More Holiday Fit Tips From Revolution Fitness

October 13, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

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

Sign up for my New Years Get Fit Challenge Today – Prizes include heart rate monitor with GPS! Don’t forget to get in your exercise this Holiday season to prevent gaining weight! Find out how to make sure you get it in from Sarah and Mike D’Angelo at Revolution Fitness! I shot these for work and loved them so much, I decided to share them with all of you! Enjoy! Eat like me. Try my diet plan –

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

Underage binge drinking at New Year

January 5, 2011 by  
Filed under ADDICTION

New Year’s Eve has always been known to be drinking occasion that cost lots of lives and health care expenditures due to traffic accidents. What is less known is that many of these cases involve underage drinking. According to recent statistics, ER visits due to drunken driving by the underaged is 263% higher at New Year than on an average day – the worst day of the year, in fact. But isn’t this a sad way of starting the New  Year?

Dr. Pete Delany of the US department of Health and Human Services is urging parents to carefully watch their teens during the holidays as well set a good example.

“They need to be paying attention to what’s going on. They need to know where their kids are going, if there’s going to be alcohol served, and give good role models for making sure that the kids see what it’s like to be safe on the holiday.’’

Binge drinking is a serious public health problem; 42 % of adolescents engage in binge drinking.  Its disadvantages for the drinkers are immense which may include poor performance in college or school or other acute and chronic diseases later in life.  In the worst case, binge drinking may lead to alcohol poisoning and even death.  Non-drinkers are also disadvantaged when caught in resulting accidents, crime and violence. 

Binge drinking takes place in college campuses especially in parties.  In fact even adolescents at 18 already engage in binge drinking.  This led people like the Amethyst Initiative to toy with the idea of lowering the legal age of drinking, currently 21, to perhaps lower underage college binge drinking.  This is on the assumption that if it’s legal to drink at 18, people will start drinking moderately like social drinkers do. (Like you won’t do what isn’t forbidden). A new study that will be published in the  Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, however, says otherwise.

The study did a survey and through a mathematical model evaluated the role of the „misperception“ effect.  ‘„Misperception“ is the idea that underage students widely perceive “normal” drinking levels to be higher than they actually are and that students would adjust their own habits if they were surrounded by social drinkers rather than binge-drinking party-goers’.  This „misperception“, according to the study, seems to be very important.   Researchers found out firstly, that lowering legal drinking may lower underage drinking in campuses surrounded by bars and where identifications are not strictly checked (and therefore heavy binge drinking takes place) if „misperception“ among adolescents is present.  Otherwise, binge drinking may increase in such campuses.  Secondly, in so-called “dry“campuses, that is, where there is stricter underage drinking law enforcement, „misperception“ has to be even stronger among adolescents.  In fact for the newly concepted law to be effective, misperception level has to be extremely large in the presence of higher levels of underage drinking law enforcement, according to the head researcher. 

It looks like lowering drinking legal age won’t really solve the problem of underage binge drinking. Data supporting misperception levels on adolescents are also necessary to have any basis for such a law.

In the meantime, parents should be vigilant about their children, now only those which are in college. Because alcohol use and binge drinking can start as early as middle school!

Autumn is stressful time for some, relaxation for others

October 11, 2010 by  

It is interesting how the season affects our moods. Scientists attribute this mainly to changes in the day length and weather conditions. But it seems there are other factors involved.

A recent study by Swiss researchers reports that autumn is a difficult time for young people, a time of stress and depression, which sometimes results in substance abuse, violence and suicide. For the young, autumn is the time to go back to school after several weeks of summer holidays. It means loss of freedom, the start of school work overload, the build-up of peer pressure, the recurrence of bullying. For those who just finished school, it is the start of the struggle to find a job, something that is not easy during hard economic times. Those who start with their first real jobs get to experience the cut throat rat race of the corporate world.

In other words, autumn is a time when young people are expected to deliver and perform before the start of the winter and the Christmas holidays.

