Five Best Tips for Putting Your Best Fork Forward to Shed the Winter Pounds

Healthy resolutions for the New Year 2017.

Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month?  Every year, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics generates a nutrition, education and information campaign.  This year’s message is “Put Your Best Fork Forward.”

Each person has the tools to make healthy dietary choices.  Now  that winter is coming to an end, and spring is approaching, it is a wonderful time to reflect on our current habits and lifestyle and decide which tools we will use to shed some excess weight gained over the winter months.

Tool #1 – Balance

  • Visit Choose My Plate at https://www.choosemyplate.gov/ – Use the “my plate” method of ½ plate non starchy veggies, ¼ plate protein, ¼ plate fiber rich carbohydrate to balance your nutrients throughout the day.
  • Drink water or mild instead of sweetened beverages (soda or juice).
  • Eat healthy snacks, such as fruits/nuts with yogurt or crackers with peanut butter.
  • Substitute processed or artificially flavored food items with natural unprocessed foods. By skipping the cookies and having a piece of fruit, you will get more vitamins and fiber allowing your body to feel more energized throughout the day.

Tool #2 – Let’s get Physical

Physical activity, in any form, is imperative for managing weight. Some ways to get more active are:

  • Consider non weight bearing exercises such as using resistance bands for building muscle and increasing flexibility, stationary bike or water aerobics.
  • Walking 10,000 steps per day is equivalent to walking five miles! Aim to achieve as many steps as possible throughout the day such as parking your car a little further from your destination, taking the stairs instead of the elevator and partaking in walking breaks, especially if you are sitting for most of the day.
  • March gives us extra daylight, so the best way to utilize this extra time is by being active. Activities such as walking, jogging, gardening, swimming and yoga are perfect ways to spend 30 minutes doing an outside activity.

Tool #3 – Reduce Stress

  • Everyone has stress which can obstruct weight loss. Stress increased the hormone called cortisol, which can contribute to weight gain.  Stress also contributes to emotional eating and other damaging behaviors.
  • It is important to ask for help and have support to get through the daily stressors of life. Consider support groups, meditation, coloring, knitting or spending time with a loved one to relieve the stressors in your daily life and help you stay focused and on track of your goals and progress.

Tool #4 – Be SMART About Your Goals

By setting SMART goals, results are greater!  SMART goals encompass five parameters to make the goal more productive:

S          is the SPECIFICS of the goal.  Is the goal definable?

M         is the MEASURABILITY of the goal. Is it possible to track/measure progress?

A          is ATTAINABILITY of the goal.  Is the goal a reasonable one ?

R          is RELEVENCY of the goal.  Is the goal worthwhile and will it meet your needs?

T          is TIMELINESS of the goal.  How much time can you give to accomplishing goals?

Tool #5 – Track Your Progress

  • Keep a diary or journal and record your progress and shortcomings.
  • Keep a food log and track your dietary intake.
  • “There’s an App for that” – There are so many wonderful Apps for goal setting and tracking caloric intake, physical activity, etc., utilize the technology on your smart phone or tablet to monitor your progress.

This article was submitted by Sadia Tahir Khan MS, RD and Michelle Hill, RD, CDN, CDE, Food and Nutrition Department of Flushing Hospital Medical Center

 

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.

Power of Positive Thinking

positivethinking

According to the Mayo Clinic, positive thinking helps with stress management and can even improve your health.

Try these morning affirmations and get your day started right:

  • Today, I will think pure and positive thoughts
  • Today, I release the past and move into the present
  • Today, I choose to have joy
  • Today, I choose peace
  • Today, I realize that I am worthy of good things
  • Today, I begin to make healthy choices for my body, mind and soul
  • Today, I claim that the healthier I live my life, the better my life will be
  • Today, I like who I am

 

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.

What is Herbal Medicine?

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Herbal medicine, also known as herbalism or botanical medicine is a method of treating health-related issues, based on the use of plants or plant extracts that may be eaten or applied to the skin.

Herbal remedies are well rooted in medical practice.  Since ancient times, doctors have collected information about herbs to treat a variety of illnesses and to assist with bodily functions.

As a result, more than a quarter of all medicines used today contain active ingredients derived from those same ancient plants. While herbal medicine is not a licensed profession in theUnited States, herbal remedies, in the form of extracts, tinctures, capsules and tablets, as well as teas, may be recommended by healthcare professionals.

