Monthly Archives: May 2012
This Healthy In A Hurry recipe is another completely balanced meal when you serve it with whole wheat tortillas. It’s very quick and easy to make, and it has a little zing too! Prep time is literally about five minutes, and total cook time is about 10 minutes.
Most huevos rancheros recipes require you to cook in oil and use a lot of cheese. This recipe has neither, but it still has plenty of flavor.
As always, I’ve added a link at the end, so you can download the recipe and try it tonight!
Skillet-Poached Huevos Rancheros
1 16 oz. jar salsa (mild, medium or hot – depending on your preference)
1 15.5 ounce can black beans, rinsed to remove excess sodium
4 large eggs
Kosher salt and black pepepr
2 scallions, sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 small whole wheat tortillas, warmed
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
1. In a large skillet, combine the salsa and beans and bring to a simmer.
2. Make 4 small wells in the bean mixture. One at a time, crack each egg into a small bowl and slide it gently into a well. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
3. Cook, covered, over medium heat, 3 to 5 minutes for slightly runny yolks.
4. Sprinkle with scallions and cilantro. Divide among 4 plates and serve with the tortillas and sour cream.
As always, I encourage you to change the recipe to suit your family’s tastes. If you don’t care for black beans, try red kidney or even refried beans. And although you will get plenty of vitamins from the salsa, scallions, and cilantro, you can also add other vegetables to make a heartier meal. Red peppers or even carrots add a nice flavor to this dish.
I hope you’ll try this healthy version of traditional huevos rancheros. Let me know what you think! 🙂
Download the recipe here: One Move Forward’s Healthy In A Hurry Skillet-Poached Huevos Rancheros
This is the second article in a two-part series on sleep apnea. You may find it helpful to read the first article, Symptoms And Health Effects Of Sleep Apnea, which will help you get a better understanding of some of the symptoms people may have that are indicative of sleep apnea, but aren’t the most common signs. Sometimes people have the less common indications, making it less likely for them (or their doctors!) to diagnose the disorder.
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea or think you might have it, don’t worry. I know it sounds scary to think that you actually stop breathing while you are sleeping, but there are a variety of treatment options you can try – many of which you can try on your own.
Self-help treatment for sleep apnea
If you have mild to moderate sleep apnea symptoms, consult with your doctor and then try some of these lifestyle changes. You might be able to alleviate symptoms just by trying a few things at home.
Lose weight – Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax, causing your airway to narrow and close as you breathe in. Even a small reduction of excess weight can help relieve that throat constriction, and some people have found their sleep apnea completely cured once they return to a healthy weight.
Quit smoking – Aside from the many, many other reasons to quit smoking, it can also help your sleep apnea. Some studies have shown that smoking increases inflammation and fluid retention in your throat, which can make your airway narrower and contribute to sleep apnea.
Avoid alcohol and other sedatives – Alcohol and any medications that relax you such as sedatives or sleeping pills cause your muscles to relax more completely than normal. As you can imagine, this contributes to the relaxation of the muscles in the back of your throat, and it makes it more likely your airway will become constricted.
Sleep on your side – If you can sleep on your side instead of your back or your abdomen, you can keep your tongue and soft palette from resting against the back of your throat, which can block your airway. Some people have had success “training” themselves to sleep on their sides by sewing a tennis ball into the back of their pajama top or even putting tennis balls in pillowcases and placing them strategically on their bed.
Exercises to treat sleep apnea
Rather than treating the symptoms or finding a work-around for your sleep apnea, you can also work to strengthen your throat muscles, which will make them less “floppy” when they are relaxed while you sleep. These exercises, from www.helpguide.org are a good place to start:
- Press length of tongue to roof of mouth and hold for 3 minutes a day.
- Place finger into one side of mouth. Hold finger against cheek while pulling cheek muscle in at same time. Repeat 10 times then rest and alternate sides. Repeat sequence 3 times.
