Month: November 2016

How to keep the yuck away from your reusable water bottle

Mold and mildew love damp spaces — and a reusable, sealed water bottle is the perfect place for it to grow. Follow these easy tips to keep your bottle safe and clean for drinking before your next workout.

Keeping your water bottles clean after each use is the best way to keep mold and mildew away. Wash your water bottle thoroughly with lukewarm water, sponge and some dish soap. If the bottle has a mouth piece, such as a bite valve or straw, be sure to give that a scrub as well. Use a cotton swab to reach tiny crevices in the mouth piece. Drain and air-dry your water bottle with the cap and mouthpiece off.

If you see spores of mold or mildew on your bottle, don’t freak out! Kill the mold by washing it out and filling with cold water, and add a few drops (no more than a half teaspoon) of bleach. Shake the bottle; squeeze through the mouth piece and let sit for a few minutes. After it’s drained, let it air-dry. Once it’s dry, give it another quick cleaning with lukewarm water and dish soap, or put it in the top rack of your dishwasher (if it’s dishwasher-safe). Keep it stored in a cool, dry place until tomorrow’s workout.

Not thrilled about using bleach? A few natural ways to get rid of mold and mildew include using white vinegar (undiluted), tea tree oil (diluted in water) or 3% hydrogen peroxide (diluted in water).

Make your life easier with cleaning supplies that are created specifically for water bottles. Camelbak sells cleaning products like brushes and cleaning tablets. OXO has a $10 cleaning set complete with a detail cleaner designed to reach the crevices in a water bottle’s mouth piece.

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Veterans find solace in tailored yoga programs

Yoga is shown to be a great healer both physically and emotionally. For military service members returning from deployment, it can be a powerful tool during their readjustment to civilian life to treat or prevent post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological and physical difficulties. More and more yoga programs are being developed especially for veterans and their families — even the military is warming up to the idea.

A 2010 Department of Defense study found that veterans diagnosed with PTSD showed improvement in their symptoms after just 10 weeks of yoga classes. According to an article by Commonhealth.wbur.org, one of the common symptoms of PTSD is dissociation, or feeling disconnected from oneself and one’s surroundings. The brain may portray the traumatic event as though it is live and active in the present even though it may have happened decades ago. Consequently, the practice of yoga — which combines physical exercises, postures and breath regulation with meditation and awareness in the present moment — is an effective way of resolving that dissociative aspect of PTSD.

Watch this short one-minute interview of Joseph Muxie who served in the military from 1977 to 1984. His PTSD was likely caused by an “unbearable assault” he experienced while stationed in England.

There are increasingly more and more resources for veterans and their families seeking an alternative way to treat PTSD and other physical and psychological problems. The Give Back Yoga Foundation’s Yoga for Veterans project offers therapeutic yoga to vets and training and certification for yoga and meditation teachers, as well as supports further research on yoga and combat-related mental health conditions.

Yoga For Vets is an online directory that lists studios, teachers and venues throughout the country that offer four or more free classes to war veterans.

YogaFit recently announced a 100-hour certification program called YogaFit for Warriors that will equip yoga teachers to serve wounded warriors, and those who suffer from PTSD, stress, anxiety and other mental/physical issues developed from military service, as well as family members and other loved ones who have been impacted.

Designed by Air Force veteran Shaye Molendyke, neuroscientist Stephanie Shorter and YogaFit founder Beth Shaw, the program involves five two-day trainings that include:

  • Level 1: A foundational yoga teacher training that educates how to safely guide students through yoga poses using transformational language while encouraging letting go of judgments, expectations and competition;
  • YogaFit for Mental Health: Highlights the somatic component of anxiety and depression while teaching breathing and meditation practices to help relax the body and mind;
  • Healing Emotional and Physical Trauma: Explores how trauma affects the brain and gets stored in the body, making yoga the perfect mind-body modality to release trauma and usher in healing;
  • YogaFit for Warriors: Focuses on PTSD, traumatic brain injury and other common issues that develop in military settings and with returning veterans; and
  • Restorative Therapeutics: Teaches restorative yoga postures, breathing techniques and knowledge of other complementary techniques to soothe the fight-or-flight response.

“Yoga can help to free troubling emotions, perseverating thought patterns and chronic somatic tension and hyper vigilance,” said Shorter, YogaFit’s yoga therapy program director, who has published research studies on how yoga and meditation can alleviate anxiety. “New research is showing how yoga can reduce cortisol levels and calm the fight-or-flight response while also increasing the relaxation response.”

Military spouses will be eligible to participate in YogaFit for Warriors financial assistance through MyCAA, and a YogaFit scholarship program is being created. Visit Yogafit.com for more information.

Yoga programs are also being taught and used at dozens of military bases and medical centers. If you or a family member are in the military and would like to know more about available yoga programs, contact your local VA Medical Center.

Healthy recipe we love: Kale with Sausage and White Beans

kalebeans

I’ve made this recipe from Simply Recipes a few times and I love it! I make a big batch of it on Sundays so I have it available for lunch during the week. Easy, healthy and tasty!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage, or another sausage (use gluten-free sausage if cooking gluten-free)
  • 1 onion, sliced thin (about 1 1/2 cup’s worth of sliced onions)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, sliced thin (I add 2 more large cloves because I love garlic!)
  • 1 pound kale (1 large bunch), center thick rib removed, leaves roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 15-ounce can of white beans, rinsed and drained
  • Salt and pepper1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat and add the bulk sausage, or remove the casings from link sausages. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then add onion slices and turn the heat to high. Cook until the edges of the onions brown, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

    2. Next, add the kale, sprinkle with salt over everything, then add the stock. Cover the pan, lower the heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes.

    3. Uncover when kale is cooked down, mix everything well and add beans. Cover again and lower the heat to low. Cook another 5 minutes, then turn off the heat. Let stand 5 minutes, then serve.

Try it out, enjoy, and visit Simply Recipes for more yummy recipes!