Category: Diet and Nutrition

Boost Your Immune System Naturally

January 28, 2015 Cheryl Smith Children's Health, Diet and Nutrition, Disease Prevention, Men's Health, Women's Health


Seems like everyone around you is SICK! How can you strengthen your immune system’s defense again viruses and bacterial infections that cause conditions like the common cold or flu. We know everyone will and can get sick, even the healthiest people. We wanted to share a few ways to support your immune system the natural way.

  1. 12229548-boost-immune-health-by-reducing-stress8 hours of sleep is a requirement!   Sleep helps the body regulate the immune system. It’s critical you get enough rest before you get sick.
  2. Focus on hygiene.   According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, washing your hands is the best way to steer clear of an illness. Washing your hands should take you at least 15-20 seconds, using warm water and soap. Seems silly to remind you, but you should always wash your hands prior to preparing food or eating and after you cough, sneeze or use the restroom.
  3. Relieve your stress. Studies have shown that prolonged stress has a negative impact on a person’s immune system.   Incorporate stress relieving techniques in your daily routine – those can include yoga, meditation or cuddling with a loved one.
  4. Moderate exercise is the key! Working out on a regular basis can help mobilize your T cells, which are a type of white blood cells known to guard the body against infections. Moderate exercise includes a brisk walk for an average of about 30 minutes a day. Easy enough and not only fights against illness, but also helps you stay fit and mentally in balance.
  5. Diet- seems like it all comes down to what we eat! Antioxidants are essential to supporting our immune systems.   Antioxidants fight the free radicals, which are chemical by products know to damage DNA and suppress the immune system. To continue to fight the free radicals- make sure your diet is rich in fruits and vegetables. Also for another immune boost, add garlic and ginger to your diet.   Garlic has virus-fighting and bacteria-killing properties, while ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory. And don’t forget the importance of water! It helps keep infections at bay by flushing out your system.

CPR Choice cares about your well-being. Incorporate these tips into your every day to help you stay healthy!  

immune system

5 Ways to Lower Your Risk of a Heart Attack

January 16, 2015 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, Diet and Nutrition, Disease Prevention, Heart Health, Men's Health, Women's Health

Heart disease

Heart disease is the number one killer in American. Let me say it again—the NUMBER ONE killer and in most cases we can avoid or decrease our chances of developing this disease. Heart disease occurs when the arteries that supply the heart with blood, oxygen and any nutrients start to narrow. The narrowing is a result of a buildup of cholesterol fatty deposits inside the arterial walls. The buildup, also known as plaque, clogs up the arteries creating blockages therefore restricting oxygenated blood to get to the heart.

Lower your risk today by adopting the following habits:

  1. smoking heart Stop smoking and don’t start! Smoking is the leading preventable cause of heart disease in women. Chemicals in the tobacco can damage your heart and blood vessels, leading to atherosclerosis, which is narrowing of the arteries. This leads to a heart attack. Also, the carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke replaces some of the oxygen in your blood. This leads to higher blood pressures and forces your heart to work harder. Bottom line- stop smoking! The good news is once you stop your risk of heart disease drops significantly over the years. By the 5th year of non-smoking you are almost back to a non-smoker status!
  2. Eat a heart healthy diet. Plan ahead, do some research and find a heart healthy diet for you and your family to follow. It’s not really about cutting back but making better choices- for you and your loved ones. By eating the right foods YOU can manage so many things, for example control your weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol. To get you started here’s some additional tips:
    1. heart diet nutritionAdd plenty of fruits and vegetables to your daily food routine, especially those green leafy vegetables and vitamin C rich items. Your goal should be at least 10 servings a day. And fruits and vegetables have an added bonus- not only do they help prevent heart disease, they may also help prevent cancer and improve diabetes.
    2. Don’t forget whole grains and fiber.
    3. Watch your sodium intake– eating at home is the best way to manage the amount of sodium you eat!
  3. MOVE! Regular exercise can help prevent your risk of fatal heart disease. When you combine exercise with the other tips we have provided you will reap so many benefits, such as helping your body reduce insulin resistance and providing you with endorphins that lift your mood! A brisk 30 minute will do wonders for your body and mind!
  4. Maintain a healthy weight. Carrying extra weight, especially around your mid-section increases your risk of heart disease. It can also open the door to additional health issues such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Avoid the word “diet” – look for ways to make lifestyle changes. Make good food choices and learn to fuel your body the right way!
  5. Sleep! Did you know that sleep deprivation increases your stress hormones, raises your blood pressure and can affect your blood sugar levels? Adequate sleep is crucial to our proper brain function, basically we need time to decompress and prepare mentally and physically for the next day. We need at least 8 hours of restful sleep a night. We have adopted the following strategies to help us get a good night’s sleep:
    1. Get on a schedule to help you keep regular sleep hours.
    2. Meditate before going to bed, focus on lowering your heart rate and relaxing.
    3. Exercise daily but limit exercise to at least 4 hours prior to bedtime.
    4. Avoid caffeine, alcohol or any other stimulant 4 hours before bedtime.
    5. Avoid watching TV before bedtime.