Herbal medicine blurs the line between foods and medicines.  Using herbs and spices that have a disease-preventive affect in foods is one of the best ways to take advantage of their healing power.Herbal medicine has been used to treat or alleviate virtually every possible medical condition.

Some of the most popular herbal remedies and conditions for which they are used include:

  • Aloe – used topically for minor burns, sunburns, skin irritation or inflammation
  • Chamomile Tea – ingested for upset stomach, heartburn, indigestion and colic
  • Echinacea – ingested for colds, flu and sore throat
  • Garlic – ingested to possible reduce cholesterol and blood pressure, treat fungal infections and colds
  • Ginger – ingested for nausea and motion sickness and as an anti-inflammatory
  • Peppermint Tea – ingested for indigestion, nausea and other digestive problems
  • Tea Tree Oil – applied topically for fungal infections such as athlete’s foot and fungal infections of the toenails and fingernails
  • Tumeric – ingested to combat inflammation and protect agains cancer and Alzheimers disease

This information is solely for informational purposes.  It is not intended to be medical advice.  Before undertaking any course of treatment, you should seek the advice of your phsician or other health care provider.

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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.

Resolve to Eat Right

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With the holidays drawing to a close, it will soon be the time for resolutions.  Why not make eating right a part of your resolution.

Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated.  You can begin with a simple shift to lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates into your nutritional regimen while lessening your intake of processed foods, white flour and sugar.

For more information on eating right, contact the Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s  Ambulatory Care Center at  718-670-5486 to speak with a nutritionist.

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.

Small Changes = Big Benefits

Seniors exercising with dumbbells in a health club

When looking for a routine that can bring wellness to your entire being, you don’t have to climb a mountain in Tibet or strip away all food you love.  Experts say that the best way to bring a wellness routine into your life is through a series of small changes that will gradually make a difference.

Changes such as:

  • Meditation – Take a moment in the morning to meditate.  It will set the tone for the day and clear your head to prepare for what the day may bring.
  • Music – Play calming music.  The body’s internal rhythms sync with the rhythms of music. By focusing on the music and its melody, you will start to feel your breathing and heart rate begin to slow down, bringing you to a much calmer place
  • Plan a trip – According to research, happiness spikes when planning a trip.
  • Put down your smartphone – When the impulse to pick up your phone comes, and you resist it, you may feel a wave of anxiety.  Don’t panic! Breath through the anxiety and you will see that there is calm that will follow.
  • Breathe deeply – Sit in a comfortable place, breathe naturally and settle your attention on your breath.  With each inhale and exhale, mentally repeat the words “in” and “out.”  Even if you mind wanders, don’t get distracted; just bring your attention back to your breathing.
  • Don’t check your email when you first wake up – When you wake, sit silently and allow your mind to wander. Take 10 minutes to just center yourself before you start your day.
  • Walk – Use part of your lunch break to take a walk.  This activity will aid with digestion, keep you active and relieve stress.

No one likes change and it rarely comes easy.  That’s why slowly incorporating small steps toward your goals overtime can lead to huge changes in the long run.

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.

Men’s Health Month

The month of June has been recognized as Men’s Health Month. The reason for this designation is to bring awareness of preventable health issues and to encourage early detection and treatment of diseases prevalent in men.
The leading causes of death among men are:
• Heart Disease
• Cancer
• Diabetes
• Lung Disease
• Injuries
• Stroke
• HIV/AIDS
Some of the reasons that men tend to have more serious chronic illnesses is because more men than women don’t have health insurance, men tend to have more physically demanding jobs with greater safety risks. Additionally  more men smoke than women and they also tend to  take greater risks with unsafe behavior.
Women tend to live five years longer than men and one of the reasons for this is that women usually take better care of their health. Men are often guilty of waiting until a disease has progressed to a more serious level before they seek help. There is an old adage that if a man is in a doctor’s waiting room, most likely a woman brought him there for an exam.
During the month of June, organizations across the country hold health awareness campaigns to educate men about various health issues that they may be at risk for and to encourage them to see a doctor regularly. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a doctor at Flushing Hospital, please call 718-670-5486.

Male doctor talking to a male patient

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.

Life as a Single Parent

woman juggling fruit

Being a single parent is not easy; it has its own set of challenges.

