Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ginger Zimmerman: Trust How You Feel

Heart Transplant Survivor Ginger Zimmerman (right) poses with a WomenCare Day of
Health attendee

When Ginger Zimmerman suspected that she had heart disease, her doctors dismissed her concerns, saying that she was too young and that it didn't run in her family. But Ginger, who spoke at Catholic Health's WomenCare Day of Health on Friday, was adamant. "I live with my body every day, and I know if it's not working right," she said.

By the time she was diagnosed – a result of shopping for doctors until she found one who listened – Ginger's heart was functioning at barely 15%. Three and a half months passed before a donor heart was found.

But with the relief of a transplant came another challenge, a family tragedy: her husband passed away nine days after her operation. His death was the result of a brain bleed, caused by a plane crash as he flew by helicopter to see Ginger in recovery.

"I had to draw on all of my faith and courage to pull through this," she said.

Not only has Ginger pulled through but she has emerged as a role model of how to cope with unspeakable hardship and come out with an appreciation for life.

Ginger isn't bitter or angry about what life has dealt her. She considers life a gift and says that she survives to live. And part of living is taking charge of your health.

She advised the women gathered at Salvatore's Italian Gardens to:

Make small changes. "They can add up big," she said. For instance, after her transplant, she gave up cooking with salt, replacing it with spices instead. She also began eating smaller portions.

Get moving. "Walk. Hula hoop. Dance. Take the dog out. You don't have to go to the gym in order to exercise."

Trust how you feel. "Listen to yourself. Find a doctor who listens to you."

Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Ginger lives in Rochester with her son and shares her story at speaking engagements throughout the country. Visit her website to learn more.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Smart Eating: Check Your Sources

“A Registered Dietitian is an expert in the nutrition field, so when you come across nutrition information or advice online, always check the author or source to ensure that they have the proper credentials,” says Registered Dietitian Ann Marie Smokowski, who provides nutrition counseling at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo.

More Smart Eating Tips

Smart Eating is a series of nutrition tips to help you transform your eating habits. A new tip will be added on weekdays throughout the month of October.
Previous posts:


Learn more about healthy eating on October 26, 2012 at WomenCare First Annual Day of Health: Be Strong, Be Happy, Be Healthy. Registered Dietitian Ann Marie Smokowski will present “Anti-Inflammatory Eating: The Mediterranean Lifestyle.” Click here for details.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Smart Eating: Make Cooking a Family Activity



Families that cook together tend to eat healthier, says Registered Dietitian Ann Marie Smokowski, who provides nutrition counseling at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo.

Every recipe has a task that a child can do, whether it's measuring the ingredients, stirring, or rinsing the produce.

Divide or double recipes to reinforce math skills.

When meal planning, ask your children for feedback and include them in the grocery shopping so that they're excited to participate.

“Cooking is a useful skill that your children will need as adults," says Ann Marie.

"The family that celebrates meals in this way tends to be more content and eat healthier. As parents, this can be one of the most valuable gifts we can give to our children!”

More Smart Eating Tips

Smart Eating is a series of nutrition tips to help you transform your eating habits. A new tip will be added on weekdays throughout the month of October.
Previous posts:


Learn more about healthy eating on October 26, 2012 at WomenCare First Annual Day of Health: Be Strong, Be Happy, Be Healthy. Registered Dietitian Ann Marie Smokowski will present “Anti-Inflammatory Eating: The Mediterranean Lifestyle.” Click here for details.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Smart Eating: Make a Weekly Shopping List

“Preparing meals in advance requires planning and creating a weekly shopping list,” says Registered Dietitian Ann Marie Smokowski, who provides nutrition counseling at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo.

You might keep a meal plan on a calendar, with a notepad beside it to fill in food items when ingredients run low.

Or try out a meal planning and grocery list app. Food on the Table is a popular (and free) web and smartphone app that finds in-store sales at your grocery store, generates meal plans based on your preferences and creates a printable shopping list.

More Smart Eating Tips

Smart Eating is a series of nutrition tips to help you transform your eating habits. A new tip will be added on weekdays throughout the month of October.
Previous posts:


Learn more about healthy eating on October 26, 2012 at WomenCare First Annual Day of Health: Be Strong, Be Happy, Be Healthy. Registered Dietitian Ann Marie Smokowski will present “Anti-Inflammatory Eating: The Mediterranean Lifestyle.” Click here for details.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Smart Eating: To Save Time in the Kitchen, Make Meals in Advance


On the days when you don’t feel like cooking, having meals ready in advance can keep you out of the drive-thru line.

Registered Dietitian Ann Marie Smokowski, who provides nutrition counseling at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, says:
  • Consider crock-pot options. "Crock-pot recipes are wonderful options so the meal is already cooked when you come home from work."
  • Make meals in advance. "On the days that I'm not working, I make homemade soups and chili so these can be either lunch or dinner options during the week. You can bake meatballs ahead of time and freeze them. These can be paired with pasta and sauce."

