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

5 Healthy Activities Teens Can Use to Lift the Winter Blues

robert-hunt_1Robert Hunt (pictured on the left) shared that the winter season is a beautiful time of year when there are many opportunities to gather with your family and friends. However, the combination of planning for holiday events, preparing for final exams and being stuck indoors due to inclement weather can add up to serious stress. While you wait for the season to be over, use these healthy activities to lift your winter blues so that you can make the most of the next several months.

Head Out for a Hike
When you are feeling blue, being surrounded by so much holiday cheer only makes you feel worse. Get away from it all by heading to the hills for a hike on your favorite trail. Spending time in nature has been shown to lift your spirits, and a challenging hike will give you a spike of endorphins that physically enhances your mood. Maximize your hike by bringing your favorite dog along, and you will begin to feel the mood-lifting effects by the time you take your first step onto the trail.

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Vegetable stand-ins for carbs have hit the mainstream

zuchinniMaura Judkis in The Washington Post shared n the annals of the world’s biggest lies ranks this whopper: “Zucchini noodle recipes will make you forget all about pasta.”
No, when people twirl long green strings of zucchini on their forks, pasta probably will be on the minds of all but the strictest Paleo diet adherents. Of course we all want to eat more vegetables. We apparently just don’t want our plates to look so … vegetabley.

That’s why low-carb bloggers and eaters, including diabetics, have long been replicating their favorite starchy dishes with vegetable stand-ins. Grated cauliflower resembles rice and can also be baked as a pizza crust. If you squint really hard, a slice of sweet potato can be toast.

And if you use a kitchen device called a spiralizer, you can twist zucchini and squash into fettuccine or linguine noodles. (Or you can use a spaghetti squash – it’s nature’s spiralizer!)

They have a cutesy name, zoodles – or in the United Kingdom, where zucchini are called courgettes, it’s courgetti. They’ve even received the ultimate stamp of celebrity approval: Khloe Kardashian tweeted a recipe for zucchini noodle pad Thai, claiming it was “just as good as pasta.” But without that comparison, it seems we’re less inclined to eat vegetables for vegetables’ sake, no matter how prettily we whittle them down. The war against carbohydrates is one of ascetic virtues, and it cannot be won without replacing our most decadent culinary pleasures.

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