Published Articles

How to Stay Healthy While Traveling

by Autumn Pappas, CHHC, AADP

Keeping your immune system in tip-top shape while you travel starts with being well-prepared. Here are some tips on how to stay healthy while traveling this holiday season!

Get quality sleep and enough of it, especially the night before you leave on a vacation. Know how much sleep you need to stay healthy and what you need with you to get the best sleep possible. You often cannot choose what kind of bed or mattress you will sleep on; but you can bring other things with you such as a sleep mask, favorite pillow, comfy pajamas, or a meditation tape to help you sleep more soundly. Also, if at all possible, adjust the room temperature so it is right for you.

Stay hydrated before and during your flight by drinking water. Pressurized cabins dry out our mucus membranes, which in turn makes it more difficult for us to release toxins from our bodies. Pack your own blanket and pillow to avoid getting any germs from a previous passenger. Additionally, eat a healthy meal before you fly out.

De-stress each day while away whenever possible. Take a walk, stick your toes in the sand, read a book, or listen to a meditation tape. Notice when you feel stressed while traveling and choose effective ways to relieve your stress.

Bring healthy snacks, supplements and superfoods with you. Airlines and hotels typically have unhealthy snacks, and grocery stores are often not convenient to get to. Pack nuts, fruits, or trail mix for a quick on-the-go snack. Goji Berries are the perfect superfood to take on a trip! They are light, travel well, and are loaded with nutrients and vitamins.

Lastly, stay active while away to keep your immune system strong. Use the stairs, participate in your local exercise classes, or use your hotel’s gym if possible. Many vacation destinations also have bikes for rent.

Published in the “Port Ludlow Voice”, December 2014

 

 

Learning About Your Healthcare Options

by Autumn Pappas, CHHC, AADP

Did you know that Port Ludlow is a hot spot of information pertaining to healthcare resources? Yes, it’s true! Here are some fantastic and helpful local resources you may or may not know about and what they provide:

  • The PLVC Health & Wellness Committee’s mission is to assist residents in accessing relevant health and wellness information that supports their personal health care choices. Live health forums are conducted each spring and fall. The next one titled, “Understanding Medicare Benefits: Building Your Survival Skills for a Disjointed Healthcare System” is on Saturday, November 15 from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Beach Club.

    The committee supports two weight loss support groups called WALI run by Kathi Traci. For more information, contact Kathy at (360) 301-5378 or tracipkt@aol.com. The committee’s educational resource center maintains multiple health resource notebooks available at both clubs. The notebooks contain reference copies which can be xeroxed at either club. Dvds of past forums are also available for borrowing. Additionally, check out the wealth of digital health information on the committee website at www.plhealth.org/.

  • The PLVC sponsors free individual Medicare and Affordable Care Act sessions conducted by SHIBA (Statewide Health Insurance Benefit Advisors) to residents. You can also learn about online access to reliable health information from Committee volunteers. Sessions are on a first-come-first-serve basis. The next two sessions are Wednesday, November 12 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. at the Beach Club and Wednesday, December 3 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. at the Bay Club. Open enrollment for Medicare Part D (drug plan) ends December 7. More information about SHIBA can be found on Pg. 20 of the October 2014 Voice issue.
  • Do you have a Senior Resources pamphlet? These helpful books have phone numbers and local information on caregivers, crisis and counseling assistance, financial and legal services, food assistance, home health care, hospice, hospitals, housing, insurance, Medicaid and Medicare, medical supplies, support groups, long-term care and more. Pick one up either club.
  • Have you visited the Jefferson Healthcare Port Ludlow Clinic? Located at 9481 Oak Bay Road, the clinic provides primary care, same day appointments and flu shots. The clinic is open Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. You can reach the clinic at (360) 437-5067.

    Published in the “Port Ludlow Voice”, November 2014

 

 

Paddleboarding: This Summer’s Hottest Activity

by Autumn Pappas, CHHC, AADP

“Water provides the fountain of youth, better skin, less cravings, more energy, better digestion, less headaches, a higher metabolism, better mood, and an ability to concentrate more; and that’s just from drinking it. Getting out and playing in a big ol’ body of it is a whole other ballgame.” -Anonymous

It’s hard to pinpoint when the sport of paddleboarding really began, but it undeniably has roots dating back thousands of years. Ancient cultures from South America to Africa used boards with a long stick to fish, travel, ride waves and even engage in war. The modern form of Stand Up Paddling, also known as SUP, has Polynesian ancestry and began in the 1950’s. Surf instructors and photographers would take paddles and stand on their boards to get a better view of surfers and incoming swells. Paddleboarding remained primarily a Hawaiian sport until 2004, when Vietnam vet Rick Thomas brought one back to California. The sport quickly caught on in the U.S., and then the influence circled the globe.

Stand up paddling requires a combination of strength and balance, but is also quite simple to do.  It provides a full-body workout like swimming while targeting the core muscles. The intensity of the workout depends on many factors; the current, amount of waves, your effort and the environment all play roles. Light, recreational paddleboarding burns around 250 calories an hour; while more intense paddleboarding burns about 500. The sport has gotten great praise for its ability to calm the spirit, ease the mind and combat stress.

Want to try it out? As of this summer, our very own Port Ludlow Marina has one large paddleboard and four small paddleboards for rent. The small paddleboards run $25/hour or $200/week while the large paddleboard runs $35/hour or $280/week. The paddleboards travel easily since they inflate and deflate in a quick ten minutes. Each rental includes the paddleboard, paddle, a life vest and a pump. The marina also has wetsuits if needed. I sincerely hope to see you out there on the water. Paddle On!

Published in the “Port Ludlow Voice”, September 2014

 

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

by Autumn Pappas, CHHC, AADP

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…”       

Perhaps no statement in American history is better known or has been more powerful and iconic than this one issued by Congress in the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776. Not only does this proclamation entitle us, as Americans to powers that cannot be given away nor should be questioned; equality, life, freedom, but it also allows us the right to pursue our happiness. As Americans, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” has become our birthright; our motto; our creed.

What does it truly mean to pursue happiness? In modern society, many of us have come to believe that the “pursuit” of happiness is the journey we take in order to achieve our desires. If we follow the pursuit, eventually we will get a bigger house, our ideal career, become more popular, choose the right mate, have the perfect family—and then we will be happy. But happiness is fleeting. Satisfaction never lasts long, and soon we are hungry for more. How can we stop this endless cycle?

