Three Routine Health Checks You Shouldn’t Skip

As children, our parents were responsible for keeping us healthy. They tried their best to feed us well-balanced meals, they made sure we got enough sleep and they took us to the doctor when we were ill. They even took us when we were well, for preventative care. But now that we are older, wiser and responsible for ourselves, we hold the reins to our own health. One way to stay in tip-top condition is to complete routine health checks, here are three you shouldn’t miss:

1. Eye Exam

There are few things more precious than the gift of sight. We rely on our eyes to help us navigate through the world, process information, and even to tackle our daily responsibilities. Many of us spend countless hours in front of a computer, tablet, or phone screen, placing extra stress on our eyes. That’s why it’s imperative to see an optometrist to make sure our eyes are healthy. Vision changes, glaucoma, dry eyes, allergies, cataracts, and digital eye strain are just a few of the ocular issues that your doctor can check for. Eye exams can be done less frequently if you are asymptomatic or have no history of vision problems. However, if you have an issue, make sure to visit more regularly.   

2. Blood Work

Another health check you may want to schedule is a routine blood test. You can ask your primary doctor to conduct annual blood work along with your yearly physical. While the physical exam will cover anything external, the blood panel should give a detailed picture of everything internal. Tests commonly cover your cholesterol levels, organ functions, glucose levels, blood count, and a metabolic panel. When you get your results, your physician can let you know which data points fall within normal range and advise you how to correct any that don’t.  

3. Age-specific exams

The third health check you should conduct correlates to your age. With each age milestone, the recommendations change. Check below to see which exams are necessary.

Age 21: (Women Only) Pelvic Exam/Well Woman Visit, Self-Breast Exam 

  (Ask your doctor for a mammogram age suggestion) 

Age 45: Diabetes Test (if you are not at risk earlier)

Age 50: Colorectal Cancer Screening

Age 50: (Men Only) Prostate Cancer Exam

*If you were born between 1945 and 1965 you should be screened for the Hepatitis C virus. 

Eating well and getting enough sleep is beneficial, but checking off those two boxes alone won’t guarantee you’ll remain healthy. In addition to exercising and keeping your stress levels low, prioritize these three routine health checks to get a better picture of what’s going on behind the scenes. By taking a proactive role in managing your well-being, you’ll gain new confidence in your health and appreciation for your wellness.

Tracey and Kimberly EatonThree Routine Health Checks You Shouldn’t Skip
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Five Easy Ways To Take Care of Your Mental Health

Five Easy Ways To Take Care of Your Mental Health

Holistic wellness is important to live a happy and fruitful life. This means that aside from giving prime importance to maintain physical health, people should also address certain emotions that can adversely affect their well-being. However, while people are often quick to offer solutions to symptoms which imply that there is something wrong with the body, not everyone is keen to give the same attention to signs that denote mental health problems. Unfortunately, ignoring emotions such as anxiety and depression can significantly lower one’s quality of life. It will also make it more difficult to accomplish tasks and reach goals. 

In fact, World Health Organization recently announced burnout as an official medical condition. So while it is often beneficial to push yourself to the limits, it also pays to take a step back once you feel that the daily stress is getting harder to bear. At a certain stage, professional help or treatment may be needed to overcome the problems that poor mental health can bring. Still, prevention remains the best cure. So as you take steps to nourish a healthy body, it is likewise necessary to ensure a sound mind. The following offer some suggestions to help you take care of your mental health.

Cultivate relationships. 

Sometimes, things at work or at home can get too demanding and every little task starts to feel like a huge burden. In times like these, you will find great comfort at the thought that you are not alone. Do not forget that you have friends or family members that will always be there for you. You can always seek their help or simply talk to them and they can offer advice or be a good listener. You may be surprised how a seemingly impossible situation suddenly appears easier once you share your feelings to someone who cares. So along with your other priorities in life, remember to connect with others and cultivate relationships as well.

Make room for mistakes.

Overachievers tend to be perfectionists because they want to excel in everything they do. Though this attitude may help them exceed expectations, it can also present dangers when they fail at something or commit a mistake. The best approach is to stay competitive but be ready to cope when things do not go as you expected. Stop beating yourself up because no one is perfect in this world and even the best can always commit errors. 

Engage in activities you enjoy.

Taking care of your mental health does not have to be complicated. It can actually be as easy as taking a break. You can make your break time worthwhile by spending it on activities that will make you happy. Maybe you like reading or watching movies. Outdoor activities  such as biking or fishing can significantly boost your mood and energize your body. You can also start hobbies or play sports. A research conducted in 2012 even reveals that taking a break can reduce stress and increase productivity. So take your mind off work for a while and do something you love. 

Know your limits.

