health tips

Eating Healthy by Season With the Help of a Phoenix Home Care Professional

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Eating Healthy by Season (Small)When you require assistance at home, you may benefit from a variety of non-medical services. These services might include help with basic housekeeping tasks, grocery shopping, and getting errands done. One of the most common needs that a Phoenix home care professional may fulfill is to assist a client with meal preparation.

Eating healthfully all year long is crucial to maintaining a state of good physical, mental, and emotional health. In fact, the potential for developing a chronic disease increases as a result of unhealthy eating habits. If you hire a home care worker to help you with planning your meals, you may want to discuss a schedule of healthy meal plans for every season.

Why Eat According to the Season?

Eating fresh, healthy foods based on the season is a great way to support your overall health. When you consume local foods as much as possible, you are also supporting your community – which ultimately benefits everyone in the area. Cooking fresh, local foods enables you to enjoy a variety of highly nutritional items during every season.

Healthy Fall and Winter Recipes

Fall and winter offer an abundance of opportunities to create delicious, healthful meals. Some examples of fall and winter foods include cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, squash, and pumpkin. You and your home care worker might devise hundreds of meals based on healthy fall and winter recipes. Such recipes could include chicken breasts sautéed with mushrooms, hearty pumpkin soup, and “pasta” made from squash (this can be easily created with an inexpensive kitchen gadget that spiralizes vegetables). Other recipes you might enjoy in the fall and winter months are roasted cauliflower, oatmeal blended with figs and ricotta cheese, and freshly squeezed orange juice.

Healthful Spring and Summer Fare

Springtime and summertime bring a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables that may be savored via a wealth of nutritious recipes. The foods of the warmer months include strawberries, tomatoes, spinach, watermelon, and zucchini. Recipe ideas might include whole-grain pasta topped with fresh spring vegetables (such as artichoke, asparagus, and even dandelion greens), green salad with tomatoes, and smoothies made with blackberries, raspberries, and fresh pineapple juice. If you have access to an indoor or outdoor grill and some assistance, you could grill chicken, eggplant, and zucchini, followed by slices of fresh mango sprinkled lightly with cinnamon.

Once you know how to plan healthy meals, eating foods that nourish you can be fun. Remember to buy organic foods whenever you have the opportunity; they may be more expensive than other options, but you won’t be exposed to the harmful chemicals found in many non-organic items. A Phoenix home health care professional may be able to advise you on making solid choices for seasonal eating. With a little help from a home care worker and some careful planning, you may indulge in the delicious possibilities that each season yields.

For more information on our services, experience, or rates, call (602) 396-5742 or fill out our contact form. We look forward to serving you.


8 Ways to Beat the Heat and Stay Active this Summer

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People young and senior in water gymnastics physiotherapy with dumbbells

All adults and children should be as active as their level of fitness permits, because physical activities impart health benefits and help to stave off the negative effects of inactivity. Whether you happen to be the beneficiary of Phoenix home health care, or you are a professional who provides that care, you will benefit by being active and enjoying the companionship of others while doing so.

In the summertime however, the heat and humidity are sometimes enough to bother anyone, so that outdoor activities are less appealing than they might normally be. This doesn’t mean you should sacrifice activity altogether, it just means you need to be a little more creative about choosing Phoenix home health care activities to get involved with. Here are some ways you can beat the heat in summer and still stay active.

Go Swimming

Swimming is still the best way to cool off, and almost every neighborhood has a public pool or at least a private center where free swim time is regularly scheduled. Even if you can’t swim, just walking around in the water or splashing your feet over the side can be extremely refreshing – and it gets you moving.

Indoor Aerobics

If you have air-conditioning on the premises, or at least a good fan, aerobics are a great way to get in some good exercise even during summer. You can even avoid the real heat of the day by planning workouts in the morning, or later in the evening.

Have an Indoor Picnic

You can stay inside with the air conditioning for this one, but it will get you involved with meal planning and preparation while enjoying your Phoenix home health care.

Make Yourself a Cool Drink

Making smoothies can be fun for everyone, because you have to pick out the fruits and flavors to be used, and mix them altogether, before enjoying that sweet, cool, nutritious treat. If smoothies aren’t your thing, go out into your garden and pick some fresh mint leaves, then add a twist of lemon, some ice, and cold water – instant refreshment!