First, learn to be present in the moment. Unhappiness often comes from dwelling on the past and feeling anxiety about the future. All we truly have is now. Meditation, mindfulness and breathing exercises are great tools to help you stay present in the moment. Next, be of service. Giving selflessly not only builds self-esteem, and brings meaning and connectedness to one’s life, but also enriches the lives of others. Lastly, be grateful, and share your gratitude with others. Gratitude takes merely seconds, can lift our spirits and make our hearts soar.

Happiness is a choice. It lives inside of us always; we just must learn how to tap into it. This fourth, while you sit under firework-filled skies, surrounded by your communities, families and friends; I hope you feel inspired to breathe in the moment, to extend your hand to be of service to another and lastly, that you have things in your heart to be grateful for.

Published in the “Port Ludlow Voice”, July 2014

 

Hey Chocoholic! What’s Causing Your Cravings?

by Autumn Pappas, CHHC, AADP

Surveys show nearly 100% of women and 70% of men get cravings; but where are these unpredictable and crazy cravings coming from? Understanding the causes of cravings may help you to get to the bottom of yours. Here are seven causes of cravings and questions to ask yourself next time a craving arises:

  • Am I under-hydrated or over-hydrated? Dehydration as well as excess hydration can manifest as hunger and lead to cravings.
  • Am I craving seasonal foods? Often our bodies crave foods that balance the elements of the season. For example, you may often crave hot and “grounding” foods like potatoes in the winter time and sweet, cold foods like ice cream in the summertime.
  • Is my diet imbalanced? Foods either contain expansive qualities or contractive qualities, and a lack of food in either of these categories can lead to cravings. For example, consuming too much sugar can cause cravings for salty foods.
  • Am I dissatisfied with an area in my life? Am I feeling bored, uninspired, unloved, unhealthy or angry? Food cravings can arise from one’s unmet emotional needs.
  • Am I lacking nutrients? Odd cravings can occur when your body is not properly nourished. Nutrient deficiency can lead to cravings for salty foods, processed foods, caffeine or alcohol.
  • Am I hormonal? Women can experience hormonal cravings due to pregnancy, menopause, menstruation or fluctuating estrogen and testosterone levels.
  • Am I self-sabotaging? Sometimes when things are going great in our lives, we subconsciously sabotage our diets with unhealthy foods. We crave food that throws us off, which ironically creates more cravings to balance ourselves. Low blood sugar can be the culprit of these kinds of cravings.

Ready to take your cravings head on? Here are a few tips: Keep healthier versions of the foods you often crave in your cupboard, fridge or freezer. Stay properly hydrated. Consume a nutrient rich diet with lots of vegetables, fruit, lean protein and healthy grains. Find alternative, healthy ways to get your emotional needs met, such as joining yoga or meeting once a week for coffee and conversation with friends. Lastly, find ways to incorporate more joy into your life.

Published in the “Port Ludlow Voice”, June 2014

 

 

Daring Greatly

by Autumn Pappas, CHHC, AADP

“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly… who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”                                                        -Theodore Roosevelt

Every era has had its handful of great explorers, advocates, daredevils, heroes and trailblazers; people willing to face danger and embrace fear in order to break modern day normalities, challenge human existence and discover new possibilities. In 2012, Felix Baumgartner, set a world record when he skydived at an astonishing 843 miles per hour from 24 miles above the earth’s surface to become the first person to break the sound barrier without vehicular power. If that is not fear; if that is not vulnerability; if that is not daring greatly—I don’t know what is.

As humans we are inherently fearful; fearful of failure, of the unknown, of what others will think of us, of change, of vulnerability. One of the tragic ironies of life is that so many of us feel isolated from each other by the same feelings that we all share; failure, procrastination, stress, anger, hurt, anxiety, guilt, shame, unworthiness  and helplessness. So why not embrace these mutual feelings, feel the fear and dare greatly?

You are more likely than not to become successful at something that you have taken the risk to fail at. So don’t walk; run outside your comfort zone! Ask your boss for a raise, have that difficult family talk, reach out to someone who has just experienced loss. Become comfortable with being uncomfortable. Find the courage to embrace your vulnerability and engage with your whole heart. Use your fears as tools to transform your life. Taking action to conquer your fears will give you a higher level of confidence, strength and empowerment within.

The reality is that in life, there are no risk-free guarantees. Helen Keller said, “Security is mostly a superstition…Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.  Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

Published in the “Port Ludlow Voice”, May 2014

 

 

Pain, Pain Go Away: What’s Causing Your Headaches?

by Autumn Pappas, CHHC, AADP

Whether you get them once a month or once a year, headaches can be such a pain! According to the National Headache Foundation, over 45 million Americans suffer from chronic, recurring headaches. Annemarie Colbin, Ph.D., award-winning leader in the natural health field, says that headache and pain management first peaked her curiosity after she once cured a headache within minutes by eating apple sauce. Several years of research later, Colbin devised a concept that explores six common types of headaches, their causes and remedies.  Here they are:

Expansive Headaches transpire when you’ve had too many expansive foods such as sugar, coffee, alcohol, tea, chocolate, fruit, spices or fats. To combat these types of headaches, eat salty foods like olives or nuts.

Contractive or Tension Headaches occur from working too much, getting too much sun, being too stressed out, or not getting enough food or water. You can also get these headaches from overconsumption of contractive foods like beans, nuts, meat, salt, fish, feta cheese, sea vegetables and grains. Remedy these headaches by drinking juice, eating apple sauce or drinking seltzer with lemon.

Caffeine Headaches arise when your body is craving caffeine. If you are planning on reducing or eliminating caffeine in your diet; lower your intake over the course of several days or weeks to avoid pain. It’s also important to stay hydrated while weaning yourself off caffeine.

Structural Headaches are common in those who have slipped, fallen or been in an accident. Go see a chiropractor or massage therapist if you think you may have a structural headache.

Liver Headaches can result from consuming oily food, such as potato chips, on an empty stomach. This type of headache develops three-four hours after food consumption, and can feel like similar to a migraine associated with eye strain. A great natural reliever for this kind of headache is homemade lemon tea: Squeeze the juice of ½ organic lemon into a cup. Take the juiced peel, cut it into pieces and simmer those pieces in 1 ¼ cups of water for 10 minutes on the stove. When finished, strain the lemon water into the cup of lemon juice and drink hot.

