The Wood County Committee on Aging (WCCOA) is a 501 (C)(3) non-profit organization. Our goal is to help older adults maintain their independence and improve their quality of life. The WCCOA encourages engagement in lifelong learning opportunities, health and wellness programs, supports an active lifestyle, and provides meals and social services throughout Wood County. Centers are located in Bowling Green, Perrysburg, Walbridge, Rossford, Pemberville, Wayne, Grand Rapids and North Baltimore.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Happier, Healthier Holidays
tips to get you through the season’s hurdles
1. Cooking for a small crowd? Serve a turkey breast (no skin), which
has 60 fewer calories per 3.5-ounce portion than dark meat. It also cooks in
less time than a whole bird.
Chestnuts on hand. They have less fat and about half the calories of
3. Season strategically.
Flavors like cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg capture the essence of the
season without adding many calories. Replace salt with savory basil, garlic,
rosemary, sage, thyme or turmeric in casseroles, stuffings and dressings.
4. Make a healthier
mash. Reduced-fat or no-fat versions of Greek yogurt taste rich and creamy
and can be folded into mashed potatoes in place of butter or sour cream.
5. Bake with
pureed fruit. It can replace up to 25 percent of the butter or oil in
backing, cutting down on fat and calories.For instance, try applesauce in muffins or brownies.
6. Prepare poultry safely. Buy a fresh bird one or two days before
you plan to cook it. For a frozen turkey, allow 24 hours of thawing in the
refrigerator for every 4 to 5 pounds. For safe cooking instructions, go to
fsis.usda.gov and search for “Let’s Talk Turkey.”
At The Table
7. For appetizers, think fresh. Boiled shrimp with lemon or cocktail sauce is a smarter pick
than fried hors d’oeuvres. Other healthful starters include stuffed mushrooms,
sliced low-fat cheese, and raw veggies with hummus.
fast before dinner. It will probably
lead to overeating. Instead, grab some small, low-calorie snacks beforehand.
a deadly dinner. A study of
heart-attack patients suggested that an unusually large meal—packed with
carbohydrates, fat, and salt—quadrupled the chance of having a heart attack
within the next two hours.
buffet eating. You would not
order one of everything from a menu, so scan the table and make your choices
before you load up a plate.
the whip. Whipped cream can
add 100 calories or more when used as a drink or dessert topper. Try going
without, or opt for a nonfat version.
slowly. For most people,
incidents of heartburn are episodic and result from eating too much too fast.
say no. Peer pressure
never gets easier to handle. But if you’re being urged by a host to keep eating
when you’re full, this polite but firm statement should be able to do the
trick: “No thank you, I’ve had enough. Everything was delicious.”
14. Sip tea. You can cut about 3,500 calories, about
the amount it takes to put on a pound, by choosing tea over soda throughout the
holidays. Try drinking it without sugar or milk. And tea has health benefits,
At The Party
lighter-colored spirits. Dark
liquors such as whiskey are more apt to cause hangovers than colorless or
lighter drinks because they have more congeners, which are substances produced
during fermentation that can make you feel ill.
a spritzer. Mix half red or white
wine and half seltzer in a wine glass, add a slice of lime, and you have a
festive drink with half the calories and alcohol content.
home safely. Nearly 60 percent of
fatal traffic accidents are single-vehicle crashes, mostly occurring during
late-night or early-morning hours. Get to a hotel if you start staring at the
road or begin to nod off.
18. Don’t fall for hangover
“remedies.” The purported
cures sold in stores and online are useless, according to a review published in
June 2010 by researchers in the Netherlands. Instead, drink moderately and not
on an empty stomach. Also, alternate water with alcoholic beverages to stay
hydrated. Then drink coffee to battle fatigue and take aspirin or ibuprofen.
Under Your Roof
burn the tree down. Christmas trees
account for an average of 240 fires, 13 deaths, and nearly $17 million in
property damage annually, based on data collected from 2005 to 2009. Make sure
that heat sources are kept far away, and keep the holiday tree stand filled
the decorating. More than 5,000
people annually will suffer a fall while decorating for the holidays, whether
from ladders, roofs, or furniture. Instead, ask for help.
the decorating, part 2. Inspect
your holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the
insulation, broken sockets, and excessive kinking.
Christmas tree ornaments, and other decorations that spend most of their year
in the attic or basement can trigger allergies when taken out of storage. Clean
them before you deck the halls.
23. Unwrap carefully. About 17 percent of adults will be injured
or will know someone who gets hurt while opening gifts, according to a 2009
survey by the Pennsylvania Medical Society. Use a pair of scissors on stubborn
plastic “clamshell” packaging or other items that you can’t open easily by
For Your Body
up. Find family or friends
to exercise with. Workout buddies will motivate you on those cold, dark
mornings when staying in bed seems so much more appealing.
walk. You can burn about 300
calories an hour while walking briskly. Take a few extra laps around the mall
even after you’re done shopping.
'n' clean. Nobody ever said
cleaning can’t be fun. It’s a great way to burn calories while whittling down
your to-do list. Some fast-paced holiday tunes should get you going.
belly fat. Even if your
overall weight doesn’t change, a small study published in 2006 in the journal
Nutrition & Metabolism found that people saw a shift in body-fat
composition over the holidays, with more of their fat accumulating by their
belly. Since abdominal fat has been linked to cardiovascular disease, type 2
diabetes, and early mortality, stay active regardless of what your scale says.
28. Don’t count on losing it
later. If you need
motivation not to put on weight over the holidays, consider this: Research
shows that the extra pounds people gain during the season aren’t lost during
the remainder of the year.
For Your Spirit
29. Forgive. Disagreements within families are normal;
don’t let them ruin your holidays or your health. A positive attitude can not
only help mend and preserve relationships but also improve your heart rate and
blood pressure, according to research published in the Journal of Cognitive
what you can’t afford. Research
in wealthy and poor populations has shown that as long as basic needs are met,
additional wealth and material objects have little effect on well-being. In
fact, people who are more focused on material goods exhibit reduced life
satisfaction and higher levels of depression.
with others. A study in the
America Journal of Psychiatry concluded that observing one’s faith in a social
setting was linked to a lower risk of illness, especially depression. If you
don’t practice a religion, seek out community or other social events.
those who aren’t there. Special
remembrances and displays of photos can stimulate affectionate talk about
people you miss, turning sadness into special moments.
merry with your mate. Couples who
participate in holiday rituals together, such as decorating their home or
lighting candles, can strengthen their marriages, according to Syracuse
34. Make a New Year’s
resolution. More than
two-thirds of Americans don’t partake in this tradition, according to a
nationally representative survey conducted by Harris Interactive. That leaves
them with no urgency to make changes for the better.
Your To-Do List
35. Hydrate. Drinking plenty of water throughout the
day—at least eight glasses—will keep you from eating when you’re actually
36. Re-gift. Take food baskets or high-calorie presents
you receive to work or parties so that they can be shared.
a food diary. The more honest
you are about what you eat in a day, the bigger the boost in willpower.
a history lesson. Knowing the health
status of your family members, past and present, not only strengthens ties but
can also build a family health history. That can help you predict your own risk
of disease, and motivate you to make lifestyle changes if needed.
your doctor’s vacation schedule. Make any necessary backup plans if he or she is going to be
away at the end of the year. One possible reason fatal heart attacks spike
during the holidays is because people wait to go to the doctor or hospital
after initial symptoms appear, possibly due to a lack of available care.
40. Remember: Life isn’t
perfect. Stay calm, and
enjoy your family, friends, and all the festivities.
Reports on Health, December 2012, Volume 24 Number 12