Incredible, Edible Egg...Substitutes

egg-substitutes

Following a vegan diet? Allergic to eggs? Or in the middle of baking your favorite recipe only to realize you’re out of eggs? Fortunately, there are numerous egg substitutes you can use that you likely have in your pantry or fridge. Read More »

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Volunteering #worklifebalancegoals

You've seen the terms #squadgoals or #lifegoals - to me, one #worklifebalancegoal is to be able to have time to volunteer outside of work. I could go on about the importance of service and how we are all connected but will have to save that soapbox for a different blog/time. From a happiness at work perspective, a Swiss study of workers who also volunteered in non-profits showed that, "volunteering was associated with less work-life conflict, burnout and stress, and better positive mental health".

These days I am fortunate to have the time to mentor a teenage girl and volunteer with a group that provides fresh food to those in need. I also find interest in "one-time" events, for example, I look forward to helping at the SAS Golf Tournament later this year. As a social worker, knowing about community resources is part of the profession, so it's pretty easy for me to know where the volunteer opportunities are. Where there's a resource - there's usually a volunteer need.

I hear from many people that they want to somehow be involved but are unsure of how or where to start. A search engine and a few key words can open you up to a world of possibilities. There are so many ways you can volunteer, on a spectrum from serious to minimal commitment. You could do anything from directly working with the population served, to assisting with admin, fundraising, events, maintenance and more.

So here is my suggested search "algorithm" (Yes I see the irony as this is probably the only time I would be the one sharing an "algorithm" with SAS employees). Read More »

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Love Your Body Now!

In June, my husband and I completed this silly race call Storm the Beach – totally out of my norm, it was only 5 miles 🙂  and included things like climbing, crawling, wading through the ocean, balancing, rope swinging, and running through soft sand.  It was nuts, but so fun,  and I'd definitely do it again!  After the fact, one of my girlfriends sent me this photo:

Storm the Beach

Photo by Michael Beswick Photography for OBSE's Storm the Beach Obstacle Race, June 12, 2016

The warm feelings of joy, silliness, and fun rushed in as I took a few minutes re-live this hour and 10 minutes I shared with my favorite race buddy.  And then, the photo self-critique stepped in.  My thoughts – “Check out my shoulders!  That’s impressive!”  And yes, those, strong, toddler carrying, weight lifting, swimming shoulders ARE impressive.  This thought took me by surprise.  Years ago, I might have been sad, angry, or disappointed that such a photo was posted online.  I would’ve cruelly picked apart my body, disappointed that my less than tiny belly and thighs were on public display.  Today, I see Read More »

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Build a Better Smoothie

green-smoothies

Smoothies are a great way to pack a ton of nutrition into a refreshing, on-the-go glass. However, many “healthy” smoothies in reality are loaded with carbohydrates and sugar from tons of fruit as well as juice, honey, agave or possibly even sherbet or sorbet!  Of course these smoothies taste fantastic BUT they aren’t so fantastic for us and don’t provide a balanced, anchored meal. Read More »

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Revolved Twist/Side Angle: July Yoga Pose of the Month

Strengthens and stretches legs, knees and ankles.  Stretches groins, spine, chest, lungs and shoulders.  Stimulates abdominal organs and aids in digestion.  Improves balance and increases stamina.

Revolved Twist - 2

Revolved Twist/Side Angle Pose (Sanskrit: Parivrtta Parsvakonasana)

Revolved Twist

  1. From High Lunge pose with left foot forward, place hands at heart center. Make sure the front knee is bent and doesn't extend beyond the front toe.  Take a deep breath in while lengthening spine.  On the exhale, rotate the spine from the waist up to the left.
  2. Take another deep breath and begin to hook your right elbow outside the left thigh while hinging forward. Lengthen spine on inhale and on exhale, twist a little more with palms moving to center of chest.  There is a diagonal line from the crown of the head to the back heel.  Stay in the pose for 3-5 breaths.  Repeat on the other side.
  3. To advance pose, you can lengthen both arms with right arm reaching to floor along side the left lower leg and left arm reaching to sky.  Gaze can turn up to top hand.

