Taylor Time – 5 tips to get the most out of your workout

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!


“Taylor Time” www.Taylorbaldwin.com Fight holiday weight gain with these “Taylor Time” tips – Now that’s something to be thankful for!

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!


July 20, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!


Please click that SUBSCRIBE button! Like, Favorite, Comment & Share with friends! MAKE THIS YEAR DIFFERENT! ENJOY THE HOLIDAYS WITHOUT EXPANDING YOUR WAISTLINE! 🙂 Special thanks to my great friend YouTube.com for helping with those cool holiday graphics. Special appearance by Grace Helbig: YouTube.com Basedow TV intro animation edited by: YouTube.com COOL BOX SHOUT OUTS Want a shout out on my YouTube & BlogTV shows? Let me know in the comments section below if my channel is in your box! *NEW* SHIRT STORE! JohnBasedow.ViralPrints.com Custom make it yourself! Choose designs, colors & shirts. Watch FIGURE IT OUT with JB! LIVE Wednesdays 9p ET on BlogTV http Send me cool stuff! John Basedow 309 Main Street — Suite 234 Farmingdale NY 11735 FIND ME HERE: Vlog Channel: YouTube.com Order DVDs & Books: FitnessMadeSimple.com Twitter Twitter.com Facebook: Facebook.com DailyBooth: DailyBooth.com Sports Video Referral: Crazy Free Throw by Idaho State’s Kamil Gawrzydek Crazy Free Throw by Idaho State’s Kamil Gawrzydek www.youtube.com TAGS: Holiday Fit Tips Christmas Hanukkah Kwanzaa lose weight diet have fun John Basedow New Media Stew holiday fit tips fitness lose weight diet weight loss nutrition meal plan bikini body ripped Christmas Chanukah Hanukkah Kwanzaa buffet lean protein carbohydrates carbs fat vegetables fruit chicken turkey breast Grace Helbig J-Bizzle JBizzle Get Chunked Fitness Made Simple “six pack abs” E! BravoTV VH1 MTV Midnight schipperke Idaho State Utah Kamil

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!

Caregivers deserve to have fun, too – here’s how

December 21, 2010 by  
Filed under ALZHEIMER'S, Featured, HEALTHCARE

It is a sad fact but while people are partying and celebrating during the holiday season, some people are especially put under stress at this time of the year that can lead to burn out and depression. They are the caregivers. Especially affected are the caregivers of the terminal ill, the disabled and those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. And the sad thing is, most caregivers do not even realize the difficult condition they are in. They take it for granted that they have to perform their duty day in and day out. In the process, they are taken for granted.

According to radio talk show host Leeza Gibbons (source: USA Today):

“Most caregivers don’t even realize the kind of pressure they’re under. They often end up with life-limiting conditions as a result of the relentless stress.”

Gibbons experienced this first hand as she witnessed her mother slowly deteriorated with Alzheimer’s. Her family became dysfunctional as they watched their loved one slowly but surely fade away. But their sad story was what inspired them after their journey to set up Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation and Leeza’s Place, a community gathering place that provides support for caregivers.

The magazine GRAND gives 8 tips for caregivers on how to make their holidays less stressful and even enjoyable. These tips were written by Dr. James Huysman, Executive Director of Leeza’s Place.

