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Can You Avoid Diabetes?

Paula Dean has diabetes! Of course, you have to have been living in a cave to not have already heard this news! First, we’d like to offer our sincere apologies to Mrs. Dean for her recent diagnosis. Type II Diabetes is a disease that would be tough to live with. And, if left ignored, can have a huge impact on the expected lifespan of the person diagnosed. So, our thoughts go out to Paula and her family while they adapt to the changes required in her life to treat her disease.

However, the true topic of controversy here is that Paula has announced that she has no desire to change her cooking and eating habits to accommodate her newly diagnosed disease. Instead, she is turning to medication to treat it. Although modern medicine provides great opportunities to treat sicknesses in our society, we believe that the best way to treat Type II Diabetes is through a combination of diet, exercise and medication when necessary. And, although claims have been made that her diabetes is hereditary, Type II Diabetes is primarily caused by poor eating habits like choosing foods that are high in fat, sugar and calories.  Rather than fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and foods that are low in carbohydrates and fatty oils, which we all know are used heavily in Paula’s most famous recipes.

Here are some shocking statistics! Approximately 26 Million Americans are currently living with some form of diabetes. And, approximately 58% of them are treating their disease with oral medication. The total cost for Diabetes Management is estimated at $174 billion, yes that’s BILLION, each year!  It’s important to note here that we acknowledge there are times when medication is necessary to treat diabetes. However, using it as a blanket treatment for diabetes is very expensive for the patient, and isn’t always necessary in order to treat it appropriately. This is why diabetes education is so important!

I’m not sure if you know this, but NCES offers a wide range of diabetes education products to help patients who have been diagnosed with diabetes.  We also carry a number of products designed to help the diabetes educator teach their patients about the disease. Check them out today, and be sure to share them with your friends too. Diabetes is the most commonly diagnosed health-related illness in our society. Let’s turn this trend around! Plus, you never know… maybe if we share this enough, Paula Dean herself could get wind of these great tools and incorporate them in to her daily life!

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We’ve Got the Dish on Portion Control

Do you struggle with portion control? I know this sounds like the intro to 90% of Dr. Oz’s TV shows. But, it’s an honest question. Why? Because the truth is that most of us do struggle with it. We live in a society where food tastes so good that we just want to eat more and more. Eating a small handful of snack crackers is no longer enough. We only feel satisfied if we down at least half of the box! Let me tell you this… if you feel this way, you are not alone! That is why portion control has become such an important topic in nutrition. It’s not enough to solely focus on nutritious foods, although it is still important, you also need to remember portion control.

There are many products out there advertising that they can help with portion control. However, we have found a few that we think are more helpful than others, which is why we carry them in our catalog. Yum Yum Bowls are perfect for any snack. These perfectly portioned bowls conveniently tell you when ‘Yum Yum Time is Over’, ensuring that you will only eat a proper portion of your favorite snack. Yum Yum Plates are very similarly designed. At 9”, they are the perfect size for anyone who wants to eat correct portions. Each plate is sectioned and labeled for Protein, Carbs and Veggies to help you with portion control. And, of course they are all microwave and dishwasher safe! As if all this wasn’t enough motivation to order right now, both Yum Yum products are currently 20% off on the NCES website. Simply enter code Yum6 at checkout to receive your discount!

We’re also big fans of our Right-Sized portion plates. With two different designs, one focused on kids and one on adults, these plates are sure to fit everyone’s portion control needs. The size of the average plate has grown wildly out of control. This 9” plate demonstrates the plate size that we should be basing our portions off of. It also demonstrates how to fill our plate using each of the food groups as recommended by the USDA’s MyPlate and 2010 Dietary Guidelines.

The bottom line is that portion control is not something you can ignore! It is something that every adult needs to understand, not only to become healthier, but also to be a positive example for our kids! We learn eating habits based on what we see those around us doing. Why not take advantage of these exclusive savings to kick off your commitment to portion control?

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Workout While You Wait: Exercises for the Parking Lot

Okay, last week, we talked about ways to avoid the gym altogether during this extremely busy month! But, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that a majority of you probably didn’t listen. Or, maybe you did. But, if you get brave, you may end up going back a little before the rush actually ends. So, we’ve put together a few more ideas to make your life easier! Picture this… You pull in to the parking lot at the gym, drive around looking for a parking spot, only to realize that there are no parking spots available. What are you going to do? You don’t want to waste valuable workout time sitting in your car waiting for a spot. So, why wait? Start your workout right in your car! Here are a few ideas to get your workout started in the comfort of your own car.

  1. The easiest exercises for the car include squeezing and releasing your muscles, also known as isometric contractions. So, pick any muscle of your choice and begin squeezing and releasing.
  2. Exercise/ Relax your Shoulders. Doing shoulder shrugs will engage your shoulder muscles, while relieving tension from your hectic day. Lift your shoulders up towards your ears and hold for about 10 seconds. Then, release and repeat.
  3. Similar to our first exercise, isometric contractions;  you can also try placing a sweater (or other soft item from your car) between your thighs while you squeeze. This will increase the difficulty of the workout.

All too often, it is hard to find time to fit exercise in to your routine. So, the last thing you need is to be forced to waste time sitting in the parking lot. The key to fitting exercise in to a busy schedule is to get creative! Find ways to workout in your office, while cooking dinner, cleaning your house and even playing with your kids! Make exercise a part of your everyday routine. Not only will you see the difference in your body, you’ll also be setting a positive example for your kids!  How do you fit exercise in to your everyday schedule? We always love learning about how you live healthy! Share with us here on the blog. Or, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Avoid the January Gym Rush!

What’s your New Year’s Resolution for 2012? Mine is to make the gym part of my daily routine! Wait… You’re Kidding… that’s yours too? Okay, let’s face it… the most common new year’s resolution is to hit the gym more often. If you’ve ever been to the gym in the month of January, you’ll know exactly what I am talking about. At times, I forget if I am waiting in line for a weight machine or the newest attraction at Six Flags! So, how can you keep your commitment to your New Year’s resolution, but not waste your entire evening at the gym? Just stay home! That’s right… stay away from the gym. The truth is, you can get creative and complete your entire workout at home, at least until the gym starts to clear out again at the end of the month. Here are just a few ways you can get started today!

Static Running (Medium Difficulty)

  • Stand tall with feet shoulder-width apart
  • Lift one leg toward the chest and raise the opposite arm, mimicking a running action
  • Alternate legs and arms     Repeat 20 times

Squat (Medium Difficulty)

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and arms crossed on your chest
  • Keeping the back straight and looking forward, bend the legs 90°
  • Return to the start position     Repeat 20 times

Oyster (Medium Difficulty)        

  • Lie on your left side with your lower arm extended above your head; keep the legs together, bent at 45°, making a straight line from shoulders to hips to feet.
  • Life the upper knees as high as possible, keeping the lower leg on the floor.
  • Return to the start position.     Repeat 20 times
  • Turn over and repeat with the opposite leg.

Side Raise (Medium Difficulty)

  • Sit on your right hip with knees bend and right arm extended under your right shoulder.
  • Without collapsing the arm, lift the hip to the ceiling, keeping your knees on the floor and making a straight line from shoulder to hip to ankle; hold for 10 seconds.     Return to start position and repeat 3 times
  • Roll over and repeat for the left hip

Side Stretch

  • Standing upright and looking forward, extend both arms above your head
  • Without bending forward or backward, lean to one side
  • Hold for 20 to 30 seconds
  • Return to the start position     Repeat for the other side

Like what you see? All of the exercises mentioned above were pulled from the book ‘Fit in 5’. (Item # 4507 at www.NCESCatalog.com) This book includes a lot of exercises that will work on your core strength, flexibility, Power, Abs and much more. The workouts are customized to you based on the amount of time you have to commit to working out. We’ve got plenty on the shelf to go around. So, go ahead and order your copy today! Give these workouts a try today and let us know what you think! You can always connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or right here on the blog.