About Scott Zimmer

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So far Scott Zimmer has created 8 blog entries.

Try a New Food: Celebrate National Watermelon Day

Celebrate National Watermelon Day If you haven’t already enjoyed America’s most consumed melon this summer, August is the perfect time to start. August 3rd is National Watermelon Day! First harvested 5000 years ago in Egypt where it still grows wild today, the drought-tolerant watermelon was prized for its ability to hold large amounts of fluid in a convenient package. It made the perfect companion for long treks in the desert! Today, 96 countries cultivate watermelon across the globe. China is the world’s top producer because Asian cuisine makes use of all parts of the melon. The rind is commonly used as a vegetable in stir-fries, pickles, and stews! Watermelon is nutritious Watermelon is a nutrient-dense plant food, and therefore, part of the foundation of a healthy diet. The nutrient components of watermelon work together to provide a synergistic effect that [...]

Cast a Line for Sustainable Seafood

If the planet’s health is top of mind, you’ve likely considered the environmental impact of the food you eat. According to the EAT-Lancet report (download the summary here) global adoption of a flexitarian diet is best for conserving planetary health while meeting our growing population’s nutritional needs. A flexitarian diet is one that includes generous amounts of plant-based foods and moderate amounts of meat, poultry, and seafood. In other words, replacing animal foods in your diet with plant foods can help us meet the needs of our current population without compromising the future generation’s ability to meet their own. While a flexitarian diet is environmentally sustainable itself, responsible sourcing of its components, especially the animal-based ones, can make an even bigger impact. Identifying sustainable seafood—an important source of protein, vitamin B12, and vitamin D in the flexitarian diet—can be challenging. [...]

Modern Meditation

What comes to mind when you think of meditation? Many people imagine cross-legged monks in Zen rock gardens. While this might be a great place to meditate, it’s probably not all that relatable if you live on the other side of the Pacific Ocean. Luckily, there are many places and many ways to meditate besides sitting in a lotus position for hours on end in silence among rock gardens. What is meditation? Meditation is a mind and body practice akin to yoga, acupuncture, and massage therapy. The goal is to connect mental focus, controlled breathing, and body movement (or stillness) to elicit relaxation. A typical meditation misconception is that you need to empty your mind and leave the world behind. But consider a different perspective. Instead of draining your brain, focus on filling it with love, gratitude, and compassion while [...]

Make Your Workout HIIT

Make Your Workout HIIT For those of us looking to do more to prevent disease, manage weight, and increase fitness, a type of training called high-intensity interval training (abbreviated HIIT) can help! Competitive athletes use HIIT to improve performance, but it has serious potential for anyone. What is a HIIT workout? A HIIT workout is one that involves intervals of all-out, vigorous-intensity exercise dispersed with bouts of low-to-moderate intensity exercise. In other words, after warming up, you exercise very hard for some time, then exercise easily to recover, then repeat. HIIT workouts most commonly use sprinting or uphill cycling, but stair climbing, swimming, bodyweight training, and weightlifting are all incredibly HIIT friendly! For example, many gyms now offer HIIT group classes that make use of bodyweight movements (i.e., burpees) and free weights (i.e., kettlebells). Since the goal is to [...]

Is Your Workout Hard Enough?

Is Your Workout Hard Enough? You probably know that engaging in regular physical activity is an important step in reducing your risk for disease and early death. Keeping active can even help minimize or eliminate symptoms of chronic disease, if you live with one. But if you exercise at an intensity that’s too low for you, you’ll miss out on some important benefits. Adults need 75-150 minutes of vigorous-intensity activityor 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity activitythroughout the week. This weekly exercise should include moderate-intensity or greater aerobic exercise and moderate-intensity or greater full body strengthening at least twice per week. As a rule of thumb, two minutes of moderate activity equals one minute of vigorous activity. People who want to lose more than 5% of their bodyweight or want to keep a significant amount of weight off might need more; [...]

Grill More Fruits and Veggies

This summer (and July Fourth!) we encourage you to think beyond traditional cookout favorites and make room for more grill-able vegetables and fruits. Not only are they budget-friendly and abundant in the summer (find a farmers’ market near you), but adding perfectly charred produce to your plate tastes great and can benefit your health. Diets based on minimally processed plant foods can lower your risk of heart attack and stroke, help control blood glucose (sugar) levels, prevent weight gain, lower cholesterol, and more! The protection fruits and vegetables provide is in part due to the high amount of fiber and the wide array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants they contain. You need a total of at least four-and-a-half cups of vegetables and fruits (2 ½ cups vegetables plus 2 cups fruit) daily to see these health benefits. Let grilling—a quick [...]

Namaste Calm

We all need a variety of strategies in our stress-busting toolkits that can effectively activate our body’s natural relaxation response. There’s no one right way to manage stress, but the techniques you use should resonate with you, fit your lifestyle, and enable you to shift your focus away from everyday thoughts. For many, yoga—a series of physical postures, breathing techniques, and mediation—does the trick. The individual components of yoga (stretching, deep breathing, and meditation) are great standalone stress reduction techniques. But together, they are bolstered. According to a national survey of U.S. adults, 86% of people who practiced yoga said it helped reduce their stress, 67% said it helped them feel better emotionally, and 59% said it improved their sleep. Others reported that it gave them the motivation to eat healthier, cope with medical problems, or use fewer tobacco products. [...]

Sleep Health: Melatonin

Do you sleep soundly every night? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 35% of U.S. adults do not get enough sleep on a regular basis! If you’ve ever looked for a solution for your sleep struggle, you’ve probably heard about melatonin. It’s a hormone produced naturally in various parts of the body, but primarily in the pineal gland (located near the center of the brain). Melatonin is also a widely available and commonly used dietary supplement that may provide relief from specific sleep disorders. Here’s how melatonin works in the body. When the hypothalamus (in the brain) receives a signal from your retinas (in your eyes) that nighttime is imminent (i.e., darkness in your environment), it signals the pineal gland to release melatonin. Once melatonin enters your blood and cerebrospinal fluid, it travels to distant parts [...]