  1. Give yourself a wellness gift. Give yourself a health and wellness gift.  Get a checkup, an assessment for anxiety or depression, and/or a health screening. Find a therapist. Join a support group. Take care of your own personal health. It is the first step toward reducing the stress and strain of the season ahead.
  2. Ask for help and make sure you are open to accept it. Asking friends and families for help may be the hardest thing we face. As caregivers, we are way too quick to accept the role of hero, martyr or savior. Too often we have a “go it alone policy” and believe that we must take care of everything ourselves.
  3. Find a friend or make a friendship even richer.  Having a friend to provide conversation, support and assistance or for any holiday activity is a wonderful therapeutic approach to the holidays. Sometimes a friend is all we need: a safe sounding board so we can get some stress out. Sometimes a friend might even offer respite that can lift your spirits and make the season more enjoyable.
  4. Learn how not to take things personally. Sometimes when families get together we are “on our last nerve.” Make sure we realize that the people around us have their dramas and traumas too and their words, though hurtful, may have nothing to do with us. Sometimes the words may come from a person with stressful challenges of their own.
  5. Identify a supportive community of friends, families or spiritual gatherings. Many caregivers are concerned they are seen as a burden and are often reluctant to come out and be connected to the world around them. Sometimes they feel no one cares. By finding a community outside the family, caregivers know they exist in a community of loving people who want to help because they care.  
  6. Plan your family’s activities with thought throughout the season. Roles and responsibilities are extremely important to explain to all involved. Ongoing family conferences throughout the holidays help maintain the boundaries necessary to the caregiving process so that no one feels out of control or inadequate. This is vital and should be done in person and as frequently as needed. Holiday family conferences are like tune-ups used to maintain the family car. This car needs to drive well, efficiently and for a long time. Schedule these conversations regularly before the wheels fall off.
  7. Keep a gratitude list in a holiday journal filled with wonderful affirmations.  That is a mouthful for sure and no doubt as a caregiver you will take this item by item or as a personal project throughout the season. Any one of these exercises can shift your focus away from darkness and worry and help empower a caregiver to create a focus on gratefulness – and hopefully begin to see the large amount of abundance that there already is in being alive. This process will begin to inspire new avenues of thought throughout the holiday season.
  8. Find humor everywhere you go. “Laughter Is the Best Medicine.” This is an old expression popularized by Norman Cousin’s book “Anatomy of an Illness,” in which he describes his battle with cancer and how he “laughed” his way to recovery. Laughter is a great tension-releaser, pain reducer, breathing improver, and general elevator of moods. Humor is so very valuable and a great elixir to get us through difficult or stressful times. Try to see the humor in being a caregiver during the holiday season. Start now. “How do you tell a caregiver from anyone else? It is the person who jumps off a cliff and someone else’s life passes before their eyes. . .  Okay, not so funny. Make sure you find your own laughter to keep smiling in your own life. Your energy for others during the holiday season will only happen when you energize and empower your own life force today.

Have yourself a merry little green Christmas

December 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured, HEALTHCARE

Once again it’s that time of the year when we eat, drink, and be merry to the the fullest. Christmas is the season to jolly. We bake, we decorate, we shop, and everybody is having fun.  But can you imagine our impact on the environment during the holiday season!. This is one post from last year that I’d like to repost, with some revisions. Because these tips are a relevant as ever.

Carbon emissions spike up at Christmas time because we use up more than our usual consumption of electricity, fossil fuel, foodstuff, and other materials. This doesn’t mean to say we should refrain from spreading on the holiday cheers and goodwill. But there are ways wherein we can reduce wastefulness without losing out on the fun. So let’s take a look as to how we can minimize our carbon footprint this Christmas and be easy on our pockets as well.

Christmas lights

There is nothing more festive and beautiful that outdoor Christmas lights. My kids just love them.  Every Christmas our neighbors would lovingly decorate their house facade and their lawn with all sorts of Christmas lights, from a miniature sleigh pulled by six reindeers, to a life-sized lighted Santa hanging from the balcony. Each tree in the lawn is decorated with fairy lights. The front porch is decorated with lighted evergreen garlands. How beautiful they are!  But should all these lights be on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Compared to our neighbors, our house has very few lights but we do have some. For my kids, outdoor lighting is part of Christmas. But why leave them on when the kids are in bed? That’s why I only turn them on from 6 pm till 10 pm every day. Also, try to use electricity-saving products, including light bulbs.

Last year, there were times when I’d forget to turn off the lights before I went to bed. This year, I installed an automatic timer to make sure it wouldn’t happen again.


Although I prefer to take the public transport, the car is still indispensable when it comes to shopping. We should however, try to minimize driving back and forth by scheduling shopping trips carefully. I reserve one whole day just for Christmas shopping and fill the car to the roof if I must, especially with the big items. If there were little things that I forget, I can always take the bus to the nearest mall.

In recent years, I also try to buy lots of stuff online. It saves time as well as gasoline money.

Choose green presents. When buying, here are the questions you can ask:

  • Is it made from recycled materials?
  • Is it biodegradable? Recyclable?
  • Is it energy efficient?
  • Is it non-toxic, non-polluting?
  • Has it been produced in an environmentally friendly/socially responsible way?

