A Perfect Dessert Smoothie

TropicalIslandSmoothie

I absolutely love this smoothie! This blend of strawberries, pineapple, and coconut is perfect. I truly feel like I am on a gorgeous, tropical island when I am drinking this smoothie. I can honestly say that it makes the perfect dessert, as it’s refreshing, sweet, and satisfying. This is the same as my Tropical Island Smoothie – please try it and share it with friends and family. It’s so good that I feel that I have to share it again and again!

Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

SlicedOranges{Sliced oranges on my cutting board – yum!}

When I went to visit my friend Felice in Ojai, we picked oranges from the gorgeous orange orchard that was essentially in her backyard. Ojai is filled with delicious, fresh, organic fruits and vegetables and people often leave bags of oranges on the side of the road where you can make a donation (based on trust and honesty) and take some home for yourself. I’ve also seen people leave out avocados with a small donation box next to them. I love the idea of living amongst a group of people who are genuinely committed to helping each other.

Felice has a beautiful young daughter named Phoebe, and together, the three of us picked lots of oranges. For the remainder of my trip, I had freshly squeezed orange juice at least once a day. I even got to take a big bag full of fresh oranges home with me. This was in the fall; even though I am enjoying my summer, I still want one more cup of freshly squeezed orange juice from those yummy Ojai oranges.

My parents actually have an orange tree in their backyard. They swore to me that the oranges are bitter, but I was so excited to see them that I decided to pick some for myself. This was several months ago, but they were tasty! I was happy that I could have freshly squeezed orange juice for just a little longer. Some oranges were a little sour, but combined with the sweet ones, my juice was perfect. I am thinking that I’ll step into my parents backyard and see if I can gather any more oranges. I may just be able to squeeze enough for one more cup :).

I would definitely recommend squeezing your own oranges, instead of buying orange juice from the store. By then, the juice has been pasteurized, and it has lost almost all of its nutrients. It’s best to buy (or pick!) your oranges and make freshly squeezed orange juice in the morning (or whenever you’d like). That way, you get all of the nutrients – right in your cup – and then straight into your body! In addition to lots of vitamin C, oranges also have fiber, folate, vitamin b1, vitamin b5, and minerals such as potassium, copper, and calcium – wow!

Start thinking ahead for fall and grab those oranges when you can!

YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program

I am excited to share that for the past several months I have been working with the Culver-Palms Family YMCA! After giving a few health and wellness workshops, I was asked to become a  member of the Healthy Lifestyles Committee and to help bring the amazing Diabetes Prevention Program to the Culver-Palms Family YMCA. In the time that I have been here, I have given more workshops, spoken to members about how they can make healthier food choices, encouraged people to try new fitness classes, and much more. Additionally, I am so happy to share that our Diabetes Prevention Program will start in September!

In case you haven’t heard, The American Diabetes Association reports that in the United States, in 2012, 29.1 million people had diabetes; 21.0 million people were diagnosed, while 8.1 million people had diabetes, but didn’t know it. Additionally, 86 millions Americans have prediabetes. Wow! These statistics are alarming, especially because complications that arise from having diabetes include high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, amputations, and nervous system disease.

Thankfully, there are many ways to help prevent and in some cases even reverse type 2 diabetes. I am proud to say that the YMCA has been doing an excellent job of providing people with lots of information on how to stay healthy and prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is supported by the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance on a nation-wide level and is also part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-led National Diabetes Prevention Program.

The YMCA’s year-long Diabetes Prevention Program starts with 16 weekly sessions and is then followed by 8 monthly maintenance sessions. At the Culver-Palms YMCA, participants will meet with me. This is a weight-loss program and we do want our participants to lose 7 percent of their body weight. If you join the program, you will have tons of information, support, and guidance. Since this will take place in a group setting, members will be able to reach out to people who completely understand what it’s like to need to lose weight, eat healthier foods, and reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. As this is a prevention program, people who already have diabetes do not qualify to join. However, I feel strongly that everyone should receive assistance, so if you already have diabetes, please contact me for more information on other programs that are right for you.

During the course of the Diabetes Prevention Program, members will learn how to stay motivated, be active, manage stress, eat less, make better food choices, and much more. If you are interested in joining this program, you must be 18 years of age or older and have a BMI of 25 or more (unless you are Asian or Pacific Islander, in which case your BMI must be 22 or greater); some participants will need lab values from their doctors (such as their A1c levels, fasting plasma glucose, 2-hour plasma glucose, and/or confirmation of having had Gestational Diabetes (GDM) during previous pregnancy).

I am so excited to be a part of such a wonderful, generous, positive, inspiring community. I truly feel right at home, here at the Culver-Palms Family YMCA. If you’d like to sign up for our Diabetes Prevention Program, be sure to take this risk assessment quiz, and contact me for more information at christinatanios@ymcala.org. I am looking forward to working with you!

Berries