Want to get in shape? You better believe this: Nothing is more important than losing weight! The number on the scale is all that matters!

Is Weight Loss the Most Important Goal?

If you want to get in shape, you better believe this: Nothing is more important than losing weight!

The number on the scale is all that matters!

And we have a special deal for you on a certain bridge in Brooklyn!

Trust us, folks. Despite society’s focus on it, your weight is not always the most important factor in your health and fitness. And losing weight should not necessarily be the No. 1 goal of exercising on a regular basis.

That’s a common misunderstanding that frustrates many newcomers to fitness. It keeps others from even trying to get in shape.

It’s true that weight loss is a common goal. It’s an excellent goal for many people. And being at a proper weight is essential for your health.

But there are so many more reasons to pursue or maintain a fit lifestyle. And there are so many other indicators of health than just pounds – like body fat percentage and strength.

1. Thin doesn’t necessarily mean healthy.
2. Strong is the new skinny.
3. You might weigh a little more after losing body fat and gaining muscle.

Remember that daily movement is essential for optimal aging. It keeps you feeling better, moving better, and – yes! – looking better.

It lowers healthcare costs.

It extends independence.

So, let’s go over some of the main facts about fitness over 50 that often get overlooked in all the misinformation out there.

Focus on Function

Cody Sipe, a professor and co-founder of the Functional Aging Institute, fights ageism and focuses on functional ability rather than merely someone’s weight or age.

He points out a few of the common false myths.

Older people should never lift weights. Not only can most mature people lift weights, but they shouldlift weights. Strength training builds muscle mass, which we lose as we age. And it protects bone health.
Walking is good enough. Walking and jogging are nice first steps, but we must do more. That includes strength, cardio endurance, balance and mobility.
You’ll hurt yourself if you exercise. Wrong. It’s more dangerous to sit all day than to move your body with purpose.

A Few Top Motivators

People over 50 have endless reasons for wanting a healthier lifestyle.

  • Grandkids. If you don’t think you need strength, agility and endurance to be The Fun Nana, well, guess again.
  • Travel. Try carrying luggage, putting it in an overhead compartment, and enjoying activities WITHOUT being in good shape.
  • Mental Health. Exercise relieves depression, battles dementia, and improves sleep. Hello!
  • Physical Health. It keeps you at a healthy weight, which lowers your risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and countless other issues as you age.
  • Sports and Hobbies. You can continue your favorite leisure activities if you are fit. This is true for everything from pickleball to ballroom dancing.

So, you see, although it really is important to maintain a healthy weight, this is a much more rewarding journey than just obsessing about that number on the scale.

Questions? We are here to help!

Train for Pickleball Power

Everybody loves pickleball, it seems. But did you know that working out can give you a huge advantage on the court?

It’s true. If you want to have more endurance on the (smaller than tennis) court, more power in your swing, and more ability to make those shots – all the time smiling – then you need to come in here and join us for stretching, strength and endurance training.

Pickleball champs and trainers alike share some solid recommendations.

First, it’s important to stretch before playing. You want to warm up with squats for thighs and glutes, rotational twists for the obliques, and other stretches for arms and back.

They’ll even feel good. (If they don’t, then stop.)

Core strength is critical in pickleball, especially rotational core strength – like it is in tennis, golf and other sports.

Also important are the glutes (also known as your butt). We suggest lunges with a pause for balance, and simple glute bridges, or hip raises. Pickleball requires quick stops and starts, so it’s important to stay balanced.

For endurance, look at High Intensity Interval Training as a smart way to mimic the game while building stamina. This basically means working for a time interval (say, 40 seconds) and then resting for another interval (maybe 20 seconds).

The bottom line is clear. If you want to enjoy pickleball safely and competitively, then you’ll benefit from working out with us. So, come on in and let’s get going!

Healthy Recipe, Corn Salad with Cherry Tomatoes

Corn Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, this recipe is adapted from one in “Pizza Night,” it also makes a nutrition-packed meal on its own.

