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Nominations Open for Putnam Lifestyle Change Award

Do you know someone whose health has greatly improved as a result of making long-term healthy lifestyle changes? Have you lost a lot of weight in the past year, started living healthier or know someone who has? The American Heart Association invites you to nominate yourself or a healthy friend for the LCA Marshall SterlingLifestyle Change Award.

The Putnam County Region of the American Heart Association is accepting nominations for their Lifestyle Change Award, sponsored locally by Marshall & Sterling. The award honors individuals who have made positive changes to improve their quality of life and overall health.

Ideal candidates are people who have taken control of their health in areas of diet, exercise or tobacco cessation and seen positive results in weight, BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol or blood sugar. Winners will be recognized at the association’s Heart Walk on April 23rd at Brewster High School.

To nomhttp---prod.cdata.app.sprinklr.com-DAM-261-shutterstock_103383071-106bccf0-edc2-4842-94cd-0716b28f3e03-1247884109-2016-04-26 14-39-20inate an individual for a Lifestyle Change Award download by downloading the form at http://bit.ly/PutnamLCA17 or by contacting Rosanne Goodman at Rosanne.goodman@heart.org. Application deadline is March 30th.

Heart Walk registration is open online at www.putnamheartwalk.org. Corporate, community and family teams are welcome to register to walk for their own heart health and the funds raised will help other hearts in our community.

The Heart Walk is sponsored nationally by Subway and locally by Signature Sponsor, Putnam Hospital Center, and local sponsors NYU Langone – Hudson Valley Cardiology, PracticeMax, and media sponsors Hudson Valley Magazine, Examiner Media, Mahopac News, and WHUD.

By |February 24th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Little Red Hats to Raise Awareness for Congenital Heart Defects

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Baby Eliana at Good Sam Hospital

The American Heart Association (AHA), in connection with The Children’s Heart Foundation, is offering the “Little Hats, Big Hearts” program for the second year in a row locally. Thousands of little red hats are being delivered to 26 regional hospitals in New York and Connecticut during February, American Heart Month, to help raise awareness for congenital heart defects, or CHD, the most common type of birth defect in the country. Every baby born at participating hospitals during February will receive a little red hat, and parents will receive healthy lifestyle educational information.

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Danbury Hospital

The AHA received donations from more than 100 volunteer knitting and crocheting enthusiasts in the community to help raise awareness for CHD during Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) Awareness Week, February 7 – 14. American Heart Month aims to raise awareness of heart disease, the number one killer of American men and women.

Congenital heart defects are structural problems with the heart present at birth. They result when a mishap occurs during heart development soon after conception and often before the mother is aware that she is pregnant. Defects range in severity from simple problems, such as “holes” between chambers of the heart, to very severe malformations, such as complete absence of one or more chambers or valves.

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Phelps Hospital

The AHA put a call out to knitting and crocheting enthusiasts in December, and little red hats came pouring in from all over the region. Approximately 2,500 hats will be distributed. Local yarn shops donated red yarn and Fabricare Cleaners in Norwalk and Red Cap Cleaners in Poughkeepsie donated their services to wash and sanitize the hats.

“We hear these heart-warming stories shared by some of the knitters who were donating hats in memory of a child lost to CHD, or happier, one who lived. The American Heart Association funds pediatric research and we offer healthy lifestyle programs for children in schools throughout the county,” said Carolyn Torella, AHA spokesperson, “We’re so grateful for the community’s generosity and support to help raise awareness for children’s heart health.”

The American Heart Association is committed to raising awareness for CHD, and helping children live stronger lives through education, research and public policies. In fact, the organization’s funding for pediatric cardiac research is second only to the federal government. Thanks to AHA advocacy, laws were passed in CT and NYS to ensure that every baby born receives pulse-oximetry testing, which can help identify heart defects immediately after birth. The AHA also creates guidelines for, and trains parents, caregivers and medical professionals in infant and child CPR.

