Monthly Archives: February 2012
|February 13, 2012||Posted by Elizabeth under Fitness, Food and Nutrition, Health, Obesity|
Obesity is not just a national epidemic among adults. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than tripled in the US over the past 30 years. The affects of this all-to-common condition can have devastating short and long-term affects.
Children who are overweight or obese are at a higher risk for health conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, depression and joint problems. Reversing this troubling trend can start at home.
Children learn life habits, whether healthy or unhealthy, from their family. Taking the proper steps to teach your child good life habits could make a tremendous difference in their health now, and for the rest of their lives.
Life can be busy and bogged down in the fast paced life style to which we have become accustomed. The health of our families should not take a backseat to the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives.
We have some helpful and easy tips on how to get your child’s weight and health back on track!
- Make exercise fun by planning family excursions that are active. Instead of taking the kids to the movies, take them hiking or swimming.
- Find a way to incorporate exercise into their everyday life until it becomes a part of their routine. Don’t drive them to the bus stop, walk with them. Take them with you when you walk the dog, or go to the park and create a scavenger hunt that gets them out and moving while having a great time!
- Get your child involved in sports or activities that encourage being active.
- Try limiting the amount of time that you allow your child to watch television or play video games. This might encourage them to go outside or do something productive.
- Remember to keep an eye on portion control. If you are making their lunch or their meals, be sure to regulate how much you are giving them. If you normally give them a large portion, slowly lower their portion size so they don’t become upset or thrown off by the change.
- Every kid has a sweet tooth, but don’t forget that fruits are sweet, too! Replace the candy with a fruit cup in juice, not syrup.
- Make sure to keep an eye on the amount of fat in the milk, yogurt or cheese that your child eats. Maybe switching to low-fat dairy products would be beneficial for your child.
- Stop leaning on the drive-thru for meals. Fast food is a leading contributor to the childhood obesity epidemic and it is very unhealthy for your child.
- If your family likes to eat out, try and order from the heart healthy menus that are provided to you in many restaurants.
- Don’t just cook dinner for your kids, include them in the process by allowing them to learn what is healthy and how to make it. That will encourage long-term healthy habits.
- Most importantly, lead by example. If you eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and promote a healthy lifestyle, your child is likely to follow suit.
|February 10, 2012||Posted by Elizabeth under Recipes|
Dinner can be a challenge when everyone in the family likes something different! Throw diabetes into the mix, and all of a sudden coming up with a menu that works for everyone just got a little bit harder. Some may only think of dessert as an obstacle for a person living with diabetes, but every meal matters. We have a wonderful low fat, delicious and diabetes friendly option from The Food Network that is perfect for everyone coming to dinner!
Turkey Meatloaf with Feta and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
Inactive Prep Time:
4 to 6 servings
- Vegetable cooking spray
- 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped garlic and herb-marinated sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced, optional
- 2 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound ground turkey, preferably dark meat
- Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Spray a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, if using, eggs, milk, feta, salt, and pepper. Add the turkey and gently stir to combine, being careful not to overwork the meat.
- Carefully pack the meat mixture into the prepared pan and bake until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and slice. Put on a serving platter and serve.
- Per Serving: Calories: 329; Fat: 17g (Saturated Fat: 6.5g); Protein: 29g; Carbohydrates: 14g; Sugar: 4g; Fiber 0g; Cholesterol: 213mg; Sodium
|February 9, 2012||Posted by Elizabeth under Alzheimer's Disease|
Alzheimer’s is a complex disease that affects over five million people throughout the United States. Despite those high numbers, there are still many who don’t fully understand the condition. People have misconceived notions about Alzheimer’s disease and we want to help you break down the myths that could be confusing you.
Myth #1: Alzheimer’s only affects the elderly: Some are led to believe that Alzheimer’s only affects those well into their later years. Yes, most of the people who are affected by the disease are past retirement age, but there is a rare form of the disease that can affect people as early as in their 30’s. Early-onset Alzheimer’s more commonly strikes a person in their 50’s and affects about 5-10 percent of people with Alzheimer’s.
Myth #2: Dementia or Alzheimer’s are inevitable: It’s not uncommon to misplace your keys once in a while as you age, but not everyone develops a condition that leads to severe memory loss and cognition troubles. There are plenty of people that live into their latest years with full mental capabilities.
Myth #3: Alzheimer’s can be prevented: Thus far, there is no known way to prevent Alzheimer’s since the cause has not yet been found. However, there are ways to reduce to the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Myth #4: Alzheimer’s runs in the family, so you’re bound to get it: Although a family history of Alzheimer’s does heighten your risk to develop the disease, it does so only slightly. Genetic testing is an option for those who are concern as to whether they carry the “risk gene” associated with Alzheimer’s.
