Exercise in 7 Minutes or Less

Are you making a New Year’s resolutions this year?  Would you be surprised to know that one of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to eat better, exercise more, and lose weight?  You’re NOT surprised?  We didn’t think so.

IF this is one of your resolutions,  here are ways you can squeeze in exercise each day if you only have a handful of minutes to do so.  Lack of time will not be a valid excuse in 2015 as to why you are not exercising and upholding your resolution to exercise more after you read the below.  🙂

7 Minutes:  Free on iTunes is the Johnson & Johnson Official 7 minute work out app. This will guide you through a series of exercises that take only 30 seconds each.  You can tailor the routine to your fitness ability, ensuring the moves aren’t too hard or too easy, or choose a longer routine if you have extra time.

5 Minutes:  All you need is your body but with only 5 minutes, you need to go all out. Each exercise should be done at max intensity for 50 seconds then rest 10 seconds. Combined, this is a total body workout.

4 Minutes:  Take a brisk walk.  Research has found that when it comes to cardio health and weight gain prevention, the intensity of exercise may be more important than duration. The key is to pick up the pace of your walk to the point where you’re able to talk in snippets but not full sentences.

3 Minutes:  Yep – 3 minutes.  See the video here.

1 Minute:  Set a timer and do jumping jacks, jump rope, run in place, run/walk up and down stairs pumping arms or jabbing, touch your elbow to the opposite raised knee, plank. Any activity that will work your upper and lower body at the same time are your best bet.

What other quick workouts can you do in a short amount of time?  Share with us in the comments.

-S.O.
The Patrick O’Brien Agency – Fishers, IN

12 Fruits and Vegetables That Will Help You Eat Healthier this Summer

We are a fruit and veggie lovin’ family.  We genuinely like the taste of most of them – especially in the summer.  We make salads, grill them, snack on them at the park, take to pitch-ins, etc.  We know they’re good for us, but it was eye-opening to learn WHY they are good for us.  Read on to see how you can prepare the following fruits and veggies to maximize their flavor and healthy benefits.

Asparagusfruits and veggies
Lightly grill then drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar this summer.  Asparagus is high in fiber, folic acid, potassium, vitamins A and C and glutathione (a phytochemical with antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties).

Avocados
Add to your salad, sandwich or alone on whole wheat toast for breakfast.  One ounce of an avocado contains 20 different vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.  It’s rich in monounsaturated fat, which may lower bad “LDL” cholesterol and reduce risk for heart disease.

Blackberries
Add to salads, smoothies, yogurt and oatmeal.  Blackberries contain antioxidants, are high in vitamin C and the seeds are high in fiber.

Brussel Sprouts
These can be lightly grilled after splitting in half and lightly drizzled with olive oil.  These veggies are high in vitamins A and C, iron, potassium and fiber.

Butternut Squash
Add to pasta dishes, risottos and soups.  It’s rich in complex carbohydrates and vitamins A and C and it’s a good source of beta carotene, magnesium, calcium and potassium.

Figs 
Rich in potassium and fiber, try adding dried figs to trail mix with some almonds and whole-wheat cereal.

Kale 
Use in smoothies or add them to entrees in place of spinach or cabbage.  Kale is packed with vitamins A, C and E.  Kale is high in antioxidants and also includes important minerals manganese, iron, calcium and potassium.

Pomegranate
Toss some of the seeds on your salad this summer.  They are high in antioxidants and rich in potassium, vitamin C, and fiber.

Spinach
Blend into smoothies, saute with garlic and olive oil, or use as your salad base.  Spinach is an excellent source of folate, iron, and vitamins A and K.

Strawberries
Eat alone or on salads or make a fruit kebab with other fruits like grapes and melon.  This fruit is rich in Vitamin C, folic acid and antioxidant flavonoids thought to be protective against stroke and cancer.

Swiss Chard
Use in side dishes, salads and soups.  It’s a blood sugar stabilizer and one of the world’s most nutritious vegetable.  It contains magnesium, vitamins A and C, and can aid as an anti-inflammatory and detoxifyer.