Note: Keep hips lifted by pressing into the back foot.  Your hips should be higher than your front knee.  If you’re doing this correctly, you will feel your front glute working more.  Modification: You can keep back knee on ground and keep palms at heart center.

Contraindications:  If you have any neck problems, you can keep your gaze down at the floor.  If you have any spinal conditions, please check with your medical provider first.  If you are expecting, don't attempt deep twists.  Instead, you can remain in Low Lunge or High Lunge, if comfortable.  Listen and honor your body.

Namaste - The light within me honors the grace and wisdom within you.

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Letting Go and Finding Everything

Mediation in MountainsLiving in the Western world and studying mind/body modalities from an Eastern perspective can often feel like a tug of war. The Western culture is often focused on the pursuit of attainment while the East accentuates “letting go.”

As I grew up in the late 60s and 1970s, gender equality was in full mode with the Equal Pay Act evolving and Title IX providing access to higher education, career, sports and more. Females joined the male revolution with society stressing the importance of obtaining more. I was young at the time and didn’t comprehend this new development. My Dad was excellent in making sure I was treated as any boy would be. I cut and hauled wood, understood the ins and outs of a car engine, raced go-carts and knew how to take care of myself. I have fond memories (at least now) of popping the hood in our 1958 Apache truck and using a screw driver to start it when the distributor cap was wet! I appreciate my parents being ahead of their time and always supporting me in all my endeavors. Although this was a great way to grow up and I have personally taken advantage of the freedom to achieve and continue learning, it’s easy to get entangled into wanting more and falling into the pool of perfectionism.

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BOSU - July Workout of the Month

Mix up your strength training routine with the RFC's Workout of the Month!  July's featured equipment is the BOSU.  The BOSU was originally created to improve athletic performance, however, it quickly entered mainstream gyms as well as rehab facilities due to it's versatility as a balance, stability, and core strength tool.  The name "BOSU" is an acronym originally for "BOth Sides Up," which changed over the years to "BOth Sides Utilized."  Brittany shows us below exercises using both sides of the BOSU. Read More »

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In the Face of Terminal Illness - Meaningful Things You Can Do

As a hospice social worker I considered it one of my roles to remind patients and families to take moments to slow it down; to look around at the person they were about to lose and the people who were about to experience the loss. I knew it was time that they wouldn’t get back. I learned this from my own experience of caring for a dying loved one before I had any grasp on the permanence of death.

It is so easy to get caught up in the doctor’s appointments, medicines, treatments. How do they feel now? How much breakfast did they eat? How much did they drink today? Meanwhile, time with this person is passing you by.

There is no perfect suggestion for managing your time when enduring the stress of illness and anticipatory grief. Although popular songs and movies may tell you otherwise, no, a person doesn't need to go skydiving or meet a celebrity in order to have meaningful moments at end of life. For some, illness or decline is rapid - in these cases “slowing it down” may mean just a minute of connection shared with another. Regardless of the amount of time, my wish is that anyone can find even a moment of meaning. Here are some ideas of things that can be done to “slow it down”, bring a sense of purpose to the person who is sick and create meaningful connections to the people around them. Read More »

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Microbiome Management: Natural Sources of Probiotics

Fermented-Veggies-

It’s hard to pick up a medical journal or news article these days without reading something about the gut microbiome. Thanks to the NIH Human Microbiome Project established in 2008, health professionals and the general public have learned much about the link between the condition of our gut microbiome and the state of our health.

It’s an exciting time because it lets us know that there is a lot we can do to take charge of our health. Unfortunately, what we’ve also learned is that Western cultures and lifestyle habits cause a lot of imbalance to the gut microbiome thereby threatening our health and wellbeing. Read More »

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"It's Not Fair!" Sibling Rivalry in Caregiving

As we are all well aware, providing caregiving for our parent(s) is complicated and messy.   Siblings can often be both a blessing and a curse in this process, providing much needed relief and support, or perhaps creating additional stress and barriers to important decisions and resources.

Why is this the case?

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