Tips to Navigate the Holiday Season And Keeping Your Waistline Intact

Getting through the holidays without putting on extra pounds can be a real challenge. There are many opportunities to go overboard. However, just because the temptations are greater, doesn’t mean you have to fall victim to the traps of holiday weight gain

Here are some tips to help you navigate the holiday season while keeping your waistline intact:

  • Control portions.Research has shown that the more food we’re served, the more we will eat even if we don’t particularly like what we’re eating. Try to minimize the size of your portions, especially with calorie-heavy foods like gravy, eggnog, and desserts.
  • Keep moving. Exercise has proven to be important for weight loss.  Exercise is also essential in helping you cope with stress and increases your level of energy, giving you a boost when trying to tackle that long holiday “to-do” list. Even if you don’t have time to get to the gym, try to squeeze in 10-minute intervals of activity throughout the day.
  • Weigh in regularly.Checking the scale at least once a week is a true test for maintenance. Remember to do this first thing in the morning, in your nightclothes, and after emptying your bladder.
  • Have a healthy breakfast.Numerous studies confirm that those who have breakfast eat fewer calories throughout the day. Eating breakfast also powers up the brain and boosts metabolism.
  • Put it on a plate.It’s hard to keep track of how much food you’re eating when you nibble without using a plate. Serving meals and snacks on a plate will help you avoid munching and consuming extra calories.
  • If you don’t love it, don’t eat it. Trying new foods is always exciting but why waste calories if you don’t love what you are eating? One bite is usually enough to tell whether you love it or not. If something is not for you, just leave it on your plate and use the extra calories for something you love.
  • Take a few bites. A piece of pecan pie or glass of eggnog can set you back by more than 400 calories. To avoid gaining weight, enjoy just a few bites or sips of these rich treats.
  • Savor every bite.Sit down, relax, and take your time to experience the flavors, textures, and aroma of each food. Eating slowly will help you enjoy the meal and will give your brain time to signal to your stomach that you’re

By following these tips you can enjoy all the delicious joys that are associated with the holiday seasons and not suffer the usual consequences.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis is a virus that causes an inflammation of the liver. The liver is an organ in the body that processes nutrients, filters the blood and fights infections. The most common forms of hepatitis are A, B, and C.

Hepatitis B and C are spread from person to person through contact with bodily fluids.  Hepatitis A can be transmitted by coming in contact with food or objects that are contaminated, and can also be spread from person to person. There are ways to reduce the rate of transmission for the virus; here a few:

  • Using sterile equipment for injections
  • Practicing safe sex
  • Encouraging people to receive appropriate vaccinations

Many people have the hepatitis virus and are unaware of it. It is possible to remain without symptoms for many years while the disease is slowly destroying the liver. When symptoms do occur, they include:

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Jaundice
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue

Blood tests are available that can detect the virus at an early stage.  Early detection and treatment can lessen the effects of the virus. Medication exists that can cure hepatitis C and can control hepatitis B infections. When given properly, people are less likely to die from liver cancer and cirrhosis and also are less likely to transmit the disease to others. The hepatitis B vaccine is given in three doses over a 6 month period and it is recommended that the first dose is administered right after birth if possible.  Mild cases of Hepatitis typically do not require treatment and most people who are infected recover without developing permanent liver damage.  A vaccine is available for those who are at risk.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital, please call 718-670-5486.

 

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Tips for Dealing With Holiday Stress

During the holiday season, many of us struggle to complete an extensive list of tasks in what often feels like very little time.   We run rampant decorating our homes, attending social gatherings, shopping for loved ones, volunteering, traveling or cooking.  These activities are often added to our already busy schedules, which can make us feel overwhelmed.

Contrary to what we may think, these activities which should make us feel happy can actually increase our stress levels.

Although there are various factors such as unrealistic expectations or financial strain that contribute to holiday stress, finding ways to avoid stressors or minimize their effects is very important. If stress is not managed well, it can have a significantly negative impact on our health.

