A Fun Way to be a Happy and Healthy Family:

College of DuPage Nursing Student Brooke Buxton shared that the days have come to where fast food, microwaved meals, and choosing unhealthy prepped meals at the store are much easier than taking the time to make your own dinner. Quick and easy seems to be the fix these days, but what are we teaching our children? These unhealthy choices also lead to obesity in children and adults, causing many complications in the future.

Quick and easy may work for some people, but there are healthier, easier ways to make mealtime a good time. A recommended way to prepare a meal involves initially picking out five recipes; one for each day of the week. Once you know the type of food you will be preparing, you can go to the grocery store and buy the ingredients. This plan may work better on a Saturday, Sunday, or a day off.

Once all of the shopping is finished, the meals for the entire week can be made and frozen so that they are already prepared and can simply be put into the oven when you get home from work.

Include the children in the meal prepping for the week. They can measure ingredients out and add them to the meal. They can also choose a healthy recipe for the week or the vegetable on the side. Children become very proud of their work and are more likely to eat the food that they have helped to create. This is also a great way to get your family to try new and interesting foods that you may have never thought they liked before.

“Planning meals and snacks in advance and eating breakfast every day may help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, new guidelines from U.S. doctors say.” The American Heart Association recently recommended meal prepping ahead of time for cardiovascular disease prevention. The quality time with your family spent preparing meals for the week and the healthy outcomes that it can lead to opt for a more successful life.


YH4L & The Battle Against Sudden Cardiac Death

College of DuPage Student Andrew Herzog shared that Sudden Cardiac Death is something that almost everyone is aware of in this day and age however we usually associate it with someone who is older and usually already has some kind of preexisting heart condition. I would never have even imagined that a high school student may have such an event occur to them!

Recently he was introduced to an organization called The Young Hearts for Life®(YH4L) Cardiac Screening Program and it completely changed my perception of Sudden Cardiac Death. This organization is known nationally for its screening program that uses community trained volunteers along with health professionals to deliver a low cost and efficient heart screening program for over 170,000 students and counting since they were founded in 2006 by Dr. Marek, who is an internationally recognized cardiologist. This organization is bridging the gap that I had perceived between those who need to be checked for cardiac conditions and those who appear healthy but still should be checked.

To him this is an incredible opportunity that we should get the students at our local schools involved with. Y4HL is constantly expanding the schools that they partner with and this is a perfect time to join the fight towards ending Sudden Cardiac Death in our students.

More information can be found at http://www.yh4l.org/ or by calling 630-785-4366.


Bye, Bye, Belly Fat!

College od DuPage Student Bridget Michael asks, “Are you tired of that stubborn belly fat that just doesn’t seem to go away?!”  Here are some reasons that cause excess stomach fat, tips and tricks to help quickly and safely lose that weight, and why this can be beneficial to your health.

So first of all, what is belly fat exactly? According to Franziska Spritzler and Kris Gunnars of Authority Nutrition: an Evidence based approach, an unhealthy amount of fat in the stomach is called visceral fat. This is fat that is sitting around the liver and other organs in your stomach area.

There are many reasons why excess fat in the stomach builds up:

  • -Too much sugary food and beverage intake
  • – Increased alcohol consumption
  • -A diet high in trans-fat
  • -A diet low in protein and fiber
  • -Lack of exercise
  • -Lack of sleep
  • -High stress

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Final Call For Health Hero Nominations

Healthy Lombard is now accepting nominations for its annual Health Heroes recognition, which honors individuals families, and/or businesses who have made a noticeable effort to improve their health and wellness during the past year.

The individuals who are chosen for the Health Heroes recognition will receive their awards at 1:15 PM during the 2017 Healthy Lombard Fitness February Fair scheduled for Saturday, February 25, 2017 at the Yorktown Center Mall, Lombard, IL.

To make a Health Heroes nomination, please write a one-paragraph (150 words or less) explaining what an individual or family has done to get healthy this past year or what a business has done to help the community or individuals in their workplace lead a healthier life in 2016.this year.

Email he nomination to Healthy Lombard’s Health Hero Chair, Jenn McGrath at jenn@healthylombard.com or mail the information to her 128 South 3rd Avenue, Lombard, IL 60148 no later than February 5, 2017. In addition, please include contact information for BOTH the nominator and the nominee (name, address, phone number, email).