Take a Walk in the Mall

All malls are air-conditioned these days, and many have walk paths around the premises. This can be a great way to stay cool while checking out the summer sales, and when you get tired, there are always rest benches so you can catch your breath.

Enjoy some Ice Cream

If there’s a nearby store, walk to it and enjoy the exercise. If no stores are nearby, why not make your own, and cool off with your favorite flavor?

Visit the Pet Shop

Make sure it’s a store with air conditioning, so you can walk about and check out all the cute little pets with fur and wings, just waiting to entertain you.

Low-Impact Exercising

Without working up a big sweat, you can still get in some valuable exercise by practicing some simple yoga techniques or spending time stretching. Both will provide physical benefits as well as contribute to your emotional state of well-being.

Even when the sun beats down on the Southwest unmercifully in the summer time, there are still Phoenix home health care activities which can keep you moving, while also minimizing the powerful effects of the summer heat. MD Home Health, your Phoenix home health care experts, recommend that you stay active by putting some of these heat-busting ideas into practice.

For more information on our services, experience, or rates, call (602) 396-5742, or fill out our contact form. We look forward to serving you.

 


5 Ways to Beat the Holiday Blues

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Depressed or sad woman walking down a barren path in winter

The holiday season is popularly depicted as a time full of light and joy…but beneath that attractive surface, many people are plagued with stress and sadness. Whether they come from family troubles, unpleasant memories, or the anxiety of always having something to do and somewhere to be, these seasonal doldrums are something almost everyone will experience at some point in their lives. Use these five ways to beat the holiday blues and make it to January with your head held high.

1. Take time to breathe.

If your life during the holidays seems like a whirlwind of activity, those conditions are basically a pressure cooker of stress. Try to keep everything in perspective: the world won’t stop turning if you take fifteen minutes every morning or afternoon to stop and relax. Learn some gentle yoga moves or practice mindful breathing to help yourself feel centered and calm.

2. Don’t neglect physical activity.

Too many people wait until their New Year’s resolutions kick in before they hit the gym. But why miss out on all those positive exercise endorphins during the month when you probably need them the most? You don’t need to bench press 200 pounds or run a marathon, but raising your heartbeat for 30 minutes a day will help you feel better in both body and mind.

3. If things go wrong, do your best to let them go.

A gift doesn’t ship in time for Christmas? Family drama gets out of hand? First batch of decorated cookies burn? It’s just life. Don’t allow yourself to get sucked into resentment or frustration over any of it. Being intentional about maintaining a good attitude is one of the most important things you can do to beat the holiday blues.

4. Take nutritional supplements.

The same hormonal imbalances that cause Seasonal Affective Disorder can rear their heads during the holidays. Fortunately, there are plenty of vitamins and herbs that can help perk up your mood. Take vitamin D supplements to make up for the wintertime reduction in sun exposure, B vitamins, and fish oil. Many people report that St. John’s Wort has a positive impact on depressive moods when taken regularly, and valerian root can mitigate anxiety.

5. Don’t isolate yourself

Even if you feel like crawling into bed and hibernating all winter, isolation can end up making you feel even worse. Whether that means meeting up with friends, having a trained home companion, participating in a candlelight service or holiday event, or unburdening yourself to a therapist, spending time with people you trust can have a major effect on well being.

No matter which holiday ailments may plague you this season, remember that it’s well within your power to beat the holiday blues. Just remember, it’ll all be over soon, so do your best to enjoy it while you can. Should you need some extra help or companionship around your home this season, we’re just a phone call away.

 


7 Healthy Crockpot Recipes for Fall

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With the air getting nippy and leaves changing into a fiery sea of red, orange, and yellow, fall often sees people exchanging their healthier summer eating habits for Halloween treats and copious Thanksgiving dinners. Eating healthy in this busy season, however, can be simple with the aid of the crockpot. Slow cooker meals cut out the hassle of cooking, letting you simply toss in the ingredients and allowing the flavors to come together themselves, not to mention having only one pot to clean!

