Cancer and Exercise

Cancer and ExerciseCancer and Exercise: Best exercises for Cancer Patients?

In my health coaching practice, I consult with women who want to exercise but have health issues that make them uncertain as to how much they should do. Recently I had a client who said, “I am recovering from breast cancer. I finished my chemotherapy a few weeks ago and though I still feel weak, I was wondering if I should start exercising again?” And this is what I told her.

If your doctor says you’re up to it, you can get started. Best Exercises For Cancer Patients: according to ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine)

Cancer and Exercise

The best exercises for cancer patients is a combination of the three major components of fitness: Cardio, Strength and Flexibility. These types of exercise can have a positive impact on cancer patients and survivors. Easy aerobic exercise for cancer patients, has been shown to increase hemoglobin levels, reduce inflammation, lessen fatigue, keep muscles in shape for better every day activities, increase self confidence, reduce depression and aid in recovery of surgery.

Other research has shown strength and flexibility exercises to be good exercises for cancer patients helping them return to a normal activity level sooner.

Exercise and social support seem to increase the life expectancy of breast cancer survivors, preventing recurrence.

At the beginning, gently move a few minutes at a time, and build up at your own pace. Try walking, light aerobics or swimming. As you get stronger, add a couple of days a week of light resistance training. On days you feel more tired, try doing a few stretches.

Personal Note: It has been my privilege and joy to use my skill as a Certified Health Coach & Exercise Physiologist Specialist to help women manage their cancer with the healing properties of movement and exercise. It is from my own experience, that exercising on a regular basis, eating healthy food and reducing your stress can help prevent and/or manage cancer and many other life threatening diseases.

Click on Cancer and Exercise for more info. Visit www.mirabaiholland.com

for in home exercise programs for women over 50.

Bernadine’s Crusade

My mother died in 2005 from Ovarian Cancer. Here is a poem I wrote about her.

Time it was when she found out how sick she was.

Like a Gladiator she got in her wheel chair and with her cane she fought against her illness.

Month after month she strived and relished every peach, every plum.

Moment by moment from lunch to lunch, she road the streets and shopped for food, clothes and jewelry as if she would live forever.

Her doctors were amazed at the way she road into their offices waving her cane
in stylish hats.

For her it was just the way she lived.

Opinionated, visually acute; her sense of aesthetics keen.

Expressive, she once cooed for me like a bird then clicking her teeth like a sparrow eating a tiny meal.

So it went.

Until the last, she raged with her cane beside her in the bed.

Little sips of ice mocha and chocolate malts

Slowing down.

Barely breathing,

her eyes flew open, to take one last peek

getting ready for the next to come.

mwh©

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Reading Food Labels

Reading Food LabelsI was hiking in the mountains and the Fall color was astonishing.
I went along for about two hours at a brisk pace enjoying the fresh air.
Much of my exercise is teaching fitness classes and creating new routines for exercise DVDs. So, it was refreshing to just free my mind, move my body and drink in all those trees dressed in gold and green. Sometimes its good to mix up your exercise routine. I felt renewed.
When I finished my hike we went into a little country food market.

Reading Food Labels

So cute with all those red and white checkered tabletops filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, homemade jams, honey, maple syrup and cider. I spotted a bottle that said “Fresh Apple Cider” thinking how fresh it would taste, this being apple season and all. I continued my walk and I’d gotten a considerable distance from the store when I decided it was time for swig of cider. As I was about to sip, I remembered about reading food labels. I glanced at the ingredients  expecting to see APPLES. But instead it read
APPLES, and Potassium sorbate, a preservative.
I wanted to throw that cider against a wall! That’s wht reading food labels is key.
I was thirsty so I drank a little and whether it was in my mind or not, it seemed to taste not as fresh as I imagined it would. So the lesson here, is just because you are in an adorable country market, don’t take for granted that all the foods will be fresh and adorable too.