Allergic Headaches are different for everyone, since allergy symptoms vary from person to person. If you suffer from these headaches, pay attention to what you’ve consumed and stay away from common allergens such as wheat, dairy and gluten.

Published in the “Port Ludlow Voice”, May 2014

 

 

How to Discover Your Core Desires

by Autumn Pappas, Contributing Writer

“You can’t hit a target, if you don’t know what it is.” –Anthony Robbins

If you don’t know what you really want in life, you are not alone. This dilemma affects people of all ages and crosses all political, social and economic lines. As a society, we often make lists of things we want to accomplish; only to find those same things create unhappiness in our lives. This problem arises because our intentions are often not aligned with our core desired feelings.

Core desires are things you want with all of your heart. They are persistent, deep, intense and powerful longings of your core being. When you become clear about how you want to feel, you can make daily intentional choices for pleasure.

This exercise can help you discover your core desires:

  • Ask yourself, how do I want to feel in every area of my life? (health, relationships, career, spirituality, finances, social life, education, etc.) Brainstorm multiple feelings within each area and record them on paper.
  • Study your list for each area. What feelings are replicated? What words jump out at you, feel important and valuable? Narrow down your list to five overall feelings. Having trouble? Looking up the definitions of the words may help you to pinpoint your desires.
  • Now, use repetitive questioning with each of your feelings. Let’s say one of your words is “confidence.” Ask yourself, “What does confidence feel like?” Your answer, “Like winning.” Ask again, “What does confidence feel like?” Your answer, “Like being certain.” Ask again, “What does confidence feel like?” Your answer, “Like clarity.” Exactly. What you really desire is to feel clarity.
  • Write each word you’re considering on its own sticky note and stick them somewhere you’ll see them every day. After a week, you’ll know if your words feel authentic and right for you. If not, take time to re-evaluate.

Once you discover your core desires, identify three things you can do today, three this week and three this month, to help you generate those feelings. Lastly, surround yourself with people whom make you feel those ways. Unearthing your core desires will bring more fulfillment, profound joy, balance, serenity and happiness into your life!

Published in the “Port Ludlow Voice”, April 2014

 

 

What Are Your Free Squares?

by Autumn Pappas, Contributing Writer

“In the game of bingo, each player starts with a bonus: the free square in the middle. Because everyone gets one, nobody thinks much of it, but the free square is just as valuable in winning the game as B-7 or O-69,” says Victoria Moran, author, speaker and creator of the free square concept.

We all have “free squares” in our lives too; talents, abilities, qualities, gifts and undeniable aptitudes that makes certain things almost effortless. Our free squares are so much a part of us that we don’t often think about them; and sometimes we even wonder why others struggle with things that come so natural to us.

Free squares are like built-in upgrades to our lives. We can use them to solve problems, mend relationships, help our communities, gain wealth and a variety of other things. We can even use our free squares as a stepping stone to get across what’s difficult in our lives to where we want to be.

So now I ask you–what are your free squares? What are the things that you were born with that are unique? Maybe you are good at meeting people, have an eye for design or can negotiate deals easily. Perhaps you are an impeccable gardener, easily work under pressure or have a great sense of direction.

If you are having trouble deciding what your free squares are, here are a few tools that can help you in the process: Write down a list of the things you are commonly complimented, acknowledged or praised for. Your free squares may be on that list. Ask your close friends and others who know you well what they think your free squares might be. Lastly, think about your past achievements, awards, careers and major life-changing events. Brainstorming may help you pinpoint some answers.

Play your free squares; they are so valuable! Let them work for you in your life. Be proud of them and grateful for them. Begin to use them and watch how your life will start to change. Bingo!

Published in the “Port Ludlow Voice”, February 2014

 

How to Make 2014 Your Best Year Yet!

by Autumn Pappas, Contributing Writer

There’s no time like the present to live your life the way it was meant to be lived! Here are some tips on how to make your 2014 memorable, enlightening and exciting!

Make a bucket list for 2014. Want to visit Easter Island, adopt a pet, get your finances on track, or start a foundation? A bucket list is a list of intentions, experiences or goals that a person wants to accomplish in a specific time frame. Bucket lists are unique to each person, as no two people have the same desires and wants. Some people refrain from writing bucket lists because the enormity of the items on the list can be rather daunting. My tip: Dream small and big. Small things are more attainable but larger things change us forever.

Forgive someone; even if it’s yourself. We’ve all experienced wrongdoings, some that have even shaken us to our core. We can’t change the past but we can ruin our future by holding on to things in the present. Not sure where to begin? Check out a book on Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, or Desmond Tutu; they are all great role models of the power of forgiveness. Lewis B. Smedes said, “To forgive is to set a prisoner free, and to discover that the prisoner was you.”

Commit to being at least 10% healthier. This small change can reap huge rewards!Do you want to add a new exercise routine into your daily schedule, stop eating processed foods during the week, or invest in new superfoods and supplements to boost your immunity? Whatever choice you make, make it a healthy one! I guarantee you will see the difference.

Give up your self-sabotaging talk. Ask yourself, “How am I serving myself by believingthis quality, characteristic, or idea about myself?” Negative personal beliefs can create self-esteem issues, depression, anxiety, anger and fear. Furthermore, they can affect our relationships and health. Let go of your limiting beliefs, commit to slowly changing your downfalls and move forward knowing the best version of yourself is at your fingertips.

Create a daily task list, prioritize it, and allot time for each activity. How many of us start the day full of ambition, only to end up accomplishing a quarter of the tasks we wanted to? My advice: Set daily intentions as soon as you wake up, and use a calendar or planner in order to stay organized and on top of your goals. Additionally, have an activity planned outside your home in the morning that will “jump start” your day.

Lastly, live your purpose! What is that one thing that you know in your heart that you were put here on this earth to do? Have you accomplished it yet? As author Steve Maraboli once said, “You were put on this earth to achieve your greatest self, to live out your purpose, and to do it fearlessly.”

