You Won’t Squash the Fun on Thanksgiving With this Healthy Vegetarian Recipe!

This week I am absolutely delighted to share some knowledge with you about something that has become very near and dear to my life lately, Butternut Squash. Most likely you have seen this scrumptious squash everywhere lately because, well, it’s that time of year again. I can honestly say I have never given this squash a chance to live up to its potential. I’m not talking about your grandma’s butternut squash soup here. I set out on a mission this month to do something different with this fabulous fruit, this bodacious butternut beauty, this Cucurbita Moshata. I was not disappointed. This is a game-changer ladies and gentlemen. Buckle up for some quick facts about Butternut Squash as well as an easy flexible recipe for you to experience this at your own home.

Butternut Squash Facts:

  • It is said that Butternut Squash was developed in Massachusetts in the 1940’s by Charles Leggett, whose wife said that it was “smooth as butter, sweet as nut”
  • Butternut Squash is a good source of fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Magnesium, and Potassium
  • Yes, Butternut Squash is a fruit for all you doubters, but is used in cooking as vegetables are typically used. Roasted, mashed, sautéed, puréed, etc.
  • In Australia they call this the Butternut Pumpkin, typically cooked on the Barbie, don’t believe me? Have a Captain Cook and see for yourself Mate!
  • The deeper the orange, the sweeter the fruit.

Untitled design (26)

Now for a quick recipe!

You will need:

  • 1 Butternut Squash
  • Olive Oil (or your oil of choice!)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 Cups of Cooked Brown Rice (can substitute for Quinoa)
  • 1 Can Black Beans (rinsed/drained)
  • 1 Cup Chopped Tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • Lime/Lime Juice
  • Cilantro
  • 1 Avocado (optional) Chopped into Cubes
  • ¼ Cup Chopped Onion
  • Mexican Cheese Blend

What to Do:

  1. Preheat oven to Bake 400 Degrees Fahrenheit (hopefully your oven is not in Celsius, then you’re on your own for the conversion)
  2. Cut in half, empty seeds, and drizzle Butternut Squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. Put it in the oven once it’s reached temp. Set timer for 20 minutes (or until squash is tender)
  3. Mix together other ingredients in a bowl
  4. Once squash is ready, carefully remove from oven. Use spoon to scoop out the inside of the squash, being careful to maintain squash structural integrity
  5. Mix squash insides with other ingredients, put this back into the hollowed out Squash bowl. Top with cheese
  6. Bake for additional 5-10 minutes or until the cheese melts
  7. Remove from oven and be astounded.

…You’re Welcome

Thanks to for the recipe inspiration.

Brandon Wilbraham


Lung Cancer Awareness


November is lung cancer awareness month. Lung cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths in the world. Every 3 and a half minutes, someone in the United States dies from Lung cancer. Our lungs are so important as they are the reasons we breathe everyday!

Pearl or white ribbons are the mark for lung cancer awareness. The lung cancer foundation of America wants you to get creative and share your lung cancer awareness by creating a white ribbon. “LCFA’s mission is the dramatic improvement in survivorship of lung cancer patients through the funding of transformative science, with the ultimate goal of curing the disease.”

While research in the past 5-10 years for detecting and treating lung cancer has improved, there are holistic ways you can prevent lung cancer or just improve your lung strength.

  • Stop smoking! Lung cancer is often caused by smoking cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products. Secondhand smoke can even cause lung cancer. If you care about yourself and your close ones, you will learn to quit smoking and replace it with a healthier and more sustainable habit. 
  • Practice breathing. While it seems counter intuitive to practice breathing, conscious breathing and mindfulness exercises actually can help improve lung strength and breath capacity. These practices also lower blood pressure and help with stress management which will improve your overall health as well! 
  • Eat healthy and exercise. While there is no hard evidence that these lifestyle changes will specifically prevent lung cancer, these changes will definitely improve your overall health and improve your immune system strength.
    • Aerobic exercise can improve your lung strength!

