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Ready to start your heart-healthy diet?

 

7 Steps to Eating Healthy

Changing your eating habits can be tough, especially if you are dealing with the stress of medical issues. When we are under stress, we tend to gravitate toward our comfort foods that are not heart heathy. You can eat well and healthy. Understanding which foods, you should eat more of and which foods to limit can help make the change to a healthy diet easier.

Controlling your portion size

Grilled Chicken

Portion control is more than just limiting how much you eat it is about understanding what a serving size (portion) actually is. In today’s world of mega size, super-size and 2 for the price of one, no wonder we struggle to eat healthy.

One of my favorites ways to control my portion size but still feel like I am getting a “full plate” of food is to use smaller plates or bowls. Seems silly, but numerous studies have shown that if our eyes see a full plate, we do not feel deprived and are more likely to be satisfied after one plate.

Read serving sizes and try to follow them. Pasta and rice serving is about the size of a hockey puck. Lean meat should be about the size and thickness of a deck of cards. Being able to judge serving sizes will take practice, use measuring cups, spoons, or a scale until you are confident in serving the right portions.

Add more fruits and vegetables.

Another trick is to fill your plate with low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables. Eating more vegetables and fruits may help you cut back on higher calorie foods.
Keep vegetables and fruits washed and cut in your refrigerator. These are perfect to grab when you are craving something sweet or crunchy.

We all know that eating fruit and vegetables are good for us and that they are a good source for vitamins and minerals. Did you know that like other plant-based foods, they contain substances that may help prevent cardiovascular disease?

Choose whole grains

Whole Grain Pasta

Whole grain products can be a good source of fiber and other nutrients. They can also play a role in regulating blood pressure and heart health. It is easy to increase the amount of whole grains in your heart healthy diet simply by substituting for refined grain products.

If you want to try something new add barley into your diet. Barley contains about three times as much fiber as a serving of oats. It is rich in a soluble fiber known as beta glucan and is recognized for its cholesterol-lowering abilities.

Watch your fat

You know you have to watch how much saturated and trans fat you eat. This is important to reduce your blood cholesterol and lower your risk of coronary artery disease. High cholesterol can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Limiting how much saturated and trans fats you eat is an important step to reduce your blood cholesterol and lower your risk of coronary artery disease. A high blood cholesterol level can lead to a buildup of plaques in your arteries, called atherosclerosis, which can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.

AvocadoThe 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting saturated fat to less than 10% of total daily calories. To help meet this goal try some simple ways to cut back on saturated and trans fats:

• Trim fat off your meat or chose lean cuts of meat.
• Use less fats when cooking and serving.
• Choose low-fat substitutes when possible. Try low-sodium salsa or low-fat yogurt on your baked potato or sliced whole fruit or low-sugar fruit spread on your toast.
• Check food labels, even those that say reduced fat. Many may contain trans fats. Trans fats may be listed as partially hydrogenated oil on the label.

Sometimes you need a little fat, in those times choose monounsaturated such as olive or canola oil. Polyunsaturated fats found in certain fish, avocados, nuts, and seeds can be a good choice as well. Remember to use sparingly, all types of fat are high in calories.

Try for low-fat protein sources

SalmonLean meats, poultry and fish are great sources of protein. Choose skinless chicken and fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel, and herring.
Low-fat dairy and eggs provide good protein as well. Look for lower fat dairy options such as skim milk, low or non-fat yogurt.

Another great source of protein that is low-fat and cholesterol free is legumes. Beans, peas, and lentils are great substitutes for meat and help to reduce your fat and cholesterol intake and increase your fiber intake.

Limit salt

Salt shakerLimiting how much sodium is in your diet is an important part of a heart healthy diet. The American Heart Association recommends that healthy adults have no more than 2,300 milligrams (about a teaspoon) of sodium a day. Ideally, most adults should not exceed 1,500 milligrams daily.

A good practice is to not add salt when you are cooking. Taste your food before adding a little salt. Also experiment with salt substitutes or fresh herbs and spices to add flavor to your dishes.
The biggest culprit of sodium in our diets are canned and processed foods. Eating fresh foods or making your own can help you control the amount of salt in your diet.

If you are using canned foods or prepared meals look for ones with no added salt or reduced sodium. Again, read the labels for the about of sodium per serving.
Meal plan

Plan your heart healthy diet for the week, make a list and stick to the list when shopping. When preparing your meal, make extra servings and freeze them to use on those days when you do not feel like cooking. This may help you avoid reaching for an unhealthy option.

Do not deprive yourself!

Allowing yourself an indulgence every now and then is okay. This may help you stick to your heart healthy diet if you know that an occasional treat will not derail your plan. If indulgence is the EXCEPTION, rather than the rule, things will balance out over the long term. Eating healthy the majority of the time is what is important.

Check with your Medical Provider

As always you should talk with your doctor about a heart healthy diet plan that is right for you.

For more information print our Food to chose and avoid to help you make the right choices.

Bowl of Vegetables


Tips for heart patients in the heat

Seniors with granddaughter walking outdoors. People in summer.

 

If you are a heart patient, especially if you are older than 50 or overweight, you should take special precautions in the heat.