The risk is real! Heart disease will affect a member of your family, a co-worker, an associate- the question is are you prepared to help in the event of a medical emergency. CPR Choice offers classes in First Aid, CPR and AED Training.  We have a passion for training people in the event of a medical situation. Check out our CPR training calendar and sign up for a class today in Knoxville, Maryville, or Tri-Cities! CPR Choice also offers training on-site at your location.  Learn CPR in the comfort of your office or home!

Got New Year’s Resolutions?

December 31, 2014 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, Diet and Nutrition, Holiday

Got Your Game Face On?

Welcome to the New Year 2015! Are you ready? Do you have your New Year’s resolutions documented and a game plan in place? As we all know, resolutions come in all forms. Many of which focus on self-improvement, financial related goals, and relationships.

CPR Choice wants to challenge you to include some resolutions this year that will benefit you, as well as others.

We hope these goals will make it on your list this year:

Healthy living!

Most people focus on losing weight and set unrealistic goals. Let’s face it, not everyone will look like a Victoria’s Secret model. So, focus on things you can control and manage.

  • Eat right!Eat a balanced meal– include fruits, vegetables
  • Drink your water! Avoid sugary drinks that add calories and who knows what else!
  • Get out & move– Plan time in your schedule to be active. A daily 30 min walk improves your health, as well as your emotional well-being. Get out today & let us know how you feel!

We challenge you to focus on the 3 above– eating a balanced meal, drinking water, and exercising and if your goal is also weight loss please take baby steps. Set a realistic weight loss goal and remember you won’t lose the weight overnight—it’s a lifestyle change. So start 2015- slow and steady with good eating & exercising habits and you’ll see a difference.

Financial freedom

This is your year! Now is the time to review your finances and set some realistic goals for your family. Job stability is becoming more of an issue and being financially secure in the event of the unexpected job loss is key to reducing stress on your family.

  • Simplify your life– review your budget, looking for areas where you can cut back and make a plan for future events, such as vacations or weekend trips.
  • De-clutter your world– take the time to de clutter your home and sell any items you either don’t need or use. This is a great way to put away some funds for a new item or a family trip.
  • Family time– eating out is part of every family’s life and make a pact to eat at home, cooking together and saving money! This is a great opportunity to save money, share some family time either in the kitchen or at the dinner table. Both will pay off in the end—we promise!

Social Interactions

Relationships, building business networks, spending more time with your family– all these are a result of TIME. In 2015, focus on spending time with the right people, the people who need you, love you and the ones that support you and challenge you.

  • Make FriendsVolunteering is good for you– emotionally and physically! Look for opportunities for you individually as well as group opportunities for your family and friends.
  • Spend quality time with your significant other– it’s important and helps you maintain your bond.   Life changes quickly, if you have someone by your side, invest the time to maintain and grow your relationship.
  • Friends, friends, friends– friends come in all sizes and support levels. Make sure you include these special people in your life! Friends are important to keep you grounded, offer different perspectives, offer honest feedback and the majority of time are just like family. Don’t forget what value they bring to your life!
  • Learn a new hobby or skill– a great example of this is getting your loved ones together to learn a new language or life-saving skills, such as CPR. You could save a life and share some fun experiences! Contact us for a family discount!

Our Goals

CPR Choice’s goals are in place- personal and professional. We hope you will adopt and share some of these tips and resolutions- for you and your family too!

Again, CPR Choice is excited about what 2015 has to offer and we are committed to making it our best year ever! We are passionate about our business and providing our clients with life-saving skills taught by the best staff in the area. We revisit our company’s vision every year to ensure we are setting future goals that will lead us in the right direction! Our vision is to be a nationwide CPR provider, providing quality training that is engaging and interesting. To be an advocate for AED use and a worldwide provider of AEDS. We are looking forward to you being part of our journey this year!


Happy New Year!

CPR Choice at The Healthy Living Expo, Knoxville

December 7, 2014 Cheryl Smith AED, Awareness and Prevention, Breast Cancer, Children's Health, Choking, CPR, CPR Training, Diabetes, Diet and Nutrition, Disease Prevention, Events, First Aid, Hands-Only CPR, Heart Health, Men's Health, Uncategorized, Women's Health

CPR Choice at The Healthy Living ExpoThe Healthy Living Expo is coming up!  Get ready for Knoxville’s largest Health & Fitness Expo.  AND…Guess What??  CPR Choice will be participating this year!  We will be doing live CPR demonstrations as well as teaching classes and handing out information at our booth.  Come visit us and learn “hands-only” CPR and get some information and goodies!  We will also be teaching a Friends & Family class each day of the expo. The class will be $10 and all proceeds will be donated to The American Heart Association.

