Pumpkin Benefits

Gallery

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Pumpkins are one of the most abundant and seasonal fruits (yes they are a fruit) they our beautiful nation has to offer. According to the USDA, America produces approximately 753.8 pounds of pumpkins every year, whether that be for Halloween … Continue reading

My Newest Addiction

Pic for Blog- My Newest AddictionRun, run, run, every day is another day to see how many things I can accomplish. I am always on the go, whether heading to work, class, or workout. I always keep a snack in my backpack to make sure that I never am hungry. My latest snack that I can’t keep myself from indulging in more than once a day: homemade energy balls. I am sure you’ve seen this recipe before, although have you tried it? If you haven’t, maybe once I dissect the nutritious ingredients you will be more willing to give it a go!

 

The recipe is the following:

1 cup whole rolled oats, 5 tablespoons natural crunchy peanut butter, 2.5 tablespoons honey, 4 tablespoons ground flax seed, and ¼ cup mini dark chocolate chips (optional).

Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine the honey and peanut butter in a microwavable bowl and melt/warm the two ingredients together. Pour over the dry mixture and stir. You can either roll them into 1-inch balls (serving size) or put them in a pan and cut them like granola bars.

Just writing about this makes my mouth water for the pan of them that I have in the fridge right now. The perfect treat that will nip that sweet tooth in the butt, keep your energy levels up, and keep you feeling full. The key ingredients in this recipe are:

Whole rolled oats: Where this ingredient lacks flavor, it makes up for it with its nutritious values. Rolled oats have been found to be a great blood sugar stabilizer. When your blood sugar is stable, your body will react less to temptations of sweets. Also, the high content of fiber keeps you feeling full and also helps with digestion.

Flaxseed: It is high in vitamins and minerals that have been found to increase your heart health. The high level of fiber content in flaxseed keeps you feeling more full because it expands once it is digested and helps curve your appetite.

The combination of the sweet honey, the salty peanut butter, mixed with the oats, fiber and some chocolate chips, is the best. Choosing to make your own homemade granola bars (or energy balls in this case) is much more cost effective and is also healthier. There are no preservatives in this recipe, and the cost is comparable to buying a box of Nature Valley Granola Bars every week when you are grocery shopping.

The best part is that you don’t need any certain utensils to make it and you can prepare this snack in bulk. It lasts for a long time if you keep them refrigerated as well. I encourage you to give this recipe a try, because I know you will be just as addicted as I am!

“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going”

~Kenzi Weidman

What is Your Waste Telling You?

Pic for BlogSome call it a bowel movement, doo-doo, caca, stool, waste, feces, etc. In this blog, let us all be grown ups and be able to have this discussion using the term “poop”. Some of you may think that there doesn’t ever need to be a discussion on the topic of poop, but you are wrong. Everyone poops, so why should it be a secret topic?

Everything you do and eat can make your body act in a certain way. The best way to see whether or not you are being a healthy individual is by doing this one important task…analyze your poop! It is time to see what your poop is telling you:

Frequency is usually one of the biggest concerns. The important thing to understand here is that “everyone is different”. Crazy how that phrase works with a lot of situations, especially bathroom trips. Someone’s “normal” might mean they use the facilities 1, 2, 3, 4, maybe even 5 times a day. Just because it seems like your roommate is always in the bathroom and you go once a day, doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you.

Size goes hand in hand with frequency. That person that is pooping 5 times each day as mentioned above might be having smaller movements in their bowel compared to someone that is one and done in a day. You know your normal, and if for some reason a day or two seems off, make sure you are consuming plenty of water and also upping your fiber intake. Experts suggest 20-25 grams of fiber each day in order to stay regular. Typically a healthy diet will get you to that amount, so if your body seems like it needs more fiber, try taking a look at what you are eating and make a change.

Texture is the second most important thing to take a look at when analyzing your daily waste. As mentioned, everyone has their own normal, but if your normal goes in the wrong direction, here is what you can change:

  • Separate hard lumps means that you are not getting enough fiber or water. This should not be your normal everyday, so if it is, up the water and fruits/veggies.
  • Sausage shape, smooth and soft means that you are perfect! Keep doing what you are doing.
  • Soft and sticky can mean your body isn’t absorbing fats properly. This happens once in awhile when we have a fun weekend or night out, although if this is consistent, make sure that you figure out what is going on with your bodily system.

Color is the biggest and most important thing to check when taking a look under the lid. First check, is there blood? Blood is BAD! It can mean anything from food poisoning to a bowel rip and worst-case scenario, cancer. If there is ever blood, make sure you contact your doctor immediately. Here are a few color distinctions taken from the article in the Huffington Post:

  • Brown means that you are healthy and should be happy. You have nothing to worry about because poop is naturally brown due to the bile produced in your liver.
  • Green can be good as well. It usually means that you are eating lots of leafy, green vegetables. One small thing to take notice is that it could mean your food is moving too fast through your intestines. This happens from time to time; always making sure water and fiber are in your diet will help.
  • Yellow typically means that you have excess fat in your diet. It smells awful and doesn’t let you leave the bathroom feeling well. It can also be due to bad absorption disorder, maybe even celiac disease (What is Celiac Disease?)

Take the time to care about what you are flushing, because keeping an eye on it now can help detect future issues. The easy things to remember to keep your colon happy and poops healthy: drink lots of water everyday, consume 20-25 grams of fiber daily, and make sure you exercise on a regular basis. It has been found that the food you ate 3 days ago is the waste in your poop today. So when analyzing your poop, think back to 3 days ago and figure out where you went wrong!

“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going”

~Kenzi Weidman