Healthy Senior Couple Exercising In Garden TogetherBefore starting an exercise routine check with your healthcare professional and discuss any concerns you may have. You also want to talk about the medication you are on. Certain heart medications like beta blockers, ace receptor blockers, ace inhibitors, calcium channel blockers and diuretics (which deplete the body of sodium) can exaggerate the body’s response to heat.

Whether you are on medications or not, older people should take care in the heat. If you are going to be outside, it is important to drink water even if you do not think you need it. At the point you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.

Everyone can maintain an active and healthy lifestyle regardless of the temperature outside, just make sure you take the proper precautions.

 

senior walking exerciseTips for everyone

Ready to brave the heat? It is best to avoid the outdoors in the early afternoon (around noon – 3pm). The sun is usually at its strongest and puts you at a higher risk for heat-related illnesses. Early in the day or evenings are great times to get outside and walk, garden, swim, or any outdoor activities. You can also take advantage of air-conditioned facilities like a mall or indoor track to walk when temperatures soar. Remember the buddy system, exercising with a friend is fun and safer.

More tips for staying comfortable and safe in the heat.

 

Something many do not think of is that we sweat a lot in our shoes. You want well-ventilated shoes and socks that repel perspiration. Keeping your feet comfortable in the heat makes for a more enjoyable time outside.

Dressing for the heat is important. You want to wear lightweight and light-colored clothing in breathable fabrics such as cotton. Synthetic fabric that repels sweat is a great option too.

Active and sporty senior couple engaging in healthy sports activiesDo not forget to protect your head and eyes. A stylish hat will not only look great but protect your scalp and provide some shade for your face. Sunglasses are important to protect your eyes from the sun. Use sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 to any exposed skin and reapply it every two hours.

Hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate! Drink water before, during and after you go out in the heat. Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages both can contribute to dehydrated.

Take regular breaks and rest. Relax in some shade or a cool place for few minutes, hydrate and continue. Just because temperatures may be high you can still exercise and enjoy outside, adapt, and stay safe.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion:

  • Headaches
  • Cool, moist skin
  • Dizziness and light-headedness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dark urine

If you experience these symptoms, move to a cooler place, stop exercising and cool down immediately by using cool wet cloths, compresses, and fanning. You may need to seek medical attention.

Symptoms of heat stroke:

The symptoms of heat stroke include (call 911 or the local emergency number right away):

  • Fever (temperature above 104 °F)
  • Irrational behavior
  • Extreme confusion
  • Dry, hot, and red skin
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Rapid, weak pulse
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

Consult your Doctor

Your doctor is a partner in helping you stay healthy and active; they can advise you about your specific needs. Your healthcare provider can help you choose activities that will help your heart and are safe for you.

Being active is part of your heart-healthy lifestyle. Along with a heart healthy diet, exercise may strengthen your heart muscle, lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, and help keep your bones strong. Regular exercise can help you lose weight and feel better.

If you are new to exercise start slow and build up gradually little by little. Remember the more exercise you can the healthier you and your heart will be. Any amount will help.

Side view of a man doing a stretching exercise with the help of his yoga partner


Ring in the New Year with Heart Healthy Habits

 

Happy New Year! Start the new year with a plan to stay heart healthy. Not sure where to start? These heart healthy New Year’s resolutions will keep you on the right track all year long.

 

 

Drink More Water

A recent National Institute of Health study indicated that a diet with excess sugar can put extra stress on the heart’s tissue, making it easier for damage to occur. Staying hydrated often keeps you from drinking calorie and sugar loaded pop. Also, drinking your calories makes you feel less satisfied than if you ate them.

How to stick to your resolution

  • Carry a refillable water bottle and use it.
  • If you are a regular pop drinker, replace one or two sugary drinks with water each week until you cut almost all high-calorie drinks from your diet.
  • Adding slices of cucumber, strawberry, lemon or orange will change the flavor of your water adding variety.

Read more in our April 2018 blog Reducing Sugar Sugary Drinks

 

Quit Smoking

Now is the best time to kick the habit of smoking. Smoking increases your risk of cancer and heart disease.

How to stick to your resolution

  • Write down why you want to quit smoking and look at it every time you feel like you want to smoke.
  • Join a support group.
  • Create your own quit plan.

These links offer great tips for finally kicking the habit

 

Eat More Fruits and Veggies

Fruits and vegetables are all high in things like fiber, vitamins and minerals. Eating more fruit and vegetables will provide you with all the nutrients you need while cutting your calories. Limiting calories helps to control weight, which reduces the likelihood of developing heart disease, hypertension and heart failure.

How to stick to your resolution

  • Keep your kitchen filled with fresh, dried, frozen or canned fruits and veggies.
  • Canned fruits and vegetables should be rinsed off as they often contain extra salt and sugar.
  • Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables each meal.
  • Compare food labels when buying anything except fresh produce. There can be hidden ingredients in some products
  • Experiment with steaming, grilling, sautéing, roasting, baking and microwaving your veggies as these are the healthiest ways to cook them.

Read more on season fruit and product in our Blog Heart Healthy with Seasonal Produce from August 2019.

 

Manage Your Stress

Stress causes a large amount of physical symptoms such as trouble sleeping, headaches, tight muscles and forgetfulness. Many people resort to eating, drinking alcohol, not sleeping and overworking themselves to try and cope. Stress can take a toll on your body as a whole, and on your heart.

How to stick to your resolution.