- Purse lips as if to kiss. Hold lips tightly together and move them up and to the right the up and to the left 10 times. Repeat sequence 3 times.
- Place lips on a balloon. Take a deep breath through your nose then blow out through your mouth to inflate balloon as much as possible. Repeat 5 times.
Medical treatment for sleep apnea
If lifestyle changes don’t help alleviate your sleep apnea symptoms, a sleep doctor can help you find an effective treatment. Sometimes the underlying problem causing the apnea can be treated, such as in cases of heart or neuromuscular disorders. Usually, though, a breathing device will be prescribed. There are a few different types of breathing devices:
CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines generate an airstream at a constant pressure. These are the most commonly used machines for treating sleep apnea. They are very effective, but many people find them to be too bulky and bothersome. Newer models of CPAP machines have been developed more recently that reduce pressure and increase comfort, so if you have preconceived notions about annoying, cumbersome CPAP machines, they are definitely worth a second look.
VPAP (Variable Positive Airway Pressure) and APAP (Automatic Positive Airway Pressure) machines work better for some people. The VPAP (also known as bi-level or BiPAP) works better for people who are sensitive to the constant pressure of the CPAP, and the APAP is the newest of the three that reduces discomfort considerably because it only increases pressure when the user is having trouble breathing, as opposed to the constant pressure you’ll get from a CPAP.
There are no approved drugs available for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea, but even if the self-help methods and the breathing machines don’t work for you, there are always more alternatives. Some are more drastic, like surgery, and others are much simpler, like re-training your throat muscles through yoga breathing techniques.
If you are having sleeping or sleepiness problems (or even other issues like depression or memory loss) and suspect sleep apnea, I hope this gave you a better understanding of the options available to you. Don’t panic at the thought that you stop breathing while you sleep, and don’t let the thought of bulky, annoying breathing machines keep you from getting the help you need. There are so many options, and I’m sure you and your doctor can find just the right one that suits your needs.
Sleep apnea is a common and potentially serious disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts as you sleep. Many people don’t realize they have it, because they only have one or two symptoms, and they’ve probably had them for a very long time, so they simply learned to live with them.
But sleep apnea can have far-reaching effects on your overall health, so it’s important to know the variety of symptoms and get help if you need it.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
There are so many symptoms of sleep apnea, but if you only have one or two, you may not realize that’s what you’re dealing with. Some of the most common symptoms are:
- Loud and chronic snoring
- Choking or gasping while you’re sleeping
- Morning headaches
- Frequent awakening during the night
- Trouble falling asleep at night
- Daytime sleepiness regardless of how many hours you spent in bed
Effects of Sleep Apnea
If you don’t notice that your sleep is getting interrupted and you don’t feel sleepy during the day, you may not think you have sleep apnea. On the other hand, if you have had certain symptoms and your doctors can’t seem to find a reason for them, you should consider that sleep apnea might be the cause.
When your breathing stops and starts while you are sleeping, you are jolted out of your natural sleep rhythm. That means you spend more time in light sleep and less time in deep, restorative sleep. As a result, you may suffer from:
- Poor concentration
- Learning and memory problems
- High blood pressure
If you have any of these four conditions but haven’t been able to find the cause, talk to your doctor about sleep apnea, even if you don’t have the standard daytime sleepiness issue that most people with sleep apnea have.
Long term Effects of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea can lead to serious health problems over time, including an increased risk of:
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
There are also two new studies that found a link between cancer and regular deprivation of oxygen as caused by sleep apnea. Those studies found that people with sleep apnea have an increased risk of developing cancer. Another study, published in the August 10, 2011 edition of Journal of the American Medical Association showed that oxygen deprivation over time can lead to cognitive impairment, and that elderly women who suffer from sleep apnea are twice as likely to develop dementia that women without the condition.
