Feeds:
Posts
Comments
a computer screen that reads "goals for 2020"

Did you make a New Year’s resolution? Perhaps you vowed to lose weight, eat healthier, exercise more, quit smoking, save money or get organized. According to John C. Norcross, a psychology professor who studies resolutions, about 40% of Americans make resolutions each year. Six months into the year, in Norcross’ studies, about 40% of those individuals have kept their resolutions. Norcross says that those who believe in themselves are 10 times more likely to change a behavior with a resolution, compared to non-resolution makers.

Setting a SMART goal is one way to set yourself up for success – and increase your belief in yourself – if you happened to make a resolution this year. A SMART goal is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. In August, I posted a blog detailing a SMART goal I set for myself regarding physical activity. However, you might choose to write a SMART goal for a behavior in any of the nine dimensions of wellness. In her blog “How Well are You?” my colleague Misty explores these dimensions of wellness and suggests small and simple steps you might take to improve your wellbeing in any one dimension.

Some of my other colleagues have shared fun and creative SMART goals to improve wellbeing in these various dimensions:

Bridget set a goal to refrain from purchasing any new clothes for three months, as a way to improve her financial wellbeing.

Emily set a goal of completing a 5K race each month of the year in 2020, as a way to improve her physical wellbeing.

Alisha recently wrote a blog about her “Kindness Boomerang” resolution in which she set out to complete a daily act of kindness to improve emotional and social wellbeing.

Which dimension of wellness do you want to work on this year? Consider setting a SMART goal to set yourself up for success. I know that for me, writing a SMART goal and sharing it with others was a way to make myself accountable to working toward that goal!

Sources:

Harmon, M. (2017). How Well are You? Live Healthy, Live Well. https://livehealthyosu.com/2017/08/18/how-well-are-you/

Hetter, K. (2020). How to Keep New Year’s Resolutions. CNN. https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/01/health/keeping-new-years-resolutions-wellness/index.html

Lobb, J. (2019) Reclaiming Fitness. Live Healthy, Live Well. https://livehealthyosu.com/2019/08/22/reclaiming-fitness/

The Ohio State University, Student Wellness Center. Nine Dimensions of Wellness. https://swc.osu.edu/about-us/nine-dimensions-of-wellness/

Stanford BeWell. Achieving your SMART health goal. https://bewell.stanford.edu/achieving-your-smart-health-goal/

Written by: Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension Franklin County, lobb.3@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Alisha Barton, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension Miami County, barton.345@osu.edu

Growing a Good Heart

Food, specifically plant food, can be used as medicine to help reduce or lower your risk for certain diseases. One is heart disease. Two of the risk factors for heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, can be influenced by your food choices. If you are currently trying to lower one or both of those without having to resort to medication, you might want to try eating more plant foods.

Plant foods contain two different kinds of fiber. To lower your cholesterol, you need to consume more of the type we call soluble fiber. Soluble fiber combines with liquid in your stomach to make a gelatinous mixture that helps trap waxy particles of cholesterol. The mixture then proceeds through the digestive tract and leaves your body when you have a bowel movement. The most well-known source of soluble fiber is oats. Five to 10 grams of soluble fiber a day decreases your LDL cholesterol.

Other good sources of soluble fiber include dried beans and peas, nuts, barley, apples, pears, carrots and brussels sprouts. One excellent (but non-food) source of soluble fiber is psyllium, which is a plant used to make products that relieve constipation. One spoonful mixed in and cooked with your oatmeal everyday will do wonders for your cholesterol levels.

When it comes to lowering blood pressure, the first and most well-known food change you can make is to reduce the amount of sodium you eat. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain low amounts of sodium, which is a start in the right direction. But they also contain large amounts of potassium, a mineral that helps negate the bad effects of sodium. 

You should also try to consume 3500-4700 milligrams of potassium every day to help lower your blood pressure. However, taking potassium supplements is generally not recommended for people with high blood pressure.  A variety of potassium-rich foods should be eaten daily. The most well-known one, but actually not the best, is a banana.  Other good sources include potatoes (sweet and white), melon, peaches, raisins, tomatoes, pumpkin, and pears.

Many of the plant foods listed above are native to Ohio. Even though our availability of fresh, local produce is severely limited right now, start thinking about this spring. It is never too early to start planning for a garden. Growing at least part of your produce (even if it is just tomatoes and peppers) will give you superb tasting food that will help you maintain a healthy heart.