Tomatoes
Sliced on a sandwich, chopped into a salad, added to omelets or skewered and grilled, tomatoes are a summer staple.  Huge in antioxidants and rich in beta carotene, tomatoes also contain vitamin C, manganese and vitamin E.

How many of these items are you already nibbling on this spring?  Which one will you incorporate into your menu this season?

– S.O.
The Patrick O’Brien Agency – Fishers, IN

 

 

 

Bone Friendly Foods

Want to boost your bone power?

Healthy bonesAs we get older, the threat of osteoporosis become more and more real.  Nearly 52 million Americans over age 50 have low bone density or osteoporosis according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.  According to them, 1 out of about 2 women and 1 in 4 men will break a bone thanks to osteoporosis.

As with most things, eating right and exercising can prevent osteoporosis but what exact foods and activities really make a difference.

Calcium is crucial but don’t be fooled that you can pop a supplement and up to par with your daily requirement.  Calcium supplements are not well absorbed.  It’s best to get it from food.  Aim to get 1,000 mg a day if you’re under age 50; 1,200 if you’re 50 or over.
–   Yogurt
–   Cheese
–   Soy
–   brocoli, Kale & other leafy greens

Vitamin D is debatable on whether it makes much of a difference in bone health but many experts say you can’t go wrong with taking a vitamin D supplement.  Especially if you live in northern states (like Indiana) where from October to April, you can’t get enough Vitamin D from the sun.  Aim to get 800-1000 IU daily from food and supplements.
–   Fatty Fish
–   Egg Yolk
–   Some types of orange juice
–   Fortified Milk and Cereal
–   Cod Liver Oil

Magnesium is a multipurpose mineral that helps your bones form and regulates vitamin D levels.  According to research, supplements may help to prevent bone loss.  Aim for 320 mg daily.
–   Bananas
–   Almonds
–   Avocados
–   Black beans
–   Whole wheat bread
–   Brown Rice

Vitamin K helps blood clot but it also plays a role in bone health.  BUT, experts don’t recommend taking a supplement.  Instead, aim for 90 mcg daily from food sources.
–   Leafy Greens:  Spinach, Kale, Romaine, & Lettuce
–   brocoli
–   Brussel Sprouts

If you want to tackle two or more of the above with one snack, try spinach.  Just 1/2 cup gives you 122 mg of calcium, plus bone building magnesium and vitamin K.  Also snack on almonds.  Just 1/4 cup offers 94 mg of calcium, filling fiber and healthy fats.

What do you eat to keep your bones strong?  Have you or someone you know been diagnosed with osteoporosis?

– S.O.
POB Agency

10 Ways We Reduce Dust (and Allergies) in our Home

Today is the first day of spring and we are looking forward to cleaning up the garage, the yard, and “spring cleaning” inside the home.  With two small children, it’s hard to have a perfectly clean home every day but the one thing that will stop me dead in my tracks year round (no matter what I’m doing) is dust.  Why does dust bother me so much?  Because dust mites live in dust.  YUCK!  And, Pat and Jack have allergies that can go berzerk.

I know dust mites exist and I try hard not to think about them living in our pillows, bed covers, mattresses, furniture, carpeting, and clothing.  (Another YUCK!)  But, I feel better knowing I can reduce the amount of mites in our home by staying on top of the dust with some easy steps.

Here’s our top 10.

  1. Vacuum floors and upholstered furniture once a week
  2. Keep your closet clean and the floors clear so you can vacuum easily & regularly.
  3. Keep furnace filters clean.
  4. Limit knickknack decor.
  5. Instead of heavy drapery, hang lightweight curtains & shades.
  6. Avoid stacking piles of mail, newspaper, and magazines on tables and shelves.
  7. Keep clothes you wear regularly in your bedroom or closet and store the rest.  Use garment boxes and clear plastic containers to store items on shelves so they don’t collect dust.
  8. Store stuffed animals in a closed toy box or closet & regularly wash stuffed toys in hot water.  I’ve heard you can put a stuffed animal in a plastic bag and in the freezer overnight every few weeks to help kill dust mites – but I haven’t tried that yet.
  9. Wash your sheets (and the blankets you wrap up in when you snuggle on the couch) weekly
  10. Have your area rugs cleaned once or twice a year

Can you think of any other ways to reduce dust in the home?  Who’s ready to get started “spring cleaning”?!

