Recipe: Blended Banana Dairy-Free ‘Ice Cream’.

cleveland dairy free ice cream

This dairy-free frozen treat is healthy and easy to make. Banana is the secret ingredient, giving it a creamy texture and richness. It’s a great alternative to soft-serve ice cream, and it’s natural — it’s simply made from fruit.

Preparation

  1. Freeze peeled, ripe bananas in an airtight container. Store.
  2. When ready to make, remove bananas from the freezer and place in a food processor.  You can also add other frozen fruits, such as frozen mixed berries.
  3. Process together for 5 minutes, scraping down the sides occasionally.
  4. After 5 minutes (be patient, it takes all 5 minutes!) the mixture will be the consistency of soft serve ice cream!

Nutrition information

Serving size: 1 cup

Counts as 1 fruit serving.
Nutrition information varies depending on fruits used.

Recipe: Blended Banana Dairy-Free ‘Ice Cream’

Recipe: Chicken and Broccoli Slaw Wrap

cleveland chicken wrap

Cleveland Clinic
@ClevelandClinic

Fresh ingredients make for perfect light wrap:

Fresh meats, fish/seafood and poultry aren’t just more delicious, they’re much healthier than processed meats. When you make sandwiches or wraps, try to minimize processed products like deli/luncheon meats, sausages, bacon and smoked meats.

This chicken and broccoli slaw wrap is big on flavor — and on fresh, nutritious ingredients.

Ingredients

3 cups broccoli slaw
½ carrot, shredded
¼ cup light mayonnaise
1 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
½  teaspoon pepper, or to taste
18 ounces meat from a rotisserie chicken
6 whole wheat tortillas
30 leaves of baby spinach

Preparation

1. Mix broccoli slaw and carrots together in large bowl.
2. Whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, olive oil, sugar and pepper in a separate medium bowl.
3. Pour this mixture over the broccoli slaw and carrots and toss to coat thoroughly.
4. Refrigerate until you are ready to make your flatbread fold.
5. Add ½ cup of the broccoli slaw mixture to center of the flatbread when ready.
6. Top with 3 ounces of rotisserie chicken and finish by adding baby spinach leaves.

Nutrition information

Makes 6 servings
Per serving

Calories: 311
Total fat: 10.5 g
Saturated fat: 1.3 g
Fiber: 6.3 g
Sugar: 0.5 g
Protein: 25 g
Sodium: 596 mg
Calcium: 7.7 mg
Magnesium: 15.7 mg
Potassium: 616.7 mg

Cleveland Clinic: The connection between pain and your brain:

cleveland chronic back pain

Chronic Back Pain? You May Find Relief With Behavioral Medicine

Understanding the brain’s relationship to pain

No pain, no gain? Not true for people suffering from chronic back pain. Instead, it’s the opposite: Back pain is one of the main causes of missed work (and missed paychecks).

But could the key to coping with chronic back pain be in your mind? “We actually know that pain is not just a sensory, or physical, experience,” says psychologist Sara Davin, PsyD, MPH. “It is also an emotional experience.”

Dr. Davin explains how you can harness your pain management super-powers by understanding the very real connection between pain and your thoughts.

The 411 on the mind-back pain connection

To understand how it all works, think of pain’s purpose. Pain is your brain’s way of alerting you that something is wrong, whether it’s a stubbed toe or a slipped disk.

How your brain processes an injury, then shares that information, has a direct connection to the level of pain you feel. You’re aware of pain because your brain tells you it’s there. (Psst — your brain also controls your thoughts and emotions.)

“Pain is processed in the brain and the central nervous system. Both have areas connected to the sensory experience, but both also have areas connected to the emotional experience,” Dr. Davin explains. “The sensory and emotional go together to create the output of one’s experience of pain. So to comprehensively treat chronic back pain, we have to look at both sides.”

And while traditional treatments like medications and physical therapy can take the edge off, they often ignore the elephant in the room: your thoughts.

“Managing back pain with behavioral medicine strategies might even prevent the pain from becoming chronic,” Dr. Davin states.

What is cognitive behavioral therapy for pain?

CBT for pain is talk therapy’s more specialized cousin. It’s a behavioral medicine strategy that teaches people how to:

  • Make the connection between how they think about their pain and the way they interpret it.
  • Understand how pain impacts their emotions.
  • Choose coping skills to help with how they function and behave.