Published in the “Port Ludlow Voice”, January 2014

 

 

Do you Suffer from Back or Spinal Issues?
by Autumn Pappas, Contributing Writer

On October 22nd, the PLVC Wellness Committee’s forum, “Back and Spinal Issues: Prevention, Management, and Rehabilitation” at the Beach Club drew a crowd of one hundred residents. The two captivating presenters were Dr. Michael Haberpointner from Port Ludlow’s Active Life Physical Therapy and Dr. Christopher Kain, Spine Surgeon from Silverdale’s WestSound Orthopaedics. In case you missed it, here is a brief review of what was discussed during the forum.

According to Dr. Haberpointner, back pain will affect 80% of the population at some point during their lifetime. It is the second most common reason for missed work and the fifth most common reason for all physician visits. Two major spine problems of the lower back and their treatments were highlighted; disc herniation and spinal stenosis. Disc herniation occurs as discs degenerate and weaken, and the outer disc shell of fibrous cartilage bulges or is pushed into the space containing the spinal cord or a nerve root causing pain. Spinal stenosis is an abnormal narrowing of the spine due to bone overgrowth, herniated discs, thickened ligaments, tumors or spinal injuries.

To differentiate the two disorders, a physical therapist may evaluate you through your history, a postural assessment, a movement analysis, sensation testing, reflexes, muscle testing, gait, instability testing, slump test or imaging studies. It was stressed that treatment modalities differ for each disorder and the goal is to find the correct prescription that will alleviate the lower back pain.

There have also been advancements in spine surgery and spine hardware. Dr. Kain stressed that Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery (MISS) is now the standard of best practices. MISS patients get smaller lateral or front entry incisions, suffer less blood loss and tend to have shorter hospital and outpatient stays. Hardware has changed from stainless steel to titanium and plastic. Candidates for spine surgery include those suffering from degenerative disc disease, spine deformities, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, slippage of the spine, herniated discs, fractured vertebrae, traumas, tumors and infections. Dr. Kain cited research findings that support better outcomes for non-smokers and people who are not overweight.

Remember, prevention is the key. Exercise and stretch the full range of motion of your back, spine, arms and legs on a regular basis. Do core and strengthening exercises to stay strong. Practice good posture. Keep your weight maintained and don’t smoke. Use your legs instead of your back to power yourself up while picking up objects. Place objects that you are going to pick up in a safe lifting zone; where your body will not be strained by lifting the object. Lastly, keep moving! You don’t have to live with back pain. See a specialist if you are suffering. Resources that may help you can be found at www.plhealth.org/events.

Other local services providers of back and spinal issues in attendance at the forum included Dr. Andy Swanson of Gaitlink Chiropractic in Kingston, Anna Scofield from Port Ludlow’s Growing Health Acupuncture,  and massage therapists Piper Diehl from Ludlow Bay Massage & Wellness Spa, Kim Wright from Soft Touch and Jamie Deering from Healing Elements. Dean Rosenthal, author of the Bay Club’s “Dean’s Guide to Exercises and Equipment” was also introduced.

Published in the “Port Ludlow Voice”, December 2013

 

 

Healthy Eating During the Holidays

by Autumn Pappas, CHHC, AADP

“You can tell you ate too much for Thanksgiving when you have to let your bathrobe out.” –Jay Leno

We’ve all been there, it’s January and suddenly we realize we’ve overindulged a little too much during the holidays. Our bodies feel sluggish, our stomachs unsettled, our clothes a little too snug. Want to avoid the post-holiday slump this season? Here are some great tips on how to make your holidays healthier than ever before.

Start with substituting healthier ingredients in your favorite meals. Switch out a whole egg for two egg whites instead. This will add more protein to your meal and cut down on the saturated fat. Trade one cup of oil or butter for one cup of mashed bananas or unsweetened applesauce. Bananas and applesauce not only create an ideal consistency in baking recipes; they’re also loaded with fiber, vitamins and potassium. Protein packed plain Greek yogurt serves as a healthy replacement for sour cream or mayonnaise as well.

Skip the white and brown sugars while baking sweets this holiday season. Brown rice syrup, dates, blackstrap molasses, maple syrup and raw honey are great alternatives to table sugar. Carrying more nutrients than regular table sugar, these natural sugars digest in your body at slower rates. Therefore your blood glucose levels don’t rise and fall as quickly as they do with table sugar. Blackstrap molasses is also a good source of iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium.

Change up your cooking method. Steam vegetables instead of boiling them, and grill meat instead of frying it. Boiling food leaches out precious nutrients into the water, while steaming keeps all those powerful vitamins inside the food. Grilling meat versus frying it cuts the fat but not the flavor.

Lastly, try one of these tips to keep from packing on the pounds. Drink 8-10 ounces of water or chew a piece of gum at least 15 minutes before a meal. Both aid in weight loss by tricking your brain into thinking you’re already eating, therefore you eat less. Water will also help you digest your meal and reduce your chance of getting heartburn afterwards.

Here’s to a happy and healthy holiday season!

Published in the “Port Ludlow Voice”, November 2013

 

Living to be 100 Years Young

by Autumn Pappas, CHHC, AADP

“No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us, and new beauty waiting to be born.” -Dale E. Turner

What would it mean to you to live to be a hundred? In 2004, the world’s best longevity researchers set out to explore the places around the world where people lived extraordinarily long and healthy lives. Coined “Blue Zones—,” these longevity hot-spots are home to larger populations of centenarians than anywhere else. On average, Blue Zone residents reach age 100 at rates ten times greater than people living in the United States.

The most famous and well-studied Blue Zone area in the world is Okinawa, Japan. Okinawa is not only home to the world’s longest recorded life expectancies, but also to the world’s healthiest documented elders, and to the highest concentration of verified centenarians in the world. Studies show that Okinawan residents’ low-calorie plant-based diets undoubtedly play a key role in the health they have attained. Other Blue Zone communities around the globe include Sardinia, Italy, Ikaria, Greece, Loma Linda, California and Nicoya, Costa Rica.

“By improving their lifestyle, people can look and feel better at every age and add twelve years to their life expectancy. Something called the Danish Twin Studies established that less than 25% of how long the average person lives is dictated by genes. In other words, most of how long and how well you live is up to you…-” states bluezones.com.