– S.O.
POB Agency

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8 Ways to Have Integrity – In your Public & Private Life

Have you ever looked up the word, Integrity in the dictionary?  I admit, I had not.  Here’s what it says:
 
“Integrity” Road Sign with dramatic clouds and sky.in·teg·ri·ty
inˈtegritē/
noun
noun: integrity
  1. 1.
    the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.
    “he is known to be a man of integrity”
    synonyms: honesty, probity, rectitude, honor, good character, principle(s), ethics, morals, righteousness, morality, virtue, decency, fairness, scrupulousness, sincerity, truthfulness, trustworthiness

Integrity is what you do when no one is watching; it’s doing the right thing all the time, even when it may work to your disadvantage.  I was raised on the 10 commandments and the golden rule.   Running a business and raising young people keep “doing the right thing” at the forefront of daily decisions. 

How we conduct ourselves in public and private life is crucial to the legacy we leave behind.  Maybe that’s why Pat loves golf so much.  It’s such a great life-lesson game.  It’s the only professional sport where the participants call penalties on themselves. 
 
We’re not perfect, of course, but the following (condensed from this article) is a good read whenever we need a reminder of how best to be honest, true, noble, trustworthy, and kind to family and customers.
 
1.    Root yourself in a moral foundation. 
 
2.    Look for the positive. 
 
3.    Resist the temptation to compartmentalize your life. 
 
4.    Determine to live for others ahead of yourself (Golden Rule).  
 
5.    Participate in an active accountability group. 
 
6.    Partner with a friend where you need to make progress.  That person should “hold your feet to the fire”. 
 
7.    Be in the habit of sharing EVERYTHING with your spouse (if you are married).  Keeping secrets, big or small, tends to have an impact on who we are
 
8.    Practice the habit of imagining the presence of someone whose opinion you value (Father, Grandparent, Spouse, your children) when conducting yourself with others.
 
And, if applicable, hold your children accountable.  Every lesson we bring to our children is something we need to hear too.
 
As mentioned at the beginning, “integrity is what you do when no one is watching; it’s doing the right thing all the time, even when it may work to your disadvantage. Integrity is keeping your word. Integrity is that internal compass and rudder that directs you to where you know you should go when everything around you is pulling you in a different direction. Some people think reputation is the same thing as integrity, but they are two different things. Your reputation is the public perception of your integrity. Because it’s other people’s opinions of you, it may or may not be accurate. Others determine your reputation, but only you determine your integrity”.
 
How do you maintain integrity in your public and private life?

– S.O.
POB Agency

Healthy Holiday Eating (and Drinking)

Holiday cookiesWe definitely want you to have fun this season and we know delicious baked goodies & seasonal beverages come with the territory.  Between baking at home with your family, receiving baked goods as gifts, and attending functions with a large selection of deserts & drinks, you’re probably consuming your fair share of bulge inducing delectables.  No wonder so many people make weight-loss a part of their New years resolutions!

Here’s how you can modify a bit but still have fun and enjoy the goodies.

If you’re baking, try substituting the following:

*   Whole wheat flour, ground oats or almond meal for FLOUR.
*   Honey or Stevia for SUGAR.
*   Applesauce, mashed banana or coconut oil for BUTTER & OIL.
*   Applesauce or flax meal for EGGS.
*   Carob chips or dark chocolate chunks for CHOCOLATE CHIPS.
*   Greek yogurt for SOUR CREAM.

If you’re attending a party try the following:

*   Make the earlier part of the day extra healthy.  Have a high fiber breakfast, a vegetable filled lunch and exercise in the afternoon.
*   Eat a healthy snack before the party to ease your hunger.  We’ve heard a cup of vegetable soup does a great job.  Also try fiber filled fruit, string cheese, almonds, 4 oz. Greek yogurt or 1/2 cup of cottage cheese.
*   When you get to the party, survey and determine your options before filling your plate.  Decide which foods you like best and choose only those – don’t fill up on the others.
*   Dish out smaller portions – about 20% less than you think you might want. (How many times have your eyes been bigger than your stomach at a party)?