So caveat emptor: let the buyer beware

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As far as the latest in my world of health and wellness, please check out this health coaching video. If you are ready to break the cycle of failed diets, exercise programs with no results. Do you have low energy, high stress or persistent health issues,

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Osteoporosis Prevention Diet

Osteoporosis Prevention DietOsteoporosis Prevention Diet? EEK! One more thing to worry about? What ever happened to “these are our golden years”?. Sounds like more bad news but it’s not. True, our bodies can lose up to 40% of their bone mass in the 10 years following menopause. And true, if we don’t do something we could easily end up with osteoporosis. But also true, the fix for this is both easy and delicious.

It’s important to get enough calcium, Vitamin D in your bone healthy diet.  As we age  bodies become less efficient at absorbing these nutrients.

Here are some recommendations.

If you’re 50 or over you should make sure you’re getting a total calcium intake of at least

1200 milligrams daily and a Vitamin D intake of at least 800 to 1000 units daily.

Osteoporosis Prevention Diet

Here are some sources of dietary calcium:

  •  Dairy Products including milk, yogurt and cheese
  • Nuts such as almonds and various green vegetables such as broccoli
  •  Fish with bones such as sardines, and mackerel and calcium fortified juices and cereals.

So, yogurt with fruit, almonds and maybe even a little cereal sounds like lunch. So does a salad with sardines, and a little raw broccoli. How about a nice piece of fish with a smaller salad. You might try some cheese and fruit with a glass of fruit juice. OK, wine. You get the idea. Get your calcium from food and you don’t have to take supplements. But if you do, most people have a better time digesting calcium citrate than calcium carbonate, but they both work fine.

Sources of Vitamin D include:

  • Fatty fishes such as salmon and mackerel and Vitamin D enriched milk, juices and cereals.
  • Although your skin can make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, sun block prevents vitamin D production.

By now you’re making up your own healthy bones recipes so I don’t have to suggest a Salmon, mackerel, milk, fruit juice and cereal smoothie do I?

But if you’re like most people and wear sun block and don’t get enough D in your diet you’ll need to take a supplement to get your 800-1000 units of Vitamin D.

MORE Osteoporosis Prevention Diet  DO’s

Research suggests nutrients such as magesium, potassium, Vitamins A, K & C found in certain vegies and fruits may help foster better bones. It is recommended to eat about 12 ounces of fruit and 16 ounces of vegies daily.

Here is a list for your concoctions:

  • Magesium include: Raisins, potatoes, sweet potatoes, plaintains, squash, artichokes, beet and collard greens.
  • Potassium include: Oranges, orange juice, bananas, prunes, papaya, avocados and tomatoes.
  • Vitamin A: Mangoes, cantaloupe, carrots, sweet potatoes and spinach
  • Vitamin K: Spinach, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, collard, turnip and mustard greens.
  • Vitamin C: Oranges, pineapples, payayas, grapefruits, lemons, strawberries, red

    Osteoporosis Prevention Diet NO’S

One bit of bad news is too much alcohol or caffeine can add to bone loss; and soft drinks particularly colas that have both caffeine and phosphorous (bad for your bones) may be a double whammy.

So that’s my quickie eating for your bones report. Don’t try that smoothie; it’s nasty.

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Bone Healthy Diet

Bone Healthy DietBone healthy Diet? EEK! One more thing to worry about? What ever happened to “these are our golden years”?. Sounds like more bad news but it’s not. True, our bodies can lose up to 40% of their bone mass in the 10 years following menopause. And true, if we don’t do something we could easily end up with osteoporosis. But also true, the fix for this is both easy and delicious.

It’s important to get enough calcium, Vitamin D in your bone healthy diet.  As we age  bodies become less efficient at absorbing these nutrients.

Here are some recommendations.

If you’re 50 or over you should make sure you’re getting a total calcium intake of at least

1200 milligrams daily and a Vitamin D intake of at least 800 to 1000 units daily.

