Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tips for Staying Healthy on an Airplane

I'm on a flight right now back to Austin from Los Angeles. All around me I can hear sneezing, sniffling, coughing and wheezing. Flu season is upon and it seems like everybody I know has been sick lately.

After spending a week in bed with a virus a few weeks ago, I was determined not to get sick on this trip. Unfortauntely, airplanes are full of germs wafting throughout the cabin and they're hard to escape. Here are some of my tips for fighting infections while in the air:

1. Drink water. Staying hydrating is probably the most important thing you can do when traveling by airplane or any other means of transportation. When your body gets dehydrated its ability to fight disease weakens, increasing your chances of getting sick. so drink up before, during and after your flight.

2. Avoid alcohol. Many people knock back a few drinks during a flight due to fear of flying or simply boredom. It's best to avoid alcohol while traveling because it dehydrates the body. Plus, it interupts your sleep cycle, which is vital for good health.

3. Board the plane last. The less time you're on the airplane, the less time you spend in the germ-infested vessel.

4. Bring antibacterial wipes. wipe down the armsrests and tray table immediately to avoid contact with any germs. Also, wipe down any areas in the bathroom before you touch them.

5. Take vitamins before your trip. In the days leading up to a flight be sure to take a multivitamin as well as an extra dose of vitamin C to fight infections.

Safe travels!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

New Heart Health Guidelines for Women

This is a great article!
the past, women have used heart-health guidelines that were developed based on research on men.

The American Heart Association is out with a new set of guidelines aimed at preventing heart disease in women. Although, heart disease is thought to mainly affect men, it is actually an equal opportunity killer. These are the first heart-health tips tailored specifically for women.

Heart disease is the biggest killer of both men and women worldwide, and is projected to stay that way for decades, according to the World Health Organization.

Dr. Lori Mosca, who headed the group which wrote the guidelines, says "heart disease is largely preventable," and there are ways women can reduce their risk. "In fact, control of major risk factors has been shown to cut the rate of dying of heart disease in half in the past two decades."

The guidelines, which were first introduced a decade ago, are actually designed to help doctors counsel their patients, but this year for the first time, the revised guidelines are also being published in a more user-friendly form, written for non-physicians.

The guidelines promote reducing the risk of heart disease by stopping smoking, being physically active, and eating fruits and vegetables, among other lifestyle choices. Other guidelines deal with aspirin and cholesterol-lowering drugs and when those drugs are most effective.

In some cases the latest guidelines lower the threshold at which women would be considered at high risk, "because many of the current strategies and tools that we have to define high risk in women have been shown to actually underestimate the level of risk that a woman has," Mosca says.

Although the guidelines are issued by the American Heart Association, Mosca says they apply to women everywhere.

"The scientific base to develop the guidelines has been drawn from across the world, so we're quite confident that the guidelines themselves apply to women regardless of the country they live in."

That said, the experts who developed the guidelines acknowledge they may need to be adapted to reflect regional or local resources and lifestyles.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Sauteed Tilpaia with Lemon-Caper Pan Sauce

I modified this recipe from Cooking Light and it really couldn't be easier for a weeknight meal.

3/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons drained capers
1 teaspoon soft margarine
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 (6-ounce) tilapia or sole fillets
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons butter
Lemon wedges (optional)

Combine first 3 ingredients.

Melt 1 teaspoon of margarine with oil in a large nonstick skillet over low heat.

While butter melts, sprinkle fish fillets with salt and black pepper. Place the flour in a shallow dish. Dredge fillets in flour; shake off excess flour.

Increase heat to medium-high; heat 2 minutes or until margarine turns golden brown. Add fillets to pan; sauté 3 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Remove fillets from pan. Add broth mixture to pan, scraping to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil; cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 3 minutes). Remove from heat. Stir in two teaspoons of soft margarine with a whisk. Serve sauce over fillets. Garnish with lemon wedges, if desired.

Nutritional Information
Calories:282 (26% from fat)
Fat:8.3g (sat 3.2g,mono 2g,poly 2.1g)

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

2011 Red Dress Award Winners, Raising Awareness of Heart Disease

This article is courtesy of Women's Day

2011 Red Dress Award Winners

Meet the newest recipients of WD’s heart disease-awareness honor:

Hoda Kotb
For the past three years, Kotb has been an ardent AHA supporter. In addition to hosting the Go Red For Women special on NBC, she served as a guest speaker at several Go Red events and has advocated for women’s heart health in her role as coanchor of the fourth hour of the TODAY show.

My wakeup call was... When my dad died of a heart attack at age 53. I don’t live in fear, but it made me more mindful of my own health habits.
My motto is... You have to be selfish in order to be selfless. I exercise every single day. It’s easy to say, “How can I spend one hour on me when other people need me?” But it’s the only way you’ll be around to continue helping other people for a long time to come.

Barbara Walters
One of the best-known names in journalism, ABC News correspondent and The View co-executive producer and cohost Barbara Walters was diagnosed with a faulty valve in her heart in 2009. After undergoing openheart surgery, she decided to share what she learned through an hour-long television special. (It aired on February 4 and featured prominent heart disease survivors such as Bill Clinton and David Letterman.)

I want to urge women to...Talk to their doctors about their heart health, and make sure that they’re thoroughly screened. Most women have mammograms, but not EKGs. That has to change.

Since my surgery... My diet and exercise habits are basically the same— I was doing pretty well before—but my outlook has changed. I used to do a lot of things I didn’t want to do because I thought I should. Now I only do the things that give me pleasure.

Rita Redberg, MD
Dr. Redberg, the director of Women’s Cardiovascular Services at UCSF Medical Center, has spent her career educating patients—and doctors—about heart disease in women. She has spearheaded physician education programs for the American College of Cardiology and the AHA, and is currently the editor of the medical journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

My proudest heart-health moment was... When I helped a patient go off statin medication. Another doctor had put her on it, and she was suffering from side effects like memory loss, fatigue and muscle weakness. She was miserable. I took a detailed history and figured out that her chance of developing heart disease was actually very low, since she didn’t have any risk factors besides high cholesterol. Sometimes medication is necessary, but in her case it wasn’t. I told her she could stop taking the drugs as long as she followed a heart-healthy diet, got regular exercise and didn’t take up smoking. She was so happy— she told me that I had given her her life back!

The good news about heart disease is... Small steps really do have a big impact. Walking just 10 minutes a day or losing 5 pounds can drastically reduce your risk. Photo: courtesy of Rita Redberg, MD

Delores Covington
As a National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Heart Truth Champion, Covington was trained to speak out about women’s heart health to organizations in her community. She went above and beyond this by playing a key role in research on heart disease in African-American women. As president of the Sacramento, California, chapter of The Links, a nonprofit community service organization, she volunteered to collaborate with experts at the University of California, Davis to recruit women for their research. Their goal was to find out whether reaching out to women in churches and community centers would improve their heart disease risk factors. (It did.)

I was surprised to learn... That although chest pain can be a heart attack symptom in women, so can nausea, indigestion and fatigue. It was also surprising that heart disease kills more women than cancer every year, and that it’s the number-one killer of African-American women—facts I didn’t know prior to my work in this area.

What I want women to know about heart disease… It’s usually preventable. You don’t have to die from it. Photo: courtesy of Delores Covington