For example, little gadgets that run on alternative energy are nifty. My kids got mini flashlights that run on pure mechanical energy and they are great.

Or what about mobile phones which emit very little radiation? The Environmental Working Group (EWG) tested several models to check for radiation emission levels. Check out EWG’s cell phone radiation guide.

Another green present I find nifty are carbon emission offsets. Check out the 3 Phases Renewables carbon calculator and see how much of your friends carbon emission you can offset.

On the safety side, choose toys that are safe and non-toxic. Check the consumer updates for recalled products.


After all the presents have been unwrapped, what do we do with the rubbish? Wrapping papers and cardboard boxes are easily recyclable. Check locally for recyclers, then collect your Christmas wrappings and deliver them to the recyclers in one go.

Christmas trees can also be recycled. In our town, the trees are collected in January, to be used for wood or placed in the compost. Some shops, including Ikea, take back the trees for composting and even give gift vouchers in return.

What about unwanted presents? In some countries, people can exchange these right after Christmas. But not is Switzerland where we live. They have, however, a way of disposing unwanted presents – donation to charity. The rule is that the presents, food or nonfood, are new and unused, and if food or beverage, are unopened. The presents are either distributed to the needy, or resold, with revenues going to charity.


Christmastime is feasting time. We love to cook and to bake at this time of the year. But preparing food also uses up a lot of resources, from the food production to the roasting process. And there is always more than enough to go around. But please do not throw away leftover food. I freeze whatever I can for lean times. If you are not the leftover eater type, or if the deep freeze is full, take them to the local shelter or soup kitchen. There are hungry people out there who’d be sure to welcome them. The only exception I make about throwing away food is on sweets. Sadly, ever since the holiday season has started, I’ve thrown away so much sweets which my kids bring home from parties and even school activities.

And while you are at it, have yourself a merry little green Christmas!

X’mas stress and depression: tips for prevention

December 24, 2009 by  
Filed under DEPRESSION, Featured

`Tis the season to be jolly, tra la la la… But the holiday season can bring not only good mood and goodwill but stress and depression. The holiday season in the US starts can start as early as November at Thanksgiving until New Year. In Europe it starts from early December till 6 January, the feast of the 3 Kings. In an Asian country where I was born, Christmas starts when the month’s name ends with “-ber”, e.g. as early as September! It goes without saying that the holiday season can become too long and although many of us start off quite happy and gay, we get burned out towards the end of the season, what with too much shopping, too much cooking and baking, too much wining and dining, too much celebrating. It puts a burden on us financially, physically, as well as emotionally. It can cause strain in our personal relationships, our professional life, thereby tipping over that ever precarious life-work balance. It is no wonder that the holiday season can end in stress and depression. Fortunately, there are ways and means to prevent these. Health experts at the Mayo Clinic give us some good advice.

The first step is to recognize the most common holiday triggers that lead to a meltdown and immediately try to diffuse these triggers. The second step is to take control of the holidays and not let the holidays control you. The Mayo Clinic experts give us some 10 concrete steps to avoid stress and depression this holiday season

Photo credit: stock.xchng

How to avoid food allergies at Christmas time

December 24, 2009 by  
Filed under ALLERGIES

Christmas time is feasting time. Unfortunately it can also be allergy time. As we attend one party after another, trying out food we normally we do not eat at home, we are exposed to allergens in the food that can trigger allergic reactions. According to WebMD, the eight most common foodstuffs associated with allergic symptoms are:

  • Eggs
  • Cow’s milk
  • Peanuts
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Fish
  • Shrimp and other shellfish
  • Salads & fresh fruits

It is most unfortunate that a lot of these food stuffs are actually healthy stuff. I mean, have you ever heard of allergies against things we shouldn’t eat? Anybody with allergic reaction to sugar? To fat?

However, another source of allergy is food additives, e.g. food preservatives and colorings that may be present in any processed food that we eat.

But you may ask, what is the big deal about food allergies? Well, allergic reaction doesn’t only bring mild symptoms like rashes, sneezing or tummy aches. It can bring about anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition that includes swelling of the throat, cutting off the airway, difficulty in breathing, and eventually cardiopulmonary arrest.

However, people with allergies need not miss out on the fun and feasting at Christmas time. What is needed is proper planning and preventive measures.