Still not sold? Dr. Davin gives this example: Someone who feels that their pain is unbearable may cope by lying in bed and isolating themselves from activities they value. “This cycle can go on and on,” she explains. “The person becomes more helpless and then, from a physical standpoint, becomes weaker. Naturally, they now have even more pain.”

With CBT, that helpless feeling (and associated pain) is kicked to the curb because pain psychologists teach people how to:

  • Pace activities so they don’t overdo it.
  • Practice relaxation and meditation to decrease pain and stress.
  • Soothe their central nervous system, which increases the feeling of pain when under stress.

The proof is in the pudding. Dr. Davin runs an interdisciplinary program that uses physical therapy and CBT to treat chronic back pain. Patients participate in this program for 4 to 10 weeks, depending upon their progress.

“Folks in the program were better when compared to physical therapy alone,” she reports. “We have consistently seen significant improvements across all quality of life measures, including how much pain interferes with someone’s life, levels of fatigue, anxiety and depression, plus improvements in pain-related disability.”

Interestingly, one of the metrics that improves the most in the program is how satisfied participants are in their social roles. “In our program we teach people how to start having fun again and connected with others,” Dr. Davin notes. “I suspect this is why we see people wanting to be more socially active after the program.”

3 ways to put this new knowledge into action

Here’s how you can incorporate behavioral medicine strategies into your back pain management:

  1. Find a good pain management doctor. “You want a doctor who helps you rehabilitate and regain quality of life, but who also thinks about pain beyond its physical components,” Dr. Davin says. “Patients often struggle with the behavioral piece and think it means that their pain isn’t real. But your pain is real — you just need someone to help you manage it better using behavioral medicine skills and strategies. Pain psychologists are trained to do this.”
  2. Get your research on. Dr. Davin suggests powering up your e-reader and searching for books that outline the basic strategies for cognitive behavioral therapy for pain. Your doctor may also recommend an online course or resources that offer science-based education about how to overcome chronic pain.
  3. Don’t neglect physical therapy. Dr. Davin emphasizes that physical therapy is essential to maximizing back pain relief. “A physical therapist who’s trained in pain and neuroscience education can explain why behavioral medicine treatments work, plus help you use them,” she says.

Chronic Back Pain? You May Find Relief With Behavioral Medicine

Fuel up with protein and healthy fats for breakfast!

cleveland keto breakfast

Cleveland Clinic
@ClevelandClinic

Fuel up with protein and healthy fats for breakfast!

A meal that’s heavy in sugar and starch is no way to start your day – especially if you’re following the ketogenic diet.

These recipes from functional medicine specialist Mark Hyman, MD, are a great way for anyone — keto or not — to bring real, whole, fresh foods (including non-starchy vegetables) to your plate first thing in the morning.

Jicama Hash with Turkey Bacon and Avocado

The jicama serves as a lighter alternative to traditional potato, while turkey bacon is a stand-in for pork.

Scrambled Eggs With Tomatoes, Herbs and Goat Cheese

This versatile, protein-packed meal is easy on your digestive system and always a hit with the kids, too.

Ginger Spice Smoothie

A creamy, low-carb smoothie is a great way to start your day and get into fat-burning mode. And ginger is great for digestions.

Sauteed Veggies With Avocado & Poached Egg

What’s the easiest way to upgrade a plate of greens? Put an egg on top! This tasty and comforting dish is good for breakfast – or lunch or dinner.

Non-Coffee Vanilla Latte

For those who don’t want coffee, this latte is a great morning drink that provides healthy fat without caffeine.

Broccoli Sausage Frittata

With a few veggies and precooked sausage, you can have this satisfying, savory frittata on the table in under 45 minutes.

Keto Breakfast Ideas: 6 Ways to Start the Day Without a Lot of Carbs

Why Self-Care Isn’t Selfish:@ClevelandClinic

Recipe: Velvety Mint Chocolate Mousse

cleveland mint choc mousse

Cleveland Clinic
@ClevelandClinic

This protien packed treat whips up quickly in a food processor! #ChocolateMintDay

Studies demonstrate that including chocolate rich in flavanols like dark chocolate made with 70 percent cocoa can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease risk. Remember – a little dark chocolate goes a long way!

