Archive for May, 2015

Salvere Blog: Making a Treat A Treat

May 18, 2015

A treat by definition is and event or item that is out of the ordinary and provides pleasure. Growing up, I remember it being something special to get ice cream or eat a brownie or go on a trip or even go to do something. These things have now become part of our regular expectations of life. How then does this impact or have anything to do with healthy living?  Well, that’s a tough answer — Sometimes nothing and sometimes everything.  So, for the sake of this blog, lets go with the “everything”.

Lets start with discussing school lunch time.  Kids now rush out of the classroom to eat lunch in a very short period of time — Then once they finish, they get the opportunity to purchase “snack”.  Now, I realize different schools come with different options but, for the most part, “snack” items consist of ice cream, cookies, Little Debbie snacks and the like. First, since when does “snack” immediately follow a meal? Second, this sounds more like “dessert” then “snack”. And for many students, “snack” happens quite regularly. This is not to say we cannot let them eat these foods. How do we begin to bring it back to something “out of the ordinary”?

Looking at the “doing things” side of a “treat”, how many times do we do or not do based on behavior. Taking a trip, whether it be near or far, can be a reward for doing something out of the ordinary. Saving a special outing as a bonus for doing something special can something help motivate you or someone else to achieve something a little challenging.

These examples look at ways we can bring treat back to being a treat.  Sometimes special things don’t feel special because we do them all the time. This could be something we do for ourselves or for others. Is there a way you can bring “treats” back to your world?

Salvere Blog: Homemade Energy/Snack Bar Recipe

May 14, 2015

Are you one of those people like me who purchase energy/snack bars — Lara, Luna, Clif, Power Bar, Special K, Kind, etc. — and wonder why they cost so much?  Several years ago, I looked into other options and ways to recreate them at home, for less.  Now, you have to use a food processor and buying your nuts and dates at a store such as Costco certainly makes for the most economic option.  Trader Joes falls a close second.

After several failed (what felt like) “science” experiments, here’s my go to recipe.  I will say, they take about 7 minutes and I will do several batches at a time.  Scroll to the bottom for some suggestions for variations!

So, here it goes:

2 cups Dates, pitted (this matters!) — See note at bottom for date details
1 cup Walnuts
1 cup Almonds
1 tsp Almond extract (more if you like almond flavor!)
2 tsp Cinnamon

Place 1 cup of dates in a food processor and blend slightly. Add walnuts and process again. Add 1 cup of dates and process again.  Add almonds and rest of ingredients. Process until forms a slightly sticky ball of “stuff”. You really cannot over process these. Press into the bottom of a 8×8 pan. Chill and cut into 8 bars. Wrap and store in freezer for best results and longest shelf life.

Date Note:  Nour (or Noor) vs. Medjool — So, I initially started with 100% Medjool dates as they tend to feel a little stickier and held together quite well. On a Costco shopping trip a few weeks ago, they had a large bag of Nour dates and thought I’d try them out.  I must admit, the big selling point what the term “pitted” — Not having to pick the pit out sounded quite delightful!  What resulted was a bar not as sticky and required more mixing.  So, back at the kitchen laboratory, I tried mixing the two types. This is now my go to combination!!!!

Variety:  Looking for variety?  Use different types of extracts — coffee, maple, vanilla, lemon, etc. — based on your favorite flavor combinations.  Also, add chocolate chips, flaked coconut, dried apples, ground nutmeg, dried cherries and vary your nuts — I’ve used cashews and peanuts.  Let us know if you come up with a favorite concoction!

Salvere Blog: Oh My Aching Back!

May 11, 2015

If you suffer from chronic, or even occasional low back pain, you are not alone. According to the American Chiropractic Association, 31 million Americans experience low back pain at any given time. Over 80% of us will experience low back pain at some point in our lives. Back pain is the second most common reason that people visit their doctors, second only to upper respiratory infections (acatoday.org). The good news is that your low back pain may originate someplace other than your back and it may be curable.

 

It might come as a surprise to you to learn that some low back pain stems from tightness/shortness of the muscles of the hips.   Specifically, when the hip flexor muscles are overly tight/short, they can cause discomfort in the low back.   The hip flexors are comprised of two muscles; the illiacus and the psoas.   In conjunction, you might have heard them referred to singularly as the illiopsoas or simply, the “hip flexors.”

 

The name, “hip flexor” comes from their function of lifting the knee (a.k.a. flexing at the hip) as when you climb stairs, walk, or run.  If you’re a runner or a cyclist, you are certainly familiar with these muscles and they are probably tight. On the flip side, if you sit at a computer all day, these muscles are likely to be short and weak.

 

Here’s where we connect the hipbone to the backbone; or more accurately, the illopsoas to that pain in your back. Due to the fact that the illiopsoas attaches at your hips and at your spine, when the illopsoas get tight/short, it causes your pelvis to rotate forward (anterior pelvic tilt).   This increased curve in your low back affects the alignment of your entire spine which in turn leads to a forward (jutting) head position and pain between the shoulder blades. Got that too? Of course, tight/weak hip flexors and an anterior pelvic tilt are magnified tremendously by wearing high heels, spending hours in front of a computer monitor, driving a car, and sitting on the couch!

 

Back to the good news: proper conditioning exercises combined with improving range of motion might help relieve your back pain. Bear in mind that it is always best to rule out a structural issue or mechanical injury such as a herniated disc. In the event that no injury is found, find a conditioning program and stretching that you can do safely to feel better!

 

by Lynne Olsen , trainer at Salvere Health and Fitness. If you’d like to contact Lynne, email her at LynneO@SalvereHealthAndFitness.com or call her at (443) 540-7564.