Couples get together with the very best of intentions, full of hopes and dreams of white picket fences, 2.5 kids.

No one enters into a committed relationship with the intention of uncoupling. Nonetheless, it’s a distressingly common occurrence.

Suddenly, you find yourself a single parent. Even if you have always been an active, involved parent, this is a completely different experience.

In the best of situations, with a support team of grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, friends, etc. you may have bouts of frustration and fatigue.

During these times you will have to push through and step-up. There is no substitution for a parent when dealing with a crying toddler, grumpy daughter or a son who failed to make the last out. These are hurdles you and your children will have to scale together.

Some of the most common ways a single parent can cope with and reduce stress are:

  • Finding a balance – Remember that parenting is about the moment. Take a deep breath and let go of your expectations.
  • Show your love –Praise your child. Give him or her unconditional love and support.
  • Create a routine – Structure, such as regularly scheduled meals and bedtimes help your child know what to expect.
  • Find quality child care – If you need regular child care, look for a qualified caregiver who can provide a safe environment. Do not rely on an older child as your only babysitter and be careful about asking a new friend or partner to watch your child.
  • Set limits – Explain house rules and expectations to your child, such as speaking respectfully and enforce them.
  • Don’t give in to guilt – Don’t blame yourself or spoil your child to try to make up for being a single parent.
  • Make time for yourself – Include physical activity in your daily routine, eat a healthy diet and get plenty of sleep. Make time to enjoy alone time or activities with close friends.
  • Lean on others – It’s okay to join a support group for single parents or seek social services. Call on trusted loved ones, friends and neighbors for help.
  • Stay positive – Be honest with your child if you’re having a difficult time, but remind him or her that things will get better. Try to keep your sense of humor when dealing with everyday challenges.

Mistakes may be made, but with love and the best of intentions, you’ll make it through.

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.

When Eating Healthy, Desert Takes the Cake!

chocolate-pudding-pie-ck-x

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.

Seaweed – The Superhero of Superfoods

Chuka seaweed salad

In the realm of superfoods, seaweed has been underrated.  For years, seaweed has been wrapped around spicy tuna rolls or was used as an ingredient for salad, but it’s recently come to the attention of nutritionists and foodies alike that seaweed just might be the superhero of superfoods!

With its low calorie, nutrient-packed makeup, seaweed has many benefits that make eating it trendier than ever before.

Some reasons to try this healthy option are:

Seaweed…

  • contains vitamins A and C, calcium, iodine and potassium
  • is rich in protein
  • can help regulate estrogen and estradiol levels
  • is packed full of antioxidants
  • contains a healthy amount of dietary fiber
  • is full of heart healthy fats

If there is a downside to eating seaweed, it would be its sticky, slimy texture, but the healthy benefits far outweigh any downside.

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.

Mosquito Bites – More Than Just an Itch

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Summertime means most of us will spend more time outdoors, but this means we must share our space with mosquitoes. Of the 3,000 species of mosquitoes in the world, roughly 200 can be found in the USA.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mosquitos have been labeled the most dangerous animal in the world since estimates hold mosquitos responsible for hundreds of millions of malaria cases each year, as well as transmitting West Nile virus, yellow fever and the more notable Zika virus.

We are told by health professionals and monitoring agencies that the Zika virus is primarily spread to people through the bite of an insect, the Aedes aegypti mosquito to be more specific. Additionally, there have been some cases where Zika has been spread through having sexual relations with an infected male. Men and women who have traveled to Zika hot spots should consider condom use during pregnancy if the man has been exposed.

The most common symptoms of the Zika virus disease are:

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Joint pain
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)

The CDC goes on to state that the Zika virus is usually mild with symptoms that last from several days to one week, but with Zika being linked to birth defects in women infected during pregnancy, the CDC recommends the following measures to protect you against being bitten:

  • Repellents – When used as directed, insect repellents are the best way to protect yourself and family from getting mosquito bites. The higher percentages of active ingredients provide longer lasting protection.
  • Cover up – When weather permits, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants.
  • Keep mosquitoes outside – Use air conditioning or make sure that you repair and use window/door screens
  • Protect yourself when traveling – learn about the country-specific travel advice, health risks and how to stay safe.

Since specific areas where Zika is spreading, and most prevalent, are often difficult to determine and are likely to change over time, please visit the CDC Travelers’ Health Site for the most updated information at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-travel-information

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.