. It’s more important to focus on healthy shifts you can make to your eating pattern than on individual foods. Be careful of fad diets that eliminate entire food groups (more to come on this on future posts!).

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    Thinking of skipping shoveling after a big snowstorm? I get it – it’s time-consuming, it’s cold, it feels never ending during these Midwest winters, and if you don’t warm up properly (see blog one!), it can leave you feeling sore, or worse: injured!

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    There are an estimated 11,500 snow shovel-related injuries and medical emergencies a year. Two local experts provide safe snow shoveling tips to keep you safe and pain-free.

    “As residents of the Midwest, we understand weather can be subject to change in the blink of an eye. When heading out for snow removal, check for icy conditions underneath the snow. This can prevent slips and falls that could lead to unplanned injuries and expensive emergency room visits,” says Justin Rumpza, PT, DPT.   

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    Are you looking for a quick breakfast that packs the protein? Plant-based proteins can help you build muscle and provide heart health benefits to your meals, snacks and even beverages!

    These recipes incorporate organic tofu but you can easily add other plant-based proteins that you enjoy. Firm or soft tofu can be added to any of your favorite smoothie recipes. The addition of tofu doesn’t add much of any flavor but it does add protein, vitamins, minerals and unsaturated fats. Read more about soy products below.

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    Are you tired of the same old breakfast every morning? It’s time to turn over a new leaf!

    If you’re looking for a fresh start to your day with protein, healthy fats, and an abundance of vitamins and minerals then look no further. Breakfast salads are an easy and delicious way to fill up on fiber and 2- 3 servings of fruits or vegetables all before 9:00 a.m.

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    The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults consume 1.5–2 cups of fruits and 2–3 cups of vegetables per day. Despite these recommendations, recent data show low consumption. Only 1 in 10 US adults eat the recommended amount of fruits or vegetables each day. This number is even lower among American youth.

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    Diabetes will likely cause changes in your life and your food choices, but with proper care, most individuals with diabetes can take charge of their health. Making wise food choices to manage blood glucose will help prevent negative health outcomes such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. However, making and knowing the right dietary choices for meals and snacks can be confusing.

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    Spring is underway and many of you have probably been doing some spring cleaning in your home, closets and yards but what about your kitchen?

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    We know that small changes in the way we eat can have positive health impacts down the road.

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    Here are three heart smar

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    Instead of saying 'diet', I like to use the term 'eating pattern' which refers to the quantities, proportions, variety, or combinations of different foods and beverages that are habitually consumed over a long period of time. Dietary patterns can help predict health later in life.

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    September is Healthy Aging Month which is something we can all acknowledge since we’re all aging. I like to call it “gaining momentum”. We all gather momentum as we age through the build-up of experiences and insights. Embrace this dynamic process that leads to new abilities and knowledge that can be shared with one another.

    There is not one right way to age well or a certain path that must be taken. Find what works for you and maintain a positive outlook along the way.   

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    President Trump declared the month of April as Winning on Reducing Food Waste Month in his Presidential Message on April 1, 2019 and is encouraging public action and participation from all sectors.

    Ways to participate:

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    April is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month AND Stress Awareness Month. If you don't know what IBS is or what it's like, then consider yourself lucky. Between 25 and 45 million people in the United States (10 to 15% of the population) are affected.