Sleep apnea is a treatable condition, and there are many options besides surgery or CPAP machines. Tomorrow I will cover some ways you can help yourself if you suspect sleep apnea or have been diagnosed with the condition. I’ll also give you an overview of some ways your doctor may be able to help you if your condition is severe or if home remedies don’t help.
For now, though, think about whether you have any symptoms that might have a connection with lack of sleep or oxygen deprivation. If you haven’t been able to find any other cause for those symptoms, do some more reading on sleep apnea or see your doctor!
This week I have another quick ‘n’ easy recipe for you that is healthy and really tasty. This recipe is another balanced-meal-in-one-dish, so you don’t even have to think about any sides to serve along with it. Prep time is just 15 minutes (I promise!), and you’ll need another 30 minutes to refrigerate the sauce and let it set.
As always, I have included a link at the end of the post, so you can download the recipe.
Vegetarian Gyro Sandwich
1 (6 oz.) container plain, low-fat yogurt
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. fresh dill, chopped
Pinch salt and pepper
4 whole wheat pitas
1/2 head green leaf lettuce
1 c. alfalfa sprouts
2 large plum tomatoes, sliced
1 (8 oz.) package garlic & herb flavored crumbled feta cheese
1. To make the sauce, stir together yogurt, cucumber, garlic, lemon juice, dill, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. To assemble sandwiches: Wrap pita bread in damp paper towel and microwave for 20 seconds. With the pitas flat side up, evenly layer lettuce, sauce, tomato slices alfalfa sprouts, and feta down the middle of the bread. Fold up both sides.
I love this sandwich – it’s a great break from meat and seafood, but still contains plenty of protein. And, it will really come in handy as we move into warmer days and don’t feel like cooking over a hot stove or warming the oven! I hope you give it a try – let me know what you think!
Download the recipe here: One Move Forward’s Healthy In A Hurry Vegetarian Gyro Sandwich
When was the last time you went for a walk? It will come as no surprise to you that walking can help with (among other things) weight loss.
But did you know there was a recent Harvard study that showed that a brisk, one-hour walk daily reduced by half any genetic predisposition to obesity? That means even if your parents gave you the genes that make it more likely you’ll be overweight, you can greatly reduce that risk by going for regular walks.
But even if you’re not predisposed to obesity, and even if you don’t want to commit to a one-hour fast-paced walk every night of the week, that’s okay.
You can reap plenty of benefits from just one walk. Going for a walk can help clear your mind, cause your body to release endorphins (the feel-good hormones), and lower your stress and anxiety – just from one walk!
So my Just For Today challenge for you is to go for a walk after dinner. Get your kids or spouse to go with you too – it’s a great way to reconnect and catch up on the day’s events.
You might even start a new habit, which leads to even more health benefits like reducing your risk for heart disease and cancer, lowering your cholesterol, increasing cardiovascular health, and weight loss.
Have fun, enjoy the spring weather before it gets too hot, and take in the sights and sounds of your neighborhood – you’ll be healthier for it!
Many people have stressful days at work, and then they go home and have even more stress dealing with everything that has to get done there. Sound familiar? What you might need is just a few minutes to yourself between the time you get home and the time you start tackling all your evening responsibilities, to de-stress and then move forward with a fresh and relaxed outlook. Try some of these ideas, and see what works for you!
21 Quick Ways to Unwind and De-Stress
1. When you get home, before going in the house, sit on the front steps for a few minutes, maybe sort through the mail or just enjoy the fresh air – and then go in the house.
2. Play a quick game of hide-n-seek with your kids.
3. Kick off your shoes, take off your make-up, and change into some comfy clothes for the evening.
4. Pick some flowers, bring them in the house, and put them in a pretty vase.
5. Spend a few minutes reading a magazine article.
6. Sip a cup of tea before you even think about what’s for dinner.
7. Do a few stretches – touch your toes (or shins or knees), roll your head in circles, raise and lower your shoulders as far as you can.