More information about the Little Hats, Big Heart program is online at www.heart.org/littlehatsbighearts or by contacting the AHA at 845-867-5374. Learn more about congenital heart defects at www.heart.org/CHD. Parents of children with CHD may find support online at the AHA’s new Support Network at http://supportnetwork.heart.org/

Thanks to all our knitting & crocheting volunteers and to all our participating hospitals who give all their hearts to care for newborns! 

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Good Sam Hospital

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White Plains Hospital

NYS Public Health Groups Call on Governor and Legislature to Raise Tobacco Age of Sale to 21

 

In response to the American Lung Association’s recent “State of Tobacco Control” Report 2017, the American Lung Association, American Heart Association, and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) today gathered with state Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island), and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan), at the State Capitol to call on the state to immediately pass “Tobacco 21” legislation, raising the age of sale of tobacco products to 21.  Both Savino and Rosenthal have introduced legislation to the Senate (S3978) and Assembly (A273).Copy of 18 (1)

“The key to reducing the number of citizens who smoke is to prevent initiation of tobacco use in the first place,” said Senator Diane Savino.  “Delaying children and young adults access to tobacco products will reduce the likelihood that they ever start smoking.  Raising the smoking age to twenty-one will largely remove cigarettes from high schools and will help eliminate a popular source of tobacco for children and young adults.  This legislation will help prevent a generation of New Yorkers from becoming addicted to smoking, and we can ultimately save thousands of lives.”

“Every year tobacco ensnares tens of thousands of young New Yorkers in its death grip,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal. “The statistics that surround youth tobacco use though, are not our fate. I am proud to have reintroduced legislation to increase the purchasing age for tobacco products across New York State from 18 to 21. With incredible partners like the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association, we have a real chance to protect generations to come.”

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the U.S., and increasing the sales age for tobacco products could have a big impact on youth tobacco use in New York State. According to a 2015 report from the National Academy of Medicine, raising the tobacco age to 21 nationwide would prevent 223,000 deaths among people born between 2000 and 2019, including 50,000 fewer dying from lung cancer, the nation’s leading cancer killer.

“More than 1 in 4 high school students in the state of New York currently use tobacco products,” said Jeff Seyler, President and CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast.  “This year’s State of Tobacco Control Report card gave New York State a “D” due to its failure to pass a statewide Tobacco 21 law.  We know that increasing the minimum age of sale for tobacco products to 21 will not only give New York an A grade in this category, but more importantly it will significantly reduce youth tobacco use, long term addiction, and save thousands of lives.”

Every day, nationally, about 2,500 youth under 18 try their first cigarette and 400 kids become regular daily smokers. Two-thirds of 10th grade students and nearly half of 8th grade students say it is easy to get cigarettes. According to a National Academy of Medicine report, smokers age 18-19 years old are a major supplier for younger kids who rely on friends, classmates and peers to buy tobacco products. A comprehensive statewide law raising the age of sale would help reduce the number of high school students who have easy access to tobacco products because they would be less likely to have legal buyers ages 21 and older in their social networks.

Julie Hart, director of New York government relations of ACS CAN said, “Given that about 95 percent of smokers started before the age of 21, it is imperative to take action to help our young New Yorkers. Tobacco 21 is a promising strategy and could stop kids before they begin a deadly tobacco addiction, thereby saving lives and health care costs.”

“Smoking is a leading cause of heart disease, the No. 1 killer of all Americans,” said Dr. Suzie Mookherjee, cardiologist and member of the Founders Affiliate Board of Directors for the American Heart Association. “If a person doesn’t start smoking before they are 21, the chance that they will ever start decreases dramatically. This is a deadly habit that costs New Yorkers $16 billion per year. I urge the state Legislature to protect our youth by passing Tobacco 21 across the state. It is up to us to save young lives.”

“Increasing the tobacco age to 21 will prevent young people from using tobacco, save lives and help make the next generation tobacco-free,” said Kevin O’Flaherty, Northeast Regional Director for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “This proposal will reduce tobacco use among youth and young adults – age groups when nearly all tobacco use begins and that are heavily targeted by the tobacco industry. It will also help keep tobacco out of high schools, where younger teens often obtain tobacco products from older students.”