Most of the time, stress and fatigue happens because you try to take on more than you can handle. Maybe you want to do many things at once or you just find it hard to say no to other people’s request. Though your intentions may be good, you are also getting yourself closer to a breakdown. So be kind to yourself and learn to say no if it is clear to see that your plate is full. Accept the fact that you are not a superman or a superwoman and can only do one thing at a time. 

Stay fit. 

Amidst a hectic lifestyle, it is a must to get enough rest and eat healthy meals. Physical health is directly tied to mental health so a weak body is naturally more susceptible to feel gloomy and sluggish. Thus, a strong and fit physique should be a continuous goal for everyone. Follow a diet full of fruits and vegetables and try to minimize consumption of junk foods and sweets. It is also advisable to start an exercise regimen.

Have you been working so hard to achieve your goals in life? While your desire to do more than what is required is commendable, it also makes you at risk to suffer burnout. Do not wait until it is too late before you do something about it. Make a decision to take care of your mental health today! 

Tracey and Kimberly EatonFive Easy Ways To Take Care of Your Mental Health
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Three Ways to Naturally Prevent the Flu

Three Ways to Naturally Prevent the Flu

Influenza (flu) season begins in fall and peaks in winter, but can last through May. In recent years the flu has become increasingly difficult to treat. Flu shots definitely do their part toward boosting immunity, but with rapid adaptations to the virus, the flu is notoriously hard to beat. The best medicine is prevention. Luckily, there are many natural remedies and aids to help your body survive the flu season sans illness.

Sanitize

Proper hand washing rules are well known among adults, but during the flu season it’s always wise to review. Make sure to wash your hands with soap and water, scrub underneath your nails and count to 20 before rinsing. As always, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. It’s best to keep your hands away from your face to avoid self-inoculation (transferring germs from one body part to another). Remember to sanitize items that you use daily (your phone, beauty products, etc.). Your office can also be the perfect place for germs to thrive. Clean your keyboard and any tangible surface you come in contact with. If you have to go to a public place, use a disposable or washable napkin to open doors or handle items. If you need to write something down, bring your own pen instead of using the one that’s provided. It’s also important to avoid sharing items that can transmit illness when shared, such as cups, glasses or cosmetics.

Get Enough Sleep

Flu season reinforces the need for adequate sleep. Adults should get seven to nine restful hours each night to maintain optimum health. If you are tossing and turning throughout the night or struggle to stay asleep, make sure to do all that you can to remedy the issues that prevent you from getting the vital sleep you need. Your body needs a fair amount of sleep to devote energy toward fighting off germs and viruses. Listen to your body and seek extra rest if you are feeling fatigued. If a solid seven through nine hours is too difficult to achieve with your lifestyle, commit to taking naps to help you recharge.

Watch Your Diet

While we all understand the benefits of eating and drinking healthfully, the flu season offers yet another reason to commit. Increase your water intake while reducing your consumption of alcohol. Give your immune system a boost with juicing and the addition of supplements. Some of the most beneficial supplements include zinc, vitamin d, glutathione, turmeric and vitamin c. Protein rich foods will also help your body fight illness. Avoid foods that are high in fat and sugar and stock up on fruits and vegetables.

While it is true that more than two hundred thousand Americans are diagnosed with the flu each year, you don’t have to fall victim to the virus too. Be aware of people who are showing symptoms, sanitize often and treat your body well. The flu is avoidable when the proper prevention methods are observed.

Tracey and Kimberly EatonThree Ways to Naturally Prevent the Flu
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3 Ways To Involve Your Kids In Your Healthy Lifestyle Change

3 Ways To Involve Your Kids In Your Healthy Lifestyle Change

Growing up and being a young adult, you are enabled to be an individual with hobbies and habits galore. Your world changes drastically when you become a parent to revolve around your children, and quite frankly, you love it! Though taking care of offspring may be gratifying, it occasionally can make it an obstacle to focus on your health. Prioritizing your health does not have to be all-or-nothing proposition. Including your children in your lifestyle change can provide a positive example to them and motivation for you to be the role model your children need. Practice these habits to get your kids involved in making your family better as a whole.

Family Democracy On Menu Options
Hop on your go-to site for tasty recipes. Be realistic of your time frame nightly when it comes to sorting through the possibilities. If you are short on time Monday through Friday, perhaps narrow in on one-pot dishes or toss together crockpot meals.

Compile a variation of options that can fit into your nutritional guidelines and schedules. Once you’ve built up a bank of appetizing entrees, put them to the vote! Ask your family members what they are eager to taste or prepare. Not only will this alleviate the anxiety of finicky eaters vetoing dinner, but it will make everyone feel included and give them a night of the week to look forward to being together.