Autumn, on the other hand, can have a different meaning for the older generation. Reports indicate that more and more senior citizens go on holidays in autumn after the summer peak season is over, when the kids are out of the house and off to college, and the southern sun is less intense. Many of them take up in daring and extreme sports such as sky diving and bungy jumping, trying to catch up with things they could not do before. Or many of them simply lean back and relax and enjoy the relatively mild weather.

Somebody once told me that the elderly of Europe behave like migrating birds. They go south in autumn to enjoy sunny Spain and Greece and come back to the north in springtime. Our population is rapidly aging, and a large segment of our population is senior citizens who are still healthy and fit and can afford to live a life of leisure.

Does this mean that the older generation has a much better life than the younger generation? It all depends from what perspective you are looking from. The elderly had their share of stressful autumns. Let them enjoy the late autumns of their lives as long as they do not overdo it with risky behavior.

On the other hand, having lots of time on their hands will most probably bore the young to death. Still, they need all the support to survive autumn and the other autumns to come till they can enjoy their retirement.

Healthy food for religious holidays

March 29, 2010 by  

Certain holidays  are associated in certain types of food that we usually eat to celebrate these special occasions. However, there are also foods which are forbidden on certain holodays, at least for certain religions. I was brought up a catholic (though I have been an agnostic for years now), and during the Lenten season, my mom would strictly impose the no- meat policy on Fridays and the whole of the so-called Holy Week. Meat would only then be served on Easter Sunday, in celebration of the end of the fasting season.

The other day, one of my sons brought home the topic about the holy days and about why some of their friends wouldn’t eat meat on Fridays. During the discussion, his brother remained quiet, then eventually blurted out worriedly: “But I can’t imagine surviving a Friday without eating even just a slice of salami!”

This, of course, will become a family joke for years to come. However, I got to recall my mom’s no meat policy, which although unpopular, was nevertheless healthy. We were lucky to live close to the seacoast where fish and seafood are  easily avaialble. Fish as protein source is much healthier than meat – especially for our heart health.

A New York Times article recently featured star Chef Marshall Goldstein, of Toledo, Ohio who is the president of the Maumee Valley Chefs American Culinary Federation chapter, and executive chef/director of food services at The Heritage who talked about cooking during special occasions such as Easter and Passover – e.g “how to mix food and faith in a more health way.” The Chef a lot of questions from glazed hams to matzas, from leg of lamb to nut meringue. For me, the best part is the recipe for Pan Roasted Salmon which I will surely try this coming Good Friday. Here is Chef Goldstein’s recipe:

“How about something great and unusual…..Pan Roasted Salmon, with a citrus Balsamic vinegarette. Here is a great recipe:

Ingredients: 1/2 c balsamic vinegar, 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, 2 tbsp. finely minced onion, 2 tsp. coarsed chopped parsely, 2 tbsp. orange zest, 1/8 tsp salt, fresh ground black pepper(healthiest for you) 3/4 cup orange juice.

Put all the ingredients into a closable container, and shake, shake, shake!! Sear the Salmon in a skillet with a little olive oil, transfer the pan to a 350 degree oven and roast 10-15 minutes, you do not want over cooked salmon. Using the skillet, wipe clean and heat the sauce, spoon over the salmon. I like to serve redskin potatoes and a nice side salad with different types of dried fruits as a nice accompaniment.”

Hmmm… yummy! Any special holiday recipe you might want to share?

Does your vacation make you happy?

March 24, 2010 by  
Filed under HEALTHCARE

In the coming days, it’s Easter school holidays in most European countries, which can last from 1 to 3 weeks. Most people, especially those with school children will take off from work to take care of the kids, and perhaps travel a bit.

When it comes to number of vacation days per year, European employees get much more than their counterparts in North America and Asia. Almost all European countries require employers to give their employees at least 20 days of paid leave. Most people get more. In contrast, US law does not provide for paid leaves. Paid vacation is based on the generosity of the employer. See more details of the number of paid vacation days here.

Vacation means not going to work and for many Europeans, it also means travelling. Almost everybody goes on a vacation trip in Europe. But does vacation really make us happy? Are Europeans happier than Americans because they get more vacation?