“Every day as you leave Burnt Hills High School, will see a group of kids across the road in the church parking lot smoking,” said Conner McClernan, senior at Burnt Hills High School and member of Reality Check, a youth-led movement that helps fight back against tobacco.  “We’re no longer talking about just numbers on a piece of paper or spreadsheet. It is the kids you’ve had pictures of on your mantles since the day they were born.”

While several localities in New York acted to pass local legislation raising the age of sale to 21 in 2016, New York State earned a nearly failing grade of “D” in the Tobacco 21 category of the report for failing to pass comprehensive statewide legislation to keep tobacco out of the hands of young adults. This year’s State of Tobacco Control Report revealed that 28.8% of high school students in the state use at least one tobacco product.  The report also concluded that over $10 billion was spent on health care costs due to smoking in New York and 28,170 New Yorkers lost their lives to tobacco.

By |January 31st, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

American Heart Association Praises Tobacco 21 Law Passage

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Michael DiSalvo, American Heart Association Executive Leadership Team member hands Orange County Executive Director Steve Neuhaus an AHA pen for signing of the Tobacco 21 Law. DiSalvo’s son Jim was the bill sponsor. He’ll give the pen to Jim, who could not attend the signing.

ORANGE COUNTY, New York – The American Heart Association (AHA) said that by prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21, the Orange County Legislature has acted to save lives and improve the health of county residents. “Passage this bill will help fight chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and all forms of cancer – and sends a powerful message to other counties and cities throughout the state and country,” said Kristin Salvi, AHA Government Relations Director.

Orange is now the sixth county in New York, plus New York City, to pass this measure. Nationwide, more than 184 localities, plus the states of California and Hawaii, have passed Tobacco 21 laws.

“Smoking is a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke, and tonight’s vote shows that the Orange County Legislature is committed to the health of its residents,” said Salvi, “The American Heart Association thanks Orange County Legislator Jim DiSalvo for introducing this important measure, and looks forward to improved health among Orange County residents.”

According to the NYS Department of Health, 10,600 youth under 18 become new daily smokers each year, and 73,000 New York State high school students currently smoke. A March 2015 report by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies said that if a youth reaches the age of 21 without smoking, the chance of them ever doing so plummets to 2 percent.

The AHA states that this strategy is already working. In 2005, Needham, MA voted to raise and enforce the minimum tobacco sales age of 21. In 2006, before full enforcement, the town had a youth smoking rate of 13% compared with 15% in the surrounding communities. By 2010, the youth smoking rate in Needham was down to 6.7% while the surrounding communities’ rate only decreased to 12.4%. The percent decline in youth smoking in Needham was nearly triple that of its neighbors.

For more information about the American Heart Association’s You’re the Cure grassroots action network, visit www.yourethecure.org. To find free resources to quit smoking, visit www.heart.org/quitsmoking or the NYS Smoker’s Quitline at https://www.nysmokefree.com/ or 1-866-NY-QUITS.

By |January 27th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Share Wear Red Day on Social Media

AMERICAN HEART MONTH SOCIAL MEDIA MESSAGES

The American Heart Association wants to help everyone live longer, healthier lives so they can enjoy all of life’s precious moments. And we know that starts with taking care of your health. American Heart Month, a federally designated event, is a great way to remind Americans to focus on their hearts and encourage them to get their families, friends and communities involved. Share our suggested social media messages below to help raise awareness of heart health. Simply right click to download an image and copy the text content.