Local sweet corn at its height of freshness is delicious straight off the cob. Here, those kernels are tossed together with other summery ingredients and simple dressing of olive oil and lime juice for a colorful, refreshing salad that’s portable for picnics and potlucks and infinitely adaptable. This recipe is lightly adapted from one in “Pizza Night,” and while it would indeed go well with your favorite slice, it also makes a nutrition-packed meal on its own when embellished with protein-rich edamame and feta cheese. It’s also good with chips. Serves 4. – Susan Puckett

Ingredients
1 cup frozen, shelled edamame
Kernels from 4 ears of corn
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
½ teaspoon flaky sea salt or kosher salt, plus more, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup extra virgin-olive oil, plus more, to taste
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus more, to taste
1 cup torn fresh basil leaves
¼ cup torn fresh mint leaves, finely chopped chives, or finely chopped green onions
1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and diced
4 ounces feta cheese, preferably in brine, cut in 1/8-inch-thick slabs

Instructions

In a small pot of boiling water, blanch the edamame for 15 seconds. Drain and rinse under cold water; pat dry.
In a large bowl, combine the corn, tomatoes, edamame, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Add the olive oil and lime juice and toss.
Taste and adjust seasonings, lime juice, and olive oil as desired.
Add the basil, mint, avocado, and feta. Toss gently and serve immediately.


Susan Puckett is an Atlanta-based food writer and cookbook author.

Article Credit Jay Croft, creator and owner of Prime Fit Content.

Corn Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, this recipe is adapted from one in “Pizza Night,” it also makes a nutrition-packed meal on its own.

Healthy Recipe: Corn Salad with Cherry Tomatoes

Corn Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, this recipe is adapted from one in “Pizza Night,” it also makes a nutrition-packed meal on its own.Local sweet corn at its height of freshness is delicious straight off the cob. Here, those kernels are tossed together with other summery ingredients and simple dressing of olive oil and lime juice for a colorful, refreshing salad that’s portable for picnics and potlucks and infinitely adaptable. This recipe is lightly adapted from one in “Pizza Night,” and while it would indeed go well with your favorite slice, it also makes a nutrition-packed meal on its own when embellished with protein-rich edamame and feta cheese. It’s also good with chips. Serves 4. – Susan Puckett

Ingredients
1. 1 cup frozen, shelled edamame
2. Kernels from 4 ears of corn
3. 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
4. ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt or kosher salt, plus more, to taste
5. Freshly ground black pepper
6. ¼ cup extra virgin-olive oil, plus more, to taste
7. 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus more, to taste
8. 1 cup torn fresh basil leaves
9. ¼ cup torn fresh mint leaves, finely chopped chives, or finely chopped green onions
10. 1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and diced
11. 4 ounces feta cheese, preferably in brine, cut in 1/8-inch-thick slabs

Instructions
1. In a small pot of boiling water, blanch the edamame for 15 seconds. Drain and rinse under cold water; pat dry.
2. In a large bowl, combine the corn, tomatoes, edamame, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Add the olive oil and lime juice and toss.
3. Taste and adjust seasonings, lime juice, and olive oil as desired.
4. Add the basil, mint, avocado, and feta. Toss gently and serve immediately.

Susan Puckett is an Atlanta-based food writer and cookbook author.

Keys To Improve Your Gut Health: A good multiple vitamin and quality enzymes work together hand in hand to benefit your gut health.

Keys To Improve Your Gut Health

Here are 7 keys to improve your gut health:

1. Lower the stress levels in your life.
2. Get enough quality, uninterrupted sleep.
3. Eat slowly.
4. Stay hydrated.
5. Consider taking a prebiotic or probiotic.
6. Check for food intolerances or foods that trigger bloating, abdominal pain, gas, nausea, acid reflux, and more.
7. Change your diet by reducing the amount of processed, sugary, and high fat foods.

Getting Started
Begin by taking steps to improve your overall health. Include more fiber-rich foods in your diet, get enough sleep, and strive to manage your stress levels. Be sure to include a quality multi-vitamin/mineral supplement like Life Priority’s LIFESHIELD™. A good multiple vitamin and quality enzymes work together hand in hand to benefit your gut health.

Because gut microbiome impact whole-body health, a healthy gut can contribute to:
• Heart health
• Brain health
• A strong immune system
• Quality sleep
• Effective digestion
• Improved mood
• Potential can help prevent some autoimmune diseases and some cancers

Overnight Coconut Cream Pie Oats, If you’re a fan of coconut cream pie, you’ll love this genius make-ahead breakfast idea.

