Israeli Salad

Are you looking for a healthy salad recipe to freshen up your lunches or dinners?  If so, you have got to try out this Israeli Salad recipe.  Not only is it refreshing and healthy, but it is tasty and is a great side dish or a standalone salad.

Ingredients:

  • Medium to Large size Mixing or Serving Bowl
  • 3-4 Roma Tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 big cucumber (or 2 regular sized ones), chopped
  • ½ red onion, chopped or diced
  • ¼ cup Parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ cup lemon juice (more if you like or less if that’s too much)
  • 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil (more if you need it)
  • Salt to season
  • Avocado (optional for additional taste)
  • Mozzarella (optional for additional taste)
  • Peppers (optional for additional taste or as a substitute if you don’t like onions, tomatoes, or cucumbers)

Directions:

  1. Seed and chop all of your vegetables and place into bowl.
  2. Finely chop parsley and add to vegetables.
  3. Add, lemon juice and olive oil, then salt to add that seasoning.
  4. Voila! You are ready to serve and enjoy!

Happy Holidays!

This past Friday, Babb, Inc. hosted a Holiday Party for its employees.  Every year we try to create an atmosphere of fun, camaraderie, and holiday spirit.  For entertainment this year, we hired speed painter, Cody Sabol, to paint a Pittsburgh themed picture for us. Pittsburgh Penguins themed painting was then raffled off to one of our lucky employees.

Let’s not forget to discuss the wonderful meal provided by Medure’s Catering.  We were lucky enough to have a great selection of delicious food.  With more than enough food, we were able to donate a great meal to Light of Life, a local rescue mission that provides food and shelter for the hungry and homeless.  It’s always nice to be able to give back, but especially during the holidays.

We want to wish you all Happy Holidays!

8 Things to do this Fall

With fall officially here, we thought it was only fitting to create a list of some of the events we’re looking forward to, happening in the Greater Pittsburgh Area.

Kennywood Phantom Fright Night
Fridays & Saturdays from September 30 – October 29
Plus Sundays, October 9 and 30

Each year, as the summer comes to a close, your favorite amusement park becomes home to eerie ghouls and creatures for Phantom Fright Nights. For those seeking thrills and fright, this theme park features a number of haunted rides and attractions that are sure to impress.

Scarehouse
Thursday – Sunday throughout October

A team of Pittsburgh artists and builders work year round to create one of America’s Scariest Haunted Houses and the world has taken notice. ScareHouse has been ranked as one of “America’s Scariest Halloween Attractions” by Travel Channel and has been featured on a number of other national media outlets. If you’re seeking haunted thrills for your weekend plans look no further.

Seven Springs Autumnfest
Weekends in October

Seven Springs’ Annual Autumnfest offers three different themed weekends:  Pumpkin Weekend, Chocolate & Chili Weekend, and Kids’ Halloween & Big Trucks Weekend. Visitors can enjoy live musical entertainment, discover the unexpected with a variety of novelty performers, or hop on the chairlift for an aerial view of the fiery colors of autumn. Artisans and crafters from far and wide will have their handmade creations on display for purchase.

Carnegie Science Center 21+ Rocky Horror Science Show
Friday, October 14, 2016

Celebrate the Halloween season with Rocky Horror and the Carnegie Science Center. The Junior Chamber of Commerce Players, Pittsburgh’s official Rocky Horror Picture Show floorshow cast will be performing a medley of Rocky Horror numbers. Then, discover the science of reanimation with their live science show, Frankenscience. Enjoy live music from local rock band Expen$e, four floors of exhibits, and cash bars!

Fort Ligonier Days
October 14-16, 2016

Fort Ligonier Days, one of the American Bus Association’s “Top 100 Events in America”, is a 3-day festival that commemorates the Battle of Fort Ligonier, a key engagement of the French and Indian War, fought on October 12, 1758. This outstanding outdoor festival is celebrating its 57th year. Visit the fort, catch the parade and live entertainment, or stop by the many craft and food vendors. If you’re looking for something more physical to participate in, be sure to sign up for the Fort Ligonier Days 5K race happening on Sunday.

The Frick’s Craft Beers & Classic Cars
Friday, October 21, 2016

This 21 and over event, includes six local breweries, food trucks, and fun car crafts under a tent in the Car and Carriage Museum Courtyard. Breweries included in this year’s event:  Grist House, Voodoo Brewery, Full Pint Brewing, East End – Brewery Taproom, Apis Mead & Winery, and Four Seasons Brewing Company & Pub. Every ticket includes a collector’s edition tasting glass and unlimited beer samples from 6:00 – 8:30 pm. Reserve your ticket by October 14 for a $5 discount.

3 Rivers Film Festival
November 16-20, 2016

Featured films haven’t been released yet, but this year’s film festival will surely be a hit. Three Rivers Film Festival is the oldest and largest in the region. Celebrating independent cinema for 35 years!

Downtown Pittsburgh Light-Up Night
Friday, November 18, 2016

Of course no list is complete without Downtown Pittsburgh’s Light-Up Night. The 2016 holiday season doesn’t officially kick off until the tree is lit. The annual event attracts large crowds so be sure to head dahntown early! Guests will be able to enjoy fireworks, music, family fun, and the opening of the People’s Gas Holiday Market which will remain open until December 23.

 

For more information on any of these events, be sure to click the links provided.

A Pretty Smile Never Goes Out of Style

Last week, we delved into why it’s important to take care of your skin and hair; with both impacting your overall health.  Today we are discussing how important it is to take care of your teeth, gums, and mouth.

