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Healthy solutions. Fit results. A better you.

December 2010

Wish them Well!


Find that perfect gift with our annual gift guide.


the sun shine 21 Here’sMake how to lighten up, even if

you’re the serious sort.

you exercise too much? 23 Can Too much of anything can be bad for you—even exercise.

Happy Holidays! Nicole McLeod, of Charlotte, is fit, healthy and ready for the holidays.


A guilt-free New Year’s Eve Keep it healthier with these tips.

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New Year’s Guilt? How to stay healthy and fit while ushering in 2011.






12 15 16 18 20 DECEMBER 2010

How much?

Taking care of your teeth is worth the price.

Gifts that are more than skin deep The top massages make great gifts of relaxation and better health.

The annual gift guide

Our picks of gifts that promote health and well-being.

Holidays are for memories

Enjoy theabundant food, but focus on the moments and your health will thank you.

Proof is in the pudding

A sugar-free bread pudding just in time for the holidays.

21 22 24 26 27

Make the sun shine in any weather Here’s how to lighten up, even if you’re the serious sort.

For all you winter athletes

How to prepare for the season and prevent injuries from occurring.

Ever hear of muesli?

Make-it-yourself muesli: Save money and eat well!

Food“Claims to Fame”

Confused by health claims on food labels? An RD offers a reality check.

Take care now

Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish: It allows you to be your best—for yourself and others. • Healthy & Fit




TESTIMONIAL: JAN HARTWIG State of Fitness has made a big difference in my life. The club itself is large enough to hold all state-of-the-art equipment I need, yet small enough to have that intimate appeal where everyone knows your name. I love group coaching classes offered by the best of the best trainers. It’s amazing to get a great workout and have so much fun doing it! Because of State of Fitness I look and feel healthier than I have in 25 years. I am definitely a member for life!




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Time to get to work! (again)


ell, it’s time I come clean. I’ve gone backwards with my healthy and fit lifestyle. Well not really backwards. Let’s say it’s stagnate. Like a bike propped up with a kickstand. It’s going nowhere. I’m writing this column days after the early November mountain bike race I compete in every year. It’s called The Iceman Cometh and this year it covered 27 snowy, freezing, muddy miles between Kalkaska and Traverse City. Most years I use the race as a goal to train and exercise and eat correctly. It’s usually my season ending prize. In the past I’d mash the pedals through the terrain and laugh as I crossed the line. Months of training would ultimately have my fitting into tight spandex and having a perfect weekend with friends. Well, as I said earlier, it’s time to come clean. Time to realize I’ve got my work cut out for me. When I first took on the Iceman five years ago, I was a year into putting together a young magazine (this one!) and staring at an out-of-shape, wheezing, over eater who didn’t take care of himself. It motivated me to get better. And I did. I worked out. I ate right. I circled that date on my calendar and kept my focus. By that first Iceman I was a lean, mean mountain bike riding machine. It was great! Now as 2011 comes-a-knockin’, I’m healthier, yes, (I do follow most of the advice in this publication) but not anywhere near as fit as I need to be. I eat way too much, too often and at the wrong times of the day and it’s caught up to me. It’s canceling all my hard work. Let’s put it this way, I’m still breathing hard from the race two days ago. I didn’t even know if my spandex fit anymore (it barely did). And because I didn’t train, nor eat, like I should have I didn’t race this week. I barely survived. I didn’t laugh at the finish line. I was too short of breath. I hurt my toe during the race, too. My toe! Who does that on a bike race? I hurt it getting off the bike on the hills I used to climb as I pushed my bike. And a fast mountain bike? I had another rider tell me he thought I had a flat tire. I had to tell him I’m just a big guy and those tires just look flat. Ugh! So readers, it’s time I put down the handfuls of high calorie trail mix (it’s so good) swear off the beer and make a promise: Never again will I be this out of shape. I’ve heard quotes time and time again from when I played sports and the one that has stuck with me has always been: Success is not about how many times we fall, but make sure we rise every time we fall. I think it’s a sign that a bike race is causing me to take note. I need balance in my life. I didn’t fall during the race (thank goodness) but I’ve fallen off the track and I can’t continue at this pace. I won’t give up. Enjoy the issue!



PUBLISHER AND EDITOR Tim Kissman ADVERTISING Kathy Kissman CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Karen Giles-Smith GRAPHIC DESIGN John P. Tour Contributing photographer Samantha Cornwell SUBSCRIBE ONLINE

For advertising information GREATER LANSING/JACKSON

517.244.1844 Healthy & Fit is a free, trademarked, monthly publication distributed throughout Michigan. It is financially supported by advertisers and is distributed to local neighborhoods and businesses, education centers, libraries, bookstores, fitness centers, health practitioners’ offices, hospitals and other locations. This magazine is published by Kissco Publishing, LLC, Mason, Michigan. Reproduction, of whole or in part, is prohibited without the written permission of the publisher. The opinions expressed by the authors and advertisers of Healthy & Fit are not necessarily those of the publisher. Healthy & Fit, and those in its employ, are in no way responsible for situations arising from the application or participation in anything written, or advertised, in this publication. PLEASE CONSULT A PHYSICIAN BEFORE ATTEMPTING ANY PHYSICAL ACTIVITY OR NUTRITIONAL ADVICE. • Healthy & Fit




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Fit Features Ni ck Drz a l Because of a sedentary office job, Nick Drzal, 39, of East Lansing, realized he needed to find ways to be active. “I want to feel energized and capable of living a fully active lifestyle as I age,” he says. “Also, I want to be a role model my family. As the father of twins, I haven’t been able to get back in a set routine quite yet, so I try to walk as often as I can and squeeze in some muscle-building work here and there. We take a lot of walks as a family. We go to the park often and, once there, I like to stretch or do some sort of core and muscle-building work (pushups, pull ups, stretches). During the workday, I try to take the stairs as often as I can, pack my lunch, and bring in healthy snacks most of the time.” As a registered dietitian, Drzal takes his own advice: Stay hydrated; eat lean protein sources; watch portion sizes and frequency of high calorie foods; stay away from sugar-sweetened beverages (he prefers to eat calories, not drink them); never limit vegetables, fruits, or whole grain products; stick to fatfree dairy or soy products except for ice cream; and don’t restrict full-fat foods, just watch the portion sizes of these items (they help him feel full longer and feel more satisfied). “There are no ‘rules’ to exercise,” says Drzal. “And something is better than nothing. A five-minute walk, stretching, walking up stairs, balancing on one foot, jumping up and down, dancing—all count. I also believe in the power of sleep: More and more research is telling us that sleep is critical for managing stress, health, and body weight. With these health habits, I’ve been able to maintain my current body weight, flexibility and clothes sizes.”

