Serving the Community Since 1956

Serving the Community Since 1956

Friday, January 30, 2015

So Many Diet Choices...Which is the Right One?

There are SO many diet plans out there. Everyone has probably tried one or two (or more!) How do you know what is right for you? MMHD's Registered Dietician Lani Martin says that the way you eat is dependent on the individual. She also notes that "diets" can actually lead to weight gain. "You lose on a diet and then go off of the plan and gain weight back - maybe even more than you lost. Over time this can result in an increase in your weight."

Martin advocates a healthy, balanced nutrition plan without deprivation and calorie intake based on the individual.  Several factors play a role, including current weight, health condition, activity level, etc.

So what about some of the plans out there? Here's' the scoop on a few of them...

Weight Watchers
This is probably one of the most well known plans. The "rules" have changed over the years, but basically you can eat what you want.  However, making good food choices allows you to eat more.  The point system keeps track of your food based on calories, fat, fiber. It is effective because you don't "have" to give up foods. You simply learn to manage your food better. Weight loss happens at 1-2 pounds per week.  Studies show that this rate of loss can lead to long term success.

5-2 Diet
This diet is a fasting plan that limits calorie intake for 2 days and normal eating for 5 days. On two non-consecutive days you eat an extremely low calorie (500-600 calories), but highly nutritional menu. The other five days you eat as you normally do.  

Although it allows for five normal days, it is recommended to eat less fatty and processed food and making good food choices. Regular exercise, plenty of water and rest are also encouraged.

Zone Diet
On the Zone Diet you can expect to lose 1 to 1.5 pounds per week. Advocates say you will be losing all fat, not muscle or water. You get 3 meals and 2 snacks per day.  Each meal is a mix of lean protein, good carbs and a small amount of healthy fats.  No food is completely banned, but it encourages less carbs. There are foods on the unfavorable list, like fruits and vegies that are high in sugar.

A plate would include a palm-sized portion of protein, 2/3 of the plate filled with non-starchy vegetables and a dash of monounsaturated fats. Calorie levels are set at 1200 for women and 1500 for men.

Meal Replacements and Shakes (Shakeology, etc.)
Meal replacement shakes are a great option for some. One of the most popular is Shakeology which is manufactured by Beach Body Fitness. These healthy shakes have a low glycemic number and the ingredients include various fruits and vegetables. They include 70 healthy ingredients which are said to help your body eliminate toxins. The product contains 23 vitamins, minerals, digestive enzymes, proteins and essential amino acids.

The Shakeology plan includes a diet and exercise plan, helps keep you full and helps with weight loss.  It is recommended to use the shake for one meal replacement per day.

It is slightly expensive  and some may have trouble replacing a meal with a shake.  It is also important to eat properly  for the other meals and snacks.

There a many, many more diet plans, but Martin recommends healthy and sensible. Many people need to eat specifically for health issues.  Additionally, there are many diagnoses that can be aided by a change in your nutritional plan.  Martin is available at MMHD for dietary and nutrition consultations on an outpatient basis (with physician referral).

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Eat Clean

Don't like to count calories?  Clean eating may be for you. It is a way of eating that gets backs to the basics, ridding your diet of processed foods. Some advocates say it is the ticket to a healthy, lean body.

How does it work?
You simply limit your diet to lean protein, "good" carbs and fats, fresh fruits and vegetables in small meals throughout the day. The main principles:
  • Eat six small meals a day
  • Don't skip breakfast
  • Eat lean protein and complex carbs at every meal
  • 2-3 servings of healthy fats each day
  • Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables (great source of fiber, vitamins, nutrients & enzymes)
  • Control your portions
  • Drink plenty of water
Foods to avoid:
  • Processed Foods including white flours and sugars
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Soda and sugary juices
  • Alcohol
  • Foods with additives and preservatives
  • Processed or artificial foods
  • Saturated and trans fats

It takes some work to adjust your habits, but overall it is a healthy eating plan.

Mayers Memorial Hospital District does not advocate any of these diet plans.  This is being provided as information only. Before you make any changes in your diet, please consult your physician.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Should You Be Wheat Free?