  • Use positive self-talk every day to control stress with phrases like “I can do this” or “I know how to deal with this”.
  • In times of extreme stress, take a moment before you react. Count to 10, take four or five deep breaths, walk away or go for a walk.
  • Do one thing you enjoy every day.

 

Eat Out Less

While your body needs salt to function, it’s not necessarily the salt you’re eating at home that has become a problem. Restaurants and fast food locations have notoriously high levels of salt in their diet. Excess salt increases the possibility of developing high blood pressure and can lead to heart disease and stroke. It’s impossible to completely avoid eating out, but there are steps you can take to reduce the salt in your diet when you do.

How to stick to your resolution.

  • Go to restaurants where your food is cooked to order and specifically ask for less or no salt.
  • Don’t use the salt on the table and limit how much you use high-salt condiments like soy sauce, pickles and olives.

 

Buy Less Processed Food

Processed foods often contain aspartame, high fructose corn syrup, excess salt and hydrogenated oils. Your body doesn’t need these chemicals. More than 75% of the salt in the average American’s diet come from processed foods.

How to stick to your resolution

  • Buy less boxed and packaged foods and try to cook more often.
  • Read food labels to look for any hidden sugars and salts.
  • Buy more fresh fruits and veggies.
  • Learn more about the Salty Six from the American Heart Association.

 

Eat More Fiber

Fiber helps digestion and keeps your feeling full longer, which also helps you manage your weight! High-fiber foods can contribute to reducing your risk of developing heart disease and diabetes, by lowering bad cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

How to stick to your resolution.

  • Replace foods you currently eat with whole grain options. Try whole-grain pasta, brown or wild rice, whole-grain cereals and whole-grain or corn tortillas to start.

 

Exercise More

It’s recommended that everyone exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, every day. Your heart is a muscle, and it needs to be exercised just like any other muscle in your body.

How to stick to your resolution.

  • Start by walking
  • Slowly increase the intensity levels of your workout, but make sure not to overdo yourself.
  • Talk with your doctor about an exercise that would be right for you.
  • Read more tips on moving more in our September Blog 5 Tips to Being Active
  • Our November blog is a great read on why physical activity is so import. Why Physical Activity is Important

 

Discover Your Family History

Knowing your background can assist you in learning about the risk factors that may run in your family. This way, you are on the look-out for anything that might be an early warning sign.

How to stick to your resolution.

  • Set-up time to talk to each family member about their medical history individually and take notes.
  • Visit your doctor to talk about what you found.

 

Limit Alcohol

Even though many studies have linked the benefits of drinking things like red wine in moderation, the correlation isn’t high enough to start drinking if you haven’t before. Excessive alcohol can increase the amount of fat you have in your blood, which can cause an increase in high blood pressure and the risk of heart failure.

How to stick to your resolution.

  • People tend to drink more at home than they do when they go out. Slowly replace the alcohol in your home with other healthy drink options.
  • If you’re having a party, offer non-alcoholic drinks next to the alcoholic options.
  • Buy smaller glasses. This will limit the amount of alcohol that you can drink at one time.
  • If you think you have a drinking problem and would like help, please reach out to your doctor or call The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit their website to find treatment options. Completely confidential and free 24/7.

 

Cut Down on Caffeine

Caffeine aggravates stress and raises your blood pressure, which can increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke.

How to stick to your resolution.

  • Cut back slowly by mixing together caffeine-free and caffeinated coffee or adding more water to your coffee every day.
  • Switch things up by drinking tea in different flavors.
  • Slowly cut down on how much pop you drink a day.

 

Go to the Dentist

Studies have shown that people who develop periodontal disease are two times more likely to develop heart disease.

How to stick to your resolution.

  • Brush and floss your teeth regularly.
  • Schedule regular dental appointments every six months.
  • Watch out for bleeding gums.

 

Sleep More

Researchers are making a connection between lack of sleep and heart disease. Not getting enough sleep can cause plaque to build up in your arteries by increasing hormone levels in your body.

How to stick to your resolution.

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even if you don’t have anything on your agenda.
  • Develop a relaxing bedtime routine.
  • Don’t take naps.
  • Spend an hour before bed doing a relaxing activity.

 

Go to the Doctor

Your doctor is your best source of information when it comes to your health. They can test your levels and talk to you about changes you should be making to your lifestyle to stay heart healthy.

How to stick to your resolution.

  • Make an appointment for a routine physical with your health care provider.
  • Get a physical every year.

 

Lose Weight

Around 70% of Americans are considered overweight or obese according to the Body Mass Index chart. Excess weight increases your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure.

How to stick to your resolution.

  • Follow all of the guidelines above. These healthy tips will start you in the right direction.
  • Read more great tips in our blog and check back often for the latest information on staying heart healthy.

Get into gear with these simple New Year’s resolutions. Start your year off right with steps to a heart healthy lifestyle. If you or a loved one has any heart health concerns, turn to Alpine Cardiology. Call 989-448-7002 or visit our website.


