Skin Care Tips for Women

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Womens Health Month

Whether you’re running around chasing kids, spending long days at the office, or pulling all nighters in high school or college, life has us all on the move. That definitely takes a toll on the body, but also the skin! You might reach for products at your favorite drugstore or makeup counter, but do you know why some of these products work? “Many creams contain antioxidants, which help prevent free radicals from damaging cells.” (Webmd). Well, lucky for you, you can also find these in some of your favorite foods!  What are some of the keys to excellent skin?

  1. Hydration, hydration, hydration: The key to that healthy glow is water. Getting your six to eight glasses of water can be hard, but you can mix it up by adding bright flavors to your water. Check out these creative and delicious combinations (my favorite is always fresh, bright lemon water!)
  2. Consume A.C.E. in spades: The Cleveland Clinic lists a bunch of foods that help you maintain excellent skin. Most of these foods are excellent sources of Vitamin A, C, and E, all of which are great for your skin! Among these fruits and veggies are strawberries, cantaloupe, oranges, broccoli and spinach.
  3. Get your full eight hours of beauty zzz’s: Losing sleep means losing not only the bounce in your step but also the bounce in your skin! Karen Appold of EveryDay Health mentions that lack of sleep not only exacerbates existing skin issues like psoriasis, but also accelerates the aging process since your skin isn’t able to rebalance moisture levels, resulting in more visible wrinkles.
  4. Less sugar today, better skin tomorrow: Sugar, along with caffeine, can cause inflammation and therefore breakouts. Look out for the classic coffee and chocolate, but also beware of hidden sugar in other everyday items like ketchup and pasta sauce.

The great thing about these skin care tips is they double duty as skin care and overall wellness tips – they help you look good and feel good! But never forget, no matter what, you’re all gorgeous!

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How can you lower your Breast Cancer risk??

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Womens Health Month

Breast cancer is devastating and unfortunately everyone is at risk.  Women in the United States have a 1 in 8 risk while men have a 1 in 1,000 risk.  Older women, African American women, as well as those with a family history of breast cancer are especially at risk.  There is no magical food or exercise that can be used as prevention, but you can reduce your risk though diet and a healthy body weight.

Research shows that being overweight may increase your risk of breast cancer.  To figure out whether or not you’re at the appropriate weight for your height, you can plug your information into this handy BMI calculator:  Physical activity is a great way to reduce and maintain your body weight.  Don’t like going to the gym?  No problem!  Walking around the block 3 to 4 hours a week will do the trick.  If you want to try incorporating exercise in your daily routine, try parking further away in the parking lot at work or taking the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator.  Do whatever you need to do to get yourself up and moving.

Honor Women

Even though there is no magical food that can completely prevent breast cancer, you can reduce your risk in a variety of ways.  Research looking at a healthy diet and breast cancer risk is continuous.  There may be a link between a low fat diet and a decreased risk of breast cancer, but more research needs to be done.  For the present time being, the recommendations are to eat 5 or more cups of fruits and vegetables a day, limit saturated fat, trans fat and processed food intake, and eat foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids.  Foods rich in omega 3 include, but are not limited to eggs, salmon, flaxseed and walnuts.

Eating 5 or more cups of fruits and vegetables a day may sound like an impossible task, but there are a variety of ways you can incorporate them in your diet.  Spread it out throughout the day so you don’t feel too overwhelmed.  Try adding your favorite vegetables into recipes (i.e. lasagna, omelettes, etc.)  Fruit can easily be thrown on top of cold cereal or oatmeal.  Don’t like the bitter taste of cruciferous vegetables?  Stick your broccoli and cauliflower topped with shredded cheese in the microwave.  The cheesy goodness will help to hide the bitterness.  Everything tastes better with cheese!

No Brocco-lie (2)

Check out this lasagna recipe from the Food Network featuring zucchini, squash and red bell peppers, all of which conveniently score a 100 on the NuVal scale:


— Tara Dorsey

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Kale Hazelnut Apple Salad for Mother’s Day

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Cooking with Catherine Katz

Welcome to this month’s journey into cooking with Catherine Katz!

When I started looking at Catherine’s website to decide what to make for this month’s blog, I had no idea where I was going. I had already done a dessert and an entrée, so what do I do next..? Then I remembered that this month features Mother’s Day and my own mother would likely want to have a family meal. I decided why not make a nice side dish for that meal! I’m a genius! So I landed on Catherine’s Kale Hazelnut Apple Salad!

I’m sure you’ve heard by now how wonderful kale is for you, so I won’t go into all the details. Both kale and apples score a 100 on the NuVal scale because they are full of vitamins and minerals as well as all that wonderful fiber! I chose gala apples because I like a sweeter apple. Now, I couldnt find hazelnuts when i went to the store, so i chose pecans instead. They score a 71 (unsalted, raw). All nuts have differing amounts of mono and poly unsaturated fats (both of which are healthy fats). Pecans for example are about a 2:1 ratio of mono to poly respectively. The poly is where you find your omega 3s, so pecans still have some, just not as much as other nuts. They are also packed with protein and fiber. This salad is pretty much a nutrition  knockout!

When I told my mother I planned to bring a salad for dinner, her exact response was (and I quote) “yay! Now I don’t have to get salad fixings. Bring enough for 6.”….. I had to laugh because she mostly was just excited that she didn’t have to do it anymore. But after all, it is Mother’s Day. Should she really be doing it anyway?