Although a gluten free or wheat free diet began as a way to treat celiac disease, it has become a trendy eating plan for many. There is definitely a difference between gluten free and wheat free, but the terms are often interchanged. Basically, a gluten free diet is more restrictive than a wheat free diet.

Gluten is a component of wheat and many people suffer from an allergy to gluten and celiac disease. A gluten free item will always be wheat free, but a wheat free item will not always be gluten free. It is possible to only have an allergy to wheat and not other products that contain gluten (barley, rye, malt and some oats).

So what does this mean for the average dieter? Could giving up wheat or eating gluten free help you lose weight? There has been a lot of focus on research in the books "Wheat Belly" and "Grain Brain" indicating that wheat and some grains are not good for your general health. A lot is based on the way wheat and grains are now genetically altered and not the pure product our grandparents ate.

Cardiologist William Davis, MD who wrote "Wheat Belly" believes that eliminating wheat from your diet can help you lose weight, feel better and have more energy.  David Perlmutter, MD wrote "Grain Brain" and claims that carbs can cause dementia, ADHD, anxiety, chronic headaches, depression and more.

How does it work?
On a wheat free diet you eliminate all wheat or anything made with wheat barley, rye, spelt and certain oats. Although this sounds like a gluten free plan, gluten free versions often have corn, rice, potato or tapioca starch which will not help with weight loss. Losing weight on a wheat free diet most likely comes from making better food choices.

On a gluten free plan the best option is to focus on "real" foods such as proteins, dairy, fruits and vegetables. There are many flours and grains you can use. Rice is also allowed.

Are there risks?
Remember, just because something is gluten free or wheat free doesn't mean it's healthy. A gluten free or wheat free diet does not automatically equal weight loss. If you have been diagnosed with celiac disease, gluten free is the way to go. Although just eating that way just because may not be your best option.

Avoiding grains means you are eliminating certain nutrients that's could lead to deficiencies in iron, calcium, riboflavin, niacin and folate.

If you have not been diagnosed with celiac disease, it is not recommended that you follow a gluten-free diet. Contact your physician and meet with a Registered Dietitian if you are seeking a healthy and effective weight loss plan. If you suspect that you may have intolerance to gluten or have been diagnosed with celiac disease, contact your physician and meet with a Registered Dietitian to ensure that you are meeting all of your nutrition needs.

Mayers Memorial Hospital District does not advocate any of these diet plans.  This is being provided as information only. Before you make any changes in your diet, please consult your physician.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Help! What Diet is Best?

The new year always seems to bring resolutions of losing weight. When you go to the store displays of scales, weight loss supplements and exercise DVD's are on center stage. It is also the time that the trending diet plans are being advertised. So what is best?  This week we will take a look at some of the more popular diet trends. How do they compare? What do they have in common? Are they healthy?
Today we start with diets that eliminate and focus on certain food categories.
High Protein/No Carbs
We have all heard of the Atkins Diet and other forms of the no carb, high protein eating plan. Normally, our bodies burn carbs for energy, but when you drastically cut carbs your body goes into a metabolic state called ketosis. During ketosis your body begins to burn its own fat for fuel. When your fat stores become a source of energy it may help you lose weight.
How does it work?
If you choose the Atkins Diet, the rules are pretty firm in the first phase.
  • No pasta, bread, grains, fruit, starchy vegetables, dairy or cream
  • Most of your diet will come from poultry, fish, eggs, red meat, butter and vegetable oils
  • No more than 20 grams of carbs per day, mostly from certain vegetables.
What are the risks?
Some experts have many concerns about this type of eating plan.
  • If you have kidney problems eating too much protein can not be healthy and could worsen your kidney function.
  • Some protein sources like fatty meats and other high fat foods can raise your cholesterol and increase your chance of heart disease.
  • While on a high protein diet, you may urinate more calcium. Some experts think it could make osteoporosis and kidney stones more likely.
  • Questions regarding whether or not ketosis is safe.
Other Low-Carb Diets:
Is this right for you?
If you are considering a high protein diet, check with your physician first. They can help you come up with a plan that will make sure you are getting enough fruits and vegetables and lean protein.
Remember, weight loss that will last is based upon changes that you can live with.
Low Fat Diets
Another popular way of eating is eliminating fat. Low fat diets generally recommend using low-fat or non-fat products.
How does it work?
  • Limit fat intake
  • Eat whole grains
  • Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables
  • More fish - less high fat meat
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid oil, butter and fried foods
What are the risks?
  • Fat is necessary for healthy brain function
  • Fat is needed for hormone reproduction
  • Healthy fats can actually lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol.
  • A diet low in fat can interfere with the absorption of fat soluble vitamins
  • Lack of healthy fats can increase cancer risk (colon, breast and prostate)
Low Fat Diets
  • Abs Diet
  • Pritikin DIet
  • No-Fad Diet
  • Ornish Diet
  • Jenny Craig
Insight: Balance is better, deprivation of any one food group will likely not last.
Mayers Memorial Hospital District does not advocate any of these diet plans.  This is being provided as information only. Before you make any changes in your diet, please consult your physician.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Rest and Relax!

