Have an Attitude of Gratitude


ThanksgivinUnitedWaybreakfastg is just around the corner and many of us are being mindful of all of the things that make us feel gratitude.  The attitude of gratitude is in the air.  Even Facebook is brimming with posts of people sharing what they are grateful for each day during the month of November.

Did you know that counting your daily blessings has health benefits too?  Studies have shown that people who keep gratitude journals to write down what they are grateful for during a three week period have improved physical, psychological, and social health.

There really is a lot of good in gratitude. Here are some more of the benefits of being grateful:

  • Gratitude lets us celebrate the present and it magnifies positive emotions.
    • Gratitude helps us appreciate the value of something. When we appreciate the value of something the more we get from it and we are less likely to take it for granted
  • Gratitude blocks toxic and negative emotions.
    • Negative emotions like envy, resentment, and regret all destroy our happiness. When we actively practice gratitude we feel less negative emotions.  Think about it: you cannot feel envious and grateful at the same time.
  • Grateful people are more stress resistant.
    • People who have faced serious trauma and have a grateful disposition can recover quicker. Gratitude can offer perspective, which can help a person interpret stressful and negative life events.

I have found that even on my crummiest day there is always something to be grateful for.  You might have to think outside of the box, but I promise you, there is always a blessing that you can count at the day’s end.

Today I am grateful for the upcoming holiday that I will be spending with my family in the house where I grew up.  What are you grateful for?


10 Lesser-Known Tips for Dental Health

Teeth - 10 lesser know tips illustration green-01Properly caring for your teeth not only keeps your smile looking its best; it can help you avoid a variety of dental and other health problems. You probably know the basics—visit your dentist at least twice a year, and brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day—but what else can you do?

Here are some lesser-known tips for taking great care of your oral health.

  1. Be thorough – set a timer and brush your teeth for a full two minutes. Less than that, and you may be leaving behind bacteria.
  2. When brushing, include your gums along with your teeth. This will help stimulate blood flow and improve your gum health.
  3. When flossing, wrap the floss around the tooth in a C shape before moving it up and down; this will cover more of the tooth surface. And don’t forget to floss along the back of the teeth in the very back of your mouth.
  4. Try a plastic floss holder, sold next to toothbrushes in most grocery and drug stores. These two-pronged plastic tools allow you to clean between teeth with one hand.
  5. Chew sugar-free gumstudies show that this stimulates the production of saliva, which can help reduce cavities. It can also trap bacteria and neutralize plaque acids.
  6. Use a mouth rinse to help reduce plaque.
  7. Avoid soft drinks, fruit juices, and sugary foods.
  8. This time of year, we know it can be difficult to pass up all sweets. If you do enjoy a dessert – especially a sticky treat like pecan pie – be sure to drink plenty of water along with it to help wash away any food particles on your teeth.
  9. Some medications can affect oral health. Talk with your doctor if your oral health has suddenly changed after starting a new medication.
  10. Last, but not least, avoid smoking tobacco or using smokeless tobacco products – these unhealthy habits can lead to gum disease and oral cancer, not to mention bad breath!


The Unthinkable – Delicious and Healthy Tailgater Food

Yes, that headline is correct.

If you’re like us, tailgating is a time where you prepare the best foods to celebrate with friend and family. Typical, the nutrition of the food served is forgotten, as traditions of bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers, bratwurst, and beer cheese soup is deliciously consumed – saving thoughts of a nutritious meal for the next day.

Thus, the Oregon State University’s Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition, and Preventive Health took on the challenge of providing recipes that were not only nutritious, but have the oomph to meet the high standards any tailgater.

To do this, the Moore Family Center offered the GridIron Chef Contest asking the OSU community to share their favorite healthy tailgate food. With a mass of recipes submitted, the Moore Family Center was able to select the top five recipes to highlight, as well as share at the upcoming OSU game. Though, wee would be remiss to not share these with you! So here they are, in their tailgate glory!

Benny’s Butternut Squash Bruschetta, by Allison Zumwalt of Portland. Butternut squash and goat cheese are the stars of this delicious recipe.

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Black Bean Sweet Potato Taquito, by Holly Robinson of Corvallis. This vegetarian version of taquitos keeps the crispy, crunchy tradition of the dish and the  to fill you up.Baked Black Bean & Sweet Potato Taquitos - Mobile

Lemony Beaver Boost Soup, by Claudia Recksiedler of Corvallis. Squash and lemon are a surprisingly fantastic pair in this recipe for a cold day soup.

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Mediterranean Cauliflower “Wings,” by Madeline McWhorter of Corvallis. A healthy version of buffalo wings, and a tzatziki sauce to add to the flavor party!

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Pesto Minestrone, by Carol Abrogoua of Tillamook. Pesto is added to this minestrone for a blast of flavor!

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