The Top Five Ways to be Healthier, Everyday

by Dr. Heather Manley on October 18, 2014

What did you have for breakfast? Or did you have breakfast?

I recently read that up to 40% ( including kids) do not eat breakfast. Please don’t be a part of that statistic! It’s truly the worse way to begin your day. After a peaceful night of sleep, where the body did some restoring and detoxifying, breakfast provides energy and nourishment that allows you to be alert, focused, productive and creative.  Breakfast will also set the tone of how your mood will be for the day. Everyone wants to feel great and be healthier and what better ( and simple) way to achieve this than to eat breakfast.

My tip: Start blending away, and make yourself a fruit smoothie. You can add a lot to that smoothie ( think protein powder, flax seeds, maybe a nut butter) and its simple, fast and nutritious.

What’s in your glass?

I hope water!

Unfortunately, many people are not hydrated, although, they believe they are. When bottled water came to the market, people began drinking more water but with the introduction of flavored ( hence sweetened with sugar) water, it became the new favorite drink. This sweetened version may possibly contributing to chronic diseases – obesity and diabetes.

My tip: Keep yourself hydrated. If plain water doesn’t please you try infusing it with lemons, oranges or cucumbers, or even drink iced herbal teas. The golden rule is to drink half your body weight. If you weigh 100 pounds, then drinking 50 ounces of water.

What colored your plate today?

Every time you serve yourself a meal, think color. Colorful whole ( not processed) foods are loaded with vitamins, nutrients and phytonutrients – all of which allow our bodies to function optimally. We all want to be as healthy as possible, and this is truly a very easy and fun way to do that!

My tip: Shop the periphery of the grocery store and look at all the colorful whole foods. Make a stir fly with them and serve over brown rice.

Where do you buy your supplements?

I’m not big into supplements but I do use them…daily. I do a lot of rotating  to make sure that I am getting all nutrients needed in my diet especially when I am not feeling so well; however, not all  companies provide good quality supplements. When I see a patient for the first time, I asked them to tell me what supplements they are taking; I have had patients walk into my office with a bag full their daily vitamins, minerals..well, you name it. Most of these supplements are purchased at big box stores for very little money. I do get it, why buy a $10 supplement when you can buy it for $5.00? However, the quality of a professional grade supplement is going to be far better. There is much research done with quality ingredients that will provide a therapeutic dose to help you get what you need.

My tip: Talk to your doctor about getting a good supplement program that is individualized for you. It will save you money and keep you healthier.

Who is your doctor? Not you, I hope.

Although, I promote being proactive in your health, I do not advise people to self diagnose and self prescribe. It’s very easy to browse through the internet: looking at pictures, listening to lung sounds and reading about symptoms; however, it is best to always consult with your doctor if you have any symptoms that seem unusual. A doctor will listen to you, run tests and work with you to find the cause of your health concern.

My tip: Set up a time and go to your doctor to discuss your health. Make a plan of action with them to determine what to do when you are feeling sick: cold or sore throat and know when to call when something more serious is going on. It’s wonderful to have a good secure relationship with your doctor before you get sick.

Be well,

PS Oops, I foot one very important thing! Exercise … just move! All it takes is a 30 minute walk after dinner .

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Spaghetti Squash Recipe for Kids

by Dr. Heather Manley on October 11, 2014

The kid-friendly, yellowy orange, oblong long vegetable called,  

Spaghetti Squash  (Cucurbita pepo for the science enthusiast)

Spaghetti Squash

The spaghetti squash seems a curious name for its large appearance but once it’s cooked and opened up, the answer is quite obvious; the cooked flesh turns to separate strands resembling spaghetti. It is a perfect squash to introduce to the kiddos because it has a milder somewhat nutty taste, it’s versatile and fun to serve. An added bonus, its loaded with nutrients such as beta carotene and fiber.

A Kid Friendly Way to Cook:

First, choose a spaghetti squash that is firm and feels heavy. Next decide how you would like to cook it; I tend to cut the squash into two halves as cooking it whole takes much longer. If you do decide to cook it whole remember to poke holes with a fork, as this will deters steam build up ( ie: no exploding squash!).

1. Preheat oven to 375°F and halve squash lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out seeds.

2. Place the squash in a 9- x 13-inch casserole dish, cut sides down and pour approximately 1/2 cup water into the dish ( the amount will depend on the size of the squash).  Bake until just tender, 30 to 35 minutes.

Turn the squash right side up and run a fork through the cooked squash flesh to separate it into strands and scoop out.

I serve spaghetti squash in one of two ways: top the squash with marinara sauce and a sprinkling of parmesan with or without a meatball on the side or top with olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper and perhaps, a few leaves of basil and slices of tomatoes..

What’s the nutritional hype?

Spaghetti squash has a high amount of water content and is a good source of carotenoids, plant substances that in the body convert to  vitamin a. Vitamin a is helps boost the immune system, and protects both the skin and eyes. It also contains vitamin c, a few b vitamins and fiber.

Spaghetti Squash Facts:

  •  it originated in Mexico and Central America
  • it’s a fruit
  • the squash weighs between 4 to 8 pounds
  •  the yellower the squash, the more flavorful ( so they say!)

Please share any of your recipes and enjoy!

Be well,

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