Rest and relaxation is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Most of us don't take the time to rest enough or participate in the relaxing activities we enjoy. Today is Friday, the weekend is on the way, why not try to relax a little?

  • Go for a leisurely walk - a great way to clear your mind, take in the scenery and think (or not)!
  • Read - there are probably several books or magazines sitting around waiting to be read. Why not now?
  • Listen to music - This is perfect way to relax and free your mind of things that have been cluttering it!
  • Take a nap - why not?
  • Stretch or try yoga - These two activities have great mental as well as physical benefits
  • Leave your to-do list empty - Just do whatever you want today!
Visit for more health and wellness information.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

How to Get Motivated to Exercise

"I will start tomorrow." How many times have you said that? Then tomorrow comes and there is an excuse to not go for that walk, do that workout or go to exercise class. We know that exercise is a huge health benefit, but how do we get motivated to get started and keep it up?

Staying motivated is just as hard as getting motivated. On those days you lack motivation, try some of these tips:

  • Call your workout buddy - Having someone to keep you accountable and share your goals with is a great motivator. If someone is counting on you, you are less likely to skip your scheduled workout. Plus, it is fun to have someone else to workout with.
  • Inspirational Quotes - Post them on your mirror or other places you will be likely to see them.  An encouraging word goes a long way.
  • Focus on success, not failure - Set goals and celebrate them.
  • Ignore setbacks - We all have them, just hit the reset button and start over.
  • Pick exercises you enjoy - Exercise should be somewhat fun. If you don't like Yoga, do something else. If you don't liking jogging, try walking.  There are so many ways to exercise, find something you enjoy.
  • Pick a great playlist - MUSIC! Listening to your favorite, upbeat, motivational song while working out makes the time go by so much faster. Plus, it may help pick up the pace.
  • Use a good App - There are a lot of great phone apps that track fitness.  This is a good way to see your results.
  • Set goals - setting goals helps you know where you are headed. Start with small, realistic goals. Keep track with an exercise log.
For Your Health

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Benefits of a Good Night's Sleep

Part of a healthy life is getting plenty of rest.  We tend to focus on healthy eating, exercise and forget about the importance of getting a good night's sleep. We know there are many benefits to eating right and getting in a workout, so what are the benefits of a good night's sleep?

  • Improved Memory - a rested brain and body allows you to process and retain information much more effectively and allows you to absorb new information much better.
  • Improved Concentration - getting plenty of quality sleep will help you to be more efficient and concentrate better.
  • Reduced Inflammation - studies show that those who get less than 6 hours of sleep per night have higher levels of inflammatory proteins in their blood.  These proteins can cause heat, pain, redness and swelling. Protect yourself against chronic disease by getting more than 6 hours per night.
  • Easier Weight Loss - poor sleep inhibits growth hormones levels which build muscle and burn fat and increases your appetite and reduces your physical activity level.
  • Lower Stress Levels - by making sure you get enough sleep you can avoid the negative physical effects of stress.
  • Stronger Immune System - lack of sleep can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to infection.
  • Increased Life Expectancy - Studies have shown that consistently sleeping for less that 6 hours per night can have a negative effect on your lifespan.
  • Better Mood - no explanation needed!
More Health Tips

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Jogging Tips for Beginners

How many times has someone told you, "I don't run"? I know several people who started out that way and now really enjoy running/jogging. If you are not a runner and don't know how you ever will be, there are some ways to help you out.  There are many health benefits to jogging and it really can be enjoyable.

