Natural Energy Boost

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A Natural Approach with Cheryl - www.cobornsblog.com
Cheryl

The most effective ways to avoid your own energy crisis are to get plenty of sleep, drink enough water, eat a wholesome, balanced diet, exercise and try your best to avoid stress.

Now, with that being said and in an attempt to be realistic in this overworked, under-hydrated, time-crunched and stressed out culture we are all trying to live in, let’s look at some easy ways to try to achieve the balance that will help us fight fatigue.

Sleep

The guidelines set by the National Sleep Foundation suggest 7-9 hours of sleep per night for adults ages 18-64. Following a regular sleep cycle—same bedtime, same wake time is the best way to get in good sleep.

Avoid stressors in the hour before you go to bed, such as the news, the internet or serious discussions. Light producing electronics, even most alarm clocks emit enough light to interrupt peaceful sleep. A bath, book and quiet time to just “be” are nice ways to unwind. Keep a pad and pen by your bed to jot down the OMG thoughts like “I forgot to pay that bill” or “Remember to get a gift for Sue” will help to put your mind at ease.

Stay Hydrated with Lemon Water, Natural Energy Boost - www.cobornsblog.comStay Hydrated

We all know that we need to drink plenty of water, but truth be told, knowing and doing are two separate things. Even mild dehydration can sap your energy and cause a sense of fatigue.

Putting lemon in your water will not only make it more palatable but has an uplifting effect. It produces a clean energy that caffeinated beverages do not. NaturalHealth365.com and Livestrong.com are great websites to learn more about the cleansing and energy producing effects of lemon water.

Eat a Wholesome and Balanced Diet

Eating well usually won’t happen from a bag, box or a drive through. Eat the apple rather than the apple flavored toaster pastry. Become a label reader and be aware of the ingredients in your food choices.

Choose whole grains, real whole fruits and vegetables—again, eat the potato rather than the chip—healthy fats and lean proteins. The best sources of healthy fats are vegetable oils (olive oil!) nuts, seeds and fish. Whole energy producing foods are kale, blueberries, oatmeal, and salmon just name a few.

Exercise

Exercise and other Natural Energy Boosts - www.cobornsblog.comMove that body! My motto has always been “any movement is better than no movement”. Walk to your mailbox instead of driving to it. Even that can help create a lift. The American Heart Association recommends thirty minutes of moderate exercise a day, five days a week. You can even break up that thirty minutes into two or three 15 or 10 minute sessions.

Find what works for you. I have found I seem to like exercises that have a “K” in them…walking, hiking, biking and kayaking are my favorites. Even running around the backyard with the kids helps. And remember to seek your doctor’s advice before beginning any exercise program.

Avoid Stress and other Natural Energy Boosts - www.cobornsblog.comAvoid Stress

Now that’s a stressful statement. Right?! Life is full of unavoidable stress; work, bad drivers, death of a loved one, just to name a few. So wherever you can, choose your commitments carefully and wisely.

Schedule times to de-stress because often if it’s not on the calendar, something stressful will be. I met with my good friend, Michelle, to brainstorm ideas for this blog and in the process we talked and laughed—relaxation at its best! Meditation, prayer, listening to birds, being still and thankful are great ways to de-stress.

Now I know all these suggestions are probably things most of you already knew and many of you already try to do but always can’t achieve. So when time is tight and sleep and good food are eluding you, try this great energy boosting smoothie. Michelle found it on the internet for me at sallysbakingaddiction.com. The TropiKale Green Smoothie is only four ingredients, quick and easy to make, tastes amazing and will give a quick, proper energy boost.

TropiKale Green Smoothie

Tropikale Green Smoothie, Natural Energy Boost - www.cobornsblog.com

TropiKale Green Smoothie
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ Cup Almond Milk
  • 2 Medium Frozen Bananas, peeled & sliced
  • 2 Cups Fresh Pineapple Chunks
  • 2 Heaping Cups Kale
Instructions
  1. Blend all the ingredients on high for 3 minutes or until smooth, adding more milk if it’s too thick.
  2. Serve and enjoy.
Notes
Makes enough for two smoothies, one for now and one for later, or to share with a friend. Store any leftover smoothie covered in the refrigerator for up to 10 hours.

Because I have just completed the most stressful and energy zapping move of my life and have no idea where my blender is, my friend Mel and her daughter Chloe tested this recipe for me. Chloe is six and will be using it for her 4H demo because she says it’s a winner!

I would like to thank Michelle, Natural Foods Manager at the Coborn’s on Cooper Avenue in St. Cloud, MN for helping me figure out this subject in a sensible way. As well as Melanie and Chloe, kitchen enthusiasts, who knew where their blender was.