Heart Healthy Recipes Perfect for a Holiday Brunch or Any Meal

Holidays can wreck havoc on healthy eating. These heart healthy recipes would be perfect additions to a holiday brunch or meal

 

Turkey Bacon and Spinach Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust

Serves 5

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups grated sweet potato (from about 1 medium sweet potato)
  • 1 teaspoon canola or corn oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 6 pieces turkey bacon, thinly sliced
  • 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • ¾ teaspoon dried dillweed, crumbled
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 large egg whites
  • ¼ cup fat-free milk
  • 1½ tablespoons fat-free feta cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly spray a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray.
  2. Gently press the grated sweet potato over the bottom and up the side of the pie pan. (The grated sweet potato will be loose, but will hold together once baked.) Bake for 20 minutes, or until the crust is cooked. Remove from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat, swirling to coat the bottom. Cook the onion for 6 to 8 minutes, or until very soft, stirring frequently. Stir in the turkey bacon. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the onion and bacon begin to brown, stirring frequently. Stir in the spinach, dillweed, salt, and pepper. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the spinach releases its juice. Remove from the heat. Using a spatula, transfer the mixture into the sweet potato pie crust.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, and milk. Pour the egg mixture over the spinach mixture in the pie crust. Dot the feta cheese over the top.
  5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the center doesn’t jiggle when the pan is gently shaken or a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of the quiche comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

 

Festive Turkey Rice Salad

Serves 6

  • 2 tablespoons plain rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (extra virgin preferred)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 1/2 cups cooked wild or brown rice
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped cooked skinless turkey breast, cooked without salt
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
  • 1 bunch chopped green onions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lime juice, oil, honey, and ginger.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the rice, turkey, cranberries, and green onions. Pour the dressing over the salad, tossing to coat. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.

 

Rosemary Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

Serves 8

  • 1/2 lb., Brussels sprouts, brown ends trimmed off and cut in half
  • 1/2 medium cauliflower (cut into florets)
  • 4 medium carrots (peeled, sliced)
  • Turnips, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
  • Beets, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
  • Sweet potato (peeled, optional) cut into ¾ inch cubes
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. no-calorie sweetener (granulated)
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh, chopped rosemary
  • 2 clove fresh, minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Thoroughly wash all vegetables, cut and toss together in large bowl.
  3. In small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, no-calorie sweetener, rosemary, garlic, onion powder, pepper and salt. Pour over vegetable mixture and toss well.
  4. Pour vegetable mixture into prepared 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, stirring once, until all vegetables pierce easily with a fork.

 

Baked Apples and Pears with Almonds

Serves 4

  • 4 small Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apples (can substitute any variety of apple or use pears as available or on sale)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted, unoiled almonds
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries or raisins (no-sugar-added)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon honey

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Cut ½ inch off the top of the apples, save the tops.
  3. Using a spoon or paring knife, core out the apples, leaving a bottom/base intact.
  4. Chop almonds.
  5. In a small bowl, combine almonds, cranberries and cinnamon – stir gently. Drizzle in honey and stir until almonds and cranberries are coated.
  6. Spoon almond mixture into apples and replace tops. Fill a small baking dish with ¼ inch of water, place apples in dish and cover loosely tented foil. Bake
    30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes until apples are tender and lightly golden.

COLD WEATHER SAFETY TIPS FOR SENIORS

During frigid weather seniors are at a higher risk for accidents, injuries and other emergencies, especially if they still drive. Other threats include furnace failures, power outages, isolation, hypothermia and dehydration. If you are a senior, have an elderly family member or close friend that lives independently, here are some important cold weather safety tips to prepare them and their home for winter weather.

FIRST AND FOREMOST, STAY WARM

Check the furnace

Preventative HVAC maintenance ensures trouble-free operation and peak performance of the furnace. Schedule a furnace inspection with an HVAC professional. Have the contractor clean or replace filters and make any necessary repairs to avoid your furnace breaking down during the cold.

Clean the chimney and flue

If your home as a fireplace or wood/pellet stove, creosote and soot can build up and potentially cause a chimney fire. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) says that fireplaces need to be cleaned when there is 1/8″ of sooty buildup inside the chimney or flue system. If you don’t want to spend the money on a professional chimney, use a do-it-yourself chimney cleaning system that makes it easy to clean the chimney from INSIDE the home without getting up on a ladder.

Stock up on Fuel

If you heat your house with oil or propane, make sure tanks are full and plan for auto fill so that you don’t risk running out of fuel. If you heat with a wood stove arrange for regular deliveries of seasoned firewood or wood pellets.

If you are concerned about a loved one’s heating system failing or running out of fuel, install a freeze alarm that sends an alert if their heating system fails. There are many types of affordable call out freeze alarms that will automatically call emergency numbers if there is a drastic drop in temperature. Talk to your local HVAC professional for options available in your area.

BE READY FOR POWER OUTAGES

Have an alternative source of heat

During power outages make sure to have a safe (non-electric) way to stay warm. Wood stoves, kerosene heaters, or efficient wood-burning fireplace can keep you warm until your power is restored. But burning wood or kerosene can produce deadly CO gasses, make sure the are is properly ventilated and install a carbon monoxide detector and a smoke detector.

Have non-electric lighting available

Make sure you have adequate lighting sources during blackouts, including battery-powered flashlights, lanterns and extra batteries. Also use hand crank flashlight that works without batteries as a backup. Prevent falls, tripping and running into objects during a power outage by installing automatic rechargeable nightlights in room and hallways. These will provide instant illumination if the power goes out. Consider installing solar-powered security lights to help navigate outside. They are easy to install because they are wireless and can be positioned just about anywhere there is adequate sunshine to recharge the batteries.