More Smart Eating Tips

Smart Eating is a series of nutrition tips to help you transform your eating habits. A new tip will be added on weekdays throughout the month of October.
Previous posts:


Learn more about healthy eating on October 26, 2012 at WomenCare First Annual Day of Health: Be Strong, Be Happy, Be Healthy. Registered Dietitian Ann Marie Smokowski will present “Anti-Inflammatory Eating: The Mediterranean Lifestyle.” Click here for details.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Smart Eating: Reduce Your Calories When Dining Out



Registered Dietitian Ann Marie Smokowski, who provides nutrition counseling at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, offers the following tips for eating healthy at restaurants:
  • Avoid fried foods. Look for key words that reveal lower fat cooking methods, such as broiled, baked, seared or poached.
  • Eat your greens. You can select fresh salads with a salad dressing on the side. This option can help control portions and save approximately 100 calories or more at a meal.
  • Request a to-go container. Super sizing of portions is a usual concern when dining out. Always request a styrofoam container immediately so that when your main entrĂ©e is delivered, you can place half of the portion into the container right away. The leftovers can be eaten for tomorrow’s lunch or dinner.
  • Drink water. People can often drink their calories. Drink water with a lemon slice, coffee, or unsweetened iced tea rather than juice, regular soda pop or flavored coffees.

More Smart Eating Tips

Smart Eating is a series of nutrition tips to help you transform your eating habits. A new tip will be added on weekdays throughout the month of October.
Previous posts:


Learn more about healthy eating on October 26, 2012 at WomenCare First Annual Day of Health: Be Strong, Be Happy, Be Healthy. Registered Dietitian Ann Marie Smokowski will present “Anti-Inflammatory Eating: The Mediterranean Lifestyle.” Click here for details.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Smart Eating: Choose Dark Chocolate, Nuts or Trail Mix for Dessert

“For dessert, I recommend a small bite size piece of dark chocolate containing at least 70% cacao,” says Registered Dietitian Ann Marie Smokowski, who provides nutrition counseling at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo.

“I find ¼ cup of nuts or homemade trail mix can also help curb cravings.”

More Smart Eating Tips

Smart Eating is a series of nutrition tips to help you transform your eating habits. A new tip will be added on weekdays throughout the month of October.
Previous posts:


Learn more about healthy eating on October 26, 2012 at WomenCare First Annual Day of Health: Be Strong, Be Happy, Be Healthy. Registered Dietitian Ann Marie Smokowski will present “Anti-Inflammatory Eating: The Mediterranean Lifestyle.” Click here for details.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Smart Eating: Cut Down on Processed Foods

“The more processed, packaged foods we consume, the more calories, total fat, saturated fat, sodium and preservatives we ingest,” says Registered Dietitian Ann Marie Smokowski, who provides nutrition counseling at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo.

Depending on your grocery budget, supermarkets have pre-cut raw veggies and other accompaniments for meals so to cut down the time in the kitchen.

More Smart Eating Tips

Smart Eating is a series of nutrition tips to help you transform your eating habits. A new tip will be added on weekdays throughout the month of October.
Previous posts:


Learn more about healthy eating on October 26, 2012 at WomenCare First Annual Day of Health: Be Strong, Be Happy, Be Healthy. Registered Dietitian Ann Marie Smokowski will present “Anti-Inflammatory Eating: The Mediterranean Lifestyle.” Click here for details.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Smart Eating: Get Your Protein from Nuts


Eat unsalted nuts as a snack, on salads, or in main dishes.

Use nuts to replace meat or poultry, not in addition to these items. According to researchers, replacing one serving a day with nuts or a low-fat dairy can lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes.

At the Office: Because nuts keep you fuller than other snacks, store some in your desk for a mid-day snack.

At the Grocery Store: For the healthiest option, buy your nuts plain, with no sugar or salt added. You'll find them in the bulk section of your grocery store.

More Smart Eating Tips

Smart Eating is a series of nutrition tips to help you transform your eating habits. A new tip will be added on weekdays throughout the month of October.
Previous posts:


Learn more about healthy eating on October 26, 2012 at WomenCare First Annual Day of Health: Be Strong, Be Happy, Be Healthy. Registered Dietitian Ann Marie Smokowski will present “Anti-Inflammatory Eating: The Mediterranean Lifestyle.” Click here for details.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Smart Eating: Eat 1 or 2 Meatless Meals Per Week



Choose beans, peas, or veggie products as a main dish or part of a meal often to get adequate protein.