Ingredients

6 oz. silken tofu
½ tsp cocoa powder
3 oz. 70 percent cocoa dark chocolate
½ tsp. peppermint extract
1 tbsp. unsweetened almond milk
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. agave nectar

Directions

  1. Melt chocolate in the microwave by placing chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl on low power.
  2. Place all ingredients in a food processor.
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nutrition information per serving

Makes four servings 

Calories 160
Total fat 9 g
Saturated fat 4-5 g*
Trans fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 70 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14 g
Fiber 2 g
Protein 4 g

*Varies based on the brand of vegan dark chocolate you choose
Source: The Dietitian’s Dish, Cleveland Clinic

Recipe: Blended Banana Dairy-Free ‘Ice Cream’.@ClevelandClinic

cleveland dairy free ice cream

This dairy-free frozen treat is healthy and easy to make. Banana is the secret ingredient, giving it a creamy texture and richness. It’s a great alternative to soft-serve ice cream, and it’s natural — it’s simply made from fruit.

Preparation

  1. Freeze peeled, ripe bananas in an airtight container. Store.
  2. When ready to make, remove bananas from the freezer and place in a food processor.  You can also add other frozen fruits, such as frozen mixed berries.
  3. Process together for 5 minutes, scraping down the sides occasionally.
  4. After 5 minutes (be patient, it takes all 5 minutes!) the mixture will be the consistency of soft serve ice cream!

Nutrition information

Serving size: 1 cup

Counts as 1 fruit serving.
Nutrition information varies depending on fruits used.

Recipe: Blended Banana Dairy-Free ‘Ice Cream’

How does breaking a sweat boost immunity?@ClevelandClinic

cleveland break sweat

Cleveland Clinic
@ClevelandClinic

 

You know exercise builds muscles, strengthens bones, keeps your heart healthy and your mind sharp. But it also does something that you might not think much about: It helps keep your immune system — your internal defenses against infection — in tip-top shape.

If you take time for some physical exertion each day, it helps get your body ready to attack bacteria, viruses and toxins that can sneak in and make you sick.

But how much exercise is effective? Do too little or too much, and it won’t have the best effect on your immune system.

Clinical immunologist  Leonard Calabrese, DO, answers common questions about how exercise can impact your immunity and how to use your workouts to shut out a world of would-be invaders.

Q: How does breaking a sweat boost immunity?

A: If you exercise moderately on a regular basis, it tunes up the immune system in many ways. It enhances your broad-based defenses against viral infections, such as those causing upper respiratory infections.

Working out regularly also reduces the risk of many chronic diseases such as cardiovascular, respiratory illnesses and metabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.

Q: How much exercise do you need?

A: Fortunately, you don’t have to push yourself to the limit to rev up your immune system. In fact, your immune system needs less of a workout than you get with your average cardio routine.

Focus on getting 20-30 minutes of moderate exercise, five days a week, and your immune system will thank you.

Q: What types of exercise are most helpful?

A: Moderate exercises, including biking or walking briskly in your neighborhood, are good ways to get your blood flowing. Swimming is also a good option for non-weight-bearing exercise for your joints.

Also try mind-body exercises such as Tai-Chi, Qi Gong and yoga, which are all options that help keep your joints flexible. These exercises also reduce chronic stress, which in itself is a powerful immune booster. These exercises can also help alleviate osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia symptoms.

Q: Can too much exercise set your immune system back?

A: Yes, though, the level to which it can slow your system down is still up for debate.

Research shows that exercising for more than 1.5 hours without refueling your body or giving it enough time to recover suppresses your immune responses for up to a few days. During that time, your cortisol levels rise, your white blood cell count drops and you’re more likely to develop a respiratory infection.

This problem usually affects elite athletes, such as marathon runners, most.

On the flip side, staying sedentary also increases your risk of infection, inflammation and chronic disease.

Q: Can exercise make an illness worse?

A: Yes, it can. This is a complex issue, but I like to tell my patients to do a “neck check.” If your symptoms are mostly of a mild cold without fever or lower respiratory symptoms, such as a productive cough, wheezing or shortness of breath, mild exercise can actually reduce congestion and may make you feel better.

If your symptoms are primarily in your lungs or you have a significant fever its better to rest until things settle down. Regardless, good hydration is important.

Cleveland Clinic: While cloth face masks may not be as heavy duty as medical-grade masks, they still play a role in preventing the spread of the coronavirus.