Healthy Recipe: Overnight Coconut Cream Pie Oats

Sweet Pea Pesto Crostinis, game-watching parties bring to mind greasy wings and fatty dips. But here’s an easy way to add a healthier option.Healthy Recipe, Sweet Pea Pesto Crostinis
 
Game-watching parties bring to mind greasy wings and fatty dips. But here’s an easy way to add a healthier option that tastes great and is easy to make. This twist on the Italian classic replaces bunches of fresh basil with sweet peas, which are probably already hanging out in the back or your freezer. Besides lending an extra protein and nutrient boost, sweet peas blend up creamy without the need for excessive oil. Makes about 1 ¾ cups pesto, or 25-30 crostinis. – Susan Puckett
 
Ingredients

  • 10 ounces frozen peas, thawed (about 2 cups)
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, pistachios, or chopped walnuts (toasted if you prefer)
  • Grated zest and juice (about 2 tablespoons) of 1 small lemon
  • ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (plus extra for the crostini)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large baguette, cut in ½-inch slices
  • Optional garnishes: cherry tomato slices, sun-dried tomato slivers, strips of prosciutto, crumbled bacon, chopped herbs
Instructions
  • In the bowl of a food processor with the blade attachment, combine the peas, garlic, and nuts, and pulse until roughly chopped. 
  • Add the lemon zest and juice and cheese; pulse a few more times. Continue processing while you add the olive oil in a slow, steady   until the mixture reaches desired consistency. 
  • Transfer to a bowl and stir in salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Meanwhile, make the crostini: Preheat to the oven to 400 degrees. Set the baguette rounds on a sheet pan (lined with parchment paper for easy clean-up.) Brush both sides with olive oil and bake 10 to 12 minutes until golden and crunchy. 
  • Spread each crostino with about 1 tablespoon of the pesto and garnish as desired. 
  • Leftover pesto will keep in the fridge for up to a week or may be frozen in an airtight container for up to 6 months. 
Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at susanpuckett.com.
DonnaJean Wilde, a 58-year-old retired educator, made headlines recently when she set a world record for abdominal planking by a woman.

Hold On!

Gaining Plank-spiration from a 58-year-old World Record Holder

DonnaJean Wilde, a 58-year-old retired educator, made headlines recently when she set a world record for abdominal planking by a woman.

She received official recognition from the Guinness World Record folks for holding a plank for 4 hours, 30 minutes and 11 seconds in Magrath, a town in Alberta, Canada. That was 10 minutes longer than the previous record, set in 2019, Guinness says on its website.

“The challenger’s forearms and toes must touch the ground at all times,” Guinness explains. “The remainder of the body must be lifted off the ground and be kept straight throughout.”

Wilde says she has long suffered chronic pain in her hands and arms. She came to love planking after she broke her wrist and was limited in her activities.

During training, she would read, watch movies – and even completed the work to earn a master’s degree, Guinness says.

You can watch a video on DonnaJean’s achievement on YouTube.

The male record is held by former Marine George Hood, who planked for 8 hours, 15 minutes and 15 seconds a few years ago at age 62.

Even people who are very fit will struggle to hold a plank for more than a few minutes. And good news: You don’t have to! The plank is great for core training, posture, gait, balance and more, can be done anywhere, and has many variations.

“Anybody can do what I do,” George told the media after reclaiming his title. “Everybody has to start somewhere.”

The Plank 101

It’s safe for people over 50 – as DonnaJean and George prove. “This is probably the best exercise you’ll ever do,” AARP blogger Barbara Hannah Grufferman wrote.

Research shows the benefits of regular planking.

It helps your midsection without the strain of crunches. And it works more than just the abs, targeting the entire core, which wraps around us and stabilizes our bodies while doing everyday tasks. Stability and balance are essential for functional fitness.

When you’re in the plank position, you’re working just about every muscle in your body. The focus is on the core and abs. But you’re also using your legs, arms and back to stay in place.

We’re happy to show you in person, but here’s the basic idea. Start by lying face down on an exercise mat. Keep the elbows close to your sides, the palms facing down, and the fingers facing forward. Lift up, keep your body straight, and put your weight on your elbows and feet.

Engage those core muscles and hold on.

Aim for 30 seconds at first. Rest a minute. Try for three rounds of that to start, a few times a week. You’ll be amazed how fast you advance.

Motivation for Everyone

Let DonnaJean and George serve as inspiration, no matter what your goals are.

“Keep trying and keep practicing,” she told Guinness. “I actually still can’t believe it. It feels like a dream.”

Dreams come true at any age. Come see us today and let’s bring yours to life.

Tips to Eat Better at Restaurants

Our friend James misses the pandemic lock-down.

“That’s when I lost so much weight and got super-lean,” he says wistfully. “It’s too hard to eat right when I can go to restaurants and have huge servings. Too much temptation!”