Pa ul a K e rr After her 37th birthday, Paula Kerr, 38, of Grand Rapids, noticed that it wasn’t as easy to feel comfortable in her clothes when she ate whatever she wanted and exercised when she felt like it. “I knew I had to regain some control and think a little bit more about what I was eating and how much I was moving,” says Kerr. “My weight has never been a big issue for me and I really didn’t want it to become one.” Kerr reevaluated her eating and exercise habits and decided to make some adjustments. “I put a lot of care into what I feed my family at mealtimes, but when I was eating on the go or alone, I found myself making not-sohealthy choices. I’ve tried very hard to incorporate more fruits and vegetables at lunch and add a protein source, like milk or cheese, at breakfast. I also decided to enjoy ice cream occasionally, but not every night!” Kerr also resolved to take her physical activity up a notch. “I’m now committed to running at least three times a week, and, in the last few months, I’ve added weight training once per week. Since I haven’t made many major changes in my health habits, I can’t say I’ve noticed major changes in myself. The fact that I’m sticking with it is probably the biggest change. It does take discipline and self control. I’m keeping it up because I want to feel great on each birthday I have. There is no going back! I want to set a good example for my daughters, as well. This is my advice: Stand in front of a large mirror, baring all. Start from the top (or the bottom) and thank your Almighty Creator for each and every wonderful part, no matter what its size or condition. When you come across one that still works, count your blessings! Take some time and figure out how to eat healthier. Take some time and figure out how to be more active. Then, do it. But don’t let it occupy all of your time and all of your energy. There is so much more to life!

Alys on M aa s Since age five, Alyson Maas, 22, of Grand Ledge, was involved in a variety of activities such as competitive gymnastics, ballet, jazz dance, jazz-acro, and cheerleading. She discovered that her biggest passion was cheerleading and participated on cheerleading teams during middle school, high school, and her freshman year at Michigan State University. When she decided to stop cheerleading, although she remained active by working out, she felt a void. “Working out on my own instead of in a team atmosphere was very difficult for me. So, I took some time away from the gym but gained a little weight and noticed that I was overly tired and more stressed out than usual. I realized it was time to get back into some sort of workout routine. It took a while to develop one that felt comfortable and that didn’t take a lot of time. Finally, I came up with something that works for me. I aim for 20-30 minutes of cardio every day and a mixture of weight training and ballet three times a week. I also try to eat at least three healthy meals a day. Overall, I feel much happier and healthier. When I exercise, not only do I feel more confident in myself and my body, but it also helps lower my stress and anxiety levels. The number one thing that helps keep me motivated is knowing how much better I feel when I exercise and eat healthfully. I remind myself that when I take a week, or even a few day off from my routine, I’ll begin to feel sluggish and stressed which throws my body—and essentially my lifestyle—completely out of whack. I’ve realized that it doesn’t matter if you have 10 minutes or three hours to spend working out, any time that you can spend making your body and mind a little bit healthier is going to be beneficial.”

DECEMBER 2010 • Healthy & Fit



Success! by Karen Giles-Smith Krystina Bolin

Krystina Bolin, 27, of Mason, had used “all the excuses in the book” to avoid exercising. She told herself she needed a gym membership to work out or that her knee hurt too much to get moving. Then, in May 2009, photos of herself from a recent vacation made her bolt out the door and run a mile down the street. That moment jump-started her journey to better health. Here’s the story of how Bolin left behind her excuses and 78 pounds—for good.

What motivated you to get back in shape? There were quite a few reasons, but my health was number one. I realized that I want to be around a long time for my two girls who are four and six. And I wanted to feel healthy again—I was so sick of feeling sluggish. I was also sick of looking in the mirror and getting upset with what I saw. Also, I knew that losing weight would help my severe knee problems

How did you improve your health habits? Well, I like to call it “back to the basics”. I changed my lifestyle by eating right and exercising. The tips I picked up from “The Biggest Loser” and Healthy and Fit magazine helped me make small changes. I started by running one mile three times a week. Then I added 20-30 minute workouts five days a week at home using Wii Fit, Perfect Pushups, and other strength training activities. And I started eating more—believe it or not—but eating healthfully. I used to skip breakfast and snack late at night. Now I eat three meals and two snacks every day. I view food as energy to fuel my body. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still eat a piece of cake or a couple of chips if I want them. One thing I’ve learned through years of failed dieting is that you cannot deprive yourself or you will always fail. After about six months of being consistent with workouts, they became second nature. It’s part of my daily routine now, and I feel weird without it. I usually run four miles 5-6 days a week. Since I’ve been training for a half marathon, I’ve been running 4-10 miles a day.

Did you experience any challenges or roadblocks? Of course. Since age 16, I’ve had horrible knee pain from arthritis and, at first, it hurt to run. I’ve also had plateaus in my weight loss which are DECEMBER 2010

always discouraging. And, my work schedule changed and I had to work 50 hours a week instead of my usual 30 hours a week. I wondered how I could keep working out 1-2 hours a day with a busier schedule.


How did you get back on track? Being healthy is a priority for me, so I figured out how to make it work. I heard someone say, “You gotta use it before you lose it.” So, that’s what I did for my knee pain. I also started taking glucosamine chondroitin which helped tremendously. Knee pain is something I will always have to deal with, but it’s much easier at this weight. To fit in my workouts, I decided to go to sleep earlier and wake up earlier. And, although weight plateaus are discouraging, I knew they were bound to happen, so I was prepared. When my weight loss slowed, I stayed consistent with my healthy habits.

Before: Starting weight: 210 lbs.

How has a healthier lifestyle made a difference in your life? It’s changed my life in so many ways. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done besides give birth to my children. I feel like I’m on top of the world every day. I have more confidence and feel stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally. I’m much more social now: Before, I just wanted to hide behind a bag of chips and the T.V. Also, I’m a better mom and I feel so good about teaching my children healthy eating habits and seeing them live a healthier lifestyle.

What keeps you motivated to stay the course? Hands down: The way I feel! I feel so good every day. I haven’t been sick once since I started this journey a year and a half ago. The way I feel when I’m running will always keep me motivated: I feel so free. I love to run outside

After! After: End weight: 134 lbs. Height: 5’ 4” and look at all of God’s beautiful creation. When my husband and I run together we have great conversations and it brings us closer. Also, raising my children with a healthy lifestyle is motivation enough for a lifetime. Finally, it’s empowering to know that my example has inspired friends and family to improve their own health.

What advice do you have for others? You can do it. Don’t give up! Consistency is key. Don’t let the opportunity to be healthy and happy go to waste.

