Alzheimer’s – What you need to know.

Alzheimer's

September 21 is World Alzheimer’s Day. This disease may be one of the hardest to deal with as a family member. It is a disease that attacks the brain and can change the person you know and love into someone that doesn’t even know you. This must be emotionally draining for family and caregivers of the people with the disease.

So what is Alzheimer’s? It is the most common form of dementia (60-80% of cases) that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.

In Canada, women make up 72% of Alzheimer’s patients.

Alzheimer’s has no cure. However, there are treatments available and support for caregivers. Although Alzheimer’s treatments cannot stop Alzheimer’s from progressing, they can temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve quality of life.

I know many people my age are dealing with parents and some level of forgetfulness. The obvious concern is that this may be the beginning of Alzheimer’s. However, almost 40% of people over the age of 65 experience some form of memory loss. When there is no “underlying medical condition causing this memory loss, it is known as “age-associated memory impairment,” which is considered a part of the normal aging process.”

But how do you know what is normal aging “forgetfulness” and what is dementia? The Alzheimer Society of Canada http://www.alzheimer.ca/ has a list for you to help determine if behaviors are “normal” or if they are a reason for you or your loved one to seek medical advice.

Normal Aging  Dementia
· Not being able to remember details of a conversation or event that took place a year ago · Not being able to recall details of recent events or conversations
· Not being able to remember the name of an acquaintance · Not recognizing or knowing the names of family members
· Forgetting things and events occasionally ·Forgetting things or events more frequently
· Occasionally have difficulty finding words · Frequent pauses and substitutions when finding words
 · You are worried about your memory but your relatives are not · Your relatives are worried about your memory, but you are not aware of any problems

If you are worried about yourself or a loved one, the best advice is to ask your health professional. If you would like more information about support in your area, tips for coping with normal age-related memory difficulties and ongoing research, please visit www.alzheimerer.ca.

Kick up your summer fitness!

WWK sweatshirt

2015 is the Year of Women In Sport! This is music to our ears at Fit Communications. We are passionate about getting young girls and women involved in fitness and sport for life. As such, we are excited to promote other organizations that are doing great things in this area. Winnipeg Women’s Kickboxing (WWK) is one of those organizations. WWK is on a mission to get girls back into high-level fitness and sport.

Winnipeg Women’s Kickboxing, Winnipeg’s ONLY all-women’s kickboxing gym, is opening its doors to girls ages 5-16 for an 8-week summer kickboxing program beginning July 2, 2015. Trisha Sammons (two-time winner of the Canadian National Muay Thai and Kickboxing Title) found a gap in fitness opportunities for young girls in Winnipeg and set forth to do something about it.

Girls are two times more likely to drop out of sports by the age of 14 than their male counterparts. This is due to a lack of access, lack of positive role models, social stigma, cost and decreased quality of experience (Source: Fast and Female). This gap has motivated Sammons to create a fitness and self defense program for girls with hopes in changing this trend.

This 8-week program not only increases overall fitness and health, but also teaches self-defense and increases self-confidence. This program has been running since the Spring of 2014 for girls in this age category. Sammons, as Head Coach, has seen exceptional improvement in the skill-set and overall self-confidence of the group.

If a young girl or teen in your life is looking for a new, fun and challenging way to be active this summer, try this kickboxing class. Join with a friend or on your own and meet new friends! Registration is now open!

Class Details:

Boys and Girls Ages 5 -10 years old. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4 – 5pm
Girls ages 11 – 16 years old. Monday through Thursday, 6 – 7pm and Sundays 11 – 12pm
Cost: $200 per student for both above programs
Location: 1777 Portage Avenue – St. James

Contact Trisha at 204.930.6780 to register.

Visit WWK on Facebook at Winnipeg Women’s Kickboxing – WWK

Media Links:

Winnipeg Free Press

Winnipeg Sun

MyToba

If only I knew then…

Woman Lifting Weight

I wish I knew then what I know now. Many of us say this as we reflect on our past. What exactly do I wish I knew back then?

I have a list…

  • I wish I knew that sun-tanning was really bad for you. I wish I knew that sitting under the sun or in a tanning bed not only exposes your skin to cancer, but contributes directly to the pre-mature aging of skin. This is one of the things you can’t “un-do” from your reckless youth.
  • I wish I knew then all of the amazing things I know now about eating well and nutrition. With so many new discoveries over the past decade alone regarding “clean eating”, “superfoods”, DHAs, EPAs, olive oil, flax, saturated and unsaturated, supplements, chia seeds, quinoa etc… We are all much more equipped now to fuel our bodies with cancer-fighting, holistic and healthy goodness than even five years ago.
  • I wish I knew then that a smart, confident, athletic woman is a sexy woman.
  • I wish I knew then that sometimes men “just aren’t into you” and that is okay.
  • I wish I knew that planning for your future and your education is important.
  • I wish I knew then that no matter what you want to be “when you grow up” it is exactly what you should do if it makes you happy and allows you love what you do each and every day.
  • I wish I knew then that blue eye-shadow isn’t for everyone.
  • I wish I knew then that you should always dress for your body and not for fads or trends.
  • I wish I knew then that it’s okay, and even amazing, to beat your boyfriend at sports or games or be smarter or funnier than him.

Although I can’t go back and turn back time, I know I can take all of this incredible knowledge and know-how and do two things: First, continue to improve on myself – grow, blossom and evolve. Secondly, share this wisdom with my young daughters, nieces and all of the fabulous women in my life.

