Archive for July, 2011

Salt shaker, transparent background

Table salt. Image via Wikipedia

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Salt makes our food taste better. Sodium  is also an essential element for our bodies. But too much sodium can lead to heart trouble, high blood pressure and that dreaded condition most celebrities and body conscious people want to avoid: water weight gain! Want to reduce sodium in your diet? Elisabeth Wright, from vitaminsandminerals.net has written a good post about how to avoid sodium in your diet. Click here for the article, 10 tips for Decreasing Sodium in Your Diet.

Two of my favorite tips for reducing sodium in your diet: Cook from scratch and use more non-saltbased spices!

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

For those that want to experience a safe and clean beach, not far from the city of Chicago, look for farther than Naperville’s Centennial Beach!

Centennial beach is a combination swimming hole and swimming pool located in downtown Naperville. We walked alongside the fence surrounding the Beach and vowed to return in the daytime soon to swim and frolic in the cool water. Our nighttime photos can’t do the Beach justice so I am posting a few from the Naperville Parks website below.

Centennial Beach in Naperville. Image from http://www.napervilleparks.org

Here is what Centennial Beach offers (from the Naperville Parks website):
• Water play features that add an element of fun and provide children with a convenient place to fill their buckets and cool off
• Shallow-end slide
• Almost six acres of fence-enclosed area, including four acres of grass and trees
• A large sand beach, located next to the shallow end, is perfect for toddlers and sandcastle buffs
• Award-winning, licensed lifeguards
• First aid/safety equipment on the premises
• Clean, supervised bathhouses with showers and coin lockers
• N.C.A.A./U.S.S.-approved diving complex: two one-meter boards and one three-meter board
• Plenty of free, off-street parking
• Playground equipment, and Frisbee® area

Centennial Beach in Naperville. Image from http://www.napervilleparks.org

Daily fees:
$6.00 for Naperville residents
$10 for non residents

After 5pm rates are reduced to $3 for Naperville residents and non residents alike!

The beach is open as follows until August 14:

Weekdays 11am to 8pm Open Swim
Weekends 9am to 10:55am Adult Float
Saturdays from 111am to 8pm Open Swim
Sundays from 11am to 6pm Open Swim.

For hours from August 15 to Sept 5, check the website schedule here.

Centennial Beach Address:
500 W. Jackson Ave.
Naperville, IL 60540

630.848.5092 (Memorial Day – Labor Day)

For more info on Centennial Beach including it’s history (it’s been in existence since 1931!) and rules, click here.

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Saturday night my man and I wanted to go for a walk. We decided to forgo an urban hike and went on a “mini-vacation” to fabulous downtown Naperville and strolled along the Riverwalk.

Map of Naperville Riverwalk and park system. Image by J. Porys.

With the recent rain, the river itself had flooded. The walking path down along the river was covered in high water.

Naperville Riverwalk at night in high waters. Image by J. Porys.

No matter, we walked along the upper portion of the Riverwalk and enjoyed the cool-ish breezes from the river and the trees and relative safety of the ‘burbs. It was peaceful, fairly uncrowded and beautiful even in the dark of the night.

Naperville Riverwalk at night, 7-23-11. Image by J. Porys.

For a link to info about the Riverwalk, including its history (built in 1981) and directions on how to get there, click here. For an artistic rendering virtual tour of the Riverwalk, click here.

Naperville Riverwalk in low waters and daylight. Image from http://www.napervillesdining.com/photo/Naperville-IL/riverwalk-naperville-water

Now, for those that live in Naperville, you may think, Sue, how can you live in Chicago and not know how wonderful our city is? As a long time city dweller, I admit my lack of suburban experience is evident. In venturing out of the city to explore new parks and forest preserves, I’ve come to appreciate what the areas surrounding the city of Chicago have to offer: Peace and quiet, lots more space and open areas, lovely parks and a nice change of pace from the hustle bustle of city life.  And shock of all shocks to us big city dwellers, Naperville has clean, safe, parking garages that offer FREE parking in the downtown district.

And Naperville has another big gem to explore in the daytime: Centennial Beach. But that’s the subject of yet another blog post! More on Naperville’s Riverwalk here from the Naperville blog.

Address of Naperville Riverwalk:

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Check out this video from Dr. Mark Rosenberg, DC, chiropractor from Howtostretch.com. This particular video explains anatomy and stretching for stiff necks.

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

I first gave up dairy products at the suggestion of an acupuncturist/OMD that was treating my sinus issues. She told me that dairy could contribute to mucus production. However, research has not shown that to be the case. To read the latest research on milk and mucus production, check out this study from the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Milk Consumption Does Not Lead to Mucus Production or Occurrence of Asthma.

