Chelsea-Area Wellness Foundation

If We Don’t Have to Avoid Fat does that Mean Bacon is Good for Us?

I know its BLT season… we have them at least once a week when the tomatoes are fresh.

And, I know newly reported research says the 40 year attempt to get Americans to stop eating fat was generally misguided.

But bacon is still NOT good for us.  It is, as they say, a sometimes food I’d like to remind you again:

5healthytowns.org/?module=News&event=View&categoryID=2&newsID=81 …while many studies

contribute to our general health knowledge, sometimes they are poorly done or incorrectly interpreted.

Our best defense against disease (& against occasional bad science) is a balanced diet.  That means a rush to consume high fat food because recent news says we can is as unwise as completely eliminating fats.

Your grandmother understood balance when she served simply-prepared, colorful, fresh foods. Your children understand when they stop eating when they are full, not when their plate is empty.  Keep it simple, everyone.  Keep it simple.

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Better than BMI

Most physicians and other health care practitioners determine if our weight is healthy by using a mathematical formula called Body Mass Index (BMI). The rest of us don’t have any idea how to calculate a BMI.

Maybe instead of using BMI to determine if we’re overweight we could use some simpler measures. Like these:

  • If you look down while taking a shower, can you see your feet?
  • Did you grunt last time you tried to get your seatbelt around your middle?
  • If you shake a body part do some parts of that body part keeping jiggling when you stop shaking?
  • Are you wearing wrist and ankle bracelets because those are the only parts of your body to which you want to call attention?

To quote a friend of mine… “I resemble that remark!”

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Caught by My Own Lecture!

Yesterday I was watching the Olympics (those athletes are amazing) when my husband asked me if I wanted to go cross country skiing.  I didn’t want to go outside.  I was cozy and entertained as a spectator.

Then I remembered the message I gave my children when they lived at home & parked themselves in front of ESPN. I frequently told them “It’s much more satisfying to do something than to watch someone else do something.”

I try, with mixed success, to avoid deliberate hypocrisy, so I got myself off the couch and into my outdoor clothes.  Guess what.  I was right!  Nothing that happened while we were away from the t.v. was better than the exhilaration & sense of self-empowerment I experienced while outside on my skis. 

Now I just have to remember my own message tomorrow.  Then the day after that, and the next day…

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Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice

Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice

Here’s the thing… it’s another study.  This one says sugar will kill you & they studied a lot of people eating a lot of sugar who are having health problems that are killing them.

But maybe it’s not just the sugar.  Maybe it’s the fact that sugar is combined with unhealthy fats or the people selecting food with a lot of sugar are also sedentary or have genetics that develop ‘addictions’ to sugar (much like family treads of other addictions).  Many other things could be influencing these findings.

We don’t need another study to scare us.  We know a lot of sugar is unhealthy.  We know fried foods and large quantities of ground red meat are not good for our heart.  We know sodas and other sugared drinks make a mess of our blood glucose.  We know we should stay physically active throughout the day. 

Instead of more scary studies, what do you really need to support your efforts to be healthy?

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/02/03/added-sugars-heart-disease-death/5183799/

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Never Give Up!

They say 90% of us won’t keep our New Year’s resolutions in 2014. 

 That means if 100 people make resolutions, 10 of them will change their lives for the better this year.  That’s not bad – especially if you’re one of the 10 who make it. 

Let’s say the remaining 90 make the same resolutions in 2015 and 10% of those people keep their resolution (that’s 9 more).  Now 19 people have changed their lives for the good. 

And in 2016, let’s say the remaining 81 make the same resolution.  Now 8 will make it & of our original 100, 27 have changed their lives – and possibly brought about changes in the lives of the people around them. 

The remaining 73 will be reduced to 66, then 58, then 52 and so. 

The point is, never quit quitting.  Don’t be discouraged if you are one of the 90 who don’t make it this year.  You can make changes and reap benefits.  If you keep trying, eventually you will.

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Here We Come on the Run with our Burgers on our Bun

Last night there was a fund raiser at the Chelsea Big Boy.  A percent of the take went to the Chelsea Senior Center.

At the end of the fund raiser all their tips were donated to the Senior Center by the staff of the Big Boy.  If you ever worked (or work) as a server, dishwasher or cook in a restaurant you know they work hard and you know those tips are important to their personal budgets.

I’m certain Trinh and her leadership team from the Senior Center extended many thanks to the staff at the Big Boy – I would like to add my admiration for their contribution.  Events and sacrifices like these make our community healthy in a special way.

He Has a Big Name. We have Big Ideas.

Tom Brady (NFL quarterback) is opening a sports therapy clinic to train athletes properly and PREVENT injury. 

 Think of the 5 healthy towns initiative as our 5 healthy towns own version of prevention only instead of prevention for elite athletes, it’s prevention for you and me.  We want everyone to have the opportunity to get and stay well. 

Chelsea, Dexter, Grass Lake, Manchester and Stockbridge won’t get the press Tom Brady does but who needs all that attention, anyway?

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It’s The Right Thing To Do…..

Everywhere we look we’re being told to “Eat whole grains.” “Eat fresh food.” It’s very popular and quite hip to buy organic, at farmers markets or to grow your own food.

When did the food world turn upside down? Not more than two generations ago it was the poor people who ate whole grains & grew their own food because processing was more expensive.

I am going to fly in the face of the pundits who say it’s expensive to eat healthy foods. Ounce for ounce, you still get better value & better food value if you buy whole foods instead of processed foods. Compare by weight and nutritional labels the difference between un-popped popcorn and pre-packaged popcorn; old fashioned oatmeal and instant oatmeal; Rice a Roni™; a bag of potatoes and a box of instant cheesy potatoes; fresh chicken or even chicken pieces and frozen, breaded chicken fingers…

We don’t have to let hipster, foodies and food industry marketing hijack healthy eating. Ignore all the hype and serve and eat whole and fresh foods because you know it’s the right thing to do.

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Slow and Steady Wins the Race

There’s a study that tells us if we want a mentor we shouldn’t pick the flashy, high profile producer (the fastest runner, biggest loser or mother-of-the-year).  The study suggests we select the solid producer who day in & day out does a good job.  They are easier to copy because their production isn’t likely to have included some luck or big risks that happened to work out. 

 Once again, slow & steady wins the race.  That usually goes for changing your health habits, too.

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The More the Merrier

If you want to buy a pair of shoes, a corner with three shoe stores is the best place to look for that perfect pair.

If you want to work out, a community with a variety of fitness and wellness center options is a great community in which to live.

We all have ideas about what a ‘work out’ center should provide.  Some people like child care, certified trainers or the opportunity to swim laps.  Others are content to let themselves into a ‘turnkey’ operation and do a 30 minute circuit without assistance. 

The Chelsea-Area Wellness Foundation’s goal is to get EVERYONE moving.  Somewhere in your community is just the right option for you.  Maybe it’s a full-service center with medical integration programs, diabetes education classes and open gym time like the new Dexter Wellness Center.  Or maybe it’s the body builder special at a local weight lifting gym, Pilates in a home studio or jogging on local walks and trails.  In our 5 healthy towns you have access to all kinds of options.  We just want you to find the one that works for you & have at it!

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