If you’re not feeling up for the task, check out MD Home Health/Home Assist’s services and caregivers who can help you add festive and healthy fall crockpot recipes to your menu from breakfast through dinner.

Slow Cooker Veggie Frittata

Start the morning off right with a scrumptious, yet simple, veggie frittata. It’s made with eggs and can easily be reheated in the microwave, a great option for those days when you are in a rush to get out the door. Of course, you are more than free to mix up the veggies and cheese any time you like for a greater variety and versatility. You can find the recipe for this slow cooker veggie frittata here.

Banana Bread Quinoa

Quinoa, a grain from the mountainous regions of Bolivia, is one of the biggest stars of the health food scene. It’s a protein fortified whole grain, without the gluten, that can be part of breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Try out this Banana Bread Quinoa that can serve as an accompaniment to meals or a stand alone snack. 

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Bread

Fall wouldn’t be complete without pumpkins so why not give this pumpkin bread a go? While many store-bought breads are full of sugar and weight you down, this moist, slow-cooker pumpkin bread is packed with potassium and can actually improve your energy. Instead of adding sugar, the bread is sweetened with apple juice.

Shiitake and Noodle Hot & Sour Soup

Crockpot soups offer endless possibilities to stay warm and healthy in the fall. This vegetarian hot and sour inspired soup features the shiitake mushroom, a longtime symbol of longevity in Asia thanks to its wide range of health-promoting properties. The rich and smoky flavor is accented by tofu, vegetables, and filling noodles that work great for lunch or dinner.

Slow Cooker Spicy Cashews

If you’re in need of a snack between meals or a party appetizer, these spicy cashew nuts from the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili

Add a little Tex Mex to your cooking with the nutritionally packed, superfood sweet potato. This slow cooker sweet potato chili is hearty and delicious, packed with nutrients and perfect for when you’re looking for a comfort food like stew.

Crockpot Red Lentil Chickpea Squash Soup

Here’s a protein packed soup that you can snuggle up with at night. Red lentils and chickpeas bring all the benefits of legumes and squash adds the fall flavors. The crockpot takes all the work out and you’ll want to enjoy this meal over and over.

At MD Home Health/Home Assist personal care specialists in Phoenix can help you create healthy meals by assisting with everything from grocery shopping to kitchen prep and errands. Caregivers can also provide companionship, helping you or your loved one cook these nutritious fall recipes. For more information about how MD Home Health/Home Assist can help with your home care in Phoenix, please give us a call today.


3 Things to Expect from Caregivers Conducting Homemaker Services

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Woman CookingAs you or a loved one begin to age there are things around the home or group setting that may not be as easy to accomplish as they once were. This is where our non-medical home services come in. MD Home Health offers a full range of non-medical home services in the Phoenix, AZ area that include custodial, homemaker and personal care assistance. We would love to send someone to your home if you feel like you could use a bit of help with any of these things. We provide skilled caregivers for service 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. They’re even available for hourly or daily rates.

A person who’s never experienced in-home care may be wondering just what to expect when hiring MD Home Assist for homemaker services. This is an important question, and we’ve come up with three major answers:

Light Housekeeping

One of the most important tasks of homemakers is light housekeeping. This includes dusting, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, washing the dishes, doing the laundry, changing and making the beds, and other small household tasks that one is unable to accomplish on their own. The caregiver may be a live-in or an hourly employee who comes to the home as often as needed. This could be once per week, or every day.

Meal Planning and Preparation

In addition to getting a light housekeeper when hiring MD Home Assist homemaker services, you’re also getting a personal nutritionist and chef. Our caregivers will sit down and plan out your meals with you with healthy goals in mind. Not only will you have a wonderful menu that you can enjoy, but you will also have the assistance in preparing the meals. Our homemaker services include meal preparation, so you don’t have to stress about how you will eat when you’re having a difficult time with mobility.

Grocery Shopping and Errands

If you’re having difficulty with homemaking tasks, the chances are you’re also having a difficult time running errands such as going to the grocery store. Not to worry, MD Home Assist has you covered should you seek their care. Our caregivers will run all of your errands so that you’re able to rest up and focus on you.