All members of the greater Lombard area community are invited to attend The Fitness February Fair from 10 AM – 1:30 PM, which will features health-related displays, free health screenings, and the opportunity to participate in interactive presentations. This fun health and fitness event is made possible through the sponsorship of Partners of Healthy Lombard, a 501c3 Foundation established in 2010 to address childhood obesity and promote healthy living for everyone.

Exactly How Much Water You Should Drink Every Day

water with lemonAmy Marturana share with S.E.L.F. Magazine that you’ve probably heard you’re supposed to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily. That’s almost enough to fill a 2 liter bottle—which even the most diligent water-drinkers may find daunting. But the classic advice is not the end-all-be-all of water intake. In fact, it’s pretty misleading.

“Fluid requirements vary among individuals based on age, sex, activity level, and even where you live,” Jessica Fishman Levinson, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., founder of nutrition counseling company Nutritioulicious tells SELF. Your personal fluid requirements also can vary each day, depending on the other things you’re doing, eating, and drinking.

The Institute of Medicine recommends that women get 2.7 liters—that’s 11 cups—of water per day. Note, they don’t say you need to drink 11 cups of water a day. That includes all sources of water—from a basic glass of tap, to a cup of coffee, to the water content of the foods you eat (which, the IOM estimates, makes up about one-fifth of your daily fluid intake). If you listen to your body—drink when you’re thirsty, eat when you’re hungry—chances are you’re going to get what you need, or pretty close to it. So stop sweating the eight glasses a day hubbub and think about it this way instead:

All fluids count toward your daily intake, not just plain old H20.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the benchmark should really say “eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid,” not water, because drinking things like milk, tea, and juice contribute to your total. “Good options for hydration without added calories are waters infused with fruit and herbs, unsweetened tea, and sparkling water,” Levinson says.

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Want to be healthier? Help someone else!

older folksDanica Patrick for Edwards-Elmhurst Hospital shared that it’s impossible to walk away from an event where you’ve helped somebody (especially if it involves kids) feeling angry or bitter.

There’s something about shifting your focus off yourself and onto others in a positive way that lifts the dark clouds.

Giving of yourself — helping someone or using your own experiences to inspire others — is selfless, yet it boosts our mental and physical health.

Studies have shown that people who volunteer experience physical benefits such as weight loss, lower cholesterol and a decreased risk of high blood pressure.

Studies also suggest a mental benefit to volunteering. By creating a sense of purpose, volunteering eases us out of depression and stress.

The key is being genuine. If you want to help others, you’ll reap the benefits. If you’re only thinking of yourself the whole time, you won’t get much out of it.

Maybe you would like to help out, but feel like you don’t have the motivation or the time. Take it from me – you should make time. I do. And I find that giving back can be really fulfilling both mentally and in your heart.

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Healthy-up your holiday sweets!

choc chip cookiesThe holidays just wouldn’t be the same without cookies, cakes and other sweet goodies.  Mayo Clinic and The Huffington Post have posted lists of healthy substitutions, including the following:

Sugar: In most baked goods you can reduce the amount of sugar by one-half; intensify sweetness by adding vanilla (try using 4 tsp vanilla to replace ½ cup sugar), nutmeg or cinnamon. You may also use Splenda, mashed banana, or applesauce – the same amount as the called-for sugar.

Eggs: Try two egg whites or ¼ cup egg substitute for each whole egg. You can also mash up a banana to use in place of an egg if you’re baking bread.

Cream: Try fat-free half-and-half or evaporated skim milk

Whole or 2% milk: Use skim milk instead, you’ll save 80 calories and 8 grams of fat per cup!

Butter, shortening or oil: Use applesauce or bananas for half or all of the called-for butter, shortening or oil. Try butter spreads or shortenings specially formulated for baking that don’t have trans-fats. Or use mashed avocado to replace half the butter in a recipe; this cuts trans and saturated fats while adding good, healthy fat.

  • Chia seeds are a great way to ditch the butter and add some healthy omega-3 fats and fiber to your food! Substitute 1 cup of butter with 2-3 tbsp chia seeds soaked in 1 cup of water (soak for at least 20 minutes to absorb liquid).
  • Greek yogurt makes a great butter substitute. Use it for half the butter called for in a cookie recipe, or all of the butter/oil called for in a cake recipe.
  • Pureed prune can also sub in for butter. Replace the entire amount called for — try baby food prune puree.

