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focus on health
Each edition, BE Healthy Medical Adviser Dr. Garrett K. Peel will cut through the previous month’s medical and health news and bring you the most relevant and interesting tidbits to help you make informed health decisions.
healthy, low-salt diet. On another front, the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline could be reduced by any kind of physical activity, even in those who are older than 80! Results of the researchers’ study from the Rush University Medical Center are published in the recent issue of Neurology. The results of the study indicate that all physical activities including exercise, as well as other activities such as cooking, washing the dishes, and cleaning also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.
Exercise Alone Can Reduce Blood Pressure, Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
High blood pressure contributes to about 50 percent of all cardiovascular deaths worldwide. The risk of developing cardiovascular disease has been proven to increase significantly as blood pressure increases. According to the World Congress of Cardiology, a study showed patients with hypertension (high blood pressure) reduced their risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by reducing their blood pressure by 40-50 mmHg with exercise alone. Your blood pressure can be reduced significantly with an active lifestyle and
‘I’d Like a Hamburger With Mustard All the Way, Throw in Some Beetroot’
Nutritional experts at the University of Aberdeen recently reported that adding beetroot, which contains high levels of antioxidants, to burgers prevents the body from absorbing the ‘bad’ fat. In order to test their findings, the team A recent study in Brain, Behavior and Immunity reports that men who care for a wife with breast cancer suffer a measurable negative impact on their health years after their wife’s cancer has been diagnosed and treatment has been completed. According to the study, men who reported the highest levels of stress, due to their wives’ illness, had the highest risk for physical symptoms and weaker immune responses. For those men facing Japanese researchers have made hair follicles from adult stem cells. They have shown the new hair interacts with surrounding tissue and have normal hair cycles. The research, in which the subjects were bald mice, was reported in the journal, Nature Communications. created their own turkey and beetroot burger. Processed foods are not healthy and can be linked to various medical problems. Any food high in antioxidants is an excellent choice to replace food high in fat and preservatives. a breast cancer recurrence with their spouse, the stress was even worse. Women who battle cancer and the physicians who care for them should take the caregiver’s health into account. Screening spouses for stress symptoms and encouraging them to participate in support groups and stress management, as well as relaxation activities, are important to caring for the breast cancer patient as well. The study is significant as it uses adult, not embryonic stem cells, and the newly grown hair is implanted in the surrounding tissue, something that has not been seen in previous studies. The study also raises hopes for growing organs to be used in transplant procedures.
Husbands of Breast Cancer Patients Might Need Diagnosis, Treatment Too
Researchers in Japan Have Cured Baldness – in Mice. Could Men be Next?
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BE Healthy | May/June 2012 | Volume 3, Issue 3
Editorial Contributing Editors CHRISTOPHER CLAUSEN TIMOTHY M. KELLY Contributing Writers CATHLEEN COLE MARGARET BATTISTELLI GARDNER CHERYL ROSE Medical Adviser DR. GARRETT K. PEEL Photography Contributing Photographers GIUSEPPE BARRANCO RENE SHEPPARD Art Graphic Design AFFINITY EXPRESS Graphic Design Consultant KRISTEN FLORES Advertising To advertise in BE Healthy 409.880.0700 Contact Us BE Healthy 380 MAIN ST. BEAUMONT, TX 77701 409.880.0700 AT YOUR BUSINESS LOCATION PLEASE CALL 409.838.2829 TO SUBMIT AN EVENT, ORGANIZATION OR PERSON FOR CONSIDERATION IN AN UPCOMING ISSUE, SUBMIT BY USPS AT ADDRESS ABOVE.
A DIVISION OF HEARST NEWSPAPERS SUBMISSIONS TO DISPLAY THE MAGAZINE
PREVENTION TRAVEL WARY
Tips to avoid problems that could ruin vacation By Cathleen Cole
HEALTHY LIVING PERILS OF ‘PERFECT’
sometimes eating right becomes an obsession By Cathleen Cole
STAYING FIT IN THE SWIM OF THINGS
Water work offers cardio workout but spares joints By Cheryl rose
GOOD EATING FROM FAD TO FIT
Chia seeds on a list of trendy super foods By Margaret Battistelli Gardner
Publisher BILL OFFILL
TIMOTHY M. KELLY COPYRIGHT © 2012 THE BEAUMONT ENTERPRISE Visit us online at BEHealthySETX.com Be part of keeping Southeast Texas green! Recycle this magazine.
MEDICAL ADVICE MEN, TAKE OUR QUIZ
What do you really know about your health risks? By Cheryl rose
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On the cover
3 Peel’d To The News 7 Innovations 11 Fitness Q&A 15 Crossfit puzzle
4 May/June 2012 | BE HealthySETX.com
Photography by Guiseppe Barranco Kristina Skinner of Beaumont swims one to three miles a week. Find out more inside about the benefits of swimming vs. higherimpact exercise.
bug bite you
By CAThleeN Cole
Don’t let the wrong
When traveling, follow Ben Franklin’s advice about an ounce of prevention
Leaving on a jet plane Judy Kennedy of Beaumont has traveled to 32 countries, including Australia, China, Japan, India and Turkey. She’s ventured all over Europe and Central America and has often visited Mexico. As a mathematics professor at Lamar University, her career allows her to travel to conferences around the United States and around the world. She makes about a dozen trips a year with up to half of them taking her out of the country. “It’s so interesting,” she said. “I love going places.” Before she travels, she takes precautions with her diet. “I try not to eat too much to avoid the possibility of an upset stomach,” she explained. She also stresses the importance of staying hydrated. “After I go through security at the airport, I get a bottle of water and a Diet Coke,” she said. Hydration is critical, according to Connie Ruiz, a registered dietitian and an associate professor of nutrition at Lamar University. “Inadequate hydration can cause a person to become weak, tired, disoriented and possibly pass out,” Ruiz said. “You want to feel your best when traveling.”
ummertime is when many people catch the travel bug – that restlessness and desire to adventure to new destinations. Don’t let the real travel bug bring your vacation plans to a queasy halt. You can stay healthy on your holiday by following some preventive tips.
