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Lifestyle Choices for Wellness

Timely discussion on topics of health and wellness to encourage action and improvement in personal wellness.

05/08/2013-Health: The Perfect Mother's Day Gift

Mothers tend to take better care of others than they do of themselves in some cases, but there is one way to help all mothers this Mother's Day – by planting a garden. Whether your mama has a green thumb, has desired a green thumb, or has never touched a trowel in her life, spring time is the perfect time to get dirty and get inspired in the garden! Be it floral or vegetables,  there are several benefits of a gardens, in various aspects, including:

Stress relief: Researchers found that just 30 minutes of gardening fought stress better than other leisure activities.

Time for self: Trade your iPhone for I-Time! Gardening can enhance your mood and make you feel happier – it's therapeutic.

Brain health: Researchers found a 36 percent to 47 percent lower risk for dementia in 60- to 70-year-olds who gardened regularly for years.

Healthy food: When you plant fruits and vegetables, you will likely eat more of them. Eating meals that are filled with fruits and vegetables contributes to a healthier life. We see how gardening with kids enhances their intake; it will for adults, too.

Get active: Gardening allows you to stretch your body and provides a regular time to get outside to tend to your garden – purposeful exercise.

Family time: Time spent planting and maintaining a garden promotes family bonding. Learning together or from one another increases communication. Also, children are taught the taught the value of hard work and responsibility, healthy eating, as well as physical activity. Not to mention the fun skills they will learn!

If you don't have a yard or area to plant in ground, make a container garden out of a large plastic bin, or plant in hanging baskets. A basket or pot of strawberries or lettuce will produce through the season and remind her of you. It is a perfect way to help her improve her health.

Other gardening gift ideas include:

• A whimsical watering can

• A garden hat, gloves

• Seed packets

• Zum soap

Here is a recipe to treat the mother in your life-a light and refreshing parfait made from GARDENED ingredients. Or, after planting all Sunday long, let her kick back and enjoy this yummy delight.

Nectarine & Strawberry Parfait

Serves 4. Active time: 30 minutes. Total time: 30 minutes


3/4 cup sweet white wine, such as sauterne or sweet Riesling
1/2 cup honey
2 ripe but firm nectarines, thinly sliced
2 cups quartered hulled strawberries
1/2 cup whipping cream or heavy cream
1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

1. Combine wine and honey in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat; boil until reduced to about 1/2 cup, 6 to 10 minutes.

2. Combine nectarines and strawberries in a medium bowl and toss with 1/4 cup of the wine syrup. Refrigerate the remaining 1/4 cup syrup for at least 10 minutes to cool.

3. Beat cream in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold or beat in yogurt and the cooled wine syrup just until combined.

4. Spoon a scant 1/4 cup yogurt cream into each of 4 dessert glasses or bowls and top with about 1/2 cup of the fruit mixture. Repeat with another layer of each. Cover and refrigerate the fruit and yogurt cream in separate containers for up to 4 hours.

Nutrition facts per serving: 352 calories; 12g fat (7g sat, 3g mono); 41mg cholesterol; 53g carbohydrate; 34g added sugars; 7g protein; 3g fiber; 35mg sodium; 303mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (82% daily value).

Source: Adapted from Eating Well Inc.

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