Taking care of our health is so important in cancer prevention. Almost every single person knows someone or has a personal experience with cancer and we are learning more everyday about how to take care of ourselves and prevent cancer incidence!


National Diabetes Month

November is National Diabetes Month! Diabetes is a serious condition and is a leading cause of death and disability in our country. 1 in 10 people have Diabetes and can suffer from associated conditions such as nerve damage, blindness, kidney damage and more.

Physical Activity decreases your chance for getting Diabetes and can help you control it if you already have it. Here are some simple and easy ways to incorporate more activity into your daily routine this fall season.

  • Rake leaves! Raking leaves can be hard work and it helps keep the yard clean and tidy from all the falling leaves.
  • Choose the stairs! Always opt for stairs instead of escalators or elevators! Stairs build muscle in the body and are available to us in many buildings.
  • Park your car further! It is easy to park your car at the far end of the parking lot so you have to walk further to your location!
  • Go for a hike! A gentle hike with friends and family is a great way to get fit and have fun while also enjoying the beautiful fall colors.

Untitled design (25)

Share you fun fall fitness routine or tips with us by hashtagging #DE4HealthyLiving so we can share your post to our social media pages!

Trick or Treating Etiquette 101

It’s that time of year again!

We won’t talk about how we got here. It seems like we were just enjoying the end of summer and warm weather. Regardless, here we are. It is Halloween week! Which means no matter whether you are planning on donning a costume and walking door to door, or spending your night inside, under a blanket watching Halloweentown, you will most likely interact with trick or treaters.

Halloween Blog 1.png

Here are a few quick tips to remember for your designated “Trick or Treating” night:

1) Review local laws and ordinance in regards to when Halloween Festivities will be observed in your town. Be sure to know when Trick or Treating is designated to start, and when it is designated to end. Be sure to go door to door only during this time, the earlier the better (also ensuring you get your pick of choice candy!). If you are not participating, please be mindful that you may still have visitors who may not be aware you are sitting this one out. Which brings us to our next tip..

2) Lights ON vs. Lights OFF. Come on people, this one is a classic. But I get it, sometimes we eat one too many peanut butter cups and in a daze we forget that Lights Off = No Visitors Please. This rule is essential for both Trick or Treaters and for those staying indoors. Please be courteous and respect one another on this time-honored night. If you are not participating, please keep your front lights dim, which will also ensure you are not constantly barraged with creatures asking for candy. If the front door/porch lights are on, that means Welcome, please knock politely, and say Trick or Treat!

3) Safety is Essential. If you are out and about, please remember that you must still respect your local laws. Please use the sidewalks, look both ways, etc. If you are out after dark, be sure to wear some reflective clothing, tie it into your costume somehow! Park your car in an area that will not obstruct children walking to and from your house. Remove any potential hazards on your driveway/ lawn and save a lot of potential grief.

4) Respect is Key. Be respectful of others. Wait in line for your turn to approach a house. Say Please and Thank You. Don’t take more than offered. Use the driveway and sidewalk instead of tromping over the lawn in your StormTrooper boots. This one should be self-explanatory, however it is one of the most important factors in ensuring everyone has a good experience.

5) Have Fun! Such a cliché rule that it hurts. But still, this one is often forgotten. If you are going out Trick or Treating, dress up! Whether you are a parent/guardian or child you should dress up and have fun with it. Maybe try a group costume or at least brainstorm ideas with each other in advance. If you are handing out candy, it’s still fun to dress up, the visitors will appreciate it and you can have fun all the while and not leave your house.

Halloween Blog 2

These are just a few of many tips for Halloween night. We could include Act your Age and Don’t be actually Creepy, but we won’t go there. Have fun, be safe, and remember, “Magic is very simple; all you have to do is want something and then let yourself have it!”

It’s Almost Bone and Joint Action Week!

October 12-20 is Bone and Joint Action Week, a week dedicated to raising the community’s awareness around bone and joint disorders, pain prevention techniques, and general bone and joint knowledge.

