Ballard Naturopathic Blog | All posts tagged 'seasons'

Stone Turtle HealthNaturopathic Medicine and Massage Therapy for the Whole Family

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Stone Turtle Health Blog

Tricks for Safe Treats

October 18, 2011

Little ghosts and goblins are excitedly gearing up for Halloween in less than 2 weeks. We all remember how fun it was to dress up and rampage through the neighborhood, collecting candy and playing tricks. Some of us had the best houses mapped out or even descended on housing developments from our country neighborhoods to maximize our candy-collecting efficiency. From Madonnas to monks, clowns to crickets, witches to Wonder Women, many of us have fond memories of costumes that we wore year in, year out. 

This year, make sure that your kids are safe by following these rules from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

S- Swords and knives (and other blades) should be soft and flexible

A- Avoid being alone. Kids should be accompanied by an adult. If you feel your kids are old enough to go on their own, make sure they're in a group & check in frequently via cell phone or coming home every hour.

F- Fasten reflective tape. If your child will be trick-or-treating after dark, pick up some inexpensive reflective tape and attach it to their costume so drivers can see them better.

E- Examine all treats! Make sure everyone gets a filling dinner before going outside, so that kids are less likely to be tempted to eat candy before you have checked it out. Look at each piece of candy for evidence of tampering with the wrapper. Do not accept homemade candy from people unless you know them well.

 

One of the best websites for child (and adult) Halloween safety tips, www.halloween-safety.com, offers more in-depth advice, such as not going into strangers' houses, making sure that costumes are flame-retardant and do not inhibit vision or movement, fire safety with candles and jack-o-lanterns, and pet safety tips. It is a great resource for parents and I highly recommend it!

 

Healthy Fall Recipes

October 14, 2011

As the days get cooler, many people are becoming less active or are worried about putting on weight with holiday food. Tailgating for football games can be damaging to your waistline, too. It all begins with what you put in your mouths, what your options are, and what you provide for your family. Here are some healthy recipe links that run from less processed, homemade sweets for Halloween to healthy and delicious Sunday dinners that are seasonal and easy to prepare.

Halloween:

Burnt Sugar Lollipops

Chocolate Bark with Pistachios and Dried Cherries

Apple "Bites"

Melon Brain

*recipes from www.FamilyFun.Go.Com and www.EatingWell.com

 

Tailgating Recipes:

Guacamole with Chipotle Tortilla Chips

Spicy Black Bean Hummus

Cajun Oven-Fried Chicken

Roasted Potato Salad with Mustard Dressing

Homemade Chunky Chicken Chili

 

*recipes from www.MyRecipes.com and www.recipes.kaboose.com

 

Sunday Dinner:

White Bean Soup with Kale and Chorizo

Roast Chicken with Wild Rice Stuffing

Poached Pears in Merlot with Figs and Hazelnuts

 

Poached Pears in Merlot

4 large pears

1/2 c. hazelnuts, chopped

1/2 c. dried figs, chopped

2 c. Merlot

1 glass baking dish

 

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Core pears, leaving skin on and removing core & seeds. Combine nuts and figs and stuff pears, standing them upright in glass dish. Pour Merlot over tops of pears, cover with foil. Cook at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until pears are cooked and easily pierced with fork. Serves 4 (try adding non-fat vanilla yogurt on top for a decadent twist).

 

*recipes from www.CookingLight.com and Stone Turtle Health

 

 

 

Take a Time Out!

October 13, 2011

Lions, and Tigers and Bears, oh my! It's time for touchdowns, tackles, and tight ends. Whether you're watching your kids play, watching the pros, or playing the weekend warrior playing a pickup game on the front lawn or in the park, fall means football (and soccer) for a lot of people here in Seattle and across the US. Here are a few ways to add some healthy habits to your season!

Stretch! Get all those muscles nice and warm. Stretch your large muscle groups (upper legs- front AND back, calves, biceps & triceps, back muscles and neck muscles) to improve circulation and prevent injuries. Sitting on the couch through a Sunday's-worth of games can take a toll. Get up and move around, grab another glass of water, and keep moving. If you or your kids are on the field, warming up before the game is a MUST to avoid Monday remorse. 

