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THE WEIRS TIMES & THE COCHECO TIMES, Thursday, December 29, 2011 To Your Health

Presented by LRGHealthcare

How To Win The Battle of the Bulge- Start Planning Today for Healthy Holiday Meals We all look forward to the festivities around the holidays, including the wonderful foods and treats prepared by friends and family. Unfortunately, all the extra

sweets and snacks can be an unwelcome shock to our waistlines! Just thinking about traditional holiday meals can put your appetite in high gear. The temptation to overeat is lurking at every holiday table. By New Year’s Day, many of us are avoiding the scales, and thinking about joining a health club. Planning ahead during the holidays is a crucial part of maintaining your health and wellness. It is easy to neglect healthy eating habits when most of us are caught up in shopping for the perfect gift or planning festive gatherings. Cooking & Baking

There are so many ways to enjoy your favorite savory treats without them turning into an extra pound (or two). Try using healthy alternatives in your recipes to cut

fat and calories. Chances are that most people won't even notice! • For baked goods, use half the butter, shortening or oil and replace the other half with unsweetened applesauce, mashed banana or prune puree. Healthy substitutions not only cut calories and fat but they also boost nutritional value.

• If you are making an appetizer or larger dish consider cooking techniques such as braising, broiling, grilling or steaming. • Avoid frying in oil or butter and opt for baking or boiling. Ideally there would be a yummy alternative to all foods that are high in fat, calories, and sodium but when there isn't, try to enjoy smaller portions.

Navigating the Buffet Table Social calendars fill up quickly with holiday gatherings this time of year. Though you may not be in control of the menu, there are things you can do to stay in

control of your eating at these gatherings. Start by eating something before you leave home. An empty stomach is an invitation to binge. Keep yourself from filling up on fatty party foods by eating a low-fat snack before you leave home. Bring a healthy dish to contribute and fill your plate with fresh fruits and vegetables when available. Eating smaller portions is also very important. Choose the items you want to try the most, and eat a small portion of each. Alcoholic beverages and many fruit punches can be long on calories but short on nutrition. Instead, look for hot cider, diet sodas and flavored waters.

Stay Active Physical activity is one of the best gifts you can give yourself during the holiday season. Over the busy holidays, sneak in exercise by:

• Walking before or after your holiday meal • Parking at a distance from the mall entrance and pick up your pace while shopping in the mall. • Use the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator. • Limit time in front of the television – remember, it is a time to visit with family and friends.

Visit the LRGHealthcare website for a listing of community education programs offered in the Lakes and Three Rivers Regions. Pool Exercises, Fitness Classes, and one-on-one counseling with a dietitian are all available. Call LRGHealthcare Education Services at 527-7120 for more information.

Clean Hands = Good Health

By Darlene Burrows LRGHealthcare Director of Infection Control

The holiday season is upon us. It’s a time for celebrating, and sharing time and good cheer with family and friends. Unfortunately, it can also be a prime time for sharing germs!

Handwashing is the best way to protect yourself and your family from many illnesses, including everything from the common cold to more serious illnesses such as influenza or norovirus. Protect your health by making sure everyone in your family is practicing good hand hygiene.

It may seem like common sense, but while many people think they are washing their hands properly, they are actually missing many of the germs that can make them sick! Following some simple steps can help keep you and your family healthy.

Handwashing for Good Health • Wet hands first • Apply soap (doesn’t need to be antibacterial), and rub hands together, covering all surfaces including fingernail areas and around any rings.

• Rub hands for 15-20 seconds—about the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday to yourself. • Rinse hands with water and dry thoroughly with a paper towel. • Use a paper towel to shut off the faucet, and to touch any doorknobs if you are leaving a public restroom.

Tips for Healthy Little Hands • Set a good example for your children, and make sure they see you washing your hands properly before eating, after using the restroom, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.

• Try keeping children’s soaps in your home. There are colorful, scented, and foam soaps available.

• Encourage your child to sing Happy Birthday or Row Row Row Your Boat once through while washing his or her hands. Make handwashing fun!

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