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8 Quick Facts about Veins!

Veins are fascinating. They are responsible for most of the blood flow through the body. We have so many veins, scientists haven’t even calculated the total number. Here are eight cool facts about veins that you may not know.

  1. Veins hold up to 70% of the body’s blood.
  2. If stretched out, our veins would cover a distance of over 60,000 miles!
  3. Veins are made up of three layers: membranous tissue, muscles, and connective tissue.
  4. Some veins can constrict in response to nerve stimulation.
  5. Varicose veins are a common condition and affect up to 35% of adults.
  6. The first case of varicose veins dates all the way back to 86 BC!
  7. Giraffes have the greatest pressure in their legs of all animals. They never get varicose veins, however, because their skin is very thick.
  8. Women are more likely to be effected by varicose veins than men due to hormones.

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Healthy & Delicious: Chicken & Quinoa Burrito Bowl


Healthy does not mean unappetizing. Healthy does not mean no flavor. Healthy means taking a delicious meal, cutting out a few excess ingredients, adding a few vegetables and feeding your goals! This recipe is a great balance of healthy and delicious! With high quality protein, whole grains, healthy fats, this is a balanced meal that the whole family can enjoy, even on a school night!

Grilled Chicken and Quinoa Burrito Bowl with Avocado Salsa


  • 1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 T ancho chili powder
  • 1 1/2 t ground cumin
  • 1/4 t garlic powder
  • Salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 T olive oil
  • 1 2/3 cups frozen corn
  • 1 (14.5oz) can black beans
  • Mexican blend cheese or quest fresco
  • Plain Greek yogurt or light sour cream

Avocado Salsa:

  • 3 medium roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 1/2 medium avocados, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 2 T fresh lime juice
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro


  1. In a medium saucepan stir together quinoa and chicken broth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat then cover, reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 15 minutes or until broth has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let rest 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a grill (or indoor grill, panini press, or cook over the stove in a grill pan) to 425 degrees. In a small bowl whisk together ancho chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and 3/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Pound chicken breasts to even out their thickness using the flat side of meat mallet. Brush both sides with the 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil then season both sides of chicken with the chili powder mixture (use all of it). Grill chicken until center registers 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer, about 4 minutes per side (or about 4 minutes total if using an indoor electric grill or panini press set at high heat or sear). Transfer chicken to a plate, cover and let rest 5 minutes then cut into pieces, season with more salt to taste if desired.
  3. While the chicken is resting, prepare avocado salsa. In a medium mixing bowl gently toss together tomatoes, avocados, red onion, jalapeno, garlic, lime juice, olive oil, cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. To assemble burrito bowls, divide quinoa among serving bowls. Top with chicken, corn, black beans, cheese, avocado salsa and Greek yogurt. Serve immediately.
    *Rinse quinoa under water in a sieve if it’s not listed on the package that it’s pre-rinsed.
    **If you don’t like spicy food just omit the jalapeño, replace it with 1/4 cup finely chopped bell pepper if desired.

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Make the Most of Your Mornings

Let’s face it, mornings are rough…It can often be a challenge to find the motivation to get out of bed in the mornings, especially if your varicose veins cause you pain and discomfort. However, there are several things you can do to help trick yourself into becoming a morning person. If you can train yourself to wake up easier in the mornings, it’ll make you feel more rested and more energized and in turn make you more productive. Follow these tips to help yourself wake up easier!

  1. Practice good sleep hygiene: The easiest way to wake up easier in the mornings is to get a good night’s sleep. Keeping a consistent sleep schedule, even on the weekends, is one of the best ways to get quality sleep. Hitting the snooze button is a sign of sleep deprivation, so if you find your hand gravitating towards the snooze, try going to bed earlier and see how it makes a difference over time.
  2. Set a motive first thing: It’s important to set goals for yourself. Come up with a meaningful, tangible reason for waking up early. Whether it’s having time to cook a healthy breakfast or go for a walk around your neighborhood, you’ll be happy to have something to work towards and feel accomplished right when you start your day.
  3. Bite the bullet: If you wake up naturally within ten minutes of your alarm, it can be so tempting to go back to sleep and wait until your alarm goes off. However, waking up naturally is the best way to greet the day, and you’ll feel much better if you just get out of bed when you wake up. Also, as tempting as hitting the snooze can be, if you wake up right when your alarm goes off, you’ll feel more rested than if you get an extra five minutes of restless sleep.
  4. Seize the day: Instead of waking up with a groan and a sigh, look ahead to what you’re expecting to be the best part of your day. Don’t think about that afternoon meeting you have, but instead of your lunch date with your friend! It’s a much better way to motivate yourself to wake up.
  5. Exercise and eat a healthy breakfast: If you can make time in the morning, try to fit in a short workout and eat a healthy breakfast. It’ll make all the difference in your daily productivity!