This Dutch study looked at the effect of vacation on people’s overall happiness. 1,520 Dutch adults, of whom 974 went on a vacation during the last 32 weeks participated in the study. The researchers assessed the participants’ level of happiness before, during, and after vacation. The results can be summarized as

  • Highest level of happiness was measured before the actual vacation during the planning stage.
  • Happiness immediately drops back to the original levels after coming back from vacation. At this point, there is no difference in happiness between those who went on holidays and those who didn’t.
  • The actual vacation itself made many people happy although some reported it to be stressful due to illness or conflicts with fellow travellers.
  • The amount of stress or relaxation during the actual vacation influence postvacation levels of happiness. Moderate relaxation doesn’t seem to increase happiness after vacation. Only a very relaxing holiday trip can boost postvacation happiness.
  • Postvacation stress can actually increase as many people find it difficult to get back to work after a vacation. Work also tends to pile up during those days of absence.

The study results suggest that the joy of vacation lies in the anticipation, not in the vacation itself. The authors’ take home message: take many short holidays during the year rather than one long one.

“The practical lesson for an individual is that you derive most of your happiness from anticipating the holiday trip. What you can do is try to increase that by taking more trips per year. If you have a two week holiday you can split it up and have two one week holidays. You could try to increase the anticipation effect by talking about it more and maybe discussing it online.”

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

Eating healthy during the holidays

December 18, 2008 by  

‘Tis the season to be feasting. And we should. After all, Christmas only comes once a year.

Now, how do we enjoy the holidays without compromising our heart health? Here are some simple tips.

When cooking at home
Be creative. Substitute bad fats with good fats. And look at the total fats as well. There’s a whole load of cholesterol-free recipe books out there. Or download recipes from the Internet. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends The Best Healthy Soul Food Recipes cookbook.

Go for the vegetable recipes. If you have to go for meat, then go for lean meat and slim down the gravy. Here’s a tip from the AHA:

With poultry, use the leaner light meat (breast) instead of the fattier dark meat (legs and thighs) and be sure to remove the skin. Use a rack in the pan so the meat or poultry doesn’t sit in its own fat drippings. Instead of basting with pan drippings, use fat-free liquids like wine, low-sodium tomato juice or lemon juice. When making gravy from the drippings, chill first, then use a gravy strainer or skim ladle to remove the fat.

When shopping for food
At the supermarket, check for the AHA heart-check mark. Product with this mark “has been screened and verified to meet the AHA’a certification criteria to be low in saturated fat and cholesterol for healthy people over age 2.”

And if the nutritional facts on the packaging challenge you, check out this resource from the US FDA – How to Understand and Use the Nutrition Facts Label. It can be downloaded free of charge from the FDA site in pdf and comes with a video.

When going to parties or eating out
Take care of what to take from the buffet or order from the menu. Avoid the wrap-type food, according to this webMD article. Go for something that you recognize. Sushi is usually low fat. Forget the cheese unless you are sure they are the reduced-fat kind. Go for the raw vegetable cuts but take it easy on the dips and the dressings. They can be loaded with fat as well. A little bit of nuts would also great as long as you are not allergic to them.

You don’t have to make do without the turkey. Just go for the lean part and avoid the skin. Take it easy on the on the rich gravy. The cranberry sauce is a healthier alternative.

Go for small portions with variety. It makes the food more interesting with being fattening.

When drinking
Water is the best choice but unsweetened fruit juices are also fine. Remember that alcohol is full of calories. But if you must imbibe, then go for red wine and drink in moderation.

Now, when partying this holiday season, don’t follow the “eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you shall die” principle. Instead, eat and drink wisely, be merry, and live a long life.