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She also agrees that avoiding big meals before plane trips is a good idea. “You do not have a chance to move around, and a big meal just doesn’t sit right,” Ruiz explained. “Your digestive system sort of slows down. Also, it’s not convenient to get to the bathroom on an airplane. The less you eat, the less you have to worry about that.” Being a world traveler means long airplane rides – sometimes up to 17 hours. Getting up and moving around on a crowded flight isn’t practical, so Kennedy does “chair exercises” – yoga stretches sitting in her seat. “I kind of set up camp,” she said of her airplane seating area where she places her books, water and chewing gum on the tray table. “I’m there for the long haul.”
Prevent that queasy feeling
Don’t drink the water and watch what you eat. Those reminders are often given to people traveling to foreign countries. To help prevent traveler’s diarrhea, the Mayo Clinic offers these tips: Boil it, cook it, peel it or forget it. • Don’t buy food from street vendors. • Avoid unpasteurized milk and dairy products including ice cream. • Avoid raw or undercooked meat, fish and shellfish. • Steer clear of moist food at room temperature such as sauces and buffet offerings. • Eat foods that are well cooked and served hot. • Eat fruits and vegetables that you can peel yourself such as bananas, oranges and avocados. Stay away from salads and fruits that can’t be peeled, such as berries. Don’t drink the water. • Avoid unsterilized water from a tap, well or stream. If you need to consume local water, boil it for 10 minutes. • Avoid ice cubes or fruit juices made with tap water. • Beware of sliced fruit that may have been washed in contaminated water. • Don’t swim in water that may be contaminated. • Keep your mouth closed while showering. • Drink canned or bottled drinks in their original containers as long as you break the seals on the containers yourself. Wipe off any can or bottle before drinking or pouring. • Use bottled water to brush your teeth. Tie a colored ribbon around the bathroom faucet to remind yourself not to drink or brush your teeth with tap water. • Order hot beverages, such as coffee or tea, and make sure they’re steaming hot.
6 May/June 2012 | BE HealthySETX.com
Kennedy makes sure she has ibubrofen and motion-sickness medicine handy. She also emphasizes the necessity of resting. “Sleep as much as you can on the plane,” she advised. “Any kind of napping you can do, do it.” There’s also the concern of sick passengers and germs floating around in an enclosed cabin. “In a plane, you’re in a very risky situation,” said Heather Peniuk, a physician who works at Christus Minor Care Center in Beaumont. She recommends asking the flight attendant to move you to another seat if you are sitting near an obviously sick person. If you stay in close proximity to him or her, she warns, “you’re a sitting duck.” New places Once Kennedy arrives at her destination, especially after a long flight, she takes a taxi from the airport to her hotel. It’s less stressful, she said, than trying to figure out the publictransit system in a foreign country. When she’s settled at her hotel, she goes to sleep. “I schedule a day of rest before the conference starts, if possible,” she said, adding that being tired and stressed out can weaken your immune system. Peniuk agrees. “I think rest helps,” she said. She advises taking a day off before you leave for vacation to prepare and a day after you return to recuperate and readjust to your normal schedule. “It’s a very good idea to have less stress and be rested before you go on vacation,” she said. And then there’s the water in foreign countries. “I’m really careful about water just about everywhere,” Kennedy said. She only drinks bottled water and uses it to brush her teeth. She typically doesn’t have a problem with foreign foods. If she’s concerned, she eats fried foods since frying at high temperatures is more likely to kill food-borne bacteria. In the event that she gets a case of traveler’s diarrhea, she always has remedies including Imodium and Pepto-Bismol. “Gastrointestinal problems can definitely spoil a good time!” Ruiz said. “If I travel to a place where I do not trust the food and water, I take several precautions.” The dietitian’s advice: Drink only bottled beverages or hot beverages; eat packaged foods; take high-calorie snacks with you such as protein bars and trail mix; at a restaurant, order items that are served steaming hot – nothing raw or warm; eat dry-food items such as bread and crackers; and stay away from unpasteurized milk and cheeses and undercooked meats. “As to the alcohol, beer and wine should be fine, but I would be careful about mixed
drinks,” she warned. “You’ve got the ice and other ingredients to worry about.” Be proactive, prepared and protected The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer guidelines for staying healthy and safe during your travels. The first step is to be proactive. Learn about your destination, and see a doctor before you travel to make sure you are healthy enough to go and up to date on vaccinations you might need. Be prepared is the next step. Pack prescription medications you need to take and over-the-counter remedies you might need. A first-aid kit is always handy, even if it just includes bandages, antibiotic ointment, hand sanitizer and sterile wipes. Know where to go if you get injured or sick on your trip, and be sure to share your travel itinerary with someone back home. Peniuk also advises travelers to understand it might take some time to get acclimated to environments that differ from their normal ones, such as warmer or colder climates and higher or lower altitudes, which can affect their health and stamina. “Keep in mind what kind of climate you’re coming from and where you’re going,” she said. “You have to be prepared for that.” The last step is to protect yourself. Pay attention to your health during your trip. Use sunscreen and insect repellent as necessary. Be careful about what you eat and drink. Don’t overdo it with alcoholic beverages, which can make you sick and hinder good judgment. Wear protective gear when participating in physical activities such as biking, hiking and horseback riding. As a physician at a minor-care facility on the Gulf Coast, Peniuk sees a lot of injuries involving fish hooks. She also treats many people with head injuries who weren’t wearing helmets when they had accidents with all-terrain vehicles. “I don’t think anyone should go fourwheeling or cycling without a helmet on,” she said. She also warns vacationers not to participate in physical activities when they are tired or intoxicated since they’d be more prone to accidents. With some careful planning and a bit of caution, you can have a safe and healthy vacation. “Along with taking reasonable precautions, be adventurous and enjoy the local foods,” Ruiz advised. “Eat things you’ve never tried before. To me, that’s an important part of the experience of traveling.” World-traveler Kennedy concurs. “Enjoy yourself,” she said. “Go see the world. It’s an adventure!”