Forced eating at home might’ve made it easier for James, 60, to restrict his calories. Restaurants can be danger zones when you’re trying to eat healthy.

Keep your guard up and remember these simple tips.

  1. No bread or chips before the meal.
  2. Order chicken and fish that’s baked or broiled, not fried. And no breading.
  3. Skip anything that’s “all you can eat.”
  4. Share entrees or ask the waiter to box up half before he brings it to your table.
  5. Get salads without meat, cheese and croutons; ask for dressing on the side.
  6. Limit liquids to water, tea and coffee. Even smoothies can be jacked up with sugar. Cocktails and wine? Empty calories, and hard to stop after one.
  7. Avoid fried appetizers or anything breaded, wrapped in cheese, or dripping in sauce.
  8. Enjoy vegetables. Ask them to be steamed without added salt. Ask your waiter to sub them for starchy rice or baked potato.
  9. Don’t be afraid to ask. Your waiter should know enough about the food to offer healthy substitutes. At fast-casual restaurants, ask for half the normal servings of high-calorie components, like rice.
  10. We all love French fries and ice cream. Try to do without. If you can’t, share an order just occasionally.

Healthy Recipe, Overnight Coconut Cream Pie Oats

If you’re a fan of coconut cream pie, you’ll love this genius make-ahead breakfast idea lightly adapted from a recipe in Kat Ashmore’s “Big Bites.” Thickened with tiny, antioxidant-rich chia seeds, these grab-and-go treats are creamy, filling, refreshing, and packed with nutrients and fiber. A sprinkling of toasted coconut adds crunch. Serves 4. – Susan Puckett

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Optional toppings: toasted shredded unsweetened coconut, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, mango, banana, toasted sliced almonds

 

Instructions

  1. Have ready four 12- to 16-ounce lidded wide-mouthed glass jars or other containers.
  2. Shake or stir the coconut milk to blend if the cream and water have separated, then pour 1 cup of the blended coconut milk into a large bowl.
  3. Add the almond milk, maple syrup, vanilla, oats, chia seeds, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
  4. Divide among the jars, cover with lids, and refrigerate overnight. (The oats will keep in the refrigerator up to a week.)
  5. Serve with coconut or fruit of choice.

 

Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at susanpuckett.com.

Article Credit Jay Croft, creator and owner of Prime Fit Content.

Sweet Pea Pesto Crostinis, game-watching parties bring to mind greasy wings and fatty dips. But here’s an easy way to add a healthier option.

Healthy Recipe: Sweet Pea Pesto Crostinis

Sweet Pea Pesto Crostinis, game-watching parties bring to mind greasy wings and fatty dips. But here’s an easy way to add a healthier option.Healthy Recipe, Sweet Pea Pesto Crostinis
 
Game-watching parties bring to mind greasy wings and fatty dips. But here’s an easy way to add a healthier option that tastes great and is easy to make. This twist on the Italian classic replaces bunches of fresh basil with sweet peas, which are probably already hanging out in the back or your freezer. Besides lending an extra protein and nutrient boost, sweet peas blend up creamy without the need for excessive oil. Makes about 1 ¾ cups pesto, or 25-30 crostinis. – Susan Puckett
 
Ingredients

  • 10 ounces frozen peas, thawed (about 2 cups)
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, pistachios, or chopped walnuts (toasted if you prefer)
  • Grated zest and juice (about 2 tablespoons) of 1 small lemon
  • ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (plus extra for the crostini)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large baguette, cut in ½-inch slices
  • Optional garnishes: cherry tomato slices, sun-dried tomato slivers, strips of prosciutto, crumbled bacon, chopped herbs
Instructions
  • In the bowl of a food processor with the blade attachment, combine the peas, garlic, and nuts, and pulse until roughly chopped. 
  • Add the lemon zest and juice and cheese; pulse a few more times. Continue processing while you add the olive oil in a slow, steady   until the mixture reaches desired consistency. 
  • Transfer to a bowl and stir in salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Meanwhile, make the crostini: Preheat to the oven to 400 degrees. Set the baguette rounds on a sheet pan (lined with parchment paper for easy clean-up.) Brush both sides with olive oil and bake 10 to 12 minutes until golden and crunchy. 
  • Spread each crostino with about 1 tablespoon of the pesto and garnish as desired. 
  • Leftover pesto will keep in the fridge for up to a week or may be frozen in an airtight container for up to 6 months. 
Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at susanpuckett.com.
You can enjoy almond thumbprints cookies even if you’re vegan, avoiding gluten, or watching your sugar. They’re super-simple to make!

