Carol (Missy) Cohen MPH, CHHC

Why Isn’t My Diet Affecting My Cholesterol?

I have a good friend who was told that his cholesterol was high. He decided to try to avoid medications and approach the problem from a dietary viewpoint. He removed ALL sugars from his diet, including natural sugars such as honey, agave and maple syrup and ate a very healthy diet. He returned to the doctor 3 months later and his cholesterol had gone down a very disappointing 10 points.  He was upset, discouraged and very frustrated telling me this story but, as I shared with him, there is more to the story than just blood sugar and a healthy diet…

Finding Energy – It’s More Than Just Choosing the Right Foods!

The first step to optimum health is making food choices that serve our unique bodies. Foods that are high in vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that can be used to create energy that makes us look and feel great!

So, if you feel like you are choosing the foods that will do this for you. If you are listening to my mantra and incorporating those foods into your lifestyle. Lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Don’t forget your healthy fats found in fish and the occasional piece of grass-fed organic beef. Yet you still are not losing weight and feel BLAH! Why is that?

To understand why you are consuming the right foods but still don’t have very much energy, let’s follow what happens after your food is consumed.

An Insider Look at Lunchtime in the Schools

I can’t believe that my youngest monster is starting his senior year tomorrow. If you have been following me, you are familiar with my son, Joshua, who we discovered is lactose intolerant while he was still in elementary school. Having a child with a food intolerance always makes social events interesting. You never know where a food that your child might not tolerate is lurking and the school lunches, despite drastic jumps in awareness and interest in our child’s health, are not always the best choices for our individual children. The truth of the matter is that we all just want our children to be happy, healthy and safe!

I am lucky to know Barbara Haimowitz. Barbara is a retired transitional kindergarten teacher. Because of her experience working in various schools, Barbara has insider information on exactly what gets eaten during school lunches and what many of the challenges are.

What’s a Salt Room?

Salt caves and rooms are yet another example of old meeting new in the world of health, wellness and general relaxation.

What is a salt room?

A salt room, or cave, is a room that is decorated with salt, usually Himalayan salt, to create a relaxing and soothing environment. It may be simulated to feel like a cave with dim lights, “boulders” of salt along the edges and even granular salt on the floor. Or it may be more like sitting in your living room perhaps with one or more walls made with salt bricks. Perhaps there will be a mural that depicts a beach scene or a picture of a Buddha statue.

Are Your Cosmetics Toxic?

The FDA released a memo recently making the public aware that beauty products may be contaminated with mercury. You can see it here: http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm294849.htm

Why is this a big deal?

Heavy metals are natural in our environment but when they build up in our bodies they become toxic and inflammatory. Mercury can cause agrophobia, panic attacks, and seizures. On the less extreme side, mercury toxicity can cause those annoying, little signs of “just getting older.” Things such as headaches, fatigue, achy and swollen joints, difficulty losing weight and more.

Depending on your diet, with a few nutritional tweaks and added supplements, those symptoms of “just getting older” can be a thing of the past. My grandmother was young and spry well into her 80’s!

Don’t eat mercury (or other heavy metals!)

Avoid Weight Gain When Eating Out

Healthy Restaurant Eating Guide

Even the healthiest sounding dishes at a restaurant can be loaded with sodium, refined sugars and processed foods. In addition, most restaurants are not preparing food with your health in mind but with getting the most bang for the buck. They are not using oils such as coconut or olive oil but are cooking with canola oil and other less expensive oils that not only cause inflammation that leads to various dis-ease states but also may carry contaminants of foods that you are trying to avoid either because of food allergies or food sensitivities.

The first rule of thumb to eating healthy is to prepare your food at home. With some education, this can be easy and fun!

However, there are those times when preparing your own food is just not an option. Here are some tips to help you navigate restaurant eating:

Breakfast – the Most Important Meal of the Day!

If you eat a healthy breakfast complete with protein and healthy fats, then you will set yourself up for a great day with lots of energy and the ability to focus and stay on task.

If you choose to stop at the local coffee shop and eat a high carbohydrate breakfast, well… you will either be starving by 10 a.m. with lunch still two hours away or asleep at your desk.

Why does what we eat in the morning matter?

Your parents ailments do not belong to you!

Relax! Your genes are not set in stone.

Just because your mother got breast cancer, or your aunt or your sister, does not mean that you will get breast cancer. Similarly, just because your father is diabetic does not mean that you will become diabetic.

What genes we express, or don’t express, are determined not by the genes that we inherited but by the choices we make that activate those genes.

Three Bite Rule

Does getting invited to a holiday party put you into a cold sweat after all the hard work you have done to lose weight?

It doesn’t have to be that way!

The big focus of any party or gathering is getting to spend time with friends or families but there is no reason why you can’t enjoy the food. Take the time to scan the offerings and decide what you truly want to enjoy. Maybe it’s Grandma’s apple pie or a piece of your friend’s fudge. Whatever it may be, remember the “Three Bite Rule.”

Why 3 bites?

The first bite is going to be as enjoyable as you think it is going to be.

The second bite is still wonderful but not as wonderful as the first bite.

By the third bite, you have enjoyed the food as much as you are going to.

It is time to set it aside and hit the dance floor or visit with a friend.

Don’t be afraid of this time of year! Get out and enjoy yourself and please share with the community how you enjoy the holidays.