Change up your menu!
- Highlight vegetables and lean, minimally-processed meats:
- Skip highly processed meats (like hot dogs).
- Instead of beef or ribs, serve chicken skewers, lean turkey patties, or black bean patties.
- Include plenty of vegetable options, like grilled portabella mushrooms, squash/bell pepper/onion skewers, etc.
- Replace high-fat salads with fresh produce or whole grains:
- Instead of macaroni or potato salad, try making a whole grain quinoa salad with fresh veggies and a vinaigrette dressing. Your guests won’t miss the mayo!
- Toss together a fresh fruit bowl or veggie platter for snacking.
- Use whole grain buns (or lettuce wraps!)
- For dessert, keep it naturally sweet:
- Try a mixed fruit parfait.
- Homemade popsicles (like these beautiful pineapple blueberry pops from Sweet Life blog’s Vianney)
- If you don’t can’t control the menu:
- Eat a well-balanced snack before you go, so you’ll be less likely to overindulge.
- Bring a healthy dish to share with the group (like this sweet corn and black bean salad).
- Take a look at your options and choose what you’ll eat before you grab a plate.
- Make smart beverage choices:
- Choose water or unsweetened tea over soda or juice.
- If you chose to imbibe, keep in mind how quickly those calories can add up! Avoid sugar-laden mixers and try to choose lighter options.
- Go on a group walk, stand while you talk, or play volleyball, bocce ball, etc. (anything but sitting idle in a chair!)
The Tough Mudder Central Texas is almost here!
The Tough Mudder Half, May 14th
The Tough Mudder, May 21st
The exact cause of popping joints still isn't entirely known. Until recently, one prevailing theory was that the popping sound/feeling was the result of gas bubbles in the space between joints collapsing. However that theory has been slightly modified following recent MRI imaging showing that the sound actually occurs as the gas bubbles form, rather than when they collapse. Either way, it's still believed that theses bubbles play a role. To explain how this happens, you first have to understand the basic structure of a joint. The space between two bones contains, among other things, synovial fluid that aids in lubricating and cushioning the joint so that it can move smoothly and freely. Generally the pressure inside the fluid-filled joint space is equal to that outside of it. When a joint hinges deeply (a prime example is the case of intentional knuckle cracking), more space is created between the bones, causing a sort of vacuum. Gases are pulled from the synovial fluid to fill the vacuum, and the formation of the gas bubble is what is believed to result in the "pop" we feel and hear.
Another possible cause is the stretching, releasing, or sliding of the connective tissues that stabilize the joint. Ligaments, the fibrous tissue that connects bones and cartilage, may cause some slight popping noises if they are tight. On the other hand, tendons, which are the elastic tissues that attache muscles to bone, sometimes have to shift positions as a joint moves. If the tracking of the bones in the joint causes the tendon to slide forcefully across the joint to snap into position, we may hear or feel that snapping as well.
Both of the above causes are considered to be harmless in most cases. Intentional joint popping and cracking is not associated with the development of arthritis or any other long-term joint damage (though it is still not typically recommended, as we are still learning more about the causes.) However, if you experience any pain or swelling associated with the sound, be sure to alert your healthcare provider to have it evaluated.