Do you know someone who is a Success! story? Send an e-mail

to Tim at Include your name, phone number and why you think your candidate is a Success! • Healthy & Fit



Taking care of your teeth

An expense that’s usually well worth the price. by Dr. Susan Maples

Q. A.

The doctor has proposed a root canal, core build-up and crown. How much is it going to cost?

Dentistry can be “surprisingly expensive” depending on your perception of value versus cost. For some, a cleaning, exam and x-rays seems expensive, and for others a full mouth reconstruction seems like a bargain. Perception is everything! I recently placed an implant crown on a lower back tooth for a 92 year old woman. We noticed she drove a car that was falling apart at the seams. Probing, I learned she wanted to live all her days with a full complement of teeth. That was her value. Conversely, the very same week, I extracted an upper (visible) bicuspid on a 23 year old man. What would you chose? Look, I’m a tooth geek. I am in the tooth-saving business and I LOVE teeth. At the same time I am not sure what I’d do if I had to choose between saving a molar and taking my family on our one yearly vacation. Still it disturbs me that


Americans spend more money on big screen TVs every year than ALL of dentistry. Not just TVs…big screen TVs! My role as a dentist is not to judge, but to help people understand the long-term implications of their choices… including the choice to sacrifice teeth. Many people understand the esthetic value of a beautiful smile, but they fail to realize the health value of treating gum disease and reinforcing back teeth. A fifth grader taught me this: Of the entire ectoderm (outer covering of the body), teeth are the only biologic structure that does not repair itself. Think about that. If you color or cut your hair and you hate it…presto, eight weeks later you start again. Hair, skin, nails, and even the cornea of the eye will heal upon insult. Not your teeth—every tiny bit you lose is gone for good! Add to that the idea that the average non-smoking adult lives into their mid-eighties and NEEDS to digest food

Healthy & Fit •

well to be healthy and energetic. Chewing food (the function of back teeth) is the first and perhaps most important step in digestion—it breaks the food into usable, digestible particles. So replacing broken or missing tooth structure may seem like a big expense now, but in the long run it will likely preserve your health and your wallet. Dr. Susan Maples is a Lansing area native and has practiced dentistry in Holt for 23 years. She can be reached at 517.694.0353.


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It’s holiday time! We have a large and festive selection of:



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CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE Saturday, December 4 • 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Get your children’s picture taken with Santa! Enjoy homemade peanut brittle, cookies, punch, and doorprizes!


Gifts that are more than skin deep

The top massages that make great gifts for better health. by Julia C. Brunelle veryone enjoys a traditional relaxation massage, but many people either haven’t tried, or don’t know about, the many other types of massage that may be helpful for their individual needs. The holiday season is a great time to give the gift of healing, so we asked our clients to sound off about the best treatments to give (and receive!) this year.


Reflexology—What it is–Massage to the feet and hands. The body is reflected in specific areas on the hands and feet, and massaging them brings balance to the entire system. Get it for–People who are on their feet or work with their hands for long hours like salon and retail workers, data entry specialists, runners, or musicians. Reflexology is a proven tool in relief from both plantar fasciitis and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, as well as many other hand and foot ailments. This is also a great modality for first time massage

clients who may be apprehensive about full body work. Make it extra special – Add a paraffin treatment! The heat from the melted wax penetrates the muscles, bringing out the full benefits of the massage.

Hot stone massage—What it is–Like it sounds, heated stones are used during the massage to provide deep, full body relaxation. Get it for–People with poor circulation, high stress, anxiety, or insomnia. The heat allows for quicker and deeper relaxation as it calms the nervous system and increases circulation for overall stress release.

the body. Along with increasing range of motion and flexibility, it also gives a boost to the lymph system and increases synovial fluid production to keep joints lubricated. Get it for – People who sit for work like administrative staff or computer workers, or people who travel or drive often. Yoga enthusiasts are often big fans of Thai massage. Stay comfortable – During Thai massage the client remains clothed in loose attire, making it a great modality for anyone who may be uncomfortable with the undressing involved in traditional massage. No matter what kind of massage you choose to give, you can be sure the recipient will always appreciate the thoughtfulness and generosity that comes with the gift of better health!

Rescue dry skin–The heat from the stones opens the pores allowing the oil to sink into deeper layers of the skin. This provides a higher level of hydration, Julia C. Brunelle is a professional massage therapist at making it a great gift for dry skin sufferers.

Thai massage—What is it–Deep massage

and stretching performed on a mat using the hands, feet, knees, and other parts of

Creative Wellness in East Lansing. She is a graduate of Hope College and the Kalamazoo Center for the Healing Arts and specializes in Relaxation, Reflexology, Myofascial Release, and Neuromuscular Therapy.

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Healthy & Fit • 2010 Gift Guide

Great Gift Ideas to Wish them Well by Karen Giles-Smith Gifts that promote health and wellbeing will be appreciated for years to come. This list of gift ideas has it all: Helpful, healthful gifts that will be enjoyed and appreciated for many years. I’ve chosen items that have enhanced my own life, in hopes that they will do the same for the healthminded folks on your holiday shopping list. Perhaps you’ll want to add some of the items to your personal wish list! Disclaimer: For the happiest of holidays, keep this friendly warning in mind: Some of these items may not be good gift choices for significant others—appliances aren’t always considered to be thoughtful, romantic gifts!

Bread machine Who doesn’t love the smell and taste of fresh-baked bread? Plus, home-baked bread is preservative-free and often lower in sodium than store-bought. Those who don’t have time to knead dough, wait for it to rise, then repeat, will be thrilled to receive a bread machine where all that’s required is adding ingredients and pushing a few buttons. Bread machines can be programmed to start during the night so that fresh baked bread is ready in the morning. Some models can make a wide variety of products such as French bread, wheat bread, oatmeal bread, potato bread, gluten-free bread, cake and dough for making pizza, breadsticks, cookies, pasta, rolls and more. Available at: Zojirushi BBCCX20 Home Bakery Supreme Bread Machine: Zojirushi BB-HAC10 Home Bakery 1-Pound-Loaf Programmable Mini Breadmaker: Amazon. com

Price: About $150-$350.

Yogurt maker The perfect gift for the yogurt-lover who would appreciate the opportunity to flavor fresh yogurt to suit personal taste preference. Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium, protein, riboflavin, probiotics (beneficial bacteria) and more; and it’s great for breakfast, snacks, and as a base for dips and sauces. Yogurt can be made at home without a machine, but using an automatic yogurt maker is more convenient. Available at: Automatic Yogurt Maker: Euro Cuisine Automatic Yogurt Maker - YM100:

Price: About $50.