  • Start off slow! Try a mile at a slow pace, walk intermittently as needed. Increase distance and pace as you are ready.
  • Stretch! Stretching before and after will help prevent injuries and improve your overall jogging. 5-10 minutes before and after is recommended.
  • Use proper form! This will allow you to utilize your energy efficiently. Focus on keeping your arms and shoulders back and your back straight. Relax your hands. Take long, even breaths.
  • Get good running shoes! A good pair of shoes will absorb impact and give your body the support it needs. This is an important part of preventing injury.
  • Add weightlifting! Weight lifting will strengthen your muscles and enhance your jogging by helping you to jog longer and faster and help prevent injuries.
  • Carbs are good! Eat healthy carbs to fuel your body.  Good sources include fruits and vegetables.
  • Plan! Decide what days you are going to run and how far you plan to go. Stick to a schedule
  • Vary your route! Change things up so you don't get bored.
  • Enter a race!  You don't have to win!  Just set personal goals, grab a friend to join you and go have some fun.  It is a great way to get yourself motivated.
  • Rest at least 2 days! Take at least 2 days off per week to recover.  Your body needs the rest.
Visit For Your Health for more fitness tips.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Weight Loss Mistakes

Losing weight, it is never easy. It goes on pretty easy, but taking it off and keeping it off is a hard road. There are several reasons we could be having a hard time. Most of us had made at least one of these weight loss mistakes.

  • Only focusing on calories consumed - instead of just reducing the number of calories you consume, increase the quality of food you eat.
  • You can't out exercise a bad diet - You may try to make up for bad eating habits with extra exercise. To be successful you need to balance a healthy eating plan and an exercise routine.
  • Losing weight too fast - dropping weight too fast can be unhealthy and may not last. Aim for losing up to 2 pounds per week.
  • Lifting weights should be a part of the plan - cardio is great and burns a lot of calories, but building muscle is important. Muscle requires 3 times more calories than fat cells.
  • Diet Foods & Drinks - They may have less calories, but the chemicals they contain do more harm than good when it comes to weight loss.
  • Weight loss supplements - There is no quick fix that is a permanent solution. Exercise and eat right, that is the answer.
  • Don't eliminate fat - Healthy fats will help you control calorie consumption.
  • Focus on fat loss, not weight loss - Your body fat percentage is more important than your weight.
  • Setbacks will happen, don't give up - Don't focus on what has gone wrong, focus on the positive steps in your journey. You can press the "reset button" anytime.
  • Don't make excuses - Don't blame your inability to lose weight on something else. Quit making excuses and make a plan. You can do it!
For more health and fitness tips visit MMHD's Website.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Skip the Super Size

The amount a person eats and drinks is important.  Over time portion sizes have increased, which in turn has resulted in a more overweight population. You may be eating a lot more than you realize. Choosing smaller portions can help you lose weight and keep it off.

Your Daily Food Plan can help you manage your recommended daily intake.

How to downsize your portions:
  • Figure out what you are eating and determine what a portion size really is.
  • Pay attention to your hunger level. Stop eating when you are satisfied, not stuffed.
  • Prepare smaller portions
  • Serve portions on the plate and leave the remainder off of the table.
  • Package extras immediately in portions and eat at another meal.
  • Use smaller plates and bowls
  • Don't Super-size or go "large" when you eat out.
  • You don't have to "clean your plate", save some for later if you are full.
  • Don't eat from a bag or container
  • Pre-portion and package snacks
Here is what portions should look like:

For Your Health on MMHD's websites has more tips and topics on health, fiotness and weight management.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

An Apple a Day...

Eating the daily recommendation of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day is an important part of a healthy eating plan. Why you ask....

Color & Texture - Eating fruits and vegies with a variety of color provides a broad range of nutrients.

Convenience - Fruits and vegies are nutritious in any form. Fresh is probably best, but try frozen, canned in light syrup, dried and 100% juice.

Fiber - Fruits and vegies are a great source of fiber. This will help fill you up and keep your digestive system in good working order.