8. Jump in the shower to signal to your body that you’re shifting between work time and family time.
9. Throw a ball for your dog, pet your cat, or have a chat with your bird.
10. On your way home, park a block away from home and walk the rest of the way. After dinner, walk back and get your car.
11. Take a few minutes to meditate or daydream about your next vacation.
12. Before going in the house, have a quick chat with your neighbor.
13. Before you leave the office, turn off your phone’s ringer. Challenge yourself to leave it off all night.
14. Eat a quick energy-boosting and satisfying snack, like a banana or a handful of almonds.
15. Play catch with your kids for a few minutes.
16. Water your flowers and talk to them while you do it!
17. Tidy up the kitchen a bit before you start dinner.
18. Before you get out of your car, sit quietly, close your eyes, and take three long, full breaths.
19. Listen to your favorite music on your way home.
20. Warm some soothing essential oils to freshen the room and relax your mind.
21. Hug your partner, your kids, your pets, your neighbors, and anyone else you can find!
I hope these tips give you some ideas on healthy, calming ways in which you can transition from work to home – with a little break for you in between. Let me know which ones work for you!
I fell in love with this salad the first time my mom made it for me years ago. She had spent some time in France and had eaten the nicoise while she was there, and then she created her own at home.
One of the reason I like it so much is because of the variety of tastes and textures that come with all the ingredients. It’s a far cry from your typical green salad topped with grilled chicken, and the rich taste makes a very healthy meal feel like an indulgence.
This salad is a balanced meal in one dish, and I promise it only takes about 20 minutes to prepare! As always, I have provided a link at the end, so you can download the recipe.
Tuna Nicoise Salad
2 (6 oz.) cans of tuna in olive oil
2 T. red wine vinegar
1 T. Dijon mustard
1/2 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, quartered (higher in vitamins and lower in carbohydrates than white potatoes)
1/2 lb. fresh green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
3 sliced hard-cooked eggs, quartered
1/4 c. green, nicoise or kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
3 roma tomates, quartered
Green and/or red leaf lettuce
1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain and cool.
2. Drain cans of tuna, reserving the oil.
3. Mix tuna oil with red wine vinegar and Dijon mustard.
4. In a large bowl, combine the tuna, potatoes, green beans, eggs, olives, and tomatoes.
5. Add dressing and toss to coat.
6. Serve over a bed of lettuce.
There are a lot of variations to this recipe that might be fun to try. You might like cucumbers or even artichoke hearts in place of the beans or tomatoes. If you prefer a vegetarian meal, you can substitute chick peas or baked falafel for the tuna. Some people like to add more zing to this salad by adding capers or anchovies (or both!). Create this salad however you’d like, and enjoy!
Download the recipe here: One Move Forward’s Healthy In A Hurry Tuna Nicoise Salad
I always have fresh flowers on my kitchen table, and when I have a few extra stems, I’ll put them on my desk or nightstand too. I love seeing them when I walk through the room, but what I didn’t know is that there is scientific evidence that shows flowers have the power to boost your mood too!
A study out of Harvard last year confirmed that flowers are a real pick-me-up for people who do not consider themselves “morning people.” The study participants said although they generally feel least positive in the early hours, they reported being happier and more energetic after looking at flowers first thing in the morning!
Flowers will help boost your mood any time of the day – not just in the morning. A recent study from Rutgers showed that the mere presence of flowers triggers happy emotions, heightens feelings of life satisfaction and affects social behavior in a positive manner.
So, your Just For Today health challenge is to get some flowers – even just one stem – and put them in a vase on your desk. You don’t need anything extravagant – bring one in from the yard if you’d like. Put the flowers on your desk or wherever you spend the bulk of the day and see if the mere sight (and smell!) of them will cheer you up. I bet it will!
In my full-time job as an attorney recruiter, I work with a lot of people who are looking for a new job. I often find that job candidates are in one of two positions. Either they spent their entire career moving without much thought from one job to the next and now find themselves in a job that isn’t satisfying and they have no idea what to do next, or they stayed many, many years in a job they didn’t enjoy.
