Crash diets, elimination diets and the latest juice craze may lead to some weight loss, but making lasting, long-term improvements to your overall wellbeing requires a commitment to healthful lifestyle behaviors, with an emphasis on sustainable, enjoyable eating practices and daily physical activity.
Eating a variety of healthful foods helps reduce the risk of preventable chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Your healthy eating plan should include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy and lean proteins.
The Wellness Department at Southeastern Med recommends taking things one forkful at a time – starting with small changes to your eating habits. Try swapping your morning glass of OJ or apple juice for a serving fresh orange or apple slices. Whole fresh fruits offer added nutritional value, without the added sugar that processed or packaged fruit juices contain.
Remember though, how much you eat is just as important as what you eat, and there’s a difference between portion size and serving size.
Portion size is the amount of food on your plate, like a 12-ounce steak. Serving size is the amount of food in a single serving. Nutrition facts are based on serving size. The USDA recommended serving size for protein is about 6 ounces, so that 12-ounce portion of steak on your plate counts as two servings.
One small change you and your family can make is tailoring your portion sizes to the serving sizes recommended in the USDA Dietary Guidelines. Ellen Ratliff (MS, RD, LD), a Community Dietitian at Southeastern Med, suggests following this simple template for your meals:
“This [template] allows me a huge amount of flexibility and helps me feel good about the food choices I make at every meal,” she says. Check out the new MyPlate illustration, an update on the old food pyramid, which focuses on creating balanced meals with a variety of food types.
Shelly Thompson (MS, RD, LD), Director of Wellness Resources at Southeastern Med, finds it helpful to plan her meals in advance. “When I have downtime, I’ll jot down meal ideas for the coming week, find any recipes I want to use, and make a shopping list,” she says. “That way, when I get to the grocery store, I know exactly what I need and I’m not tempted to add extra items to my cart.”
Sunday mornings, Thompson says, are reserved for meal prep. “I cut up vegetables, separate proteins into individual serving sizes, and portion out all the other ingredients I need for that week’s meals. It doesn’t take a lot of time, and prepping makes it easy to put a balanced meal together quickly.”
Exercise is also an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Ratliff and Thompson both suggest scheduling time to work out like you would any other appointment.
"You may start your day with the intention of hitting the gym after work, but it’s easy to shrug it off if you have a long or busy day,” Ratliff notes. Thompson nods in agreement, adding “scheduling time in my day to exercise helps me stay accountable to myself.”
Try out the USDA’s SuperTracker, which helps you plan, analyze and monitor your diet and physical activity. To get a little extra movement in your day park further away from the entrance and take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Southeastern Med is celebrating National Nutrition Month and Registered Dietitian Day (March 8th) by featuring delicious and nutritious salads, custom-designed by our Registered Dietitians, in the hospital cafeteria. They’re offering a Buy 5, Get 1 Free special on these featured salads, as well as discounts on items from the Fit Fare menu. Other fun happenings this month include:
Colorectal cancer is cancer that occurs in the colon or rectum. The colon is the large intestine or large bowel, and the rectum is the passageway that connects the colon to the anus.
Screening Saves Lives
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re age 50 or older, getting a colorectal cancer screening test could save your life!
Who Gets Colorectal Cancer?
Your risk of colon cancer increases with age, but there are other risk factors as well.
Are You at High Risk?
Your risk for colorectal cancer may be higher than average if:
People at high risk for colorectal cancer may need earlier or more frequent testing.
Download this PDF from Screen for Life to learn more about colorectal cancer, and talk to your doctor about when to begin your regular colorectal cancer screenings and how often you should have them.
If you have high cholesterol, you’re also at higher risk for heart disease. But the good news is, it’s a risk you can control. You can lower your “bad” LDL cholesterol and raise your “good” HDL cholesterol. You just have to make some simple changes.
Ban Trans Fats
That’s why the FDA is taking steps to remove them from the food supply. How can you avoid them in the meantime? When you go shopping, read the labels. But be careful if you see “partially hydrogenated oil” on the package. That’s just a fancy name for trans fat.
Fill Up on Fiber
Opt for Olive Oil
Spice It Up
For more information on improving your cholesterol and reducing your risk for heart disease, talk with your doctor or contact the Wellness Department at Southeastern Med at 740-739-8000.
It’s that time of year again when we make New Year’s resolutions. We’ll set goals, make plans and imagine all the ways we can do better in 2017. And while we’ll start with the best intentions, most of us will fall off the wagon before the end of January.
2. Request baseline testing.
3. Adopt a healthy diet.
4. Exercise regularly.
5. Quit tobacco.
Thanksgiving is just two weeks away, and Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s celebrations are right around the corner. The holidays are a time of year when you really want to feel your best, but this time of year can also challenge our physical and emotional health with everything from cold and flu viruses to party hangovers, and even depression.
In addition to getting your flu shot, there’s plenty you can do to help your system weather the season of joy. Here are 6 tips for staying happy and healthy as you shop, travel and celebrate.
Since colds and the flu are most prevalent in winter, use precaution both at home and while traveling. Prevent illnesses by washing your hands liberally and regularly. Before settling in on planes or trains, use disinfecting wipes on the armrest, tray table and seatbelt buckle, and let them air-dry. This way, you’ll avoid germs previous travelers might have left behind.
It’s common to pack on 10 pounds during the holiday season, but smart snacking will help you avoid the holiday bulge. Don’t forgo treats altogether, but indulge in moderation. Choose healthy snacks at home, like yogurt, fruit and nuts. When visiting others, bring a healthy dish to share. And be mindful of liquid calories, especially alcoholic drinks with sugary mixers.
The holidays can be a stressful time. Anticipate stressors and develop a management plan. This might involve setting a tighter budget or attending fewer get-togethers. And make sure you’re getting enough shut-eye – 8+ hours a night. Sleep deprivation puts you at a higher risk for illness, depression, headaches and a whole host of other problems.
You don’t have to pass up tasty holiday fare, just use these simple tricks to curb your appetite. Chew a piece of gum or eat a mint about 15 minutes before a meal is served. This tricks your brain into thinking you're eating, and you’ll naturally eat less when food is served. Eat slowly, too. It can take a few minutes for your stomach to tell your brain you’re no longer hungry. If you eat too quickly, you’ll eat more than you need to, and then you’ll feel over-full. You can also drink a large glass of water before your meal, and another during. The water will help your stomach feel full, so it won’t take as much food to trigger your brain’s “I’m full!” response.
5.Drink in moderation
When you're at a holiday bash, limit yourself to two drinks, and alternate them with water to avoid “next-day weariness." And always remember to eat before you drink to maintain your blood sugar levels and avoid a hangover. If you DO wake up with a headache the next day, drink plenty of water, take a pain reliever like ibuprofen, and get some rest!
The holiday spirit is about helping others, but don’t forget to take time for yourself. Treat yourself with something over the holidays. Whether that’s waking up late, reading a book or scheduling a day at the spa, take time to do the things that make you happy.
Southeastern Med in Cambridge, OH, wishes all of those in our community a safe, happy, season of joy!