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FACEBOOK: February is American Heart Month. Help spread the word about our nation’s leading health threat and learn how you can protect your health. Visit heart.org for more information. #HeartMonth #lifeiswhyNY

TWITTER: It’s American Heart Month. Help spread the word about our leading health threat. #lifeiswhyNY#HeartMonth

 

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FACEBOOK: This February, show some love for your heart! Each of us can make small changes in seven key areas that add up to a big difference in our heart health. Take small steps toward a healthier life by getting started today. #lifeiswhyNY  #HeartMonth

TWITTER: This February, show your own heart some love! 7 simple steps for a healthier you. #lifeiswhyNY #HeartMonth

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FACEBOOK: The factsare clear. Heart disease threatens the lives of our family, friends and colleagues. This February, let’s unite to help change these statistics. Let’s fight back against our No. 1 killer. #lifeiswhyNY #HeartMonth

TWITTER: The facts are clear. It’s time to make heart health a priority! #lifeiswhyNY #HeartMonth

 

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FACEBOOK:
In a heart attack, every second matters. By calling 9-1-1 instead of driving to the hospital, you can get crucial medical care sooner and significantly increase your chance of survival. #lifeiswhyNY #HeartMonthTWITTER:
Know the signs of a heart attack and call 9-1-1 immediately. #lifeiswhyNY #HeartMonth

 

By |January 25th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

American Heart Association Warns of Snow Shoveling Health Hazards

 

For most people, shoveling snow may not lead to any health problems. However, the American Heart Association warns that the risk of a heart attack during snow shoveling may increase for some, stating that the combination of colder temperatures and physical exertion increases the workload on the heart.snow shoveling

People who are outdoors in cold weather should avoid sudden exertion, like lifting a heavy shovel full of snow. Even walking through heavy, wet snow or snow drifts can strain a person’s heart.

“For people with existing heart conditions like heart failure, high blood pressure or cholesterol, the increased workload on the heart from activities such as shoveling of heavy snow, can put them at higher risk for heart attack,” said James Lyons, MD, FACC, cardiologist with The Heart Center at Health Quest and board member of the American Heart Association.

To help make snow removal safer, the American Heart Association has compiled a list of practical tips.

  • Give yourself a break. Take frequent rest breaks during shoveling so you don’t overstress your heart. Pay attention to how your body feels during those breaks.
  • Don’t eat a heavy meal prior or soon after shoveling. Eating a large meal can put an extra load on your heart.
  • Use a small shovel or consider a snow thrower. The act of lifting heavy snow can raise blood pressure acutely during the lift. It is safer to lift smaller amounts more times, than to lug a few huge shovelfuls of snow. When possible, simply push the snow.
  • Learn the heart attack warning signs and listen to your body, but remember this: Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, have it checked out (tell a doctor about your symptoms). Minutes matter! Fast action can save lives — maybe your own. Don’t wait more than five minutes to call 9-1-1
  • Don’t drink alcoholic beverages before or immediately after shoveling. Alcohol may increase a person’s sensation of warmth and may cause them to underestimate the extra strain their body is under in the cold.
  • Consult a doctor. If you have a medical condition, don’t exercise on a regular basis or are middle aged or older, meet with your doctor prior to the first anticipated snowfall.
  • Be aware of the dangers of hypothermia. Heart failure causes most deaths in hypothermia. To prevent hypothermia, dress in layers of warm clothing, which traps air between layers forming a protective insulation. Wear a hat because much of your body’s heat can be lost through your head.

Heart Attack Warning Signs

Some heart attacks are sudden and intense — the “movie heart attack,” where it is clear what’s happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren’t sure what’s wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:

  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness
  • As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.signs heart attack

Calling 9-1-1 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment. It is best to call Emergency medical services (EMS) for rapid transport to the emergency room. EMS staff can begin treatment when they arrive — up to an hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital by car. Patients with chest pain who arrive by ambulance usually receive faster treatment at the hospital, too. If you can’t access EMS, have someone drive you to the hospital right away. If you’re the one having symptoms, don’t drive yourself, unless you have absolutely no other option.

