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Hard to believe summer officially ended and as if overnight, we’ve rolled into pumpkin season. I revisited ABC10 last week as their TV health expert and was excited to feature some healthy ways to eat America’s beloved fall vegetable. Pumpkins are packed with anti-aging nutrition and are a versatile veggie — you can cook it, soup it, bake it, sweeten it, or just eat their seeds! Pumpkin for breakfast? Lunch? Dinner? Yes, yes, and yes! Click HERE to link to the video.
On the menu:
BREAKFAST: Pumpkin Nut Belgian Waffles — Chopped walnuts add a healthy dose of heart healthy omega-3’s to these light whole grain waffles. Topped with my favorite naturally sweet Spiced Apple Topping. (This antioxidant-rich topping is delicious over yogurt and muesli, pumpkin pancakes, and ice cream too!)
BREAKFAST, SNACK OR DESSERT: Super Moist Pumpkin Bars with Greek Cream Cheese Pineapple Frosting — These bars are delicious and healthy any time!
ENTREE: Pumpkin Marinara over Green Lentil Pasta — Super easy to make and super rich in skin-loving ingredients: pumpkin and tomato purée!
SOUP: Roasted Pumpkin and Apple Soup in Pumpkin Tureen — Pumpkins + apples make the perfect pair.
BEVERAGE: Pineapple Pumpkin Smoothie — This creamy smoothie (frozen pineapple, bananas, pumpkin, chia seeds, and Greek yogurt) makes a great way to start the day, pick you up in the afternoon, or reenergize you after a workout. Freeze it for a fresh fruit frozen dessert! 😀
DESSERT: Pumpkin Bark — Handmadeextreme dark chocolate with roasted pumpkin seeds and almonds.
Do you know what it means to be functionally fit? One in 3 people – and 60% of those over 65 – suffer from a functional limitation limiting their ability to carry out daily activities – like climbing stairs, bending over to tie their shoes, picking something up off the floor, or carrying groceries.
If you’d like to hear my radio interview on Remedying Functional Limitations with Functional Fitness on About Health, here it is!
You’re never too old to learn new tricks. Meet George. He’s 93 years old and this is how he walked at the beginning of our first private functional fitness session*. He walks with the typical elderly shuffling of the feet and is bent forward at the waist. (Notice how his nose is beyond his feet.) The more he tilts forward when walking, his center of gravity shifts further out in front of his body which increases his risk of falling forward. George had a stroke last year that affected his balance.
This is George after working with him for one hour. (Notice the time on the clock that’s on the wall which validates the time.)
George is taking actual “steps” whereby he is pulling his toes up rather than shuffling flat-footed across the room as he was an hour earlier. There is less drag across the floor which reduces his risk of falling. George is also walking slightly more upright.
RECOVERY THROUGH EXERCISE | A MEDICAL FITNESS PRACTICE THAT ASSESSES, BUILDS, AND FUELS STURDY HEALTHY BODIES.
Functional screening and private training by appointment.
Small group exercise sessions (Mon-Wed-Fri) include cardiorespiratory conditioning and strength/balance training components. Training sessions use various modalities, such as IMX Pilates reformer, barre, Spin® bike, weights, and step while incorporating interval training and low-impact plyometrics.
*Training Location: IMX Pilates and Fitness Bay Area
I was on ABC10 TV out of Sacramento yesterday to show their viewers (a.k.a. Easter bunnies) how to pull together a ‘healthy Easter basket’. Hmmm…. that’s an oxymoron, you say. Believe it or not, options outside of solid chocolate bunnies, Peeps and sugar-coated sugar do actually exist.
Here are my five basic principles when it comes to “healthify-ing” this tradition.
Include plant-based foods and plant-based colorants.
Load up on whole grains.
Use healthy fats.
Cut back on sugar.
Swap out milk chocolate with dark chocolate.
All the recipes for the treats on the show will be featured in my upcoming book, “Athletes in Aprons“. 😀
Oat & Berry Bars: These whole-grain, gluten-free bars are made with oat flour and rolled oats layered with an organic berry purée sweetened with just apple juice.
Chocolate Chip Cookies: These cookies will surprise you! They’re made with garbanzo bean and fava bean flours, oat flour, zucchini, dairy-free dark chocolate, and organic unsweetened applesauce. Gluten-free.
Fudge Brownies: These fudge-y treats are made with whole wheat flour and… spinach. Really! Their moist richness comes from just a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, unsweetened applesauce, and golden ground flaxseeds. You have to taste ’em to believe they’re not loaded with hydrogenated fat and white flour.
Did you know… that sudden cardiac death is usually the first symptom of coronary heart disease (CHD) — especially among women?
Compared to men, studies show that women are 66% less likely to be diagnosed with coronary heart disease before sudden cardiac death strikes. If you’re a woman and free of symptoms, you’re not identified as “high risk” which means you’re not eligible for cardiac interventions that could save your life. SCD accounts for more than 50% of cardiac deaths (approximately 250,000 to 310,000 cases annually in the United States).
Heart Attack vs. Sudden Cardiac Death
To clarify, the terms “heart attack” and “sudden cardiac death” are NOT the same thing.
Aheart attack or myocardial infarction (MI) occurs when the flow of oxygen-rich blood suddenly gets blocked. Oxygen can’t get to a section of the heart and cardiac tissue dies. Most often the heart is blocked by a build-up of fatty plaque.
Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is an abrupt loss of heart function as a result of abnormal electrical impulses within the heart. The heart’s electrical system may fail from physical stress, inherited arrhythmias, drug/alcohol abuse, chronic kidney disease, structural changes in the heart, and/or scar tissue that damages the heart’s electrical system. (Cardiac deaths were considered “sudden” if the death or cardiac arrest occurred within 1 hour of the onset of symptoms.)
Simply put, SCD is considered an ‘electrical’ problem whereas a heart attack is more of a ‘plumbing’ problem. Over the years, I’ve had several patients that were revived and survived sudden cardiac arrest who said they didn’t need cardiac rehab because they didn’t have a heart attack, but had an “electrical issue”. They couldn’t be more wrong.