Are you considering hiring in-home services? From homemaking services to a variety of other non-medical and medical care needs, we’re happy to develop a customized care plan with you. Do you have a moment to chat? We’d love a chance to sit down and talk with you about your unique home care needs today. Feel free to Contact us at your earliest convenience.


Brain Exercises to Improve Memory

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Active Retired Seniors, Two Old Men Playing Chess At Park

Brain Exercises to Improve Memory

Brain exercises are a good way to keep your mind sharp and stay on top of your game. Reports find that brain exercises, some as simple as face recognition or number matching, can go a long way to improve memory and delay the effects of long term memory loss.

We all forget things from time to time, whether it a misplaced set of car keys or where we parked the car after going shopping. These instances of forgetfulness pale in comparison with the slow eroding effect of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia that 5 million people in this country suffers from and the 6th leading cause of death according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Strengthening your brain through the use of specifically designed exercises, such as those from Homecare Phoenix providers and others can go a long way to improving your memory and prolonging your life.

Ways to Exercise the Brain

When you engage in physical exercise, you also exercise your brain. Remaining physically active, even in your older years improves the flow of oxygen to the brain. Physical exercise also has the added benefit of staving off the development of certain medical conditions such as diabetes and diseases of the heart, both of which lower your memory retention and place your health at risk.

In addition to physical exercise, maintaining a connection with your social network, be it friends and family, is important for helping you stay connected as you age and keep your mind sharp. A Harvard University School of Public Health study found that elderly people with active social lives have a slower rate of memory decline.

How to Start Improving Your Memory

If you want to begin improving your memory, start by getting up, getting active and getting involved with those around you. You may also consider different memory games and other devices that are designed to exercise your brain, regardless of your physical condition or level of activity. Spending a few minutes a day playing mind games, moving about and interacting with others can go a long way to helping you enjoy more of your life and slow the rate of memory loss and the negative effects of aging.

Services like those provided through MD Home Health, a Phoenix home health care service provider, can help those looking to improve their memory. MD Homecare Phoenix provides those services that help not only exercise the body but also exercise the brain.

 


Good vs. Bad Vegetables

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Whether you’re in the Phoenix Home Health Care system or simply concerned about what you put in your body, not all vegetables are created equal. Some should be eaten every day and others are just bad vegetables, in comparison.

Fresh farmers market fruit and vegetable from above with copy sp

Veggies: The Good, the Bad, the Fattening

According to Dr. Mercola, some vegetables offer better nutritional return than others. Broccoli, asparagus, kale, onions, collard greens, tomatoes, and fennel are just a few vegetables that come highly recommended. Spinach, essentially a superstar of the nutrition world, does as well.

The vegetables that should be used more sparingly include beets, carrots, eggplant, and winter squashes. This is because of their high carbohydrate levels. Likewise, potatoes should be used on occasion rather than as a staple of your food pyramid. Potatoes are very starchy and can cause weight gain (which causes a whole slug of other issues) if ingested too regularly.

The Game Changers

Most people who think of veggies are undoubtedly transported back to childhood, recalling memories of hiding lima beans in paper napkins and feeding peas to the dog. However, vegetables don’t have to taste bad. In fact, two vegetables can be enjoyed quite easily: one is highly tasty and the other doesn’t have much taste at all.

Avocadoes, though technically a fruit, are widely regarded as a vegetable. The main ingredient in guacamole, they aren’t only good for taste buds, but they’re good for your body as well.

Per the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, avocadoes are rich in oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fat that can help lower bad, LDL cholesterol and raise good, HDL cholesterol. Avocadoes can also offer protection against breast cancer, stroke, and heart disease.

Mushrooms are game changers not because they are as tasty as avocadoes but because their subtle flavor enables them to be added to all sorts of dishes – salads, pizza, spaghetti, rice, and macaroni, just to name a few.

Adding mushrooms to your meals can also add protein, fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B, antioxidants, and minerals to your body.

Organic Vs. Nonorganic

Once upon a time, organic vegetables were only found in the aisles of health stores and farmers’ markets; today, they’re everywhere. This largely has to do with pesticides.

Organic vegetables are grown in environments where pesticides aren’t used; nonorganic vegetables are grown in environments where pesticides are used.