Divvy Up Dinner Duties
Preparing home cooked meals takes a toll on the clock and energy levels. Involve your kids and give them a sense of responsibility by having them chip into the pre-dinner prep. Gauge distribution of activities by the age and skills of your children. Things like rinsing vegetables or peeling potatoes can help immensely and hold them accountable to the healthy eating in the family. If your children are at the stage of using kitchen utensils unsupervised, chopping the sides further or seasoning meats will make the process run smoother. Weave the assignment of duties into your week planning session and go over it with your family to kickstart the week. Display it on a common surface like the refrigerator, that way if anyone is curious or forgets how to pitch it, it’s easy to locate and harder to fall off track.

You Are What You Eat
Eating can be nutritional and educational. Kids learn about the food pyramid, but as many can relate to firsthand, there’s vastly more foods and content available than what is covered in educational systems. “Eat your veggies” is a phrase heard frequently, but that doesn’t inform younger audiences of what the nutritional content in a vegetable or grain may contain. It also doesn’t provide cooking instructions. Take time while cooking with your kids to teach them what different nutrients are apparent and the benefits of them. If you tend to reach for similar ingredients on a daily basis, go to the internet to look up other kinds of foods in that category. Don’t neglect to pass on what you know as an adult to your children. Building a wide fundamental base on nutrition will help them develop a richer knowledge and stronger body.

As you can see, these tips are fairly broad and don’t pertain directly to the foods themselves. That’s where the fun comes into play! Bring your family to the grocery store. Inquire about foods they’ve tried or seen and want to recreate at home. Allergies and sensitivities will make the menu look different for all, but the journey to a healthier life will become easier with your family beside you each step of the way.

Tracey and Kimberly Eaton3 Ways To Involve Your Kids In Your Healthy Lifestyle Change
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3 Tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving

3 Tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving

It’s hard to believe Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Whether your family celebrates the holiday with a giant table full of every relative you’ve ever met, distant cousins included, or your Thanksgiving is on the more intimate side with just your closest family members, this year’s feast is sure to be just as special as the rest. This time around, however, make an extra effort to keep this holiday as healthy as possible. Have your turkey and eat it too, but follow these 3 tips for a healthier Thanksgiving this year.

Don’t forget about fitness

We get it. After a five course meal, nothing sounds better than changing into sweatpants for a little afternoon nap or crowding around the TV for some Thanksgiving Day football games. But don’t forget about your fitness goals. Make sure you stay active this Thanksgiving whether you participate in a 5k in the morning, go for a walk after the meal, or separate into two teams for a little game of touch football, just do something that gets you and your family members moving.

Eat on the earlier side

Eating the Thanksgiving feast later in the day leads to many people fasting all day long until the meal is served. And when you sit down at a table covered in food with an empty stomach, it is way too easy to let your hunger get the best of you and eat until you’re uncomfortably full. However, if you fill up earlier in the day, you’ll be less likely to overeat. Plus, you will have the rest of the day to digest before bedtime.

Enjoy your company

It’s a simple idea, really. Staying present and enjoying your company while you eat, takes your attention away from your plate. Make an effort to chew your food slower and participate in the conversation more. The next thing you know, you will be leaving the table with a satisfied stomach and a full heart.

Thanksgiving is for counting your blessings, not your calories. No matter what your holiday traditions are, if you follow these 3 tips for a healthier Thanksgiving, you won’t have to worry about making up for that extra serving of Grandma’s sweet potato souffle.

Tracey and Kimberly Eaton3 Tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving
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Host the Perfect 4th of July BBQ

Host the Perfect 4th of July BBQ

The 4th of July is always a fun day for the whole family. Who can resist the picnics, parades, and fireworks? Make your holiday even more exciting by hosting a 4th of July BBQ. Gather family, friends, and neighbors to celebrate our great nation. Here are some of our tips for throwing an unforgettable and patriotic 4th of July BBQ.

Decorations

Red, white, and blue will most likely be your color scheme. Head over to your local party supply store and stock up on patriotic decorations. You can kick it up a notch by investing in some American-themed decor. It’s a great way to show off your American pride all year long. Check out our Pinterest board here for more Fourth of July decoration ideas.

Food

No BBQ is complete without some legendary recipes. Amaze your guests with your fabulous cooking skills by trying some new recipes. You could offer Grilled Pesto Turkey BurgersBBQ Chicken Kababs, or Balsamic Glazed Steak Rolls. You can keep it healthy and festive by offering a Flag Fruit Plate. Start a pot-luck and encourage everyone to bring a dish to share. You can even make a competition out of it and have the guests vote for their favorite recipe.

Games

Unless you’re having your BBQ at the pool, lake, or park, you may be in need of some entertainment. Party games are a great way to break the ice and gets everyone in on the fun. Set up a balloon dart game, corn hole, or a patriotic ring toss. You can also keep it classic by playing a friendly game of backyard football or baseball. Find a way to get everyone involved as a player, referee, cheerleader, or coach.