Snack! Healthy snacks, like carrot sticks, orange slices, and peanut butter with crackers are perennial favorites for teams. At home? Add a twist to plain old chips and salsa by making a mix of shredded cabbage, diced tomatoes, onions, garlic and jalapenos to serve alongside. Buy the baked chips this time. Fruit plates, veggie trays with healthy dips like hummus, and chicken skewers instead of ribs and burgers are all great options that are lower in fat and calories. Chili is great, but skip the sour cream and mountains of shredded cheese & bacon bits.*

Drink! Water, that is. The more well-hydrated you are, the less sore you're going to be. Water helps remove waste products from active muscles, making for a more pleasant morning after the big game. Make sure to replace your electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, which are lost when you sweat and can't be replaced by plain water. Healthy options, such as Recharge or Emergen-C are good alternatives to Gatorade and other electrolyte replacement drinks that use artificial ingredients.

Let's be realistic. Lots of folks like a beer while they watch the game. If you're going to drink alcohol, make sure you have a designated driver. Alternate each alcoholic drink with a large glass of water to avoid over-consumption (by filling up with water, you'll be less inclined to drink more alcohol to satisfy your thirst mechanism, and a stomach full of water will also help to stop you from eating the whole bag of chips by yourself). Know your limits. No one likes to deal with drunks at public sporting events or bars, so be aware of how much you're drinking. 

Have fun! Parents, remember that your kids are playing sports to have fun! Overcompetitive parents and those who argue with the referees, coaches, or other attendees are no fun for anyone. If you're playing, go with a laid-back approach. You're there to have fun, get some exercise, and spend time with your friends and teammates. Enjoy!

Remember Stone Turtle Health for school sports physicals (only $40 or insurance), therapeutic massage for sports injuries, and prevention.

*(Check back tomorrow for fall recipes that are great for entertaining during or after the game.)

 

Everybody's Free to Wear It...

July 5, 2011

Sunscreen. Sun block. Suntan lotion. What exactly is SPF? How much is enough? What is the FDA doing about it?

Now that we've (finally) got some sunshine in Seattle, it's time for a talk about sunscreen. Sunscreen is formed of organic and inorganic particles that are designed to block and/or absorb ultraviolet (UV) light from ths sun. Physical sunscreens reflect light, Chemical sunscreens absorb light. Many products have both forms inside. Blocking sunlight also blocks vitamin D creation, an issue that many patients have concerns about.

The SPF number reflects how well a sunscreen protects against UVB light, the type of UV ray that causes squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma. It does not measure protection against UVA rays which cause melanoma or infrared light which also affects sun damage levels. UVB causes the most common types of skin cancer, but UVA causes the most deadly. SPF is, unfortunately, very inaccurate because most people don't put on enough. Also, wiping it off, swimming, and sweating all minimize its effectiveness, regardless of whether it is labeled "sweatproof" or "waterproof". Plus, we're supposed to be reapplying it every 2 hours, right? An SPF of 15 means that, theoretically, you're protected for 15 times longer than you would be without sunscreen. This, of course, doesn't take into account the changes in sun exposure throughout the day as the sun changes position in the sky.

The FDA has passed new regulations recently which will go into effect next year. These will require sunscreens to show that they block UVA and UVB rays in order to be labeled "broad spectrum" and only products with an SPF of 15 or higher can claim to prevent sun damage, wrinkles, and skin cancer. Further, no sunscreen manufacturers can label products as having an SPF higher than 50 because there is not enough evidence to prove that going above an SPF of 50 increases the benefit. The term "sunblock" can no longer be used, nor can "sweat-proof" or "water-proof". Instead, a product can be labeled "water-resistant", but then must state for how long, 40 or 80 minutes.

As always, staying out of the sun, avoiding tanning beds, and covering up with hats and long-sleeved clothing are very important in order to prevent sun damage, wrinkles, and cancer. If you're concerned about your vitamin D levels, talk to your doctor about alternate sources or about safer ways to get vitamin D naturally.

For more info:

Understanding Sunscreen Products - FDA

FDA Cracks down on Sunscreen Claims, bans 'sunblock'

What IS Sunscreen?

Skin Cancer, Sun, and Sunscreen

Summertime and the living is easy…

June 10, 2009

I think I can honestly say thanks, summer, it was awesome. I’m done. 90+ degrees on the bank sign outside my Bellevue office and it’s only June 3rd. Summer makes me grateful for many things like box fans, gelato, homemade blueberry-mango granitas, cold beer, cool sheets at night, water fountains, sailing, you get the picture..Continue Reading Post Here