AlaskaCare Wellness News | May 2017

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May 2017 | #57

Mind Over Matter

Woman lake glacier

Mindfulness is the act of taking time to be in the moment while paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and experiences.   Mindfulness can help lower your stress and has also been associated with improved blood pressure, improved sleep, and reduced anxiety.  You don’t need fancy equipment to practice mindfulness, it can be done anywhere, any time of the day, and in any way that works for you.  

Here are a few quick ways to be more mindful every day:

  • Take a few minutes at the beginning and end of your day to sit alone and think.
  • Go for a walk outside by yourself, counting your steps while you breathe in and out.
  • During the workday, take a few moments each hour to breathe and relax. Before returning to your work, allow yourself to regroup and let your mind settle.

Source: Active Health Management

Health Tip: Managing Your Stress

Stressed man

Feeling stressed? Most Americans do. Some stress is normal and even needed; too much stress can affect your quality of life, health and performance at work. Prolonged stress is linked to chronic health conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, and depression.

The key is to manage or control stress to keep it within healthy limits. If your stress meter is high, learn ways to relax. Here are 5 tips to manage stress in your life:

1. Relax your mind

  • Listen to relaxing music
  • Use humor to reduce stress

2. Relax your body

  • Try muscle relaxation exercises or massage
  • Aromatherapy
  • Practice yoga or tai chi

3. Get regular exercise

  • Aim for at least 2-1/2 hours of moderate physical activity a week. Any amount can help!

4. Make healthy lifestyle choices

  • Try to get enough sleep, at least 7-9 hour each night
  • Eat more fruit, vegetables, and lean protein
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Do not smoke or use chewing tobacco

5. Talk to an expert

  • Stress can be overwhelming and excessive amounts may be difficult to handle on your own. While having friends and family for support is beneficial, you may also want to see a health expert such as you doctor, a counselor, or contact your Employee Assistance Program

For information on stress:

American Institute of Stress
(914) 963-1200 |

National Institute of Mental Health
(888) 615-6464 |

Source: Active Health Management

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    Recipe of the Month: Strawberry Banana Yogurt Parfait

    Strawberry Banana Yogurt Parfait


    • 4 cups light (no-sugar-added) fat-free vanilla yogurt
    • 2 large bananas (about 2 cups), sliced
    • 2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced (or used thawed frozen fruit)
    • 2 cups graham crackers, crumbled
    • 1/2 cup fat-free whipped topping (optional)


    1. To make the parfait, spoon 1 tablespoon of yogurt into the bottom of each 8-ounce wine or parfait glass. Top the yogurt with 1 tablespoon sliced bananas, 1 tablespoon sliced strawberries, and 1/4 cup graham crackers.
    2. Repeat the yogurt, banana, strawberry, and graham cracker layers.
    3. Top with a rounded tablespoon of fat-free whipped topping, if desired. Serve the parfait immediately, or cover each glass with plastic wrap and chill for up to 2 hours before serving.

    Yield: 8 servings
    Serving Size: 1 parfait (1 cup)

    Source: National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute

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