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Feast on Favorites

May 26, 2005, Vol. III Issue 11

Dear Friends,

So many of our speakers have been in the news, etc., recently that I noticed I’ve been writing a lot about them, but not about the health headlines so having promised you some of both, today I’m reversing the trend.

“Feast on Favorites” was the headline on the front page of my local newspaper last week, and the best was yet to come. Good news about chocolate, olive oil, wine and tea. Yum! That got MY attention. This news was reported from a conference right in my backyard.

And as you probably know, May is Women’s Health Month. I’m pleased to bring you an article from the National Women’s Health Resource Center. If you don’t already get their email news, I would encourage you to sign up. Their e-news is cutting edge with versions tailored for health professionals or consumers.

Yours truly,

Feast on Favorites

“Food scientists don’t know how or why wine, olive oil, tea and dark chocolate promote well being, but the benefits seem clear,” read the subhead to the news article. I love it when they talk my language. Note it is food scientists, not marketers, who are being quoted. 250 doctors and diet researchers, convened last week here in Portland, Oregon, for the International Diet and Optimum Health Conference, organized by Oregon State University.

“The idea that food can limit chronic disease appeals to many scientists, and many eaters,” the article said. “Several studies link diets rich in colorful fruits and vegetables, and low in saturated fats, with less heart disease and cancer. Other foods, some of them guilty pleasures, appear to have some benefit, although scientists have no proof why or how they work.”

The researchers said that people who eat lots of these nutrient rich foods seem to live longer and suffer less cancer and heart disease. Yet when it comes to proving how and why specific foods fight illness, the proof is not in documented research. What was apparent at this conference, is regardless of the proof or lack thereof, there’s reason to lean in the direction of belief rather than skepticism. “It shows a growing consensus in the ever-changing science of nutrition about what mix of foods is healthful, even without much proof of which individual nutrients fight given diseases.”

This, of course, is not carte blanche for a diet of wine and chocolate (DARN!). Like all good things, we are talking about these things in moderation.

Here’s the lowdown:

Chocolate: Best types: Dark and bitter. Amount: As much as 4 ounces daily. May help: Cardiovascular health.

Olive Oil: Best types: Extra virgin, sharp-flavored. Amount: Up to 4 tablespoons a day. May help: Limit heart disease, improve cholesterol balance, lower blood pressure.

Tea: Best types: Green or white tea. Amount: Two or more cups a day. May help: Limit some cancers or heart disease.

Alcohol: Best types: Red wine may be better. Amount: Fewer than three drinks a day. May help: Protect against heart disease and stroke.

Exercise was also a star (no surprise to you and me) of this conference. That headline read, “Diet scientists boil it down: Get moving, stay healthy.” The researchers reported on the new exercise recommendations, at least 60 minutes of brisk walkin daily to maintain weight, 90 minutes to lose it. They said, after studying hundreds of people who had their activity carefully measured, that people who averaged walking 60 minutes a day at 4 miles per hour, or exercise that burned equal calories, maintained their weight. They added that exercise should be on top of regular daily activities.

All in all, I’d have to agree, wouldn’t you? Looks, sounds and feels like common sense to me. If you want to bring a program to your community that spreads the word, email or call me! I’m a believer!

For YOUR Health: Take 10 to TALK

More time and less stress are what American women believe would do the most to help improve their health. They place a greater priority on the health of their families than their own personal health. When it comes to taking care of themselves, their decisions are limited by the demands on their time and money and the competing
responsibilities of work and home life, according to “Women Talk,” the first annual public opinion survey on the state of women’s health by the National Women’s Health Resource Center (NWHRC). The survey also found that even when they do make the time for a visit with their healthcare professional, they go unprepared and lose an important opportunity to improve their health and wellness.

“Women and their healthcare professionals need to do a better job of communicating about both physical and emotional wellness and how to achieve it. That’s true even though both may feel the pressure to keep a visit as short as possible,” according to Amy Niles, president of the NWHRC. Niles suggests that for the healthcare professional, that can mean making wellness strategies such as stress management and health screenings a topic of every visit. For women, it means learning how to become active partners in their health and wellness.

“Take 10 to T.A.L.K.” is an educational initiative that encourages women to take 10 minutes to get prepared. Each letter of TALK emphasizes one of the four important topics that women should talk about when visiting their health care professional.

T – Tell your health care team about all prescription and nonprescription medications you take.

A – Ask about health screenings and how your family’s medical history may affect you.

L – Learn where to find reliable health information and how to use it.

K – Kick start your health goals today with small changes that will lead to better health

“Take 10 to T.A.L.K.” is one of a series of education initiatives that emphasize that even small amounts of time devoted to a woman’s health (a 10-minute walk, 10 minutes to learn about heart health, 10 minutes to get ready for a health visit) can have long-term benefits. More information on “Take 10 to T.A.L.K.” and other “Take 10” programs is available by calling 1-877-986-9472.

Brownies Without Guilt

I’m off to Canada this holiday weekend to ride a ferry to an island near Victoria, B.C. and kayak in salt water. As I write this, the aroma of chocolate is tantalizing my nostrils and tastebuds. I’m baking one of my favorite treats for the trip. You’ll never guess, but maybe you will, it’s chocolate. Brownies to be exact. Have you ever tried “No Pudge Fudge Brownie Mix?” You have to! This is heaven.

All you do is add nonfat yogurt and bake. Yummy!!! As the package says, “Decadent, fudgy & chewy.” Add nuts if you like, but just plain, each square is just 120 calories, 1 gram fiber and 0 fat. No guilt, pure pleasure. Yahoo! I get mine at Trader Joe’s.

Check the website, for a supplier near you!

I hope you get to enjoy some of life’s big and little pleasures this holiday weekend. To your good health! Until next time, be good to yourself, for your well being and those you love.

Yours truly,

The Speak Well Being Group specializes in providing exceptional speakers for health, wellness and women’s events. Because we’ve worked with so many hospitals and healthcare groups around the country, we speak your language. Our hand-picked speakers are attuned to your needs and adept at addressing the issues while delivering information in an entertaining way, or simply providing a good time with a light message when that’s the ticket. When you work with us, you’ll come back for more “How are we going to top that?” speakers.

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