So how can you age successfully? There are nine common characteristics that Blue Zone residents share, which can assist you in living a long and healthy life. Belong to faith–based communities and social circles where healthy behaviors are supported.  Have a strong sense of family and lead a purpose-driven life. Practice routines such as prayer, meditation and yoga to deal with stress. Follow the eighty percent rule – also known as eating until you are eighty percent full- which aids in digestion and weight maintenance. Consume lots of beans, drink wine in moderation, and eat your smallest and last meal of the day in the early evening.

Lastly, be very active—whether you are gardening, walking, doing housework or playing with your grandchildren. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk.  If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, keep moving.”

Published in the “Port Ludlow Voice”, October 2013

 

A Modern Day Food Fight

by Autumn Pappas, CHHC, AADP

Childhood obesity rates first rose in the 1980’s when a major shift occurred in our food supply.  Farmers grew bigger crops which resulted in an over-abundance of food in our nation. Fast food chains, high fructose corn syrup and eating out became hugely popular, as well as larger portions. Food companies advertised to children more than ever before, which increased the amount of food that families purchased. Electronic media became mainstream, and children became more sedentary. Consequently, over thirty years later, one in three children is now considered overweight.

Today, we live in an environment which encourages people to eat large portions of unhealthy foods. The underlying problem is that the goal of the food industry—to make a profit— does not align with the public health goal, which is to promote health and wellness. The food and beverage industry spends an astonishing sixteen billion dollars a year on advertising. Advertisers use health claims to make consumers believe that packaged foods are healthier and lower in calories than they truly are. Additionally, fruits and vegetables are 40% more costly today than in the 1980’s—making it difficult for families on a budget to buy healthy produce. This has added to the reason Americans are consuming an average of 700 calories more than they used to.

President Obama announced recently that childhood obesity rates have slowly started to decline in part to the “Let’s Move!” initiative started in 2010 by Michelle Obama. “Let’s Move!” is dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation. As part of this effort, Mr. Obama established the first ever task force on childhood obesity; their goal is to reduce the childhood obesity rate to just 5% by 2030. Additionally, Congress passed the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act to improve childhood nutrition by empowering the USDA to set nutrition standards for all school foods.

We all have a personal and social responsibility to the health of our future generations. Our community leaders need to encourage families and communities to make healthy decisions.  Health-care providers need to educate and support their patients in living healthier. At home, we need to teach our children and grandchildren to cook with real food and exercise more. We all need to support and volunteer at local farms, farmers markets, schools and organizations that support healthy lifestyles for children. For more information on how you can help future generations live healthy lives, go to letsmove.gov.

Published in the “Port Ludlow Voice”, September 2013

 

How to Save the Life of A Heart Attack Victim

by Autumn Pappas, CHHC, AADP

A heart attack strikes someone every 34 seconds.  Do you know what you need to know to save a life?  On May 14th, the Port Ludlow Village Council Wellness Committee’s forum, “Heart Attack Protocols and Rehabilitation” was held at the Bay Club.  There were three incredible presenters—Heart Doctor David Tinker, Paramedic/Firefighter Tim Manly, and Cardiac Coordinator Judy King.  In case you missed it, here is a review of what was discussed during the forum:

Jefferson County’s cardiac protocols were introduced in 2009, when six organizations partnered together to form a very concise and highly efficient step-by-step protocol process of treating heart attack patients.  Today, Jefferson County is one of only five counties across the country that has cardiac protocols in place.  The National Guideline for opening up an artery is 90 minutes or less; but that time has been drastically reduced to 60 minutes or less by the established Jefferson County protocols.

How do you know if you are having as a heart attack?  Classic symptoms include uncomfortable pressure, squeezing or pain in the chest.  There may be pain or discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach.  Sweating, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, nausea and other symptoms are also common.  Everyone is at risk for a heart attack; especially those who have one or more of the top five risk factors.  These are hypertension, diabetes, smoking, high cholesterol and a family history of heart attacks.  Other risk factors are elevated blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, stress, age, weight and a sedentary lifestyle.

Here is what you will need to do if someone you are with is having a heart attack:  Call 911 first, and let the operator know what county you are calling from if you are using a cell phone.  They will instruct you to begin CPR while you are still on the phone with them.  When the Emergency Medical Team (EMS) arrives, do not stop performing CPR until one of them is able to take over for you. If there is someone else with you, ask them to unlock the front door and to turn on the front porch light so EMS can more accurately spot your house.  Be prepared that EMS will arrive with a team of people—all designated to perform different tasks.

All cardiac patients are sent to Harrison Medical Center.  In case of a bridge closure, patients are airlifted to Harrison by Airlift Northwest.  Do not drive to the hospital with a heart attack patient; since heart attack victim’s brain and heart muscle start to die 4-6 minutes after an attack.  EMS is professionally trained to work quickly and efficiently to save any heart attack patient.  They administer a drug to open up the heart vessels before the patient gets to the hospital which could be the difference between life and death.  The operator at 911 also pre-notifies the hospital, so they are ready for the patient when they arrive.

Cardiac Rehabilitation is a secondary prevention program that is medically supervised. It can slow or reverse the progression of coronary artery disease, assist patients in managing the disease, help patients return to healthy and active lifestyles, and improve their quantity and quality of life.  Any patient with a diagnosis of chest pain, heart attack, coronary artery bypass graft, coronary stent, heart valve repair/replacement and cardiac transplantation should participate in cardiac rehab. Medicare covers 36 sessions for those with a qualifying diagnosis.

Be properly prepared for a heart attack incidence.  As Dr. Tinker says, “There is not a moment to lose…time is (heart) muscle!” Have each member of your household fill out a “File of Life” form which should list your medications, supplements and their side effects.  Put it on your refrigerator so it is easy for EMS to find.  Know where your families/household member’s medications are as well; the hospital will want you to bring them with you. Make sure you have a red sign outside your home that clearly displays your house address numbers.  Have some 325 milligram non-enteric coded baby aspirin on hand; as you may have to give it to a heart attack victim.  Sign up for Airlift Northwest’s Air Care ($79/year for the entire household).  It is direly important to know CPR; since it will be needed if a heart attack occurs and you may be the only one available to administer it.  A short video on CPR is displayed on Handsonlycpr.org.  Last but not least, get your heart regularly checked by your doctor.  For more information visit the cardiac section on plhealth.org.

