Have a Heart-Healthy Football Party

Family watching football game cheeringCan you keep it healthy at the tailgate party or football-watching bash? Yes!

Football season’s grand finale is here! And America’s most popular sport means enjoying many beloved traditions – including lots of fried and fatty meats washed down with calorie-laden drinks. Great fun, but not great for your heart-health! Your Big Game Party doesn’t mean you have to pack on the pounds and put your heart at risk. In fact, you can do a lot to keep your tailgating and other parties heart healthy – without giving up the fun or the flavor.

Check out these helpful tips:

The Meats

Do tailgates mean having a pile of meat sizzling on the grill? Well, if you’re eating meat, just be mindful of which ones you’re firing up. Choose lean or extra-lean beef burgers, and keep the patties to the size of a deck of cards. Or try turkey burgers or salmon burgers, which are tasty and give you the essential omega-3 fatty acids your body needs. If you crave the traditional fried wings, try replacing them with grilled chicken breast strips tossed in a small amount of your favorite sauce. Try this heart-healthy recipe for Tailgate Chili!

Picking the healthiest meat isn’t the only healthy choice you can make. Be careful about how you season it. Resist a heavy shaking of the salt shaker; instead, throw in some chopped onions or extra pepper to spice things up. Choose 100 percent whole-wheat buns or make a lettuce wrap. Or you can cut your burger in half and have just one side of the bun.

The Sides

At many football parties and stadium parking lots, there’s no shortage of chips or fries stacked high with chili, cheese and whatever else you can think of. However tempting they may be, you can fill up (and feel better later) by nibbling on vegetables throughout the game. “Load up on the veggies!” said Rachel Johnson, Ph.D., R.D., .a professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont and a volunteer for the American Heart Association. “Have vegetables for dipping rather than chips. Serve plenty of salsa and bean-based dips rather than other high-calorie dips.”

Skewers are also a fun and flavorful way to snack. Load them up with onions and peppers, or throw some corn on the cob or zucchini on the grill.

The Drinks

Beer and full-calorie sodas are usually plentiful at football parties and games. If drinking alcohol at games, just remember to use moderation.“Try not to overindulge on alcoholic beverages,” Johnson said. “Too much beer, wine or liquor impairs judgment and can cause us to eat more.”If you do get a beer at the game, try one with the least amount of calories and carbohydrates.For those who choose to drink alcohol, the American Heart Association recommends limiting to an average of one to two alcoholic drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. (A drink is one 12-ounce beer, 4 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits or 1 ounce of 100-proof spirits.)As far as soda goes, you’ll usually find no-calorie options wherever the full-sugar kind is. Water is the best choice, though, especially at games early in the season where dehydration is a concern. If you want a little more excitement then just plain water, throw in some fresh fruit to give it a refreshing taste.

Tailgating Do’s and Don’ts

  • Choose your sides in moderation. Try to make sure your plate is colorful, with a variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • Drink lots of water. You may be feeling hungry, but you may actually just be dehydrated. Stay hydrated.
  • Remind yourself to only eat if you are hungry – not just for something to do at the game. It may help to keep track of what you eat.
  • Placement counts! Put your healthiest items up front so choosing the healthy foods is easier for your guests!
  • Sweet Endings: Never underestimate the power of the fruit kebob for dessert, or cut fruit with a drizzle of dark chocolate! Now, that’s a crowd pleaser!
  • Burn those calories: Do go for a halftime walk or have a heart-healthy halftime game of touch football! Include the kids for a family fun time!

Learn more:

By |January 30th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , |0 Comments

Participants Moving More at the Westchester Heart Walk

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the No. 1 killer of all Americans. Heart disease also kills more women than all forms of cancer combined. But more than 80% of heart disease incidence can be prevented with simple lifestyle changes like moving more.  The American Heart Association’s October 1st Heart Walk event at Kensico Dam got Westchester residents moving more to fight heart disease, and the money raised will fund research, and help save lives. 

The Heart Walk is the AHA’s biggest annual event, raising more than $400,000 for AHA programs and research at last year’s event. This year’s event drew nearly 1,200 participants from more than 70 teams registered online. New “Move More” fitness stations were added to get even more activity at the 5K walk event. Kids and adults, and even some cadets volunteering at the event from Company E1 at West Point, tried the Plank Challenge, potato sack races, balloon tennis and more to get moving more. They ended the 5K with a dance celebration on the Kensico Dam Plaza.

“We know sitting is the new smoking and that inactivity is bad for hearts and blood vessels. We want people to move more to keep their hearts healthy to prevent the number one killer—heart disease,” said Jennifer Miller, AHA Heart Walk Senior Regional Director, “Today was a celebration that heart disease and stroke are survivable.”

