• Simple Tips for Avoiding COVID-19

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    There’s a lot of information out there about coronavirus, or COVID-19, and it can be overwhelming to navigate. As usual when there’s a global pandemic, the CDC website is your best source for information for how to avoid the virus, and how to recognize symptoms should you come into contact with it. The WHO (World Health Organization) is another good source for accurate, up-to-date information about the where the virus is located and how quickly it’s spreading.

    There are a few simple things we can do in our daily life to minimize the spread of the virus and avoid contact with it. A few of these you have certainly heard (wash your hands!), and a few others you may have not considered. Incorporating these into your habits—even when there isn’t a looming possibility of a super virus—will keep you and those around you safe and healthy.

    Wash your hands

    You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again! Washing your hands is the most effective way to keep viruses from spreading and from contracting one even if you’ve been exposed to it. It’s important to use soap and warm water, and to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds to ensure anything you’ve come into contact with is removed.

    Disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.

    Countertops, doorknobs, faucets, keyboards and toilets are among the surfaces that should be cleaned thoroughly and often, as viruses can be left on them.

    Wipe down your phone.

    We use our smartphones every day for multiple reasons—they can be practically an extension of our bodies. For that reason, they come into contact with countless surfaces. Make sure to clean your phone with alcohol to remove anything it might have picked up throughout the day.

    Avoid touching your face.

    Specifically your eyes, nose and mouth, especially if it’s been a significant amount of time since you last washed your hands.

    If you don’t feel well, stay home.

    If your immune system is compromised, avoid going out as much as possible. This will protect you and others.

    Boost your immune system.

    Including vitamins and supplements that boost your immune system in your routine can help to protect you from viruses and germs. Take a look at our guide to supplements for cold and flu season to see what you should stock up during this tenuous time.

    To see this blog post or others, visit https://www.pharmaca.com


    By March 19, 2020

    Shake. Burn. Quiver. These are the terms that give barre its edge – terms that make us (literally) feel like those two-pound weights, colorful resistance loops and 9-inch exercise balls are more likely found in a boot camp than on a playground. However, as much as we like to “barre so hard” and “shake in our grippy socks,” many barre enthusiasts are also attracted to the softer side of barre – the side that helps keep our muscles pliable, our minds centered, and most importantly, our immune systems uplifted.

    Recent studies have drawn a link between moderate exercise – the type of exercise that you’ll find in your classic barre class – and a healthy immune system. According to David Nieman, Ph.D., of Appalachian State University, when a person engages in moderate training on a regular basis, her or his long-term immune response actually improves.

    Nieman’s recent work showed that people who walked for 40-minutes a day at a moderate pace (i.e. walking two miles in 30 minutes), experienced half as many sick days caused by sore throats or colds than those individuals who didn’t exercise at all. And since barre workouts are safe to do every day, those regular trips to the barre are not only strengthening your muscles, but also improving your body’s defenses over time.

    Unlike exercise that taxes your immune system (think heavy weight lifting, strenuous running and boot camp classes), moderate exercise encourages our bodies to produce and circulate more bacteria-fighting cells during those 60-minute bouts at the barre and for several hours after class.

    Elise Joan, creator of Barre Blend, Beachbody’s new barre program, states that, “Barre Blend is designed to support and enhance your body’s immunity, rather than overworking or depleting your system. In addition to fire results, this program is designed to elevate lymphatic health, respiratory health, pulmonary health, cardiac health and digestion.”


    Furthermore, the mind-muscle connection found in most barre classes helps to alleviate stress levels, which can encourage even greater immune system response gains. Instead of focusing on what you need to do after you leave your barre class, try to consciously connect to the work taking place in your glutes and hamstrings during your Pretzel. You’ll not only see the results, but will also feel more grounded both inside and outside of class.

    As demonstrated by Elise, programs, like Barre Blend, “promote hopefulness, self-confidence and a focus on the many things we can control about our health — internally, externally, emotionally and mentally.”