Myth # 5: Symptoms of Alzheimer’s can be reversed: There are several leaps in the right direction in terms of treating Alzheimer’s improving the quality of life for those living with the disease, but there is still no way to reverse or stop the progression of the disease. (As shown on caring.com)
|February 8, 2012||Posted by Elizabeth under Caregiving, Health, Wellness|
As a caregiver, your focus may be on your loved one, but neglecting yourself will lead to a burnout that won’t benefit you or the person under your care. The only way to prevent caregiver burnout is to understand what may cause it and ways to offset those factors.
Caregivers are among the most stressed in our society. Some never fully disconnect from their job as a caregiver, and have to find ways to manage all of the other aspects of their lives in addition to the emotional challenges of caring for a loved one.
Knowing the warning signs of what caregiver burnout might look like will help you to watch out for it, and then work to fix it.
- Your energy levels have dropped
- You are always tired despite sleep, or you are having trouble sleeping
- You tend to get sick easily and often
- You find it difficult to unwind or relax
- Your attitude has changed and you are more irritable or impatient
- You are showing signs of depression, or feel depressed
- You neglect your own needs or stop caring about your own needs
- Your life consists solely of caregiving (As shown on Healthguide.org)
If you have encountered any of these warning signs, hope is not lost! Acknowledging these symptoms is the first step in getting your life back on track.
- Join a support group for caregivers
- Be sure to get enough rest. A full night sleep is necessary to stay healthy, and if you find yourself up a lot during the night with your loved one, try to find times throughout the day to nap.
- Don’t be afraid to use your resources. Ask for help and try and have a few people lined up to step in for you when caregiving becomes too much.
- Find time to exercise throughout the day. Go for a walk, keep hand weights or an exercise ball in the house, or do yoga.
- Maintain a very healthy diet. If you are eating well, your body will be able to handle more and it will feel better.
- Don’t let go of the things you love. Schedule time to participate in the hobbies you have always loved. Stay involved in activities that bring you happiness.
- Find time to meditate. Reflecting on the day and finding ways to relax is very important to your health.
- Pamper yourself. When you are a caregiver for someone else, who is going to care for you? Go get a massage, or indulge in a nice long bath or enjoy a day at the spa. You’ve earned it!
|February 7, 2012||Posted by Elizabeth under Sleep, Stroke|
Past research exposed the link between sleep apnea and stroke, but the connection may go deeper and more silent than previously thought. A more recent study focused more on the relationship between those with sleep apnea and those who experience “silent” strokes.
A silent stroke lives up to its name. Most often when a person suffers a silent stroke, they are unaware that they have suffered a stroke, as they do not exhibit the symptoms of a traditional stroke. Despite the lack of identifiable symptoms, there is still typically damage caused to the brain, also raising the risk for a future stroke.
According to the American Stroke Association, stroke affects 795,000 Americans every year. In one of the silent stroke studies, they found that 91 percent of the people who had experienced a silent stroke also had sleep apnea. Those with a higher severity of sleep apnea were at a higher risk for a silent stroke, therefore raising the risk for a massive, traditional stroke.
|February 6, 2012||Posted by Elizabeth under Fitness, Food and Nutrition, Health|
Win, lose or draw, you made through Super Bowl weekend. If it was anything like ours, you were feeling the effects of splurging come this morning. People tend to drift into party mode, diets go out the window and people replace their nervous nail-biting habit for heavy snacking.
But don’t throw in the towel on all of the hard work you’ve put into your diet and fitness prior to your big day off. Sometimes it can feel like it’s too hard to bounce back after putting on a few pounds, but here are 10 tips on how to get back on track!
- Don’t be so hard on yourself: Okay, so you splurged a little. Get over it! You can’t go back in time and change what your ate or how you skipped your workout. It’s time to take on a positive attitude and move forward.
- Stay away from the scale, for now: If you ate too much for a day, chances are you’re going to feel the results more than you will see it on the scale. Don’t get caught up in a couple of pounds. Focus on getting back into a healthy routine.
- Don’t get drastic: A day or two of eating poorly does not equal a day or two of fasting to get back on track. Be sensible. You don’t have to take drastic measures, just get right back into that healthy routine.
- Exercise will help: If you missed out on a few workouts, get back to the gym or start running again. You don’t have to spend an extra hour on the treadmill, but maybe add a few minutes. Exercise will help your body rid itself of the toxins you put in it over the weekend and boost your metabolism.
- Drink a lot of water: Put down the soda and pick up the H2O. Water will help deter hunger, flush out your system and feel more awake and healthy.
- Stay away from the salt: Sodium can make you feel bloated and chances are that all that junk you ate was loaded with it. Try to skip the salt for a few days to get your body feeling better and you will start to fit back into those clothes.
- Keep track of what you’re eating: By food journaling, you will know what you are snacking on and eating for meals. That way you will have a sense of how much you are consuming and what you may need to change.
