Ten Tips for Everyday Safety

CaptureSometimes we get so busy we forget to be safe during some of the easiest tasks. Completing day-to-day activities safely and being aware of our surroundings sounds like a simple way to increase safety in our daily routines, but it can be challenging. Here are ten steps to get you started in creating a safer and healthier environment.

  1. Use proper form. Try your best to remember proper physical form in your everyday routines. Keep things close to you on your desk or in the kitchen to avoid over-reaching, and always use your legs when picking up large or heavy items. (Avoid bending at the waist!)
  2. Be aware of your company safety procedures. Be proactive in knowing evacuation routes, members of the safety committee, and safety procedures at your workplace.
  3. Take regular breaks. Taking a quick break from looking at your computer screen or doing mundane tasks will help to re-energize you and keep you alert!
  4. Check your smoke alarms. Once a month, check the smoke alarms in your home to make sure they’re working and replace batteries as needed. Also, keep a fire extinguisher in a central, easy to access location, and learn how to use it.
  5. Let there be light. Proper, adequate lighting is an easy way to stay focused and clear about what you are doing. Keep hallways and outdoor areas well-lit to avoid obstacles.
  6. Maintain your vehicle. Make time for regular vehicle maintenance, such as checking your exterior lights, getting your oil changed, and checking your tire pressure. This is especially important before taking a road trip.
  7. Ventilate your space. When you’re painting or working on projects indoors that involve materials with strong odors, make sure you have proper ventilation. Open windows and doors, and get fans going to keep air circulating. Also, consider using face masks and taking regular fresh-air breaks, especially if ventilation is inadequate.
  8. Exercise regularly. Exercise routines are a good way to improve strength, flexibility, and cardiorespiratory health, which will allow you to physically function better throughout your day. Research functional exercises to learn more about keeping your body ready for anything!
  9. Be prepared. Thoughtfully determine what you may need to keep yourself healthy and safe during an outing or long day. Do you have sufficient water, clothing, or sun protection? Is your cell phone charged? Does a friend or loved one know where you will be?
  10. Take your time. Giving yourself time to prepare for your day, carefully complete a task, or focus on your routine can save you a lot of time in the long run! Build in extra time when necessary.

Visit PacificSource.com for free online tools and resources to help you better manage your health.

Introducing the One Week $40 Healthy Eating Challenge

1 Week_40_Healthy Eating ChallengeThere’s a common myth that states, “In order to eat a healthy diet, you need to spend big.” We wanted to put this myth to the test, so we reached out to our old friend Kim the Intern and asked her to be our guinea pig. Kim agreed to take the One Week $40 Healthy Eating Challenge and blog about her tales.

Here’s how it worked: For one week, Kim was only allowed to spend $40 on food. We chose $40 because that’s about $10 less than the national average weekly grocery budget for a single person. Kim’s a brave soul, so we wanted to challenge her! Kim’s shopping list was up to her, but everything she ate had to be widely considered to be “healthy food.” She could eat out during this week, but if she did, it had to come out of her $40 budget, and the dish had to meet the same healthy criteria.

In her own words, here’s the result of Kim’s adventure: 

With only $40 to spend, I had to do some research. So, I scoured my old friend Pinterest for some new recipes and put together a list of things I could use for several meals.

With just $40 I bought:

This is basically what my veggie drawer looked like.

This is basically what my veggie drawer looked like.

  • A box of whole wheat noodles
  • A small spaghetti squash
  • 2 medium-sized zucchinis
  • 4 Tomatoes
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 chunk of low-fat mozzarella cheese 
  • 1 box of 6 eggs
  • 1 can tuna
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 potato
  • 1 bunch green beans
  • 1 bag of coffee
  • 1 small chunk of salmon
  • 1 loaf of whole wheat bread
  • 1 full head of romaine lettuce
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 jug of V8 Juice
  • 2 Portobello Mushrooms
  • Tomato sauce – no sodium
  • I spent the rest on a variety of other fruits and veggies (my snacks)

I had originally thought I would save a little money that I could spend on stuff to supplement my meals during the week. But when I got to the register, I realized that I had hit my $40 limit! So what I had in my cart was what I had to work with. The challenge was on!

Keep in mind I was only cooking for one person, but this had to last me 7 full days. I tried a bunch of new recipes – all healthy – and to my surprise, I was able to eat well for the whole week. I thought I’d be starving, but it turns out, with planning I had more than enough food, and I even had leftovers on most days. For someone who isn’t able to spend a lot of time cooking, this was a huge feat for me.

This is what my week looked like in meals:

40DollarsMenu

The biggest challenge wasn’t staying within my budget, it was finding the time to prepare my meals. But with a little time and effort, it was totally doable. If you would like to look at some of the recipes I used, please visit the PacificSource recipe board on Pinterest! This was a great challenge, and if you’re even remotely interested, I would suggest trying it out. I ate healthy every day and for someone whose primary guilty pleasure is junk food, making it to Sunday sounded daunting. But I made it, I feel great and I have some new favorite recipes!

The Facts Behind Vegetarianism

Vegan SaladEating a strict vegetarian diet is a giant step for most of us. But if you’ve debated cutting meat from your diet, we wanted to give you some facts to help you weigh the pros and cons. Here’s are a few things you should know about eating a vegetarian diet.

1) Vegetarians come in all forms. Here are a few of the classifications for vegetarians:

  • Lacto Vegetarians: Exclude meat, fish, poultry, eggs.
  • Lacto-Ovo Vegetarians: Exclude meat, fish, and poultry, but eggs and milk are fair game.
  • Ovo Vegetarians: Exclude meat, poultry, seafood, and dairy products, but eggs are allowed.
  • Vegans: Excludes meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, and all other animal byproducts.
  • Flexitarian or Semi-vegetarians: Mostly a plant-based diet with occasional or limited amounts of meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy.

2) What are the down-sides of being a vegetarian?

  • When you put restrictions on your diet (like not eating meat), it becomes more challenging to get the proper nutrients your body needs. Being a vegetarian takes discipline, and a good understanding of what foods can supplement meat.
  • If a vegetarian diet is not followed correctly, it could compromise your health.

3) How about the plus-side?

To highlight the pros of being a vegetarian, we asked our pals at Everyday Health for some advice. They gave us this infogram that lays out a great case for going Vegetarian.

Vegetarianism_Infograph_final

Huge thanks to Everyday Health for sharing their stuff! If you take the plunge and go vegetarian, good luck! And don’t forget to let us know how it goes.