If you are going to indulge in Holiday Libations, here are lower calorie options:

*   Wine spritzer = White or red wine mixed with club soda
*   5 oz. of wine, 12oz. of light beer, or 1.5oz of liquor combined w/ non-calorie mixers = 120 calories each.
*   Cranberry crush = Club soda splashed with cranberry cocktail and frozen grapes
*   Guiltless hot chocolate = 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder, skim milk, low-cal sweetener, dash of cinnamon & vanilla extract
*   Apple tea = Brewed tea sweetened with a splash of apple cider and a cinnamon stick.

Do you have any tricks, tips and strategies for savoring the season without putting on the pounds?  We’d love to hear it!

Merry Christmas!!

S.O.
POB Agency

What Your Food Cravings Really Mean

It never fails that I’ll eat reasonably all day and then for whatever reason, come 10pm, I want to dig into my kids Halloween candy for chocolate and caramel.  OR, it’s crunchy potato chips with french onion dip I’ll randomly crave.  When I was carrying our son, I’d stop at a convenient mart and buy beef jerky.  (Don’t judge).  Obviously my body was telling me it wanted something – but what? 

Our food cravings are real and they are telling us our bodies are lacking certain things.  If you know what your body is really craving, you can try to substitute a healthier option for that craving.  After doing a little digging on Pinterest (we have a pinterest page, btw) and finding an article written on Refinery 29 by Lauren Conrad, I found the below info.  Maybe I wanted beef jerky for the sodium and what I could have eaten instead is a tuna fish sandwich.  Hmmm.  See what you think. 

If you’re craving salty foods…
“It means your body needs chloride, which is essential in order for your body to maintain healthy digestion and keep your electrolyte levels in check, according to Nutritional Wellness. Avoid super salty junk food like potato chips and eat goat’s milk yogurt or fish instead. Make a tuna fish sandwich or salmon salad for lunch with goat’s yogurt as a snack the next time you have a salt craving”.  I’ve also reached for a handful of salted almonds (about 10) which gives me a bit of sodium and a lot of protein and fiber. 

foodIf you’re craving sweets…
“It means your body really needs chromium, carbon phosphorous, sulfur, and tryptophan. Get these by filling up on, fresh fruit, cheese and sweet potatoes when you have a sweet tooth. This craving may also mean you’re tired, according to Shape.com. Evaluate how much you’re sleeping lately if you find yourself wanting sweets. Instead of heading for the chocolate cake, take a nap if you can. Or, go for a walk to boost your energy levels”.  I’ve found eating a juicy Apple Crisp apple or some mandarin oranges has helped curb my sweet tooth!

If you’re craving caffeine…
“It means your body needs salt and iron. To get these nutrients the healthy way, eat lean meats like chicken or turkey, eggs, or black cherries, surprisingly. If you can, a great option here would be to make an omelet with turkey and veggies, with a handful of black cherries on the side. Craving caffeine can also mean you’re actually just really thirsty or dehydrated, according to Huffington Post. Drink an entire glass of water before you reach for that second (or third) cup of coffee — you might realize you don’t even need it”.  This works!  I have a bad habit of drinking coffee all morning, especially in the colder months.  When I stop and drink 16oz of water, I no longer crave the coffee. 

If you’re craving french fries, soda, and pizza…
OH , this is my FAVORITE “food group” of all time.  I can turn down any sweet but the above is sooo hard.  When you crave these items (and other junk food), “it means your body needs calcium. Instead, fix a kale salad with steamed broccoli, chicken, breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. It might not sound quite as good as those French fries at first, but it will leave you feeling way better, not to mention guilt-free”.

If you’re craving carbs…
“It means your body needs nitrogen, which is found in high-protein foods like fish, meat, nuts, and beans. Eat a turkey burger, a handful of almonds, or a black bean burrito bowl (black beans, corn, pico de gallo, guacamole and brown rice). You might also be craving carbs because you’re trying to cut them out of your diet completely. If this is the reason, make sure you’re eating every food group in moderation to prevent a big, unplanned carb-fest that will leave you feeling way worse”.

Did you learn anything new?  What foods do you crave the most? How do you fight the cravings?  Let us know! 

– S.O.
POB Agency