Indoor Greens/Herb Garden These products make it possible to grow herbs like basil and oregano indoors during all seasons for use in cooking. Many herbs contain antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties and may boost the immune system and help prevent several chronic diseases. Herbs also add flavor so less salt is needed in recipes. Available at: My Greens Light Garden from Gardener’s Supply Company: ($150) Windowsill Herb Garden and Herb Curriculum: ($30)

Price: About $30-$150. 16

Healthy & Fit •


Crock Pot with Cookbook A crock pot is the answer for easy-fix meals and often produces enough food for leftovers. There are many recipes on the Internet and several cookbooks on the market with healthy crock pot recipes. Crock pot meals can usually be left unattended while cooking, so they’re perfect for work days. Crock pots also tenderize less expensive, tough cuts of meat when making stew.

Blender (for making smoothies) Smoothies made with fruit, fruit juice, milk or yogurt are great for nutrient-rich, quick and easy breakfasts or snacks. Any highpowered, durable blender that can crush ice with ease is a good choice for making smoothies.

Fix-It and Forget-It Lightly by Phyllis Pellman Good: Order through your local bookstore;

Available at: Oster 8-speed blender available at Bed, Bath and Beyond and other stores.

Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmannood: Order through your local bookstore;

Price: About $40

Price: About $50 for crockpot

Available at: 6-qt Hamilton Beach Set ‘N Forget 33967:

Gift certificate for cooking class A wonderful gift for those who want to get more comfortable in the kitchen or improve their cooking skills. The rewards of baking and/or cooking are many: It’s fun, satisfying, frugal and promotes health. Available at: e Chat Gourmet: The Grain Market: Williams-Sonoma: Williams-Sonoma. com (click on “store locator” then “store events”) Local universities and community colleges

Price: Varies

WordLock Can’t remember the combination to your lock? It’s time to change that lock luck. With Wordlock, you can pick a four letter word that is a lot easier to remember than random numbers. Available at: Bed Bath and Beyond, Container Store, CVS, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Kmart, Lowes, Office Max, Sears, and Target, as well as online at and

Price: About $8.99 to $18.99

Tea Kettle and/or Teapot; Tea gifts A decorative teapot with a variety of specialty teas makes a beautiful gift. Hot or iced, many types of tea contain phytochemicals (plant chemicals) which act as antioxidants, protecting body cells from damage. In fact, green, white, black and oolong tea have more antioxidant activity than many fruits and vegetables. Preliminary research indicates that 4-6 cups of tea per day may reduce risk of certain cancers. Available at: Ladybug with Swirls Teapot: ($23) Le Creuset Small Teapot with Infuser: ($25) Le Creuset Stainless Steel Tea Kettle: ($70-$100) Stanley 1.0L ErgoServ Vacuum Insulated Teapot with Infuser: ($65) Tea gifts:;;

Price: About $23-$70 DECEMBER 2010 • Healthy & Fit




Holidays are for memories

There’s abundant food, focus on the moments and your health will thank you. by Leiah DeVito

So you never need to ask yourself...

“What am I doing out here?”

his is my favorite time of year—the air becomes crisp, snow starts to fall, and it is time to step away from the hectic day-to-day activities of life. With holiday music playing in the background, it will be time to decorate the house and prepare for loved ones to visit. I look forward to being able to spend quality time with family and friends who come from all over the country to spend time together. One thing I have noticed over the years is how much of a focal point food has become for these celebrations. So much time is spent on who is going to bring what dish and what type of pants to wear to accommodate the full stomach. Yet when you think back to family gatherings past, it is the memories of special moments that come to mind. For example, I will never forget the time my husband (boyfriend at the time) waited for me to open my gifts. As I opened my last one, he walked toward me with a perfectly wrapped little jewelry box and a proud smile on his face. We had been talking about engagement for a while but I was still surprised and my heart was pounding with anticipation as he came closer. I glanced over at my mother and shared a moment of pure joy, excited that she could be a part of such a special moment. As I looked back at him, I noticed his expression began to change as he realized that I already determined what was in the box. At that point he sheepishly muttered the now infamous words “it’s not a ring” as he handed me the gift. Turned out it was a beautiful set of earrings that he had been very proud of until a few seconds earlier.


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the holidays. That number is a little skewed, however, since overweight individuals gain approximately five pounds during that time frame. When you consider an average person gains one to two pounds per year, it is reasonable to surmise that the extra baggage accumulated over the holidays could be the pounds that stay with you for a lifetime. It is important to be aware of this because, if you know of the potential consequences ahead of time, you can plan accordingly.

Here are some “tricks” I use to help curb holiday over eating. 1. Do not starve yourself in anticipation of large meals. The hungrier you are when you begin to eat, the more likely you are to overeat Continue to eat on tyour regular schedule leading up to the meal. I will never forget that moment for the rest of my life, but I could not tell you what I ate that day nor how it tasted. Unfortunately, it may not be just the memories that stick with you forever. According to many studies the average American gains over one pound during

2. Chew your favorite gum. This can help satisfy the craving of your sweet tooth while keeping your mouth occupied. It is much more cumbersome to continually take out your gum each time you want to grab a snack.

as it sounds, drinking a glass of water will help fill your stomach which reduces your hunger and tendency to overeat. In fact, a study by Virginia Tech showed that overweight individuals who drank 18 ounces of water before each meal lost an average of 15.5 pounds over a three month period.

4. Location, location, location. Consider where you spend time standing or sitting as you are socializing. If snacks are within arm’s reach, it is very easy to unknowingly snack as you are chatting with family and friends. 5. Avoid foods high in sugar. The American Diabetic Association warns that when you consume sugary foods, there is a release of serotonin. This “feel good” chemical initially stimu- lates the body. However, the effect is just temporary and can lead to a roller coaster effect. You’ll feel good for just a short time, but then the feeling is reversed when your serotonin level subsides.

3. Drink a large glass of water. As simple

Continued on Page 28.


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DECEMBER 2010 • Healthy & Fit



Proof is in the pudding

A sugar-free bread pudding just in time for the holidays. by Alexandra Curtis


s author of the health food blog, Spoonful of Sugar Free, (spoonfulofsugarfree., and a regular contributor to Healthy & Fit Magazine’s Web site ( I am always looking for ways to transform ordinary dishes into healthy, sugar-free masterpieces. Being sensitive to sugar, all of my recipes are sugar free. This recipe came about when my family decided to start a gluten-free diet. One day, my little sister was craving French toast, so we tried using a rice cake in place of the bread. It tasted fantastic! Ever since then we experimented with rice cakes in multiple different ways, and found this “bread” pudding to be one of our favorite desserts. Bread Pudding is a great, traditional holiday treat. For those on gluten-free diets or calorie-restrictions, however, it could be a nightmare! This baked bread pudding uses rice cakes in place of the bread. No expensive gluten-free breads required! It is also an innovative way to transform the plain, boring rice cakes into something festive. For under 100 calories per serving, who wouldn’t love this dessert?

Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free “Bread” Pudding with Almond Cream Sauce Ingredients: 5 rice cakes 4 eggs 2 cups milk or milk substitute (like coconut, almond, or rice milk) 1 tablespoon vanilla 1 teaspoon grated orange peel 1 teaspoon cinnamon ½ cup dried fruit pieces (like raisins, dates, cherries, or a mix) 1 recipe of Almond Cream Sauce (Recipe on Page 29.) Preheat oven to 350°. In a bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, vanilla, orange peel, and cinnamon. Next, break the rice cakes into small pieces and place in a 2-quart square baking dish. Toss the rice cake pieces with the dried fruit, and pour the egg mixture over the top. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Serve warm, and if desired, drizzle the almond cream sauce on top before serving. Makes 8 servings.

Continued on Page 29.

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Make the sun shine in any weather


Here’s how to lighten up, even if you’re the serious sort. by Karen Giles-Smith


n Walt Disney’s Mary Poppins, laughing makes Uncle Albert feel so lighthearted that he floats up to the ceiling. Uncle Albert loves to laugh and his laughter is so infectious that Bert, the children and Mary Poppins join him in midair where they enjoy “high tea” together. There’s no doubt that laughter makes us—and those around us—feel better. And although the research about the health benefits of laughter isn’t conclusive, it does indicate that laughing, being with friends and family and having a positive outlook improves quality of life. “Life is tough,” says Maureen Burns, a professional speaker and writer from Greenville, Michigan, who shares her perspectives on humor and life balance with her audiences. “Humor is what God gave us to help us get through the hard times. It doesn’t make it all better but it’s like a spoonful of sugar making the medicine go down.” As a child, Burns experienced a difficult family life. When she left home, she decided she didn’t want to live like that anymore. She was determined to foster a happy household when she got married and had children. “I think the most important things to instill in children are faith, a sense of humor, and self-esteem. These three things can help kids get through anything in life.” Burns believes too many people are terminally serious or have “mental B.O.,” as she calls it. “In this day and age we are filled with purpose,” says Burns. “Educators are serious about educating. Businesses are serious about business. Health care is serious about health care, and on and on. As a society, we are all on missions. This is good, but it can and does lead to a lot of stress. When we have serious stress, we suffer. Work suffers. Families suffer. Marriages suffer. Health suffers.” A healthy dose of humor is called for. “People need to simply lighten up,” says Burns. “It’s a matter of perspective. Do you choose to laugh at life or focus on the negative? They are both decisions we make. Sometimes we need to mentally give ourselves permission to laugh—with others or while alone. It’s wonderful to DECEMBER 2010

know that something like silliness can be a balm and even a preventive measure. Silliness is a huge deterrent to stress and one of the main things we can do to ward off burnout. A pastor once said, ‘A perfect life is a blend of nonsense and purpose.’” Burns remembers a speaker who shared her favorite antic. While driving down the highway, the speaker wore a red, round Styrofoam nose. The best part was when a couple would drive by and only the man would see her wearing the clown nose. The man would tell his wife about it, but before the wife could look, the speaker would take off the nose.

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2) Remind yourself to lighten up. Post amusing sayings, cartoons or photos around your home and office (on the fridge, bulletin boards, etc.) 3) Sprinkle fun props throughout your environment. Have a clown nose handy to don during a downer moment or a magic wand to wave away frustrations. Let yourself go. 4) Play with children. Their fresh perspective is uplifting and often amusing.

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For all you winter athletes

How to prepare for the season and prevent injuries from occurring. by Natasha Roberson


asketball is underway. Many youth athletes have taken to the courts to improve their skills and keep their bodies healthy for the long winter

season. As a trainer and massage therapist, I believe it’s very important to train athletes properly for their respective sports. I’ve seen a lot of overuse injuries in my career that can be corrected with training. Sports massage, coupled with training, can, and will, help your young athlete excel. It’s been proven at the professional and collegiate level, so it makes sense to get your high school athlete into the gym and onto a massage table. Why? The benefits! Here’s what a sports massage does for your athlete: • Enhanced athletic performance • Fewer injuries • Restored flexibility and range of motion • Faster recovery from injury

• Removal of lactic acid buildup The ultimate goal is to increase muscular efficiency. This impacts one’s ability to move their skeletal system. The most common reason why athletes are getting injured is they are muscularly imbalanced. These imbalances result in athletic injuries, such as torn ACLs, muscle pulls, and, but not limited to, ankle sprains. These are all injuries that are preventable. These happen because athletes are losing their natural muscular efficiency, creating imbalance. The by-product of making sure your muscles have integrity and are in balance is an increase in speed, power, and mobility. But the number one thing athletes gain in maintaining muscular balance is durability. When an athlete’s joints and muscles are aligned properly, their muscular system enables them to perform at a very high level without risks of imbalance.

I would recommend a program that follows a progression of muscular activation, integration, and performance. Following successful completion of a series of this class, all limitations to your athletic potential will be shattered. You will be faster, quicker, more durable athlete. Your body will be challenged in ways that give it no choice but to become more powerful and efficient. Natasha Roberson is the owner of Back n’ Balance. Call 517-7088828 for an appointment or email for more information.





517.709.3071 22

Healthy & Fit •



When is exercise too much?

How you know you are working out too much. by Justin Grinnell here are few who take it too far. These are individuals who exercise too much. I don’t come across this very often, but there are times when serious overtraining can occur. In some circles it’s called exercise bulimia. I don’t totally agree with this definition, which is characterized by a compulsion to purge calories through excessive exercise. It is also known as compulsive exercise or exercise addiction. Most people exercise to be healthy and look great, but there also is extensive research that shows exercise can release a significant amount of endorphins that can cause the so called exercise high making people feel much better psychologically. Let’s take a look at some common side effects and warning signs for excessive overtraining.