Here are some sources of dietary calcium:

  •  Dairy Products including milk, yogurt and cheese
  • Nuts such as almonds and various green vegetables such as broccoli
  •  Fish with bones such as sardines, and mackerel and calcium fortified juices and cereals.

So, yogurt with fruit, almonds and maybe even a little cereal sounds like lunch. So does a salad with sardines, and a little raw broccoli. How about a nice piece of fish with a smaller salad. You might try some cheese and fruit with a glass of fruit juice. OK, wine. You get the idea. Get your calcium from food and you don’t have to take supplements. But if you do, most people have a better time digesting calcium citrate than calcium carbonate, but they both work fine.

Sources of Vitamin D include:

  • Fatty fishes such as salmon and mackerel and Vitamin D enriched milk, juices and cereals.
  • Although your skin can make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, sun block prevents vitamin D production.

By now you’re making up your own healthy bones recipes so I don’t have to suggest a Salmon, mackerel, milk, fruit juice and cereal smoothie do I?

But if you’re like most people and wear sun block and don’t get enough D in your diet you’ll need to take a supplement to get your 800-1000 units of Vitamin D.

MORE BONE HEALTH DIET DO’s

Research suggests nutrients such as magesium, potassium, Vitamins A, K & C found in certain vegies and fruits may help foster better bones. It is recommended to eat about 12 ounces of fruit and 16 ounces of vegies daily.

Here is a list for your concoctions:

  • Magesium include: Raisins, potatoes, sweet potatoes, plaintains, squash, artichokes, beet and collard greens.
  • Potassium include: Oranges, orange juice, bananas, prunes, papaya, avocados and tomatoes.
  • Vitamin A: Mangoes, cantaloupe, carrots, sweet potatoes and spinach
  • Vitamin K: Spinach, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, collard, turnip and mustard greens.
  • Vitamin C: Oranges, pineapples, payayas, grapefruits, lemons, strawberries, red and green peppers, broccoli and brussel sprouts and cauliflower.

BONE HEALTHY DIET NO’s

One bit of bad news is too much alcohol or caffeine can add to bone loss; and soft drinks particularly colas that have both caffeine and phosphorous (bad for your bones) may be a double whammy.

So that’s my quickie eating for your bones report. Don’t try that smoothie; it’s nasty.

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Heart Health News

Heart Health NewsHeart Health News: Eat Berries, Drink and Be Fit! It just may help to save your  heart and the one that you love!

Since heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women and men in the U.S., I thought I’d focus on prevention. After all, if you prevent heart disease, you’re very unlikely to die from it.

Heart Health News Research

A Harvard study says women who eat three or more servings of strawberries or blueberries a week can lower their risk of heart attack by 32 percent. The study also said grapes, eggplant and blackberries may work too. It’s those flavonoids again. The antioxidants you find in red wine, dark chocolate, green tea, apple skin, etc. Rule of thumb: The darker the color, the more flavonoid content. They slow down your aging clock and prevent disease by keeping free radicals from damaging cells in your body.

Free radicals are incomplete molecules looking for an electron so they can complete and stabilize themselves. Sounds like something you’d hear in therapy. They steal an electron from a neighboring molecule, turning it into a free radical and setting off a chain reaction. They contribute to the aging process and a wide range of diseases.

We form them naturally when we breathe and metabolize. Free radicals don’t wreak havoc with your body until you have too many of them. They can be formed by oxidative stress, like intense exercise, smoking and exposure to environmental toxins.

Enter the flavonoids. They give the free radicals one of their electrons and stop them in their tracks. They help prevent heart disease by stopping LDLs (bad cholesterol) from breaking down and forming plaque in your arteries.

Nowadays, you can get berries year round, and they are a perfect low-calorie food, alone, in yogurt, or sprinkled on your cereal. So let’s have a few servings of berries, some eggplant, and maybe a square of dark chocolate for dessert. Not such a major lifestyle change.

Heart Health News: Since we are talking about prevention, how about stress?