Healthy Recipe: Almond Thumbprints

 

You can enjoy thumbprint cookies even if you’re vegan, avoiding gluten, or watching your sugar. Follow this recipe, adapted from Yossy Arefi’s “Snacking Bakes” (Potter, $25). They’re  super-simple to make, requiring only one bowl and one pan. The texture is softer than most cookies, and they’re satisfying and festive. Makes 12. — Susan Puckett

Ingredients

  • 2 C almond flour
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch or tapioca starch
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter (dairy or vegan), melted
  • ¼ C maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 3 tbsp smooth jam, any flavor

Instructions

  1. Position rack in center of oven. Preheat to 350. Line large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In large bowl, combine almond flour, starch, salt. Stir until well mixed.
  3. Add melted butter, syrup, vanilla, and almond extract. Stir until well combined. Dough will be soft and slightly sticky.
  4. Using cookie scoop or spoon, evenly space 12 heaping tablespoons of dough on cookie sheet. Indent center of each dough ball. Fill each center with about ½ teaspoon of jam.
  5. Bake cookies on center rack until surface is matte, slightly puffed, and golden at the edged, 10-12 minutes.
  6. Let cool on baking sheet. (They will remain somewhat soft.)

Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at susanpuckett.com.

Pickleball, Recovery and More for the Holidays

The holidays bring a bonus benefit to working out regularly or shopping for someone who does: There are so many great gifts to consider, and at every price point, too!

From the classic and affordable – to the trendy and expensive, you can’t go wrong.

Here are some of our favorites to get you thinking in the right direction. How can you encourage your loved one on his or her fitness journey? Or – maybe even better – how can you treat yourself in the same way?

  1. Pickleball set. The game that keeps on growing … and shows no sign of slowing down in popularity. Like many items on this list, you can find variations just about everywhere. But this set from Nettie comes with four paddles, four balls, four sweatbands, and free shipping.
  2. Elbow and knee ice pad. Recovery is hot, hot, hot these days. This compression sleeve brings the benefits of cold-therapy and wraparound technology together. This is a reusable and affordable way to try it out.
  3. Yes, socks make great gifts for active adults – even though we always dreaded getting them when we were kids. Try these grip socks for yoga or safe lounging; Bombas, which donates a pair for every pair you buy; or stuff a stocking with a 3-pack of moisture wickers available everywhere from Target to Lululemon.
  4. The Workout Dress. This might be what Audrey Hepburn would’ve worn to a Jane Fonda workout class: a little black dress that’s sporty, flattering, and functional for all kinds of exercise.
  5. If you’re stuck for an idea, just about everyone will always be happy to have an extra pair of tights – also available for as much or as little as you want to spend.
  6. Leg compressors. For those looking to spend several hundred dollars on trendy, techy recovery gear… consider the Normatec 3 Legs, which bring air compression to you. They promise “a restorative massage using 7 levels of pressure” and something it calls biomimicry “to relieve pain and revive muscles.”
  7. Folding treadmill. This is ideal for days when you’re stuck inside because of the weather, or to use with an adjustable desk when working from home. Again, many models to try. Amazon recommends this one.
  8. Personalized gym sign. With so many people using home gyms, why not put up your own sign? This fun idea lets you personalize your family’s workout space with a cheeky bit of branding.
  9. Eat out – right. A local vegan restaurant has caught your eye. Or maybe that place with the quinoa burgers and organic salads. Whatever it is, make a reservation with the loved one on your list, and you’ll both enjoy a new experience together.
  10. Lessons, classes or private training sessions. Give the gift of a new experience or some expert coaching. Talk to us about options here or locally that would be fun.

 Of course, the best gift is your time and attention. So, go on a walk or bike ride with people you love, or whatever activity appeals to you. Come see us to see how to make next year the fittest and best yet. Happy Holidays!

Your Time: One of the Healthiest Gifts

When Pat moved to a new town in her 60s, she quickly visited the local animal shelter to volunteer. Pat always has been an animal-lover, and she thought volunteering would be a good way to meet people and learn about the community.

And she was right. She made new friends and found a purpose in serving the animals, many of them desperately neglected or abused. “There’s something I can do to help. It gives you such a feeling of love, which obviously makes you feel good — to do something for this little creature that is beyond words,” she says.

Experts say older people who volunteer typically give more time than any other age group. More than 18 million older adults contribute 3 billion hours of community service each year. They help in a wide range of services – helping other seniors and at-risk youth, providing education and job training, and pitching in after natural disasters.