Written by:  Donna Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County, green.308@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Beth Stefura, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Mahoning County, stefura.2@osu.edu

Sources:

Brinkman, P. (2017). Potassium. Ohio Line. https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/hyg-5588

Harvard Health Letter (2019). Should I take a potassium supplement?https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/should-i-take-a-potassium-supplement

Mayo Clinic (2018). Cholesterol: Top foods to improve your numbers. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/cholesterol/art-20045192

If you live where it’s cold in the winter or in the hot desert, dry skin can be irritating and a problem.  Dry air can cause those fine lines to be more noticeable. Some areas of dry skin will itch, flake, crack and even bleed especially around fingernails.

What can you do to help prevent and heal dry skin areas?  The American Academy of Dermatology have these tips: 

  1.  Prevent showers and baths from drying out your skin more.  Follow these tips:
    • Keep your bathroom door closed when showering
    • Limit your shower or bath to 5 to 10 minutes
    • Use warm water instead of hot water
    • Use a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser
    • Apply only enough cleanser to remove oil and dirt. A big lather indicates you are using too much.
    • Blot your skin gently dry with your towel
    • Put on moisturizer immediately
    • Apply Moisturizer within a few minutes of washing and drying off.
    • Use a cream or ointment rather than a lotion. These are less irritating and more effective.  Look for one that contains an oil such as jojoba oil or olive oil.  Shea butter is another one that works well.  Ingredients that help to soothe dry skin include hyaluronic acid, urea, lactic acid, dimethicone, glycerin, lanolin, mineral oil, and petrolatum. 

Keep some hand cream with you and apply it after each hand washing.  This can help relieve dry skin.  

  • Choose and use a lip balm that feels good on your lips.  Some may irritate or sting when applied, avoid using those. 
  • Use gentle, unscented skin care products.  Avoid products with alcohol, fragrance, retinoids, or alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) or deodorant soaps, when your skin is dry.
  • Wear gloves when doing dishes, cleaning, or going outdoors in the winter.  You can reduce your risk of dry, raw skin on your hands.
  • Wash clothes in a non-irritating laundry detergent.  If you have problems, look for a laundry detergent labeled “hypoallergenic.”  Try wearing cotton or silk under your clothing, especially when wearing wool or other material that is rough.
  • Don’t cozy up to the fireplace or a heat source as they can dry out your skin.
  • Use a humidifier if your room air is dry. Heating cold air can dry the moisture out of the air making it dry. 

If you try these tips and they don’t help, please contact your health care provider or a dermatologist to get relief from dry skin. 

Author:  Pat Brinkman, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension

Reviewer: Susan Zies, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension

References:

American Academy of Dermatologists. (2019). Dermatologists’ Top Tips for Relieving Dry Skin.  Available at https://www.aad.org/skin-care-basics/dermatologists-tips-relieve-dry-skin?utm_term=Dermatologists%27%20top%20tips%20for%20relieving%20dry%20skin&utm_campaign=9%20skin%20care%20changes%20to%20relieve%20dry%20skin&utm_content=email&utm_source=Act-On+Software&utm_medium=email&cm_mmc=Act-On%20Software-_-email-_-9%20skin%20care%20changes%20to%20relieve%20dry%20skin-_-Dermatologists%27%20top%20tips%20for%20relieving%20dry%20skinMayo Clinic, (2019). Dry Skin.  Available at https://www.aad.org/skin-care-basics/dermatologists-tips-relieve-dry-skin?utm_term=Dermatologists%27%20top%20tips%20for%20relieving%20dry%20skin&utm_campaign=9%20skin%20care%20changes%20to%20relieve%20dry%20skin&utm_content=email&utm_source=Act-On+Software&utm_medium=email&cm_mmc=Act-On%20Software-_-email-_-9%20skin%20care%20changes%20to%20relieve%20dry%20skin-_-Dermatologists%27%20top%20tips%20for%20relieving%20dry%20skin

2020 Nutrition Trends

As we enter a new decade, be on the look out for new food trends. Here are five things to look for in the year 2020.

1.  Purple Yam Desserts- called Ube. Ube is a tuber from the Phillipines and has a very colorful violet -purple to bright lavender color. It is also relatively high in Vitamins A and C. Ube has been currently used in ice creams, however, be on the look out for this colorful purple yam in pies and donuts.

grcoery store shelf display of puffed snacks , veggie snacks, sweet potato snack, chickpea snacks.

2. Puffed Snacks- be on the look out for this trendy new product. You’ll be seeing more chick pea puffs, peanut puffs, and veggie puffs. This chip alternative is high in protein and low in saturated fat.

3. Cauli Power- Cauliflower continues to trend in food products such as pizza crusts , mashed potatoes, tater tots, rice and chicken tenders. Cauliflower adds more fiber, decreases fat and sodium content.

