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Family Matters: Walk the Talk


Treadmill

As a parent with children, we at times tell our kids how to act or what to do, and we later find ourselves not doing the same. Over the years, I have talked to my kids about overeating or eating healthy but not followed suit. Well, as I have gotten older, I have gained weight, and with my family history of heart problems and high blood pressure, that is not healthy. So, I went out and purchased a treadmill and starting walking every day.

I finally hit my tipping point a few months ago and realized that I needed to get in shape, not only for my own health but for my husband and four daughters. I want to be around to see my children have a family of their own (and some grandkids!). I now get up 30 minutes early every morning and walk one mile before work, and when I get home, I walk another mile. Two miles may not seem like a lot, but for someone who has not exercised in 20 years, it is a big deal. I started watching what I eat, and within two weeks, I can truly feel the difference and my family is proud of me. My goal is to increase my distance of course, but at least I have started in the right direction.

I say all this to tell you that as I have finally made the commitment to change my life for the better, I came home last week to find one of my children running on the treadmill. I was surprised and even more surprised to find out that the other three had been doing the same but none of them had mentioned it to me. Now, we take turns as a family working out on the treadmill. Not only am I now getting my money’s worth out of the machine, but my entire family is in the process of living a healthier life.

Remember: “walk the talk” in all that you do. This is so very important in our Christian lives especially. Let us all reflect Him daily in our actions and words, that His name may be glorified. Count your blessings daily and give thanks for the time you have with your family.

 



Family Matters: Running Buddies


Running Buddies“Mom, will you go running with me?” These were the words I had been waiting to hear from my 16-year-old son Luke! I had been asking him for some time if he wanted to go running with me, but his answer was always “no.”

I’ve been running for almost a year now, and one thing I know for sure is that I enjoy running with a buddy any day over running by myself. When running with a buddy, you can talk and fellowship to take your mind off actually running. Most importantly, you have someone else to help hold you accountable for reaching your goals.

Of course, I said YES to Luke asking me to run. This was the day I had been waiting for. I could just see us running together, Mom and son talking, laughing and bonding. We got on our running gear and headed to the running path. Once at the path, Luke said “Are you ready?” Before I could even say “yes,” he was gone, leaving me eating his dust! This was not what I had envisioned; this is not what I had planned for. We were supposed to be running together and bonding. He should know I hate running by myself!

We met back up at the high school football field where he wanted to work out with me next. Oh, I knew where this was going—he would be leaving me in the dust again. To my surprise, we ran bleachers together, pulled the weight sled together, did lunges together and even did some sprints together. We had a great workout together. Luke loves physical activity and enjoys someone either watching him or participating with him. Without Luke really knowing it, this is how he likes to bond with others.

After our workout, we lay in the middle of the football field. I lay there exhausted while he told me of all his athletic dreams he hoped to achieve. Now, this was my kind of mother and son bonding time. That day was another day that I decided to seize the moment with my son. It mattered not that we didn’t actually run “together” or the fact that he made me run bleachers. The point is we were together doing something we both enjoyed.

After our long talk, it was time to run back home. I’m sure you can guess that he beat me back home!



Mi Blog Hispano: Agua y Salud


Mi Blog HispanoHoy quiero compartirles algo realmente sencillo y cotidiano como lo es la importancia del agua para nuestro organismo. A veces estamos tan ocupados que nos olvidamos de cosas importantísimas para nuestra salud como lo es el tomar suficiente agua.

El agua forma parte del 70% del cuerpo humano, y una persona que no beba suficiente agua puede morir en pocos días, por allí dicen que después del oxígeno, es la segunda cosa que se necesita para vivir. El agua es parte de la mayoría de los procesos que ocurren en el cuerpo humano.

En condiciones normales, las personas pueden perder diariamente dos litros de agua, entre sudor,  respiración, orina y las defecaciones. Esto puede ser recuperado, ingiriendo agua, bebidas liquidas, frutas, sopas, etc. Estar hidratados es necesario porque nuestra sangre está compuesta aproximadamente de 80% de agua, los músculos están compuestos de 75%, el cerebro de 95%, los huesos tienen 22% y los pulmones tienen un 90% de agua. Es decir que si no tomamos agua suficiente, nos va a doler la cabeza, vamos a ponernos de mal humor, vamos a tener dificultad para concentrarnos, y hasta podemos envejecer mas rápido ya que nuestro cuerpo, tanto interna como externamente, al deshidratarse acelera el proceso de envejecimiento de las células.