“A growing body of research shows an association between volunteering and mental and physical health benefits,” the organization says.  “In particular, older volunteers report lower mortality rates, lower rates of depression, fewer physical limitations, and higher levels of well-being.”

Studies show volunteers walk more, perform everyday tasks better, and are less likely to develop high blood pressure, among other benefits.

You can learn about volunteer opportunities at community centers, organizations like the Lions Club, community theaters, museums, places of worship and more.

For Pat, volunteering is part of her healthy lifestyle that includes eating right and exercising five times a week with weights and yoga. And the payoff continues: Just this year she found her own new furry friend at the shelter. She and Blondie couldn’t be happier together.

Healthy Recipe, Almond Thumbprints

 

You can enjoy thumbprint cookies even if you’re vegan, avoiding gluten, or watching your sugar. Follow this recipe, adapted from Yossy Arefi’s “Snacking Bakes” (Potter, $25). They’re  super-simple to make, requiring only one bowl and one pan. The texture is softer than most cookies, and they’re satisfying and festive. Makes 12. — Susan Puckett

Ingredients

  • 2 C almond flour
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch or tapioca starch
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter (dairy or vegan), melted
  • ¼ C maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 3 tbsp smooth jam, any flavor

Instructions

  1. Position rack in center of oven. Preheat to 350. Line large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In large bowl, combine almond flour, starch, salt. Stir until well mixed.
  3. Add melted butter, syrup, vanilla, and almond extract. Stir until well combined. Dough will be soft and slightly sticky.
  4. Using cookie scoop or spoon, evenly space 12 heaping tablespoons of dough on cookie sheet. Indent center of each dough ball. Fill each center with about ½ teaspoon of jam.
  5. Bake cookies on center rack until surface is matte, slightly puffed, and golden at the edged, 10-12 minutes.
  6. Let cool on baking sheet. (They will remain somewhat soft.)

 

Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at susanpuckett.com.

Article Credit Jay Croft, creator and owner of Prime Fit Content.

Tips to Protect Your Immune System in the Fall

3 Tips to Protect Your Immune System in the Fall

Tips to Protect Your Immune System in the Fall

The human body is a complex organism which requires many parts and systems to function properly for us to keep going. The immune system is vital to our survival, but many people take for granted that it will perform its duties. In reality, maintaining a healthy immune system is very important, and everyone should develop habits to ensure its vitality.

Have a Healthy Diet

One obvious thing is to create a healthy diet. Your body needs the right nutrients and vitamins and in the right amounts. Fast food is a popular dinner or lunch decision because it’s so quick, but the food usually doesn’t have the right nutrients our bodies crave. A balanced diet comprised of fruits and vegetables is a good place to start, and eating healthy meats is also important. Reducing the intake of sugar can also help keep you healthy.

Supplement Your Diet

In addition to eating the right foods, you should also consider nutritional supplements to strengthen your diet. There is no way to obtain the proper amount of nutrients from your diet alone, so supplements can help you reach the optimal level. Vitamin C and Vitamin D take on an added importance this time of year with less sun and more things in the air to potentially make us sick.

One supplement that can really help you this fall and winter is Lift. Lift is an all-natural energy supplement which can keep you ready for the day ahead. In addition to boosting energy, Lift also helps boost your mood. Stress can wear on your body and make you more susceptible to sicknesses. With Lift, you can help your body stay healthy and active.

Another supplement that is important to a healthier diet is LifeGuard. LifeGuard is a daily multivitamin packed with 27 different nutrients designed to help keep you healthy. During the colder months, everyone can use LifeGuard to help combat different illnesses. Infusing your body with the right amount of nutrients and vitamins is vital to your health.

Wash Your Hands

Finally, and one of the more basic things you can do to stay healthy is to wash your hands. We touch so many surfaces on a daily basis which can house countless bacteria and the illnesses of others who have touched them. Make sure to frequently wash your hands thoroughly every day as an added benefit to your immune system.

To Your Health!

 

Life Priority, established in 1994, offers supplements that are scientifically-formulated, results-oriented, and GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) and are manufactured at USDA and FDA inspected facilities.
*The products and statements made about specific products on this web site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. All information provided on this web site or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new vitamins, supplements, diet, or exercise program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.
*Any testimonials on this web site are based on individual results and do not constitute a guarantee that you will achieve the same results.
Traveling during the holiday season, especially during Thanksgiving, Christmas and The New Year, is the most expensive time to travel.