A glass of some kind of milk. Image from Wikipedia

Many people are lactose intolerant and have had to find alternatives to cow’s milk. I now drink rice milk since I found out my family is prone to high cholesterol and rice milk has no cholesterol.  I love the taste of rice milk, but I want to make sure I am getting my nutritional needs met.  So I did some digging and found great info on rice milk and all milks in general and thought I’d share my results with my loyal readers!

Nowadays, you can find rice milk, soy milk, coconut milk and even almond milk in stores like Whole Foods Markets and in many national grocery chains. Goat’s milk is available nowadays as well as some Sheep milk yogurt products. How do the different types of “milk” stack up nutritionally? This article from MSNBC, The skinny on milk nutrition: Cow, goat, rice or soy?, by Maureen Soloman, compares the nutritional aspects of these milks.

Over at Fitsugar, I found this short article, Mooooove Over Cow’s Milk: Soy and Rice Milk Explained, comparing soy milk to rice milk. I take issue with the claim that rice milk uses sugarcane syrup as a sweetener (mine uses rice or rice syrup) but other than that, it’s a nice short primer explaining the differences between two forms of milk for the lactose intolerant. For more info on rice milk, here is a great post on the Pros and Cons of Rice Milk. from Fitday.com as well as a great post on Milk Vs Rice Milk, info differentiating the benefits of soy versus rice milk and rice milk versus almond milk. 

I also prefer goat’s milk yogurt to cow’s milk yogurt, mainly for its tangier taste. Then I found that goat’s milk is actually more nutritionally beneficial than cow’s milk as far as digestive and metabolic use of iron, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. Researchers found that goat’s milk helps to prevent ferropenic anaemia (iron deficiency) and bone demineralization (softening of the bones). Check out info on that study at Science Daily here.

Although rice milk provides less protean per serving (1 g versus cow’s milks whopping 8 grams), rice milk doesn’t have any cholesterol, and enriched versions are fortified with calcium, A, B12 and D vitamins and taste a lot like cow’s milk.

Check out nutrition data for both skim milk and Enriched Rice Dream rice milk by reading their nutrition labels. Skim milk is lower in calories, carbs and higher in protean. Enriched rice milk is higher in phosphorous (15% for rice milk, 0% for skim milk), Vitamin B12 (255 of RDA in rice milk, none in skim milk) and fat (1.5 grams high in fat). Skim milk is slightly higher in Vitamin c (4% of your RDA versus rice milk’s 0%), and higher in sodium (105 mg for rice milk, 130 mg for skim milk). Rice milk is slightly higher in calories too (120 original, 130 vanilla to skim milks 9- calories).

Skim milk nutrition label here.

Enriched vanilla rice milk (My personal fav) Rice Dream nutrition data here. Original enriched rice milk from Rice Dream nutrition data here.

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Potato chips

Image via Wikipedia

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

A recent study, Changes in Diet and Lifestyle and Long-Term Weight Gain in Women and Men, published in the New England Journal of Medicine led to some not so shocking conclusions:

Over a 4-year period, weight gain was most strongly associated with:

• potato chip intake (1.69 lb)

• potatoes in general (1.28 lb)

• beverages sweetened by sugar (1.00 lb)

• red meats (unprocessed: 0.95 lb,  processed: 0.93 lb).

And to support what nutrition experts have been saying for years now,  weight gain was reduced by those that ate more of the following foods:

• vegetables (−0.22 lb)

• whole grains (−0.37 lb)

• fruits (−0.49 lb)

• nuts (−0.57 lb)

• yogurt (−0.82 lb)

While this is not earth shattering news, it is important research. For one thing, the study compared weight gains over a 4-year period. This means that weight gain is likely not caused by seasonal factors and is more likely accounted for by actual types of foods participants ate. In addition, the study gives further support to the adage that we should eat our vegetables, add a little colon caring yogurt to our diets and cut down on red meat and potatoes.

The study also found support for the other well known adage: Exercise helps you reduce or maintain weight loss.  According to the study, “Other lifestyle factors were also independently associated with weight change (P<0.001), including physical activity (−1.76 lb across quintiles); alcohol use (0.41 lb per drink per day), smoking (new quitters, 5.17 lb; former smokers, 0.14 lb), sleep (more weight gain with <6 or >8 hours of sleep), and television watching (0.31 lb per hour per day).”

Link to the full article about the study here.

Take this short fun quiz to test your own knowledge of nutrition facts here.

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Want to relax? Check out this short relaxation video on You Tube from Paul Collier. Link here.

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