Category: Living Well Written by Sterling Wise
We’ve all heard of the fountain of youth. If you could visit it, would you go? I took a trip to the fountain 10 years ago and my life has never been the same.
I was 24 when I started this journey back in 2003. I feel better than ever and have more energy, strength and ambition than I did as a young man.
Before I began my fitness journey, I was on a path to destruction.
I wasn’t morbidly obese, taking any medication for diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure, nor did I have major health concerns — but I was on the road to destruction.
I knew what it felt like be the “big guy,” with limited or no clothing options at regular department stores. And, I knew what it felt like to want to be thin and in desperation to turn to fat burners and fad diets.
Most people don’t change until they are forced to change, and I was no different. But in 2003 I made the “wise” decision before I was forced to make it. I decided that I didn’t want any physician to tell me that I had to stop eating this, or start taking certain medications, or that I had to come in to for test x, y, and z. I decided that I wanted to be in shape and look better!
I wanted to control my own life and I wanted to be fit! I tried a lot of things to help with the weight loss, but I didn’t see success until I stopped trying things and became committed and “Just Did It!”
It’s now 10 years later and I’m still setting and reaching fitness goals, but my goals today aren’t just about better looks. I want a longer life and more happiness, too! Healthy eating and exercise makes you feel better and will help you live longer, and those are some of my new goals.
ARE YOU “ACTIVE”, OR ARE YOU FIT?
People have a lot of reasons why they don’t exercise.
Often times their reason is self-inflicted: “I don't have the time.”
Sometimes it's procrastination: “I'm going to start as soon as tax season ends.”
And occasionally the reason is downright funny: “I don't like to sweat.”
As someone who’s been there myself, I can tell you that you can’t excuse yourself from exercise, which is vital part of cultivating a strong, healthy and attractive body.
Exercising just two to four times each week makes dramatic improvements in daily life, renewed energy and strength.
Some feel that playing golf, tennis or Wii alone will make them “fit.”
But, as a personal fitness trainer, I’ve learned that you can’t become fit simply by being active. It’s when you achieve fitness that you actually can become more active.
Many golfers cannot touch their toes in a simple flexibility test. And some tennis players cannot jump rope for more than 60 seconds. And despite claims, I’ve encountered active Wii players who cannot even manage a one-mile jog.
The majority of these so-called 'active' people encounter injury after injury.
To be lean and to maintain a level of fitness there is no substitute for a consistent, challenging exercise program. It's the only way, folks.
To truly be fit is when your body is able to do whatever you ask of it. This comes from a combination of flexibility, strength and endurance.
So, do you exercise?
Or are you fooling yourself with the idea of 'being active'?
How do you feel about your current level of fitness? Are you able to do each and everything you want? Or do you end up opting out of activities that you know would be too challenging?
If you've used the excuse of 'being active' in the past, take a minute to reconsider your position. Don't bank on your 'active' lifestyle with the hope of true results.
As they say...there's no trial run in the game of life.
Editor’s note: Sterling Wise is a certified fitness consultant and owner of The Wise Group. For additional information, contact Sterling at 877.402.3348 or visit: www.thewisedecision.com
Last Updated on Friday, 22 February 2013 16:28
Category: Living Well Written by Grace Derocha
I love cookies, but then, who doesn’t? The other day I brought these peanut butter chocolate chip cookies made with white beans into the office. I didn’t tell my colleagues at first and when I did, they were surprised to find out that there were white beans in them. I am not claiming that they are “good” for you or they taste exactly like a bakery cookie, but the recipe adds some good nutrition to a cookie.
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies with White Beans
3/4 cup pureed white beans (drained and rinsed) – the key is to puree them to almost a liquid, no lumps
1/4 cup butter substitute (I prefer Brummel and Brown because it is a yogurt base that bakes well)
1/2 cup brown sugar (or brown sugar substitute)
1/2 cup sugar (or sugar substitute specifically for baking)
1/2-3/4 cup of peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
1 Tbsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 cup ground oat flour (put regular oats in blender or food processor until they are the consistency of flour
1 cup of chocolate chips
1 cup of peanut butter chips (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix white beans, butter, brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, peanut butter, and vanilla thoroughly. Mix dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix gently but thoroughly with a wooden spoon.
Drop by the tablespoon onto your cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 6 minutes. This will make about 3-dozen cookies.
You can also omit the peanut butter and peanut butter chips to have chocolate chip cookies with white beans. And remember, even though this cookie recipe is healthier, it is still a cookie.
Editor’s Note: Grace Derocha is a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator and health coach at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. For other healthier cookie recipes check out Grace’s blog on: AHealthierMichigan.org
Grace Derocha, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator and health coach at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, has a sweet tooth, too. Here are some of the recipe substitutions she uses at home to limit calories without cutting the taste we all crave. Grace suggests:
- Try using whole-wheat flour instead of white flour.
- Instead of shortening, butter, or margarine, use liquid oil. Please note: use 1/4 less liquid oil for the solid fat in recipe.
- For example, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, use 3/4 cup liquid oil.
- Substitute applesauce or prune puree for half of the butter, shortening or oil in your cookie recipe. You may have to reduce your baking time by 25%.
- Use skim or no fat milk instead of whole milk, half and half or evaporated milk.
- Use egg whites (usually 2 egg whites for every egg) or 1/4 cup egg substitute.
- Reduce sugar by 1/4 to 1/3. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 cup, use 2/3 cup.
