Saturday, January 13, 2018

Flu Epidemic Worst Since 2014

In case you are wondering yes this is the worst flu season since 2014 – 2015 according to the latest report out this week by the CDC has been tracking the flu for 13 years stated this week Dan Jernigan, head of the CDC’s flu division, in a press briefing said this is the first year we’ve had the entire continental US every state with the same level of flu activity. The news is calling it a “Flu Epidemic”.

Around the country, doctors’ offices are packed with flu patients and hospitals are bursting at the seams with flu patients with highest hospitalizations are occurring among those over age 65, but adults aged 50 to 64 are also being hospitalized in higher-than-usual numbers and children younger than 5 years old. This flu is also claiming tragic deaths, 7 pediatric and 15 senior adults over 65 years old have died. Some states are declaring a public health emergency.

What do you need to know about this year’s flu epidemic? According to  these are the 6 early signs of flu to look for:
  • Sudden Fatigue
  • Body Aches and Chills 
  • Cough 
  • Sore Throat
  • Fever 
  • Gastrointestinal problems
Emergency symptoms to look for are symptoms getting significantly worse. Your overall health can determine the severity of your symptoms and how long the flu lasts. Seek immediate medical care if you have the following symptoms:
  • chest pain
  • breathing difficulties
  • bluish skin and lips
  • severe dehydration
  • dizziness and confusion
  • recurring fever
  • worsening cough

What can you do? 
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) good health habits can slow down transmission such as covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu. There also are flu antiviral drugs that can be used to treat and prevent flu that can be prescribed by your doctor. 

Need flu relief fast? According to WebMD there are Home Remedies for fast flu reliefMost of these remedies have been used to treat symptoms for years and who knows may help you feel better while your body fights the virus.  

Your partner in health, 

Cindy Cohen RN, BS BA
Certified Health Coach 
Wellness Consultant 

Nominated Top 50 Health Promotion Professional 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Simple Changes to Guide Your Wellness

Welcome to 2018! While flipping a page in a calendar doesn’t wipe out our unfinished to-do lists from 2017, it does have a way of putting life into perspective. So, for me, each new year feels like a clean slate. I see it as an opportunity to get back on track with my goals or even set new ones.
In 2018, why not give yourself the ultimate gift of improved health and wellness? Speaking of gifts, I’ve got one to help you get started. In lieu of an article about resolutions, I’m making you a list you’ll want to keep around –products, recipes, and inspiration to simplify your approach in making 2018 a banner year. What could be easier?

  1. Water bottle: Make it your shadow. Take it everywhere you go, and you’ll never find yourself falling short of your daily hydration needs.
  2. Vegetable spiralizer: These have been around for a while, and my guess is they’ve moved from trend to classic. While it’s okay to enjoy the real thing when cravings hit, it’s also a healthy move to replace calorie-laden pasta with nutrient-rich vegetables on a regular basis.
  3. Good eats: To follow up on #2, try this killer recipe for zucchini noodles and chicken with peanut sauce.
Read the rest of the article:  8 Simple Changes to Guide Your Wellness in 2018

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Oye, how to I get rid of this hangover?

The world over has some pretty wacky hangover cures. Maybe you've heard a few wacky ones yourself. In the U.S. the most famous is the Prairie Oyster remedy. A raw egg (beware of salmonella poisoning), Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, vinegar, salt and pepper, the idea is you down the whole thing in one big gulp and you're fit to face the day. Really? In Germany the hangover breakfast of choice is a pickled herring wrap stuffed with pickled cucumber and onion. Yum? In Romania tripe (animal stomach) in a salty soup with vegetables. Yuck!

You may not know this ... according to  a hangover can be the result of even 1 alcoholic drink depending on what your are used to however the general rule is the more you drink the more likely you are to have a hangover.

A hangover comes from the alcohol causing:
  1. Dehydration (thirst, dizziness and light headedness)
  2. Inflammatory response from your immune system (such as an inability to concentrate, memory problems, decreased appetite and depression) 
  3. Irritability of the stomach lining (abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting)
  4. Low blood sugar (fatigue, weakness, shakiness and mood disturbances, even seizures)
  5. Blood vessels to expand (headaches, reduced energy)
  6. Sleepiness (groggy and fatigued)
Replace, restore and rejuvenate.

