December–Healthy Holiday Eating Tips


Just a few tips to make your holiday food choices a little healthier!

Picking a baked treat

  • A homemade chocolate chip, sugar or peanut butter cookie will cost you about 70 calories; that’s about 300 calories less than your typical slice of fruit cake.
  • Pick sugar cookies with sprinkles (148 calories for two) over sugar cookies with frosting (322 calories for two).

Picking your chocolate fix

Have three chocolate dipped strawberries (135 calories), six dark Hershey’s Kisses (150 calories) or three small peppermint patties (159 calories).

Picking a finger food

  • Shrimp cocktail (145 calories for 10 large shrimp with sauce) is always a safe bet.
  • Choose steamed dumplings (about 130 calories for three) over fried dumplings or fried spring rolls (about 480 calories for three).
  • Mini crab cakes (150 calories for four) are a smarter pick than the same serving of chicken nuggets (220 calories) or pigs in a blanket (270 calories). Dip them in cocktail sauce, not tarter, and save 65 calories per tablespoon.

Choosing meat

  • Any type of turkey is best. While skinless white meat is the healthiest choice (193 calories per 5-oz. serving), even dark meat with the skin has a reasonable 260 calories. The same portion of honey-baked ham has about 340 calories. And the prime rib? It has about 400 calories and five times the fat that’s in skinless turkey breast.
  • Eat your meat with gravy (80 calories per half cup) instead of cranberry sauce (180 calories per half cup.)




Choosing dessert

When it comes to pies, pumpkin (270 calories per slice) wins, but even apple pie (350 calories) looks like a bargain compared with the dietary disaster that is pecan pie (700 calories). Add 270 calories if you have your pie a la mode.

Choosing sides

Have the mashed potatoes (240 to 300 calories per cup, depending on how much butter, milk, or cream is used) instead of the candied sweet potatoes (up to 500 calories per cup), which have butter plus lots of sweet stuff-brown sugar and sometimes even marmalade, honey, maple syrup, marshmallows or pecans

I want a sandwich or a burger!

Opt for lettuce, tomato and onion on your sandwich or burger instead of cheese. Taking of just one slice can save you somewhere between 50 and 85 calories.

Smart meals at McDonald’s

Regular hamburger or any snack wrap with grilled chicken, paired with a side salad and low fat balsamic vinaigrette (310-330 calories).

Smart meals at Chick-Fil-A

Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich with honey mustard or barbecue dipping sauce and a side with light Italian (390 calories); Chargrilled Chicken Salad with Fat-free honey mustard dressing and Chicken Soup (380 calories).

Smart meals at Arby’s

Regular Roast Beef Sandwich (320 calories) or Martha’s Vineyard salad with Light Buttermilk Ranch (389 calories).

Picking a drink

Best nonalcoholic option: Apple cider (120 calories per 8-oz. glass) saves you a few calories over cranberry juice (137 calories).

Best everyday drink: At about 100 calories per 12-oz. bottle of light beer or 4-oz. glass of wine, take your pick. Just know that today’s wineglasses can hold twice that much, leading you to down more calories without realizing it.

Best special occasion cocktail: A glass of champagne (85 calories per 4-oz.) trumps just about everything else.

Best toddy: Have hot buttered rum (220 calories per 80oz. glass). It’s better than eggnog with brandy, which can pack up to 460 calories.

Best mixers: Have our vodka or rum (96 calories per 1.5 oz. serving) with diet soda, or sweeten seltzer with a slice of lemon or lime-both are practically no-cal. And stay away from sour mix: It packs 27 calories an ounce-that’s more than twice as much as soda!

November Health Topic



November is a month that holds special meaning for most of us. For people with diabetes, November was chosen as National Diabetes Month to focus attention on the many people who are impacted by the disease, both people living with diabetes and their friends and family members.


Nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes.* 

• Another 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.*


November is also a month for celebrating Thanksgiving and the beginning of the holiday season. Managing special occasions can be a challenge not only for those with diabetes but for anyone who is trying to follow a healthy diet.

Following are Seven Holiday Tips recommended by the American Diabetes Association:
1. Focus on friends and family instead of food.* Plan to enjoy some time and catch up with your loved ones. Be creative: listen to music together or enjoy the beautiful outside weather.

2. It’s a party, but don’t overdo it. * Use a small plate and fill up first with vegetables and salads before eating entrees and desserts. If you are the host, prepare only 2 starchy dishes and
make more vegetable sides to add color and variety.  Lighten up your traditional recipes by finding lower fat versions and Enjoy your dessert at least 2 hours after your meal. If you have a choice between a pecan pie (about 450 calories, 60 g carbs) or a pumpkin pie (about 260 calories, 35 g carbs), go for the pumpkin. If baking, use a sugar substitute and cut the desserts into very small slices.

3. Eat before you eat. * Don’t skip breakfast or other meals during the day to save carbs or calories for the big holiday celebration later on. Skipping meals usually causes overeating.

