Wellbody Blog

At Professor Wellbody's Academy of Health & Wellness, we understand there's only one thing harder than making healthy behavior changes: Sticking to them! We all need a little help from our friends, and that's the purpose of the Wellbody Blog, a friendly online gathering spot--a community well--where you can dip into health news; wellness tips; recipes; latest research about nutrition, exercise, sleep and hygiene; plus, real stories from virtual neighbors who are also trying to change their lives for the better. Start from wherever you are; share ideas, information, inspiration. At Pacific Science Center, we believe each of us can do something everyday to improve our health and well-being.

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cranberry200Tangy gems of the holiday season, cranberries are outranked only by blueberries in protective antioxidants. High in vitamin C and fiber and low in calories, these tart red treats can add a festive and healthy zest to your diet.

Trouble is, cranberries are often paired with unhealthy amounts of sugar. Traditional cranberry bread and cranberry sauce recipes call for almost as much sugar as they do cranberries, and in the past couple years, scientific research has found that even a few extra teaspoons of daily added sugar can be toxic to our bodies. (A recent study found that relatively modest amounts of sugar negatively impacted the life spans and sex lives of mice.)

That’s why we’re thrilled to share this recipe for an insanely delicious and refreshing sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free cranberry sauce from Kathy Abascal, the Vashon Island biochemist and herbalist who developed an anti-inflammatory diet to quiet the immune system (TQI).

peppermint‘Tis the season of decadent sweets and visions of sugar plums! But sugar-laden holiday treats are especially hard on teeth.

That's because sugar mixes with bacteria to produce acid that attacks tooth enamel. Even worse, sticky plaque constantly forming on teeth makes those harmful acids cling to the teeth, causing even more decay. (Maybe those sweets don’t sound so sweet after all!) 

To get you and your pearly whites through this time of year, Delta Dental of Washington shares a few tooth-healthy tips:

almondsA handful of nuts a day may keep heart disease and strokes away, according to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, who recently published a large study in the New England Journal of Medicine. 

(Keep reading for fabulous recipes for Brockett Pecans and Rosemary Chipotle Roasted Almonds, perfect for holiday gifts.)

Thanksgiving Dinner.

dance wellbodyMounds of mashed potatoes + sugary cranberry sauce + glazed pecans + turkey + gravy-soaked stuffing = more than 3,000 calories (nearly double the suggested intake for an average woman for a whole day). And that’s not even including drinks, nibbling in the kitchen, dessert, tasty leftovers and all the holiday treats ahead.

During this season of caloric temptation, how about dancing to stay fit? Crank up your favorite high-energy tunes and revive your favorite dance moves--or learn new ones--to get your heartrate  up and spirits soaring.

pomegranateRuby red, loaded with fiber and vitamin C, richer in antioxidants than green tea and cranberry juice, pomegranates may help reduce risk for heart disease, lower bad LDL cholesterol, prevent plaque build-up in blood vessels and stave off cancer. Some studies have even shown pomegranates to boost testosterone levels.

But it can be a pain to extract the squishy carmine seeds, called arils, from the pulpy fruit.  Here's a trick that's simple, fast and will make you laugh.