The definition of transformation is a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance; a metamorphosis.
We believe that transformation can stretch far beyond physical form to include both mental, spiritual and emotional as well. Internal and external transformation can happen and many ways, whether it's changing your eating habits, getting into a workout routine or trying a new one, finding a new passion, or simply getting out of your comfort zone. While the definition might make transformation seem like it needs to be something big, we have found out that it's usually the small things that add up.
Every Tuesday we'll be posting helpful tips, tricks, recipes or whatever else we think may be helpful to help you transform your health and well being, plus highlight our staff who help to transform lives, every day.
Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Have a Healthy Halloween: Three tips for battling sugar buzz
At this time of year, there’s a scare in the air—ghoulish goblins, haunted houses and the shriek-worthy effects of sugar.
From fattening organs to an increased risk of heart disease, sugar is something to be enjoyed in moderation, which can be hard to do at this time of year. To keep the fun spirit of Halloween, without going overboard on sugary treats, try these three tips:
1) Stay active
- Plan a neighborhood parade of costumes to get in some extra steps before trick-or-treating
- Play games that move your body
- Make an extra effort to get your weekly workouts in—consider working with a Personal Trainer to help keep you accountable
- Find a 5k where you can dress up and have fun with friends and family, like the Halloween Fearless or Monster Dash
2) Make healthier party foods
Whether you’re planning a party or just want to spice up your family meal, try tasty and fun ideas like:
- Apple mummies
- Carrot rice ball jack o’ lantern bites
- Frankenstein avocado toast
- Monster mouths
- Ghoulish Greek yogurt eyes
- Vegan “Jell”-O pumpkins
3) Switch up the treat bowl
Instead of giving out candy, consider handing out trinkets like:
- Adhesive bandages decorated with Halloween themes
- Printed jokes or fortunes
- Stickers or temporary tattoos
Or, stock your give-away station with healthier options like:
- Air-popped, spiced popcorn
- Boxes of dried fruits like berries or raisins
- Organic juice boxes
- Roasted nuts or pumpkin seeds
- Sticks of organic agave or honey
Tuesday, October 8, 2019
October 7-12 is Burger Week in Columbus. While we love a good burger and fries and believe that sometimes, you've just gotta have the burger, we thought we could combat those greasy, delicious burger cravings with some healthier burger options you can make at home.
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
October begins Breast Cancer Awareness Month across the nation. This month, we celebrate those who have triumphed over the disease, honor those who have ultimately lost their battle, raise awareness and raise funds for more research and hopefully one day, a cure.
At the YMCA of Central Ohio, in October, we thought it was important to celebrate our LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program and how that is positively impacting those who have survived or are going through all types of cancer. LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is 12-week small group programs that assist those who are living with, through or beyond cancer strengthens their spirit, mind and body.
This program is offered at no cost to the survivor and includes a membership to the YMCA for both them and their support system during those 12 weeks.
Whitney, a recent graduate of the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, describes her time in the program and what is has done for her.
"In the first few classes, we did some get to know you activities, and our group was not at a loss for words. It was really great to have some community and camaraderie and really get to know each other. It was some of the best times that we had. All these months later we’re still in contact. Some of the members have had relapses and we’ve been able to support each other. I don’t think I would have been able to find a community like this without the program."
We solely rely on donations to run this program- we can't do it without you. To learn more about LIVESTRONG at the YMCA and how you can be involved, please click here.
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Believe it or not, cutting fruits and veggies is more than appears on the surface- there IS in fact, a right and wrong way to cut your produce. According to The World's Healthiest Foods, food scientists treat the cutting, slicing and chopping of fresh vegetables as procedures that would the cells of plants and trigger injury-based responses by plant cells.
Studies consistently show that if you are using a knife to cut your fresh veggies, a dull knife can cause unnecessary and unwanted damage. Risk of discoloration, flavor loss, texture loss, dehydration and nutrient loss generally increases as the cut veggies get smaller and smaller.
This is a simple, yet very helpful video on various techniques of cutting fruits and vegetables. The video features YMCA of Western North Carolina's Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Director of Operations, Lauren Furgiuele.
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
#TipTuesday: Did you know that half of Americans over the age of 18 are affected by some type of musculoskeletal condition? These conditions can include osteoarthritis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis and fragility fractures among many others. Along with being active and maintaining a healthy weight, the right nutrition can be a key factor in helping to prevent bone and joint conditions from developing, and help reduce symptoms for those who already suffer from musculoskeletal ailments.
The Chef Marshall O'Brien Group give us some tips and tricks on how to keep your bones healthy and strong.
Eat Your Way to Strong Bones
You may believe bones are stable, unchanging objects, but they are in a perpetual state of remodeling, adapting to the ways you use them and the nutrition you provide. Most of your skeleton is replaced about every 10 years. By eating smart and getting regular exercise now, you can build strong bones for your future.