- Walk it out: If you normally drive to get your morning coffee or take the elevator at work, try walking instead. By adding a little something extra to your routine you burn more calories and will start to feel healthier.
- Eat protein: Don’t underestimate the benefits of lean protein. Your metabolism will thank you, you will stay full longer and have more energy throughout the day.
10. Get some rest: Getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night makes a big difference in you health. If your body doesn’t have an adequate amount of sleep, it cannot perform throughout the day. When you are asleep, you are not snacking, and you feel well rested come morning and are ready for whatever comes your way!
|February 3, 2012||Posted by Elizabeth under Mobility|
As New England Patriots supporters, we’re hopeful that the New York Giants will be hurting emotionally come Monday, but what about physically? Waking up bruised and broken will leave them barely able to get themselves out of bed to go about their daily routines.
Okay, so let’s start at the beginning. If (when) the Patriots are celebrating their big win, the Giants are going to need to hit the showers and wash the defeat off of their battered bodies. But you try to stand up in a shower after spending 60 minutes at the hand of New England’s defensive line! Luckily for those Giants, grab bars could be the perfect solution to their problem.
After a long, sleepless night of pain from swollen joints and strained muscles, it can be very tough to get out of bed. But with thehelp of assistive bed rails, you can pull yourself up with more ease and less pain.
And after four quarters of sack after sack and hit after merciless hit, New York might find themselves in need of a walking aid. Depending on the extent of their soreness, a cane might suit them just fine. But only a few days out from devastation, they might actually need a walker or wheel chair to get them through the first week.
It would be unfair to expect super-stars like the New York Giants to hobble around without the proper mobility bling. They can add a little swag to their walking aids with accessories like a walker basket or a wheel chair tray.
It’s never easy to come out of battle still standing, but we want to support the ones who try! Happy, healthy Super Bowling to all and go Patriots!
|February 2, 2012||Posted by Elizabeth under Recipes|
There is a serious rivalry in our office spurred by the upcoming Super Bowl game featuring the New York Giants and the New England Patriots. Luckily for us, we are located in the Greater Boston Area, providing the ever-dominant Pats with more support.
We all know that Super Bowl Sunday is known for its fierce competition, killer commercials and gut-busting game time snacks! To show our unconditional Patriots pride, we want to pass along a healthy, low-fat cupcake recipe, in both chocolate and vanilla of course, in honor of Bill Belichick’s famous field-side hoodie!
Makes 12 cupcakes.
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup white sugar or sugar substitute
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup fat-free plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup skim milk
- 4 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix dry and wet ingredients separately, then stir just until combined. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake papers or spray with nonstick zero-calorie spray, fill each cup 2/3 full with batter. Bake 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean.
Low Fat Vanilla Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes.
- 2 cups white flour
- 1 cup white sugar or sugar substitute
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1/2 cup skim milk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup fat-free plain yogurt
- 1 egg
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix dry and wet ingredients separately, then stir just until combined. Line 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake papers and divide batter evenly. Bake 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center of one cupcake comes out clean.
(Photo taken from The-Patriots Place Facebook page)
|February 1, 2012||Posted by Elizabeth under Caregiving, Happiness, Health|
You are at the top of the list for one of the most stressed groups of people, your physical health could be at risk because of it and you need to do something about it! Who are you? You’re a caregiver, and according to the American Psychological Association’s Stress in America report, the likelihood that you are burnt out is pretty high.
Here are some facts and figures from that annual report that might light that fire within you to start caring for yourself, too!
- More than half (55 percent) of caregivers report that they feel overwhelmed by the amount of care their aging or chronically ill family member requires.
- Caregivers are more likely than those in the general population to report they are doing a poor/fair job at several healthy behaviors, including managing stress (45 percent vs. 39 percent) and getting enough sleep (42 percent vs. 32 percent).
- Caregivers are more likely than the general public to say their stress has increased in the past 5 years (59 percent vs. 44 percent).
- Caregivers are more likely to say that their health is fair or poor (34 percent vs. 20 percent) and are also significantly more likely to cite personal health concerns as a significant source of stress (66 percent vs. 53 percent).
- Caregiving may take a toll on the quality of relationships. Caregivers age 50 and older are less likely than those in the same age bracket in the general population to report they are very satisfied with relationships with their spouse or significant other (50 percent vs. 69 percent), relationships with friends (48 percent vs. 64 percent). (As shown in the American Psychological Association’s annual StressReport).
It makes perfect sense why these statistics are the way that they are. As a caregiver, you lead a very busy life on top of your already very busy life. You may not clock out at the end of the day. Even if your shift of caring for a loved one is over, your emotions still may be invested.
But, in order for you to care fully for your loved one, you have to make an effort to care for yourself! Find ways to relieve stress that are healthy for you, and take time to yourself to do the things you love.