Life Priority Holiday Travel Tips

Traveling during the holiday season, especially during Thanksgiving, Christmas and The New Year, is the most expensive time to travel. Everyone has somewhere to be, and with that business, the airlines raise their prices just to keep up with the demand. Here are a few things I have learned over the years through personal experience, that you might find to be helpful during this high travel holiday season!

Plan ahead Book holiday travel early to get the best prices and fly non-stop. For those of you, who tend to procrastinate, or finding your plans changing last minute, try to search for flights at different times during the day, as well as different web sites. Since flight attendance is constantly changing, so are the prices of tickets!

Planning ahead goes beyond just booking the flights you need when you need them. Try signing up for fare alerts if you are flying. If you know your favorite airlines, sign up for their sale alerts, subscribe to newsletters and keep tabs on Twitter and other forms of media. This will allow you to take advantage of new promotions and sales the second they become available!

Since weather conditions are a concern this time of year, try to book a Non-Stop flight, and avoid getting stranded during a layover. If you do have to make a connection, try to steer clear of airports that experience frequent weather delays when picking your route.

Another good tip is to travel on off peak days. This means, that instead of heading out on a Friday or Saturday, try leaving town on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Since they are less popular days to travel, the demand is lower, and so is the potential price of the tickets!

When you’re finally ready to travel, try packing light and pack only what you really need! Also, pack some healthy snacks to avoid the overpriced unhealthy snacks in the airport. If you pack light, you can avoid checking bags; carry-on is the absolute best to dodge fees and save time while checking in. You can always buy or borrow your toiletries at your destination if you need to. Make sure your laptops and oversized electronics are convenient to get to in your carry-on bag when you go through security.

Caution: Don’t over pack your bag – you’ll avoid weight limitations, and if it is opened for inspection

Send holiday gifts ahead of time or buy online and ship them directly. If you have to bring your gifts, do not wrap them until you get to your destination; if a security officer needs to inspect a package, they may have to unwrap your gift.

Get to the airport EARLY! You can check in for your flight online at home or from your phone up to 24 hours before your flight departure time and print out your boarding pass so you can go straight to the security line. If you don’t have access to a computer or printer, you can also go to the self-check-in kiosks at the airport, which usually have shorter lines.

Don’t get to the airport at the last second, arrive 1-2 hours before departure and give yourself plenty of time as flights are overbooked around the holidays and you could get bumped.

If you do have extra time it means less stress. Be sure to pack a good book or some holiday music to keep you in the holiday spirit.

Glucosamine is a molecule manufactured by cells in our body from the food that we eat. It is a component that our bodies cannot survive without. All cartilage, regardless of where it is located in the body must have an adequate supply of glucosamine. Cartilage gets glucosamine from the synovial fluid that surrounds all of our joints.Last, but not least, be proactive and take your vitamins! I always take 2 Joint Decision capsules whenever I fly, as I find it helps me alleviate any stiffness in my muscles and joints from the flight. To stay healthy on the naturally germy plane, wash your hands and avoid touching your face or mouth and carry a small hand sanitizer.

Also, as a former flight attendant, I like to rinse my mouth out before and after flights with saltwater to help minimize any additional germs and throat discomforts during the holiday cold and flu season. I also carry throat lozenges (Zinc & vitamin C) as the air pressure can make my throat dry and scratchy. Also, drink water to keep you from becoming dehydrated while traveling.

Here’s to healthy and happy Holiday travels to you and your loved ones! Michelle Pryor

Life Priority, established in 1994, offers supplements that are scientifically-formulated, results-oriented, and GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) and are manufactured at USDA and FDA inspected facilities.
*The products and statements made about specific products on this web site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. All information provided on this web site or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new vitamins, supplements, diet, or exercise program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.
*Any testimonials on this web site are based on individual results and do not constitute a guarantee that you will achieve the same results.
The best bet to avoiding downtime with the flu is to build up your health and immunity year round, not just during flu season.

3 Tips to Prepare Yourself for Cold & Flu Season

As the weather changes, so do health risks. The temperature lowers, winds change and things begin to die off, but the cold and flu is just getting warmed up. The fall brings many cases of the cold and flu, and staying healthy can be especially difficult during these later months. Although these seasonal illnesses rear their nasty heads, you can take these steps to help stay healthy.

Wash Your Hands

You may hear this all the time, but one simple thing you can do to help you combat bacteria and stay healthy is to frequently wash your hands. Now is the time to start making it a habit, before the cold and flu season really kicks in.