Published in the “Port Ludlow Voice”, July 2013

 

The Importance of Buying and Eating Organic Products

by Autumn Pappas, CHHC, AADP

All food used to be organic– grown without herbicides, hormones, chemical fertilizers and synthetic pesticides. Although, when large scale farming began in the 1940’s this all changed.  Large scale farming worked against the earth’s natural cycles; therefore farmers had to rely on chemicals to produce large quantities of crops. Over the years the bombardment of chemicals into our food supply has not only made our soil and crops extremely nutrient deficient, but has also polluted our bodies and weakened our immune systems.

How important is it to eat organic foods? According to the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, organic fruits and vegetables contain 50-60% higher levels of cancer-fighting antioxidants than non-organic.Organic foods have more nutrients, taste better, meet stringent standards and are free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Organic meat and dairy products are free of antibiotics, hormones and pesticides. Livestock is given organic feed, clean housing facilities, has access to the outdoors and rotated grazing areas. Additionally, organic farming works in synch with our earth and is considered a long-term sustainable method of farming.

Every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) ranks produce, according to its levels of pesticide residues, based on the results of thousands of tests. The produce we consume that has the most pesticides residues is labeled the Dirty Dozen, while the Clean Fifteen refers to the produce we consume with the lowest levels of pesticide residues. According to the 2013 list, the Dirty Dozen are apples, celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach, imported nectarines, grapes, sweet bell peppers, potatoes, hot peppers, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes. The EWG added summer squash, kale and collard greens to this list also this year. The Clean Fifteen are onions, sweet corn, pineapples, avocados, asparagus, frozen sweet peas, mangos, eggplant, cantaloupe, kiwi, cabbage, papayas, sweet potatoes, grapefruit and mushrooms. Simply stated, try to buy the organic version of the produce listed on the Dirty Dozen list. If you are going to buy any non-organic produce, stick to the Clean Fifteen list. Always remember to rinse all your fruits and vegetables; it does not eliminate pesticides but it does reduce them.

It is also extremely important to understand labels when buying organic products. Single-ingredient products, like fruits and vegetables, may be labeled organic if they meet the USDA standards. Multi-ingredient products labeled “100% Organic” are truly all organic, but products that just say “Organic” can contain 5% or lower non-organic ingredients. The two best labels to look for on meat packaging are “USDA Organic/Certified Organic” and “American Grassfed Certified”. The term American Grassfed Certified means that livestock are only fed grass or hay. Cattle tend to be healthier and leaner when they eat this way, since it is a part of their natural livelihood. Grassfed beef has more healthy Omega-3 fatty acids as well. Other labels such as “natural”, “free range,” “antibiotic free” and “no hormones added” can imply things that are not always the case.

Published in the “Port Ludlow Voice”, June 2013

 

Our Brilliant Bodies

by Autumn Pappas, CHHC, AADP

We all began somewhere; in fact every human spent half an hour as a single cell.  After three weeks in the womb we were only the size of a grain of salt; and at nine weeks we were merely proportionate to a grape. Nonetheless we grew, and developed essential organs, body parts and a super-intelligent brain along the way.  Our eyes and ears formed, as did our hands and feet, and when everything was said and done we became the most well-designed, highly articulated, intricate and ingenious beings to ever have been created.

Lucky for us, we became the recipient of many amazing biological systems during our development. Our muscular system provides movement so we can play sports, ride a bike or walk a trail. We can digest and process food and turn it into energy thanks to our digestive system.  Our hard working circulatory system pumps 2,000 gallons of blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels every day. We collect, process and transfer information from our brain, spinal cord and nerves because of our extensive nervous system.  Let’s not forget our respiratory system either, which allows us to breathe 3,000 gallons of air each day. That’s breathtaking, literally!

Along with our well-crafted biological systems, we received five incredible senses. Our nose can remember tens of thousands of different scents. Beautiful sounds, music and our loved ones voices can be heard through our gifted ears. We have eyes that house seven million cones just to help us see colors in nature and the details of our surroundings.  Our mouths are home to thousands of taste buds so we can enjoy all the wonderful foods our earth provides.  We can feel the warmth of the sunshine, the blow of a gentle breeze and the embrace of a hug through our magnificent sense of touch.

Think of how brilliant our bodies truly are.  They run on auto pilot, with all of our systems working in synch so our hearts never skip a beat nor do our lungs forget to breathe.  Every second, there are millions of corrections being made in our cells to ensure our survival. Let’s be kind to our bodies since they do so much for us. We need fresh air, lots of water and nutritious food to run effectively.  Get enough sunshine, quality sleep and exercise. As Jim Rohn says, “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”

Published in the “Port Ludlow Voice”, May 2013

 

The Power of Superfoods

by Autumn Pappas, CHHC, AADP

Envision foods, potent enough to reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer while helping all the systems of your body function at better capacities. Imagine these same foods are all natural, low in calories and contain an extraordinary amount of vitamins and minerals. This is no myth, these superfoods really do exist! Superfoods have many powerful benefits and can be great additions to our everyday diets.

Dating back hundreds of years, superfoods have been widely used by civilizations to heighten immunity, promote longevity, prevent disease and produce optimal health. They can be found on all of our continents, growing in some of the most obscure places and unique climates. While some superfoods are more well-known; others like goji berries, moringa and maca don’t get the spotlight they deserve.

Goji berries are one of the most nutrient dense foods on earth, containing 18 kinds of amino acids and up to 21 trace minerals. They can be found growing on vines in desert regions from America to Asia. Loaded with antioxidants and phytochemicals; they are believed to be one of the richest sources of Vitamin C on the planet. Goji berries are known to curb appetite, fight inflammation and improve sleep. They are prized for their anti-aging, mood boosting and immune building effects on the body.

Indigenous to the Himalayas, moringa (oleifera) has made its name as the miracle tree. Its leaves yield more than 90 nutrients and 46 antioxidants. Beneficial to heart health and diabetic patients, it lowers cholesterol and reduces blood glucose levels. Moringa supports liver and digestive health by detoxifying the body and regulating metabolism. Improvements in skin, eyesight and mental clarity are also common.

Grown high in the mountains of Peru, maca is a root plant noted for its energy and stamina increasing properties. Aiding the nervous and digestion system, it is composed of 55 different phytochemicals and 20 different fatty acids. Maca regulates hormones, reduces stress and has an anti-depressant effect. This amazing plant also enhances one’s memory and learning ability.