Heart attacks can cause sudden cardiac arrest, where the heart stops beating, or beats irregularly, failing to pump enough blood. One moment, a person can be walking and talking, and the next moment they collapse, lifeless. They will be unresponsive, not breathing or only gasping. Their lips will start to turn blue and skin will become pale. Quick recognition and fast action is the key to saving a life.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Bystanders can help cardiac arrest victims survive, if they act fast. First, call 9-1-1 and start CPR right away. Then, if an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is available, use it as soon as possible. If two people are available to help, one should begin CPR immediately while the other calls 9-1-1 and finds an AED.

Hands Only CPR is effective in saving lives during cardiac arrest. Hands-Only CPR has just two simple steps. If you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse,

(1) Call 9-1-1; and

(2) Push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of the disco song “Stayin’ Alive” (100 beats per minute) until help arrives.

To learn more about CPR or find a local class, visit www.heart.org/CPR .

By |January 23rd, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Volunteers Rally to Support American Heart Association

Marist College welcomed volunteers from over 50 local companies and organizations for the American Heart Association’s (AHA) annual Heart Walk volunteer rally and kickoff event.

Vince Amodeo, Business Banking Regional Manager at M&T Bank for the Hudson Valley, will serve as Heart Walk chair for 2017 Heart Walk. The event is the American Heart Association’s biggest annual fund raiser.img_6855

Amodeo encouraged volunteers, team leaders, businesses and community leaders to sponsor and form teams to join the Heart Walk. Two events will be held locally. The Dutchess Heart Walk will be held on March 25th at a new location, Marist College, and the Ulster event is set for April 2nd at SUNY New Paltz. Registration online at www.dutchessulsterheartwalk.org.img_6864

“I know my support of the Heart Walk will insure that the AHA’s good work continues and by walking, I will be creating a healthier me and a healthier community,” said Amodeo, “Residents can join the Heart Walk to support a family member or friend, or for their own hearts. Every step, every dollar raised helps the American Heart Association’s mission.”

According to the AHA, walking briskly can lower your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes as much as running. Adults need 30 minutes of physical activity per day, at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week for heart health. Kids need 60 minutes daily.

img_6883Madison Dallies & Matthew Burchell are serving as the 2017 Heart Walk Youth Honorees – both are survivors from congenital heart defects.

Events like the Heart Walk fund the AHA’s critical research and awareness programs that help save lives from cardiovascular diseases like heart disease and stroke – the number one and five killers in the U.S. Thanks to progress made in awareness, early intervention and research, stroke has moved from the #3 killer to the #5 killer in recent years.

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L to R: Vince Amodeo, Heart Walk Chair, Beth Christy, Townsquare Media, David Ping, Health Quest, AHA Board Chair with youth honorees Madison & Matthew

Companies interested in supporting the Heart Walk with sponsorship or teams should call Jaclyn Renner, Event Director, at the American Heart Association at (845) 867-5378 or by email jaclyn.renner@heart.org. Event info and registration for teams and individuals is online at www.dutchessulsterheartwalk.org.

Health Quest is the 2017 “My Heart, My Life” sponsor. M& T Bank will be Tribute Wall sponsor. Rondout Savings bank is the Ulster County CPR in school’s  sponsor. Other Local Sponsors for this year’s event are: Adams Fairacre Farms, Laerdal Medical, UnitedHealthcare, Ellenville Regional Hospital, Marshall & Sterling and Premier Medical Group. Media sponsors include Townsquare Media, Mix 97.7, Southern Dutchess News and Hudson Valley Magazine.

By |January 12th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Teach Kids to Leave Healthy Treats for Santa and His Reindeer

The big night is almost here! Santa and his elves at the North Pole are getting ready for the big night–Christmas Eve! And children all around the world are doing their very best to be good, not fight with their siblings, and clean up their rooms to prove they’re worthy of receiving the gifts on their Christmas lists. As a sign of gratitude and profound love for that jolly, old elf, millions of plates of cookies and glasses of milk will be left by the tree for Santa.