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Sunny, Summertime, Vitamin D!

Vitamin D is one of the most important– but most elusive of all the vitamins! It is found in very few foods but is produced through Vitamin D synthesis, which occurs when ultraviolet rays from the sun hit the skin! Vitamin D is also available as a dietary supplement. Vitamin D must undergo two processes before it can be used by the body. The first occurs in the liver and the second occurs in the kidneys.

Studies have shown that Vitamin D also plays a big role in helping promote the relaxation of blood vessels. Getting enough Vitamin D in your diet can help reduce the appearance of varicose veins! Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the gut. It helps normalize the mineralization of bones by maintaining adequate serum calcium and phosphate concentrations. Vitamin D is needed to keep bones healthy by remodeling osteoblasts and osteoclasts, the cells that grow bones. Without enough Vitamin D, bones can become thin, brittle or misshapen. Vitamin D prevents osteomalacia, the softening and weakening of the bones, in adults.

Although Vitamin D is crucial to good bone and vein health, very few foods contain it. The flesh of fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel is one of the best ways to introduce Vitamin D into your diet. Fish liver oils are also a great source. Almost all milk in the United States is voluntarily fortified with Vitamin D. Dietary supplements that have Vitamin D are also a good way to meet your daily intake needs.

Luckily for us, one of the best ways to get Vitamin D is by getting outside! A trip to Lake Tahoe or a hike around Reno will help most people meet at least some of the Vitamin D needs. Heading outside, making few slight adjustments to your diet, or adding some dietary supplements to your daily routine can help you meet your daily Vitamin D needs.

These great Reno hikes will get you outside and help you get your daily dose of Vitamin D:

Tom Cooke Trail

Hunter Creek Trail

Hidden Valley Country Park Trail

Peavine Peak Trail




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Vitamin Series: Vitamin C!

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is abundant in vegetables and fruits. It is a water-soluble vitamin, which is rich in iron and powerful antioxidant. It helps the body form and maintain connective tissue, including bones, blood vessels, and skin. It also helps boost immunity, lower levels of lead in blood, promote weight loss, reduce stress and increase energy. Vitamin C can also be beneficial in reducing the appearance of varicose veins. It contains strong antioxidants, which ensure proper dialiation of the blood vessels.

Vitamin C is one of the best vitamins to help achieve firmer skin and a younger appearance. It protects from UV rays, helps wounds heal faster, and improves the texture of the face and skin. Vitamin C also helps hair grow faster and makes hair stronger while reducing dandruff.

It’s important to ensure that you are getting enough Vitamin C in your diet. Men are recommended to intake 90 mg per day, and it is recommended for women to intake 75 mg. Vitamin C deficiency can lead to fatigue, muscle weakness, joint and muscle aches, bleeding gums, leg rashes, and a weakened immune system. Luckily, there are plenty of delicious foods that contain Vitamin C. Guava, oranges, kiwi, grapefruit, and strawberries all contain Vitamin C. Peppers, kale, broccoli and Brussel sprouts are also great sounces of Vitamin C.

Try this delicious broccoli salad recipe, which will help you ‘C’ your way to better health!

Broccoli Salad


2 heads fresh broccoli

1 red onion

½ pound bacon

¾ cup raisins

¾ cup sliced almonds

1 cup mayonnaise

½ cup white sugar

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar


  1. Place bacon in a deep skillet and cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Cool and crumble.
  2. Cut the broccoli into bite-size pieces and cut the onion into thin bite-size slices. Combine with the bacon, raisins, your favorite nuts and mix well.
  3. To prepare the dressing, mix the mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar together until smooth. Stir into the salad, let chill and serve.


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The Formula for the Perfect Green Smoothie

Smoothies are one of the best ways to take your meal with you to work, the gym or elsewhere – they are a quick solution to breakfast or a snack for people who are always on the go. One of the best ways to maximize the nutrients you get from your smoothie is to add some of your favorite greens: spinach, kale and collard greens, just to name a few!

Don’t let the thought of a green smoothie scare you, there’s a simple formula, the 60/40, that you can follow to make sure your smoothie tastes as great as it looks.

The 60/40 formula calls for 60 percent fruits to 40 percent leafy greens. We promise, you will barely even taste the greens but will reap all the incredible benefits of throwing them into your system first thing in the morning! Loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, greens are a must!

