311 MAIN STREET, TERRYVILLE CT 06786 842 CLARK AVENUE, BRISTOL, CT 06010
AN ODE TO DOUGHNUTS AND HOMEMADE CAKES HOW I’M STAYING POSITIVE IN THE FACE OF COVID-19
Did you know that the first weekend in June is National Doughnut Weekend? I don’t know about you, but learning that cheered me up a bit. With all the dismal stories and worrying statistics in the news lately, that sweet surprise was just what the doctor ordered. To keep my spirits up over the last few months, I’ve been spending a lot of time daydreaming about (and eating) my favorite sweets, and I know I’m not alone. According to the L.A. Times, so many people have taken up baking during the pandemic — whether it’s bread, cake, or cookies — that #quarentinebaking started trending on Instagram. My family is right there with them.
all the kids involved in the kitchen while we have this extra time together. Ben, my 6-year-old, is enjoying it almost as much as Meredith, but 10-year-old Jack has almost no interest — he just likes to eat the results.
Prepandemic, every few weeks, I would head to Dunkin' to pick up a variety box of Munchkins for the kids. It was always a winner! Munchkins are like good behavior in a box — a little bit of leverage I can use to get the kids to calm down on a Saturday morning. Still, even though we’ve been Munchkin- less for a while now, I’ve got to say I’ve really been enjoying spending time with my family, in and out of the kitchen. Between homeschooling and baking, we’ve had a lot of time to bond, and Mel and I have tried to squeeze in a few life lessons along the way. I’ve heard that some people think of PTs as these perfect health nuts, so I hope this article busts that myth wide open. We’re all about sweets in my house, as long as they’re enjoyed in moderation. We try not to go overboard or hold back too much, and right now, we’re definitely leaning into those reliable favorite snacks to help us through this tough time. Honestly, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that — seeking out a little bit of comfort is more than okay right now, even if it’s in a doughnut box. Wishing you health, happiness, and lots of treats, –Jarred Parker
Even with cakes and cookies around, ever since I learned about National Doughnut Weekend, my mind keeps going to Dunkin’ and my all-time favorite dessert from their case: the classic chocolate frosted doughnut. When it comes to doughnuts, I’m a simple man. I don’t need sprinkles or anything like that to be satisfied with my sugar coma, although my kids tend to disagree. In their view, the more junk you can throw on top of a doughnut, the better.
A few weeks ago, my 8-year-old daughter, Meredith, actually made a cake entirely by herself for the first time! My wife, Mel, was overseeing the kitchen, but she never so much as lifted a spoon. It was amazing to see Meredith do everything by herself, and we ended up with a doughy vanilla cake covered in bright magenta frosting and sprinkles to share. Mel is a great cook and baker, so she’s been trying to get
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3 TIPS FOR GOOD BRAIN HEALTH FROM HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL KEEP YOUR BRAIN YOUNG
As we age, our bodies change, including our mental functions. Cognitive decline is one of the biggest fears of aging, but it’s not inevitable. Though we’re still learning new things about how our brains work, there’s a lot of scientific research that shows how to keep your brain young. If you want to keep your mind sharp throughout your lifetime, then follow this advice from Harvard Medical School. 1. GET A GOOD WORKOUT. Exercising regularly helps all the muscles and organs in your body, even your brain! A good workout can lower your blood pressure and improve your cholesterol levels, which help your brain and your heart. Harvard Health Publishing, a website
of Harvard Medical School, also notes that “animals who exercise regularly increase the number of tiny blood vessels that bring oxygen-rich blood to the region of the brain that is responsible for thought.” 2. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR MENTAL HEALTH. Poor mental health can lead to impaired cognitive function. Chronic anxiety, depression, and exhaustion tend to cause low scores on cognitive function tests. But test scores aren't necessarily a sign of future cognitive decline, and Harvard Health Publishing urges readers to maintain good mental health and get restful sleep, as they are “certainly important goals” for improving cognitive function and overall well-being. 3. STAY CONNECTED. It’s not enough to focus on yourself. In order to maintain your long-term cognitive health, you should also focus on your connections with other people. According to Harvard Health Publishing, “Strong social ties have been associated with a lower risk of dementia, as well as lower blood pressure and longer life expectancy.” Make new friends, stay in touch with family members, and maintain positive relationships in your life. They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is certainly true when it comes to your brain health. Do what you can today to protect your mental functions tomorrow.
2 WAYS TO REVIVE YOUR LIFE THIS SUMMER If the mercurial spring weather has prevented you from getting out as much as you would have liked these past few months, you might be feeling a bit of cabin fever about now. Luckily, you can still introduce positive changes to your life that help you feel healthier and younger. Here are two ways to awaken your body and mind. FEELING RENEWED AT ANY AGE
activity you may have always wanted to try but never had the chance, like yoga or even a video game. Trying out new things keeps your brain active. You may even discover a new favorite activity along the way!
PAY ATTENTION TO MENTAL HEALTH.
Although more years provide more experience and knowledge, sometimes they also come with heavy baggage. The loss of a loved one, trauma, and other struggles can impact your life in later years. This is why it’s good to practice mindfulness. Take some time to focus on the present. Go for a walk and listen to the world around you, feel the fresh air against your skin, fill your lungs, and take in everything you can see. Meditation is also a good way to spend a few minutes
ADOPT A NEW ACTIVITY.