A series of studies by Columbia University Medical Center says whether or not we perceive ourselves as stressed can be a measure of whether or not we’ll have a heart attack in the future. So from now on, I’m not going to perceive myself as stressed. Yeah. Good luck with that.

Seriously: My clients who exercise regularly, particularly aerobic exercise, tend to think of themselves as being more relaxed. And they are more relaxed. Aerobic exercise releases endorphins, the body’s natural tranquilizer, and they know they’re getting the heart benefits of all that cardio. To get the maximum benefit from cardio exercise, most people should build up to 45 or more minutes at 60 to 80 percent of your max heart rate. If you’re just starting out, you can ease in with a few minutes a day at a comfortable pace and add more as it gets too easy. But here’s the rub: Aerobic exercise, because it requires so much oxygen, is an oxidative stressor. It produces free radicals.

People who exercise once in a while or really hard only on the weekend are more at risk for producing harmful levels of free radicals. But studies have found that people who exercise regularly tend to adapt and produce enzymes that create antioxidants minimizing free radicals’ negative effect.

So here’s the formula: Eat berries, dark chocolate and get regular cardio so you don’t perceive yourself as stressed. It’s an eclectic concoction, but I think it’s tastier than one of those midnight vegetable smoothies. Don’t you?

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Easy Raspberry Jam Recipe: No Gunk, No Junk

Easy Raspberry Jam RecipeEasy Raspberry Jam Recipe.
I love jam. I love it on my toasted baguette in the morning, drizzled through my plain yogurt, over my frozen yogurt and even in my salad dressing. But I can’t stand junk, gunk and preservatives in it. I swear I can taste them, and I know they’re not
good for you.
So a couple of berry seasons ago, armed only with Google and some pent up desire to find my dream jam recipe, I found some spectacular  

raspberries on sale and went for it.I wanted to make jam that was just fruit and a little sugar, nothing else, not even pectin (a jelling ingredient found in most jams).

I followed a few no pectin recipes I found, and the jam was pretty good, even the first time. But it was a little too sweet. I experimented with less sugar than recipes called for and finally found a simple combination that I love and I’d like to share it with you now. Making jam, particularly berry jam is not hard at all, but it does require concentration. You have to stay there and stir it so it doesn’t burn. I find it relaxing to concentrate on nothing else but raspberries for a couple of hours and it’s even more fun if I have a friend to talk to while I’m stirring.

Easy Raspberry Jam Recipe

Here’s my raspberry jam recipe: (Or substitute your favorite berries, same proportions.)
· 5 cups of fresh, perfectly ripe (not over ripe raspberries)
· 2 ½ cups of regular granulated sugar
That’s it! No gunk, no junk.

Equipment you’ll need:
(You can get a starter kit online or at your local hardware or big box store that has most of the stuff below)

·5 or 6, 8oz canning jars
·6 or 8-quart pot stainless steel (aluminum pots change the taste)
·8 inch saucepan or pot (aluminum or steel)
·Pot, aluminum or steel large enough to hold all 5 or 6 canning jars at once (there are canning pots available with a submersible rack that will hold all your jars. It’s worth buying once you decide you like making jam)
·Pair of jar tongs or tongs big enough to pick up a jam jar
·Jar funnel
·Lid lifter magnet
· Small plate