Keep your cell phone charged

During a power outage it is important to stay in touch with the outside world, but keeping a mobile device charged is a problem when there is no electricity. There are emergency cell phone chargers that can power up your cell phone or table during prolonged power outages.

STOCK UP ON FOOD, WATER AND MEDICINES

Buy extra food and bottle water

Have at least a week’s supply of non-perishable food and a couple of gallons of drinking water on hand in case you lose power. Get a hand-operated can opener to use during power outages.

Fill prescriptions of critical medicines

Don’t let your medicine run low, have automatic renewals set up to deliver your medicine before you run out. Check with your local pharmacy to see if they offer home delivery or fill your prescriptions through a mail order pharmacy so that you don’t have to worry about going out in bad weather to pick up your medicine.

If you take multiple prescription medications, vitamins or other supplements at various times during the day it can be difficult to manage and risky if you get it wrong. Using weekly or monthly pill box will remind you when to take your doses or you can go with an automated pill dispenser. Many will also have a reminder that alerts you when it is time to take a pill and will automatically dispense it for you.

STAY HEALTHY WHEN HOUSEBOUND

Prevent cabin fever

Winter can be a time of boredom, isolation and seasonal depression, especially when housebound. Encourage family and friends to stop over or stay in touch by phone. Ake sure you have a good telephone system to make calls easily. There are phones available with easy-to-ready buttons, amplified volume and talking caller ID. These features are helpful for folks with hearing loss, low vision or limited mobility.

Enjoy indoor exercise

Move your body by walking in place or doing laps around the house. Wearing a pedometer or heart rate monitor can encourage movement as your watch your progress.

Prevent dehydration

Winter dehydration is a real risk, especially for the elderly. Remember to eat well-balanced meals that include a lot of vegetable and fruits and drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is another very important cold weather safety tip.

MORE COLD WEATHER SAFETY SUGGESTIONS

Make sure your car is winterized and equipped with an ice scraper, travel fluid, hat, gloves, cell phone and a travel blanket in case you become stuck or stranded. Remember to pay attention to travel warnings or advisories during winter weather. Stay indoors until everything clear.

Keep your walkways, entrances and driveway shoveled and salted. If you are not able to do it yourself, arrange to have it automatically done when needed. If you are able, help the seniors in your life by keeping their driveways and walkways safe, bringing in their mail and newspapers and offering to drive them to the store or appointment.

HELPFUL RESOURCES FOR COLD WEATHER

AND POWER OUTAGE SAFETY

 

ready.gov power outages

Red Cross power outages

National Institute of Health cold weather safety

Otsego County Commission of Aging

nemcsa.org – Otsego

Senior-Resource-Directory-2019

The Weather Channel

Great Lakes Energy Outage Map

Consumers Energy Outages

DTE Energy Outages

State of Michigan Power Outage

 

 


Allspice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Cinnamon-Sauteed Apples and Cilantro Rice plus Apple Bread Pudding

ALLSPICE-RUBBED PORK TENDERLOIN WITH CINNAMON-SAUTÉED APPLES AND CILANTRO RICE

Serves 4

As promised another heart healthy holiday meal recipe to keep you Healthy For Good! Delicious and juicy pork tenderloin with tasty cilantro rice and decadent apple bread pudding

Pork Tenderloin

  • 1 1-pound pork tenderloin,all visible fat discarded
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive, canola, or corn oil
  • 4 apples (any variety) cored and thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. In a small cup, stir together the allspice and pepper. Sprinkle onto the pork. Using your fingertips, gently press the allspice mixture so it adheres to the pork.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat, swirling to coat the bottom. Cook the pork on all four sides (about 1 minute on each side), or until browned.
  4. Transfer the pork to a baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the pork 145°F on an instant-read thermometer.
  5. Meanwhile, in the same skillet, still over medium-high heat, cook the apples and cinnamon for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the apples are soft, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat.
  6. Transfer the pork to a cutting board. Let stand for 5 minutes. Slice the pork. Serve with the apples on top.

Cilantro Rice

  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 2 medium green onions, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice, covered to keep warm
  1. Stir the cilantro, green onions, and lemon juice into the cooked rice.

 

Apple Bread Pudding

Serves 4

  • Cooking Spray
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 tablespoons low-calorie brown sugar blend
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves or ground allspice
  • 6 slices light, whole-grain, or multigrain bread (lowest sodium available), cubed
  • 3 medium apples, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • ½ cup raisins, unsweetened dried cranberries, fresh or unsweetened dried blueberries, or chopped walnuts, pecans, or almonds (optional)

Cold Weather Safety Tips

The teeth-chattering cold is here and it’s nothing to laugh about. Cold weather extremes can be dangerous. Follow these important cold weather safety tips for you, your family, and pets when the mercury and wind chills drop.

  • Minimize outside activities, particularly the elderly and very young.couple walking in the cold
  • Dress in layers. Several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing will keep you warmer than a single layer of heavy clothing. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Invest in a good brand of thermal underwear and layer beneath a turtleneck, topped with a wool sweater, then a long coat or fleece-lined parka. Try runners’ tights to wear underneath your pants, which will keep you even warmer than thermal underwear.
  • Wear the right gear. Our bodies prioritize keeping our organs warm, which means hands and feet are typically the first to feel the cold. Wear either wool-lined winter gloves or heavy mittens, and sturdy, waterproof boots, protecting your extremities. A hat is essential, preferably one that covers your ears. Cover your face and mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
  • Don’t forget your pets, bring them inside! They need adequate shelter. In sub-zero temperatures, their paws, noses and ears can succumb to frostbite. If you can’t bring them in your home, house them in a garage or basement with plenty of warm bedding.
  • Know frostbite signs: numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration. Did you know that frostbite could occur in less than 30 minutes if proper precautions are not taken? Frostbite is damaging to body tissue, if symptoms are detected, seek medical help immediately.
  • Know hypothermia symptoms: uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. If body temperature drops below 95 degrees, seek immediate medical care.
  • To keep pipes from freezing wrap them in insulation or layers of newspapers, covering the newspapers with plastic to keep out moisture. Allow a trickle of water to run from a faucet if your pipes have frozen in the past. This will keep the water moving so that it cannot freeze. Learn how to shut off your water if a pipe should burst.Winter Car safety cartoon
  • Be safe with heat sources. When using alternate heating sources, such as your fireplace, wood stove or space heater, take the necessary safety precautions to ensure they are ventilating properly. Keep a fire extinguisher handy, and make sure everyone in the household knows how to use it. Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Never use a stove or oven to heat your home. Many house fires result from these practices.
  • Seal off unused rooms by stuffing rolled-up towels in the cracks under the doors. At night, cover windows with extra blankets or sheets. Consider installing inexpensive insulating window film, which you can purchase at any hardware store.
  • Check tire pressure and your car battery. Be sure your car has a winter safety kit that includes a blanket, warm clothes, and gloves in case your car breaks down or becomes stranded.
  • And most importantly, be a good neighbor. Check in with elderly or disabled relatives and neighbors to ensure they are safe.

For further information check out weather.gov and farmersalmanac.com


Healthy Roasted Turkey and Vegetables

MOM’S ROASTED TURKEY WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND ASPARAGUS

Serves 8

Roasted Turkey

  • 1 12-pound fresh or frozen turkey, thawed if frozen
  • 2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon canola or corn oil
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 to 3 medium ribs of celery, coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots (about 1 cup), coarsely chopped
  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped<
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 tablespoon dried thyme, crumbled
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary or 1 tablespoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, crushed, or 3 teaspoons bottled chopped garlic
  • Cooking spray
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Place the turkey on a cutting board. Using kitchen shears, remove any loose or hanging skin around the neck cavity of the turkey. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Loosen the turkey skin away from the meat by inserting your hand between the meat and skin and gently pushing down. Pull the wing tips up and back and tuck them under the turkey.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the Italian seasoning and oil. Rub the mixture on the turkey breast and drumsticks, underneath the skin. Sprinkle the pepper over the entire turkey.
  4. Fill the turkey cavity with the celery, carrots, onion, thyme, rosemary, and garlic. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Lightly spray a roasting pan and rack with cooking spray. Place the turkey with the breast side up on the rack. Roast for 30 minutes.
  5. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. Loosely cover the turkey with aluminum foil. Roast for 1 hour 45 minutes, or until the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165°F on an instant-read thermometer. (The total roasting time may be up to 3½ hours to reach 165°F.) Remove from the oven.
  6. Remove the foil and spoon the pan juices over the turkey to baste it. Recover the turkey and let it stand for 15 minutes at room temperature. Baste 2 or 3 times during the standing time (removing and replacing the foil each time). Discard the skin and any visible fat before slicing the turkey.

Butternut Squash

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together all the ingredients until the squash cubes are evenly coated. Transfer to the baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the squash is fork-tender.

Asparagus

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced, or 2
  • teaspoons bottled minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, oil, garlic, and pepper.
  3. Arrange the asparagus in a single layer on the baking sheet. Drizzle the lemon juice mixture over the asparagus.
  4. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender-crisp.

©2017, American Heart Association, Healthy For Good™, heart.org/healthyforgood/


Holiday Healthy Eating

The holidays are all about family, fun and food! Below are some great tips to help you celebrate the season without putting your healthy habits on hold.

Watch our website later this week for heart healthy holiday meal recipes.

HEALTHY EATING

Here are some simple ways you and your family can eat healthy. Learn more at Eat Smart
INCLUDE

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Beans and legumes
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fish, skinless poultry, and plant-based alternatives
  • Fat-free and low-fat dairy products
  • Healthier fats and nontropical oils

LIMIT

  • Sodium and salty or highly processed foods
  • Saturated fat
  • Sweets and added sugars, including sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Fatty or processed meats — if you choose to eat red meat, select the leanest cuts

AVOID

  • Trans fats, partially hydrogenated oils and excessive calories

TIPS

  • Choose wisely, even with healthier foods. Ingredients and nutrient content can vary by brand and preparation.
  • Compare nutrition information on package labels and select products with the lowest amounts of sodium, added sugars, saturated fat and trans fat, and no partially hydrogenated oils.
  • Watch your calorie intake. To maintain weight, consume only as many calories as you use up through physical activity. If you want to lose weight, consume fewer calories or burn more calories.
  • Eat reasonable portions. Often this is less than you are served.
  • Eat a variety of foods to get all the nutrients your body needs.
  • Prepare and eat healthier meals at home. You’ll have more control over ingredients.</li
  • Look for the Heart-Check mark to easily identify foods that can be part of an overall healthy diet. Learn more at Heart Check

BE SMART ABOUT BEVERAGES

The holidays are chock full of delicious dishes, but they can come with extra calories and unwanted ingredients. Try these tips to enjoy your favorite winter beverages.