Cheryl
Coborn’s Natural Foods Manager
Clearwater, MN

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Science-based truth about Milk and Milk Trends

Science-based truth about milk and milk trends - www.cobornsblog.com

Eat Healthy, Shop Smart with Ashley. www.cobornsblog.com
Ashley

It is super trendy these days to switch from a dairy milk to a milk alternative. In fact, I was just sifting through an article last night that said “dairy milk has nasty additives.” The article, of course, was recommending that people switch to coconut milk and almond milk. It is very disheartening to me that there is so much misinformation out there when it comes to nutrition. So as your supermarket registered dietitian, it is my job to do my best to provide you with the most current science-based research so that you can make the best decision for you and your family!

To start off, dairy milk doesn’t have any “nasty additives.” Dairy milk, especially if low fat or fat free, offers 8 grams of protein, potassium, calcium, and vitamin D, all of which are very important to get enough of each day.  There is absolutely no reason to stop drinking milk and switch to a milk alternative for health benefits.  There simply are none unless, of course, you are lactose intolerant. Some will argue that there are “8 grams of sugar in milk and that’s a lot.” The truth is if you are drinking plain white milk, the 8 grams of sugar is completely natural to the milk, it is from the natural sugar called lactose found in milk. There is no need to limit these natural sugars.  If you are drinking chocolate or other flavored milks, then yes there are added sugars, and added sugars should be limited.

The truth about Coconut Milk - www.cobornsblog.comCoconut Milk

Even if someone is lactose intolerant, I don’t recommend this milk.  Technically, coconut milk doesn’t have lactose in it, so it could be an alternative. What it does have is saturated fat.  Saturated fat is the type of fat that has been proven to increase cholesterol levels in our blood. Yes, contrary to popular belief, the saturated fat in coconut products is not considered heart healthy according to the American Heart Association, Harvard School of Public Health, and Mayo Clinic among others. Also, there is very little protein in coconut milk.  Any flavored coconut milk, even vanilla flavored has added sugars. It is usually fortified with calcium and vitamin D.

The truth about Almond Milk - www.cobornsblog.comAlmond Milk

I usually don’t recommend this milk either.  Although it doesn’t have the saturated fat like coconut milk, thus making it a better choice in that sense, it still doesn’t have any protein.  If you are used to getting protein from your milk source, know that you are not getting it here so you need to increase your protein somewhere else.  This is especially important for growing kids.  Again, many times almond milk is flavored thus meaning there are added sugars.  Yes, you can get unsweetened and that would be better and is usually fortified with calcium and vitamin D as well.

The truth about Soy Milk - www.cobornsblog.comSoy Milk

If someone is lactose intolerant, I will recommend this milk as the best alternative because it doesn’t have the saturated fat like coconut milk, and it does have the protein comparable to regular milk plus it is fortified with calcium and vitamin D.  Soy milk is obviously a soy product.  Did you know there are many health benefits to consuming soy? Be sure to check out my April blog to learn about all those benefits!

Bottom line, if you aren’t allergic to dairy milk, there is nothing wrong with consuming it.  It is very nutritious and highly recommended to consume each day with every meal. Those other milk alternatives aren’t always what they are marketed to be.  Yes, they can still be a part of a healthy diet, just like anything else.  If you really enjoy them, great, but now you have the facts to make the best informed decision.

No matter which milk you choose, cheers!

Peace and Wellness,
Ashley

Halloween Milk Jug Luminaries

Halloween Milk Jug Luminaries - www.cobornsblog.com

www.cobornsblog.com - Crafty Creations with Lynell
Lynell

Halloween – my favorite holiday! Of course, I had to come up with a fun idea for a family project. I recently started collecting gallon milk jugs and had all I needed in no time because our family loves milk. I used them for a great project that I created with my kids and grandkids. We made a scary outside Halloween decoration and the grandchildren loved it. Click Here to print the faces that we used on our Milk Jugs.

Halloween Milk Jug Luminaries
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • Empty Clear Plastic Gallon Milk Jugs
  • GOO GONE
  • Black Vinyl or Black Permanent Marker
  • Orange or White Lights
  • Rocks
  • Knife
Instructions
  1. Collect as many 1-gallon milk jugs as you want.
  2. Wash jug, outside and in, with warm water and soap and remove any stickers.
  3. Let dry.
  4. Create a different face on each milk jug. You can use the templates supplied and trace them on the back of a piece of black vinyl or use templates to trace onto milk jug with a black permanent marker. (Sharpies work very well.)
  5. Put some rocks in the bottom of the jugs so that if you put them outside, the wind will not blow them away.
  6. Cut a 3-sided flap in the back of each jug using a serrated knife. (I made it face down in case rain got it wet. I also keep the lids on so rain could not get in.)
  7. Plug the lights into the nearest outlet (you might need an extension cord) and place 8-10 lights into the back of the first jug.
  8. Set the rest of the jugs near one another and then run the lights from jug to jug until you run out of milk jugs and lights.
Notes
To remove stickers, soak them in water and then scratch off the rest of sticker. If the stickers are stubborn, apply some GOO GONE, let it soak in a bit, then scratch that off.
Use white lights to make ghosts or orange lights to create pumpkins.