Heart Walk Chair, Lori Morton from Regeneron in Tarrytown said that many young researchers receive AHA research grants as their first source of funding.

The Konow family of Ossining is grateful for research, early detection and advanced treatments for CHD. Their baby had lifesaving open heart surgery on the day of last year’s Heart Walk. They shared their story to raise awareness and were honored at this year’s event.

Kailey and Ryan Konow showed up for their 20-week prenatal appointment with the anticipation and excitement of any expectant parents. The doctors confirmed they were having a girl—but that she had a rare congenital heart defect. She was given heart tests immediately after birth last August.

Two months later, she got a simple cold and her oxygen levels dipped dangerously low. Mila Rose was put in a coma so her heart would stop working so hard and had emergency heart surgery on the date of last year’s Heart Walk to open her artery. On January 6th, she had the surgery for her full heart repair, and went home after 15 days, her heart fully repaired.

“We are so grateful for the technology and research that allowed the early detection. We’re so grateful for the doctors who continually focused in on her diagnosis and were always ready for her. She will be closely monitored for her cardiology team for the rest of her life, but her future is bright and our hearts are full,” said Konow.

CHD is the most common heart birth defect but it is survivable—the AHA journal Circulation that estimates about 1 million children and 1.4 million adults in the United States were living with a congenital heart defect (CHD) in 2010. The American Heart Association’s funding for pediatric cardiac research is second only to the federal government. Learn more at www.heart.org.

The Heart Walk is sponsored by White Plains Hospital, WMC Health/Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, Fujifilm, Dr. Patrick W. Thomas and Mrs. Johanna D. Thomas, New York Presbyterian, Phelps Hospital/Northwell Health, New York Medical College, Stop & Shop, Examiner Media, The Peak, Buzz Creators, News 12 Westchester, and Westchester Magazine.

Donations are still being accepted online at www.westchesterheartwalk.org.

Form a Heart Walk Team to Fight Heart Disease

The American Heart Association’s (AHA) Westchester Heart Walk is coming Sunday, October 1st at Kensico Dam in Valhalla. Registration for individuals and teams is open online at www.westchesterheartwalk.org. Many local companies and residents are forming teams to walk in support of the AHA’s mission to save lives from cardiovascular diseases and stroke. For some teams, walking in the Heart Walk is personal.

Gina Palma of “Team Brave Heart” is walking for her 63-year old father, John Palma, who is on the heart transplant list waiting for a new heart.

“We are walking for him and to raise awareness for this rare disease,” she said, “I would give my own heart to Dad if I could.”

She’s doing the next best thing—walking to prevent heart disease while funding lifesaving research. Her father’s heart failed more than three years ago. He felt out of breath doing routine things and it took 20 minutes to recover. He thought it was asthma or pneumonia but wa eventually diagnosed with cardiac amyloidosis—a rare form of heart disease where an abnormal amyloid liver protein deposits itself in the walls of the heart, making them stiff and unable to pump normally. There is no cure, but treatments can manage the symptoms. Ultimately, his heart failed.

“Blood tests showed my kidney functions were getting worse and my breathing was worsening. Heart transplant was mentioned a while ago. I went through a barrage of tests and interviews. Now I am on the list.”

“I was near retirement, then I got hit with this. This wasn’t self-inflicted. A rare disease comes out of nowhere and you have deal with it,” he said.

Though he knows the wait is long and often an emotional rollercoaster, he feels lucky because his diagnosis was swift, his treatments are extending his life, and he has support of good friends and family. He hopes by sharing his story he will help raise awareness and remind people to get annual checkups. And he wants more funding for research.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the No. 1 killer of all Americans. In fact, someone dies from CVD every 39 seconds. The Heart Walk is the AHA’s biggest annual event, raising more than $400,000 for AHA programs and research at last year’s event. Funds raised at the Heart Walk will support research to help prevent and treat heart disease, stroke, and pediatric heart disease. The American Heart Association’s funding for research is second only to the federal government. American Heart Association-funded research has led to the discovery and development of many treatments and procedures that are now widely utilized to help save lives. They include heart bypass surgery, CPR, clot-busting drugs, stents, cardiac catheterization, and heart transplantation. Learn more at www.heart.org.

The Heart Walk is sponsored by White Plains Hospital, WMC Health/Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, Fujifilm, Dr. Patrick W. Thomas and Mrs. Johanna D. Thomas, New York Presbyterian, Phelps Hospital/Northwell Health, New York Medical College, Stop & Shop, Examiner Media, The Peak, Buzz Creators, News 12 Westchester, and Westchester Magazine.

Form a team and register online to walk in the Westchester Heart Walk! www.westchesterheartwalk.org 

By |September 12th, 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