Either way, you’re pigeon-holed. It’s hard to re-define your career after 25-30 years of doing the same thing. It’s possible, but it’s not easy.
One way to avoid that problem is to set career goals and then create a plan to reach those goals. That way you can be sure you are moving along the right path for you, and you will eventually be exactly where you want to be. It’s never too early or too late in your career to set goals. Even if you are 60, you probably have things you want to do between now and when you retire. Use this guide to set career goals that are ambitious and realistic and to create a plan to get there.
The first step is to think big
You might have to do a little brainstorming in order to figure out your career goals. Ask yourself these questions, and remember this is the time to think BIG! Be ambitious as you answer these questions:
1. What would my ideal career look like? Is your current job in line with that ultimate ideal career? Do you need to shift industries or get more training or maybe get licensed?
2. Do I like what I’m doing now? What are my most favorite and least favorite aspects of my current job?
3. What kind of money do I want to make? Be realistic, but ambitious.
4. What’s my ideal setting? Large office with lots of people? Small, close-knit group of co-workers? Do you prefer a fast-paced environment or deliberate, methodical work? Maybe you’d like a job where you can work from home, or one where you travel a lot, or one where you’re out of the office a lot to meet other people.
5. What specific job do I want? The Million Dollar Question!
Give yourself enough time to really think about your answers to the above questions. When you are through, you should be able to have a good idea about your ultimate job goal.
Now turn that big dream into a realistic goal
After you’ve done some brainstorming, it’s time to make your goals very clear. Ask yourself the following questions to help you determine whether your ultimate goal is realistic:
1. Do I have the time that’s needed to achieve my goal? Keep in mind your other commitments and really take a hard look at how much free time you have now and whether you can free up some additional time.
2. Do I have the right education or training to achieve my ultimate goal? If not, is there a way I can get that training? What kind of time and money commitment would that require?
3. Is my ultimate goal one that would fit well with my ideal lifestyle? For instance, maybe your ultimate goal is to be a motivational speaker who travel the world to give speeches. But if you have young kids or want to be available to aging parents, that goal might not fit well with the type of lifestyle you envision for yourself. It’s important to envision the whole picture as much as you can.
4. Can my goals be achieved in the time frame I’ve set? If you’re 28 years old and want to be a doctor by the time you’re 30 but you never went to college, that’s not realistic. But it might be realistic to get there by the time you’re 38. Think about both best case and worst case scenario, and try to set a time frame that seems reasonable.
Create your master plan
Now that you’ve taken some time to dream big and also to make sure those dreams are attainable, you need a plan to get where you’re going. One of the best ways to do that is to make a list of all the intermediate steps you need to take to get from where you are today to where you want to be to reach your ultimate goal.
Think of those steps as mini-goals. For instance, if you currently have a job delivering papers, and you want to eventually run the whole newspaper, what would that take? You’d probably have to finish high school, graduate college with a journalism career, start working as a journalist, ask your boss for more administrative responsibilities, earn enough money for a graduate degree, go back to school, network with the higher-ups, etc.
Once you have an idea of your mini-goals, write them all out in chronological order. Put today’s date at the top and the date you want to achieve your goal at the bottom. Then next to each mini-goal, make a note when you want to have that step achieved and what you need to do to get there. Write down as many details as necessary and be sure to include a time frame for each mini-goal.
You have now created a road map to reach your ambitious and realistic career goal! You’ve already done more career planning than most people do in their lifetime. Keep your road map handy and refer to it often. Tweak it when you must, but also push yourself to reach the goals by the dates and deadlines you set. Keeping on track is the only way to get where you want to be.
Many studies have shown that people perform best when they set goals that are both specific and challenging. They perform much better than people who have goals that aren’t clearly defined such as “do your best” or “do what your boss asks”. Push yourself toward clear and ambitious goals, and you’ll be more highly motivated, do better at work, and move closer to your dream job. Good luck!