Steps:
1. Put the small plate into the freezer. You’ll use it to plop a drop of your hot jam on when you think it’s ready.
2. Unscrew the lids from the jars and pop off the inner lids.
3. Sterilize the jars (lids off) by putting them in your dishwasher about an hour before you use them or by boiling them (lids off) in the large canning pot for about 10 minutes (you can put you jar funnel and lid lifter magnet with the jars to sterilize them too)
4.Fill the 8-inch saucepan or pot about half way with water, bring to a boil and drop the inner lids into the boiling water. Sterilize them for 10 minutes.
5. Wash your berries and crush to taste in a steel pot. If you like fruit-chunky jam, crush them about half way, for smoother jam crush them a little more, (raspberries will disintegrate quite a bit when heated so you don’t have to crush them all the way)
6. Once the fruit is crushed, add 2½ cups of granulated sugar and mix it up.
7. Turn the heat to high for the first 5 minutes stirring constantly.
8. Turn the heat down to medium and stir constantly for about 20-25 minutes.
9. At about 20 minutes or when you jam starts to look gooey, test the consistency by taking the saucer out of the freezer and dropping a small dollop of jam on it. If it doesn’t run or drip off the plate, it’s done.
10. Take the jam pot off the heat, set it aside and let it cool.
11. Using the jar funnel, fill each jar about 90%. Put on the lids and tighten.
12. Fill your canning pot with water enough to cover the closed jars and bring to a boil.
13. Put the filled jars in the rack and lower into the boiling water and let it boil for about 15 minutes.
14. Turn off the heat, remove the rack of jars and let them cool to room temperature,
15. Let it sit overnight.
16. Serve and enjoy.

You can use the jars and screw on lid rings over again, but you can only use the inner lids once. You can get new inner lids where you buy your jars.

Enjoy this fruit over and over again for months to come.

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Lose Weight Now: Talking Off The Pounds!

Lose Weight Now

Lose Weight Now: Talking Off The Pounds!

Was it Einstein who said “I talk to myself in order to have an intelligent conversation”?
Maybe it was Buddha.

Anyhow, I’m in a conversation with myself right now. I’m trying to lose weight and knock off a few pounds before the holiday season. (If you think being a fitness pro makes you immune think again) and I find talking to myself is not so crazy. We all need a support system. Mine happens to be me.

Lose Weight Now: Talking Off The Pounds!

Here a Talking Yourself Thin Video


Lose Weight Now: Talking Off The Pounds!

Every night before I go to bed, I have a little chat with myself. I plan my meals for the next day and approximate calories, and the type of exercise I am going to do. I like to switch it up so I’m not doing the same thing every day, which sometimes requires a little more planning.
I get my workout clothes and other stuff ready the night before so I have no excuse and I tell myself what a good idea that was.
Although I teach exercise classes and coach clients, my body has gotten use to that, so when I want to lose weight, I need to do more.
For motivation, I talk to myself about a piece of clothing I’m determined to get into.
I put myself on a realistic, achievable timeline. So, if I’m trying to lose five pounds I give myself about 5-6 weeks.
Now this sounds like I’m really in charge doesn’t it? But I’ve learned to expect the unexpected which might deter me and get me off my weight loss plan.

For instance, this morning my husband brought home a bag of bagels for breakfast.
As soon as I saw them, calorie numbers started to flash in my brain. So instead of denying myself all together, I told myself I could have a serving that would equal the calories, if not the nutrition, of the oatmeal I was about to prepare. And I must say I savored every bite.

As I ate my half a bagel watching my husband eat a bagel and half, I told myself that I made the right choice. I had my taste, and I was thankful for it, and I wanted to lose weight and get those pounds off more than I wanted the rest of that bagel.

So put your own Weight Loss Plan in place and lose weight now.

If you are looking for some support, why not try talking to your best friend, you!

For more information on women health and fitness and in home exercise programs for women check out  www.mirabaiholland.com

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TAKE CHARGEsnow-banner-2015-9638.pgTAKE CHARGE OF YOUR HEALTH! SHED THOSE HOLIDAY POUNDS!

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Weight Loss Panic

Weight LossWhenever the weather gets warmer, the idea of putting on summer clothes generates a ton of weight loss panic! I get a lot of panicky emails asking about quick weight loss. Here are a couple of familiar ones.

Weight Loss Panic Solutions

Q: I need to lose 20 pounds. I am doing aerobics three times a week and watching my calories but I am losing so slowly, I was wondering if there is any other type of exercise that could help me lose weight faster? I am really getting frustrated and I am almost ready to just give up.