We all have to eat; so let’s feed our bodies the best foods possible. Add some dried goji berries to your cereals, trail mixes and muffins. Moringa and maca powders can be mixed into smoothies for an extra boost or taken in capsule form. Moringa tea is also available and very popular. All can be found in local health stores or online.

Published in the “Port Ludlow Voice”, April 2013

 

Diabetes Forum Recap

by Autumn Pappas, CHHC, AADP

In case you missed it, here is a review of what was discussed during the Diabetes Forum held Thursday, February 28. Our three knowledgeable presenters included Amber Benner, Irene Marble, and Wes Schott; all from Jefferson Healthcare.  Thank you to Amber and Irene who provided a brief summary of their presentations for this article.

Type 1 diabetes is a disorder of the immune system in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Insulin allows our body to convert sugar from food into nutrients for cells. Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which the body resists insulin or doesn’t make enough insulin to maintain a normal glucose level. Prediabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood sugar levels are higher than normal; but it is not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes.

To find out if you are at risk for diabetes, take the online screening test available through the CDC Diabetes Prevention Program at: http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/factsheet.htm. Early detection can prevent serious problems caused by diabetes such as loss of eyesight, strokes and kidney damage. Untreated, type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes can be life threatening. If the test shows you could have prediabetes, make an appointment with your health care provider as soon as possible.

All residents, especially those over 45, should know their numbers for the fasting glucose test and the hemoglobin A1c test. The fasting glucose test measures blood glucose in people who haven’t eaten in at least eight hours. Anyone with levels of 100-125 mg/dl indicates prediabetes.  They are also at a high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The hemoglobin A1c test measures the amount of glucose in red blood cells. An A1c value of 5.7-6.4% indicates prediabetes.

Consistent daily low to moderate intensity exercise is our best “insurance” against developing prediabetes and diabetes. High intensity exercise is beneficial also, but don’t overexert yourself. Our bodies are more fragile as we age. Stick to a healthy diet. Diet affects weight, blood sugar and hour to hour glucose levels. Consume more fruits and veggies and stay away from junk food and sugared beverages. Studies prove that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by prediabetic patients who lose 5-7% of their weight, eat healthy and increase physical activity.

Doctors learn more about how our bodies regulate blood sugar each year. Exercise and food choices will always be crucial, but we can expect to see new medications and more sophisticated diabetes treatments in the future. Technology will also improve; providing a more convenient and comfortable way of testing blood glucose.

Published in the “Port Ludlow Voice”, and on www.plhealth.org, March 2013

 

Food Allergy Awareness

by Autumn Pappas, CHHC, AADP

Food can be our fuel or our poison. More people than ever are affected by abdominal pain, bloating, rashes and headaches; all stemming from food allergies. Food allergies, if severe enough, may even be considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act in the future.

The Wall Street Journal cites, “An estimated 15 million Americans–including 1 in every 13 children– have at least one food allergy, according to the Food Allergy Initiative. Another three million have celiac disease, an autoimmune reaction to gluten, and millions more avoid gluten for other health reasons.”

Why are food allergies and sensitivities rising? The Food and Drug Allergy Care Center at UCLA suggests our allergies are increasing due to our “westernized” culture of sterile environments which interrupt the normal development of our immune systems.  Other experts point the finger at GMO’s, or genetically modified foods like wheat. Many studies attribute the growth to the endless amount of additives, chemicals and hormones being injected into our food and water supply on a daily basis.

Gluten sensitivity is not new; it’s been diagnosed as a food allergy problem since 1888. Gluten sensitivity is only now in the spotlight because wheat consumption has risen; therefore gluten allergies have too. Likewise, wheat is drastically different than it was years ago. Modern day wheat is covered with fungicides and herbicides from the start to finish of the growing process.

Allergy related lawsuits have subsequently affected businesses that were once flourishing. To avoid these consequences, schools and restaurants have conscientiously made an effort to make their menus allergy friendly.

Part of the food allergy problem may have to do with misleading food packaging. Wheat products can masquerade on food labels under names such as food starch, stabilizers or emulsifiers. Words like “natural” and “made with organic” don’t always mean what they imply. Even the Nutrition Facts Panel, regulated by the FDA, can be deceptive when it comes to ingredients.

It’s important to get allergy tested if you don’t know what you are allergic to. Research the foods you purchase to avoid problems. Look for foods labeled “100% Organic,” since they are GMO free. Many grocery stores use their own labeling systems. Visit their websites to find out what criteria they use.

Published in the “Port Ludlow Voice”, March 2013

 

Digestion: At the Forefront of Good Health

by Autumn Pappas, CHHC, AADP

Did you know that at least seventy percent of our immune system resides inside our digestive system? Digestive disorders have plagued our society, affecting an astounding 70 million Americans. Our once healthy digestive tracts have become compromised due to infections, undigested food, parasites and the overuse of antibiotics. Unhealthy diets of constant yeasts, carbohydrates and sugars have impaired our mucus lining and created chronic inflammation in our bodies. Chronic inflammation is the root cause of problems like heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes and strokes. Inflammation also affects our cells and damages our organs. With our immune systems so largely dependent upon a flourishing digestive system; we must take control of these issues and fight back.

How can we help our digestive systems? Take a probiotic supplement. Our small intestine contains natural probiotics, or beneficial bacteria, that populate our digestive tract. They fight off invaders like toxins and bad bacteria.  Probiotics detoxify our bodies as well. However, when our digestive systems become imbalanced these probiotics diminish; thereby creating holes in our mucus lining. This is known by alternative doctors as “Leaky gut syndrome.” Leaky gut syndrome is apparent when harmful substances inside our bodies are leaked into our blood stream. This can create aches, pains, food sensitivities, gas and bloating.

Contrary to popular belief, yogurt does not contain enough probiotics to fight off bad bacteria for most people. For maximum results, buy a probiotic supplement that needs to be refrigerated and contains billions of microorganisms. There is no one size fits all when it comes to probiotics.  What probiotic may work for your body, may not work for someone else’s. Natural forms of probiotics can be found in kefir; a drinkable yogurt. They can also be found in sauerkraut and kimchi; a fermented Asian vegetable mixture.