- Use sucalose (baking Splenda or brown sugar Splenda) instead of regular granulated or regular brown sugar. Add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in addition to each cup of Splenda used. Baking time is usually shorter and the product will have a smaller yield, too.
- Add some cinnamon, vanilla or almond extract to your cookies to give the impression of sweetness, while cutting back on the sugar.
Last Updated on Friday, 22 February 2013 16:23
Category: Living Well Written by Jackie Berg
What’s the harm in hand washing?
Germs travel. One of the quickest ways to stop their spread is frequent hand washing, according Dr. Frank McGeorge, Henry Ford Hospital ER physician.
Hands represent the single greatest transmission agent for all types of infections, according to researchers.
We’re doing a good job in the hygiene department if you rely on non-scientific surveys that report that, on average, 95 percent of Americans claim they wash their hands after using public restrooms.
The empirical evidence is less promising:
The American Society of Microbiology reports that as many as one third of Americans skip hand washing altogether.
And among those washing, nearly 57 percent are not washing their hands long enough, according to the 2012 healthy hand washing survey conducted by the Bradley Corporation, the industry's leading manufacturer of commercial plumbing fixtures and washroom accessories.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends washing for a least 20 seconds — about the time that it takes to sing happy birthday twice — to allow sufficient time to remove germs.
BEATING THE BUG
Despite the fierce spread of the flu throughout the Midwest and higher than normal reports of severe cases resulting in deaths, 75 percent of us don’t change our hand washing habits seasonally.
“Hand washing is the best way to help your body fight off cold and flu germs,” notes Dr. McGeorge.
While 60 percent of Americans realize that hand washing is important step to stay healthy, awareness does not necessarily translate into action, according to a survey of more than 1,000 Americans sponsored by SCA, a maker of out-of-home hygiene products.
Survey respondents admit to skimping on personal hand hygiene after coming into contact with a number of germ-laden environments and objects — including ourselves.
Nearly four in 10 adults — 40 percent — admit to not washing their hands after sneezing, coughing or blowing their nose.
If germs represent such yucky things, why do we knowingly carry them around with us?
The reasons non-hand washers “skip” the sink vary. The top three reasons reported by Bradley’s Healthy Hand Washing Survey are:
1. Used hand sanitizer instead
2. No soap in restroom
3. No paper towels in restroom
When hygiene takes a hit, illnesses spread rapidly. The U.S. National Library of Medicine reports nearly 22 million missed school days and 20 million sick days from work associated with the common cold alone.
Perhaps it’s time for a different approach.
THE GROSS FACTOR
Poo on you, wash your hands.
You just peed, wash your hands.
University of Denver researchers moved the needle on student hand washing habits in 2007 in an effort aimed at calling out bad behaviors with innovative stall wall messaging linking key words: gross, germs and you-will-get-sick.
The potty posts worked, increasing hand washing by 26 percent among female students. The campaign was less successful with males, moving the needle by only 8 percent.
Scientists agree that In order to protect against the spread of harmful germs, we must close the gap between beliefs and practices.
Why wait to wash?
STOP THE SPREAD
Henry Ford Health System recommends the following tips to protect yourself and your family, especially during cold and flu season:
Wet hands with clean running water and apply soap. Use warm water if available.
Rub hands together, lather and scrub all surfaces for 15-30 seconds. Need a timer? Imagine singing "Happy Birthday" twice through to a friend.
Rinse hands well under running water.
Dry your hands using a paper towel or air dryer. If possible, use your paper towel to turn off the faucet.
Always use soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
If soap and clean water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub to clean your hands. Alcohol-based hand rubs are just as effective as soap and water, in most cases, and reduce the number of germs on skin. They are also fast-acting.
Finally, if you observe a doctor or nurse not practicing proper hand hygiene, speak up and ask them politely to wash their hands. Remember, good health is in all of our hands.
Last Updated on Friday, 22 February 2013 16:14
Category: Living Well Written by Michigan Chronicle
Henry Ford Health System offers free flu shots and implements measures to control its spread.
Henry Ford Health System has implemented two measures to minimize the spread of infection during this year’s flu outbreak:
People with flu-like symptoms are advised not to visit loved ones in a Henry Ford hospital.
Patients with flu-like symptoms who are seeking medical care are advised to obtain a mask at the information desk or mask station upon entering a Henry Ford hospital or outpatient medical facility.
Signage promoting the measures is being posted at the entrances of Henry Ford’s hospitals in Detroit, Clinton Township, Ferndale, Mount Clemens, West Bloomfield and Wyandotte, as well as entrances of its outpatient medical facilities across metro Detroit.
“These measures were implemented to help control the spread of infection from the flu,” says William Conway, M.D., Henry Ford’s executive vice president and chief quality officer.
“The best thing for people to do if they have flu-like symptoms is to stay home, drink plenty of liquids and rest. Most people with the flu have mild illness and don’t need medical care or antiviral drugs.”
Common flu symptoms include:
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches
The best protection against the flu is vaccination, says Dr. Conway, adding, “It’s not too late to get vaccinated. Flu season can last into March or April.” Vaccination is recommended for anyone six months and older.
Henry Ford is offering walk-in flu clinics – no appointment necessary – at select Henry Ford locations. Visit www.henryford.com for details.
Last Updated on Friday, 22 February 2013 16:12
Digital Daily Signup
Sign up now for the Michigan Chronicle Digital Daily newsletter!