Great Smiles of NJ - November 2022



THE PERFECT THANKSGIVING DESTINATION Take Your Whole Family to the American Dream Mall!

If you have family or friends visiting this month for Thanksgiving, I highly recommend taking them to the American Dream mall at the Meadowlands. It’s the perfect place to escape the cold. Last year when my in-laws flew in from Texas, I think the mall was their favorite stop during their entire trip. If you haven’t been to the American Dream mall yet, you’re really missing out. It has everything : an enormous indoor theme park, a water park, a Ferris wheel, multiple types of mini golf, an indoor ice-skating rink, a year-round ski and snow resort, Legoland, a surfing wave pool, and of course, the Sea Life aquarium. The water park and theme park are covered in Nickelodeon and Dreamworks characters (think “Shrek” and “How to Train Your Dragon”), so they’re really entertaining for kids. Between those two options and Legoland, I think my son could hang out at the mall all day. Sea Life aquarium is my favorite attraction, but I might be slightly biased because my husband, Rich, is the curator there. He’s in charge of choosing which animals are on display, designing the exhibits, and keeping an eye on the care and well-being of all of the sea creatures. There are some truly unique exhibits right now, including a surreal one called “City Under the Sea.” To create the “City Under the Sea” exhibit, the Sea Life team took all of the famous buildings in New York City and crafted miniature, fish-themed versions of them for the sea creatures to swim through! For example, in the underwater version of Times Square, there are billboards for “The Piranha of the Opera,” Stars Jr. (instead of Carl’s Jr.), and “The Codfather.” It’s crazy to watch tropical fish swim around the Empire State building, and you can get a great view through the aquarium’s vast panes of glass. Apart from “City Under the Sea,” my favorite stops are the clownfish tank and the touch tank. There are dozens of clownfish at the aquarium, and I love watching their quick movements and bright colors as they dart through the water. Beyond the aquarium, I definitely visit the American Dream mall for the food. If you take your family this holiday season,

do your stomach a favor and stop by Jollibee for a delicious Filipino meal. You can’t go wrong with the fried chicken (it’s always perfectly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside), the pancit palabok (a tasty noodle dish with shrimp), or the halo-halo. Halo-halo might sound strange if you’ve never had it — imagine a parfait layered with three types of beans, shaved ice, coconut, evaporated milk, colored gelatin, jackfruit, bananas, two types of ice cream, and caramel flan — but it’s sweet and delicious. I’ve officially made myself hungry, so I’m going to stop there! Whether you make time for the American Dream mall or not, I hope you'll have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends. You deserve all of the halo-halo and unique underwater experiences you can find.

To your great smiles and better health,

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Do you ever feel as if your head is in the clouds? Brain fog due to stress can make it difficult to retain information, remember little details, concentrate, and react quickly. If your mind feels a little sluggish and a bit off, here are some tips to get you feeling like yourself again! Nourish your brain. Did you know what you eat has a direct effect on your brain function? Poor food choices can negatively impact the way your brain works, but fueling it with minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins provides positive brain energy! For example, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and vitamin B-12 are essential for memory and brain function. Are you eating foods with those nutrients? Focus on getting better sleep. According to the American Sleep Association, between 50–70 million

adults in the U.S. have a sleep disorder, and this could lead to feeling disoriented, sluggish, and mentally foggy the next day. To promote better sleep, here are some tips: • Develop a sleep schedule • Avoid hitting the snooze button • Exercise once a day • Begin dimming artificial light in the early evening • Promote calm evenings • Sleep in the dark • Charge your electrical devices outside of the bedroom Stress less. Stress can make it difficult to form fluid thoughts, concentrate, and become or stay motivated. In fact, when you’re stressed out, you may lose some control over yourself. To reduce your stress and combat brain fog, be realistic about your goals and what you

can handle. Concentrate on just one task at a time; remember to breathe, smile, and laugh; and advocate for a healthy work-life balance. Exercise regularly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, getting active is not only good for your muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, cardiovascular system, and overall health, but it can also work wonders for your cognitive health. It’s been linked to improved memory, reduced depression and anxiety, and better problem-solving. This doesn’t mean you need to be in the gym every day pumping iron! Simply walking, gardening, or swimming is enough to get your heart pumping and endorphins flowing! Being consistent is key. These tips are sure to help you combat brain fog and take care of your body so it can take care of you in the long run!


With access to the internet, social media, and the news, we’re constantly surrounded by information, and it’s hard to tell what we should or shouldn’t do. But when it comes to what we put in our bodies, it's not a good idea to experiment. Let's take a look at some of the most common nutritional myths buzzing around and what makes them dubious! You should avoid high-fat foods. When you visit the supermarket, “fat-free” food options line the shelves. Many people follow a low-fat diet in hopes that it will help them lose weight and maintain optimal health. But, instead of avoiding fat altogether, aiming for a diet balanced with healthy fats is the way to go. In fact, fat provides many benefits, including protecting our organs, promoting proper growth and development, and maintaining cell membranes. Everyone should be gluten-free. For those with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, avoiding gluten — the protein present in wheat, rye, and barley — is necessary. However, for everyone else, whole-wheat products are beneficial to our diets.

It’s also important to note that when gluten is removed, it’s commonly substituted with refined starches, sugar, and salt.

