Ilene’s Healthy Tips for November 17 – 21, 2014

It’s reported that the average American gains between 7 and 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Here are some tips to use at Thanksgiving, or any holiday meal, to make smarter and healthier choices:

Ilene Yalen, MSRD WellAmerica 2014

Ilene Yalen, MSRD
WellAmerica 2014

  1. Take a small scoop of cranberry or sugary sauces. They can have upwards of 300 calories per half cup!
  2. Remove the skin. While turkey skin adds great flavor, it contains loads of extra fat calories.
  3. Go light on the gravy. Gravy is usually loaded with excess fat, calories and sodium.
  4. Snack before dinner. This will help prevent overeating at your holiday meal.
  5. Opt for healthy sides. Instead of going for buttery, cheesy or creamy sides, go for vegetable based sides. Like the recipes below!
  6. Save your calories for the dinner. Skip the appetizers- they’re not filling and usually loaded with excessive fat calories.
  7. Drink lots of water. Water helps hydrate you and rids the body of excess sodium- and is a much wiser choice than eggnog.
  8. Slow down while eating and wait 15 minutes before going back for seconds. Use this time to socialize with family and friends; you may realize you don’t need the second serving.
  9. Have a few bites of dessert. If you have room, just take a few bites of the dessert options. It will often satisfy your sweet tooth. Remember, you can always take the dessert home with you.
  10. Don’t feel guilty. Thanksgiving only comes once a year, and if you eat too much – so be it. Be more concerned about consuming excess empty calories every day, and don’t focus as much on just one day.  Besides, if you feel guilty, it may manifest itself in additional overeating!

As we give thanks for our family, friends, health, and all that we have, remember to express gratitude to your body for all that it does by making decisions that honor your body.  Perhaps Thanksgiving can mark a renewed commitment to your body’s health and to family dinners.  May you all have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

Ilene’s Healthy Tips for November 10 – 14, 2014

Metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions: increased blood pressure, a high blood sugar level, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels is on the rise, along with the associated risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Because chronically elevated blood sugar levels can often go undetected for years, here are some classic signs to watch out for:

Monday, November 10, 2014 – You feel thirsty and urinate frequently.  

Ilene Yalen, MSRD WellAmerica 2014

Ilene Yalen, MSRD
WellAmerica 2014

When you have high blood sugar, your kidneys work to flush this excess sugar from your blood causing excess water loss through urination, dry mouth and continuous thirst. If this happens without justified reason (consuming excess sodium or sweating profusely) or you wake often during the night to urinate, take note and notify your doctor.

Tuesday November 11, 2014 – You have unexplained weight loss:  

Sugar calories are flushed away and unable to “feed” your cells, and fat break down occurs to produce energy in the form of ketones. If you’re eating normally, feeling exhausted and losing weight unexpectedly, and/or your breath has a “fruity” smell (from ketones), notify your doctor.

Today is Veterans Day; take a moment to remember and thank all those who fought  for your freedom, and those who kept the home fires burning.

veterans day

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 – You have tingling in your hands and feet and poor wound healing. 

Over time, high blood sugar can damage the nerves in the hands and feet causing numbness or tingling and a decreased sensitivity to pain and injuries such as foot ulcers. High blood sugar can also slow the healing of wounds and can increase the risk for infections. If you notice any of these signs, notify your doctor.  Diabetes is also a leading cause of impotence.

Thursday, November 13, 2014 – You experience digestive issues.

High blood sugar can damage the nerves that help food move through your digestive system. When this happens, uncomfortable digestive problems such as diarrhea and constipation can occur.  If this happens without explanation, notify your doctor.

Friday, November 14, 2014 – You experience vision problems.

Damage to the eyes caused by high blood sugar is the leading cause of adult blindness. Symptoms such as blurry or spotty vision, flashing lights, and lines in front of your eyes can be signs that your blood sugar is too high. Sometimes, this is the only sign you may notice.  Even if this condition clears rather quickly, notify your doctor.

Following a balanced diet, maintaining a safe weight and keeping physically active helps keep blood sugar levels stable.  However, blood sugar levels may be elevated because of ineffective or insufficient amounts of insulin in your body. If you’re experiencing any of the signs or symptoms listed above, it’s important to see your doctor right away as permanent organ damage can occur.