El agua cumple una función vital, ya que lubrica casi todos los procesos del cuerpo, sobre todo en la digestión, la saliva ayuda a masticar y tragar el alimento, de manera que este pueda deslizarse por el aparato digestivo. El agua también lubrica las articulaciones permitiendo que nos podamos mover mejor. Hasta los ojos necesitan estar bien hidratados para evitar resequedad.

Con el agua eliminamos las toxinas del cuerpo, a través del sudor y la orina. También evita el estreñimiento y ayuda a los intestinos a eliminar mejor los desechos. Estar pendientes de tomar agua diariamente en las cantidades necesarias, nos ayudara a prevenir enfermedades. Es recomendable tomar 8 vasos de agua al día, en caso de no tomar otros líquidos o ingerir frutas, seguir esta recomendación puede evitar el cáncer de colón en un 45% y de vejiga un 50%, y un sin número de otras enfermedades y dolencias que se pueden adquirir si no tomamos el agua suficiente.

Así que vamos a recordar cada día que nuestra salud debe ser prioridad y que debemos cuidarnos como se merece, y nuestro cuerpo necesita agua. Desde que estoy consciente de esto, procuro tener en mi escritorio, donde estoy la mayor parte del dia, botellas de agua y así voy llevando el control de lo que voy ingiriendo diariamente y las tengo a la mano para que no haya excusa. Si salgo a algún lugar, trato de llevarme una botella para mantenerme hidratada a toda hora. 



Healthy Living: Deep Fried Twinkies


WalkingDid you know deep-fried Twinkies are actually good for you?

Yep, you got it! All that artery-clogging goodness can actually be a health benefit, said no one ever.

April Fools!

While we might want to try to trick ourselves into believing that a deep-fried Twinkie is in some way, shape or form not bad for you, it is. There’s nothing else to say about that.

Now that the days are longer and the evenings are brighter, it’s a great time to pick back up any outdoor activity you might have shelved during the colder, darker months.

I know I’ve started walking in the evenings. In addition, while my son practices soccer, I’ve taken to shuffling (other more fit people call it “jogging”) around the soccer fields while he works out. It’s not much, but it’s a start.

While the Centers for Disease Control recommend two and a half hours a week of moderate to high-intensity exercise, everyone has to start somewhere.

So for now, close out your computer and go for a walk! See you out there. 



Healthy Living: Riding Bikes


BikesMy boys got bikes for Christmas, and I couldn’t wait to get a bike as well so we could pedal around the neighborhood and local parks together.

I had grandiose visions of strapping the bikes to the back of the car and heading out for a day at the state park.

The boys will ride their bikes around the neighborhood every afternoon, weather permitting. They got little odometers for Valentine’s Day so they can tell how far they went, and it’s almost become a competition, right down to who rode one-tenth of a mile farther.

I love that because it gets them out and moving.

After a long winter, nothing feels better than stretching your legs.

Of course, I say that in theory. I did finally get my bike, and the first time I took it out for a spin, I could hardly keep up with my 10-year-old. However, riding bikes together is a great way to get healthier as a family, and I intend to not only keep up but to also outlast him someday soon.

Then, we’ll take that long ride in the state park. 



Product Talk: Clif Bars


CLIFBarA friend of mine is training for a triathlon.

You know, one of those crazy races where you swim, bike and run intense distances and still finish standing?

He swears by Clif Bars for a snack or even a meal replacement.

Clif Bars are basically organic energy bars. Granola bars, if you will, but so much more. They’re packed with all-natural protein and other good stuff.

According to their website, “As a food company, we play a critical role in helping to create a more just and sustainable use of the planet’s resources. The food we make connects us to the environment as well as to a complex network of people and organizations, including farmers, distributors and the people who eat our food. Through these connections and working with our trusted partners such as like-minded businesses, non-profit organizations and experts at the forefront of transforming our food system, Clif Bar is able to make strides in sustainability. Working and learning together, we continue to look for ways to reduce our impact on the environment and share with each other on this journey.”

So, not only do Clif Bars meet your nutritional needs, they take care of our planetary needs, too. 

That, my friends, is awesome. 



