Category Archives: Health and Wellness

National Country Cooking Month

National Country Cooking Month

It’s National Country Cooking Month, and we have recipes to help you make delicious comfort food that’s healthy too.

First up, find Healthier Mac & Cheese recipes that will keep you and your kids happy.

Healthier Mac & Cheese
Image and Recipe via The Greatist

 

Make this Unbelievably Moist Turkey Meatloaf for a lighter version of the classic.

Unbelievably Moist Turkey Meatloaf

Unbelievably Moist Turkey Meatloaf Recipe

 

Satisfy your brunch comfort food craving with Oven-Baked Chicken and Waffles.

Oven-Baked Chicken and Waffles
Image and Recipe via Womanista

 

Your family won’t believe that this Loaded Cauliflower Mash is healthy.

Loaded Cauliflower (low carb, keto)

 

Whip up Cheesy Garlic Pork Chops for a healthier version of the hearty dinner.

Cheesy Garlic Pork Chops
Image and Recipe via Womanista

 

This moist and delicious Oven-Baked BBQ Chicken will be a hit this summer.

Super Moist Oven Baked BBQ Chicken

 

Don’t skimp on your favorites with lighter Southern Shrimp and Grits.

Southern Shrimp and Grits
Image and Recipe via Womanista

Beat the Summer Heat

Summer Heat

It’s officially time for summer fun, which means lots of outdoor activities. But it’s important to protect yourself in the summer heat.

In 2014, 244 people died in the U.S. from excessive heat exposure, and these problems are avoidable.

You can help yourself avoid heat-related illnesses by drinking more liquid than you think you need and avoiding alcohol.

Stay Hydrated

 

Wear loose, lightweight clothing, hats, and plenty of sunscreen on any exposed skin. Sunburns affect your ability to cool down.

Dress for the Sun

 

If you’re sweating a lot, replace lost salt and electrolytes by drinking juice or sports drinks.

Replace Your Salt

 

Avoid spending time outside from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the hottest part of the day, and try not to over-exert yourself.

Hottest Part of the Day

 

Babies, the elderly, pets, those with heart problems, and people who exercise or work outside are at the highest risk of heat-related issues.

Risk of Heat-Related Issues

 

If you think someone is experiencing heat exhaustion or cramps, move them to the shade or AC, give them water, use wet towels to cool them down, and if you’re worried or symptoms don’t ease, call 911.

Cooling Down Fast

Safe Travel Each Step of the Way

Safe Travel

Summer travel season is upon us, and preparing for safe travel is important, especially if you have an illness.

First, learn about your destination to check for any local health notices or immunizations you might need first.

Safety Wherever You Go

 

Think about your health before you book. From illness and surgery recovery to pregnancy, check if you’re safe to fly.

Fly Smart

 

See a doctor before you take off to make sure you’re up-to-date on key shots or healthy enough for planned activities.

Vaccines for Travel

 

Pack carefully to protect yourself, especially if you need medicines or care while you’re traveling.

Pack for Your Health

 

Be prepared for the signs and what to do if you know you’re at higher risk of health issues while traveling.

Healthy and Prepared on Vacation

 

Make sure your family or friends (and government entities depending on where you’re traveling) know your travel plan.

Share Your Travel Plan

 

Know you’re covered with a copayment or coinsurance for ER and urgent care if you get sick while traveling.

And check out Assist America, which helps connect you to services when you get sick while traveling.

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Healthy Papaya Recipes

Healthy Papaya Recipes for National Papaya Month

It’s National Papaya Month. Summer is the perfect time to try out the tropical fruit with these healthy papaya recipes.

These tasty Papaya, Banana & Coconut Muffins make a great breakfast or snack.

Papaya, Banana & Coconut Muffins

Whip up Thai Fish Burgers with Green Mango & Papaya Slaw for your next get-together.

Thai Fish Burgers with Green Mango & Papaya Slaw

This easy Strawberry Papaya Salad is light and refreshing for an afternoon snack.

Strawberry Papaya Salad

Replace the takeout with this bright and beautiful Chicken and Papaya Stir Fry.

Chicken and Papaya Stir Fry
Image and Recipe via Food & Wine

 

Ditch the pudding cup with this rich Mango and Papaya Chia Pudding with Apricot.

Mango and Papaya Chia Pudding with Apricot
Image and Recipe via Anna Banana

 

Make the most of fresh, light fish with Pan Seared Mahi Mahi with Mango Papaya Salsa.

Pan Seared Mahi Mahi with Mango Papaya Salsa

Fall in love with this refreshing Vegan Ice Cream with Papaya and Coconut Milk as a tropical treat.