So what should we do at Christmas time, or any time for that matter, when we have to dine out or attend a party, knowing we are potentially allergic to certain foodstuffs? Here are some tips:

Avoid the Food Allergy Trigger. Avoidance of exposure is always the key to avoid serious allergic reactions. Read the labels in the food products you buy. Inform your host/hostess, your waiter about your allergy. They can then advice you as to what dishes you should avoid.

Bring the party at home. When you do the cooking or hire a caterer, you have more control over the menu/ what goes into the food. In case of a potluck party, remind your guests about your allergy.

Inform your friends. The more people know about your allergy, the more people can watch over you, and can help you check out the food.

Have your anti-allergy medication ready and within reach. You should carry your antihistamines on your person. Tell your friends where it is so they have access to it in case of emergency.

Talk to your doctor about allergy shots. Check out whether you are qualified for anti-allergy shots. Your doctor can tell you more.

Meaningful Christmas Shopping Part II: Presents that are Safe, Green, and Fair

December 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, HEALTHCARE

Many of us are still struggling with our list of Christmas gifts to be bought while world leaders are discussing Climate Change in freezing Europe. So where’s the link?

Every Christmas, our carbon footprint spikes up as we consume more electricity for Christmas lights and cooking , use up more fossil fuels as we travel more by car and by plane,  produce more rubbish, and use up more resources. Healthcare costs spike up as more people are getting ill from overindulging and over imbibing. I am currently reading John Grisham’s book Skipping Christmas. The book is hilarious but it also highlights the excesses of Christmas.

That doesn’t mean to say we have to completely do without Christmas. I think it is still the best holiday of the year ever and it’s fun to celebrate. However, we should take measures to minimize wastefulness, reduce our carbon footprint, and avoid compromising our health. That’s why I am giving you a couple of Christmas shopping tips.

Here are some questions you need to ask before buying something:

Is it safe?

TOYS. Time and time again, toys are recalled due to safety issues ranging from high lead content to choking hazards. This holiday season’s most popular toys, the Zhu Zhu Pets hamsters, supposedly contain high levels of the toxic chemical antimony. Other toys can contain more than the allowable limit of certain chemicals. For a list of toys that have been recalled for safety issues, check out

COSMETICS. The EWG has a large database on cosmetics and body care products which have been tested for carcinogen and other toxic chemicals called Skin Deep.

GADGETS. Electronic gadgets are very popular presents for adolescents and adults. When giving cell phones, be sure to check for radiation emission levels. Check out the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Cell Phone Radiation Report.

FOOD. The US FDA regularly issues warnings and alerts on food recalls. The recent warnings concerned hazelnuts. For regular updates on food safety and food recalls, check out www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/default.htm

Is it environmentally friendly?

Products I consider green or environmentally friendly are those which are made from recycled materials, are biodegradable or are recyclable.

There are CHRISTMAS CARDS made from 100% recycled paper.

TOYS, GADGETS, and APPLIANCES: Are they energy efficient? Why not go for toys that run on renewable energy, e.g. solar or mechanical energy?

FOOD. If you are the organic consumer type, know whether your organic food is definitely organic, e.g. free from pesticides, hormones, and other chemicals.

Is it socially responsible?

I think we should look at the products beyond their appearance and packaging and think of the people who worked hard to produce them. Was the product produced in a sweat shop, by small children? What is the manufacturer’s policy on corporate social responsibility?

The number of products carrying the FAIRTRADE labels is increasing as consumers make their wishes heard about fairness and social responsibility. Check out www.fairtrade.net/products.html for a list of FAIRTRADE products.

Photo credit: stock.xchng

Don’t let health problems stop you from celebrating Christmas

December 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, HEALTHCARE

christmas wreathChristmas is not only for the healthy and fit. Each of us should have something to celebrate, big or small during the holiday season, whether we are healthy or ill. When we are ill we sometimes wonder whether we have the strength and the will to celebrate during the holiday season. Here are some tips from health experts which I ahve compiled for you.

MayoClinic cancer education specialist Nicole Engler gives some tips to cancer survivors on how to enjoy the holiday season with their loved ones, which getting overstressed.

Simplify the holidays

christmas family2Live in the moment

Share the hope


Now, diabetes and holiday feasting. Those are two things that can never go together. Or can they?

