Safety First at Amusement and Water Parks

Family in bumper carsAccording to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), about 370 million people ride 1.7 billion rides at 400 North American fixed-site (non-travelling) amusement parks annually. Accidents do happen.

The U.S. Product Safety Commission estimated that U.S. emergency rooms saw 30,900 amusement park injuries in 2016 alone (the most recent data available).

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Solving the Allergy Puzzle

Skin prick allergy to find out kind of allergy

Sniffles and sneezing due to allergies can feel just about as bad as a head cold. Skin rashes are so itchy, they can have you losing sleep. More often than not, the “triggers” to feeling miserable can include everything from dust and mold inside, to flower and tree pollen outdoors; from materials like latex (rubber), to medicines (like some antibiotics), not to mention laundry detergents or shampoos. Food allergies can also kick reactions into dangerous, sometimes life-threatening levels for some people. In any case, when symptoms are extreme, allergy testing for things that you may breathe, eat, or touch may help determine exactly what allergens are causing problems, and what to avoid.

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Onion, Shallot, and Herb Frittata

Asparagus, mushrooms and goat cheese frittata with fresh herbs(Serves 6)

Here’s one of those easy, skillet-to-oven recipes that’s perfect for a savory but light breakfast or brunch (just 110 calories per serving). You get 6 g of protein, 70 mg of cholesterol, just 2.5 g of total fat, and only 75 mg of sodium. You can always add in some other favorite veggies, too (like mushrooms), so get creative. Put the coffee on, then add in some whole grain toast and maybe some sliced melon as sides!* Continue reading

Tropical Fruit Smoothie

Freshly blended yellow and orange fruit smoothie in glass jar with straw. Turquoise blue background, copy space(Serves 2)

When something quick and nutritious can do triple duty as a breakfast drink or the dessert that follows brunch, lunch, or dinner, that’s a home run!  This yogurt smoothie is full of fruit, and comes in at just 290 calories with 62 g of carbs, 5 mg of cholesterol, 2 g of total fat, 8 g of protein, 70 mg of sodium, and 43 g sugar. Adding in uncooked, rolled oats brings in 4 g of fiber and makes it especially filling. Using Greek yogurt makes it a little thicker too, so adjust accordingly with a bit more juice or milk, as needed. Bottoms up!
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Spring Ahead (Slowly) When Getting Back in Shape

Couple having fun together at the parkWith longer days comes a little more time, a bit more energy and, often, a lot more “oomph,” propelling you off of the couch and onto the workout bandwagon to get back in shape. No doubt about it: Starting a workout (after talking with your doctor first), along with cutting back on the foods you may have overindulged in over the winter months, can jump-start you back on the road to good health, both physically and mentally. In addition to building up your stamina and helping you burn calories to lose weight, exercise also elevates your mood and lowers blood pressure and stress, not to mention boosting your immune system to help prevent you from getting sick.

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Talk to Your Kids About: Alcohol

It’s “every parent’s nightmare”Mother and Daughter Talking to lose a child. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), says that 29 people die in cars each day as a result of drinking and driving. Underage drinkers age 12 to 20 drink 11 percent of all alcohol in the U.S., with more than 90 percent of it consumed by binge drinking (drinking to excess). But whether someone underage starts drinking because of peer pressure or depression; whether they get behind the wheel while impaired and hurt themselves (or someone else); or die due to alcohol poisoning, another accident, or suicide, talking to kids about alcohol’s dangers can help avoid tragedy.

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What Your Smile Says About You

SmFather teaching son how to brash his teeth correctlyiles reveal a lot about mood, and personality. But the American Dental Association says that the teeth we display to form those grins can also clue people in to how old we are, what kind of food we eat, whether or not we use tobacco products, or what kind of environment we live in, now or previously. For both dentists and doctors, our teeth and mouths can offer hints about our overall health.

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Baked Salmon Dijon

Baked salmon with dijon ginger glaze accompanied by sugar snap peas and whole grain couscous(Serves 6)

This quick-prep dish just says “Spring,” and would be lovely with a salad, steamed asparagus, or sugar snap peas. It comes in at just 196 calories and only nine g of fat (2 saturated), with only 5 g of carbs, 76 mg of cholesterol, and 229 mg of sodium. A great source of protein (229 mg), too, salmon also provides those fantastic omega-3s!

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Panzanella-Cucumber Salad

Panzanella with Ciabatta, tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, onions and basil(Serves 8)

Panzanella comes from the Italian words for bread (pane) and small basket (zanella). Traditionally, this savory Tuscan salad is made with anchovies, chopped veggies, and day-old bread soaked in olive oil, but here’s a lighter version, sans the soaking. 170 calories, 10 mg cholesterol, 11 g total fat (3 saturated), 160 mg sodium and just 3 g sugar. Just toss and taste. Buon appetito!


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