Low in Calories - Fruits and vegies are naturally low in calories

Reduce Risk of Disease - Eating plenty of fruits and vegies may help reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and some cancers.

Vitamins and Minerals - Fruits and vegies are rich in vitamins and minerals that help you feel healthy and energized.

Click here to learn more about the nutritional value of fruits and vegies.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Building Muscle - Increase Metabolism

Who wouldn't want to trade fat for muscle? Cardio is great for our health, but it is only part of the equation. A balanced fitness program includes strength training. It can not only help you slow the muscle loss that comes with age, but strengthen your entire body, increase bone density, ease arthritis pain and reduce your risk of injury.

Muscle building exercises can also improve balance, improve sleep and improve blood sugar control.

Strength training can also help on the weight loss front. Building muscle helps you burn calories. Hours after a workout your body is still burning calories. Additionally, when you are trying to lose weight, up to one-quarter of the weight loss can come from muscle, which in turn can slow down your metabolism. Strength training will help to rebuild that muscle or even prevent you from losing it at all.

Achieving success in strength training come from having a structured program. Plan your workouts, have an accountability partner and be takes time.
Here are some tips on how to make a Strength Training Plan and keep it!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Start with Breakfast

A quick cup of coffee and out the door you go. What is missing? According to many health studies, probably the most important part of the day. If losing weight is on your list, skipping breakfast is doing more harm than good.

Why should you eat a healthy breakfast? For starters, breakfast provides you with the energy and nutrients to fuel your day and is important to maintaining a healthy weight. Research also shows there are some very significant health benefits.

Diabetes: According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, women who ate breakfast an average of zero to six times per week were at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than women who ate breakfast every day.

Heart Disease: Studies have shown that skipping breakfast can be associated with hypertension, insulin resistance, elevated blood sugar levels and heart disease.

Memory: Eating breakfast can improve cognitive function related to memory. Eating breakfast is a SMART move!

Weight Loss: In a recent study, people who ate breakfast as their largest meal of the day lost an average of 17.8 pounds over 3 months. Contrarily, another group ate the same number of calories but consumed the largest meal and most calories at dinner. The large dinner group lost only 7.3 pounds in the same time frame.

The basics of a healthy breakfast

Whole grains.  whole-grain rolls, bagels, hot or cold whole-grain cereals, low-fat bran muffins, crackers, and Melba toast.
Lean protein.  peanut butter, lean meat, poultry or fish, and hard-boiled eggs.

Low-fat dairy.  milk, plain or lower sugar yogurts, and low-fat cheeses, such as cottage and natural cheeses.
Fruits and vegetables.  fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, 100 percent juice drinks without added sugar, and fruit and vegetable smoothies. Choose low-sodium versions of beverages, though.

Here are some examples of healthy breakfast options:

  • Cooked oatmeal topped with almonds or dried cranberries
  • A whole-wheat pita stuffed with hard-boiled eggs
  • Leftover vegetable pizza
  • Tortilla filled with vegetables, salsa and low-fat shredded cheese
  • A smoothie of fruits, plain yogurt and a spoonful of wheat germ
  • Whole-wheat crackers with low-fat cheese or peanut butter
  • A whole-wheat sandwich with lean meat and low-fat cheese, lettuce, tomato, cucumber and sweet peppers
  • Multigrain pancakes with fruit and yogurt
  • A whole-grain waffle with peanut butter
  • Egg omelet with vegetables (use more egg whites than yolk)

Try these tips for fitting in breakfast on a tight schedule:

Cook ahead. Make breakfast the night before. Just reheat as necessary in the morning.

Set the stage. Figure out what you'll eat for breakfast the night before. Then, set out dry ingredients and any bowls, equipment or pans. They'll be ready for use in the morning.

Pack it up. Make a to-go breakfast the night before. In the morning, you can grab it and go.

If you skip breakfast because you want to save calories, reconsider that plan. Chances are you'll be ravenous by lunchtime. That may lead you to overeat or choose fast but unhealthy options — perhaps doughnuts or cookies a co-worker brings to the office.
For more healthy tips visit


Monday, January 12, 2015

Walk, Walk, Walk

Better health, weight loss and overall fitness...walking can help. Most people spend a lot of time sitting each day and our environment has contributed to making people "lazier".  We have elevators, remote controls, riding lawnmowers and many other conveniences that allow us to eliminate physical activity. Research show that inactivity is one of the top causes of preventable deaths.