Well, the American Diabetes Association thinks they can. Here are six holiday tips to guide you in your holiday events:


The holiday season is a special time for families to get together, families that may span several generations. Celebrating Christmas with loved ones who have Alzheimer’s disease is a bitter-sweet experience, when we feel robbed of memories past, presentand ure. However, we shouldn’t let the disease put a dark cloud on your holiday plans. Health experts at the MayoClinic give us the following advice to family members and caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients:

Keep it simple at home. If you’re caring for a loved one who has Alzheimer’s at home:

Be practical away from home. If your loved one lives in a nursing home or other facility:

In the coming days, I will bring you more tips about celebrating the holiday season without jeopardizing your health.

Photo credit: stock.xchng

Fighting cancer during the holiday season

December 18, 2008 by  
Filed under CANCER

Christmas is the season to be jolly but when you are ill, the holiday season can be actually stressful rather than joyful. This is especially true among cancer patients and their families. How would they fit in Christmas shopping and baking between chemotherapy and radiotherapy sessions? The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute gives some tips for cancer patients and their families on how to cope with the holiday fever as described below.


Set realistic goals

Don’t even think of doing it all. Cut down on the decorating, shopping and baking. Pick one or two things that you want and can do. And know your limitations, physically, emotionally and financially.

Do not be afraid of asking or accepting help

Learn to ask for help and delegate.

Get plenty of rest and sleep

Overstressing yourself is counterproductive. Learn to say “no” to party invitations and visitors if you don’t feel like it. Don’t feel obligated to be festive.

Engage in some form of physical activity

Exercise is good for you even if the temptation of staying in bed the whole is strong. Take walks and breathe in fresh air. However, be sure to keep yourself warm and wrapped up. Check out winter walking tips from the American Heart Association.

Go cyber

Do your shopping online. Send e-Christmas greetings – and be comforted that they are more eco-friendly than paper Christmas cards.

Show emotion

You don’t need to put up a brave face all the time. Crying can be therapeutic. Do not bottle it all up. It’s OK to complain once in a while. Talk to your love ones.

Eat healthy food

Complete abstinence during the holidays is not asked of you. Do not deprive yourself but do not overindulge yourself either.


Although the coping tips above are meant for cancer patients, they may apply to the family member and caregivers as well. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS)

As a caregiver, you may also be feeling overloaded during the holiday season. You likely have many new things on your to-do list on top of your normal responsibilities. Try to include your loved one in the holiday meal planning and preparation, decorating, gift buying and wrapping. Most importantly, be sure to take time for yourself and appreciate the little things that make life special.”

ACS gives some recommended do’s and don’ts to help caregivers handle the holidays. Their tips are basically similar to the list above, which only goes to show that the burden of cancer is felt both by the patient and the caregiver.

Pink merchandise for your Christmas shopping list

December 17, 2008 by  
Filed under CANCER

There have been lots of criticisms in recent years as to how Christmas has become too commercialized, that present giving has lost its meaning amidst all the glitter of advertisements and other marketing strategies. It is therefore heart warming to know that there are companies out there who have strong social responsibilities and thus combine marketing with advocacy work, profit-making with sharing, and selling with honest giving. Here are some tips on how to make your Christmas shopping and present giving more meaningful and satisfying this year.

L’Oreal Color of Hope Jewelry Collection
L’Oreal Paris is a company well-known for its pro-cancer advocacy. For almost 10 years now, it has helped in raising more than US$ 18 million dollars for funding research on ovarian cancer. With L’Oreal’s Color of Hope Jewelry Collection, we have the chance to give a meaningful gift to a loved one and hope to thousands of women suffering from ovarian cancer. The Color of Hope necklace is especially noteworthy. The necklace was designed by Philip Crangi, winner of the 2008 Swarovski Accessory Design Award. It features a double eternity ring design of cubic zirconia set in sterling silver. One ring is worn for remembrance and one ring is worn as a symbol of hope for the future. For every purchase of the necklace, L’Oreal donates 5$ to the Ovarian Research Fund.