• Missing work, parties, or other appointments in order to work out

• Working out with an injury or illness, and the doctor recommends you rest • Becoming injured or sick because of working out too much with not enough rest • Becoming unusually depressed if unable to exercise • Working out for many hours at a time each day, everyday • Not taking any rest or recovery days • Defining self worth in terms of performance • Excessive weight loss • Refusal to eat if unable to exercise • Excessive behavior is justified by defining self as a “special” elite athlete

a moderate to high intensity they should exercise no more than 90 minutes a day. If you are exercising for 60-90 minutes a day at a moderate to high intensity, five days a week should be plenty. There is a lot of research showing that overtraining for more than 90-120 minutes a day, six or seven days per week, can actually decrease progress in the form of fat loss, muscle and bone growth, decreased strength and endurance, and decreased overall physical performance. EDITOR’ S NOTE: For a longer version of this article, along with ideas on how you should work out, please visit

If you or someone you know has some of these symptoms, there is a possibility that you are exercising too much. Always consult with a doctor for a proper diagnosis. I feel that if someone is working out at

Justin Grinnell B.S., CSCS is is the co-owner of State of Fitness in East Lansing. You can reach him at 517.708.8828.

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Ever hear of muesli?

Make it yourself muesli: Save money and eat well! by Al LeBlanc


y all-time favorite breakfast is a big bowl of muesli cereal over fresh fruit of the season. This was an acquired taste. I didn’t even know what muesli was until I spent a week in Sweden followed by a week in Norway making presentations at research conferences. Muesli is a lot like granola, but it lacks the sweetener and fat content that is usually added to granola. It is a very popular staple of the Scandinavian breakfast buffet. Last summer we visited Iceland, and muesli was on every breakfast buffet. Pre-assembled and ready-to-eat muesli is not easy to find in the United States. Its ingredients are not overly expensive, but they cost more than the very basic stuff that goes into our most heavily advertised breakfast cereals. In real muesli, for example, you get entire hazelnut kernels, not a tiny little chip of a nut bundled together with a lot of brown sugar and pulverized corn flakes. Most of the ready-to-eat muesli I have found in our area is either an import from Europe or the product of small American specialty mills. In either case, it tends to be priced several times what you would pay for the same amount of a mass marketed cereal, and it is much more than you would pay to buy the ingredients and assemble it yourself.

any proportion and combination. Let your taste be your guide. Muesli purists will want to use nothing except whole grains, but you can get good tasting results using a processed bran-type cereal and rolled oats. The processed cereals are usually enriched with added vitamins and minerals, but unlike whole grains they also usually contain added sugar and salt, and you pay extra for the processing.

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With a little planning and effort, you can make real muesli at home. The process is fun, you save a pile of money, and the result is great eating that is also good for your health. The basis of real muesli is real whole grain, and my personal favorite is raw rolled oats, the main ingredient in cooked oatmeal. You get a stronger oat taste when you eat your oats raw, and I like that. Other real grains that can be used are rolled rye, barley, and spelt in


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To the basic grain, I like to add the crunch and flavor of raw hulled sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and sometimes soft wheat berries. Be sure to buy soft wheat berries. They are very crunchy when eaten raw, and I know my teeth would not want to tackle the hard ones! For even more crunch and flavor, I add nuts. Hazelnuts, also called filberts, are usually prominent in European muesli, but they are expensive and not easy to find in the United States. I put in a few for their distinctive flavor, then fill in with nuts that are going on sale at the time I buy. I have used pecans, almonds, walnuts, and even cashews with equally good results. Although muesli seldom contains added sugar, it has a mildly sweet taste, provided largely by dried fruit. Raisins are a staple, and I enjoyed a memorable muesli in Iceland that had generous amounts of dried pineapple. Dried dates are often used, but to give your muesli the flavor of Michigan, add dried cherries, cranberries, or blueberries. Sometimes I top my muesli with shredded dried coconut. This is not a traditional ingredient, but it tastes good and adds to the overall experience. I enjoy my muesli over fresh seasonal fruit and pour low fat milk over the finished


A sample Muesli recipe Start with a large bowl, for example a 20 ounce pasta bowl. Ingredients: 1 banana, sliced crosswise ½ cup rolled oats ½ cup rolled spelt 1 teaspoon raw hulled sunflower seed 1 teaspoon golden flax seed 1 tablespoon hazelnuts 2 tablespoons pecans, or walnuts, or almonds, or cashews 2 tablespoons dried fruit bits (raisins, dates, cherries, cranberries, etc.) 1 cup 2 percent milk (or whole, skim, or nonfat milk)

assembly. Assembling your own muesli will take more time, both in shopping and in fixing breakfast, than sliding a pop tart into your toaster. This time is well spent when you stop to consider the nutritional benefits of the dried fruit, seeds, and fiber that go into a good muesli. When you serve it over fresh fruit and add milk these benefits are further enhanced. And this breakfast will keep

you going until lunch time! Give muesli some thought and then give it a try. You may love it and it will be good for you. Al LeBlanc is a water-based personal trainer who works in the greater Lansing area. Contact him at (517) 285-2215 or 655-6454 or send e-mail to fitnessal@ • Healthy & Fit



Food “Claims to Fame”

Confused by health claims on food labels? An RD offers a reality check. by Gina Wirth

upermarket aisles are lined with variations of similar products, but what sets some apart are the health claims they advertise. The terms “low sugar,” “made with whole grains,” or “made with real fruit” can cause confusion. These claims beg the question: Are they true? Here are some common, yet misleading, food label claims.


Low sugar—The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has regulations that define the terms “sugar free” and “no added sugars,” however, there is no legal definition for “low sugar,” This phrase merely suggests a product contains a lesser amount of sugar, but what it’s being compared to may be unclear. Label check! Compare the sugar content of similar products to see the real difference. A good source of fiber—With research linking a high fiber intake to various

health benefits, many companies use this claim when adding fiber to items such as cereals, yogurts, and granola bars. However, the fiber known for lowering blood glucose or cholesterol are from natural sources, not the isolated fibers that are added (e.g. chicory root or polydextrose). Label check! One of the first ingredients should be a whole grain (e.g whole wheat flour, corn, oatmeal, bulgur, brown rice) Made with real fruit— The particular fruit and the amount of fruit in the product are not defined with this claim. In fact, the amount may be so small that the positive effects of fruit may be absent. Many of these products have more sugar than real fruit. Label check! The first ingredients should include a whole fruit, not a source of sugar (such as corn syrup, sugar, juice concentrate). Made with whole grains—Brown does not


necessarily mean healthy. Many products are made primarily with enriched flour, not whole grains, and are given a brown color to appear healthy. Label check! One of the first ingredients should be a whole grain (e.g. whole wheat flour, cracked wheat, oats, oatmeal). Zero trans fats—The FDA allows manufacturers to use the “No Trans Fats” claim if there is less than 0.5 grams (g) of trans fats in the product. A majority of the time, a product with this claim is high in saturated fat, but consumers are led to believe it is a healthier choice. Trans fat has been linked to raising bad cholesterol and lowering good cholesterol levels. Label check! Choose products without partially hydrogenated oils. Gina Wirth is a registered dietitian formerly of the Greater Lansing area, now living in Howell. She works at University of Michigan Hospital as a Food Service Manager.