If you don't know where to start, start simple, with a walk. There are many health benefits to walking.
  • walking strengthens your heart
  • walking is good for your brain
  • walking is good for your bones
  • walking is good for your mood
  • walking improves fitness
  • walking improves physical function
  • walking burns calories
Walking is Good for You!!!

Get Motivated
  •      Wear a pedometer. Bit by bit, boost your daily steps. Keep it up until you reach 10,000 steps a day.

  • .      Keep a walking journal. Whether you journal online or with pen and paper, it's motivating to see your progress. 

  •       Get a walking partner for accountability.

  •       Sign up for a race or charity walk. An upcoming event gives you a goal to shoot for, which may motivate you to stick with a program.
Walking for weight loss workout

 Safety Tips

  •       Walk with a buddy whenever possible.

  •       Carry your name, address, and a friend or relative's phone number in your shoe or tied to a lace.

  •       Wear a medical bracelet if you have diabetes, an allergy, or other condition.

  •       Carry a cell phone and let a friend or relative know your walking routes.

  •       Avoid deserted or unlit streets, especially after dark.

  •       Do not use headsets that prevent you from hearing traffic, and walk against oncoming traffic.

  •       Wear reflective material or carry a flashlight so others can see you. Carry a whistle, noisemaker, or pepper spray in case of an emergency
          For more weight loss and fitness tips visit MMHD's website

Friday, January 9, 2015

Steps to Quit Smoking

You CAN DO IT! Quitting is hard, many people try several times before they quit for good. Are you ready to feel better and breathe easier? Are you ready to give up a very dangerous habit?

Smoking is dangerous!
  • More than 440,000 Americans die each year from smoking
  • Smoking can cause illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, strolled, lung disease and complications with pregnancies
Smoking is expensive!
  • One pack per day cost $150 per month
  • Two packs per day costs $300 per month
  • Three packs per day cost $450 per month
Make a plan!
  • Set a quit date
  • Let your friends and loved ones know you are quitting
  • Change the things around you - rid all of your space of cigarettes, ashtrays and other reminders
  • Identify your reasons for smoking and reasons you want to quit - write them down
  • Identify your triggers
  • Develop coping strategies
  • Know where to turn for help
  • Get a support system
  • Reward yourself for milestones
Talk to your physician about medication, possibly nicotine patch, gum, nasal spray or other medications. Some of these may be covered by insurance plans.

If you are a Medi-Cal member, you may be able to get free nicotine patches. Call 1-800-NO-BUTTS for more tips and information on the Medi-Cal program.

There are many other great resources on Smoke Free' s quit plan.

For information on a smoking cessation program contact MMHD's Respiratory Department.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

Sleep is important for people of all ages to stay healthy. A healthy immune system can be dependent on quality sleep. Sufficient sleep is now also being recognized as an important element in chronic disease prevention. How much sleep do you need?

Sleep needs vary amongst everyone and change as a person ages.  The following are guidelines from the National Institute of Health:

  • Newborns - 16 to 18 hours
  • Preschool Aged Children - 11 to 12 hours
  • School Aged Children - 10 hours or more
  • Teens - 9 to 10 hours
  • Adults - 7 to 8 hours

There are other factors such as pregnancy, aging, sleep quality and illness which may require your body needing more sleep.

How do you get a good night's sleep? Here are a few tips:

  • Keep a regular sleep schedule, go to bed and wake up at the same time daily.
  • Sleep in a dark, quiet, relaxing environment
  • Make your bed comfortable
  • Don't have televisions, computers or other distracting electronics in the room
  • Avoid eating a lot before bedtime

More Information on Sleep

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Drink More Water - Less Soda

Getting enough water every day is essential to your health. Water is in every cell, tissue and organ of the body. Water keeps your temperature normal, cushions your joints, protects your spinal cord, and helps to rid your body of waste.