- Calcium – Dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese) and leafy green vegetables (broccoli, kale and spinach) are excellent sources of calcium, the major building block of bone tissue. When you do not get enough calcium in your diet, your bones become weaker and more prone to fracture. Eat three to four servings of calcium-rich foods daily to maintain strong bones.
- Vitamin D – Your body needs vitamin D to absorb dietary calcium. When you don’t get enough vitamin D, your body takes calcium from its stores in the skeleton, weakening existing bone and preventing formation of strong new bone. While you can get some vitamin D from food – oily fish, cod liver oil, mushrooms and eggs, as well as fortified milk, yogurt, orange juice and cereals – your best source is sunlight. Consider a vitamin D supplement during winter months when it is impossible to get sufficient vitamin D from the sun in northern climates.
- Lean Protein– Eggs, fish, poultry, lean meats, dairy, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds are excellent sources of protein, which is essential for optimal bone mass gain during childhood and adolescence, and for preserving bone mass with aging. Lack of protein in the elderly is associated with less strength, greater risk of falls and poor recovery in patients with bone fractures.
- Fruits and Veggies – High consumption of fruits and vegetables is associated with increased bone density in elderly men and women. Fruits and vegetables provide many nutrients that are important for building strong bones.
- Other Nutrients – Vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid may reduce fracture risk by helping convert homocysteine – which may be linked to lower bone density - into other amino acids. Magnesium, vitamin K and zinc all play important roles in bone mineralization and tissue renewal.
Nutrition for Healthy Joints
Arthritis affects about 20 percent of Americans. These anti-inflammatory foods prevent the worsening of symptoms and help cool the pain of arthritis.
- Healthy Fats – Fatty fish, including salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, anchovies and rainbow trout, are your best dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are particularly effective at reducing inflammation and supporting joint health. Ground flaxseeds, walnuts, seaweed, soybeans and omega-3 fortified eggs also provide omega-3s, but in a form that is not as useful to your body. Olive oil contains a compound with similar properties to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Vitamin C – This powerful antioxidant, found in citrus fruits, bell peppers and strawberries, reduces tissue damage at inflammation sites and may help prevent inflammatory arthritis and support joints with osteoarthritis.
- Whole Grains – Whole grains that have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving help control blood glucose and inflammation. Avoid foods that are low in fiber and rich in sugars and starches, which trigger inflammation in the body and exacerbate joint pain.
- Fruits and Vegetables – As highly bioavailable sources of vitamins, minerals, fiber and polyphenols with anti-inflammatory activity, fruits and vegetables are one of your best defenses against chronic inflammation. Eat five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily to keep your joints healthy and pain-free.
- Spices - Certain spices, like turmeric and ginger, have anti-inflammatory qualities that reduce inflammation and support joint health. Turmeric contains the compound curcumin, which, in a 2009 study, eased pain and improved joint function about as well as ibuprofen in individuals with osteoarthritis.
Eat Right for a Body That Moves You
Your bones and joints provide the structure and mobility that allow you to do what you want to do. Nutritious food choices build strong bones and reduce inflammation that causes painful joints. Eat smart and stay active now, so your bones and joints keep you moving well later in life.
Tuesday, September 10, 2019
September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and while the dangers of childhood obesity are well chronicled, many families need support changing their families' habits with the goal of overweight and obese children obtaining and maintaining a healthy weight. That's why the YMCA of Central Ohio, a leading community-based organization dedicated to improving health, wants families to understand the dangers of childhood obesity and ways to reverse course through improved eating habits and increased physical activity.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the prevalence of obesity has remained stable at about 17% and affects about 12.7 million children and adolescents. Today, obesity affects one in six children and one in three are overweight, which poses greater risks for many health problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and some cancers. In Ohio, 33.1% of children ages 10-17 are considered overweight or obese, according to The State of Obesity Organization.
This also hits close to home- in Franklin County, 19.8% of children are considered obese, compared to 13.7% nationally.
Developing healthy habits begins at home. The following tips are some great ways to incorporate healthier eating habits and more physical activity and into your daily family routine:
- Eat & Drink Healthy: Make water the drink of choice and encourage everyone to fill half their plates with fruits and vegetables by offering two or three colorful options at every meal. As a family, choose a new fruit and veggie every week to taste together. Place a full pitcher of water on the table during meals and allow children to pour their own water. Keep full water bottles available in the car and backpacks.
- Play Every Day/ Go Outside: Children should have at least an hour a day of unstructured play outside (when possible) and break a sweat at least three times a week by getting 20 minutes or more of vigorous physical activity. Join your children in games that get your hearts pumping and bodies moving.
- Get Together: Eat as a family as frequently as possible. Involve kids in meal planning, preparation and clean up. In addition, adults should take a break from electronics and spend one-on-one time each day with their kids, enjoying one another's company.