As you get older, it’s not uncommon to drift further from the lifestyle you had in your 20s and 30s. Things have settled down, and you know a bit more about who you are, what you enjoy, and what you’re capable of. With this better understanding, you can make choices more aligned with your true interests and personality. Think about getting involved with a new
to focus on your body in the moment and the things in life that make you happy. Practices like these can help you feel lighter, both physically and emotionally. Growing older doesn’t mean you can’t feel renewed and positive. This isn’t just an impossible idea — it’s a reality.
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DO YOUR HOMEWORK! WHY YOUR AT-HOME PHYSICAL THERAPY EXERCISES MATTER FOR HEALING
Seeking rehabilitation through physical therapy can be one of the wisest choices you make for your health, well-being, and life. But committing to a physical therapy routine is much more than just showing up for your appointments. YOUR AT-HOME WORKOUT, OR HOME EXERCISE PROGRAM, IS JUST AS IMPORTANT. Working out may seem counterproductive to healing, but your home exercise program is designed specifically for your ailments. Your physical therapist will tailor an exercise routine for you and teach you the moves while offering specific advice and providing tools to guide you through each movement. If you can commit to doing your home exercise program on a regular basis, then you may just reap the benefit of healing faster. Think about it this way: Physical therapy heals through movement, yet you typically do not see your physical therapist for this healing movement
every single day. While rest is vital to the healing process, continuing to keep your joints limber, moving, and functioning at their best is also key! So, by sticking to your home exercise program, you are effectively supplementing the extensive care your therapist provides for you at each appointment. Additionally, doing your at-home routine while you are in physical therapy prepares you for life after this therapy ends. As much as we love seeing you at your appointments, you’re bound to return to the real world and not see us quite as often. That is the goal, after all! But in order to continue a healthy lifestyle, you have to continue moving your joints and body in a healthy way. Your at-home exercises are a great first step, and your therapist can offer progressions to continue challenging you when those moves become second nature to you and your body. Like many things in life, physical therapy comes with a need for dedication, but any physical therapist’s goal is to
make this process as easy for you as possible. If you’re struggling to commit to your at-home exercises or if you need additional instruction, talk to your therapy team. We can help you gain the confidence you need to crush those at- home exercises and get you back to the activities you love.
VEGAN BLT SALAD Inspired by RabbitAndWolves.com
TAKE A BREAK!
• 1/2 tbsp liquid smoke • 1 tbsp maple syrup • 5 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari), divided
• 1/2 cup water • 2 tsp agave • 2 tsp nutritional yeast • Salt and pepper, to taste • Lettuce of choice • 1/2 cup cherry or sun-dried tomatoes • Croutons (optional)
• 1 cup coconut flakes • 15 oz extra-firm tofu • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted • 2–3 cloves garlic • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1. Heat oven to 350 F. 2. To make the “bacon” bits: In a large bowl, combine liquid smoke, maple syrup, and 1 tbsp of soy sauce (or tamari) and completely coat coconut flakes with the mixture. 3. On a prepared baking sheet, spread out the coated coconut flakes in a single layer. 4. Bake for 10–15 minutes or until the flakes are crispy. Let cool.
5. To make the dressing: In a blender, add tofu, coconut oil, garlic, 4 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari), apple cider vinegar, water, agave, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. 6. In a large bowl, toss the lettuce, tomatoes, croutons, “bacon” bits, and dressing. 7. Serve chilled.
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Terryville: 860-506-4124 Bristol: 860-540-4920 www.PhysicalTherapyCT.com
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311 Main Street Terryville, CT 06786
1. COVER TITLE 1. AN ODE TO DOUGHNUTS AND HOMEMADE CAKES INSIDE THIS ISSUE 2. HARVARD'S TIPS TO KEEP YOUR BRAIN YOUNG HOW TO FEEL RENEWED AT ANY AGE 3. WHY A HOME EXERCISE PROGRAM IS VITAL TO HEALING 4. BATTLE YOUR FRIENDS AND GET HEALTHIER WITH THESE 3 PLATFORMS
GAME ON! 3 PLATFORMS FOR COMPETING ONLINE AND CRUSHING YOUR FITNESS GOALS
Through smartphone apps like Words With Friends and 8 Ball Pool, you can compete against your loved ones from virtually anywhere, and creators in the fitness world have taken notice. Now, a number of virtual fitness programs offer the same level of friendly competition along with the satisfaction of completing your fitness goals. Below are three platforms to get you started! VIRTUAL RUN EVENTS With all the excitement of a footrace and no crowd to deal with, Virtual Run Events brings 1-mile, 5K, 10K, half-marathon, and full marathon races to you. Racers choose a distance to run around their neighborhood, on the treadmill, or at the park, and their friends and family compete in the very same races wherever they happen to be. As a bonus, proceeds from a number of these events also support nonprofit organizations. Visit VirtualRunEvents.com to sign up for a race and lace up your shoes wherever you are. DIETBET, STEPBET, AND RUNBET Looking for a little extra motivation to meet your health and fitness goals? Try involving money and a little friendly competition. DietBet,
StepBet, and RunBet ask each user to place monetary bets on their ability to achieve various wellness goals. You can also challenge your friends and family to place bets and stay motivated together. All the money is placed into a pot, and when you complete your goal, you get your money back. Some users say they’ve even made a profit! Search for DietBet, StepBet, and RunBet in your app store and get started.
FITOCRACY Calling all gamers! This is the fitness platform just for you. Invented by gamers, Fitocracy tracks fitness achievements and rewards users as if they were playing a video game. With quests, badges, and multiplayer gaming options, you’ll be motivated to work hard for your goals. Connect with new online friends or invite your loved ones to join you on Fitocracy. It doesn’t get much better than dueling friends or family in a classic one-on-one wellness competition! Learn more at Fitocracy.com.
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