I hope you enjoy these fun luminaries this Halloween. Feel free to leave a comment to my blog, I would love to hear from you!
Happy Halloween
Lynell
Coborn’s, Inc. Graphic Designer

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The Health Benefits of Milk

www.cobornsblog.com - The Health Benefits of Milk

www.cobornsblog.com - Eat Healthy, Shop Smart with Ashley
Ashley
Coborn’s Dietitian

Time to get your drink on! Your drink on for milk of course!

Milk can be a great way to help you meet your needs for calcium, vitamin D, and protein, among other nutrients such as riboflavin and potassium.

As a dietitian, this is the time of year I begin to get concerned about people’s dietary intake of vitamin D.  As you already can tell by the change in the weather, we are tilting further away from the sun.  This means that you can no longer receive enough vitamin D from the sun.  Thus, it is even more important that you focus on foods with vitamin D and let me tell you there are not too many foods with it, so thank goodness there is milk!

Milk can provide up to 25% of your daily needs of vitamin D.

You may find yourself wondering why is there all the talk about vitamin D, what is the big deal?  Well, let me put it this way, vitamin D is THE BIG DEAL.  Vitamin D is vital to a variety of functions in our body.  Recent research is showing a positive correlation between Vitamin D and different disease states.

Vitamin D = Strong Bones.

www.cobornsblog,com - The body needs Vitamin D to absorb Calcium. Milk can provide up to 25% of your daily needs of Vitamin D.I think most of you are aware that vitamin D helps you to have strong bones. The body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. Without enough vitamin D, one can’t form enough of the hormone calcitriol (known as the “active vitamin D”). This in turn leads to insufficient calcium absorption from the diet. In this situation, the body must take calcium from its stores in the skeleton, which weakens existing bone and prevents the formation of strong, new bone.

You can get vitamin D in three ways: through the skin, from the diet, and from supplements. Experts recommend a daily intake of 600 IU (International Units) of vitamin D up to age 70. Men and women over age 70 should increase their uptake to 800 IU daily, which also can be obtained from supplements or vitamin D-rich foods such as egg yolks, saltwater fish, liver, and fortified milk.

According to the National Institute of Health, here are some other functions of the body that vitamin D helps with:

  • Immune system, which helps you to fight infection
  • Muscle function
  • Cardiovascular function, for a healthy heart and circulation
  • Respiratory system –for healthy lungs and airways
  • Brain development
  • Anti-cancer effects

Doctors are still working to fully understand how vitamin D works within your body and how it affects your overall health.

A lack of vitamin D

www.cobornsblog.com - Why Milk is Vital to your Bone HealthIf your body doesn’t get enough vitamin D to keep it healthy, this is called vitamin D deficiency. Severe vitamin D deficiency can sometimes cause a condition called rickets in children and a condition called osteomalacia in adults. Both of these conditions cause soft, thin, and brittle bones.

A lack of vitamin D has also been linked to some other conditions such as cancer, asthma, type-II diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, Alzheimer’s and autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s and type-I diabetes.

According to the Vitamin D Council, there are some groups of people that are more likely to have vitamin D deficiency. The following people are more likely to be lacking in vitamin D:

  • People with darker skin. The darker your skin the more sun you need to get the same amount of vitamin D as a fair-skinned person. For this reason, if you’re Black, you’re much more likely to have vitamin D deficiency that someone who is White.
  • People who spend a lot of time indoors during the day. For example, if you’re housebound, work nights or are in hospital for a long time.
  • People who cover their skin all of the time. For example, if you wear sunscreen or if your skin is covered with clothes.
  • People that live in the North of the United States or Canada. This is because there are fewer hours of overhead sunlight the further away you are from the equator.
  • Older people have thinner skin than younger people and this may mean that they can’t produce as much vitamin D.
  • Infants that are breastfed and aren’t given a vitamin D supplement. If you’re feeding your baby on breast milk alone, and you don’t give your baby a vitamin D supplement or take a supplement yourself, your baby is more likely to be deficient in vitamin D.
  • Pregnant women.
  • People who are very overweight (obese).
    • The symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are sometimes vague and can include tiredness and general aches and pains. Some people may not have any symptoms at all.
    • If you have a severe vitamin D deficiency you may have pain in your bones and weakness, which may mean you have difficulty getting around. You may also have frequent infections. However, not everyone gets these symptoms.
    • If you think you may have vitamin D deficiency, you should see your physician, or have a blood test to check your vitamin D levels

I hope you now understand more fully why vitamin D is so important! If you get one thing out of this… drink your milk, and make sure it is low fat of course!

Peace and Wellness,
Ashley
Coborn’s Registered Dietitian

 

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Resources

Office of Dietary Supplements
Vitamin D Council
National Institutes of Health