All-purpose flour: Use whole wheat flour instead, which adds fiber and vitamins/minerals.  In brownies, use 1 cup of black bean puree in place of 1 cup of flour.

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The Natural Human Diet

  wrote that our epidemics of dietary disease have prompted a great deal of research into what humans are meant to eat for optimal health. In 1985, an influential article highlighted in my video The Problem With the Paleo Diet Argument was published proposing that our chronic diseases stem from a disconnect between what our bodies ate while evolving during the Stone Age (about 2 million years ago) and what we’re stuffing our face with today. The proposal advocated for a return towards a hunter-gatherer type diet of lean meat, fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

It’s reasonable to assume our nutritional requirements were established in the prehistoric past. However, the question of which prehistoric past we should emulate remains. Why just the last 2 million? We’ve been evolving for about 20 million years since our last common great ape ancestor, during which our nutrient requirements and digestive physiology were set down. Therefore our hunter-gatherer days at the tail end probably had little effect. What were we eating for the first 90% of our evolution? What the rest of the great apes ended up eating—95 percent or more plants.

This may explain why we’re so susceptible to heart disease. For most of human evolution, cholesterol may have been virtually absent from the diet. No bacon, butter, or trans fats; and massive amounts of fiber, which pulls cholesterol from the body. This could have been a problem since our body needs a certain amount of cholesterol, but our bodies evolved not only to make cholesterol, but also to preserve it and recycle it.

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Why Obesity Goes Unaddressed

senior-exercisingThe Take 5 Challenge is meant to inspire DOCTORS to have a productive conversation about obesity in ways that will support patients and change practice.

Sadly, a recent survey found that more than 1/3 of those with obesity have not spoken with a physician or health professional about their weight. Also, due to lack of training and education, many HCPs aren’t bringing up the topic either.

Initiatives such as “Take 5” are sparking change around the obesity dialogue in the doctor’s office for the betterment of the patient.  And, ICD-10 codes for obesity treatment are available. In fact, Medicare recognizes HCPCS code G0447 Face-to-Face Behavioral Counseling for Obesity.

So talk with you doctor about:

1. Chronic weight management
Weight loss is not solely about personal responsibility. Patients’ genome, adversity they may have experienced in childhood and their environment may all play a role.1

2. The fact thatObesity is common.
Two out of three patients seen by healthcare providers may have excess weight or obesity.

3. The fact that Obesity is treatable.
Comprehensive, peer-reviewed, evidence-based guidelines to treat obesity include behavioral modification, pharmacotherapy and bariatric surgery.  Click here for Guidelines

4. Obesity is a chronic disease, requiring a life-long, comprehensive care strategy.
Weight loss and regain is a common metabolic cycle experienced by those with excess weight.

5. Modest weight loss can go a long way.
Helping patients lose as little as 5% of their weight can result in improvements in joint pain, diabetes, hypertension and other related diseases.2

Likewise, people living with obesity, their loved ones and caregivers, must feel free to initiate conversations with physicians that result in action plans that will help patients meet their weight-loss goals.

To learn more, visit http://obesitycareweek.org/take5

Doctors using virtual reality to treat patients with dementia

door-and-vr Hayley Tsukayama in the Washington Post shared that for most people, virtual reality’s promise of transporting us to a different world in a heartbeat is a great novelty. But for those who cannot travel freely, it’s a lifeline.

High-tech and seniors may not go together in many people’s minds. But virtual reality is actually just the latest in technologies helping them. Nintendo Wii’s motion gaming technology, in its heyday, was a hit in nursing homes, as a way to get residents to exercise. Kinect, Microsoft’s motion gaming sensor, has been used to help patients recover from painful operations. And many wearable and smart appliance technologies are being developed to help older people live in their own homes, rather than go to nursing homes.

Virtual-reality applications have been mostly focused on gaming, but their role in therapy is being examined by a handful of medical professionals, such as Kim.

Kim’s company, One Caring Team, checks in with lonely seniors — partially to stave off the potentially debilitating depression that grips many older adults who live on their own. A woman, who heard Kim speak about her company, asked Kim to help her mother, who had dementia and couldn’t carry on a conversation. Read more