Photo credit: stock.xchng

Watch your eating habits during the holidays

November 5, 2008 by  

The cold season is here and we can see what’s coming. No, I am not referring to winter and snow. I am talking about the holidays – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year. Good food, calories and cholesterol. Good for the tummy, bad for the heart. Here are a few tips as what to pay attention to during this season of festivities and parties:

Eat slowly

The term “fast food” certainly has a double meaning, both not necessarily good for our health. This study by Japanese researchers indicates that the faster you eat, the more pounds you gain. People who eat faster than usual have the tendency to be overweight than those who eat at normal speed. Fast-eating men are 84% more likely to be overweight. Fast-eating women are 50% more likely to be overweight. The reason behind this is the signalling system in the between the tummy and the brain. Once the tummy is full, it sends a message to brain that says “Stop eating!” However, when you wolf down your food, the tummy gets filled too fast and even gilled overfilled before it can send the “stop” signal. The best strategy, therefore, is chew, enjoy, don’t rush and give the food a chance to settle in your tummy.

Do not eat till your tummy is full

The same study also observed that people who habitually eat till they feel fully satisfied also tend to be overweight. The same principle works here – there is usually a time delay between the signal sent by the tummy to the brain and the actual status of tummy content. Don’t overwork your tummy – give it a break and listen to what it says.

The study concludes that

Eating until full and eating quickly are associated with being overweight in Japanese men and women, and these eating behaviours combined may have a substantial impact on being overweight.”

Weekend and holiday treats

Holidays and weekends are the times when you gain the most number of pounds. Experts therefore are warning to people to watch the portions you eat. Concentrate on the social part of the festivities to take your mind off the goodies. That doesn’t mean to say you have to drink more and eat less. On the contrary, drinking on an empty tummy is not good for your health. Yes, a little bit of alcohol may be good for your health. But never forget – alcohol contains a lot of sugar!

Yes, ‘tis the season to party and be jolly but also to keep healthy.

Photo credit: mazam at stock.xchng

Hope and Help For the Holidays — Involve Your Loved One

October 23, 2008 by  
Filed under ALZHEIMER'S

The holidays, for Alzheimer’s caregivers, are filled with a myriad of emotions. Hope and gratitude that another year has passed and our loved one is still with us. We have Fear and anxiety regarding the future, and a strange mixture of joy and sadness for the present. We look into our loved one’s eyes and realize that mom’s body is there, but SHE is long gone. We remember the good times when dad used to climb into the attic or descend the basement stairs to get the holiday accouterments. Grandma and pops used to host the Christmas Eve dinner and now he doesn’t even know that it’s Christmas.

On some levels it’s a bit challenging. On other levels, it feels impossible. How can we possibly balance the festivities of the holidays with the uncertainty of caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease?

Today, I’ll give you a few suggestions as to how you and your family can enjoy the holidays, while caregiving. This post will specifically address how to include your loved one in as many activities as possible and practical.

  • Think smaller instead of larger – Instead of having a huge, sell-out crowd over, consider having a smaller group
  • Think participation – Allow your loved one to help and participate. From setting the table, to folding napkins, to knitting or even helping with the decorations; anything your loved one can do to feel loved, appreciated and helpful will bring more joy than the most well thought out gift. I used to ask my mom to fold laundry. Although it wasn’t a holiday-specfic task, she felt needed (and it kept her occupied and out of trouble, at least for a little while).
  • Think personal – Take your loved one out for a nice dinner or prepare an intimate dinner. Enjoy a special worship service or other activity together.
  • Think help – If you do plan to host a big holiday dinner. Get a family member, friend or even a paid caregiver to help out with your loved one. Having one person who is dedicated to making sure your loved one is taken care of makes a world of difference. A few years ago, my husband and I hosted the family Thanksgiving dinner. There were about 50 guests. My brother designated himself the caregiver for the day and stuck close to mom for the entire day. It took a major load off of me and helped to keep her grounded.
  • Think Consistency – As much as possible, keep your loved one’s routine in tact. Major changes in schedule can cause problems in the present and for days or weeks long after the company is gone.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, breathe. Take time to enjoy your family, your loved one and this special time of year.

Hope and Help for the Holidays – Halloween

October 14, 2008 by  
Filed under ALZHEIMER'S

Halloween – This day can really throw a person with dementia into quite a tizzy. I mean, those scary masks and glaring jack-o-lanterns can cause the most stable of us to shudder.