Having a good oral hygiene routine helps maintain your overall health.  Your teeth are the first step in your digestion process.  They break down the foods you eat so it is easier for your stomach to digest them.  When you have good oral hygiene habits, your teeth remain durable and strong and help keep their functionality in the process of digestion.  Bad oral hygiene can cause cavities, tooth loss/decay, infected gums, and bad breath.  All of these affect how well you are able to eat good, nutrient rich food that your whole body needs.

Many diseases and conditions have symptoms that show in your mouth.  These signs can tell doctors what is going on throughout the rest of your body.  The mouth is the viewpoint for identifying early signs and symptoms of systemic disease, which are diseases that affect your whole body not just one area.  Systemic diseases are often first noticed in your mouth as lesions or other oral problems.

Saliva has begun to replace blood testing to ascertain disease, abnormalities, and other problems with your overall health.  It can be tested for a variety of substances and conditions including:  stress responses in newborns, certain cancers, bone density, etc.  One of the first defense mechanisms our body has is our saliva which fights disease causing organisms, from bacteria and viruses, from entering our body.  It contains antibodies that fight viral pathogens known to cause the common cold and HIV, among others, and also contains enzymes which help to destroy the bacteria in our mouths that are not supposed to be there.

Your mouth contains a lot of harmless bacteria that actually aids in the cleaning and digesting process, but if you don’t floss and brush daily, the bacteria that isn’t supposed to be in your mouth will attach itself to the area between your gums and teeth.  This is called plaque and if left untreated can cause the disease known as gingivitis, which can severely damage your teeth and gums, causing problems throughout the rest of your body.

So why is good oral health paramount to our overall health?  Well, gum disease has been shown to increase incidences of pre-term, low-birth-rate babies in women.  Poor oral hygiene routines increase your chances of serious diseases including stroke, heart attack, and poorly controlled diabetes, not to mention that mouth oral diseases are a serious threat to the rest of the organs in your body.  If your teeth are not strong and healthy, problems chewing can lead to intestinal failure, IBS, and other digestive disorders, signifying that your body will not get the proper nutrition it needs to stay healthy and fight off disease in other areas.

Good oral hygiene involves everything that keeps our mouth, teeth, and gums clean and, most importantly, healthy.  But, this doesn’t mean just brushing your teeth daily.  Below are some great tips to help you start a better oral hygiene routine.

Brush thoroughly at least twice a day.  Make sure to use a fluoride toothpaste and brush your teeth and gum area for at least two minutes.  Also, every 3-4 months replace your toothbrush.

Floss at least once a day.  Food particles can get stuck in between our teeth and by our gums which can cause bacteria to grow in those areas.  By flossing, you are able to get out that bacteria to keep it from causing gingivitis.

Eat a healthy, nutrient rich diet.  Whole foods, like grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and dairy, provide nutrients that help keep our teeth and whole body strong.  Some believe that the omega 3 fats in fish can help to lower the risks of gum disease.

Rinse or chew gum after eating.  Rinsing your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash after eating can clear away and leftover food that might want to cause your teeth and gum trouble.  And chewing sugar free gum can help to increase the flow of saliva which helps to wash bacteria away naturally and neutralize acid.

Avoid sugary foods and drinks.  Bacteria in our mouths break down simple sugars (which produce acids that erode our tooth enamel, the important part of our teeth that protect them), opening us up to decay and diseases.  Gummy candies and foods stick to your tooth surface and erode the enamel away, leaving you with weak and hurtful teeth.  Carbonated drinks have an acidity that will also erode away enamel leaving you open to diseases.

Stay away from tobacco and tobacco products.  Using tobacco increases your chances of having major gum diseases and cancers.  It also stains your teeth.

VISIT YOUR DENTIST!  Your dentist can find the problems that you are not able to and can treat them before they become problematic.  Most dentists will schedule you twice a year, every 6 months, and it is important to go in to get your teeth checked and cleaned.  And most importantly, if you are having ANY pain, discomfort, or problems, it is important to immediately call your dentist and make an appointment.  Ignoring these problems will, eventually, lead to more serious complications.

 

 

Don’t forget to like, share, and comment!  We really appreciate feedback!

Sources: http://yoursmileyourstyle.com/oral-hygiene-important/
http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/healthy-teeth-tips
http://www.colgateprofessional.com/patient-education/articles/why-a-healthy-mouth-is-good-for-your-body
http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475

5 Great Volunteer Opportunities

Looking for volunteer opportunities? Check out these 5 great Pittsburgh non-profits. Each are doing great work in our communities and always accepting an extra helping hand.

  1. Rankin Christian Center, located in Rankin Borough, is a faith-based center offering programs for children, senior citizens, and individuals with intellectual disabilities. They also provide fuel assistance, services that assist at-risk residents living in public housing, and a food pantry.
  2. Junior Achievement of Western PA provides programing to local students promoting work-readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy skills. To check out some of their programs and see how you can become involved, click here for more information.
  3. Focus On Renewal (FOR) serves the Sto-Rox community by providing adult education, youth intervention, and economic assistance. FOR also provides a slew of other community-based services such as a food pantry and emergency support program, free daily lunch program for those in need, early Head Start program, and family support program for children.
  4. Heritage Community Initiatives helps individuals and families facing socio-economic challenges. Their programing focuses on education, transportation, and life enhancing initiatives. The non-profit offers a number of volunteer opportunities.
  5. Tri-County Patriots for Independent Living, or TRIPIL, is a center for independent living, assisting individuals with equal access, assistive technology, education, employment, housing, and transportation. Check out their volunteer page to find more information on opportunities to get involved.