According to the Pesticide Action Network, pesticides may be dangerous to human health: the pesticide chlorpyrifos has been linked to ADHD while the pesticide DDT increases a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer by as much as five-fold.

Still, whether there is true need for panic has yet to be established. This is because while pesticides have been linked to cancer, their correlation is usually only found in farmers and other people routinely exposed to very large amounts as an occupational hazard. The amounts on food are much lower and, therefore, likely much less dangerous. In fact, per the Cancer Research Foundation of the United Kingdom, no link has been found between the trace amounts of pesticides found on vegetables and cancer formation.

Even so, for people who want to err on the side of caution, organic vegetables should be purchased if possible. If you can’t afford or do not have access to organic produce, the benefits of eating nonorganic vegetables will likely far outweigh any theoretical risks. Yet, just to be safe, all vegetables should be thoroughly washed before consumption. This is especially important for people in homecare, Phoenix based or otherwise.

For more information on home care, Phoenix health, and how nutrition impacts your wellbeing, visit us at MD Home Health. Remember, it’s never too late to start eating your veggies.


Six Tips for Better Napping

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Cute family sleeping together in bed

6 Tips for Better Napping

Hear what our experts have to say about improving Phoenix home health care with smart napping. Read our tips for better napping and give a pop quiz to your home care Phoenix providers. You will understand why our company is the best of the best when it comes to offering quality Phoenix Home Health Care. 

A Few Words about Sleep AND Naps

Sleep is an everyday pursuit that promotes physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness. No matter how young or old you are, having quality sleep during the night will ready you for a whole new day. While a good night’s sleep is important, recent studies have found that snoozing away on the couch in the afternoon can make for a more functional body. According to scientists and psychologists, napping can improve your cognitive memory processing and give your alertness level a quick but generous boost. However, as with everything, there is a way to nap right as there is a way to nap wrong. To maximize your napping experience, here are 6 tips that will steer you to a better and smarter napping routine: 

Tip #1: Know Your Nap Time

The ideal nap time generally falls between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Because most people start to lose their energy after a hearty lunch, Mayo Clinic recommends people to nap around 2 or 3 p.m. Anytime after 4 p.m. will likely interfere with your bedtime. Don’t let your nap turn you into a miserable night owl with a low energy level the following day.

Tip #2: Plan Your Nap

Planning your nap for the same time everyday will keep your body’s circadian clock in tune with your energy flow and recuperation need. Be consistent with your nap by setting apart a time to let your body relax and steal a few snoozes. Experts have also found that a regular nap can help you to sleep faster and wake up quicker!

Tip #3: Watch Your Time

Timing is everything when it comes to napping. As a government study finds, “long naps are often associated with a loss of productivity and sleep inertia.” Short naps that last under 30 minutes are said to promote alertness, performance, and learning ability. Plan you nap and set an alarm for 20 or 30 minutes to reap the full benefits of napping.

Tip #4: Set the Stage

According to National Sleep Foundation, the environment you choose to nap plays a role in determining the quality of your nap session. Make sure that the room is at a comfortable temperature and try to rest in an area where noise is at the minimum. A quiet and dark room instills a feeling of calmness that is perfect for a cozy rest.

Tip #5: Watch Your Caffeine Intake

Having that second coffee in the morning may not be the best idea if you plan on napping later in the day. Caffeine may not be able to keep you going all day but it can definitely impede your ability to sleep in the afternoon. So, keep your caffeine intake down and help yourself to nap more soundly.

Tip #6: Find Your Personal Balance

It is important that you find your personal sleep balance. The recommended amounts of sleep (8 hours each night) is a guideline not a rule carved in stone. If you find that your afternoon nap is impeding your ability to get a good night’s sleep, then try napping a little earlier in the afternoon. Remember, sleep is not like a bank account so even if you make a deposit in the afternoon, you still need to sleep at night. So plan accordingly and have a great nap!

For more tips on how to keep your body rested, visit us at MD Home Health, and don’t forget to rest and find your balance.