According to the History Channel, the tradition of leaving cookies and milk in the U.S. dates back to the 1930’s when parents, struggling with rations and the Great Depression, aimed to demonstrate gratitude to their children to be thankful for all they would receive. When you give, you receive. Say thanks. Be grateful. Share what you have–all timeless lessons.healthy-santa

But the roots of leaving gifts for Santa and his reindeer go as far back as Norse mythology when children would leave gifts for Odin (yes, comic book fans, that Odin) and his eight-legged horse, Sleipner, to entice them to leave gifts in the midwinter Yule celebration.

All these years later, cookies and milk are the go-to treat for Santa. It doesn’t take a mathematician to understand why Santa’s belt gets a wee bit tight around the holidays! That’s a lot of cookies!

This holiday season, let’s take a health lesson from the treat plate next to Santa’s that’s left for his reindeer, and add color and a few more veggies to Santa’s plate! It’s a great opportunity to show kids the importance of healthy snacks, for themselves, and for people they love, like Santa.

It’s a great opportunity for a lesson in giving and giving thoughtfully with an eye on health.

What are some healthy treats kids can make and leave for Santa’s to energize him on his late night journey? Peanut butter and all-fruit jam on whole wheat bread or crackers! Almond butter on whole
grain graham crackers! Turkey and spinach roll-ups in a whole what wrap! Happy face orange slices! A bunch of grapes and a banana! Apple slices with yogurt! A smoothie with fruit, veggies and low-fat milk or yogurt! Or a fancy yogurt parfait with granola and berries! And, of course, for his reindeer, healthy carrots, celery and broccoli!

This Christmas, give the gift of health for you, your children…and, of course, Santa. May he live a long and healthy life!

Happy Holidays from the American Heart Association! Get more tips for healthier living at www.heart.org/healthyliving 

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By |December 15th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , |0 Comments

American Heart Association Supports Tobacco-21 Bill in Orange County NY

Studies show the higher age will reduce the number of first-time, young smokers

This week, the Orange County Health & Mental Health Committee unanimously passed the “T21” bill proposed by Orange County Legislator James DiSalvo, which would raise the age to purchase cigarettes, tobacco products, liquid nicotine, or electronic cigarettes to 21. The Rules Committee also passed the bill which means the bill will go to the full Legislature for a vote on December 1st. The American Heart Association strongly supports this proposal.18-2

 The law would prohibit the sale of cigarettes, tobacco products, liquid nicotine, or electronic cigarettes to minors and young adults under the age of 21.

“It’s imperative that we raise the age to purchase tobacco, tobacco and nicotine products to 21,” said Kristin Salvi, New York State government relations director for the American Heart Association.

“Studies have shown that raising the tobacco sale age to 21 will significantly reduce the number of teens and young adults who start smoking,” Salvi said. “It will also reduce smoking-caused deaths.”

“Smoking is a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke, the No. 1 and No. 5 causes of death in the United States. More than half a million people in New York have a disease caused by smoking, resulting in about $8.17 billion in health care expenditures annually. An estimated 24,500 New Yorkers die of smoking-related deaths each year,” said Jonathan Schiller, AHA Heart Walk Chair, and Chief Operating Office at Orange Regional Medical Center.

“New York continuously leads the nation in pursuit of quality tobacco control, like with our high tobacco tax and clean indoor air policies,” Salvi said. “One hundred localities nationwide have raised the age for tobacco sales to 21. Orange County’s smoking rate is still 15%, and the Orange County Legislature has an opportunity to further ensure the good health of its residents by making this deadly habit unavailable to our youth.”

The American Heart Association invites members of the community support voice support of this legislation to create a healthier community in Orange County by calling their legislators before December 1st. Join www.yourethecure.org to sign up for grassroots action alerts.

By |November 17th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Tips for a Healthier Holiday Season from American Heart Association

Free Healthy Holiday Eating Guide Available

 As we prepare to gather with family and friends this holiday season, the American Heart Association (AHA) reminds us that we can make smart recipe substitutions to keep our holiday meals—and the people we love—healthier. Over-indulging in traditional holiday foods can add extra pounds to our waistlines, and increase our risk for obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

More than 60% of Americans are overweight or obese, according to the AHA, so getting to and maintaining a healthy weight is important during the holidays and year round. The AHA recommends making small buteat-mindfully impactful lifestyle changes to prevent heart disease and stroke, the nation’s number one and four killers. Studies show that more than 80% of heart disease can be prevented with simple lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, exercising 30 minutes most days of the week and eating healthier.