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Healthy & Fit •



Take care now

Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish: It allows you to be your best—for yourself and others. by Karen Giles-Smith


hen saying goodbye to someone we care about, we may add: “Take care, now.” These three words convey a very powerful message. It doesn’t mean, “My wish is that you take care of others.” It means, “My wish is that you take care of yourself.” Consider this: If you don’t take care of yourself, who will? The person who knows you best is you, so you’re the only one who knows what you need and how to best meet your needs. Taking care of yourself, or self-care, is important to optimal wellness. Self-care is living in a way that cultivates personal health and life balance in order to maintain energy and grow as a person. Self-care includes nurturing your body, mind, spirit, relationships and environment. In the book, The Art of Extreme Self-Care: Transform Your Life One Month at a Time, Cheryl Richardson lays out the basic principles of self-care and devotes one chapter to each principle: • Discover areas of deprivation and decide how to meet the need, express the emotion or fill the void • Love yourself unconditionally, accept your imperfections and embrace your vulnerabilities • Learn to say no; Learn to manage the anxiety that arises when other people are disappointed, angry or hurt • Establish a balanced and healthy (daily/weekly) routine • Let go of control; Ask for help when you need it • Create an “absolute no” list of things you no longer want to do ( for example: rush, spend time with negative people, answer the phone during meals, participate in gossip, deal with difficult life situations alone, get caught up in others’ dramas, allow your mind to be on work when you’re not working) • Create a soul-nourishing environment at home and work • Protect your sensitivity ( for example: be present in the moment, turn down the noise, limit violent and sensationalistic media, put limits on toxic people, manage technology) DECEMBER 2010

• Take charge of your health • Speak the truth with love and grace • Incorporate interests and passions into your life You’ve probably heard the analogy that relates self-care to airplane emergency landing instructions: Place the oxygen mask over your own nose and mouth before you assist others. On a deep level, we know we need to take care of ourselves first so we have the energy to live a rich and fulfilling life. But how? The first step is to discover areas of deprivation in your life and decide how you want to fulfill your needs. Feeling deprived is one of the first warning signs of self-neglect and burnout. The challenge is to become conscious—more keenly aware—of how, when and where you feel deprived. Richardson suggests carrying a notebook for 30 days and jotting down “notes to self ” when feelings of deprivation strike. Notice the ways, big and small, that you deprive yourself of what you need. Every day for a month, whenever you feel overwhelmed, frustrated, burdened or resentful, stop and ask yourself these questions and answer them with specificity and detail: Where do I feel deprived? What do I need more of right now? What do I need less of ? What do I want right now? What am I yearning for? Who or what is causing me to feel resentful and why? What am I starving for? Rather than feel like a victim to something or someone outside of yourself, explains Richardson, when you realize that you are responsible for how you spend your time and energy, you can empower yourself to do something about it. After all, no one else says yes when you’d rather say no, overbooks your schedule, or makes the needs of others a priority, but you. To start with, focus on just one way that you deprive yourself. You certainly don’t want to feel overwhelmed about self-care! For example, if you are feeling deprived of sleep—your energy is low, your mind is foggy and your temper is short—make a plan that details exactly

how you will get to bed one hour earlier twice a week. Once this becomes a habit, choose another deprivation and make another plan. Take care!

Signs of Burnout Emotions such as anger, frustration, depression Impatience, feeling tired, fatigued Melancholy, Ambivalence Lack of interest, Short term memory loss Dreading an event, Anxiety or panic Self-medication, Nightmares Health issues, Difficulty making decisions Working at 120%, then dropping to nothing Not caring

Burnout Prevention Strategies Watch for signs: Know your particular signs of burnout and develop strategies for relief Have a support system: Engage friends, family and others to help you avoid or manage burnout Schedule time for yourself: Maintain a calendar that includes time and activities that recharge your battery Learn to say no: Practice responding to requests in a gracious yet firm manner, for example, “No, I’m not able to help this time but thank you for thinking of me.” Set boundaries: Teach people how you want to be treated and gently let people know when they’ve crossed the line Get into flow: Challenge and stretch yourself to learn and try new things—as long as it doesn’t generate stress Rejuvenate: Take breaks during the workday to take a walk, socialize, breathe Take time off: Take mini-vacations and longer vacations where you can totally unplug Get 15 minutes of sunshine every day Include things in your day that give you pleasure

Karen Giles-Smith, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian and freelance writer based in Mason, Michigan. Visit her Web site and blog at • Healthy & Fit


Fit Feature

Cover Model

N i col e M cL e o d by Courtney Siekirk Nicole McLeod, 21, of Charlotte, vowed to make healthy living a priority when she realized she was headed in the wrong direction. “I was pretty unhealthy when I graduated from high school,” she said. “When I stopped playing tennis and softball, I found that I didn’t have much energy.” McLeod realized the importance of incorporating health and fitness into her everyday life and continues to practice healthy habits today. “I stay healthy by cooking nutritious meals, walking every day and staying away from alcohol. I try to walk everywhere I need to go in the summer and don’t drive unless I absolutely have to.” An aspiring cook, McLeod enjoys cooking for others, especially healthy meals. She uses cooking magazines to find substitutions to turn unhealthy choices into nutritious options. Her favorite foods to cook—and eat—include Italian pastas, salads and her ultimate favorite, turkey meatloaf. McLeod is studying psychology at Lansing Community College and plans to attend Secchia Institute for Culinary Education in Grand Rapids next year. “Sometimes greasy food gets the best of me, but I continue to strive to make healthy foods that still taste good.” McLeod also takes vitamins and whey protein to provide her body with the extra nutrients it needs to stay healthy. “Incorporating healthy eating and exercise into my life gives me more energy and makes me feel a lot better about myself,” she said. “I am determined to take care of my body now, so I will live a long and happy life.”

Holiday Continued from Page 19. 6. Plan ahead. Prepare your favorite healthy meal to pass so you can be assured you have at least one healthy alternative. If you can ease your hunger with healthy calories, there will be less room and desire for unhealthy calories. Life simply goes by way too fast. Each year seems to go by faster than the previous. As the old saying goes, life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish, but you only spend it once. I hope all of you have the opportunity to spend memorable time with your loved ones and have a safe holiday season. On the right you will find one of my favorite simple holiday recipes to help with your healthy eating goals.

