Health and Wellness at WomanTalkLive
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. After a long night of sleep, breakfast is the energy to get you going for the day. People who eat breakfast have greater attention spans, are more alert and have more energy.
Any breakfast is better than none, but we shouldn’t eat Pop-tarts and doughnuts every day. A healthy breakfast will contain whole grains, fruit, protein and dairy. Carbohydrates, protein and fat help keep hunger away until lunch-time so you can better concentrate.
Here are some healthy, simple breakfast ideas:
- Ready-to-eat cereal (at least 3 grams of fiber, less than 2-3 grams of fat, less than 10 grams of sugar)
- Bagel with low-fat cream cheese or peanut butter
- Scrambled eggs with low-fat cheese
- Toasted English muffin with lean ham and low-fat cheese
- French toast, waffles or pancakes (try wheat or whole grain varieties)
Short on time in the morning? Plan out the night before what you would like to eat the next morning and organize your clothing outfit for the next day so there is less work to be done when you wake up. Keep your pantry stocked with quick, healthy options like cereal and oatmeal. And wake up a little earlier; 15 minutes is all it takes to fit in a delicious, nutritious breakfast!
Here’s to a tasty breakfast–the best meal of the day,
The well4life® Team
Want more great health tips and inspiration to achieve your wellness goals? Subscribe to WellPower, our monthly e-newsletter. Visit www.well4lifeprogram.com to sign up.
If you’d like even more support for your weight loss goals, attend a free well4life® information session at Saint Agnes Hospital. For session dates and to register, call 1-866-690-9355.
In February, also known as “American Heart Month”, we heard many messages about the importance of heart disease. However, it is important to take care of our hearts every day and every month!
Heart disease, or coronary artery disease (CAD), is the number one killer of women in this country, leading to the deaths of roughly 176,000 last year. Put another way, CAD accounts for 25% of all female deaths in the U.S. When included together with stroke, high blood pressure and congestive heart failure, these conditions affect almost 43 million women in the U.S., and kill one woman every minute…ONE WOMAN EVERY MINUTE! That is a staggering figure, and one that must change.
Women should know the risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking and family history of heart disease in male relatives under 55 or female relatives under 65 years old. They should also be aware of the signs and symptoms of heart disease, which typically occur with exertion and resolve with rest: chest discomfort or pressure (which can radiate to the neck, back and/or arms), shortness of breath, nausea, sweating, palpitations or fatigue. Women with CAD commonly have shortness of breath or fatigue more often than chest discomfort.
Only 56% of women are aware that heart disease is the number one cause of death, according to the American Heart Association; only 36% of African-American women and 34% of Latinas know this fact. Less than half of all women know what “good numbers” are for blood pressure or cholesterol. So you are not part of that statistic, here are the guidelines:
- Optimal blood pressure: 120/80 or lower
- Triglycerides: less than 150
- “Good” numbers for cholesterol: total should be less than 200
- HDL (“good” cholesterol): should be 50 or higher
- LDL (“bad” cholesterol) levels vary according to risk, but are generally as follows:
- Less than 100 is optimal
- 100-129 is near optimal
- 130-159 is borderline high
- 160-189 is high
- 190 and above is very high
The professionals at Saint Agnes Hospital are committed to improving these figures, and we are proud to have created the Women’s Heart Center. We have a 60-minute Heart Check, which includes a risk assessment, an EKG and blood work (a lipid profile and a Hemoglobin A1c, which is a measure of blood sugar). With all of this information, each woman is given her own personalized risk factor profile and counseling on specific actions to take to positively impact her risk of heart disease. Please visit our website at www.stagnes.org for more information about our Women’s Heart Center.
Here’s to your heart health,
The well4life® Team
Take control of your health and make an important step in caring for your heart.
Sign up for your Heart Health Assessment at the Saint Agnes Women’s Heart Center today. Call 1-855-410-4YOU(4968) or visit our website.
Do you eat fruits and vegetables? Most people don’t eat enough of them on a regular basis. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, you should aim for two or more cups of fruit a day, and two and one-half cups of vegetables. Half of your plate at each meal should consist of fruits and vegetables. We’ve highlighted the health benefits of a few fruits and vegetables below.
Asparagus–not only tastes good, but has an array of health benefits too. It is low in calories and rich in nutrients such as fiber, protein, B vitamins and trace minerals. It is also low in sodium and has zero saturated or trans fat. If fresh isn’t an option, frozen asparagus is just as nutritious. Try steamed asparagus topped with olive oil, grated parmesan cheese and lemon juice or roast with balsamic vinegar. Asparagus is great as a side dish or in soups, salads, quesadillas and casseroles.
Avocados– are full of vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, K, E, B6 and folate. They are a great source of potassium, which helps control blood pressure. Avocados are also good sources of fiber and healthy fats, which can help reduce cholesterol and decrease the risk for heart disease. With its smooth texture and rich taste, it’s a great substitute for foods high in saturated fat, such as butter, cream cheese and mayonnaise. Avocados are great on sandwiches, tossed into salads or used as spreads or dips.