SE Texas Medical Innovations
duration of treatment to be burdensome. There is now an exciting, new option for women known as brachytherapy, offered right here in Beaumont. Breast brachytherapy entails placing radiation sources inside and adjacent to a cancer, or inside an area that might contain residual cancer after surgical removal of the visible tumor, such as after a lumpectomy. Once the patient is considered a candidate, and all surgical margins are negative for microscopic cancer, a balloon catheter is placed by the trained surgical oncologist. This is usually done in the comfort of the surgeon’s office with a local anesthetic, about one week after surgery. The surgeon confirms good placement of the balloon catheter and the patient is sent for radiation therapy, called “accelerated partial breast” or “high-dose radiation.” This treatment is supervised and tailored by the radiation oncologist and takes only five days. The long-term results show no difference compared to the traditional whole-breast radiation therapy, which takes much longer. On the final day of treatment, the balloon is carefully removed and the patient’s radiation treatment is complete. This approach can provide greater accuracy and refinement and preserves healthy tissue with fewer side effects. Patients give this new radiation therapy high satisfaction scores. The therapy is given on an outpatient basis, without a hospital stay. Treatments are twice daily and take about 10-minutes. The treatments are painless. If faced with the difficult diagnosis of breast cancer, please ask your surgeon or doctor if you are a candidate for “partial breast” radiation. You do not have to travel for this innovative new treatment, and it will get you back to life and your survival journey quicker. Dr. Garrett K. Peel is Chief of the Division of Oncological Surgery at Baptist Beaumont Hospital and BE Healthy magazine’s medical adviser. Each edition, he will introduce you to new surgical and medical treatments available in Beaumont.
New breast cancer radiation therapy is faster, with fewer side effects
More than 200,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year. Surgery is usually the first step in the treatment of breast cancer. Breast conservation or lumpectomy versus mastectomy (surgical removal of the entire breast) are options that you and your surgeon will consider when faced with breast cancer. After the surgery, women who undergo breast conservation, or lumpectomy, and who have an early stage breast cancer, require radiation therapy. Most women choose radiation because the survival rate for such treatment is the same as with mastectomy, and it allows the patient to preserve her breast. Radiation treatments are given to destroy any lingering cancer cells in the breast following surgery. Until now, radiation could only be given using an external beam—the whole breast is treated daily for about six to eight weeks and starts four to six weeks after surgery. Radiation is very successful in preventing recurrence of cancer in the breast, but many women find the long
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BEHealthySETX.com | May/June 2012 7
The pitfalls of ‘perfect’ eating
o factory-farmed meats full of antibiotics. No dairy products laden with bovine-growth hormones. No plastic-covered microwaved meals. No pesticidesprayed fruits and vegetables. No artificial dyes, flavors or sweeteners. No hydrogenated oils. No preservatives. Nothing but pure, unadulterated food.