Additionally, dine on foods containing prebiotics. Prebiotics are natural substances found in food that encourage probiotics to grow. They mostly come from oligosaccharides, or carbohydrate fibers. Prebiotics can be found in many fruits and vegetables like bananas, berries, asparagus, tomatoes and onions. Garlic, honey, legumes and whole grains also carry them.

Consume enzyme rich foods. Enzymes are proteins that speed up chemical reactions. Metabolic enzymes are made in our bodies and are responsible for all of our processes. They literally sustain our bodies and our lives. Enzymes are essential to the digestive process because they help breakdown molecules in our food. Therefore, our bodies can use them as an energy source.  Juicing is a great way to take in enzymes since enzymes occur naturally in fruits and vegetables. Papaya, pineapple, nuts, seeds and sprouts are ideal enzyme sources. It should be dually noted that there are only enough enzymes in raw food to breakdown the molecules of that food.

Be conscience and take time to chew food slowly and completely; in order to get the maximum amount of enzymes from that particular food.  Furthermore, undigested food can harm the body and cause inflammation.

Our metabolic enzymes diminish at a faster pace than many would think. Our enzymes weaken as we age. For that reason, we cannot depend solely on our bodies to create all the enzymes we need. The best way to solve this ongoing problem is to take an enzyme supplement, in capsule or powder form. Enzyme supplements are extracted from different sources; including plant, animal and microbial. Plant and microbial enzymes are optimal because they are supportive to pH levels and they are not easily affected by stomach acids. In order to assist with the breakdown of fats and carbohydrates choose a supplement that contains a mix of different enzymes. Pay attention to the potency of the product you are purchasing, as different products contain varied amounts of enzymes. To our benefit, enzyme supplements also aid in weight loss.

Inflammation can be counteracted by taking an Omega-3 supplement daily. Omega-3’s boost brain activity and reduce cardiovascular disease. Look for high quality fish oil that contains Omega-3’s, DHA, and vitamin D3. Interject Omega-3 rich foods into your diet like flax seeds, walnuts, beans, olive oil, salmon, tuna and halibut.

Stick to an anti-inflammatory diet by avoiding high fructose corn syrup, sugar, processed foods, saturated fats and partially hydrogenated oils. Limit your intake of animal proteins with the exception of fish. Fill your plate with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fiber. Use herbs and seasonings with anti-inflammatory values such as turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, rosemary and basil.

Ask your doctor about taking probiotic, enzyme and Omega-3 supplements; to make sure they are right for you. If approved, implement each supplement one by one. A healthy digestive tract is essential for a thriving body and immune system. The abbreviated version of this article appears in the February 2013 issue of the Port Ludlow Voice.

Published in the “Port Ludlow Voice”, and on www.plhealth.org, February 2013

 

Quinoa: The “Superseed” for a Super Body!

by Autumn Pappas, CHHC, AADP

Ever get tired of eating the same old foods and want to add something new, delicious and healthy to your diet? Protein packed quinoa (KEEN-wah) is an ancient vegetable seed that was discovered by the Incas thousands of years ago and was highly valued by their civilization. It was used in many of their traditional dishes since it was grain-like, easy to cook and loaded with healthy nutrients.

This amazing “superseed” provides so many wonderful benefits for the body. It acts as a protein powerhouse with nine grams of protein per cup. It is rich in iron, fiber, magnesium, riboflavin, calcium, potassium and antioxidants. It even contains eight essential amino acids! Furthermore, it acts as a prebiotic because it detoxifies the intestinal tract and promotes healthy gut bacteria. Having healthy bacteria in your gut is important for good absorption of nutrients, proper digestion and your immune system.

Quinoa has a low glycemic index; which assists the body in many ways. It promotes weight loss by digesting slowly in the stomach which leaves it feeling fuller longer. This yummy food keeps energy levels constant and cravings curbed since it prevents a spike in blood-glucose levels. Quinoa also protects the body’s precious arteries and blood vessels.

The flavor of quinoa is subtle and slightly nutty. It has the same look, feel and texture as couscous. It can be used as a side dish, a noodle substitute, stuffing or pilaf.  Additionally, it goes great in soups and stews. Quinoa is a perfect substitution food for our ever growing population of people with gluten sensitivities and intolerances since it is gluten free. This powerful and delicious food can be found at our local Co-op market, Costco or online.

Published in the “Port Ludlow Voice”, January 2013

 

Adding Some Color to Your Plate

by Autumn Pappas, CHHC, AADP

One of the best ways to have a balanced and healthy diet is to eat an array of colored vegetables and fruits. The different colors of these foods provide particular functions for our bodies.

White fruits and vegetables support our immune system. They are anti-fungal, anti- bacterial and anti-biotic in nature. They fight off external and internal things that try to damage our bodies.  Cauliflower, onions, garlic, ginger and shallots all fall under this category and are great immune system boosters.

Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables make us beautiful and are good for our digestive systems. They contain carotenoids and bioflavonoids which act as antioxidants.  They help keep our skin looking healthy, heal wounds and make our bones strong. Lemons, butternut squash, pineapple, summer squash, oranges, yams and cantaloupes all contain these powerful qualities.

Red fruits and vegetables are beneficial for our hearts and fight cancer because their red color comes from lycopene. Lycopene is a pigment that acts as an antioxidant and protects our bodies from free radicals and heart disease. Good sources of lycopene are tomatoes, red bell peppers, beets, watermelon, radishes, red cabbage and chilies.

Green fruits and vegetables contain lutein and caroteniods which keep our eyes healthy. Green foods also have potassium, folate, and vitamins C and K. Avocados and kiwi are star players in this category. Avocados lower cholesterol, prevent strokes, help with absorption of nutrients, protect our eyes and are a great source of glutathione. Kiwis are so rich in Vitamin C that just one kiwi contains almost our whole daily amount.

Purple foods have antioxidants and flavonoids which protect our hearts and promote longevity.  They also improve our memory and assist in preventing cancer risks. Good sources of these powerful purple foods include eggplant, purple grapes, plums, figs, raisins, prunes and blackberries.

Next time you’re at the market, pick up some new colored fruits and vegetables to add to your diet. Your body will perform better, be healthier, and thank you!

Published in the “Port Ludlow Voice”, December 2012

 

 

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