Vegan Ice Cream with Papaya and Coconut Milk
Image and Recipe via Farm on Plate

Great Outdoors Month

Great Outdoors Month

June is Great Outdoors Month, which makes it the perfect time for you and your family to get moving outside.

National Trails Day was last weekend, but it’s never too late to start hiking.

It’s also National Fishing & Boating Week, so find ideas for getting out on the water.

Get Fishing Outside

 

Celebrate boating as a fun-filled activity that everyone can enjoy during National Marina Days.

Celebrate Bombing

 

The Great American Campout is going on all summer long, so pack up your gear and enjoy America’s nature.

The Great American Campout

 

Before you head out to the campgrounds, brush up on your camping safety.

Camping Safety

 

June 10 was National Get Outdoors Day, and you can find a fun family activity near you.

Get Moving in Nature

 

Kids to Parks Day was May 20, but you can still enjoy a park with your family.

Taking Your Kids to the Park

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Healthy Endive Recipes

Healthy Endive Recipes

This week in food, we’re featuring healthy in-season endive recipes that are perfect for entertaining this summer.

First up is a light Endive Radish Salad with a Lemony Vinaigrette, perfect for lunch.

Endive Radish Salad with Lemony Vinaigrette + spring ricotta toasts!

Smoked Salmon Goat Cheese Endive Bites are a great summer version of the classic app.

Smoked Salmon Goat Cheese Endive Bites

Smoked Salmon Goat Cheese Endive Bites

Roasted Endives with Thyme are a refreshing side any time of year.

Roasted Endives with Thyme

Grapefruit, Endive, and Arugula Salad is a citrusy and light meal for summer.

Grapefruit, Endive, and Arugula Salad
Image and Recipe via Cooking Light

 

Endive Salad Bites with Pears, Blue Cheese, and Pecans is an easy way to serve salad at a party.

Endive Salad Bites with Pears, Blue Cheese, and Pecans

Beet, Endive & Quinoa Rainbow Salad has a great serving of fruits and veggies.

Beet, Endive & Quinoa Rainbow Salad

Beet, Endive & Quinoa Rainbow Salad

If you love BLTs, cut back on the mayo without losing any flavor with these BLT Endive Bites.

BLT Endive Bites
Image and Recipe via Paleo Leap

Making the Most of a Senior Center

Vantage Point: Not Your Grandmother’s Senior Center

Have you been in a senior center lately? Well, I’m here to tell you, it is in no way like you’d think it would be. Hip, active, and happy people are taking classes, having a laugh at the welcome table, or volunteering behind the desk. Bingo? Sure, they still have bingo, however they have much more than that these days.

Senior centers bring older adults together who want to gather, socialize, and continue to learn. Before working in the Medicare healthcare industry, I’d never ventured into a senior center. Fast forward several years, and it’s where I may spend part of any given day and where I learn the most about our senior population.

Olympia Senior Center is one such center. It is a thriving, bustling, happy place. The welcome table is where you can find me, along with an eclectic group of awesome, interesting, and vivacious older adults who are always ready to welcome a new person to the center or to the community.

I regularly attend the community awareness meetings that take place at the center every Wednesday. Each Wednesday of the month is different. One meeting provides valuable information on various subjects, activities, and projects around the Thurston County area.

Once a month, a community member presents a travelogue about their trip to an adventurous destination. They show a presentation with vivid pictures and give great details about the points of interest from their trip, plus the details of costs, transportation, and accommodations.

This month, the travelogue’s destination was Vietnam, presented by DJ Marks. She is an excellent presenter and kept the group engaged throughout her presentation. While it would not be the first choice for some of us in the group, we all agreed that it was a spectacular look into the culture and history of the country.

On another Wednesday, the group views TED Talks, which are short, powerful videos on various topics. We’ve explored many themes and subjects over the past few months, like money, fear, political divides, and reforming the American justice system. All of these topics have evoked emotional, professional, and spiritual ideas and opinions during discussions.

I asked Sara Rucker-Thiessen, who coordinates these Wednesday meetings, what makes this center different from people’s expectations of a senior center. She said, “We go way beyond leisure activities and incorporate continuing academic learning and discussion of current social issues, along with the fun activities like dances and bingo.”

Other centers around Thurston County incorporate many of the same activities as the Olympia Senior Center; however, what’s great about Olympia is how it’s tailored its center to fit the countless members who show up every day to stay active, be motivated, and get inspired.

I have learned many things from these well-versed and well-lived individuals. One of them being, don’t think you know what’s going on in the senior center until you go in and find out for yourself.

Joy Stanford is a community liaison with Health Alliance, serving Thurston County. She’s been involved with Medicare for 20+ years and truly enjoys it. She enjoys gospel, R&B, and country music, and she owns over 100 pairs of shoes.