Eating a healthy diet of organic fruits, vegetables, grains and meats is something to strive for, and people who achieve this goal are to be applauded. They are not junk-food junkies. They are health-food junkies, and they are the epitome of health and fitness. Right? No, not always – not when eating healthy food becomes an obsession. Orthorexia nervosa is an unofficial eating disorder not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association, but it is gaining more attention. (Ortho is Greek for “correct” or “straight.” Rexia is Greek for “appetite” or “desire.”) Orthorexia is the term used to describe a person’s unhealthy fixation with what he or she consid8 May/June 2012 |
Health-food junkies aren’t always that healthy
By CAThleeN Cole orthorexia can become malnourished, and it can also lead to anorexia or anxiety disorder. Some researchers speculate that restrictive diets and orthorexic tendencies might be more common in dietitians and nutrition students. Connie Ruiz, a registered dietitian and an associate professor of nutrition at Lamar University, believes that the nutrition field naturally attracts a disproportionate number of people who have an intense interest in diet and health. But she does not believe the study of nutrition causes students to become obsessed with eating healthy foods. “Some of them have an unhealthy relationship with food and are obsessed about it,” she said. “A true eating disorder, orthorexia included, is a psychological disorder that can have multiple, complex causes.” Lindsay Briggs, a model and a group-fitness instructor at Exygon Health and Fitness in Beaumont, used to obsess about her food. She has a degree in nutrition and dietetics from Lamar University, and her obsessive behavior started when she switched her major to nutrition after she became more health conscious. But she admits that there were other emotional factors that prompted her eating problem. “I was completely obsessed,” she said. Briggs’ disorder was more a combination of orthorexia and anorexia. Although she was not overweight, she perceived herself as being fat (body dysmorphia). She was determined to lose weight, so she wanted to limit her calorie intake. But those calories had to be healthy calories. “I didn’t want to eat anything bad,” she said. “No junk food.” She would eat all kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables, hummus and soy chips. (She’d already become a vegetarian after starting
ers healthy eating. It’s not about losing weight. It’s about ingesting only the purest of foods – nothing processed, nothing with dyes or preservatives, nothing the person considers contaminated even in the slightest way. It’s an obsession that can lead to harmful, and even deadly, results. Steven Bratman, a medical doctor and author of “Health Food Junkies,” coined the term orthorexia in 1997 to describe a fixation on eating proper food and maintaining the perfect diet. Orthorexia has some elements of obsessive-compulsive disorder and anorexia nervosa – an eating disorder characterized by an obsessive fear of gaining weight. Without treatment, people with
Lindsay Briggs, by Rene Sheppard
her nutrition studies, so meats were not an issue.) She weighed her food to determine the calories, filled plastic bags with her healthy snacks and wrote the calorie counts on the bags. “It consumed a lot of my day,” she said of her obsessive eating habits. “I thought tracking my calories like this was healthy.” She had a food diary in which she logged everything she ate and how many calories it had. At the time, she was teaching dance, working out every day and eating no more than 1,200 calories a day. “I wasn’t getting the calories I
needed,” she said. Because she deprived herself not only of the foods she craved but also of the basic amount of calories she needed, she could only keep up the diet for about a week. Then she would binge. The cycle continued – deprive, binge, deprive, binge. “I didn’t recognize I had a problem,” Briggs said. “I was depressed all the time.” Her mother realized Briggs needed help, and she agreed to see a therapist. It took months to change her thinking about food. How do nutrition teach-
Pediatric orthorexia refers to parents forcing extremely healthy eating on their children and totally depriving them of many foods that would occasionally be OK in moderation.
Kids’ Meals: Forget force feeding
“If the parents are obsessive about it, they can really mess up the child’s relationship with food, and it can predispose the child to eating disorders later,” said Connie Ruiz, a registered dietitian and an associate professor of nutrition at Lamar University. According to Ruiz, the rules for feeding kids a healthy diet are simple. Bring healthy foods into your home. You decide when, where and what the child eats. The child decides how much to eat or whether to eat or not. If the child refuses the food, simply take it away and offer the same or other healthy food at the next meal or snack time. “Also don’t make a big deal over occasional unhealthy treats or force the child to eat his broccoli,” she said. “Research clearly shows that trying to force a child to eat a particular food will likely make the child develop a stronger aversion to it. In addition, withholding particular foods will make those foods more desirable to the child.”
ers help students not to obsess about all the information they are taking in about healthy and unhealthy foods? “We teach students how to sort out reliable sources of nutrition information,” Ruiz said. “We teach them about ‘red flags’ to look for in nutrition information they encounter in printed materials and electronic media.” The dietitian also avoids the term “junk food.” “A small amount of ‘junk food’ – a food high in calories, sugar, fat, and/or sodium – is OK for people who consume an overall healthy diet,” she explained. “We would rather talk about a ‘junk diet’ as opposed to particularly ‘evil’ or ‘forbidden’ foods,” Ruiz said. Lamar nutrition faculty members cover the basics of eating disorders in an introductory nutrition course with subsequent courses for nutrition and dietetics majors giving more detail. “Sometimes a student comes to an individual faculty member
with concerns about himself or herself or a friend who may have an eating disorder,” Ruiz said. “Because an eating disorder is a mental-health issue as well as a nutrition issue, we try to facilitate referral to the Lamar Psychology Clinic or to a counselor in the Lamar Student Health Center for assessment and treatment.” While she was still in counseling, Briggs decided one day to stop depriving herself of “bad” food. “Now I eat anything I want whenever I want,” said Briggs, who is 5’7” and 127 pounds. “I’m fit.” She has also gotten her life back. “I was trying to be in control,” she said of her eating habit. “But it was in control of me.” Today, she is content with her weight and with what she eats, which is mostly healthy food. But she will eat, in moderation, chips, cookies and candy, and she won’t beat herself up for eating them either. “I am totally well now,” she said. “I’m happy with how I look and who I am.”