Mi Blog Hispano: Importancia de Controlar los Trigliceridos Altos


HispanicBlog_031054_228x173Los trigliceridos son un tipo de grasa presente en el torrente sanguíneo y en el tejido adiposo. Un exceso de este tipo de grasa puede contribuir al endurecimiento y el estrechamiento de las arterias. Cuando los trigliceridos están altos, se aumenta el riesgo de tener un ataque al Corazón o un derrame cerebral. También se pueden producir enfermedades como la diabetes,  la obesidad, la insuficiencia renal o el alcoholismo. Con frecuencia, la elevación de los trigliceridos ocurre al mismo tiempo que el aumento de los niveles de colesterol, que es otro tipo de grasa.

Recomendaciones para controlar los trigliceridos altos:

1. Evitar consumir más calorías de las que quemas. Evita los alimentos azucarados (sodas, productos horneados, dulces, yogurt con sabor y helados), y los alimentos ricos en grasas saturadas, como el queso, la leche entera y la carne.

2. Identifica los azucares añadidos en las etiquetas de los alimentos. Busque consumir productos con azúcar morena, jarabe de maíz y evite aquellos que terminan en las palabras “osa”, como fructosa, glucosa, lactosa, sacarosa, jugos concentrados de frutas, jarabe de caña, caña de azúcar, miel, azúcar de malta, melaza.

3. Procura comer más fibra porque esto ayuda a disminuir los niveles de trigliceridos. Estos alimentos pueden ser: cereal dulce, ensalada con verduras, arroz integral en lugar de papas y pasta.

4. Elige alimentos que naturalmente contienen grasas mono y poliinsaturadas (Grasas buenas): aguacates, nueces, pollo sin piel, aceite de canola y aceite de olive. Evita las grasas trans, que se encuentran en muchos alimentos procesados: papas fritas, galletas, pasteles, queso, mantequilla y productos horneados.

5. Prefiere el pescado a las carnes rojas. Los Omega–3, que son buenos para el corazón, pueden ayudan a disminuir tus niveles de trigliceridos. Consume pescado, por lo menos dos veces a la semana: atún, sardinas y truchas son ricos en Omega-3.

6. Reduce el consumo de alcohol, pues es una causa de niveles altos de trigliceridos. Eso equivale a más de una bebida al día para mujeres y dos bebidas al día para los hombres.

7. El exceso de peso, especialmente alrededor de la cintura, aumenta los trigliceridos. No debe ser una reducción dramática, pequeños cambios pueden hacer descender drásticamente los trigliceridos.

8. Hacer ejercicios y estar en forma hace que bajes los niveles altos los trigliceridos. Procura hacer 30 minutos de ejercicios, cinco días a la semana.

9. Utiliza productos lácteos bajos en grasas.

10 Coma cereales de grano entero.

Espero que estas sugerencias sean útiles para tener una vida más saludable y evitar



Mi Blog Hispano: ¡Preparándonos para hacer ejercicios!


Preparándonos para hacer ejerciciosEn casi todas las listas de nuestras resoluciones de Año Nuevo, se encuentra el perder el peso que ganamos a lo largo de las festividades navideñas. Todos  prometemos comer menos y más saludable y por supuesto, hacer más ejercicios,  que a veces se traduce en caminar o correr.

Expertos advierten que no hay ejercicio que valga si no hay una buena dieta que lo acompañe. Si esta, es una de sus decisiones a poner en práctica en este nuevo 2014, aquí voy a compartirles ciertos alimentos que le ayudaran a aliviar los dolores de las articulaciones, que quedan como consecuencia de practicar cualquier actividad física. Según nutricionistas, hay una sustancia llamada “Sulfato de Glucosamina”, que se encuentra presente en el líquido que rodea las articulaciones. Este se elabora de manera comercial a partir de las conchas de los mariscos. El cuerpo la usa para  producir una variedad de otras sustancias que están involucradas en la formación de tendones, ligamentos, cartílago y el líquido espeso que rodea las articulaciones. Este se utiliza para la artritis. Debe ingerirse con precaución, especialmente las embarazadas y lactantes, personas que padecen asma, diabetes e intolerancia a los mariscos. Esta sustancia no alivia el dolor pero si desinflama, lo que mejora las dolencias de las rodillas.