Consider the following suggestions and tweak them to your personal circumstances:

1) Most of the activity for Halloween takes place from sun set into the evening hours. This will certainly cause a disruption in your loved one’s regular pattern. if your loved one “sundowns” then you could be in for a l-o-n-g evening.

2) If you plan to give out candy, etc. consider posting someone at the door to greet trick or treaters, that way, you’ll avoid the constant ringing of the doorbell or knocking on the door, which can cause nervousness or anxiety in your loved one.

3) If you or your children plan to dress up, consider the impact that your costume will have on your loved one. You know your 10 year old son is just your son in a vampire costume. However, your loved one may be seriously fearful of such a costume. Even a simple fairy or ballerina costume can throw your loved one for a loop for weeks.

4) If possible, feasible and practical, include your loved one in the celebration.

5) Be mindful of scary home decorations. Cobwebs and witches and jack-o-lanterns throughout the house can be really scary to someone with dementia and anything with fangs and blinking lights is probably a no – no as well.

6) Nix the noises. Depending on what stage your loved one is in, all of the explanation in the world is not going to help grandma to understand that the screaming sound is not real.

7) Consider the divide and conquer plan. If you love Halloween or have children that need to celebrate, then consider having someone to take your loved one out to dinner or consider inviting a friend or relative over to keep your loved one occupied (and away from the activity) while you celebrate.

Click here for a few more suggestions regading Halloween and the elderly.

I guess the bottom line here is that wherever possible and appropriate, you’ll want to include your loved one in holiday festivities. Just remember that you are not dealing with the same person that you were years ago. So, you may have to adjust your expectations and your loved one’s level of participation in order to make it a fun and enjoyable holiday versus a nightmare. I’ve had both, trust me limited participation is definitely the better option.

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!

Stress Around The Holidays

November 21, 2007 by  
Filed under STRESS

During the holiday season – Christmas, Hanukkah and others – people will often experience elevated levels of stress. But it need not be so.

There are, indeed, many pressures unique to the holiday season.

In many places, the weather makes it more difficult to get around and people are sometimes more physically uncomfortable. Those are minor in themselves, but when they persist over time they become elements in encouraging stress.

The desire and expectation of buying presents, sometimes for individuals you may not be very fond of but feel obligated to buy for, can add to the pressure. This is especially true for people on a tight budget, as many are. Crowded stores, clogged streets and a lack of parking spaces contribute as well.

These facts all bear marked similarities to more common factors in producing stress. Work responsibilities, for example, often bring deadlines that are difficult to meet and a lack of resources to meet them. Physical factors, such as health problems, commonly constitute a large percentage of stressors. Money worries are near the top of a lot of lists for those who experience stress.

Since the holiday factors are similar, they are subject to the same kind of ‘treatment’. Stress results from a perceived, unresolvable conflict between “I must” and “I can’t”. So, tackle these two factors head on during the holidays.

Ask yourself if you really ‘must’. Many families, for example, have a kind of raffle system in which one family member buys for another. That way, no one has the burden of buying multiple presents. Fewer obligations to meet means less chance for stress. Less money you have to spend means less to worry about.

Now tackle the “I can’t”.

Some people start gift buying and decorating earlier in the season. Others find it difficult to ‘get into the spirit’ long before the event. For the latter, try shopping online or going to more out of the way places. The trip may take a little longer, or require a little more searching, but the lower incidence of stress more than compensates.

Even if you don’t want to start shopping for the holidays in June, you can still do some planning that will help lower the occasion for stress. If your budget is small, start saving well ahead. Put a cap on what you are willing to spend and don’t let unnecessary guilt make you spend more or feel bad about spending less. Gifts should be voluntary, not obligatory.

Having more to do at a particular time of the year, when it may be more difficult to get it done, can represent a challenge. But a challenge only leads to stress when you place yourself in impossible dilemmas. Toss aside those dilemmas and declare your independence from stress.

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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.