Finish the night with some backyard fireworks or sparklers. If you need more inspiration. You can check out our Pinterest page for more party ideas and recipes.

We hope everyone has a safe and happy Independence Day!

Tracey and Kimberly EatonHost the Perfect 4th of July BBQ
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Your Guide to Incorporating More Vegetables into Every Meal

Your Guide to Incorporating More Vegetables into Every Meal

Everyone knows that vegetables are one of the most important food groups to include in your everyday diet, but sometimes it’s hard to eat the recommended serving for a healthy body and a nutritious lifestyle – even if you do like them. But the fact of the matter is, we need to eat them, and we need to eat more than just some carrots dipped in hummus at snack time. Whether you’ve been holding a personal grudge against veggies for years, or you’re trying to sneak more greens onto your kid’s dinner plate, here is the ultimate guide to incorporating more vegetables into every meal.

Your Guide to Incorporating More Vegetables into Every Meal

Breakfast

Stay away from the sugary cereals and syrupy waffles because breakfast time isn’t an excuse to avoid vegetables. In fact, vegetables are an easy, delicious and nutritious add-in to almost any balanced breakfast. Scramble some eggs or make an omelet filled with spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, red onions and bell peppers. If anything, these veggies add to the decadence of your meal. If you’re still opposed to the idea of vegetables in your eggs, try adding minced broccoli to your scrambled eggs or spinach to your breakfast smoothie. Neither one affects the taste or texture of the meal. If you can, try to purchase organize produce and products.

Lunch

It can be easy to skip over vegetables in everyday lunches, especially when packing a school lunch. Sometimes it can easier to just stick to the same old peanut butter and jelly sandwich with chips you’ve been packing for the past decade. But consider switching the regular PB&J to a turkey sandwich loaded with spinach, onions, tomatoes, and sprouts. And, if you’re feeling really audacious, replace the bread with a lettuce wrap for some added greens.

Dinner

Dinner might be one of the easiest meals to add more veggies to your plate. But don’t just add more spinach to your salad, get creative! Instead of topping your protein with a calorie-packed sauce, try sautéing some vegetables like peppers, onions, and tomatoes to top off your meat or fish. Compared to sauces, they are equally rich in flavor and infinitely more rich in nutrition. Maybe try your hand at zoodles, which are noodles made from zucchini with a spiralizer, or riced cauliflower as a replacement in any noodle or rice dish. Zoodles are surprisingly easy to make and riced cauliflower can be found at almost any grocery store. Once you try them out, you’ll be hooked!

Having a healthy diet and feeding your body the nutrients it needs is a part of allowing yourself to reach your optimum potential. So make sure you are feeding your body, mind, and soul exactly what it needs!

Tracey and Kimberly EatonYour Guide to Incorporating More Vegetables into Every Meal
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Organic Produce Dos and Don’ts

Organic Produce Dos and Don’ts

As an integral part of holistic living, purchasing organic produce ensures that you’re doing your part for the earth as well as for your family’s health and well-being. But, because organic produce and other organic products have become so popular in the past few years, it’s important to recognize that there are some essential organic produce dos and don’ts.

Do Buy Organic Milk

Not only is organic milk healthier for you and your kids because it’s not full of the same harmful hormones as regular milk, but it’s also better for the cows. Typically, at organic dairy farms—unlike at other dairy farms—the cows are treated humanely. They’re fed well and never pumped full of hormones or other chemicals that could trickle down to your family.

The most sustainable, eco-friendly organic choices are the ones that are more than just holistically healthy for your family; they’re also holistically healthy for everyone and everything involved.

Don’t Forget About Local Produce

Some of the best organic produce won’t have an organic label on it at all. Smaller, local farms don’t have the kind of money to spend on organic certification the way larger farms do, so they miss out on being labeled as “organic” in the store, even though they’re just as organic and healthy as any other nominally organic produce. Smaller, local farms generally don’t use the same harmful chemicals and pesticides that non-organic farms use.

Not only will you be supporting your local economy when you purchase local, organic produce, you’ll also be treating yourself and your family to natural, holistic, healthy produce.

Do Pay Attention to Labels

Just because something is nominally “organic,” it doesn’t mean that it’s nutritious or holistic. Plenty of organic foods are junk food with a fancy name slapped on them.

Be a savvy consumer and read the labels on everything you buy. The order of ingredients on the nutrition facts signifies the concentration of each component. So, if the first thing on the list is bleached flour, that means that bleached flour is the ingredient in highest concentration.

When you’re buying organic produce, organic milk, and other organic products, it’s always a good idea to do your research and make sure that whatever you’re buying adheres to your healthy, holistic diet.

Tracey and Kimberly EatonOrganic Produce Dos and Don’ts
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