Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Keeping It Together While Celebrating

Whether you celebrate Hanukkah (Chanukah), Christmas, Kwanzaa or just going with the flow of the holiday season - be sure to keep it together. What do I mean by keeping it together?

While getting together with friends for drinks after work could be fun, the holiday season seems to be one of the most merriest yet deadliest seasons for many. Keep the drinking to a minimum so that you may be alert and aware. Drinking although it is emphasized for those who drive, also applies to those who rely on public transportation or even those who may hook up with a random guy they meet at a bar/club. Drinking alters your ability to be in control. It is easy to think that you can control your drinking, taking public transportation can also put you at risk to a predator who sees an opportunity to take advantage of you. This applies to men and women, you place yourself in a vulnerable position where you can be mugged, raped or both. Travel with friends although it wont be effective if you are all inebriated.

No need to get high on any form of drugs either - there's nothing groovy or cool in that. Truth be told, and I don't mind telling you - your behavior can be annoying or a disruption to others who are trying to have a real good time without drugs. In fact, as your high levels return to your normal state, you may be quite embarrassed or unaware of the things that took place during your fleeting moment of having a good time. Of course the consequences to your health is no party at all!

As I celebrate Christmas with my family, I want to wish you a joyous holiday season. Make each moment a memorable one - one that you will be proud of ;-)Eat and exercise, drink in moderation and be merry!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Things I Love About Apples

As a child, I loved apples. My father the healthy eating commissioner of our household,made sure that our home was always stocked with fruits, 100% juices and vegetables. It was a way of life for us and as a parent, I made sure that my children developed a love for the healthy foods. Well, getting back to the love of apples, it began with the colors. It helped that my favorite color was red and I enjoyed the crunch of the apple. Apples as you know have a variety of colors and are tasty from sweet to tart or just plain. The saying an apple a day keeps the doctor away actually has some truth to it.

According to the United States Drug and Food Administration funded study, apples have been found to benefit in the following areas:
* lowers (LDL) bad cholesterol
* increases (HDL) the good cholesterol
* good source of fiber pectin
* good source of antioxidants
* contains small amounts of potassium
* aids in weight loss

Further research studies have indicated that there is a correlation between apples and reducing/preventing some cancers, brain health (Alzheimer's disease), heart diseases, lung diseases and strokes.

One of my favorite apple treats as a child was the candy apple. Of course, I had it on a few occasions. It was the treat I ate at an amusement park, circus or a day at the museum. Unlike today with it's fancy dressings, my candy apple was simply coated with lots of sugar. As I promote the great benefits of apples, I would love to say that candy coated apples are exempt from the above references as its trimmings can cause quite a bit of health complications - especially if it is consumed often.

My love for apples took on a whole new turn as I had my first taste of apple pie as an adult. My father in-law made the most delicious pies ever. He would make his pies using the apples from his apple tree and they were so delicious, I wish I could have shared it with you. As the holidays approaches, and as we continue to enjoy the delicious treats of apples, from hot apple ciders to apple pies - keep in mind that everything must be enjoyed in moderation. Go out to the local farmers market or your produce stand and purchase some apples - get to improving on your health and wellness.