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 9am-3pm (Family & Friends CPR @ 2PM, click to sign up)
Saturday, Jan 24, 2015 9am-4pm (Family & Friends CPR @ 2PM, click to sign up)

Knoxville Convention Center, Booth #121


Admission to the expo is $10 at the door or FREE if you get your tickets ahead of time.
Seniors FREE on Friday, Children 12 and under FREE


The area’s largest event focused on health, fitness, nutrition and living green returns for it’s eleventh year to the Knoxville Convention Center January 23-24, 2015. Over 130 individual companies fill more than 250 exhibits. The Expo continues to grow each year from its launch in 2005 and expects approximately 10,000 visitors!  The Healthy Living Expo offers interactive, educational exhibits, demonstrations and presentations.  Best of all, it is FREE when you get tickets before the doors open.

Some of the features for the 2014 Expo:

  • Natural Awakenings Natural Health Pavilion
  • Life Saving Skills taught by CPR Choice
  • Chiropractic Care Pavilion
  • Various Important Health Checks
  • Healthy Food Sampling Booths
  • Hundreds of prizes given away both days!

Cigna Healthcare takes the lead promoting employee wellness by sponsoring tickets to the expo for any company that registers on The Healthy Living Expo website. Whether you have a handful of employees or one of the largest employers in our region, registration only takes a few minutes at the website, then you can offer:

From natural health products to fitness companies, you will find a plethora of new ways to get fit and get healthy at The Healthy Living Expo, including life saving techniques from CPR Choice!

What could be more important than knowing how to save someone in a life threatening situation? The Expo is proud to have CPR Choice demonstrate on stage some of the techniques you can learn when you take a CPR class. You can even take a class while you are at the expo, so by the time you leave you can be prepared to properly assist someone with life saving skills!

Natural Health Pavilion
This section of The Healthy Living Expo has companies with products and services that have a natural health aspect. Natural Awakenings Magazine, the foremost leader in our community promoting natural health is the sponsor of this area. Everything from household products, nutritional supplements to local green suppliers are found in the pavilion promoting a healthy mind, body and planet.

Chiropractic Care Pavilion
In keeping with the natural health approach to wellness is the Chiropractic Care pavilion. Three top chiropractic health professionals host this section with information about whole body wellness using natural health solutions.

FUN Outdoors
Getting outdoors, taking walks and hikes, visiting local parks are all part of living healthy so the City of Knoxville sponsors this area to inform our community of these available resources. Look for many associations and businesses offering information and products for outdoor fun for the entire family available right here in East Tennessee.

Get FIT with Health Checks
More than a dozen free health checks are available at the Expo. Screenings for allergies, blood pressure and a list of other simple tests will be listed at under the health check tab.

Local Chef Walter and other experts using healthy products create FABULOUS foods at the Eat Right stage then share samples with visitors.  And after each segment, prizes are drawn for those attending. In addition to the stage presentations, numerous exhibitors offer samples of healthy products.

Get Active to stay FIT!
Fort Sanders Health & Fitness Center takes the lead on this stage with plenty of ideas for getting active. Music fills the area for two days highlighting numerous ways to become more active. Demonstrations are exciting to watch, inviting to participate and created for visitors of all ages.

It is informative and fun!  Come check it out!  This is a prime opportunity to find ideas, products, and services from the many exhibitors! CPR Choice is offering these Family & Friends CPR classes as a public service. All proceeds from this class will be donated directly to the American Heart Association.

It IS Possible to Eat Healthy During the Holidays!

December 6, 2014 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, Diet and Nutrition, Heart Health, Holiday, Men's Health, Women's Health

healthy holidays

Over the past few weeks, the same topic of discussion continues to come up in conversation- how can I avoid extra weight gain over the holidays?  We all love to gather with family and friends and it seems every event is centered around food!  CPR Choice has compiled a list of the tips we use to help maintain during the holidays and we wanted to share with our customers.