4. Bring what you like. * Offer to bring a “light” dish: raw vegetable plate, popcorn, low-fat cheese, pretzels.

5. Drink in moderation.* Drink water, club soda, or low-calorie beverages.  If you drink alcohol, limit to no more than 2 drinks for men and 1 drink for women. Remember to eat something before drinking to prevent low blood glucose later.

6. Stay active.* Take a walk before dinner. Plan a game of football with your family after the Thanksgiving feast. Offer to help clean up after the meal instead of sitting on the sofa.

7. Get back on track if you over-indulge.* If you find that you have eaten more than you planned, do not feel that you have failed. Spend the rest of your time focusing on family and friends. Get back on track the next day; choose some extra exercise and resume your usual eating habits. Most of all, ENJOY THE HOLIDAYS!!!!!

*American Diabetes Association,

October Health Topic

Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2013

October 2013



The First Event

In 1985, the first Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) was observed in the United States. In the US  this event is referred to as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM).

Initially, the aim of this event was to increase the early detection of breast cancer by encouraging women to have mammograms. As many women know, a mammogram is an x-ray of the breast used to detect abnormalities in breast tissue. Early detection means that cancer can be more effectively treated and prevented from spreading to other areas of the body.

The Rise In Popularity

The US National Breast Cancer Awareness Month Website went online in 1998, and lists the organizations which are on the board of sponsors for this event. Over the years, the focus of this event has widened. A number of organizations based in the US and in other countries now support this international health awareness event.

Given the large number of organizations involved, and the huge sums of money raised, breast cancer awareness has grown into an industry in its own right; this campaign can almost be described as a year long event.

Today, Breast Cancer Awareness Month is as much about raising funds for breast cancer research and support, as it is about raising awareness.

The Color Pink & The Pink Ribbon


With the founding of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation in 1993, the pink ribbon, which had previously been used to symbolize breast cancer, was chosen as the symbol for breast cancer awareness.

The color pink itself, at times, has been used to striking effect in raising breast cancer awareness. Many famous buildings and landmarks across the globe have been illuminated in pink light during this event; Sydney’s Harbour Bridge, Japan’s Tokyo Tower and Canada’s Niagara Falls to name a few.

Due to the success of this awareness event, for many people, the color pink and breast cancer awareness ribbons are now associated with breast cancer awareness

For more information visit:

September Health Topic of the Month

September 2013  Health Topic of the Month

September is National Cholesterol Awareness Month.


High blood cholesterol is one of the major risk factor for heart disease. In fact, the higher your blood cholesterol, the greater your risk of developing  heart disease or having a heart attack. Heart disease is the #1 killer of men and women in the Unites states.

When there is too much cholesterol (a fat-like substance) in your blood, it builds up in the walls of your arteries. Over time, the arteries become narrowed and blood flow to the heart becomes slowed down or blocked. This may cause chest pain or even a heart attack.

High blood cholesterol itself does not cause symptoms; therefore many people are unaware that their cholesterol is too high. It is important to find out your cholesterol numbers.


How do you do that?

Getting a blood test called a fasting lipoprotein profile will give information about your:

Total cholesterol–     it is desirable to have a measurement of less than 200 mg/dL

Low –density-lipoprotein (LDL or BAD) cholesterol–           the main source of cholesterol buildup and blockage in the arteries. It is optimal to have an LDL level lower than 100 mg/dL

High-density lipoprotein (HDL or GOOD) cholesterol–         helps keep cholesterol from building up in the arteries. An HDL of >60 mg/dL will help lower your risk for heart disease

Triglycerides–  another form of fat in your blood.  Levels that are borderline high ( 150-199 mg/dL) or high (>200mg/dL) may need treatment in some people.

What can I do to about my Cholesterol level?

A variety of things can affect cholesterol levels. These are things that you can do something about:

•DIET-   saturated fat and cholesterol in food may increase your cholesterol level

  • WEIGHT-   being overweight tends to increase your cholesterol level

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY-   being inactive is a risk factor for heart disease. Regular physical activity can help lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol

Things you cannot do anything about can also affect your cholesterol levels. They include:

*Age and Gender–   as people get older, their cholesterol levels rise

*Heredity–    High cholesterol can run in families.

How is High Cholesterol Treated?

The main goal of cholesterol-lowering treatment is to lower your LDL level enough to reduce your risk of developing heart disease or having a heart attack. Four risk categories will affect the type of treatment that is right for you. Talk with your doctor to learn your risk category and recommended treatment.

There are two main ways to lower your cholesterol:

□ Therapeutic lifestyle changes (TLC)- includes a cholesterol lowering diet, physical activity, and weight management. TLC is for anyone whose LDL is above goal.

□ Drug Therapy- if cholesterol-lowering drugs are needed, they are used with TLC treatment to help lower LDL

To reduce your risk for heart disease or keep it low, it is very important to control any other risk factors you may have, such as high blood pressure and smoking.

For more information, visit the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute @