The Wellness Spot – May 2013

Physical Fitness Month & Better Sleep Month are a Perfect Duo in May!

All my life I’ve enjoyed physical activity and the fresh air. My family was seriously into camping at National Parks when I was growing up and we all enjoyed the gifts of nature we experienced as a result. There was hiking, swimming and some beach combing – all in the Pacific Northwest and western Canada. Now, I remember those days fondly and I sometimes put images of those trips into my mind as I fall asleep at night. For me, better sleep is a result of daily, fresh air exercise since it helps me wind down, de-stress and really relax. Better sleep is essential to feeling good, so I hope you put a high priority on it, like I do!


May is Celiac Awareness Month!

There are many kinds of eating plans I’ve encountered in my career as a registered dietitian. One that is challenging to understand is, fortunately, a life saver for those who suffer from celiac disease.  This month, we celebrate Celiac Awareness Month and it’s a good time to think about a gluten-free (GF) diet. The GF diet is one that eliminates a protein, called gluten, from one’s diet altogether in order to eliminate uncomfortable symptoms of the gastrointestinal tract caused by celiac disease, an autoimmune problem. By not eating wheat, barley, oats, rye or anything made from these grains, people with celiac disease can live a healthy life with few issues. To get a better idea of what is allowed and what is not allowed on the GF diet, click here.


Fresh Strawberries are Coming!

Do you get excited about fresh, local strawberries every year in May? I do! There are so many ways to eat fresh strawberries and get all the nutrient richness that nature put into them. Not only that – the delicious, sweet flavor of strawberries is, well, indescribably great!


Ways to Eat Fresh Strawberries

  1. Wash a handful and eat.
  2. Wash, slice and add to your breakfast cereal.
  3. Wash, slice and add to your green salad.
  4. Wash, cut in half and add to your fruit salad.
  5. Wash, place onto a flat pan in a single layer, then freeze. Eat later as a tiny, healthy popsicle.


Osteoporosis Month Reminds Us to Take Care of Our Bones!


How do you take care of your bones? There are many ways to prevent the thinning of bones, called osteoporosis. Since women who are aging into their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s are at risk, it is prudent to get ahead of the curve and put strategies in place for slowing this painful condition.

How to Stay On-Top of Bone Health

  1. Be proactive about your bone health. Choose your primary care doctor carefully, get to know her/him and feel comfortable discussing problems, including risk for osteoporosis.
  2. Love dairy products. The calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus combination in dairy foods is a delicious and smart way to eat well for your bones. Enjoy 1% milk, fat free yogurt and moderate portions of cheese to get the dairy nutrition your bones need.
  3. Do ‘weight bearing’ exercise every day. Putting stress on your bones is a good way to strengthen them. Walking, jogging, jumping rope, treadmill walking and roller skating are all good for your bones.


May is a Great Time to Plant an Herb Garden!

If you love fresh basil in spaghetti sauce, fresh thyme in pasta salad, fresh parsley in Middle Eastern tabouli and fresh mint in tea, then your herb garden is awaiting you – now. May is a perfect month to choose a sunny garden in your yard to begin planting fresh herbs. If you do not have a yard then it also works great to plant a container garden of fresh herbs in a sunny spot on your patio or deck, or in a sunny window of your apartment, condo or home. You will be so glad you did in June, July, August and September when your harvest is ready to add to all your favorite foods!






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