4. Protein Rich Products- Keep your eye out for some protein rich products. Protein is an important nutrient to our bodies. Our bodies use protein to build and repair tissues, as well as to make enzymes, hormones and is a building block for our skin, blood, bones and muscles. We may be seeing protein now in cold brew coffees, as well as, and high protein pastas containing chickpeas, lentils and edamame. A 1/4 cup rice made from chickpeas contains 11g Protein, and 5g fiber.

boxes on grocery shelf of chickpea, edamame and lentil pasta

 

5. Versatile veggies- Look for vegetables to be used in various ways such as in snack wraps, crackers, chips, and even BBQ sauce and Ketchup. Tomato sauce products are now featuring kale in some of their pasta sauces. Adding vegetables to sauces and condiments can increase fiber content while reducing sodium and added sugar.

Author:  Susan Zies, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension

Reviewer: Dan Remley, Field Specialist, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension

References:

  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/bridgetshirvell/2019/12/04/10-food-trends-to-look-for-in-2020-according-to-yelp/#2a3dba495064
  2. https://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/articles/top-food-trends-for-2020
  3. https://rdlounge.com/2019/11/08/fnce-food-trends-2019/

depression

Depression is different for everyone.  Managing depression is challenging.  Often going to work, socializing with family and friends, or getting out of bed may feel like a struggle.  Here are some strategies to manage depression and live your best life:

  • Develop a Strong Support Groupsupport system
    • One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to create a strong social support. Stronger ties with family and friends are important.  Join a support group – online or join a group that meets in your area.
  • Reduce Stressstressed
    • When we are stressed, the body produces a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is effective short-term as it helps to cope with what may be causing the stress in your life.   Long-term cortisol may result in elevated cortisol levels, which is linked to depression.  Keeping stress levels low will reduce cortisol levels and reduce your risk of depression.  Use stress-reducing techniques to overcome stress.
  • Improve Sleepsleep
    • Lack of sleep affects our moods. Recent studies find people with major depressive disorders experience sleep disturbances.  Often many find they cannot fall asleep and struggle to get out of bed in the morning.  Take charge of your sleep by avoiding caffeine at night, turning off electronics one hour before going to bed and if you read in bed use a dim light.
  • Eat wellmyplatedep
    • Choose good nutrition and take care of yourself. Improving your diet will be key to reducing your symptoms.   There is a link between essential nutrients that affect depression.  Zinc deficiency has shown in studies to increase symptoms of depression.  Good sources of zinc include meat, shellfish, legumes, nuts, dairy, eggs, whole grains and dark chocolate.
  • Stop Procrastinationproc
    • Set goals and deadlines to manage your time well. Establish short-term goals and be diligent to achieve the most important items first.
  • Try Something Newnew
    • A new hobby, exercise or meeting a friend for lunch will have an impact on your symptoms. Read the local newspaper in your area to see what is happening around you and join in the activity.
  • Be Kindbekind
    • Simple kindness is powerful. Hold a door open for someone, let someone cut in front of you in traffic or return the cart to the store are all ways to show kindness.
  • Tackle Your Daily Choreschore
    • Take control of your daily chores. Start small and work on one project.  Moving around and seeing your progress is uplifting.
  • Create a Wellness Toolkittoolbox
    • A wellness toolkit is a set of tools to use when you are feeling blue. Create your toolkit with things you like to do and is inspiring.  Listening to your favorite music, talk a walk with your dog, take a warm bath, read a good book or call a friend are a few ideas.

Take time for yourself daily.  Each day dedicate energy towards your appearance.  There is value to the theory, “when you look good, you feel good.”  Treat yourself well.

This year we are creating a Live Well series.  Join us each month, as we discuss Living Well.

Written by:   Beth Stefura, OSU Extension Educator, Mahoning County. stefura.2@osu.edu

Reviewed by:  Jenny Lobb, OSU Extension Educator, Franklin County.  lobb.3@osu.edu

Resources:

https://medlineplus.gov/depression.html

https://www.nami.org/learn-more/mental-health-conditions/depression

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9290-depression

https://www.webmd.com/depression/features/natural-treatments#1

 

The Power of Positivity

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”   Winston Churchill

As we move into the new year let’s think about the “Power of Positivity” and the role that it can have for a potentially wonderful 2020.

smiling woman

Did you know that positive people are more resilient, adaptive, innovative, healthy and engaged in their work? They have more successful relationships too. Positive people also have fewer colds, longer lives, more successful marriages, have fewer heart attacks, a higher pain tolerance, and even have more friends. Makes sense, who wants to spend hours with people who grouch and complain all the time? Of course, if the negative person is your mother, you can’t say I’m never spending time with you again.