The American Heart Association says the first step is to determine your daily calorie intake with an app or online calculator, then adjust your daily calories into the healthy range. A good place to start is by eating more fruits and vegetables which are low in calories and high in nutrition.

“Many of the traditional foods served during the holidays can be healthy – the trick is to not load on the butter, sodium and sugar,” said Roufia Payman, DT, CDN, supervisor of Outpatient Nutrition Counseling, and diabetes lifestyle coach at Northern Dutchess Hospital. “Add color and nutrition to your plate with seasonal squash, roasted vegetables and fruit-based desserts.”

All of the holiday parties and dinners can throw off your healthy lifestyle goals. The American Heart holiday-healthy-eating-guide-2016-cover-imageAssociation is offering its annual Holiday Healthy Eating Guide to help people navigate the holiday season in a healthy way. The 13-page free guide has tips, recipes and resources to help maintain a healthy lifestyle during the busy holiday season. The guide is available free online at www.bit.ly/AHAHolidayGuide.

Party with a healthy plan in place!
The AHA recommends healthy portions, limiting the empty calories in alcohol drinks and filling up on healthier fruits and vegetables first, before the less healthy options. Keep dessert temptations to small samples of your favorites instead of full servings, and eat mindfully to enjoy every morsel. Don’t stand near the party buffet and avoid mindless nibbling.

Plate-Up Health First
Be sure to pack your holiday meals with lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, fish, skinless poultry, and plant-based side dishes and main courses.

Swap-In Healthier Choices
Substitute fat-free and low-fat dairy products for the higher fat versions, like Greek yogurt for sour cream. Use lower sodium versions of foods like broth, canned vegetables and sauces. Use whole-grain breads and pastas instead of white flour ones. Cook with unsaturated, healthier fats, and non-tropical oils. Eliminate trans fats and partially hydrogenated oils. If you choose red meats, select the leanest cuts. When it comes to poultry, light meat is leaner than dark. A serving size of meat is 3 oz., about the size of a deck of cards.

Avoid the empty calories of sugar-sweetened beverages, particularly if you are going to indulge in small samples of desserts. Here are some more tips!

More Cooking Tips

  • Use vegetable oils such as olive oil instead of butter.
  • Use herbs and spices, like rosemary and cloves, to flavor dishes instead of butter and salt.
  • Bake, grill or steam vegetables instead of frying.
  • Instead of whole milk or heavy cream, substitute low-fat or fat-free/skim milk.

Baking Swaps

  • Instead of butter, substitute equal parts cinnamon-flavored, no-sugar-added applesauce.
  • Instead of sugar, use a lower-calorie sugar substitute.
  • Instead of whole or heavy cream, substitute low-fat or skim milk.
  • Instead of using only white flour, use half white and half whole-wheat flour.
  • Instead of adding chocolate chips or candies, use dried fruit, like cranberries or cherries.
  • Use extracts like vanilla, almond and peppermint to add flavor, instead of sugar or butter.

Healthier Beverages

  • Instead of alcohol in mixed drinks, use club soda.
  • Instead of adding sugar to mixed drinks, mix 100-percent juice with water or use freshly squeezed juice, like lime.
  • Instead of using heavy cream or whole milk in dairy-based drinks, use low-fat or skim milk.
  • Instead of using sugar to sweeten cider, use spices and fruit, like cinnamon, cloves and cranberries.

Of course, exercise is critical to weight management and overall health. The AHA recommends getting 30 minutes of vigorous exercise on most days of the week. Eating more? Walk more! A brisk walk before or after meals can help burn those extra calories.

To find more simple ways you and your family can eat healthy, visit www.heart.org/healthyeating.

By |November 16th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , |0 Comments