Your most important tool in an emergency crisis is your brain –is yours prepped?

According to a 2004 Harris Poll, 96 percent of Americans feel it is important to prepare for emergencies, but less than 20 percent describe themselves as totally prepared. It is an odd disconnect when you think about it, and makes you wonder why people don’t prepare more if they believe it is so important. Perhaps it’s because no matter how much you do prepare for emergencies, the unpredictable nature of an emergency means that you can never be 100% prepared. Therefore, many people would like to avoid the feeling of futility that comes with trying to fight randomness. But you can and should try as much as possible, especially when it comes to mental preparedness.

Emergency preparedness can help you physically if there is ever an emergency (see the newsletter for more details on the kits and materials you should invest in), but there are mental and emotional elements as well. By thinking through disaster scenarios and what you would need in each, you are training your brain ahead of time how to react in those scenarios. If you trace out an escape route in your mind you are, in a sense, practicing that route. Another example is: let’s say your stove catches on fire. If you haven’t really thought through the scenario or a house fire, your thoughts may look something like this:

“My stove is on fire, what do I do?”

“Do I have a fire extinguisher?”

“Where is my fire extinguisher?”

“Once I found my extinguisher, how do I use it?”

By this point of frantic panic, the fire may have spread and you are up a creek with no paddle. If you had prepped and mentally or physically practiced for a fire, however, these thoughts wouldn’t need to slow you down and it would be more of an instinct of “event happens-here’s how I react to it.” You’d grab the fire extinguisher from where you put it and use it quickly. The less panic in an emergency, the less damage is done. “Everybody hates the idea that we practice for emergency events. Fire drills… ugh. But it’s practice, and practice helps you understand what to do or how to react when you don’t have a lot of time,” said Jerzell Black, Operation Coordinator, CDC Office of Safety, Security, and Asset Management in his blog post. “Not only can practice save your life, but if you know how to save yourself, emergency responders on the scene can use their time and effort to save others. You’re one less person who needs saving, and that saves lives.”

You can’t think through every emergency situation (and it probably isn’t healthy to dwell on every bad situation either), but preparing yourself mentally and physically for certain emergencies can help you adapt those skills and resources for the ones you didn’t think of. “Remember, if you depend on everyone else to take care of you, you’re leaving the most important person out,” said Black, “Don’t wait to make a plan. Know yourself, know your situation, and be prepared to save your own life.”

Lace them UP

Back in my younger days (a long time ago!) I would tell my training partners that “if you can’t go out and run for an hour, it is not worth lacing up the shoes!” How wrong can one be! There are a lot of benefits in the first 5-10 minutes of exercise that you may not be even aware of.

During the first 5-10 minutes, the warm-up if you will, the body prepares itself for the anticipated upcoming exercise;

  • Vascular dilation, arteries opening up to accommodate the increase in blood flow.
  • Secretion of enzymes that increase glucose absorption in expectation of more energy needed.

Why is this important? Vascular dilation means more room for the blood in the arteries; more room with the same blood volume, so BLOOD PRESSURE is lowered. There is increase in glucose absorption, means lower BLOOD Sugar levels.

Here is the best part: this all happens in the first 5-10 minutes and lasts long after the exercise bout is complete. So, even if you don’t do the recommend 30 minutes, you still are getting benefits.

Bottom line, it is worth lacing them up even for just 10 minutes!

The best part of waking up!

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.” – A.A. Milne Leslie

Breakfast is by far my favorite meal of the day. I’ve never really been able to relate to people that skip breakfast. Breakfast is magical! Sometimes a good breakfast can define the rest of your day. Whether it’s oatmeal, avocado toast, or scrambled eggs, a delicious and nutrition filled breakfast can start you off on the right foot with the energy to get things done.

“C’mon, there has never been a sadness that can’t be cured by breakfast food.” -Ron Swanson, Parks & Recreation

Benefits of eating breakfast aren’t just in your head. The experts have been saying for years that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and that is the truth. Eating breakfast leads to
• Consuming less fat through the day
• Jumpstarting your metabolism
• Meeting recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption
• Having higher daily calcium intake
• Having higher daily fiber intake
• Having better performance (memory and attention day.

“One should not attend even the end of the world without a good breakfast.” – Robert A. Heinlein, Friday

Be sure not to just grab a pop-tart or doughnut and call it a morning, an effective breakfast has a variety of carbs, protein and fat to kickstart your day. Eggs, oatmeal, smoothies, Greek yogurt, fruit, etc. are all great foods to start with. For more breakfast ideas, check out our Nutrition section of the website!

“In Wilson’s scale of evaluations breakfast rated just after life itself and ahead of the chance of immortality.” – Robert A. Heinlein, By His Bootstraps

Blood Pressure Information

Blood pressure is a measurement of the force applied to the artery walls as the heart pumps blood through the body. The pressure is determined by the amount of blood pumped, the force at which it is pumped, and the size and flexibility of the arteries.

-The top number of a blood pressure reading is the systolic reading. It represents the maximum pressure exerted when the heart contracts. Anormal systolic reading is 120 or less.
-The bottom number of a blood pressure reading is called the diastolicreading. It represents the pressure in the arteries when the heart is at restin the contraction. A normal diastolic reading is 80 or less.


Blood pressure is continually changing depending on activity, temperature, diet, stress, sickness, and what medications you might use.

There are several things you can do if you have high blood pressure. Although high blood pressure cannot be cured, it can be controlled. The following are ways to reduce your blood pressure:

-Reduce the fat in your diet andsodium in your diet.

-Get regular physical exercise and lose weight if needed.

-Reduce the amount of alcohol you might consume on a daily basis.

-If you are a smoker and have high blood pressure,

quitting smoking will notonly help lower blood pressure but will 
help keep yourcardiovascular systemworking properly.

-If none of the above work for a certain individual, medications
can be used tomonitor high blood pressure

Log in and go to Blood Pressure for more information

Feeding on Fiber

When we think of fiber, normally we don’t think of Cholesterol. We have gotten some odd looks with this month’s 10 Day Challenge here at PPW; “eat 25 grams of fiber every day for 10 days!” Fiber is best known for digestive health. There are two types of fiber; Soluble and Insoluble. As the name suggests soluble fiber dissolves in water forming a gel-like substance that can block the absorption of the LDL (bad Cholesterol). Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and stays relatively unchanged in the digestive track helping to move things through! We need to eat both.

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Foods that contain high amounts of soluble fiber include: Oatmeal, fruit skin, kidney beans, and brussels sprouts. If you eat the daily recommend amounts of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains you will eat enough soluble fiber to help lower cholesterol.