Entre otros alimentos, recomendados para calmar los dolores en las articulaciones,  tenemos: Frutos secos como las Almendras, las cuales concentran una gran cantidad de magnesio, que mantiene y repara células y tejidos. El Salmón, que contiene gran cantidad de vitamina D, que ayuda a una mejor absorción de calcio en los huesos y en las articulaciones. El Jengibre, cuya raíz tiene propiedades antiinflamatorias que previenen las molestias.

También vegetales como espinacas y el brócoli, ayudan a fortificar las articulaciones. Las Sardinas, como muchos otros pescados, son ricas en Omega 3, que reduce una posible inflamación en las articulaciones. También las semillas de Linaza, además de ser ricas en Omega 3, evitan el envejecimiento prematuro de las articulaciones. Los Cereales integrales, en especial la avena, contienen grandes cantidades de silicio, el cual mejora la elasticidad de los tendones, dad su acción en la producción de colágeno y elastina.

Las ciruelas pasas, contienen altas cantidades de polifenoles que ayudan a restaurar la estructura del hueso y aumentan los índices de formación de tejido óseo. La cebolla y el ajo contienen aceites esenciales sulfurados muy volátiles, beneficiosos para las articulaciones, así como, el aceite de oliva que mantiene las articulaciones lubricadas y en buen estado.

Espero que estos tips le ayuden a prevenir los dolores y puedan recibir este nuevo año cargados de energía y buena salud.



Healthy Living: Race Day Fuel


In a couple of weeks I’m running my second half marathon, and let me tell you, I’m starting to get rather nervous. Over the past few years I have run several 5Ks and a couple of 10Ks, so I’ve gotten my pre-race rituals down to an art. 

The day before the race I like to take it easy. For dinner, I have a pasta dish and avoid anything greasy or creamy. Before going to bed I always lay out my race-day outfit and paint my toenails. Painting my toenails is sort of my good luck charm; I have painted them before every race.  I always try to go to bed early, but I’m so nervous and excited I really don’t think I get very much sleep.

The morning of the race I wake up early and try to take it easy until it’s time to leave for the race. After waking up, I enjoy peanut butter toast and lots of water.

Eating breakfast before a race is one of the most important meals of training. Breakfast restores your liver glycogen from the depletion from the night before. Liver glycogen helps maintain your blood sugar level during exercise. Your pre-race meal needs to be mostly carbohydrates since that is your body’s preferred form of fuel. You will need to add in a little protein to prevent getting hungry during the race. Limit the amount of fiber and fat in your pre-race meal. Fiber can leave you bloated, and fat will take too long to digest.

Don’t try anything new on race day, from clothing to food. In weeks leading up to the race, try out different food options to see what works best with your body. Good examples of a pre-race breakfast are toast and peanut butter, oatmeal with milk and fruit, waffles with syrup and fruit, or an egg sandwich. The most important thing is to find what foods work best for you. 



Healthy Living: Food for Fitness


When you exercise, your body needs optimal foods to make it work efficiently, to burn the most calories and to retain the ability to recover quickly from your workout.

If you workout regularly, you need some form of carbohydrate, our body’s energy source, to maintain enough energy to complete an exercise routine.

But remember, not all carbs are created equal. Doughnut or Ezekiel bread? Well, it’s easy. Grains, fruits and vegetables are all nutrient-rich choices.  

Candy and sweets are carbs, too, but in the form of empty calories.  

Some foods, like dairy and legumes, combine carbohydrate and protein, which helps restore muscles. The best carbs to choose are ones that contribute plenty of other nutrients such as protein, vitamins, fiber and antioxidants.

Whole grain oats are a great fitness food. They’re especially important before a hard workout.

Steel-cut oats are delicious and easy to digest before or after a workout. Buy the whole grain variety and try to avoid the instant and pre-sweetened varieties. The slow digestion of these whole grain carbs will fuel you through your workout.

Energy shakes made with yogurt and whole fruits are another good choice. Yogurt adds protein and calcium to your drink while fruit adds natural sweetness and vitamin C to soothe sore muscles. Boost the protein level by using Greek yogurt instead of regular. Use fresh fruits and blend your shake or smoothie about an hour before you want to work out. This balances the fast sugars from the fruit with the long-lasting protein of the yogurt.

So, fuel up to make the most of fitness food for your body.



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