  • Start the day with a healthy breakfast. Make this a requirement for your family and it is a great way to spend quality time with family and friends and a wholesome way to start the day.
  • Choose lean meats and veggies at your big meals. Turkey is a lean meat and is staple for most holidays here in the South and also challenge your family to fill up on veggies too. Monitor your intake of carbs and sugary items. It’s a holiday so of course you can have some goodies but chose smaller portions!
  • Hydrate! Avoid the sugary sodas and drink your water throughout the day to help with the additional sodium intake. Having chilled and/or fruit water readily available will help you remember to drink and also help fill you up so you won’t overindulge.
  • Slow down…this time of year always goes too fast and we all know life is precious! So savor every bite (eating s-l-o-w-l-y) as much as you do the conversation with your family & friends.
  • Schedule some time outside (weather permitting). After dinner, stroll thru the neighborhood, or drive to park to take a stroll. This is a great way to spend time together and get a little exercise to help avoid any extra pounds.

So you don’t have to miss out, you just have to make better choices.  Remember it’s a four letter word- P L A N!  You will be more successful.  We promise!  Enjoy!

Eating Heart Healthy

April 29, 2014 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, Diet and Nutrition, Heart Health, Men's Health, Women's Health


Eating Heart Healthy

Eating healthy can be a challenge.  Life is busy and unhealthy food can be so tempting and convenient, not to mention addicting.  Most of us consider the effects that eating unhealthy food can have on our waistlines, but we shouldn’t forget about the effects the foods we eat can have on our hearts.

Here are 8 simple steps we can take to making better choices for our hearts and preventing heart disease:

  1. Limit Unhealthy Fats and Cholesterols.  Limiting how much saturated and trans fats we eat is an important step to reducing blood cholesterol and lowering the risk of coronary and artery disease.  High blood cholesterol levels can lead to buildups of plaques in arteries which can increase risk of a heart attack or stroke.  Butter, margarines, and shortenings are examples of foods containing a lot of saturated fats.  When you’re looking at the list of ingredients in something take notice is it says “partially hydrogenated” this is a good indicator of trans fat.  The American Heart Association offers these guidelines:
  • Saturated Fats: Less than 7% of total daily calories should be saturated fats or less than 14 g for a 2000 calories-a-day diet.
  • Trans Fats: Less than 1% of total daily calories or 2g for a 2000 calories-a-day diet.
  • Cholesterol: Less than 300 mg a day for healthy adults and less than 200 mg a day for adults with high levels of LDL (bad cholesterol)
  1.  Eat More Fruits and Vegetables. Try planning meals containing a lot of fruits and vegetables, keeps vegetables and fruits chopped in the fridge for easy and convenient snacks or on the counter to remind you to eat them.
  2. Control Portion Size. When portion sizes are too large its easier to consume for fats, calories and cholesterol than you should have.  Most restaurant portions are larger than anyone needs.  Pay attention to the portion sizes suggested for different foods and try to stick to it.  For example a single serving of pasta is about half a cup or a serving of meat is about 2 to 3 ounces.
  3. Select Whole Grains.  Whole grains are a great source of fiber and other nutrients that help regulate blood pressure and promote heart health.
  4. Choose Low-Fat Protein.  Lean meat, poultry, fish, low-fat dairy and egg white are great proteins that are low in fat.
  5. Reduce Sodium.  Sodium can contribute to high blood pressure which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.  The Department of Agriculture recommends that healthy adults consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium a day which is about 1 teaspoon.
  6. Plan Meals Ahead.  Creating daily menus can help you select foods that are better for your health.  Preparing healthy meals takes more planning than many instant or processed foods.
  7. Allow Yourself an Occasional Treat.  Everyone needs a treat sometimes and as long as you’re making healthy choices most of the time a healthy treat now and then won’t hurt anything.

Here’s a list of some great Heart Healthy Foods:

  • Salmon
  • Flaxseed
  • Oatmeal
  • Black or Kidney Beans
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Red Wine
  • Tuna
  • Tofu
  • Brown Rice
  • Soy Milk
  • Blueberries
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Dark Chocolate (70% or higher in cocoa content)
  • Red Bell Peppers
  • Asparagus
  • Oranges
  • Tomatoes

Any foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are going to be great choices for you and your heart.

Why Should You Choose CPR Choice?

CPR Choice, Knoxville Real Testimonials

"Best CPR Class I've ever attended."

"This is the BEST CPR class I have ever been to. As an RN, I’ve been to lots over the years. HIGHLY recommend this one!"

"I highly recommend CPR Choice for healthcare provider certification! It was easy to schedule and Cheryl kept the class interesting and informative. This was by far my best experience taking a CPR class. Thanks Cheryl!"

"I have been taking an annual CPR class for about eight years now, and never before now have I felt like I had such a complete grasp on the material."

"Best CPR class I have taken as an RN in 10 yrs! The instructor, Kristy, was the best instructor! Systematic approach to teaching with tons of energy and obvious interest in teaching CPR. Thank you!"

"I'll be back in two years for renewal! Thanks CPR Choice!"

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