Frustrated

A. Try adding 2-3 days of weight training to the mix.

weight lossStudies show the winning formula is a combination of aerobic and weight training exercise. Moderate aerobic exercise burns calories while you are doing it and for a short time afterwards. Weight training burns calories too but it also increases your lean muscle mass. So as you add more muscle, you’ll burn more calories all day long. Research from Tufts University found that after 12 weeks of weight training, total calorie burning increased by about 15 percent which for an average adult, could amount to an extra 240 to 400 calories a day.

Q: I’m carrying about 10 extra pounds around my middle. I’ve got 12 weeks to get into my dress for my daughter’s wedding. I would hate to have to go out and buy a bigger size. Is there anything I can do to get rid of this belly by then?

A: As we get older, particularly after menopause, women tend to carry extra weight around the middle. This change in body shape puts you at higher risk for heart disease and cancer. So, it’s even more crucial to do something about it.

weight lossFortunately, it’s not as difficult as you think.

If you lose a pound a week, you’ll still have 2 weeks to spare, just in case you get a little hungry.

So, here’s a formula for losing the weight and toning up at the same time.

One pound = 3500 calories. So to lose one pound a week eliminate 500 calories each day (500 X 7 days = 3500 calories)

Eat 300 calories less, and do one half hour to one hour of aerobic exercise, like brisk walking, to burn the other 200. You might want to write down everything you eat for the next 3 days or so to help you figure out what you can do without. Or, simply cut your portions in half.

As for aerobic exercise, you don’t have to do the whole workout at once. Three 10-minute walks are just as effective as one half hour walk.

Weight LossYou should also do some abdominal exercises about 20 a day to help tone up that belly as you lose weight. And, exercise actually picks up your metabolic rate so you burn more calories even after you’ve finished exercising.

Now, just try not to trip on your way up the aisle!

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HEALTHY HOLIDAY TREATS FROM VERMONT!

Healthy holiday treats. Really? We all seem to suspend our healthy eating habits during the holidays. Maybe rightly so. There are so many delicious temptations. Go ahead I say. The holidays come but once a year. However, not all treats are created equal. Here are three healthy holiday treats to add to add to your list with a little less guilt.

HEALTHY HOLIDAY TREATS

Healthy HolidayTreatsGreat Tasting Honey  Champlain Valley Apiaries, Middlebury, Vermont has been producing high quality honey since 1931. Their honey is extracted from blossoms of clover and alfalfa and comes in crystallized and liquid form. Their crystallized honey retains all its vitamins, and nutrients because it is neither heated nor filtered. And the flavor is wonderfully light and delicate making it a perfect ingredient to use in cooking or to simple spread on a piece of whole grain toast. And I like the liquid in my cocoa.

For an extra health boost try Charles’ Royal Blend, a combination of crystallized honey, 10 grams Bee Pollen, and 10 grams of Royal Jelly.

Available online at www.champlainvalleyhoney.com

 

Healthy Holiday TreatsDeliciously Pure Handmade Jams & Preserves

Side Hill Farm, Brattleboro, Vermont produces all their jams & preserves with small batches of fruit, sugar and nothing else. There are no preservatives, pectin or other thickeners.  There’s just enough sweetness so as not to camouflage the fresh taste of the fruit. It comes through strong and pure whether you put some into your yogurt or just eat it plain for a quick healthy treat.  There are many wonderful flavors to tickle your palate. Wild Blueberry, Blackberry, Apricot Orange Marmalade, and Strawberry are available online at http://www.sidehillfarmjam.com

For more exotic flavors like Mango Habanero, Hot Red Pepper or Cinnamon Pear call 1-802-254-2018.