Here are five tips to help you cope with holiday stress and maintain your  mental health:

  1. Set realistic goals– Unrealistic goals often equal added pressure and expectations that cannot be met. If these goals are not met, they can lead to negative feelings such as inadequacy or hopelessness.
  2. Know when to take a moment for yourself (Take a break) – We are often pulled in multiple directions during this time of the year. Know when to take a breather to decompress and clear your mind.
  3. Communicate- The added pressures of the holidays are clearly overwhelming and one of the ways that people sometimes deal with this is to isolate themselves. This is not recommended; instead, reach out to loved ones or a trained mental health professional to communicate how you feel.
  4. Do not neglect healthy habits– Taking good care of your health can help combat holiday stress. Moderating your food intake, fitting in a few minutes of exercise and getting adequate amounts of sleep can be profoundly beneficial for your health.   Additionally, maintaining a healthy daily routine can help take your mind off holiday demands.
  5. Ask for help- We live in a time where multitasking has become the norm but if you begin to feel overwhelmed, ask for help. Soliciting the help of friends or family can alleviate some of the holiday pressure. The holidays can also trigger depression; if you are experiencing symptoms of depression ask for help from loved ones or seek the assistance of a mental health professional.

The holiday season can be overwhelming; however, by applying these helpful tips you can take the steps needed to minimize stress and make this time of year more enjoyable.  If you find that you continue to experience elevated levels of stress or symptoms of depression, it is recommended that you seek the help of mental health professional immediately.

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All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Flushing Hospital Pulmonologist, David Wisa Provides Information on COPD

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a common lung disease that is prevalent in our community. COPD can also be described as chronic bronchitis or emphysema.

COPD may cause shortness of breath, coughing, sputum production and wheezing. These symptoms result from damage and narrowing of the airways. COPD may also put patients at risk for pneumonia which is an infection of the lung

According to Dr David M. Wisa, Associate Director of Pulmonary Medicine at Flushing Hospital, “The most common cause of COPD is damage to the lung from smoking cigarettes, although not all smokers develop COPD.  The use of indoor wood burning stoves may cause similar lung damage leading to COPD. People who are found to have COPD at a young age may warrant further evaluation for possible predisposing genetic conditions.”

COPD can be a serious disease and symptoms may worsen over time without proper evaluation and treatment. The most important treatment methods are ones that patients can do on their own. First, quitting smoking will help reduce symptoms and reduce further damage to the lung. Lung function in all patients decline due to normal aging, in smokers with COPD that decline is significantly accelerated.  Second, patients should receive their flu shot annually and the pneumonia vaccine at the proper time as recommended by their doctor.

Further therapies for COPD can be prescribed by your primary care doctor or a lung specialist called a Pulmonologist who can prescribe medications that can help reduce symptoms and improve lung function.  They may include a variety of inhalers that can be taken daily or when symptoms arise. There are also some oral medications that are indicated in specific situations. Other therapies include home oxygen, an exercise program called rehabilitation and rarely surgery.

If you are having symptoms consistent with COPD see your doctor. If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr Wusa, or any the Pulmonologists at Flushing Hopsital, please call 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Moderating Kids’ Sugar Consumption During the Holidays

Eating holiday treats such as sugar cookies, cakes or pies is one of the reasons children look forward to this time of year. In the spirit of generosity and good cheer, we may allow them to indulge more than usual. However, it is important to remember these types of foods are laden with large amounts of sugar and we should continue to moderate the amounts that children consume.

The American Heart Association recommends, “Preschoolers with a daily caloric intake of 1,200 to 1,400 calories shouldn’t consume any more than 170 calories, or about 4 teaspoons, of added sugar a day. Children ages 4-8 with a daily caloric intake of 1,600 calories should consume no more than 130 calories, or about 3 teaspoons a day.  As your child grows into his pre-teen and teen years, and his caloric range increases to 1,800 to 2,000 a day, the maximum amount of added sugar included in his daily diet should be 5 to 8 teaspoons.”

Many holiday desserts contain more than the daily recommended amounts of sugar in each serving.  For instance, there can be as much as three teaspoons of sugar in a medium slice of carrot cake (1/12 of 16 oz. cake).