You might try:
  • Chili 
  • Baked beans 
  • Rice and beans 
  • Veggie burgers 
  • Hummus spread on pita bread

More Smart Eating Tips

Smart Eating is a series of nutrition tips to help you transform your eating habits. A new tip will be added on weekdays throughout the month of October.
    Previous posts:


    Learn more about healthy eating on October 26, 2012 at WomenCare First Annual Day of Health: Be Strong, Be Happy, Be Healthy. Registered Dietitian Ann Marie Smokowski will present “Anti-Inflammatory Eating: The Mediterranean Lifestyle.” Click here for details.

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

    Smart Eating: Eat Seafood at Least Twice a Week


    Choose seafood at least twice a week as your main source of protein.

    Seafood choices include:
    • Salmon 
    • Haddock 
    • Tuna 
    • Shrimp 
    • Clams 
    • Lobster 
    • Anchovies 
    Seafood provides important nutrients, including omega-3 fats that are good for your health, especially for expectant moms.

    The advice to eat seafood often does not apply to vegetarians. For vegetarians, the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) recommends protein sources such as beans, peas and processed soy products.

    More Smart Eating Tips

    Smart Eating is a series of nutrition tips to help you transform your eating habits. A new tip will be added on weekdays throughout the month of October.
    Previous posts:


    Learn more about healthy eating on October 26, 2012 at WomenCare First Annual Day of Health: Be Strong, Be Happy, Be Healthy. Registered Dietitian Ann Marie Smokowski will present “Anti-Inflammatory Eating: The Mediterranean Lifestyle.” Click here for details.

    Monday, October 8, 2012

    Smart Eating: Lean Meats Will Keep You Leaner


    Choose lean meats and skinless chicken.

    Look for meats that are noted as:
    • Ground Round
    • Tenderloin
    • Select Grade
    • Choice Grade
    "Prime cuts are a fattier cut of meat," says Registered Dietitian Ann Marie Smokowski, who provides nutrition counseling at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo.

    For chicken, light meats are leaner than dark.

    Grill, Don't Fry

    Trim fat from all meats before cooking. When it’s time to prepare your meal, broil, grill, roast or poach your meats instead of frying.

    Ann Marie says, “I do a lot of grilling of poultry, pork and occasionally steak, where I use a rub and some extra virgin olive oil.”

    Favorites in the Smokowski household include:
    • Tacos with cooked lean ground meat, a light tomato sauce, greens, tomatoes, onions, olives beans and basmati rice 
    • Chicken or turkey stir-fry 

    More Smart Eating Tips

    Smart Eating is a series of nutrition tips to help you transform your eating habits. A new tip will be added on weekdays throughout the month of October.

    Previous posts:

    Learn more about healthy eating on October 26, 2012 at WomenCare First Annual Day of Health: Be Strong, Be Happy, Be Healthy. Registered Dietitian Ann Marie Smokowski will present “Anti-Inflammatory Eating: The Mediterranean Lifestyle.” Click here for details.

    Friday, October 5, 2012

    Smart Eating: Switch to Fat-free or Low-fat (1%) Milk

    Anyone over the age of two should drink fat-free or low-fat milk to reap the benefits of milk without consuming extra fat.

    For adults, milk provides the nutrients needed to keep bones strong and control blood pressure.

    For children, milk builds strong bones and teeth.

    Whenever you buy a dairy product – milk, yogurt, cheese – choose the fat-free or low-fat option.

    More Smart Eating Tips

    Smart Eating is a series of nutrition tips to help you transform your eating habits. A new tip will be added on weekdays throughout the month of October.

    Previous posts:


    Learn more about healthy eating on October 26, 2012 at WomenCare First Annual Day of Health: Be Strong, Be Happy, Be Healthy. Registered Dietitian Ann Marie Smokowski will present “Anti-Inflammatory Eating: The Mediterranean Lifestyle.” Click here for details.

    Thursday, October 4, 2012

    Smart Eating: Choose Whole Grains Instead of Refined Grains



    Follow the Choose My Plate guidelines and make at least half of your grains whole grains instead of refined grains.

    Choose whole-wheat flour, whole-wheat breads and brown rice, as opposed to their white counterparts.

    Read the food label’s ingredient list. “Refined” or “Enriched” ingredients should be avoided. Also avoid added sugars (sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, malt syrup, maple syrup, or raw sugar).

    As a whole grain, popcorn can be a healthy snack if made with little or no added salt and butter.

    More Smart Eating Tips

    Smart Eating is a series of nutrition tips to help you transform your eating habits. A new tip will be added on weekdays throughout the month of October.

    Previous posts:


    Learn more about healthy eating on October 26, 2012 at WomenCare First Annual Day of Health: Be Strong, Be Happy, Be Healthy. Registered Dietitian Ann Marie Smokowski will present “Anti-Inflammatory Eating: The Mediterranean Lifestyle.” Click here for details.