The best way to get rid of your hangover is of course not develop one in the first place. However if you're in need of a cure the best cures address what's causing the hangover and no, it's not "hair-of-the-dog-that-bit-you". The recipe is replace the fluids you lost, restore nutrient balance and rejuvenate with rest and sleep. 
  • Hydrate - before you go to bed and the next morning drink water, electrolyte replacement drinks or juice.
  • Reduce inflammation - avoid sugar, sugary drinks, breads and pasta. Eat fish, seeds and nuts. 
  • Stomach irritation - drink ginger tea and peppermint tea.
  • Blood sugar stabilization -  eat healthy foods such as high fiber fruits, vegetables, beans.
  • Restore energy - take a good quality whole food supplement, B12 and B vitamins.
  • Rest - drink soothing lavender and chamomile tea, take a hot shower, go back to bed, relax and rejuvenate. 
DON'T  Your first thought might be to reach for the acetaminophen (Tylenol) to kill the pain, however your liver is busy metabolizing (detoxing) all that liqueur, this pain killer creates more havoc. So put it back on the shelf.

DO  If you must, ibuprofen (Advil) is a better choice. It's easier on the liver, however harder on the stomach. So do eat before you take ibuprofen and save yourself from an stomach ulcer later.

Your partner in health,

Cindy Cohen RN, BS BA
Certified Health Coach
Wellness Consultant
WELCOA Faculty
Top 100 Health Promotion Professional 

Monday, December 25, 2017

5 Tips for a Healthy Holiday Party

December is often jam packed with holiday parties. From neighborhood gatherings to church potlucks and dinners, these celebrations can add up to thousands of excess calories, but with a few simple tips, you can enjoy the holiday festivities and stay on track with your healthy diet.
Here’s 5 tips to help you enjoy the holidays in a healthy manner. Cheers to that!
1.   Choose wisely.
Survey the entire spread first. Take small portions of your favorite dishes, and skip the ones you can live without. It’s okay to enjoy your favorite holiday dishes, just choose small portions and take the time to savor each bite.
2.    Be aware of the biggest diet pitfalls.
Dishes that are cheesy, creamy or crispy, like potatoes au gratin or fried appetizers, are likely high in saturated fat and calories. Sauces and gravies can add calories and fat to otherwise healthy vegetables. Choose one favorite of these more indulgent items, and balance your plate out with lighter options.
3.     Slim down your sipper.
Traditional holiday beverages, like eggnog and hot chocolate, can add a few hundred calories to your meal. Instead, choose calorie-free beverages, like water, club soda or sparkling water, and limit alcoholic beverages. Remember that moderate alcohol consumption is defined as one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
4.     Give the gift of a healthy choice.
Whether your hosting a party or attending one, you can provide a healthy dish that everyone can enjoy. Bring a vegetable tray with a variety of chopped fresh vegetables and a dip made with low-fat Greek yogurt and herbs or hummus. Trade creamy casseroles for salads made with whole grains like quinoa or wild rice, fresh greens like kale or spinach, seasonal fruits or vegetables, and oil-based dressings. Choose desserts that facilitate portion control, like small cookies or brownies cut into 2-inch squares rather than large layer cakes or pies.
5.     Focus on fun, festivities, family and friends.
Instead of letting food become the center of the party, direct your attention to enjoying good times with loved ones and fun seasonal activities – after all, that’s what the holidays are all about!
Your partner in health,

Cindy Cohen RN 
Certified Health Coach 
Wellness Consultant

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

NIH Report: Research has not shown antioxidant supplements to be beneficial

After listening to a recorded webinar on Whole Foods vs. Supplements I got to wondering "Is it true research shows vitamin supplements don't prevent chronic disease? Is it true there is no medical research to prove you get healthier taking vitamin supplements?"  I looked to the NIH for help.  I was surprised to find, it's true! There is no evidence vitamin supplements prevent chronic disease and in some cases isolated vitamins such as Vitamin E may be harmful to the body.

I was also surprised to see the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society and the American Diabetes Association no longer recommend adding vitamin supplements to your diet. They all recommend eating the whole foods with natural occurring phytonutrients, minerals and vitamins not man made reproductions. Definitely something to think about the next time someone encourages you to take a multi-vitamin or even a group of them. If vitamins don't make you healthier, why are you taking them?

If you're not sure, ask me to send you the rebroadcast of Whole Food vs Supplements and read the article below.

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NIH) posted Antioxidants in Depth on their website. Here's how it starts .... 