Better Homes and Gardens books
The book company Better Homes and Gardens has been a partner of Susan G. Komen for the Cure in the fight against breast cancer for years now. To date, the Pink Plaid Limited Edition Cookbooks have raised more than $675,000 for Komen, the world’s biggest breast cancer foundation. The latest release is available just in time for Christmas, which will bring in a minimum promised donation of $250,000. Another gift item available is the volume Words for the Cure, a “collection of uplifting thoughts and images is designed to provide comfort and inspiration for breast cancer survivors and co-survivors.

Handcrafted quilts are being auctioned at ebay for the benefit of cancer research. Sponsored by the magazine American Patchwork & Quilting, the Quilt Pink Charity Auction, proceeds go to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Truly a gift that can warm the body and the heart!

Cancer awareness gifts
Most cancer advocacy groups sell cancer awareness products ranging from bracelets to teddy bears to T-shirts and water bottles. They also offer gifts for cancer patients and their caregivers. From their profits, donations are made to cancer research centers. A few sites are listed below:

A list of other “pink” products that you might consider adding to your shopping list can be found here.

Please take note the group Breast Cancer Action recommends that you ask these 6 critical questions before buying pink products. “Think before you pink” is the way to go.

Christmas gifts for health and heart

December 17, 2008 by  

It’s the same every year. The quest for the perfect yet affordable Christmas gift is driving people up the wall. The question that always comes up is “What do I give to someone who already has everything?” Well, try to be creative and give presents that need not come from the stores, gift-wrapped and tied with a ribbon. And while you are at it, please make sure that the present is

  • healthy and heart-friendly (the less calories, the better)
  • produced with social responsibility (no products from sweat shops, please)
  • environmentally-friendly (that SUV is out of the question)
  • safe (check on the BPA and phthalate contents)

Hmmm…that complicates things a bit more, doesn’t it?

Not necessarily. Here are my tips for meaningful yet useful Christmas presents.

The wellness present
What about a gift certificate for a spa? Or a 60-minute full body massage or a facial treatment? There is nothing like a wellness present to wash away the stress of the year. Or what about a yoga session or two? Check out the yellow pages in your area for spa and wellness treatments.

The fitness present
A membership in a fitness club, a running club or a walking club would be a wonderful present. In making this membership accessible to your family and friends, you are giving a gift that will last for a year but whose effect can last for a lifetime.

As an alternative, give an indoor exercise device such as a treadmill, a pedometer and of course – the latest fitness gadget – the Wii Fit -which comes with four training modes: yoga, sport, aerobics and strength training.

What about a basket of health food products accompanied by a healthy recipe book?

The educational present
What about a voucher for a class or a course? An art class, a language course, something for the senses and for the mind. Or what about a course on safety? I once received a gift certificate for a safety driving course under extreme weather conditions. That was really well-appreciated.

Another wonderful present would be a course on first aid or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). By giving these gifts, you are also giving the gift of life and life-saving. Check out the American Heart Association’s CPR Anytime for Family and Friends.

The advocacy and awareness present
Now, if you can afford it, why not donate to your favorite health or environmental advocacy group on behalf of your loved one?

Cheaper alternatives would be awareness gift items, from jewelry, clothing and toys that most health groups offer in their online gift shops. Examples are “pink” products for cancer awareness or “heart-friendly” products for cardiovascular awareness. Check AHA’s Power to End Stroke merchandises.

Happy Christmas shopping!

Photo credit: stock.xchng

Hope and Help for the Holidays

October 13, 2008 by  
Filed under ALZHEIMER'S

It’s October and according to some retailers, the holidays begin now.

I don’t listen to the marketing hype, but when I am hosting Thanksgiving dinner (which I am not this year), I start thinking about the menu and planning in September. However, it’s hard logistically and emotionally to plan for the holidays when you are caring for someone who has Alzheimer’s disease.

By their very nature, the holidays cause us to look back. In most cases, celebrations and traditions of years gone by determine the tenor of today’s customs and rituals. For many of us, the holiday season begins with talking to our loved ones, planning where celebrations will be and what they will entail. We speak the plans for the upcoming holidays, but what we don’t say, what goes unspoken is the foundation upon which those plans are made. Here is where the friction comes in. Looking back is fine, but looking forward is scary. Your mom doesn’t remember the traditions that she couldn’t live without. Your dad is agitated by the very lights that he used to meticulously string on the Christmas tree; today, he couldn’t pour a cup of hot chocolate, much less man the omelet station for the traditional holiday brunch.