Water is lost through normal daily functions of your body and it needs to be replaced. You need more water in hot climates, when you are physically active and when you are ill.

Healthy Hydration is very important when you exercise. So how much water is enough? Approximately 80% of our water intake comes from drinking water and the other 20% comes from food. If these are accurate percentages, the recommended consumption of water is about 9 cups for women and 12.5 cups for men. This varies from person to person.

Drinking water is a great non-caloric option to satisfy your thirst. When choosing your healthiest form of hydration, water should be at the top of the list. If you are trying to loose weight, it is definitely the best option. For a healthier you, try Rethinking Your Drink.

For more tips of a healthier new year visit For Your Health.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Better Food Choices

A healthy eating plan includes a variety of food choices. Instead of focusing on foods that you can't have, consider all of the foods you can have!

Healthy choices can be tasty. Step out of the box of the ordinary and try something new.

Fresh Fruits: It's not all apples, bananas and oranges. How about berries, mangos, pears, pineapple and kiwi? Fruit has many healthy benefits.

Vegetables: Try preparing the old standbys a new way. Grilling, sautéing and a variety of seasonings can make an ordinary vegetable taste like a brand new food. There are also several ways to "sneak" vegies into your diet.

Revisit your taste buds: Your tastes may change over the years. Even though you may not have liked something in the past, you might give it another try.

You don't have to give up your favorites: Healthy eating is about balance. You can still enjoy some of your favorite foods even if they are higher in fat, calories or sugars...just do it in moderation. Deprivation doesn't solve anything.  Eat these foods less often, in smaller quantities or modify recipes to make them a little healthier.

Follow the MMHD "For Your Health" page for more healthy tips for the new year.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Cut Back the Take Out

As our lifestyles get busier, we tend to look for more convenience. Meal preparation after a long, busy day might be the last thing we want to do, so we opt for dining out. This may not be the best option for your health.
Although it's fast, easy and convenient, eating out too frequently can make it hard to maintain a healthy and balanced diet. Here's why:
Calorie overload: In most cases, restaurant and fast food meals are not prepared with calorie friendly ingredients. Research shows that the average entrée in a chain restaurant is 674 calories, the side has almost 300, beverage 400 and if you add dessert, add another 400-500 calories.  If you do the math, that is nearly enough calories for an entire day.
Large portions: One of the main reasons for calorie overload is portion overload. When you are presented with large portions, you often eat beyond the point of being full. Larger portions lead to overeating. It is common to "super-size" at fast food chains, it is such a "good deal", but not a good deal for your health.
Too much salt: Sodium content in restaurants and fast food places. The statistics are 1848 mg per 1000 calories in a fast food place and 2090 mg per 100 calories in a restaurant. The recommended daily limit for 3 meals is 2300 mg per day.
If possible, try to eat out less. Try having a meal preparation day, use a crock pot or take turns coking at home. If you do have to eat out here are a few tips to help you make healthier choices:
  • Order water instead of soda (save calories and money!)
  • Request whole grain breads for sandwiches, toast and dinner rolls
  • Start with a veggie loaded salad, dressing on the side
  • Order steamed vegetables as your side
  • Choose broiled or grilled over fried
  • Skip dessert or order fruit
  • Share a meal
  • When ordering fast food - don't "Super-size"

Friday, January 2, 2015

For Your Health

It is a new year, a great time to start fresh with some new habits. Although, each year we may pledge to lose weight, exercise more or quit successful are we? Why not make this year the year to make it happen?
MMHD is developing a new feature on our website to help support those goals of becoming healthier. There are many steps you can take to become a healthier you.
For Your Health will explore:
  • Healthier Eating Habits
  • Exercise and fitness
  • Healthier Lifestyle Habits
  • Preventative Health Tips
  • Recommended Screening Procedures (by age and gender)
  • Resources and Ideas
In the spirit of a new and healthier you, here are a few tips to get you started Pick one or two to get started and develop some new habits:
Start by choosing healthier snacks, rid your kitchen of all of the leftover holiday sugar!
  • nuts, berries, fruit, veggies
Take steps to become more active.
  • Park further away, take a 10 minute walk, schedule exercise
Drink more water, try to eliminate soda.
Cut back on sugar and processed foods.