SLCo Healthy Lifestyles Blog
Broaden Your Palate
Written by Christina McWhinnie
recommended 5 – 9 servings of fruit and vegetables can seem like a daunting
task, but check out these tips to see how tasty, cheap and easy healthy treats
can fit into your everyday!
Eat local & in season
employees have an awesome opportunity to join a C.S.A for highly discounted
produce sent right to your office! Check out our employee deal with Tagge’s or
Urban Farm and Feed for a discount on a weekly produce box.
the Jail produce sales or local farmer’s markets. Fresh, organic peppers or
peaches will reach amazing low prices during mid to late summer. This presents
the opportunity to try a vast array of different foods for extremely low prices.
your own (link to USU classes)! After a small amount of start-up cost, this
will provide a continuous supply of fresh produce to be picked whenever you
need or want it.
Keep them accessible, visible and ready to
we are deterred from purchasing produce because we don’t want it to go bad in
our fridge. I encourage you to change your mind set on this one by trying these
- Preparation- Cut up carrots, broccoli, celery
and cauliflower and put in small, convenient containers.
- See them/eat them - Wash grapes immediately in a colander and set
on the top shelf of the refrigerator for easy visibility and access to grab a
handful of ready to eat sweetness.
- Shop everyday like the French! - Swing by the grocery store for five minutes on
your way home from work to purchase the broccoli and onions for that night’s dinner
and cherries for dessert..
- Snack Smart-
Order an apple or banana with your coffee at the drive through Java Hut.
- Costco -
It may sound like a good deal to get 10lbs of carrots or a giant bag of apples,
but this is only a good idea if you have the time to utilize, preserve or
freeze it immediately. Otherwise, chances are you are better off buying smaller
quantities so you don’t wind up throwing it out.
- Frozen options - Another great option is to purchase frozen
fruits or vegetables. This is a good way to always have produce on hand and
ready to use. Frozen produce is blanched and frozen right after picking, which preserves
Vegetables around the clock
Hopefully the color your palate challenge
inspired you to ditch conventional thoughts about veggies and you’ve added them
to your daily routine.
Vegetables don’t have to be a
side dish; they can shine bright as the star of a meal! Start planning each
meal based around fruit and vegetables first. Vegetables are not just for
dinner. Start your day off with some greens with breakfast. Try making Breakfast Egg Muffins in advance, and have
them all week for a convenient, healthy and delicious breakfast. Cut up a
variety of vegetables and mix and match different combinations in each muffin.
America's Favorite Drug
Written by Emmalee Price:
What is the drug that almost 89% of U.S. adults are currently using? Caffeine
is classified as a drug because it stimulates the central nervous system. It
occurs naturally in over 60 plants (i.e. cocoa beans, kola nuts), or can also
be man-made. Caffeine’s main purpose is to increase alertness, which usually
kicks in 45 minutes to an hour after consumption, and can last anywhere from
4-6 hours. As people use caffeine each day, their bodies start to build up a
tolerance to it, and as they continue to have the same amount each day, the effects
are not as strong.
The Mayo Clinic has determined that 400 mg or less per day is an appropriate amount for adults. Children should try to avoid caffeine, or at least limit themselves to less than 100 mg of caffeine a day.
Caffeine can help you feel more awake, boosts your concentration and focus, and can also elevate
your mood. But, if you have too much it can make you feel jittery, keep you up
at night, increase your heart rate, alter your heart’s rhythm, raise your blood
pressure, and become somewhat addictive .
Heavy daily caffeine use — more than 500 to 600 mg a day — may cause side effects such as:
- Stomach upset
- Fast heartbeat
- Muscle tremors
If you experience these effects curb your caffeine consumption.
amounts of caffeine in common drinks/foods:
- Coffee=95-200 mg
- Tea=14-70 mg
- Soft Drinks=0-55 mg
- Dark chocolate bar=30 mg
- Milk chocolate bar=10 mg
Drinks=70-207 mg (depending on the brand)
- 5-Hour Energy Shot=200-207 mg
- Full Throttle=70-100 mg
- Rockstar=79-80 mg
- Red Bull=75-80 mg
- AMP=71-74 mg
* Be sure to watch out for drinks with more than one serving per package.
Moral of the story is, caffeine is alright, if consumed in moderation.
Read the nutrition label and be sure to know what you’re putting into your
We live in a world surrounded by germs,
bacteria, and all kinds of viruses.
Everything we touch, everywhere we go presents new opportunities for
these microorganisms to wreak havoc on our bodies. Although we all have experienced the common
cold and other nasty sicknesses caused by these little intruders, our bodies
have learned to live and thrive despite of these situations. This is because we have a complex protection
organization known as our immune system.
immune system can be thought of the collective efforts of various cells,
tissue, and organs for the sole purpose of preventing and/or limiting harm to
the body. From the marrow of our bones
to the first layer of skin, and everything in between, our immune system is
present everywhere on our body to communicate the appropriate response to
varying pathogens (disease causing agents) and circumstances. In order to have this extensive coverage, the
immune system depends on the flow of blood to allow the appropriate cells to
travel to areas that need attention.
Immunity is our
first line of defense during an immune response is known as innate
immunity. This first line of defense is
made up of specialized cells whose job is eliminating foreign visitors in our
body. These cells engulf infectious and
non-infectious germs, bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Their main objective is to respond quickly
and remove problems as they arise. There
are times when these cells are unable to successfully remove/reduce the
threat. When this occurs our adaptive
immunity kicks in as the next line of defense. Cells
from the innate immunity response can communicate with the adaptive immunity
cells to start their immune response.
Adaptive Immunity can be thought of as more specific treatment to a
specific pathogen. Adaptive immunity
cells create antibodies, which bind to problem causing agents and essentially
“disarm” them and removing the threat of infection or damage. Adaptive immunity cells can also cause the
cell death of already infected cells.
The main difference, and function of adaptive immunity cells, is their
ability to build a memory of their protection history. This protection history is a full functioning
catalog that allows more effective responses to future immune threats to
problems it has already solved
This memory and history is the reason why young children
seem to be sick more often. It takes
time and exposure for your adaptive immune response to build up its catalog of
recognizing different immune system threats.
This is also why vaccinations play an important role in immunity. Vaccines offer these specialized cells to recognize
weaker, non-threatening forms of various illnesses, which help to kick-start
the catalog and create immunity. Whether
through organic exposures or introduced through vaccines, immunity is crucial
not only to our personal health, but also to the health of the people around
Immune System Support
Here are some suggestions from the Harvard Medical School on
behaviors that will increase your immune system effectiveness and response:
- Don’t smoke
- Eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
and less saturated fat
- Be physically active
- Get adequate sleep
- Wash hands frequently
- Practice proper food sanitation
- Get regular medical screenings appropriate to
for your circumstances
Animals and Health
The Animal Advantage
As Americans, we love our four-legged friends! According
to the Humane Society 56% of households in the US have at least one pet,
and about 63% of pet-owners consider their pets to be a member of the family.
The Creature Connection
Humans and animals have a long
history of friendship. Although scientists cannot pinpoint exactly when humans
first domesticated animals, they believe that dogs
were our first animal companions. It is generally estimated that man’s best
friend was domesticated between 13,000 and 30,000 years ago! Despite our
ancient bond, little research has been performed in the field of human-animal
The founder of modern nursing,
Florence Nightingale, first
recognized the healing potential of animals in the 1800s. However, it was
not until the late 1900s that animal assisted therapy became a respected
therapeutic technique. More recently, the National
Institutes of Health hosted a series of meetings with leading researchers
in the field to discuss their findings and ongoing research. They found that
pets can benefit our health in many ways.
The Benefits of Beasts
There’s no doubt that pets give
us warm, fuzzy feelings, but there are also many science-backed ways our furry
friends improve our well-being. Here are just a few of the health benefits of pets:
- Heart Health: Owning pets is associated
with reducing your risk
of heart disease due to lower cholesterol, stress, and blood pressure
- Fun Fitness: Studies show that dog
owners are more likely to take regular walks and be more active overall. It
turns out taking Fido for a walk is good for you too!
- Avert Allergies:
Contrary to popular belief, evidence
has revealed that having pets as a child may reduce the risk of allergies later
- Social Support: While
our pets provide companionship, they can also help
us build human friendships and social support.
- Emotional Encouragement: Pets do more than make us smile
- our animal
companions can also decrease feelings of stress, depression, and
- Animal-Assisted Therapy: Animals have helped
patients cope with a number of illnesses in nursing homes, rehabilitation
centers, and hospitals.
Because research in the field of
human-animal interaction is still in its infancy, this may just be the tip of
The Pleasures of Pets
It’s important to keep in mind
that you shouldn’t adopt a pet just for the health benefits. The best reason to
adopt a companion is to provide a loving home. If you have been considering
bringing home a new family member, you may want to start at SLCo Animal
Finally, don’t forget to pay your
pet back! Always take simple safety
measures like washing hands after direct contact, supervising small
children, and keeping vaccinations up to date. Now, don’t you think Mr.
Whiskers deserves some extra scratches when you get home from work today?
Did you know May is National Pet Month?
In celebration of our animal companions, this month’s Health
Hub will focus on the mental, physical, and social health benefits they
Written by Amanda Clarke:
to walk outside?
Walking outside can seem scary for various reasons, but
you can Follow the “Ten WALKmandments to stay Safe”:
Traffic : Try to find a designated path or
sidewalk, if you have to walk on a road always walk in the direction facing
2. Dress to
Lessen the Stress : Ensure that you are dressed to be
seen. Be vivid as possible. Wear light-colored or reflective clothing. Bring
out the neon orange or that bright white.
3. Walk & Talk : If at all possible, walk with a
partner. It will increase your safety while walking. If not, always tell
someone which route you will be walking and what time you expect to return.
4. Pedestrian Question : Don't simply assume that all road-users know about the 'pedestrian has right-of-way' rule.
5. Ditch the Bling : Leave the valuables back home.
6. Vary Your Routes : Don't establish regular patterns by walking the same route at the same time every day. Keep one step ahead of danger by randomly varying your routes and the times that you go out. Not only is it safer, but it's a lot more interesting!
7. Embrace The Mace : Always stay alert. Carry around self-defense spray. Be careful to practice with it as you don’t want to unintentionally spray yourself.
8. Who Are You? : Always carry some form of identification in case of an accident or medical emergency.
9. Choose The Right : If you're walking on a cycling or pedestrian path, always walk on the right hand side so that faster walkers, runners and cyclists can easily pass.
10. Hear: Make sure you are able to hear your surroundings. Especially on busy roads or crossing the street, turn off the music so you can be aware of what is going on.