Healthy Holiday TreatsMorse Farm Maple Sugarworks                   200 Year Old Maple Syrup? Not exactly. But Morse Farms, Montpelier, Vermont has been making its Maple Syrup for 200 years. They are part of the reason why Vermont Maple Syrup is the standard by which all syrups are judged. “We think you can taste eight generations of experience in our products.” Their 100% pure Maple syrup is rich in calcium, potassium, B vitamins and niacin. It comes in 4 different grades of syrup from light to full body taste: Vermont Fancy Grade, Grade A Medium Amber, Grade A Dark Amber, and Grade B. I dribble it on my cereal in the morning and use it in my baking.

Available online at www.morsefarm.com 

BTW I don’t having any stock or financial interest in any of these companies. I just like this stuff.

And, after indulging, burn some of  those calories off with one of my workouts. Check them out at www.mirabaiholland.com 

Happy Holidays!

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Fashion Flash Monday, June 24 by Mirabai Holland ©2013

Our Fashion Flash host today is Kari Solyntjes from FabOver40. Her well researched info and budget friendly tips help women solve their skin and beauty concerns while still looking and feeling fabulous. As for the rest of us, this week’s Fashion Flash is full of fitness, fashion, forward thinking, fab beauty tips and fun!  

Summer brings all sorts of great healthy treats. My fab rav is berries berries and more berries. On my yogurt, in my cereal, and alone. A healthy fabulous snack. Below is my post about all the health benefits. I’d love to hear about your own berry concoctions.

Here’s a Harvard study that says women who eat three or more servings of strawberries or blueberries a week can lower their risk of heart attack by 32 percent. The study also said grapes, eggplant and blackberries may work too. It’s those flavonoids again. The antioxidants you find in red wine, dark chocolate, green tea, apple skin, etc. Rule of thumb: The darker the color, the more flavonoid content. They slow down your aging clock and prevent disease by keeping free radicals from damaging cells in your body.

Free radicals are incomplete molecules looking for an electron so they can complete and stabilize themselves. Sounds like something you’d hear in therapy. They steal an electron from a neighboring molecule, turning it into a free radical and setting off a chain reaction. They contribute to the aging process and a wide range of diseases.

We form them naturally when we breathe and metabolize. Free radicals don’t wreak havoc with your body until you have too many of them. They can be formed by oxidative stress, like intense exercise, smoking and exposure to environmental toxins.

Enter the flavonoids. They give the free radicals one of their electrons and stop them in their tracks. They help prevent heart disease by stopping LDLs (bad cholesterol) from breaking down and forming plaque in your arteries.

Nowadays, you can get berries year round, and they are a perfect low-calorie food, alone, in yogurt, or sprinkled on your cereal. So let’s have a few servings of berries, some eggplant, a glass of cabernet and maybe a square of dark chocolate for dessert. Not such a major lifestyle change.

Since we are talking about prevention, how about stress?

A series of studies by Columbia University Medical Center says whether or not we perceive ourselves as stressed can be a measure of whether or not we’ll have a heart attack in the future. So from now on, I’m not going to perceive myself as stressed. Yeah. Good luck with that.

Seriously: My clients who exercise regularly, particularly aerobic exercise, tend to think of themselves as being more relaxed. And they are more relaxed. Aerobic exercise releases endorphins, the body’s natural tranquilizer, and they know they’re getting the heart benefits of all that cardio. To get the maximum benefit from cardio exercise, most people should build up to 45 or more minutes at 60 to 80 percent of your max heart rate. If you’re just starting out, you can ease in with a few minutes a day at a comfortable pace and add more as it gets too easy. But here’s the rub: Aerobic exercise, because it requires so much oxygen, is an oxidative stressor. It produces free radicals.

People who exercise once in a while or really hard only on the weekend are more at risk for producing harmful levels of free radicals. But studies have found that people who exercise regularly tend to adapt and produce enzymes that create antioxidants minimizing free radicals’ negative effect.

So here’s the formula: Eat berries, drink wine and get regular cardio so you don’t perceive yourself as stressed. It’s an eclectic concoction, but I think it’s tastier than one of those midnight vegetable smoothies. Don’t you?

For more info on fitness and wellness for women over 50 please visit www.mirabaiholland.com

 

 

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