So, where does that leave you? I’m not sure, but I know where it left me. It left my heart aching for the past and sometimes dreading the future. It left me hanging on to old traditions and knowing that it was time to start new ones. It left me wondering how I could celebrate in a way that mom could enjoy without being scared, anxious or agitated.

In this series I’ll share my holiday experiences (some were nightmares) with the hopes that you can learn from MY mistakes. I’ll give you some do’s and some dont’s. I’ll hopefully inspire you to hold on to some old traditions, but encourage you to try some new ones as well.

So, let’s plan together as we approach the holidays. I’ll specifically reference Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, but it really doesn’t matter. The principles are the same for Yom Kippur or Purim.

I’ve learned, it doesn’t matter what our ethnic background or religious tradition. Alzheimer’s disease hurts all of us. It makes us all cry and it takes away a little of our past and our future as it creeps through the brains of our loved ones.

Look for upcoming posts on Hope (and Help) for the holidays. Do you have any tips for making it through the holidays? Please share.

Weight Loss, Arthritis and Holiday Feasting

December 23, 2007 by  
Filed under OBESITY

Gloria Gamat, from the Battling Arthritis blog wrote an interesting article titled .. Weight Loss, Osteoarthritis and Your Christmas Recipes

Tomorrow night will be Christmas Eve and you most likely have your recipes memorized and the ingredients all bought in preparation for the food you will serve your family on Christmas.

What if there is an arthritis patient in your family? Then you have to put that into consideration when planning your meals for the holiday. Not only arthritis, but what if there is a diabetic or an hypertensive person in the family?

If that is the case then I always recommend cooking healthy foods to be on the safe. Let not be the holidays be an excuse to forget that particular diet you were following in lieu of your condition — diabetes, hypertension, arthritis…etc.

… continued //

It’s a good read . check it out!

Weight Loss, Osteoarthritis and Your Christmas Recipes

December 23, 2007 by  
Filed under ARTHRITIS

Tomorrow night will be Christmas Eve and you most likely have your recipes memorized and the ingredients all bought in preparation for the food you will serve your family on Christmas.

What if there is an arthritis patient in your family? Then you have to put that into consideration when planning your meals for the holiday. Not only arthritis, but what if there is a diabetic or an hypertensive person in the family?

If that is the case then I always recommend cooking healthy foods to be on the safe side. Let not be the holidays be an excuse to forget that particular diet you were following in lieu of your condition — diabetes, hypertension, arthritis…etc.

One more thing I would like to remind you of: your weight. If you have arthritis, being overweight or obese is not going to help you. Being close to your ideal weight will surely reduce your risk for osteoarthritis. (Read more about the osteoarthritis-weight association from Johns Hopkins.)

Being overweight is a clear risk factor for developing OA. Population-based studies have consistently shown a link between overweight or obesity and knee OA. Estimating prevalence across populations is difficult since definitions for obesity and knee OA vary among investigators.

Data from the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (HANES I) indicated that obese women had nearly 4 times the risk of knee OA as compared with non-obese women; for obese men, the risk was nearly 5 times greater. (ref. 6) In a study from Framingham MA, overweight individuals in their thirties who did not have knee OA were at greater risk of later developing the disease. (ref. 7)

Other investigations, which performed repeated x-rays over time also, have found that being overweight significantly increases the risk of developing knee OA. (refs. 8 and 9) It is estimated that persons in the highest quintile of body weight have up to 10 times the risk of knee OA than those in the lowest quintile. (ref. 5)

Case in point: mine. Earlier this year, I weighed a whooping 165 lbs. I am barely 5 ft. tall, so I know that is too far from my ideal weight. When my osteoarthritis (OA) symptoms attacked in mid-August, my weight made it even worse. I changed my eating habits and now I weigh 135 lbs. My OA is better, not only due to my changed diet but also because of the meds, vitamins and other therapies I am taking. The symptoms are less and I don’t suffer as much as I used to.

At 135 lbs., by BMI says I’m still a bit overweight. While I am convinced I need to shed more weight, this holiday season is an odd against that goal. Despite that, I am keeping myself from overeating. I definitely do not want to regain all those pounds I lost.

SO. If you are arthritic like me. remind yourself to eat healthier, not only this holiday season but for all times.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.