Heart Beatings and Spring Cleanings

springcleaning

See what I did there? With the title? Clearly hilarious. My ability to wow readers with wordplay is unfailing. And, look, it’s the middle of March: the season is a-changing. Oftentimes, these gusts o’ change beget the urge to change things within ourselves. Still drifting through the post-New Year malaise, resolutions unmet? Still unfit, untidy, or unhappy? Or, faithful reader, have you taken certain steps toward personal betterment, but feel not-so-certain about the impending result(s)?

Well, in lieu of the season, and in lieu of our recent blood work and Q-n-A with Dr. J, Wellness360 is back with an empire of info on improving diet and day-to-day health.

heart

Technically, February was Heart Health Month, but Dr. Jeff spoke about precautionary heart disease tactics during his recent visit, so let’s address some cold hard facts here: according to About.com, heart disease kills 1 in 3 women and remains the #1 killer of women and men. In fact,  heart disease kills more people each year than all other causes of death combined. The aforementioned About.com article lists multiple helpful tidbits to prevent heart disease, and Healthline presents the top tasty, healthy, heart-friendly snacks: raisins (fat- and cholesterol-free), nuts (the best are walnuts, pecans, and almonds), oatmeal (full of soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol), flax seeds (high in omega-3 fats), veggies (antioxidants and fiber), and hummus.

We’re all quite familiar with the pernicious snack onslaught, and when it occurs, we’re usually beset by terrible, taboo cravings (the unholy trinity of soda, chocolate, or chips). But here’s what’s almost equally insidious: even when we decide to snack healthily with a salad, yogurt, or fruit, the situation could potentially go awry. To prevent snack disaster, check out how to build the perfect salad from Men’s Health (use spinach, mixed greens, or romaine instead of iceberg lettuce, and sub feta for cheddar),  how to choose the perfect yogurt from HealthCastle (look for an “active culture [probiotics]”), and how to find quick and healthy snacks you can eat with one hand, also from HealthCastle. Furthermore, BeliefNet provides an eye-opening guide to hidden health benefits in lemons; for example, lemons can curb anxiety, remedy fever, and cure corns and calluses.

lemon

John Lemon says: lemon's all you need

Because this is real life and we live in the real world, let’s be real: sometimes it’s just not possible to happily nibble on hummus or lemons all day. With this in mind, Men’s Health unveils the best fast food meals under 500 calories, running the drive-thru gamut from Subway to Wendy’s to Taco Bell. Still crave burgers, pizza, or burritos? Not to worry: Men’s Health also knows ten ways to make your choice of fast food totally healthy. Say you don’t sample chain cuisine, but prefer to dine on a frozen food or two. Well, Healthline lays out the benefits of Lean Cuisine‘s line of frozen lunches, and again, Men’s Health has you covered with a comprehensive list of the best and worst microwave meals.

Here comes the fun cooker!

Here comes the fun cooker!

With fun cooking inevitably comes not-so-fun cleaning, especially around this time of year. I think everyone who isn’t OCD* can agree that cleaning is lame. However, much to our chagrin, it appears that cleaning is important; according to The Daily Green (via the EPA), people spend 90% of their time indoors, but indoor air quality can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. Naturally, they subsequently put forth helpful air quality tips, like installing a carbon monoxide detector, testing for radon, cleaning your air conditioner, ventilating properly, and avoiding pesticides or toxic products. Also, mothballs have been linked to health problems, so look into natural remedies to protect your clothes.

Spring (get it?) for a mothballs replacement

Spring (get it?) for a mothballs replacement

Because spring cleaning is intrinsically a hassle, make it easy on yourself and heed RealSimple’s surprising new cleaning solutions, which offer new cleaning spins on everyday items: polish chrome with baby oil, buff scratched CDs with toothpaste, or even remove carpet dents with a fork. However you clean, do so using healthy movement: remember to follow Healthline’s advice on bending, squatting, and sitting correctly.

Once you’ve cleaned to your heart’s desire, you might feel inclined to splurge on new items that spruce up your sparkling abode; that’s fine, but ask The Daily Green-recommended seven essential questions before making big buying decisions.

thinkgreen

Think... before you buy. Ahem.

Thinking and asking questions are key components to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. We must think before we eat. We should ask questions before we drink. We must be proactive in making good eating choices and collecting sound information instead of lazily reacting, gobbling and gorging indiscriminately and incessantly. Ponder this: think about all of the random things about health (from Health.com). Smokers are more likely to develop hearing loss. An hour nap can improve alertness for up to 10 hours. Strawberries and baking soda can whiten teeth. Vitamins don’t seem to guard against cancer or heart disease. Keeping a food diary can double weight loss.

The list may appear endless, but life isn’t; we need to keep an open mind in order to keep a healthy diet. When we educate ourselves, we can save on groceries in the supermarket; while we’re there, we can also steer clear of controversial, detrimental food additives that may be in prospective foods; what’s more, we can even make healthy versions of traditional comfort foods like spaghetti and meatballs or blueberry pancakes. This spring, let’s clean out our proverbial pantries and think about restocking and rededicating to eating healthy and being happy. Maybe achieving such a balance isn’t as hard as we think.

serious balance

serious balance indeed

*No OCD cleaners were harmed in the writing of this blog

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One Response

  1. FUN COOKER!

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