EGGNOG

  • Mix it up. Fill your glass with half- to three-quarter-parts of low-fat or skim
  • milk and one part eggnog. You’ll still get the flavor without all the calories.

  • Act like a kid. Take out the alcohol. This simple step will reduce the caloric content.
  • Cut the fluff. Pass on that big dollop of whipped cream to avoid the extra sugar and saturated fat.
  • Find an alternative. Try a low-fat or non-dairy version.

HOT CHOCOLATE

  • Lighten up. Try hot chocolate made with low-fat or skim milk, and without whipped cream.
  • Do some research. With instant hot chocolate, look for products marked “low-fat/fat-free” and use low-fat or nonfat milk or hot water. Choose options with less added sugars.
  • Go easy on the toppings. Use mini-marshmallows instead of large ones. Use low-fat whipped cream, or stick to less than one tablespoon. Try lighter toppings like grated cinnamon or nutmeg.

APPLE CIDER

  • Read the labels. When buying cider, check the added sugar content, which can increase your calorie intake and cause weight gain. Choose options with less sugar.
  • Do it yourself. When making cider at home, use unsweetened apple juice and a variety of spices (like cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg and whole cranberries). You’ll keep the flavor while cutting calories.

COCKTAILS AND OTHER ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES

  • Enjoy mocktails. Serve non-alcoholic versions of your favorite cocktails to lower the calories. Be sure to check the nutrition label, because sometimes products that are alcohol-free have more added sugar.
  • Break it up. Drink a glass of water or sparkling water between each beverage. This will help fill you up, leaving less room to overindulge.

MINDFUL MEALS

SODIUM

  • Limit your sodium. Did you know that many of your favorite holiday dishes may be packed with sodium? Breads and rolls, poultry, and canned soups are three common foods that can add sodium to your diet. When shopping for ingredients to prepare your holiday meal, compare the labels and choose options with the lowest amount of sodium.
  • Savor the flavor. Use herbs and spices, like rosemary and cloves, to flavor dishes instead of salt or butter.
  • Rinse away. When using canned beans or veggies, drain and rinse in a colander to remove excess sodium.

TURKEY

  • Outsmart the bird. Reach for the lighter pieces of meat; they have fewer calories and less fat than the darker ones. Another way to cut calories and fat is to take off the skin.
  • Keep portions in check. A serving size of meat is 3 oz., about the size of a deck of cards. So, be conscious of how much you put on your plate, and pass on that second helping. If you’re also having another meat, like ham or lamb, take smaller portions of each.
  • Watch out for the gravy train. Turkey usually comes with gravy, which can add excess saturated fat, calories and sodium. Limit gravy to a tablespoon, and keep it off other items, like the dressing.

DRESSNG

  • Call it what it is. Dressing is intended to be a complement to your meal, not an entrée. Limit servings to about 1/4 cup or one spoonful.
  • Judge it by its cover. If the dressing is filled with fatty meats like sausage and pork, looks greasy or buttery, or is made with white bread or sweet rolls, it may be best to pass. Better options include dressings made with whole grain or cornbread, lean meat (or no meat), nuts (like almonds or walnuts), and lots of veggies and fruits.

APPETIZERS/SNACKS

  • Skip the extras. Make sure everyone has an appetite for the meal by skipping appetizers and serving lighter snacks like cut-up fruits and veggies.

ADDED SUGARS

  • Treat yourself right. Try bite-sized or half portions of desserts, or split servings with others.
  • Sip smart. Instead of soda or sweet tea, which can add a lot of sugar to an already indulgent meal, serve sparkling water or tea sweetened only with a bit of 100% fruit juice.
  • Lighten up. Reduce the amount of sugar you use in sides like sweet potato casserole and cranberry sauce. Use herbs and spices for flavor instead.

HEALTHY HOLIDAY PARTIES

‘Tis the season of celebrations. Whatever the event, these tips can help you stay
healthy while having fun.

APPETIZERS AND HORS D’OEUVRES

  • Get involved. Whether potluck or not, offer to bring a dish. You can make a healthier item, giving yourself at least one good option to enjoy.
  • Come prepared. If the party is during lunch, eat a healthy breakfast followed in mid-morning by a high-fiber snack, such as an apple or a small handful of almonds. If the party is at the end of the day, enjoy a protein packed lunch like grilled fish or chicken with a salad and then later in the afternoon have another high-fiber snack. If you’re not too hungry when you go to the party, it will be easier to avoid overeating.
  • Go easy. Avoid loading up on foods that are fried, buttered or have a lot of cheese and cream. Even though the portions may be small, these fat-laden bites can really pack a punch. Look for fruit, veggies and dip, whole-grain crackers, and baked or grilled items.

DESSERTS

  • Use the buddy system. By splitting a dessert with someone, you can cut the calories and fat in half and avoid being wasteful. It’s a win-win!