Healthy Peanut Butter Balls Ingredients: ¾ cup oatmeal ¾ cup oat bran 1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour 1 cup ground flax seeds 1 cup honey 1 cup dry milk 1 ½ cups organic peanut butter Splash skim milk

Leiah De Vito is the owner and operator of La Pura Vida Foods, LLC. Her company strives to help individuals integrate healthy eating habits by making it easy and delicious. Leiah holds a BS degree from MSU in Kinesiology, with a cognate in Health Promotion and Food Science as well as a BS in Political Science and Philosophy from Hope College. She is also a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. 28

Healthy & Fit •

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients. Splash milk until desired consistency. Roll into 1 inch balls and store in airtight container in refrigerator.


Recipe Continued from Page 20. Nutrition Facts (per serving): 98 calories, 3.5g fat, 12.5g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 4g protein More Ideas: Try substituting some juice or juice concentrate for some of the milk. This will give the pudding more of a fruit flavor, and add a bit of sweetness. Also, try adding in some chopped nuts before baking. For those who wish to sweeten the dessert a bit more, try mixing a small drizzle of honey or a few drops of liquid stevia to the egg mixture before baking.

Almond Cream Sauce This optional cream sauce compliments the bread pudding’s flavor. The almond extract gives the sauce an excellent taste, and the yogurt gives it great nutritional value. Ingredients: 1 cup plain yogurt ¼ cup milk or milk substitute ¼-½ teaspoon almond extract Whisk ingredients in a saucepan until well combined. Heat over medium heat until warm.

Fit Features J ohn Fa rqu h a r The Farquhars made this year’s Chicago Marathon a family affair. John Farquhar, 54, of Delta Township, his wife Cheryl, 54, and two of his three daughters met in Chicago, had a spaghetti dinner together, and then on October 10, ran through the streets of Chicago in 90 degree weather. The entire family would have run the marathon together, but their youngest daughter wasn’t able to join them because she was running for Northern Michigan University. “It was a unique experience because we were in it together,” says John. “I’ve been running since my late 20s and my oldest and youngest daughters are runners, but my wife and middle daughter had never run a marathon before. My wife is a cyclist and has done the DALMAC bike trip, then got into running through the GLIMMER Girls, a group of women with children who ran cross-country for Grand Ledge High School (GLIMMER stands for Grand Ledge Insane Menopausal Mothers Eager to Run). My wife decided that if others were able to train for marathons and run them, she could too. My middle daughter was a soccer player in high school. Initially she was going to join us in Chicago to cheer us on, but then she decided to run with us.” The family began training in June, using Hal Higdon’s marathon training program. Three of them often trained together, starting from the house at the same time, but returning at different times due to their separate paces and goals. “We all enjoyed running the marathon,” says John. “We’re all very proud that we did it. Anybody can do it if their heart and mind are in it. It’s all about setting a goal.” DECEMBER 2010

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Rockin’ New Year’s Eve without guilt Some healthy common sense for 2011. by Lisa Marie Metzler


estivities abound on this party-to-end-all-parties night. The stress of the holidays can be laid to rest and you don’t have to start your diet till Monday so why not live it up and party like a rock star on the last day of the year? Because Monday, January 3, 2011 will get off to a rocky start when you’re nursing a hangover and bloated gut from the New Year’s party and college football palooza celebrations that follow.The good news is you don’t have to be a party pooper on New Year’s, just party smarter.

Margaritaville to liver town Although it may feel like it, drinking doesn’t go straight to your head or make immediate exits from other parts of the body. Booze can take quite a few passes around the body before it is eliminated. If you eat before you drink (smart move), the food will sit in your stomach for awhile and delay the alcohol from moving through your system. Drinking on an empty stomach (dumb move) and drinking too much, too fast (more than one drink an hour) yields results you’ll likely regret later (embarrassing Facebook pics). With no food in the tummy the booze is dropped off quickly into the upper intestine, bloodstream and liver. While the enzymes, otherwise known as alcohol dehydrogenase begin to break down the ethanol. Ethanol is the stuff that causes you to feel drunk. If you go overboard the liver slows down the filtering process. If it doesn’t settle here it reenters the bloodstream again and makes a quick trip to your brain. This is where things get interesting. The ethanol inhibits the receptor proteins from binding with the data-carrying molecules. Since the neurons aren’t communicating well you’ll notice slurred speech, lapse in memory, judgment and more. A healthy liver can process and eliminate about one drink per hour. That’s basically a 12 oz. beer, 5 oz glass of wine or 1 1/ oz. of the hard stuff.

Listen to the coach Knute Rockne, famed Notre Dame football coach probably said it best, “Drink the first. Sip the second slowly. Skip the third.” So, we know that we should eat before we tip one back but are we supposed to hit the drive-thru 30

before the party or go with a healthier version to combat the liquor? While all foods will help slow down the absorption of alcohol, protein and fat (cheese and unsalted peanuts for example) will take longer to digest than carbs. Before you toast to the new year, drink a full glass of water and nibble on some hors d’oeuvres. A few prosciuttowrapped shrimp and water will slow the absorption and help prevent dehydration, thus giving you a clearer head to make a coherent toast instead of a Charlie Sheen tirade. Be proactive and set a limit for yourself. You probably already know what your limitations are. Women, no matter the size, have less water in their body then men, so one drink will spike their blood alcohol more then their date. If you’re over 50 years old (male or female), you may experience worse hangovers because over the years, your body loses water content and your liver shrinks, which slows alcohol elimination. If you do indulge too much and end up with a hangover, drink plenty of fluids, take a nap, pop some aspirin or ibuprofen and hope your escapades didn’t make it to Facebook.

Leave the running of the bulls to the pros Mixing booze with caffeine-laden energy

Healthy & Fit •

drinks is a bad idea. The combo tricks people into thinking they’re not drunk because they feel much less sleepy. Wide awake drunk isn’t pretty or safe. Studies showed that when this combo was the drink of choice most bar patrons felt like they could still drive because they were alert. If you must combine the bull and the booze, drink just one and chase it with food and water.

Healthier cocktails Believe it or not there are hundreds of cocktail recipes that are healthier than your standard party fare. Here are some basic suggestions: Add more ice into the glass. Hydration can reduce headaches from alcohol. Add antioxidants to your mix. Use fresh fruit, fruit juice or veggie juice. Pomegranate, cranberry, and blueberries are all great additions to the trendy martini’s. Use regular soda instead of diet. The diet versions make a quicker exit from the stomach and enter your system sooner. Visit for recipes. Click on drinks/cocktails tab. Have a safe and happy holiday season! Lisa Marie Metzler is a personal trainer and freelance writer. DECEMBER 2010

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Healthy & Fit Magazine  

This is the December 2010 issue of Healthy & Fit Magazine.

Healthy & Fit Magazine  

This is the December 2010 issue of Healthy & Fit Magazine.