    So, the next time you step up to the barre, adjust your grippy socks and ready yourself for another epic workout, remember that those relevés and pliés will lead to more than just leaner legs and a stronger core. Your immune system will also embrace each and every tuck, pulse and hold.

    About the Author

    Jennifer is a barre instructor, personal trainer, clinical aromatherapist and author who discovered barre — her soul-mate workout — while training for the 2016 Boston Marathon. As a long-time runner, former bodybuilder and melanoma skin cancer survivor, Jennifer’s recent battle with autoimmune disease has changed her fitness focus to one that incorporates more mindful, purposeful and low-impact movements.

    A former communication professor and mother of two daughters, Jennifer is excited to share her thoughts and experiences on ways to create and maintain a strong connection between the mind and body through barre.

    To see this blog post and others, visit: https://thebarreblog.com

  • 9 Easy Ways to Eat More Plants at Every Meal

    Think about your daily routine. How do you celebrate plants? Maybe it’s by packing a leafy green salad for lunch or snacking on a crisp, red apple. Or maybe you’re feeling like you could use a little extra veg (or fruits, nuts, seeds and legumes) in your day. Either way, plants are awesome — and we want to help you eat more of them at every meal.

    Use these easy tips from Dani Little MS RD, a registered dietitian at Whole Foods Market, to add color to your plate at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    Add greens — to everything. 

    When it comes to eating more plants, this is your mantra. From spinach to kale to Swiss chard, greens can be part of every meal. Add spinach to scrambled eggs or a breakfast burrito, stir kale into your favorite hot soup, tuck arugula into sandwiches and add sautéed Swiss chard to quesadillas and pasta dishes.

    Upgrade your oatmeal.

    Oatmeal is a blank canvas for just about anything. Instead of using milk or water, cook your oatmeal with a nondairy beverage made from almonds, cashews or oats. Then, top with chopped walnuts, hempseeds, fresh fruit, nut butter and more. 

    Sneak plants into smoothies

    Jump-start your day with a plant-powered smoothie. Blend in avocado, beets, grated carrots, spinach or kale, chia seeds, fresh herbs, grated fresh ginger and more. Get more plant-packed smoothie ideas here. 

    Build a brighter sandwich.

    Tired of the same plain turkey sandwich for lunch? Tuck in a handful of greens, sprouts, sliced avocados, sliced bell peppers, grated carrots. The more color, the better. Instead of mayo, try pesto or a spreadable vegan cheese (check out Miyoko’s Vegan Cream Cheese).  

    Pack better-for-you snacks.

    Stop yourself from running to the office vending machine by packing wholesome snacks. Fresh fruit, nondairy yogurt alternatives and DIY trail mix (visit the Whole Foods Market bulk bins for inspiration) are easy choices.

    Swap pasta for veggie noodles. 

    From zoodles to swoodles, veggie noodles are a delicious way to get an extra dose of plants. All you need is a spiralizer or a vegetable peeler. Top zucchini noodles with marinara or pesto sauce, stir carrot noodles into soups or make a sweet potato noodle bowl.

    Dress up your eggs. 

    Like oatmeal, eggs are the ultimate blank canvas. If you’re making a scramble for breakfast or a frittata for dinner, why not toss in a handful of veggies? Try mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, bell peppers — whatever is in your fridge. Extra points if you top your eggs with pesto.

    Revamp pizza night. 

    You know that pizza is a perfect carrier for veggie toppings like mushrooms, bell peppers, squash, arugula and more. Take it one step further by swapping traditional flour-based pizza crust for plant-based crust like our 365 Everyday Value Cauliflower Pizza Crust.

    Make a frozen banana treat. 

    Craving ice cream? Instead of picking up your favorite pint, whip up a frosty treat with frozen bananas and a nondairy milk alternative. It takes minutes to make and has a smooth and creamy texture like soft serve. Try this Banana Ice Cream, then serve with grilled fruit like pineapple or peaches.

    To see this blog post or others, visit: https://inspiration.wholefoodsmarket.com/

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