Too much sugar can negatively affect children’s health. Excessive amounts have been shown to weaken their immune systems, promote tooth decay and increase the risk of obesity which further leads to more complicated health conditions such as diabetes.

There are several steps you can take to moderate your child’s sugar consumption, here are a few:

  • Allow treats only on special occasions
  • Read labels
  • Swap sugary snacks for healthier options
  • When baking, opt for recipes that include sugar substitutes or reduced amounts of sugar
  • Inform friends and family members that you are limiting your child’s sugar consumption to ensure they respect your wishes
  • Educate your children on how having too much sugar can be harmful to their health

Although moderating sugar consumption may come with challenges; however, parents are strongly urged to be persistent in their efforts. Speak with your pediatrician about ways you can curb sugar cravings and establish a healthy diet for your child.

To schedule an appointment with a pediatrician at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-670-5486.

 

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Holiday Tips For People With Diabetes

The holiday season is here and it seems like everywhere we go a variety of treats are being served.  It becomes hard to resist temptation and we may eat more than we normally do.

While overeating is not a good idea for anyone, people who have diabetes have to be very mindful of the things they eat and practice healthy habits.

 

Following these tips can help diabetics to manage their health and still enjoy the holidays:
• Try to keep to a regular schedule of when you eat.
• If you are going to a party, offer to bring a healthy dish with you.
• Cut back on food high in carbohydrates and fat if you are going to be eating sweets
• Don’t skip meals in anticipation of eating one big one, that could lead to overeating.
• Make sure you find time for some exercise to burn up the extra calories
• Eat the things you enjoy, but try to watch the portion sizes
• Get plenty of rest.
• Check your blood sugar regularly.
• Try not to consume a lot of soda or alcoholic beverages.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital to have your diabetes checked, please call 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

I’LL BRING THE DESERT

The holiday season brings so many invitations to celebrate with family and friends.  Next time you are invited to a party, tell your host that you will BRING THE DESERT!

Rich Chocolate Pudding Pie

Ingredients

CRUST:

  • 30 chocolate wafers (such as Nabisco’s Famous Chocolate Wafers)
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

FILLING:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon white rum
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 10 tablespoon fat-free frozen whipped topping, thawed

PREPARATION

  1. To prepare crust, place wafers in a food processor; process until finely ground. Add 3 ounces melted chocolate and oil; process until blended. Press into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Freeze 15 minutes or until set.
  2. To prepare the filling, combine sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, and salt in a large saucepan; stir with a whisk. Add half of milk and 2 yolks; stir with a whisk until smooth. Stir in the remaining milk. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add 4 ounces chocolate, and stir until smooth. Stir in rum. Pour filling into prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap; chill 4 hours or until set. Serve with raspberries and whipped topping.

For this and more healthy deserts, check out – MyRecipes.com

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Safety Tips for Cold Weather Outdoor Exercise

Winter weather doesn’t mean the end of your outdoor exercise routine. If you plan to continue to run or bike after the mercury drops, consider following these tips so you can stay safe and warm while exercising in the cold.

Know the weather conditions before heading outdoors – In addition to the temperature, those heading outside to exercise need to understand how wind and precipitation can affect your health.  These factors, combined with the length of time spent outdoors need to be taken into consideration before beginning an outdoor exercise regime.

Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia –Frostbite is most common on exposed skin, such as your cheeks, nose and ears. It can also occur on hands and feet. Early warning signs include numbness, loss of feeling or a stinging sensation.

Hypothermia is abnormally low body temperature. When exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced. Hypothermia signs and symptoms include intense shivering, slurred speech, loss of coordination and fatigue.

Get out of the cold and seek emergency help right away if you experience symptoms of frostbite or hypothermia.

Dress in layers – Dressing too warmly is a big mistake when exercising in cold weather. Exercise generates a considerable amount of heat — enough to make you feel like it’s much warmer than it really is. The best option is to dress in layers that can be removed as soon as you start to sweat and then put layers back on as needed.