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BEHealthySETX.com | May/June 2012 9
Back in the Swim
Laps in the pool provide a full-body workout
lent cardio workout while simultaneously offering low-impact resistance training. “Swimming gives you a heart-pounding exercise without a joint-pounding exercise,” said Tony Buagas, a personal trainer and the program coordinator at Christus Health & Wellness Center. Buagas recommends returning or new swimmers work up to 20 to 30 minutes of swimming, as with any cardio exercise, rather than concentrating on the number of laps or speed. Eric Laing is a triathlete who teaches history at Port Neches-Groves High School and coaches the swim team. Laing grew up swimming and surfing, so he has always enjoyed the water. “You get a full-body workout swimming,” he said. “A good runner doesn’t work out the upper body much, and cycling is the same. With swimming, you develop muscles without having to go to the gym and use weights.” The one pitfall to using swimming as an exclusive exercise is increasing the risk of osteoporosis, Soberon cautioned. “For bone mass, you need to combine swimming with free weights. Because of this, swimming by itself is not the answer, but as a complement, it’s a great choice,” Soberon said. “It’s better than running because invari-
By Cheryl rose ably people have problems with their knees. As you get older, running becomes more difficult and you need to prepare much more with stretching to prevent injuries than you do with swimming.” Swimming is a good choice for people who need a low-impact option, and the water’s buoyancy can ease strain. People rehabbing from injuries or surgeries or people who have joint and arthritis problems, varicose veins, obesity and women during pregnancy can find the pool a good place to get and stay fit. Get more from a medley Katie Cole, a swim instructor for Christus Health & Wellness Center, grew up on swim teams and now swims once a week to add variety to her fitness program. Just as swimming adds variety to an overall exercise plan, so does mixing up the strokes during a swim session. “It’s better to do a variety of strokes so you use different muscle groups and muscles are stretched in different ways,” Cole said. “If you were doing weights, you wouldn’t do just arm curls for an entire workout.” With any exercise, repetition allows the body to adjust and eventually plateau. “If you swim 10 laps every day, the workout isn’t going to work anymore,” explained
s a teenager, Dr. Santos Soberon of Beaumont Internal Medicine & Geriatric Associates swam on the pre-Olympic team for his native Mexico. Then his lane diverged and he had to make a choice to study medicine or pursue Olympic hopes. He climbed out of the pool, toweled off and walked away. Almost 25 years later, he splashed back in. “I love it and I’m having fun,” he said.
Swim to fitness Soberon gradually built up his endurance and now swims at least three days a week. “What is fantastic about swimming is that you can do it for the rest of your life,” he said. As an exercise, swimming provides an excel-
Prevent Swimmer’s Ear
One hazard of frequent swimming is an outer ear infection known as swimmer’s ear. Dr. Santos Soberon said the basic prevention method is to change the pH of the ear with a few drops of white vinegar or rubbing alcohol after swimming.
10 May/June 2012 | BE HealthySETX.com
Megan Schneiter, the aquatics director at Lamar University. “You do have to change it up. Try to swim faster, swim longer, try different strokes, use a kickboard or a buoy between the legs, use fins. There are other ways to swim than the same stroke every time.” Laing recommends different drills and sprint intervals to avoid plateauing and to stave off boredom with routine. “You can always work to improve your stroke because technique is very important if you want to swim fast,” he said. Breathe An important difference between swimming and other forms of cardio exercise is the emphasis on breath control. “Some people can run all day long but they can’t swim a lap,” Schneiter said, indicating that the lung capacity necessary for the two sports is different. Laing said that holding his breath during swimming has helped him in his other sports. “Swimming allows you to get into a breathing rhythm, allows you to calm your breathing and your heart rate. By holding your breath part of the time, you discover when you are going all out you don’t need to use as much oxygen,” he said. Soberon said swimming is excellent for improving lung function. He tested himself before and after swimming regularly for five years and his lung function increased, the opposite of the normal aging trend. He also believes the rhythmic nature of stroking and breathing is very good for relaxation. “The way you’re breathing can actually help you release stress,” he said. “You feel so good swimming.” Cole feels the same way. “If you’re someone who’s been a lifetime swimmer, there’s just something about being in the water. For me, swimming is relaxing. The only sound is the water, there’s no background noise, you are just alone in the water. I come out feeling invigorated.”
The Thomas Center Natatorium, Janice Brassard Pool
Where to Swim and Take Lessons
minutes per session. http://dept.lamar.edu/recsports/LearnToSwim.htm Christus Health & Wellness Center Membership required except for swim lessons. Registration for children’s swim lessons is underway. Adult swim lessons are taught on an individual basis. Adult lessons are purchased per session or four for $100. http://www.christushospital.org/body.cfm?id=762 Beaumont City Pools Magnolia and Alice Keith outdoor pools are open to the public with no cost to enter. The pools will open May 29. In conjunction with the American Red Cross, swim lessons are offered for ages 5 and up for $10 a session, including eight 30-minute lessons. http://www.beaumontrecreation.com/recreation_aquatics.htm
Residents of the community can purchase monthly memberships. A three-month membership is $40 ($30 for BISD employees) and includes access to the weight room and water aerobics classes. Registration for swim lessons for adults and children begins in May with the first session beginning June 4. Lessons cost $40 ($30 for BISD employees) and are 45 minutes. Adults are tested and divided by ability. Lamar University The pool is open to faculty, students, staff and alumni who have a valid LU or LIT ID card. Swim lessons for children and adults are open to the community. Registration begins May 21 with classes beginning June 4. Lessons are in two-week sessions for 45
Here’s a plan: Block out time for summer exercise
John Freeman, CHRISTUS Health & Wellness Center Fitness Supervisor, answers your questions
still get my Q.How can Ithe summer?exercise in when kids are home for
About 100 people a day use the pool for fitness at the Christus Health & Wellness Center, according to Tony Buagas, the center’s program coordinator. The center has a Masters swim club for adults. “We have incentives to keep people motivated,” he said. Members can keep a record of their laps in a log book toward a prize given out each quarter. A recent example was a T-shirt for those who logged 25 miles within three months.
