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December 24, 1998     Cape Gazette
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December 24, 1998

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HEALTH & FITNESS AHA offers tips for surviving the holiday season from the American Heart Association (AHA) that can help: Celebrate A healthy diet is one that is bursting with fruits and vegeta- bles - the AHA recommends at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Brightly colored seasonal fruits and vegetables make it easy to get those servings in each day. Mixing the red apples, squash oranges, spinach greens and cab- bage purples of the season's veg- etables can offer a wide range of healthy and colorful choices at traditional holiday meals. Those who are hosting a meal may want to consider creating an edible centerpiece out of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, apples and other seasonal fruits that are in the peak of their season. Creating the Angle Moon photo A holiday table groaning with food doesn't have to leave diners groaning with remorse. With a lit- tle planning, the holiday season can be a delicious and healthy time for family and fun. For those who are at risk for heart disease or who have heart disease, following a little good sense during this season can reap benefits all year long. The following are some tips lntervet Inc. provides play therapy supplies for counselors Intervet Inc., the company that provides products for poultry and companion animals, presented an $800 value gift to Delaware Guidance Services for Children and Youth Inc. in Lewes. Unbeknown to Delaware Guidance, Intervet employees collected donations and held a bake sale on Make-A-Difference Day in October. Friday, Dec. 18, representatives provided gift certificates that will pay for the play therapy products that counselors will use to help children and their families. Shown in back, sitting on beanbag chairs donated by Intervet, are (I-r) Howard Sims, Delaware Guidance director of day treatment; Sheila Johnson, Intervet; Dawn Jacobs, Delaware Guidance clinical day coordinator; Beth Redden, Intervet; and Tom Williams, social services assistant. In front are Michael Barnes, Intervet, and Bruce Kelsey, Delaware Guidance executive director. centerpiece could be a family activity. Winter squash, which is rich in naturally occurring beta-carotene, is also in abundance now. Winter squashes include pumpkin, acorn, turban and butternut. An easy way to prepare squash is to cut it in half and place it face up in a bak- ing dish with orange juice concen- trate in the center. Bake at 350 F until tender. Dark green, leafy vegetables, such as kale and spinach, make great additions to holiday meals. They are colorful, tasty and high in fiber, which allows diners to feel full on less food. Enjoy The AHA stresses the impor- tance of enjoying healthy food as one of the most effective ways to take care of one's health. Because tastes vary so widely, the AHA issues guidelines that help people find a healthy diet that appeals to their unique taste, rather than offer a rigid diet. Healthy eating should never consist of a list of "no-nos." Depriving yourself of favorite holiday treats will only set the stage for dissatisfaction for "so- called" healthy eating. Indulge mindfully; roast turkey and roast chicken are natu- rally low in fat and calories. Holiday fare - like ham, duck or latkes (potato pancakes, a tradi- tional Hanukkah dish) - have a lot of fat in them. To enjoy tradition- al favorites that are higher in fat, consider eating a smaller amount. Practice moderation by paying attention to the amount of food that is put on the plate. It. is important to remember that the type of fat is as important as the amount of fat consumed. Saturated fat - mostly derived from animal products - should be limited to no more than 10-per- cent of total calories daily. Wait 15 to 20 minutes after a meal to request seconds or dessert. By delaying dessert, often appetites for sweets lessen. It may be possible to find satis- faction with a half of slice of pie or cake. Or consider eating only the pie filling, since crusts are often made with high amounts of saturated fat. Hosts may consider washing one load of dishes before dessert to give food time to digest. Substitute In cooking, vegetable oils like canola, corn, soybean or olive make a good substitute for butter or hard margarine in recipes. Look for recipes that call for liquid oil rather than butter or hard margarine. Try to replace whole sour cream with reducedfat sour cream or low-fat yogurt. Substitute 1 per- cent or skim milk for whole milk or cream. If someone is a sports fan, consider a healthy alternative to salty, high-fat snacks. Slice pota- toes very thinly - both sweet and white work -'and place them on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Cooking spray works well for this recipe. Bake them at 350 F until crisp for healthy baked potato chips. Move Consider taking a walk at half- time or before dessert. Walking, which could be a group or solo activity, will help energize you after a big meal and might burn off some of those extra calories. Most people burn about 300 Continued on page 32 Relationships contribute to overall good health A recent book by Dr. Dean Omish, "Love and Survival: The Scientific Basis for the Healing Power of Intimacy," dramatically describes the value to our physical health of being connected to other people. He is the creator of a revolu- tionary program that has shown that diet and exercise can reverse heart disease without drugs and surgery. In the book, Omish says that love and intimacy are as important in maintaining healthy lives as are nutrition and working out. The book jacket proclaims, "If a new drug had the same impact, virtually every doctor in the coun- try would be recommending it to their patients." He describes a series of research studies that have shown persuasively that people in inti- mate relationships live longer and happier lives than those who are not in intimate relationships. For example, it is well known that people in marriages or other committed relationships live longer than people who are single. In one classic study, 95 percent of people who described their par- ents as uncaring had diseases by midlife, while only 29 percent of those who said their parents were caring had midlife diseases. Ornish feels that having sup- portive and close relationships with parents in our childhoods leads to healthier relationships in general when .we grow up, and it is these healthier relationships that lower the prevalence of heart dis- ease and cancer in midlife. In other words, one can com- pensate for a deprived childhood by learning later in life how to sustain supportive relationships. Another series of studies found that people who are socially iso- lated are two to five times more likely to die prematurely than those who have a sense of connec- tion and community. A study at the University of Texas looked at patients who had undergone open heart surgery. Those who had neither ongoing group participation nor were able to derive strength from their reli- gion were more than seven times more likely to have died six months after Women with metastatic breast cancer were assigned to support groups that met once a year. The women in the support groups lived twice as long as those who were not in the groups. One study has even found that people with fewer relationships of any kind - friends, partners, fami- ly, work, social groups, religious affiliations - were four times as likely to develop a common cold as those who had more relation- ships. Interestingly, it has also been found that people with pets are healthier than people without them, and have to make fewer vis- its to doctors. HEALTH TOPICS Joel Vanini, L.C.S.W. Joel Vanini has a private practice in Georgetown. She is available at Bridge Counseling Center, 856-9190, or by e-maiL" \.