Memory Exercises

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memory exercises

In an article from the Harvard Medical School’s Harvard Health Publications “HEALTHbeat,”
the author states that its normal to forget things sometimes, and that “healthy people can
experience memory loss or memory distortion at any age.” Some “memory flaws”
can become more pronounced with age, but there’s nothing to worry about as long as those
memory problems do not become extreme and persistent and are “not considered
indicators of Alzheimer’s or other memory-impairing illnesses.” Seven normal memory
problems include: Transience, absentmindedness, blocking, misattribution, bias and
persistence. You can read more about them here.

So if your memory loss is considered normal, what can you do? Here are some memory
exercises you can practice on a daily basis.

1.) Play Games – You can improve your brain health and performance with brain games.
Lumosity.com was designed by neuroscientists to exercise memory and attention. When
you create an account at Lumosity.com you will be asked to “build your own personalized
brain training program,” an option which takes you through five areas — memory, attention,
speed, flexibility and problem-solving — and asks which aspects you want to improve. For
instance, under memory, you can click on “remembering names after the first introduction,”
“learning new subjects quickly and accurately,” “recalling the location of objects,” and
“keeping track of several ideas at the same time.”
[source: Howstuffworks.com, Lumosity].

2.) Use Mnemonic Devices – You can use association to remember facts and numbers. Just
create an image in your mind to help you remember a word or an image. For example:

3.) Use Acrostics – Does “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally” conjure up memories from
grade school? If you remember, it stands for Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication,
Division, Addition and Subtraction. Acrostics is where you can remember a new sentence
made out of the first letters of a set of words that you have to memorize in a certain order.

4.) Move Your Eyes – “Horizontal eye movements are thought to cause the two
hemispheres of the brain to interact more with one another, and communication between
brain hemispheres is important for retrieving certain types of memories.” [Melinda
Wenner, Livescience.com] So try moving your eyes from side to side for just 30 seconds
once a day to align the two parts of your brain and make your memory work more
smoothly.

5.) Drink in moderation – Still like to enjoy a glass of wine? That’s perfectly OK. Light to
moderate alcohol consumption can improve memory and cognition. It has been shown that
light to moderate drinkers can perform better on certain tests of memory and cognition
than nondrinkers and heavy drinkers [sources: Victoroff, Minerd]

What are some of your memory tricks? Please comment below and share!

For more information on memory exercises, visit us at MD Home Health. Start taking care of your memory now, before it’s too late. 


Healthy Indoor Plants for a Healthy Home

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It is well known that spending time outdoors in nature is proven to reduce anxiety and depression. But, there can also be many health benefits of bringing nature inside. Adding a few indoor plants to your home will not only boost your mood by adding splashes of color, but will also improve your health. Indoor plants naturally filter the toxic air in your household. Toxins can come into your house in many ways, through dry cleaning chemicals, household-cleaning products (such as furniture polish and oils), and from dish and laundry detergents. By selecting a few of your favorite plants or flowers and bringing them into the house, you will minimize the respiratory and neurological damage outside toxins can cause.

Flower Power

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Indoor flowers will require a little work and a lot of light. However, they bring cheer, fragrance, and cleaner air into any room you place them. Gerbera Daisies are beautiful flowers that come in a wide variation of pinks, reds, and yellows. These flowers can assist in removing the toxins benzene, which is present in many inks and dyes, and Trichloroethylene (also known as TCE), which contaminates our drinking water.

 

The popular Chrysanthemum, or ‘Mum’ is another fun, colorful flower option for your home. With lots of water and light, Mum’s will flourish in your home and clarify your air from benzene. For an added health benefit, use the leaves to make your own Chrysanthemum tea. The tea is known for its amazing health benefits, which range from helping clear sinuses, to preventing eye deterioration as you age.

Pick a Plant

Indoor plants tend to be a bit more durable compared to their flower counterparts, but still offer amazing health benefits. For a no fuss option, consider a Rubber Plant, which can tolerate low temperatures and little light. Bamboo Palms can add a tropical flair to your home while removing toxins such as benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde. Your Bamboo Palm will do best in a window with direct sunlight, and you can enjoy watching it grow to be several feet tall. If you are someone who often forgets to water your plants, consider an Aloe Vera plant .The Aloe plant requires minimal attention but still detoxifies your air, and can also be used to treat minor cuts and burns.

For more creative ways to make your home and body healthier, read more on our blog or contact MD Home Health