    Wednesday, October 3, 2012

    Smart Eating: Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables

    Follow the Choose My Plate guidelines and make half your plate fruits and vegetables.

    Buy in season. Seasonal produce are at their peak flavor and are usually less expensive.

    Fall foods include apples, broccoli, carrots, grapes and potatoes. Click here for more seasonal foods.

    Shop at farmer's markets. You'll find the freshest produce when you shop locally. (Western New York farmer’s markets).

    Plan your fruits and veggies first. Although many people plan their meat or protein first, Registered Nurse Susan M. Gugliuzza recommends making fruits and veggies your priority and planning the rest of your meal around those.

    More Smart Eating Tips

    Smart Eating is a series of nutrition tips to help you transform your eating habits. A new tip will be added on weekdays throughout the month of October.

    Previous posts:


    Learn more about healthy eating on October 26, 2012 at WomenCare First Annual Day of Health: Be Strong, Be Happy, Be Healthy. Registered Dietitian Ann Marie Smokowski will present “Anti-Inflammatory Eating: The Mediterranean Lifestyle.” Click here for details.

    Tuesday, October 2, 2012

    Smart Eating: Focus on Balance, Variety and Proportion

    “There are three elements from the Choose My Plate Guidelines that are necessary to achieve healthy eating,” says Registered Dietitian Ann Marie Smokowski, who provides nutrition counseling at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo.
    1. Balance - Selecting appropriate foods from each of the food groups 
    2. Variety - Eating a wide array of foods from each of the food groups 
    3. Proportion - Keeping the recommended portions consistent from each of the food groups 
    Food groups include grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, protein foods, and oils.

      SuperTracker can help you plan, analyze, and track your diet and physical activity. Personalized Meal Planning

      To make meal planning easy and ensure that you follow these guidelines, use SuperTracker to get personalized recommendations and track the foods that you consume.

      More Smart Eating Tips

      Smart Eating is a series of nutrition tips to help you transform your eating habits. A new tip will be added on weekdays throughout the month of October.

      Previous post:

      Learn more about healthy eating on October 26, 2012 at WomenCare First Annual Day of Health: Be Strong, Be Happy, Be Healthy. Registered Dietitian Ann Marie Smokowski will present “Anti-Inflammatory Eating: The Mediterranean Lifestyle.” Click here for details.

      Monday, October 1, 2012

      Smart Eating: Eat 3 Meals Every Day

      Smart Eating is a series of nutrition tips to help you transform your eating habits. Check back Monday - Friday for a new nutrition tip that you can use to reach your goals, whether you want to look better, have more energy or prevent health issues.



      “Frequently skipping meals impairs the body’s ability to burn calories effectively,” says Registered Dietitian Ann Marie Smokowski, who provides nutrition counseling at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo.

      “Eating meals regularly is like refueling our engine to give us the energy to perform our daily routine at the optimum level.”

      Breakfast is one of the most commonly missed meals. Research has shown that by skipping breakfast, people have poor concentration in the morning and may battle weight issues, such as obesity.

      Eating three meals can also curb cravings. “When someone is craving desserts on a regular basis, I generally inquire whether they are skipping any meals during the day. Skipping meals often aggravates the craving urge.”

      Fast & Healthy Breakfast Meals

      • Whole wheat bagel with peanut butter 
      • Hard boiled egg and toast 
      • Low-fat yogurt 
      • Cheerios and banana slices in low-fat milk 
      • Oatmeal 
      • Homemade Smoothies

      Oatmeal

      "I like to encourage oatmeal in the morning," says Ann Marie.

      You can make steel cut oatmeal in a crock-pot and portion it in a thermos for work.

      "Store the other servings in a container and place it in your fridge for the next day. When you wake up in the morning, you have the wonderful aroma of homemade oatmeal in your kitchen."

      Smoothies

      Ann Marie also recommends homemade smoothies. She says:

      "The night before, place plain yogurt, ½ cup juice, frozen banana and other frozen fruit, and even 2 tbsp avocado (for the monounsaturated fat) in a blender. Place it in the refrigerator over night. When you're ready for breakfast, blend the ingredients and pour an 8 oz. serving. Now you’re good to go!"

      Granola Bars

      While some might turn to granola bars for a quick fix, Ann Marie says to read the label before you buy. "A granola bar is not my favorite breakfast option because they can be very processed. If you must, look for a bar with real ingredients like dried fruit, nuts (if tolerated), and avoid added sugars."

      Take Your Groceries to the Office

      If you don’t have time to prepare breakfast at home, keep the essentials at the office and prepare breakfast when you arrive.

      Learn more about healthy eating on October 26, 2012 at WomenCare First Annual Day of Health: Be Strong, Be Happy, Be Healthy. Registered Dietitian Ann Marie Smokowski will present “Anti-Inflammatory Eating: The Mediterranean Lifestyle.” Click here for details.
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