BEVERAGES

  • Mix it up. If alcohol is being served, alternate each glass with a glass of water. This will help reduce your thirst while filling your stomach and you’ll consume fewer calories.
  • Watch seasonal drinks. Many holiday beverages have so much added sugar, they may as well be a dessert. Keep in mind what else you’ve eaten; it may be best to enjoy these drinks on another day.

MAKING TRADITIONS HEALTHY

Keep your holiday traditions, and make small changes and smart substitutions where you can.

  • Instead of butter, use a healthier vegetable oil or substitute equal parts unsweetened applesauce when baking.
  • Use a lower-calorie sugar substitute.
  • Use low-fat or nonfat milk instead of whole milk or heavy cream.
  • Instead of only white flour, use half white and half whole-wheat flour.
  • Instead of adding chocolate chips or candies, use dried fruit, like cranberries or cherries.
  • Use extracts like vanilla, almond and peppermint to add flavor, instead of sugar or butter.
  • Use vegetable oils or soft margarine instead of butter.
  • Use whole-grain breads, rice and pasta instead of white.
  • Bake, grill or steam vegetables instead of frying.
  • Compare labels of your holiday ingredients, and choose products with lower amounts of sodium and added sugars.
  • Use spices, fresh herbs and citrus juice to flavor foods and drinks instead of excess salt and added sugars.

 

MOVE MORE. BE WELL.

If your holiday traditions all seem to revolve around eating, liven things up with some opportunities to be physically active with family and friends.

  • Go for a walk or run. Instead of heading for the couch after the big meal, bundle up and head outdoors for some fresh air. Walking is an activity the whole family can do together, even the dog!
  • Play to win. Start a new tradition of an annual family game of touch football, basketball, mini-golf or whatever your family’s favorite sport is.
  • Make it move. Add movements and gestures to your favorite card or board games.
  • Play in the snow. Go sledding, ice skating, skiing or snowshoeing. Build a snowman or snow fort. Team up for an epic snowball fight.
  • Break up the binge-watching. In between bowl games or your favorite holiday movies, take a walk or do something active.

If the holidays sometimes leave you feeling stressed and overwhelmed, take care of yourself to stay well.

  • Keep up healthy habits. Make a commitment to yourself before the holiday season begins. If you don’t completely give up your healthy habits, you won’t  feel like you have to start all over once the holidays are in the rear-view.
  • Fit in fitness. Try not to skip workouts, but when a full social calendar gets in the way, sprinkle some healthy activity like walking into your daily routine.
  • Give yourself the gift of peace. When the invitations pile up, don’t be afraid to say no to some of them. If you need some down time to recharge for the next party, take a break. Do something that relaxes you, like yoga, meditation, reading, a warm bath or spending time in nature.
  • Get your ZZZs. Aim for 7–9 hours of sleep each night to stay in the healthy zone. Don’t let your wake-up time and bedtime get too far off your regular schedule. Nap when needed and ditch the digital devices at night.

For more tips, visit Healthy For Good.


Why is physical activity so important for health and wellbeing?

There are so many reasons why regular activity boosts your health.

Learn what those are and how you can incorporate exercise into your day.

We know that staying active is one of the best ways to keep our bodies healthy. But did you know it can also improve your overall well-being and quality of life? 

Here are just a few of the ways physical activity can help you feel better, look better and live better. Because, why not? It’s a natural mood lifter.

Regular physical activity can relieve stress, anxiety, depression and anger. You know that “feel good sensation” you get after doing something physical? Think of it as a happy pill with no side effects! Most people notice they feel better over time as physical activity becomes a regular part of their lives.

It keeps you physically fit and able.

Without regular activity, your body slowly loses its strength, stamina and ability to function properly. It’s like the old saying: you don’t stop moving from growing old, you grow old from stopping moving. Exercise increases muscle strength, which in turn increases your ability to do other physical activities. 

It helps keep the doctor away.

Stand up when you eat your apple a day! Too much sitting and other sedentary activities can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. One study showed that adults who watch more than 4 hours of television a day had an 80% higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
 
Being more active can help you:

  • lower your blood pressure 
  • boost your levels of good cholesterol
  • improve blood flow (circulation)
  • keep your weight under control
  • prevent bone loss that can lead to osteoporosis

All of this can add up to fewer medical expenses, interventions and medications later in life!

It can help you live longer.

It’s true, 70 is the new 60… but only if you’re healthy. People who are physically active and at a healthy weight live about seven years longer than those who are not active and are obese. And the important part is that those extra years are generally healthier years! Staying active helps delay or prevent chronic illnesses and diseases associated with aging. So active adults maintain their quality of life and independence longer as they age.

Here are some other benefits you may get with regular physical activity: 

  • Helps you quit smoking and stay tobacco-free.
  • Boosts your energy level so you can get more done.
  • Helps you manage stress and tension.
  • Promotes a positive attitude and outlook.
  • Helps you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.
  • Improves your self-image and self-confidence.
  • Provides fun ways to spend time with family, friends and pets.
  • Helps you spend more time outdoors or in your community.

The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week. You can knock that out in just 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. And every minute of moderate to vigorous activity counts toward your goal.

So, this is easy! Just move more, with more intensity, and sit less. You don’t have to make big life changes to see the benefits. Just start building more activity into your day, one step at a time.

Learn more about heart healthy living at American Heart Association


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