So Sunday morning when I got to my parents’ house I started to get everything ready for dinner (trying to get my mother to relax, and enjoy that someone else was cooking for her)…. My mother starts pacing through the living room and kitchen.

Me: “mom? Are you bored? Would you like to help?”

My mom: “Yes!” *big smile* “What can I do?”

So with that I resign to letting her help me. She cut up the kale and apples for the salad and we chatted and just enjoyed each other’s company. It was really nice. As my mother was mostly the one that taught me how to cook, I’m a big believer in the power of cooking with your kids. I’ve learned a lot from her over the years and we’ve had many a good conversation over a mixing bowl!

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Putting the salad together is a breeze! You just mix the three ingredients together in a big bowl, add the dressing and you’re all set! Super easy! And an added bonus is that the acid in the vinegar keeps the apples from browning so you can make the salad ahead of time and no one is the wiser!

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Now! On to the eating! My mom, dad, aunt and I, all really enjoyed it! (But I knew they would. They like greens.) The real test was my brother! He has pretty much hated vegetables since birth… and he ate an entire bowl! … I was amazed! I couldn’t believe it! I thought for sure he would take 3 bites just to say he ate some and then leave the rest of the bowl there…I would definitely make this salad again! It was a great addition to a great day! The nephew didn’t try any, but he’s only 7 months old and was much more interested in the tissue paper that the presents came in, so I forgave him!  Happy Mother’s Day to all the “moms” out there, be they of children, nieces, nephews, grand kids, or fur babies! You all deserve love and recognition!

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Womens Health Month

A recent study conducted by the University of Adelaide in Australia of boys and girls aged 9-10, has found some troubling results:

  • Boys and girls consumed an average of 156 grams (39tsp) and 161 grams (40.25 tsp) of total sugar per day respectively!
  • 91% of children had fewer than the recommended daily servings of vegetables;
  • 8% of children had fewer than the recommended daily servings of non-processed meat or protein alternatives (such as eggs, nuts, beans, chickpeas or lentils);
  • 83% of boys and 78% of girls consumed more than the recommended daily intake of salt;
  • Fiber intake was inadequate in 41% of boys and 24% of girls;
  • Dairy intake was inadequate in 83% of girls.

Why am I starting my post with such startling numbers this Wednesday after Mother’s Day? It’s not to score you. It’s to reinforce that the best way to change THEIR behavior and affect THEIR health is to change YOURS! Children absorb and mimic almost everything you do! Changing not only what you eat, but also eating habits is the best way to change theirs. Working together as a family and a community is an integral part of health and wellness and ultimately takes care of mom too (who this holiday post is about after all)!

So you might be thinking “I don’t have the time for healthy”, “healthy is too expensive”, “my kids are just too picky”….. There are reasons upon reasons for why families can’t or don’t eat healthy together. Here are some simple tips and tricks to start you down the right path.

  • Make it a priority to eat a home cooked meal. Sit down for dinner together as a family at least 3 nights a week. No technology. Just conversation.
  • Keep healthy snacks like fresh fruits and vegetables at eye level in the fridge or on the counter, so you and the kids are more apt to grab those.
  • Prep those snacks ahead of time so lack of time is no longer an excuse.
  • Don’t bring the bag or box into the living room! Portion out a snack in the kitchen first.
  • When shopping, choose items in your price range and then look for the highest NuVal score! This allows you to stay on budget and on target for health. Make this a game for the kids too. They love searching for scores!
  • Encourage your kids to cook healthy meals WITH you (prep veggies, mix ingredients, set the table, whatever they are old enough to do). Children that participate in the cooking process are much more willing to try new things! It also makes for some great mom and kid bonding time.

Be_a_Better_You Take Her Out

Here are some healthy and quick recipes from our friend Catherine Katz and others to try out with the kids! And from all of us here at NuVal, we hope you had a great Mother’s Day!

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Bone Health

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Womens Health Month

Hi all! It’s Women’s Health Month, so we’re going to feature posts about different women’s health issues! First up: bone health and osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a condition in which your bones become brittle and fragile.  So the key to prevention is a combination of exercise, particularly weight bearing and resistance exercises, and a healthy diet. Primarily, if you’re interested in preventing osteoporosis, you should look to have a diet full of Vitamin D and calcium-rich foods. Foods packed with Vitamin D include fatty fish like salmon, cheese, egg yolks, and any Vitamin D fortified dairy products ( If you’re looking for calcium, look no further than your favorite greens, spinach and kale, dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt, as well as other calcium fortified foods, like oatmeal (

As you can see, eating these everyday foods can help you build strong bones to prevent osteoporosis, and most of these foods are a great way to start the day! Try a bowl of cereal or oatmeal in the morning, or grab a yogurt as you head out the door, and feel good knowing you’re working toward keeping your body strong and healthy!

So, ladies, why are we so susceptible to this condition? It turns out hormones play a huge role in our likelihood of being diagnosed with osteoporosis in our lifetime. Estrogen helps keep our bones strong, but menopause causes a drop in estrogen production, causing decreased bone density. ( That’s why it’s essential to start early prevention!

Check out these recipes for calcium rich dishes, and let us know how you like to incorporate any of these foods in your diet!

Unbreakable_Ready Set Go

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