- Category: Eat Right Featured Articles
Over the holidays, so many people worry about putting on the pounds. While many claim they gain as much as nine pounds from Thanksgiving to the New Year, the reality is, that most people only put on a pound or two. The issue is that those couple pounds stay on, and then the next holiday season arrives, and another few come on without notice. I caution people that this is, indeed, the worst time of year to attempt weight loss; however, aiming to maintain your weight can be a reasonable and attainable goal. A common misconception is that the pounds come on during the big, celebratory meals. This is simply not always the case. The meals are just a small piece of the pie, so to speak.
More of a problem, is the tiny tastes we tend to take throughout the holiday season. A piece or two of candy at the office, a sample of some broken cookies that came out of the oven, grocery store samples, appetizers at a party before the main meal, a quick snack at the mall while shopping, that last bite of (insert holiday dish here) left in the bowl. Think about it for a minute. How guilty are we of passing these off as freebies because they are so small and unsatisfying? My challenge for you this year is to pay attention to all the little bites you take throughout the season. Ask yourself what is more important to you, these little samples or to be able to give into yourself and enjoy the family meal with less guilt
Let’s look at how quick some of these sneaky snacks add up to a meal in and of themselves.
-A broken half of an uniced sugar cookie=30 calories
-Cheese and cracker sample=40-60 calories
-Holiday coffee drink sample=40 calories
-2 chocolate truffles=210 calories
-3 chips and creamy dip=75 calories
-¼ cup egg nog=50 calories
-Smidge of potatoes leftover=60 calories
Just those bites alone add up to 525 extra calories. If done daily, this could quickly add up to a pound per week! So, I encourage you, enjoy those special meals with your families and loved ones. Stay away from little temptations, so you can enjoy big things!
Happy, Healthy Holidays-Angela
- Category: Eat Right Featured Articles
As a child, I remember both of my grandmothers keeping themselves busy while sitting in front of the TV. Whether is was knitting, doing a crossword, or saying the rosary, they seemed to keep themselves occupied. One day, I asked my one grandma about this. She told me that her mother, “lost her mind,” near the end and that she didn’t want that to happen to her, so she exercised her brain. When she said that, she didn’t mean she went crazy, she meant she lost her memory. My great-grandmother suffered from dementia. They wanted to keep her mind “active.” They were wise beyond their years. Research in preventing Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia was not very popular yet. At that time, all the general public thought was that we should wait for a medical cure. Now we understand that we can, in fact, take an active role in protecting ourselves against these diseases. The good news about this list, is that you should be doing most of this anyways to maintain good health.
Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can reduce your risk by up to 50%! And, if you already have the disease, exercise can help slow the deterioration of the brain. Exercise helps your brain make new connections and maintain old ones. Make sure to aim for at least 150 minutes of exercise a week that includes cardio, strength training, and yoga (for work on balance).
Eat a healthy diet: I may hint at this every month, but a good diet can’t be emphasized enough. Focus on healthy omega-3 fatty acids, whole grains, fruits, veggies, and beans. Limit saturated and trans fats. Drink tea, which can help enhance memory and alertness.
Stimulate your brain: Just like my grandmas were doing when I was young. Find mental stimulating activities like learning a new skill, reading books, doing puzzles, or even memorizing things (like state capitals or numbers). You can also try something like eating with your non-dominant hand.
Get good sleep: I know I write about this a lot, as well. But, it is so important. Regular sleep is important for memory formation. Try to establish a regular routine around sleep. If you have issues sleeping or with excessive fatigue, make sure you talk to a doc to rule out any issues, such as sleep apnea.
Manage your stress levels: Chronic stress can have a negative effect on all body systems, but especially the brain, in which it can shrink key areas of memory. Make time for yourself daily to relax, breathe, and have fun!
Be a social butterfly: Studies show that the more social we are, the better we fare on tests of memory and cognition. Make maintaining your relationships a priority in your life and help yourself foster new ones by getting involved in community events, volunteer work and activities you enjoy.
Share this info with those you love, especially if either of these diseases run in your family. You never know who you can help!
In Health, Angela
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