It is estimated that nearly half of all women above age 50, and around a quarter of men over age 50 will suffer a fracture at some point due to osteoporosis; a common medical condition where bones become brittle due to lack of Vitamin D, calcium, or occasionally hormonal changes. Joint issues, such as Osteoarthritis, can develop slowly and over long periods of time.

It is important to keep in mind that preventative actions can be taken daily in order to keep our bones and joints strong throughout our lives.

This week, we not only want to focus on Bone and Joint Health Awareness, but on ACTION you can take every day! A few key examples are shown below:

  1. Diet – Vitamin D, Vitamin K, and Calcium are crucial in maintaining healthy bones and a strong body. While the classic adage may only refer to milk, you can also receive healthy amounts of Vitamin D and calcium from certain foods such as salmon, tuna, white beans, and soy products. Good sources of Vitamin K include greens such as Kale, broccoli, and spinach.
  2. Limit Alcohol use for adults ages 21 and up and Quit Smoking – Studies show subjects that smoke have lower bone mass than non-smokers, and are at a higher risk of fractures. Alcohol abuse increases risk of accidents, falls, and bone mass loss.
  3. Exercise and Spend Time in the Sun! – Exercising and spending time in the sun are great ways to keep your bones and joints healthy. Our bodies are incredible, they produce natural Vitamin D through exposure to the sun. Depending on your skin pigmentation you may receive benefits in as little as 5 minutes! Exercise releases natural endorphins which will make you feel great as well. Just remember to spend time in the sun wisely, and listen to your body and give it a break when it needs.
  4. Maintain a healthy weight – The weight your body is carrying around has a direct effect on the strain your joints (and even bones!) are under. Common everyday activities begin to wear on your joints over time if they are under constant pressure from your weight. Maintain a healthy diet, exercise, and the rest should come naturally!

As always, it is important to consult your physician before making any drastic or unexpected changes in your diet and exercise routine.

Untitled design (24)



Walk to School Month!

October is International Walk to School Month. This global event involves communities from more than 40 countries, walking and biking to school on the same day. It began in 1997 as a one-day event. Over time, this event has become part of a movement for year-round safe routes to school and a celebration – with record breaking participation – each October. Today, thousands of schools across America – from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico – participate. Walk and bike to school day will be on October 10, 2018.

Regular walking can help maintain weight, build strong bones and muscles and put you in a better mood! Walking more is likely, the single most thing people can do to improve their health.


Ten Reasons to WALK MORE!

  1. Helps prevent heart disease
  2. Reduces the risk of some types of cancer
  3. Can help prevent osteoporosis
  4. Lowers blood pressure
  5. Reduces the risk of heart attacks, stroke and diabetes
  6. Makes us happier and more relaxed
  7. Helps us sleep better
  8. Gives us more energy
  9. Improves mental health
  10. Is FREE and FUN!

Celiac Disease Awareness: Overnight Oats Recipe!

Yesterday was National Celiac Disease Awareness Day! Fun fact: September 13th was chosen because it is the birthday of Dr. Samuel Gee who was a research pioneer for Celiac disease.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder where a person’s small intestine is damaged by consuming gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Many food items found in a typical American diet contain some form of wheat so people with celiac disease need to be educated on foods that do not contain gluten and get creative with recipes.

 Untitled design (22)Oats are a great carbohydrate alternative for those that are gluten free (just check the ingredients list to make sure it has no additives that may contain gluten). Have you heard of overnight oats? They are so easy to make and are a great quick grab and go option for breakfast, making them perfect for busy mornings before school!

Try this overnight oats recipe with the family and everyone can make their own fun flavor combination!

  • 1/3 cups almond milk
  • 1/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds (They add protein and healthy fats which help fill you up in the morning)
  • 1/2 mashed banana

The night before, add all ingredients to a jar and stir well. Put jar in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, you can add more milk if you want to make it a thinner consistency. Then everyone can add their own fun toppings to the base. Some good toppings would be fresh fruit, any kind of nut butter, dried coconut, figs or raisins, spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg or vanilla extract. Yum!