It’s impossible to eat healthy on a budget. With proper planning and a little extra time spent in the kitchen, nourishing your body doesn’t have to break the bank. By planning meals around sales, shopping seasonally for produce, purchasing frozen fruits and veggies, and sticking to shopping lists, you’ll be off to a good start! Eating after a certain time in the evening is bad. Late-night snacking can surely lead to weight gain or can hinder weight loss efforts, but it’s not because of the time of day. It’s all about how many calories you’ve consumed in the day and why you’re eating. In the evening, it’s more common to get the munchies out of boredom, habit, or craving rather than actual hunger. Don’t let nutritional disinformation get the best of you. Before trying out a new dietary recommendation or altering your routine, always do your research and check with your doctor — you’ll be glad you did!


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A Life-Changing Secret The Benefits of Low-Impact Activity for Aging Adults

Aerobic Activities Endurance activities such as swimming, jogging, walking, and bike riding are all great options for boosting your cardiovascular function and building stamina. According to the CDC, adults who are 65 years or older should get at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week — or 30 minutes five times a week. Staying active into your golden years is essential for your mental and physical health. It can prevent health complications and enable you to keep up with your children and grandchildren for years to come.

As we age, it's important to remain active and maintain a healthy combination of strength training, aerobic activity, and flexibility exercises. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), aging adults benefit greatly from regular exercise. However, you may find that there are certain movements you can no longer safely do or that your range of motion just isn't what it used to be when you were younger. Low-impact activity is a great way to reduce the strain exercise can put on your joints while still allowing your body to reap the benefits. If you’re looking for some ideas or fresh workouts to incorporate into your routine, here are some that use safe strength and resistance training, proper stretching practices, aerobic exercise, and highly beneficial mobility work. Strength Training Don’t worry, we aren’t talking about bench-pressing 150 pounds! Instead, situps, pullups, wall pushups, squats,

single-leg stands, and stair climbing are all different types of low-impact body weight exercises that you can do at home without any equipment. They will help you burn body fat and reverse muscle loss. If you’d like to incorporate strength training, opting for hand weights is a great option. Yoga Yoga improves your flexibility, builds muscle, strengthens and stabilizes your core, and benefits your joints. If you’re new to yoga, don’t worry — there are many yoga programs specifically designed for new yogis or older adults. Pilates Similar to yoga, Pilates is extremely gentle on your joints, but it incorporates a bit more strength training. The focus is on your core, but Pilates also works your arms and legs while also improving your flexibility and posture. It can be done with or without equipment such as yoga balls, rings, and weights.

Lentil Bolognese Rich and robust, this plant-based meal is full of flavor and perfect for those cool autumn days.




• 1-lb box pasta, any kind • 2 tbsp olive oil • 1 onion, diced • 1 1/2 cups diced carrots • 1 1/2 cups diced celery • 4–6 garlic cloves, chopped • 1/2 tsp salt • 1/2 tsp pepper

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. 2. In a large pot, heat olive oil

over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until fragrant. Lower heat to medium, add carrots, celery, garlic, salt, pepper, chili flakes, and Italian herbs. 3. Add tomato paste and cook down for a few minutes. Now add the lentils, diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, and hemp seeds. Bring to a boil, cover tightly, and simmer until lentils are tender. 4. Cook until all of the liquid is absorbed, then stir in the balsamic vinegar before adjusting the seasonings to your liking. When that is done, pour over the pasta and enjoy.

• 1/4 tsp chili flakes • 1 tbsp Italian herbs • 1/3 cup tomato paste

• 1 1/4 cups lentils • 3 tomatoes, diced • 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth • 3/4 cup hemp seeds • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar

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10 Shawnee Drive Watchung, NJ 07069

1. The Best Thanksgiving Attraction in New Jersey INSIDE THIS ISSUE

2. Combating Brain Fog

Common Nutritional Myths

3. Low-Impact Exercise for Aging Adults Lentil Bolognese 4. 5 Signs You’re Doing Too Much Cardio


If you love the results you see from your cardio workouts, it’s possible you might want to increase how often you work out. But too much of a good thing can be detrimental, which includes cardio!

However, when you’re engaging in an activity familiar to your body, especially when it comes to cardio, you shouldn’t become sore as your body adapts. If you’re constantly feeling sore, this is your body’s way of asking for a break! Your heart rate is fast. Your resting heart rate should be slow and relaxed. If you notice it stays high for a period of continuous days, this is a dangerous health concern that occurs when your heart forgets how to relax. This means it’s time to slow down — literally! Your easy days are becoming hard. You’d think the more you do something, the easier it’d get. While this makes sense most of the time, when you overdo it and don’t allow your body enough proper recovery time, you may feel more challenged than usual, even with light cardio. So, how much cardio should you really be aiming for? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults should get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week. While cardio is pivotal for our health, too much cardio will do more harm than good!

Here are five signs you're doing too much cardio and need to give your routine a breather.

You’re fatigued. Overdoing cardio exercises increases the levels of stress hormones in our bodies and can lead to constantly feeling run down. There’s only so much stress we can place on our muscles and joints before our body lets us know it’s had enough! Your weight loss has plateaued or become sluggish. Excessive cardio can lead to a loss in muscle mass, which hinders your body’s ability to effectively burn fat and drastically slows weight loss. You’re constantly sore. When you first use a muscle group you haven’t used in a while or change up the exercise or weight, soreness is common.


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