Let’s Talk About Tick Safety!

Written by nxtconcepts on . Posted in Blog, Featured Posts, Latest News

One of the best parts of summer is getting outside and exploring nature. Getting into the woods, finding solitude and admiring plant and animal life is fantastic. But, in the woods and fields lurk certain challenges that you should at least be aware of. Among them, ticks. Ticks are tiny insects that attach to skin and can transmit disease and pain. Among the symptoms you might encounter are rashes, chills, muscle pain and other infrequent reactions. What can you do to prevent a tick? Here are our suggestions:
  • Use repellant (20-30% DEET)
  • Clothing containing permethrin
  • Bathe or shower when you arrive home
  • Conduct a full body check
  • Examine clothes & pets
For more information, visit the CDC’s fantastic Tick Prevention resource.

The 3 Foolproof Steps (In order!) to Prevent Skin Damage

Written by nxtconcepts on . Posted in Blog, Featured Posts, Latest News

Do you have sensitive skin? Or are you concerned about increased risk for skin cancer? There are 3 key strategies to remember this summer that may help you. 1. If it’s very hot and sunny out, first limit your exposure to the sun. Find shade, stay inside where possible. We all know, however, that that is not always possible. 2. If you must be outside, you can wear layers of clothing in the form of both hats, shirts and longer pants/skirts to prevent exposure and burns.
3. If you must be outside without layers of protection, use strong sun screens with intermittent breaks for both hydration and to give your skin a rest. If you follow these rules, you should have no trouble staying safe in the sun.

Fast Food Options to Consider in a Pinch

Written by nxtconcepts on . Posted in Blog, Featured Posts, Latest News

Let’s imagine you are doing some summer travel, and you’re in the middle of nowhere, with limited food options. The only viable places to eat are fast food options. What’s the best way to eat at these restaurants without being that unhealthy? Check out these great tips via LifeHacker:

“With all of that in mind, Bellati suggests that there are a few tips you can follow at most chains to find those food items that are the lesser of evils:

  • Avoid fried foods when possible.
  • Opt for smaller portions if they’re available (or share food with someone).
  • Pass on sugary beverages like soda and drink water or unsweetened iced tea instead.
  • Be wary of sauces(dressings, sandwich toppings, and for dipping)because they can be high in sugar and sodium.
  • Say no to mayo. It can save you a lot of calories and fat.
  • When in doubt, use your smartphones to look up nutrition information and healthy options.”
For example, the article suggests these items for McDonalds:  
  • “Ranch Snack Wrap: Get the grilled chicken version since it has a good amount of protein and is lower in fat and carbs when compared to most sandwich items on the menu.
  • Side Salad: A fairly safe choice at most fast food places because it’s all vegetables, and there’s nothing extra thrown on top of it. When you add on the dressing things obviously change, but if you go with a balsamic vinaigrette or simple Italian it remains a pretty decent option.
  • Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich  This sandwich is pretty high in processed carbs (43g, mostly from the bun sauce), but it’s still one of the better sandwich options on the menu. It can fill you up without going overboard.
  • Hamburger: It might seem a little surprising, but the basic McDonald’s hamburger is probably your best bet if you want a sandwich.”
Read the whole article HERE  

FDA Rules Against Trans fats

Written by nxtconcepts on . Posted in Blog, Featured Posts, Latest News

The FDA has moved to eliminate trans fats within 3 years. The FDA ruled that trans fats are not “generally recognized as safe” for use in human food. Trans fat are linked to higher body weight, heart disease, higher cholesterol and memory loss.

“Eating a diet rich in trans fat is linked to higher body weight, heart disease and memory loss. It has been shown to raise the “bad,” or LDL, cholesterol in the blood, which can lead to cardiovascular disease — the leading cause of death in the United States.

“The FDA’s action on this major source of artificial trans fat demonstrates the agency’s commitment to the heart health of all Americans,” said Dr. Stephen Ostroff, the agency’s acting commissioner, in a news release. “This action is expected to reduce coronary heart disease and prevent thousands of fatal heart attacks every year.”

Get the full details HERE

Wade into Summer Pool Safety

Written by nxtconcepts on . Posted in Blog, Featured Posts, Latest News

Warm weather has arrived and your kids are probably itching to get into the pool, cool off, and have fun! We fully support that. Just remember that there are certain precautions that you should take before letting them make a splash. The first question anyone should ask is whether their child is ready to learn or has strong enough skills already. The CDC recommends formal swimming lessons for all children aged 1-4, but the American Academy of Pediatrics supports lessons for all over age 4, while no study supports lessons for babies under age 1. They key in all expert opinions is that the parent should use their judgement as to whether their child is ready to learn at all times. Some other Pool Safety tips: • If you own a pool, enclose it in a four-sided fence at least 4 feet high. • Make sure any pool you use, in public or your own backyard, is equipped with safe drain covers that prevent suction injuries and deaths. • Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and water-rescue skills and always been in reach of a phone. • Supervise children constantly. This may all sound imposing, but they key is that these precautions are a means to an end – happy and safe times around the pool! It’s an essential life skill, regardless of how fun it is!

Gluten-free, is it right for me?

Written by nxtconcepts on . Posted in Blog, Featured Posts, Latest News

You’ve heard it from your friends, family and in the media. You may have that friend of yours who may have never mentioned a word that even sounded like gluten, but now it rules the discussion. What is gluten, then? Gluten is a protein and it is found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye, and a cross between wheat and rye called triticale. Those grains are fairly ubiquitous in all manner of dishes, so if it is avoided, it cuts out a fair number of dinner options. Who is affected by gluten may be the next thing you are wondering. For those with celiac disease, it’s a matter of avoiding real disease symptoms and serious consequences. The select group of people with this disease are not being picky when they turn these foods away. There are, however, people who do not have celiac disease who have some exposures to uncomfortable symptoms. This is called non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Others may feel that it’s solely a dietary option for their individual health goals, while not truly affected by symptoms. So, what is allowed with a gluten free diet?
  • Natural Beans, seeds and nuts.
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Eggs
  • Meats, fish and poultry (not breaded, batter-coated or marinated)
  • Most dairy products
Ok, and what isn’t?
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Triticale
  • Wheat
There are more restrictions, which you can find at this link. Are you affected by gluten?