The best bet to avoiding downtime with the flu is to build up your health and immunity year round, not just during flu season.

You touch so many surfaces every day and pretty much all of them are contaminated with bacteria from nature and other people. It is very important to frequently wash hands and use wipes or hand sanitizer. If you can keep your hands clean, it greatly reduces your risk of contracting the flu or cold. You should also disinfect common areas and heavily used surfaces in your home and workplace.

Eat Your Fruits & Veggies

Another important and seemingly obvious cold and flu prevention method is to eat more fruits and vegetables. With the seasons changing, days become shorter and thus the nutrients you receive from the sun are harder to attain in the necessary amount. A healthy and balanced diet of fruits and vegetables is important to staying healthy.

The nutrients and vitamins found in fruits and vegetables can help your body function at a high level to prevent colds and flu before they happen, or minimize them if you do fall ill. If you can help your body stay strong, then it can potentially ward off illnesses easier and keep you going in your busy life.

Once again, don’t wait to start ramping up your fruit and vegetable intake. Start making it a habit now, and build up your immune system for the oncoming cold and flu season before it starts making the rounds in your office.

Lower Your Processed Sugar Intake

Of course fruits and vegetables aren’t enough to keep you healthy. A healthy diet with less sugar is very helpful, but you should also look into health supplements. The fall and winter season are extremely difficult to stay healthy during because attaining the right amount of nutrients and vitamins is harder, and then add all the delicious baked goods that come with the holiday season and it becomes extra challenging.

One way to balance your diet better and resist processed sweets a little easier is to take an effective multivitamin and give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs. For example, One-Per-Meal Lifeguard is a daily multivitamin designed for consumption after every meal, and it’s packed with 25 essential vitamins and nutrients. If you can supplement your diet with Lifeguard, it could really help provide you with the right amount of nutrients to fight off the cold and flu.

In addition, Vitamin D3 Priority could also help you with your Vitamin D-3 intake. With less sun it’s harder to get what we require from the sun, but Vitamin D3 Priority is designed to support your health.

Ready to Fight Cold & Flu?

These are just a few tips to stay healthy during the fall and winter months. Your health is very important and taking the right steps to ensure you stay healthy is vital. So don’t be kept in the dumps by a cold or the flu this year; be proactive and make sure you stay upbeat and healthy during the changing of the seasons.

 

Life Priority, established in 1994, offers supplements that are scientifically-formulated, results-oriented, and GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) and are manufactured at USDA and FDA inspected facilities.
*The products and statements made about specific products on this web site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. All information provided on this web site or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new vitamins, supplements, diet, or exercise program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.
*Any testimonials on this web site are based on individual results and do not constitute a guarantee that you will achieve the same results.

Healthy Recipe: Vegan Stuffed Butternut Squash

This impressive autumn-inspired dish can be served as a main course for vegan and vegetarian eaters or can be enjoyed by everyone at the table as a side dish. The small amount of curry powder gives the squash a nice warmth and depth. From the Food Network.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 medium butternut squash (2 to 2¼ pounds each)
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ½ cup wild rice
  • ½ teaspoon mild curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons dried unsweetened cherries
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • ¼ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

Directions

  1. Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut each squash in half lengthwise and scoop out and discard the seeds. Arrange the halves in a large baking dish, flesh-side up.
  3. Whisk together the vinegar, maple syrup and 2 tablespoons oil. Brush the flesh-side of the squash halves with some of the maple-oil and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Put the squash flesh-side down in the baking dish, then brush the skin side with the maple-oil mixture and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Roast until the squash is fork-tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Let the squash rest until cool enough to handle. Scoop some of the flesh out into a large bowl, leaving about ¼-inch border of flesh all around. Leave the scooped-out flesh in relatively large chunks.
  4. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, then add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add the rice, curry powder, cinnamon, cayenne and ½ teaspoon salt and stir until the spices are toasted, about 1 minute. Add 2 cups water and bring to a simmer covered, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 30 to 40 minutes (different brands of wild rice may vary in cooking times; add more water if needed). Remove from heat and add to the chunks of butternut squash along with the remaining maple-oil, cherries, parsley, sage, ½ teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
  5. Evenly stuff the scooped-out squash halves with the filling, then drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and bake, uncovered, until the filling is warmed through, about 30 minutes. Cut each in half crosswise and transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle with walnuts and parsley. Serve warm.
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