Antioxidants are man-made or natural substances that may prevent or delay some types of cell damage. Diets high in vegetables and fruits, which are good sources of antioxidants, have been found to be healthy; however, research has not shown antioxidant supplements to be beneficial in preventing diseases. Examples of antioxidants include vitamins C and E, selenium, and carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. This fact sheet provides basic information about antioxidants, summarizes what the science says about antioxidants and health, and suggests sources for additional information.

Key Points
  • Vegetables and fruits are rich sources of antioxidants. There is good evidence that eating a diet that includes plenty of vegetables and fruits is healthy, and official U.S. Government policy urges people to eat more of these foods. Research has shown that people who eat more vegetables and fruits have lower risks of several diseases; however, it is not clear whether these results are related to the amount of antioxidants in vegetables and fruits, to other components of these foods, to other factors in people’s diets, or to other lifestyle choices.
  • Rigorous scientific studies involving more than 100,000 people combined have tested whether antioxidant supplements can help prevent chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and cataracts. In most instances, antioxidants did not reduce the risks of developing these diseases.
  • Concerns have not been raised about the safety of antioxidants in food. However, high-dose supplements of antioxidants may be linked to health risks in some cases. Supplementing with high doses of beta-carotene may increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers. Supplementing with high doses of vitamin E may increase risks of prostate cancer and one type of stroke.
  • Antioxidant supplements may interact with some medicines.
  • Tell all of your health care providers about any complementary and integrative health approaches you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.
Read the article click here

Your partner in health, 

Cindy Cohen RN, BS BA
Certified Health Coach 
Wellness Consultant 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving: What are you thankful for?

It’s official, it’s the Thanksgiving holiday here in the states. Many have been planning holiday menus, developing guest lists, seating charts, decorations and all the hoopla around the Thanksgiving celebration. So, I too got busy thinking of how to keep our Thanksgiving healthy and help you with yours too. Then I got to thinking “What is really happening at Thanksgiving?” It seems for many Thanksgiving eating too much food, watching too much TV and maybe drinking too much alcohol. Has Thanksgiving come to be synonymous with over-indulgence? Did we forget what Thanksgiving is really about?  

In the last few weeks I have heard the pain of many families not having the same Thanksgiving as years past with all the “trimmings” because money is in short supply. With “the holidays” straight ahead a new sadness has been added as many are unable to provide the same “things” as last year. I got to thinking maybe now is a good time to begin to rethink what Thanksgiving is all about. It’s not about over indulgence, it’s about being grateful for what we do have however little that may seem.

How about thinking about Thanksgiving a new way perhaps a more thankful way. Thanksgiving does not have to be about the food, decorations or hoopla. It can be about something more meaningful like taking a day to be truly thankful for your family, friends, food, shelter, warmth and your health. For one day forget about how you wish things were different and be truly present with what you do have and be grateful for it.

This year start a new tradition by putting the GIVING back into Thanksgiving by donating your time or resources to a local charity, invite someone you know over to share your Thanksgiving holiday and to let your family and friends know how much you appreciate them. This tradition is character building, creates integrity and a since of giving back to the world. Take time to appreciate you too, how you have made the world a better place for having been in it, and the good you have brought to others.   

Kevin Eikenberry shares with us the powerfulness of being grateful and how life changing it can be, in his article the Power of Gratitude he calls it the magic potion of health and happiness. That’s a Thanksgiving worth celebrating.

Your partner in health, 

Wellness Consultant
Health Coach

Friday, November 3, 2017

The One Thing Nutritionists Wish You’d Stop Doing

From food bloggers to television shows to Pinterest boards, there’s an overwhelming amount of nutrition information, everywhere you turn. How’s a normal person supposed to identify the difference between trendy diet news and legitimate science-based advice?
I called on some of my fellow registered dietitians to help me set the record straight — because we’re the ones required to stay informed on current nutrition research and trends (or else we lose our credentials!). Below is a list of the most common diet mistakes committed by clients who are just hoping to be healthier. Are you guilty of any of these?
You... Don’t Eat Enough Calories
“I have many clients who try to continually eat less and less calories. They think, ‘If I lost weight eating 1,500 calories, then I will lose even more if I only eat 900.’ But it won’t work — because at some point the calorie intake for the day is too low. It’s different for each person, but typically the body then becomes more efficient at using the lower calories because your body is just trying to survive. This is the starvation mode.” —Jennifer Pullman, MA, RDN, LDN
Read the full article hereThe One Thing Nutritionists Wish You’d Stop Doing

Your partner in health, 

Certified Health Coach 
Wellness Consultant 
C2 Your Health LLC
Top 50 Health Promotion Professional Award