Cranberries–commonly known to help prevent UTIs, they also have been proven to fight gum disease, heart disease or cancer due to a chemical compound called proanthocyanidins, known for its antibacterial properties. It also prevents ulcers by preventing H.pylori from sticking to the stomach lining. Cranberries are great sources of vitamins A, C and E, iron, calcium and potassium.
Tomatoes–In addition to wearing sunscreen daily, tomatoes can help protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun. Tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, an antioxidant that can help prevent skin from getting burned. One study showed that people who ate 40 grams of tomato paste daily, that contained at least 16 mg of lycopene, were less likely to suffer sunburns than those who skipped the tomato paste. Tomatoes are also a source of lutein, which helps hydrate your skin and increase its elasticity.
Try to incorporate fruits and vegetables as part of your daily, well-balanced, healthy meal plan. And remember, fruits and vegetables are not only nutritious but delicious!
Here’s to eating your fruits & veggies,
The well4life® Team
Want to learn more about incorporating fruits and vegetables into healthy meal plans and eating a balanced diet?
Join the well4life® program and get support for your weight loss goals. Attend a free well4life® information session at Saint Agnes Hospital. For session dates and to register, call 1-866-690-9355.
Many kids’ Easter baskets are filled with chocolate and other sticky sweets and treats that lack nutrition. Focus on celebrating spring, not sugar! Fill baskets with fun toys that get kids outdoors, such as yo-yos, soap bubbles, jump ropes or Frisbees. Try adding cute stickers, books, magazines or stuffed animals. For older kids, movie tickets, sporting equipment, DVDs or gift cards are great non-food ideas.
Kids always look forward to chocolate or jelly beans in their basket, so choose one or two of your child’s favorite treats to add. Try to make all other food items healthy, such as home-made trail mix, dark chocolate bars, nuts, apples or pears.
Another fun idea–plan an Easter Egg hunt. Fill plastic eggs with toys or trinkets or have your kids dye eggs that they can later find. Your kids will have both a happy and healthy Easter season!
Wishing a happy, healthy Easter to you and your families,
The well4life® Team
The best testimonials of the well4life® program at Saint Agnes come from our patients. One wrote, “I have changed my life so much. Each day seems to have something special in it. Thus, I don’t view food in the same way anymore…good, tasty, healthy food is just a part of my day.”
If you’d like to change your lifestyle habits, we can give you the support and expertise you need. In well4life®, you’ll benefit from a personal health coach, regular screenings, fitness classes, a web companion, educational classes, support groups and more.
For details, visit www.well4lifeprogram.com or attend a free information session on Saturday, April 13th at Saint Agnes Hospital. To register, call 1-866-690-9355.
Welcome Spring! It’s easy to know when spring is arriving. The sun rises earlier in the morning and sets later in the afternoon. The days get warmer. Spring flowers start to appear, various animals are born and birds start building their nests. The season offers ideas of renewal, rebirth, rejuvenation, resurrection and regrowth. It also offers an escape route for all of us who have been trapped indoors all winter. But, aside from the weather’s transformations that occur in the spring season, we are transforming our lives, too.
Since the holidays are over, there is no excuse for high-calorie foods loaded with carbohydrates and saturated fats that Grandma made for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. No more putting off that morning walk because the roads are covered in ice or snow. Someone once told me, a good way to see if winter has caused you any problems is to put on your favorite summer outfit from last year and see how it fits. If it’s a little tight, now is the time to instill new behaviors to promote your own positive health and wellness. Celebrate springtime with activities that help you transition from the world of snowmen to sandcastles. Try these fun things listed below:
- Get outdoors: Take a walk, hike or bike ride. Walking is great for your health. Enjoy a cool outdoor fitness workout in a local park. Try adding some lunges or squats as you move through the hiking trails.
- Reconnect with nature: Plant a flower garden or a “rainbow” of red, orange, yellow, purple and green fruits and vegetables. A garden simply requires a sunny spot in your yard, a few seeds, good soil and some tender, loving care. Or, visit a farmers market for fresh local produce and enjoy cooking healthier meals and snacks.
- Spring cleaning: What better feeling is there than walking into a clean, uncluttered home? Throwing out old junk, cleaning windows, scrubbing floors or holding a yard sale are all great ways to both exercise and organize your home.
- Volunteer for community service projects. It can provide you with both physical and mental rewards. You may even discover some hidden talents you didn’t know you had. Check out local newspapers, the internet or church bulletins for ideas on how you can give back to your community. You can help make a positive difference in the world!
Whatever new projects you start, enjoy the spring season and create a healthy lifestyle that will carry you not only through this year but for a lifetime.
The well4life® Team
Make it a top priority to take care of yourself during the spring season. Learn how to live a healthy lifestyle and achieve your health and wellness goals with the well4life® program at Saint Agnes Hospital.
Find out more at www.well4lifeprogram.com or register for our free monthly information sessions by calling 1-866-690-9355.