If holiday stress aggravates other health
conditions your have, biofeedback might be a good tool for
you. It's a relaxation technique that can help you learn to
regulate some of your own bodily functions, such as heart
rate and blood pressure. Some conditions that biofeedback
can help control include asthma, headaches, irregular heartbeats,
high blood pressure and the nausea and vomiting that sometimes
you're interested in learning about biofeedback, ask your
doctor for information or visit the Biofeedback Certification
Institute of America. (http://www.bcia.org/GeneralInfo_FindPractitioner.cfm).
Source: K. Pelletier. The Best Alternative Medicine. Simon
and Schuster, New York, New York, 10020; The Association for
Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 2001
Toys and Gifts
of the best ways to make sure your child is using toys safely
is to get down on the floor and be part of the playing. It's
a good way to provide guidance and to make sure your little
one isn't using toys in an unsafe way. Plus kids love it when
the grownups play with them. Also keep in mind:
recommendations on a toy's packaging are based not only
on the intelligence of a child, but on safety factors too.
Even a very bright child may be too young to use certain
aware of product recalls. Visit the Safe Kids Web site for
updated information. (http://www.safekids.org/tier2_rl.cfm?folder_id=302)
National Safe Kids Campaign, 2001
forget the importance of staying away from alcohol at holiday
gatherings if you'll be getting behind the wheel later on.
As more and more states pass the .08 blood alcohol concentration
(BAC) law, drivers who drink are even more vulnerable to receiving
drunk driving citations.
BACs can vary from person to person, but here's a general
170-pound man would reach a .08 BAC after consuming four drinks
in one hour on an empty stomach.
137-pound woman, it would take only three drinks per hour
on an empty stomach.
Source: Mothers Against Drunk Driving, 2001
fewer daylight hours that winter brings can lead to a type
of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD.
The condition affects women more than men, and adults far
more than children or teens. Symptoms include:
or sluggishness in the winter months
getting out of bed in the morning
sweets and carbohydrates
for SAD include:
therapy, an effective treatment for many SAD sufferers.
It involves sitting under a bright light box for at least
30 minutes every day.
a well balanced diet.
an hour of daylight time outside every day.
an anti-depressant medication.
think SAD is affecting you, talk with your doctor to rule
out other possible conditions and to find the best treatment
The National Institute of Mental Health, 2001
for Mental Health
a pet can be good for your mental and physical health. Some
benefits can include:
cholesterol and blood pressure
built-in excuse for daily exercise (if the pet is a dog)
incidence of depression, especially for older people.
about the unconditional love of a pet can make people feel
better. If you have some time to devote to a pet every day,
and a bit of money to spend at the vet, consider adding a
dog, cat, bird or even fish to your household.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; The New York Times,
9 October 2001
Weight Watchers® "Good?"
American Dietetic Association (ADA) describes the best way
to lose weight:
small changes over time
a variety of foods
what you eat over several days
all types of foods, but don't overdo it
Watchers® has a reputation for being one of the more reliable,
successful weight loss programs because it promotes the same
moderate approach as the ADA. Foods receive a point value,
and participants are "allowed" to eat all kinds of foods as
long as their point total stays within a certain range. Group
meetings and peer support are another important aspect of
Weight Watchers®. Those weekly "weigh-ins" provide strong
incentive to keep weight down. Weight Watchers® also emphasizes
the importance of exercise.
to watch out for is that the point system makes it easier
to have an unbalanced diet. It's possible to eat nothing but
dairy products every day, for example, as long as you stay
within the point range.
American Dietetic Association: Weight Watchers, 2001
there a way to get the comforting taste of comfort foods without
the fat and calories? Yes, if you're willing to compromise
a little. The key is to try to minimize the fat content and
keep your portions reasonable. Some tips:
or low-fat milk instead of whole.
oil cooking spray when greasing a pan.
the fat from soup stocks and pan juices by using a fat-separating
visible fat from meats.
example: instead of frying chicken, try soaking the chicken
(after removing the skin) in skim milk, dip in dry breadcrumbs
and herbs and bake in the oven.
J. Brody. Jane Brody's Good Food Book., 2001
from Cookie Dough?
True or False:
commercially prepared cookie dough puts you at risk of getting
salmonella poisoning from egg.
prepared cookie dough is made from pasteurized eggs. Pasteurization
kills the salmonella bacteria.
other hand, eating cookie dough you've made yourself can give
you salmonella poisoning from the raw egg, unless you've used
pasteurized eggs. Eggnog made with raw eggs also poses a risk.
Food and Drug Administration, 2001
The great thing about a big holiday dinner is that it goes
a long way. To make sure your leftovers don't make you sick:
keep the stuffing inside the turkey after it's cooked. Harmful
bacteria can grow and cause food poisoning.
your leftovers away after two hours.
forget about keeping raw poultry juices away from other foods.
That means the cutting board and any utensils you used on
the turkey should be thoroughly washed right away.
American Dietetic Association, 2001
Eating at Parties
Keep these ideas in mind as you make your rounds at holiday
arrive hungry. You'll be more likely to eat everything in
your favorite healthy dish along as your contribution to
eggnog. An 8-ounce glass, with rum, has 450 calories.
twice before popping an appetizer in your mouth. These little
bites are gone in an instant, but they're often high in
fat and calories.
baking cookies is something you don't want to give up, bake
them and then get them out of the house-take them to a party.
someone else at the party who's also trying to avoid eating
too much. Peer support can be a helpful motivator.
Exercise and Shopping Combo