A study from Michigan State University found that negative workers become more mentally fatigued and defensive. They are also less productive. Several studies have found that those negative workers may cost the US Economy $250 to $300 million per year in lost productivity. Research also finds that positive teams are more effective, efficient, and successful. They outperform other teams in work speed and quality.

My personal favorite positivity author is Jon Gordon. He combines research with messages that are easy to understand and make me think. He has a number of books that you can borrow from your local library, download on an e-reader, or purchase if you really like them. He also has free online video’s and newsletters. In one of his more recent newsletters he challenged readers to “Be Positively Contagious”. He states that emotions are contagious – so sincere smiles, kind words, and encouragement will spread through your home, workplace, school, or organization. While negativity can infect others. If you are having a negative day, think about taking a sick day for an attitude adjustment. In the same way you don’t want to infect others with the flu, why infect them with your negative attitude?

I challenge you as we move into 2020 to find ways to build your own positivity and encourage others to be more positive too. Possible tools include:

  • Accepting that change is part of life.
  • Trying the “No Complaining Rule” – Can you avoid complaining for even a day? Build to a week?
  • Use the “Tell Me Something Good” Technique – When family or friends are sharing, encourage them to tell you something good that happened and not focus on the negative.
  • Watching positive/humorous shows, movies, or videos that make you laugh.
  • Use affirming/positive self-talk.
  • Let go of things you can’t control.
  • Smile more, even a fake smile will reduce your heart rate and blood pressure!

“No matter what anyone tells you, words and ideas can change the world.” Tom Schulman

Writer: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County.

Reviewer: Tammy Jones, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pike County.

Green Santa eating cookies

Waste is becoming a bigger challenge than ever before. The average American produces over 4.6 pounds of waste every day. Around 251 million tons of trash are produced every year and 1/3 of all trash is recycled. Plastic and garbage gets into watersheds, winds up on beaches, is consumed by sea life, and eventually goes into our food supply. Trash is found increasingly in national parks, scenic rivers, and in our communities.

Normally, when we take our trash out to the curb, some of it doesn’t even make it to the landfills, but gets blown away and winds up in storm drains and eventually rivers, oceans and beaches. Trash that makes it to landfills has its own set of problems. Most trash takes years to decompose and landfills need to be maintained for 30 years after they are full.

Waste increases 75% during the holidays. Major source of waste include wrapping paper, cards, gift packaging, and broken lights. Many gifts, from jewelry to electronics, use a lot of resources to produce . New electronics and toys replace the old which wind up in landfills.

We can all become green Santas by reducing, recycling and reusing this holiday season. Here are some tips for gifts…

  • Secondhand gifts- Consider shopping at secondhand stores such as goodwill for gifts. Anything in good condition can become a gift. Young children and baby toys especially can be cleaned and gifted.
  • Minimally packaged gifts- Most packaging can’t be recycled.
  • Durable gifts- Do some research on quality and durability when it comes to gifts. Sometimes the more expensive TV set will be the one that lasts longer.
  • Non-physical gifts- Gifts of time and service are special. Offer to baby sit, take someone out to dinner, buy zoo passes, museum passes, dance classes, scuba diving lessons, hot air balloon rides, etc.
  • Charitable gifts- Give money to a college endowment, red cross, etc. in someone’s name.
  • Waste reducing gifts- Gifts such as nice coffee mugs, reusable water bottles, metal straws, mesh produce bags, school lunch boxes, wool dryer balls, Tupperware, cloth napkins, bamboo utensils, reusable dish rags, insulated bags, brew your own k pods (for Keurig) will all reduce the need for disposable products.
  • Make your own gifts- Make sock puppets, boxes with different clothing items (make-up kits) for kids, crafts, etc.

Recycle and reuse as much as possible during the holidays. Lights can be recycled at places like Lowes, and wrapping paper can reused. Some people use cloth for wrapping paper. Gift bags can also be reused as well.

All of these actions, although small individually, can make a big difference collectively in terms of reducing trash, protecting natural resources and even mitigating climate change. Hope there is much green in your Holidays!

Sources:

Money Crashers https://www.moneycrashers.com/green-eco-friendly-gift-ideas-holidays/ Accessed on 12/10/2019

How Stuff Works https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/conservation/issues/recycling-reality1.htm Accessed on 12/10/19

World Wildlife Fund https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/how-does-plastic-end-ocean Accessed on 12/10/19

Author: Dan Remley, Field Specialist, Food, Nutrition, and Wellness, OSU Extension

Reviewer: Susan Zies, Extension Educator, OSU Extension, Wood County