Protect your head, hands, feet and ears – When it’s cold, blood flow is concentrated in your body’s core, leaving your head, hands and feet vulnerable. Ways to protect these parts of your body include wearing a thin pair of glove liners under a pair of heavier gloves, purchasing exercise shoes one size larger to allow for thick thermal socks or an extra pair of regular socks. And don’t forget a hat to protect your head or headband to protect your ears.

Use proper safety gear – If it’s dark when you exercise outside, wear reflective clothing. If you ride a bike, both headlights and taillights are a good idea. Also choose footwear with enough traction to prevent falls, especially if it’s icy or snowy.

It’s as easy to get sunburned in winter as in summer — even more so if you’re exercising in the snow or at high altitudes. Wear a sunscreen and lip balm with sunscreen. Protect your eyes from snow and ice glare with dark glasses or goggles.

Drink plenty of fluids – Don’t forget about hydration, as it’s just as important during cold weather as it is in the heat. Drink water or sports drinks before, during and after your workout, even if you’re not really thirsty.

These tips can help you safely and enjoyably exercise in cold conditions. Closely monitor how your body feels during cold-weather exercise to help prevent injuries. While exercise is safe for almost everyone, even in cold weather, if you do have certain condition such as asthma or heart disease that could limit you ability, you should check with your doctor first.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Addiction

Addiction is a very complex chronic condition that causes a person to be dependent on performing an activity or taking a chemical substance in order to get through the day. It is a chronic disorder with psychosocial, environmental, and biological influences that affect a person’s behavior. Very often an addiction can have detrimental effects on a person’s well-being and ability to function normally.
Some of the substances and activities frequently associated with addiction include:
• Alcohol
• Marijuana
• Hallucinogens (LSD, PCP)
• Inhaled substances ( glue and paint thinner)
• Opioid pain killers
• Tobacco
• Sedatives
• Gambling
• Sex
People who are addicts may build up a level of tolerance to whatever it is they are addicted to and may need more and more to satisfy their cravings. If a person who has an addiction is not able to meet the demands of their addiction, their behavior can change dramatically and cause them to act irrationally until the cravings are satisfied.
Some of the reasons people become addicted to a substance or an activity include:
• Feeling of pleasure
• Relief from stress
• Performance improvement
• Peer pressure curiosity
Professional help for the different types of addiction disorders do exist. The first step is usually having the person with the addiction realize that they have a problem and be willing to try to treat it.  It is helpful if the reasons that a person has become addicted to a drug or an activity can be identified when trying to determine the appropriate plan of action.  Often treatment options may include prescribed medications along with individual or group counseling.  Flushing Hospital offers a specialized unit for people who have addiction problems. To schedule an appointment with this department, please call 718-670-5078.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Five Tips to Help Quit Smoking

Tobacco is the single greatest cause of multiple diseases and premature deaths in the USA today.  It kills more Americans each year than alcohol, crack, heroin, homicide, suicide, car accidents, fire and AIDS combined.

Smoking cigarettes affects many aspects of health. Tobacco smoke contains about 7000 chemicals, including low concentrations of such strong poisons as ammonia, cyanide, arsenic and formaldehyde.  It also contains 69 carcinogens – substances that are known to cause cancers in humans. Direct association has been established between smoking and cancers of the lung, mouth, nose, throat, larynx, esophagus, colon and rectum, stomach, pancreas, cervix, bladder, kidney and blood.

The Smoking Cessation Team at Flushing Hospital Medical Center suggest five common sense steps to provide the best chance for quitting smoking for good:

  1. Get ready: set a quit date and throw out all cigarettes and ashtrays from your home.
  2. Get support: tell your family, friends and doctor about quitting plans; search the internet for advice.
  3. Learn new behaviors: distract yourself from the urge to smoke; exercise or go for a walk.
  4. Get medication: combining medication like nicotine patches or Zyban with behavioral adaptation and family support quadruples your chances of success.
  5. Be prepared for relapse and difficult situations– most people try to quit a few times before   succeeding.

If you would like to learn more about quitting smoking call the Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Smoking Cessation Team at 718-670-3146.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.