When one family member’s schedule changes, it can throw everyone else’s schedule into chaos. Things like exercise can fall to the wayside. This summer, when the kids are out of school, have a plan to keep your workouts on track. Preparing for the impending change now will help you feel more relaxed about it later. Here are some ways to ensure you’ll still get your fit on once the summer months hit: ■ Find kid-friendly activities: Whether it’s a walk through your community, a race to the neighbor’s house or a game of tag, finding an activity you can do with your kids will help all of you move and stay active this summer. ■ Arrange a “workout date”: A lot of parents already arrange play dates for their kids. Why not try a workout-date? Ask a friend to watch your children while you take a class or log some miles on a bike. It gives the kids someone else to play with and frees you up for the occasional longer
workout session. You can return the favor for the friend the following week. ■ Join a gym: Many local fitness facilities have child care for members and guests to use while they work out. Some even offer activities for kids to make sure they’re as active as their parents. Some offer youth programs or memberships outside child care so kids engage in even more physical activity. ■ Move when they move: Kids are always on the move. If you visit the pool, jump in and play with them. It may not be lap swimming, but if you participate in the play, you may find yourself pausing for breath just the same. Jog or walk some laps around the playground while they play. With early planning, you can ensure that you continue to exercise, stress the importance of physical activity to your children and spend some time building a stronger family. We need to do our best as parents to make sure exercise is a positive, character-building experience.
BEHealthySETX.com | May/June 2012 11
Ch... Ch... Chia!
America’s favorite (and cheesiest) holiday gift is now a trendy super food
By MArGAreT BATTIsTellI GArDNer
f you’re over the age of 30, you probably owned a Chia Pet at some point. Back in the day, you probably thought of those seeds as some sort of magical life force. After all, they were able to grow “grass” on a clay figure shaped like a lamb or a frog or even Mr. T.
ing you to chow down on chia instead of giving it as part of one of history’s cheesiest — albeit beloved — Christmas presents, right? But chia isn’t the only surprise dietary miracle worker to come down the pike. There are other things you should be eating for optimal health that you might not have imagined. Hammonds’ list includes: Ginger and turmeric Both demonstrate antiinflammatory and antioxidant properties. “The American diet is very acidic, which causes [so many] health problems,” she said. “We need to eat more alkaline foods, as they help reduce inflammation in the body and prevent disease.”
You weren’t far from right. Chia seeds are one of the trendiest super foods on the market right now. You no longer smear them on clay forms and wait for “hair” to sprout. Instead, you smear them on your PB&J, toss them into smoothies or salads, or even eat them right off the spoon. Chia (and flax) seeds, according to Debra Hammond, who works at Basic Foods in Beaumont (www.basicfoodsmarket.com), are high in protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. They also expand in liquid, so they aid in weight loss by keeping you feeling fuller, longer. Bet you never imagined that one day someone would be tell-
12 May/June 2012
Blue-green algaes Such as spirulina and chlorella. “These are as close as you’ll get to perfect foods,” she explained. “As a matter of fact you could live on them. Spirulina has been used since ancient times; it is higher in protein by the gram than meat is. It’s high in omega fatty acids and very high in fiber, and B vitamins. Chlorella is also high in omega fatty acids, B vitamins and protein, but it’s also known for its detoxing ability.” Carolyn Zeltner, owner of happyhomosapien.com, is a certified health coach who helps to support clients around the country, including the Beaumont area, who are trying to make dietary and lifestyle changes to improve their health. Her list of super foods includes: Parsley Parsley is a widely used herb and garnish, but few people are aware that its is an incredibly powerful source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, folic acid and iron, among many other
vitamins and minerals, she said. It’s high in antioxidants and is an effective anti-inflammatory food. It cleanses the liver, freshens the breathe, combats the common cold, supports cardiovascular health, helps with bladder and urinary tract infections, aids in digestion and eases arthritis. “Don’t use parsley only to decorate your dishes,” Zeltner offered. “Cook it in omelets, soups, sauces, pasta and meatballs. Use it to make pesto and add generously to your salads.”
milk -- cow, almond, coconut or soy,” she said. “It also makes a delightful warmed chocolate milk. As long as you keep the temperature below 112, the live enzymes will not be destroyed.”
Raw cacao This wonder food is a rich supply of antioxidants and mood boosting-chemicals. Zeltner explained that many of the benefits of the cocoa bean are destroyed in the heating and processing, so purchase your cocoa raw to reap the healthful benefits. “Raw cacao (cocoa) powder can be added to a smoothie in a blender, along with frozen and fresh fruits, nut butters, and
Vanilla Chia Pudding
To get you started on the road to exploring these “secret super foods,” here’s a recipe for a quick and easy chia pudding. The texture is a little odd at first, but you will get used to it. And the heath benefits of chia seeds far outweigh the “weird factor” of this quick and nutritious snack. In a bowl, combine two cups almond or coconut milk with 2/3 cup chia seeds and a small amount of alcohol-free vanilla extract. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring the mixture every five minutes or so, to create a texture similar to tapioca pudding. Once set, drizzle with a teaspoon of raw honey and serve as is or topped with fresh fruit.