Here is an easy recipe to maximize the nutrients in your smoothie while getting plenty of delicious variety in the flavor:

  • 2 Cups Leafy Greens (spinach, kale, romaine or collard greens)
  • 2 Cups of a liquid base (water, almond milk, coconut water or coconut milk)
  • 3 Cups Ripe Fruit (banana, berries, mango, peach, pear, apple or pineapple)
  • Optional: A protein boost (chia seeds, coconut oil, flax seeds, protein powder or cacao)

Be sure to blend in stages so your smoothie is, well, smooth! Start with the leafy greens and your liquid base. Be careful – juice can often add excess sugar into your smoothie. Reach for low-sugar liquid bases (like water, coconut water or almond milk). Or, cut the sugar in half by using half juice (orange, apple, etc.) and mixing with water.

Once your greens are liquid base are blended together, begin adding in your fruit and continue to blend until smooth. The fruits you add can also be frozen to make your smoothie colder and add a thickness to your consistency. If you are using fresh fruit, simply add several ice cubes instead.

The recipe above usually makes around 30 ounces of smoothie, or two servings. Any leftovers that you have can stay in your fridge for up to two days.

Good luck and happy blending!


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B smart and take your Vitamin B’s!

The B vitamin family is made up of eight B vitamins. Also, known as Vitamin B complex which are recognized as a group. They all work together in the body as each of the B vitamins contribute to unique and different important functions. Here is a broken-down list of all 8 B Vitamins, why your body truly needs them, and most importantly, where to find them in foods you consume daily!

Thiamin: Also, known as vitamin B1, thiamin is needed to help produce cellular energy from the foods you eat, and supports normal nervous system function. In other terms Vitamin B1 helps convert food into energy. Here are some foods that are rich in vitamin B1, lentils, whole grains and pork, red meats, yeast, nuts, sunflower seeds, peas, milk, cauliflower, spinach and legumes.

Riboflavin: Also known as vitamin B3, riboflavin supports cellular energy production. In other terms Riboflavin helps you have healthy glowing skin, who doesn’t want that? Here are some foods that are rich in riboflavin, fortified cereals, milk, eggs, salmon, beef, spinach and broccoli.

Niacin: Niacin is also known as vitamin B3, and supports cellular energy production. Niacin, in the form of nicotinic acid, helps support cardiovascular health. Healthy nerves and a healthy heart are essential to feeling good. Food to eat, beef, poultry and fish as well as whole wheat bread, peanuts and lentils.

Pantothenic Acid: Pantothenic acid, also known as vitamin B5, is widely available in plant and animal food sources and helps support cellular energy production in the body. Here’s some food to help you contain you’re Vitamin B5, organ meats (liver, kidney), egg yolk, whole grains, avocados, cashew nuts, peanuts, lentils, soybeans, brown rice, broccoli, and milk.

Vitamin B6Involved in over 100 cellular reactions throughout the body, vitamin B6 is instrumental in keeping various bodily functions operating at their best. Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is needed to metabolize amino acids and glycogen (the body’s storage of glucose), and is also necessary for normal nervous system function and red blood cell formation. It’s very easy to consume your Vitamin b6 for its in most of the normal food we consume everyday like, meat, poultry, eggs, bananas, fish, fortified cereal grains and cooked spinach.

Biotin: Biotin, or vitamin B7 is commonly found in foods such as, strawberries, organ meat, cheese and soybeans. Biotin has been show to support healthy hair, skin and nails. We all could use more biotin for long full hair! Biotin also supports carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism.

Folic Acid: Also known as vitamin B9, folic acid is most commonly known for its role in fetal health and development as it plays a critical role in the proper development of the baby’s nervous system. This important developmental process occurs during the initial weeks of pregnancy, and so adequate folic acid intake is especially important for all women of child-bearing age. Adequate folic acid in healthful diets may reduce a woman’s risk of having a child with a neural tube defect. Fortified foods such as breads and cereals are good dietary sources of folic acid. Other good sources are dark green leafy vegetables such as asparagus and spinach as well as brewer’s yeast, liver, fortified orange juice, beets, dates and avocados.

Vitamin B12Vitamin B12 or cobalamin, plays a critical role in the pathways of the body that produce cellular energy.  It is also needed for DNA synthesis, proper red blood cell formation and for normal nervous system function. Individuals who follow vegan or vegetarian diets may benefit from a B12 supplement since B12 is predominantly found in foods of animal origin such as chicken, beef, fish, milk and eggs.

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