- Reduce Recreational Screen Time: Time spent in front of the television, computer, tablet, cell phone or video games should be limited to two hours or less per day. Make a family plan to reduce screen time at home (i.e. turn off screens during meals, charge electronics/screens in the kitchen overnight, go for a walk after a meal, set a timer to remind you to power down the screen).
- Sleep Well: Kids and adults need to keep a regular sleep schedule; unwind together in the evenings by reading a book or listening to soft music to ensure the body is preparing for sleep. Kids are growing and need 10-12 hours of healthy sleep per night and seven to eight hours for adults.
Tuesday, September 4, 2019
Now that Labor Day is past, it is officially fall here in Central Ohio. Okay, okay, so it's not *technically* fall until September 21st, but the smell of fall is definitely in the crisp air. Fall in the Midwest is it's best kept secret. The foliage, bonfires, pumpkins, football- the list of all things wonderful about fall goes on and on.
One of the best things about fall is all of the delicious fruits and vegetables harvest during the fall season. Whether it's at the grocery store or farmers market, here are some of falls favorite foods:
- Applies are an excellent source of fiber and antioxidants, can really fill you up, be a great pre-workout snack and help to curve your sweet tooth when you feel like you need a little sugar. A huge bonus is how many amazing apple orchards and fruit farms we have around Central Ohio!
- This delicious root veggie's main nutrient is beta-carotene, which helps with maintaining good eyesight, fighting infection, and keeping skin bright and healthy.
- Cauliflower boasts as being one of the worlds healthiest food, on top of being the main ingredient in a lot of dishes and a great fake-out for potatoes. Cauliflower provides nutrient support for your body's antioxidant, detox and anti-inflammatory systems.
- These just aren't for carving! Besides being rich in beta-carotene like it's orange cousin the carrot, pumpkins are also rich in fiber and have even more potassium than bananas. Don't forget about the seeds! Pumpkin seeds are nutrient packed, high in antioxidants and packed full of healthy fats. Another Ohio-bonus, we've got lots of great pumpkin patches to go pick your very own.
Did you know? Ohio only had one fruit that is native to it?
This little known fruit is called the Pawpaw. The pawpaw is North America's largest native tree fruit and it's trees are found throughout all of Ohio. The pawpaw has more flavor than most other fruits, with a flavor somewhat similar to both banana or mango, which varies depending on cultivar.
Want to try some of our native fruit? You're just in time for the PawPaw Festival, running Friday September 13th- Sunday, September 15th!
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
School is back in session for most everyone in Central Ohio. Whether you're a stay at home parent or do the 9-5 grind, adjusting from the fluidity of summer and getting back into the regularity of school can be a challenge, not only for your kids but for you.
Last week we talked about easy recipes to help get us back into the routine, but what we didn't talk about is how to establish that routine and feel like you're back in your groove. We did a little digging and found some great tips to help you reestablish your families routine.
Here are some simple tips on getting a routine established:
- Break out the calendars! Whether it's a good-old-fashioned paper calendar, a digital calendar, an app or a smart speaker, calendars are the easiest way to build a schedule and hold yourself and your family accountable to it. Calendars also serve as a good reference point every day to help you stay ahead of the game.
- Create a morning routine. A good morning is going to set the tone for the rest of the day. Mornings have the potential to be the most productive and if they start off well, it's another tool to stay on top of things.
- Create a daily schedule. Whether it's dinner, bedtime or the morning, create a schedule of times that things should be done at. Of course, you can adjust as needed, but knowing dinner is always roughly around 6, for example, sets a routine for everyone.
Why is routine important?
- It helps give your kids more structure- which they typically thrive in.
- It teaches them important life skills like how to set priorities, meet deadlines develop self care and become more independent.
- It helps keep your life simple and organized- something we all could benefit from!
It's time- bust out that calendar and start making your life easier! Share your transformation with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtags #ycbus #transformationtuesday #startsomethingnew
Tuesday, August 13, 2019
The end of summer vacation is here in Central Ohio. The kids are going back to school so it's time to get back into the routine. Maybe you are like me and thinking, 'Wait, I don't have kids! What's my excuse to for falling out of my routine?'. Summer is a challenge for all of us to stay in a routine, between school being out, patio dinners, cookouts and parties, there are many different ways for the normalcy of the winter and spring months to elude us.
Especially with the kids back in school and with all that that entails, eating quickly but healthy and in between endless practices and activities can be a challenge. The biggest making-quick-food life hack has historically been the crockpot- but the recent invention (or maybe reintroduction?) of the InstantPot/you-name-your-pressure-cooker is a real game-changer. Fit Foodie Finds gives us a life of 42 Healthy and Delicious InstantPot recipes, which can be adapted to any pressure cooker of your choice. Here are a few of our favorites.