Raw honey Honey is another antioxidantrich food when eaten raw. It’s an excellent natural antifungal and antibiotic powerhouse, Zeltner said, adding that it can be eaten to combat colds, or applied topically to wounds to help them heal. Honey can be used in place of white table sugar, too. To keep it raw, use it in hot tea or smoothies, or simply eat it by the spoonful. “Raw honey can also help fight seasonal allergies, if purchased locally,” she said. “Honey contains small amounts of nectar and pollen, and can act as a natural ‘vaccine’ to build up exposure to local plants. “It can also be used as a beauty supply,” she added. “My daughter washes her face with it, and uses it as a facial mask several times a week. It greatly reduced her scarring from acne, and it moisturizes her skin.” Himalayan and Celtic sea salts White table salt is extremely bad for your health and is devoid of any sea minerals that were present before processing, Zeltner cautioned. “Himalayan and Celtic sea salts have all of the minerals of the sea still intact,” she explained. “The light gray or pink color is an indicator of the
natural minerals. (These) salts are naturally alkalizing — unlike white salt, which is acid-forming and dangerous to consume.” Coconut oil Coconut oil is a rich source of lauric acid — a medium-chain fatty acid that exhibits antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal properties. It’s one of the healthiest sources of saturated fats, which are needed for virtually every system and organ of the body, Zeltner explained. “In recent decades, saturated fats have been misrepresented as a food bad for cardiovascular health. In recent years, this notion has been challenged, and it is now understood that fats are needed for optimal health,” she said. “The benefits of coconut oil are too long to be listed here, and include balancing hormones, strengthening the immune system, raising good cholesterol levels (HDL), healing digestion, combating dementia, healing inflammation and improving nutrient absorption. “Coconut oil is also an excellent oil to cook with, as it can maintain higher temperatures without hitting its smoke point (the point where compounds break down and become dangerous to our health),” she added. “Use coconut oil generously in all of your cooking and baking. You can also add it to smoothies, cooked oatmeal, or hot chocolate, just to reap the benefits. When used topically, coconut oil is a wonderful moisturizer and has been known to heal eczema.”
May/June 2012 13
A proactive approach to health can mean extra innings for men
By Cheryl rose
en are 24 percent less likely than women to have visited a doctor in the past year, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Why is half the population reluctant about identifying potential issues that could shorten their life spans or reduce their quality of life?
We all might have theories on this, but there isn’t any recent research to give us definitive answers, according to Dr. George Groves, a psychiatrist and medical director of Baptist Beaumont Hospital’s Behavioral Health Center. “From what I’ve seen, men tend to go to the doctor when really sick or hurting,” he said. “A lot of things that could be targets for preventive medicine – elevated lipids, headaches, difficulty urinating – they don’t consider to be a problem or they ignore it. They have an ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ attitude. They don’t want to be perceived as weak or whiners. Instead, they may get their hypertension diagnosed because they went in for a sprained ankle.” Dr. Bodo Brauer of Folsom Medical Group believes a cultural machismo is often to blame for men failing to take preventive health measures. However, he
14 May/June 2012 |
also sees awareness increasing among men. “My main message would be know your numbers – blood sugar, PSA, blood pressure, BMI,” Brauer said. “If they are normal, I’ll say, ‘See you next year.’ One thing I really hate is damage control. I really stress prevention.” How informed are you on men’s health topics? Take our quiz to test your knowledge. A man with a total cholesterol of under 200 is not at risk for heart disease. True or False? False. Cardiologist Steven Sooudi of Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists said that the driving force in heart disease is cholesterol. Other factors – such as tobacco use, genetics, age – might accelerate risk, but cholesterol is what actually clogs the arteries. Although a total of under 200 is desirable, men also need to under-
stand the ratio of “good” (HDL) to “‘bad” (LDL) cholesterol. “Just because your cholesterol is normal, that does not mean it’s optimal,” he said. Many men will need to have better than normal results because of family history or other risk factors. For these men, Sooudi recommends advanced lipid testing, a screening that provides additional information about the cholesterol particles. The strongest predictor of heart disease in men is high blood pressure. True or False? True. Sooudi said that the average life expectancy in countries around the world lines up perfectly with the average blood pressures of citizens from those countries. Cultures where people live longer usually have healthier body weight, diet and exercise as part of their lifestyles, and thus, they also
have better blood pressures. Elevated blood pressure puts unnecessary wear and tear on the circulatory system, which can lead to kidney failure, stroke and heart failure. Hypertension accelerates hardening of the arteries. Starting at age 18, you should have your blood pressure checked at least every two years. Feeling tired and thirsty and having a constant urge to urinate are signs of diabetes. True or False? True. Diabetes is on the rise and is directly linked to obesity, Folsom Medical Group’s Brauer said. Diabetes is a dangerous disease in itself, but it can also increase the risks of other problems such as cardiovascular disease. The risk of Type 2 diabetes can be greatly reduced by healthy lifestyles, he said. A desirable fasting blood sugar is less than 100 milligrams per deciliter.
Suicide is the seventh-leading copies save lives by finding and cause of death of men in America. removing polyps early. Generally, Crossword by Myles Mellor True or False? there aren’t any symptoms until the cancer spreads, at which True. According to the CenAcross point it is too late for preventive ters for Disease Control (CDC), intervention. intentional self-harm ranks above 1 pneumonia, kidney influenza,Exercise machine “We start screening at age 50,” disease and Alzheimer’s disease Brauer said. “If you’re worried 7 Pharmacist's milk in the top 10 causes of death in about the procedure, don’t be. men.10 Groves said statistics prove Well known chef They give you some la-la juice and that men are more likely to act on you don’t remember anything. a suicidal impulse using a lethal Drinking the salty-soapy cleanser 11 The "I" thing method. Men are less likely to the night before is the worst part. admit to symptoms offruit, goes with 13 across but you can 12 Type of depression It’s uncomfortable, or seek help, he said. There are survive it and it’s got to be done.” several indicators ofacross 13 See 12 depression, ‘Type A’ personalities are more but one key symptom in men is likely to die of a heart attack. True 14 doing things they used no longer Respiratory organ or False? to enjoy because they seem to be False. According to Sooudi, 16 trouble, Groves said. too much Flare up people in stressful and high perIf your BMI (body mass index) is formance jobs tend to be proactive 17 Tooth covering within normal range, the size of people who, if they experience a your love handles is irrelevant. True cardiac event, will follow through 19 or False? Excellent with the doctor’s advice to take False. Sooudi said that their medicine, lose weight or 20 Bread served with korma abdominal fat, as measured by make other lifestyle changes and waist21 Internet is a better type circumference, address thereby avoid another event. In predictor of risk for heart disease contrast, people with anger and than 22 Compass direction depression are at a much higher BMI. risk of having another event, he A digital rectal exam (DRE) uses said. Chronic worrying and feel23 ____-pedi high-definition imaging to check ings of helplessness are examples for prostate cancer. True or False? 25 Fruits a physical False. A DRE iswith pink pulpof negative stress. “The bad stress is not outside ourselves, but an examination of the pelvic area by 27 a doctor. Morning moisture internal event about how we interpret our circumstances.” “Of course there is a reluc28 Medical try to The majority tance,” Brauer said. “Ispecialty, for short of melanomas (the most dangerous form of skin make jokes and remind my male 29 Osteoporosis cancer) are discovered by doctors. patients that I have to have this True or False? done31 A lifestyle ____ (modification) too.” False. The majority of irregular Prostate cancer is the most common occurring cancer in men moles are first noticed by men 33 Edible, shelled marine creatures and the second-most fatal, accord- themselves or spouses/ partners. ing to the LikeIn addition to the 35 CDC. a bug in a rug However, men frequently delay seeking a doctor’s exam. DRE, after age 50, a blood sample 36 Greek salad ingredient “The guys on the fishing boat, to screen for prostate-specific they don’t care about sunscreen, antigen proteins (PSA) to test for it doesn’t go with the macho,” cancer is recommended. Down Brauer said. “Then all of a sudden Having a colonoscopy reduces – whoa! Especially people with the risk of colorectal cancer by 77 1 Stress outside jobs, wear a hat and wear percent. True or False? sunscreen.” True. Brauer said colonos-
By Myles Mellor
7 11 8 9 1 2 3 4 10 12 14 16 19 20 23 27 29 30 31 32 33 36 34 35 24 21 25 26 28 22 15 17 18 13 5 6
3 Ache (2 words) Mens’ Health Week• June 11-17 4 Important mineral supplement 5 The "L" of XXL 6 Grazing spot 7 Bean vegetable 8 Mature gracefully
2 Relating to external conditions
Across Down 1 Exercise machine 1 Stress 9 Most expensive 7 Pharmacist’s milk 2 Relating to external 10 Well known chef 15 Ideal situation conditions 11 The “I” thing 3 18 Not containing chemicals Ache (2 words) 12 Type of fruit, goes with 4 Important mineral 22 13 across Balanced supplement 13 See 12 across 5 The “L” of XXL 24 Bowl over 14 Respiratory organ 6 Grazing spot 16 Flare upeater of fruits and nuts and grains 26 Strict 7 Bean vegetable 17 Tooth covering 8 Mature gracefully 27 Complete 19 Excellent 9 Most expensive 20 Bread served with korma 29 Fiber health food 15 Ideal situation 21 Internet address type 18 Not containing chemicals 30 Plum variety 22 Compass direction 22 Balanced 23 ____-pedi 31 Emeril Lagasse, for example over 24 Bowl 25 Fruits with pink pulp 26 Strict eater of fruits and 32 Breakfast protein 27 Morning moisture nuts and grains 28 Medical specialty, for 34 Compass direction 27 Complete short 35 Semiannual, 29 Osteoporosis for short 29 Fiber health food 31 A lifestyle ____ (modifi- 30 Plum variety 31 Emeril Lagasse, for cation) example 33 Edible, shelled marine 32 Breakfast protein creatures 34 Compass direction 35 Like a bug in a rug 35 Semiannual, for short 36 Greek salad ingredient
BEHealthySETX.com | May/June 2012 15
Thanks For Making Us Your Choice.
You expect a healthcare provider to deliver excellence. And for the last eight years, you have rewarded our excellent Associates, Physicians and Volunteers at CHRISTUS Hospital – St. Elizabeth with your continued trust, as well as your choice as Most Preferred Hospital in Beaumont/Port Arthur.
We are grateful to be recognized by you, our patients, and the National Research Corporation, in this national Healthcare Market Study Guide. For eight years in a row, your commendation has helped us continue to strive to deliver a higher standard of healthcare that is unmatched in the region.
It’s our honor to be your healthcare partner and your choice.
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