Decoding the Bread Aisle

brown_white_bread

The bread aisle at your local grocery store is a very confusing place. Between all of the choices including whole grain, enriched, ancient grains etc… how do you know what to choose? I am decoding the bread aisle to hopefully help you make choices best for your health.

White or Enriched Bread:

The main ingredient in enriched bread is refined, white flour. To produce white flour, manufacturers remove the outer coating — also known as the bran — and the germ of the kernel. The inside of the kernel is then ground into fine flour. Bread manufacturers replace many of the nutrients lost during milling when preparing the dough for enriched bread so that it contains the same nutrients as those in whole-wheat bread, but they do not replace the fiber lost during milling.

Sourdough:

Sourdough is a better choice than white/enriched bread as it has a lower glycemic index meaning that it doesn’t spike blood sugar as dramatically. Sourdough bread contains the bacteria Lactobacillus in a higher proportion to yeast than do other breads. More Lactobacillus means higher production of lactic acid, which means easier digestion.

Whole Wheat/Whole Grain:

Both are good choices. The word “whole” is what you want to look for on the label. It means the bread was made using the entire kernel, which offers the most nutritional value. Whole wheat means that the bread is made from the entire wheat kernel. Whole grain means that the bread can be made of any whole-grain kernel. That grain may be wheat or it could be another grain like spelt, oats, or barley. The bread might even be made using a mixture of different whole grains.

The “whole wheat” label means the wheat in that product hasn’t been refined so healthy components like endosperm and bran are left intact. Unrefined products also have many more nutrients like B vitamins and trace metals like iron, zinc, and copper.

Don’t be confused by “100 percent wheat”—that only means it’s completely made of wheat, but not necessarily unprocessed.

Multigrain:

Multigrain sounds super healthy, but this word alone (without the word “whole” attached) can be misleading. If you don’t see the word “whole” on the package, it means the bread might not be made from the entire kernel. Something can be multigrain and still be processed, bleached, or refined in a way that removes any real nutritional value.

If you’re not sure, check the ingredient list to see if the first ingredient is a whole grain and ensure there are more than 3 grams or more of fiber per serving.

Flax:

The flax seed is a nutrient powerhouse. It’s technically not a grain but has similar vitamin and minerals to grains but has far superior amounts of fiber, antioxidants, and Omega-3 fatty acids than do grains.

Its combination of healthy fat and high fiber content make it a great food for weight loss and maintenance — many dieters have found that flax seed has been a key to keeping them feeling satisfied.

Ancient Grains:

Ancient grain crops come from seeds that have been around for thousands of years and as such are free of hybridization and GMO manipulation.

Ancient grains include amaranth, buckwheat, kamut, millet, quinoa, spelt and more. Benefits of some of these include more protein, folate, magnesium, selenium, B vitamins, iron, phosphorus, fibre, and calcium that wheat. In addition, quinoa is gluten free and amaranth is a complete form of vegetable protein.

 

Still confused?  To simplify this list, choose whole grain whenever possible. Regardless of flax, ancient or wheat, “whole” is what will do your body best.  You can go a step further by determining what benefits of each is what your own body needs.

How to Have a Healthy Pregnancy

Healthy Pregnancy

Being pregnant doesn’t have to mean that you now have a justified reason to eat everything and anything you want, stop working out and become sedentary. In fact, this is the time of your life to do exactly the opposite. Never has it been more important for women to eat well and be healthy, for it is no longer just about you. It is about that little bambino inside. You want to create the optimal conditions for baby’s development while living within you!

One of the first things to remember about staying healthy and fit during pregnancy is to consult your doctor – with pretty much everything. If you aren’t sure if you should be doing something or eating something, ask the professional.

Secondly, every body and every pregnancy is different. So what is great for one person may not even be possible for another. Now being in my third pregnancy, I now know that even the same person can have radically different pregnancies.

So if you are expecting, this is what I personally think are “DO’s” for pregnancy health:

  • Look at the Big Picture. Don’t just view being healthy as eating well and exercising. Also look at your own emotional and psychological well-being. Take time for yourself, pamper yourself, meditate, do yoga, have warm baths or whatever provides you with a “zen” experiences. Baby will be much better off if mama is happy and relaxed. Try not to let stress of work or everyday life get in the way of your emotional health.
  • Be Active. “They” say that you can do anything you did before you got pregnant after you are pregnant. So if you ran before, you can still run. If you did aerobics or spin, you can keep doing that too. As mentioned before, ensure you confirm with your doctor (in case of any ‘weirdisms’ you have in the pregnancy). If you stay active and fit during pregnancy, not only will this help your body stay healthy during pregnancy, it will also likely make labour easier and will help your body bounce back more quickly after your baby arrives.
  • Eat well. Again, this is the time in your life when you need to feed your baby the best food you can for optimal growth and development. Things that are at the top of the list nutritionally are:
    • Water Intake – Aim for eight 8-ounce glasses per day, plus one 8-ounce cup for each hour of light activity.
    • Prenatal Vitamin – This should balance out and fill in any gaps in what you are getting in your daily food intake. (check amounts in your vitamin for the ones listed below)
    • Folate and folic acid — 800 micrograms daily – Why? Prevent birth defects
    • Calcium – 1000 milligrams daily
    • Vitamin D – 600 IU daily
    • Protein – 71 grams daily
    • Iron – 27 milligrams daily
    • Lots of fruit and veggies – naturally loaded with vitamins and minerals listed above
    • Omega 3 – 300 mg DHA daily – not only is this good for the baby’s neurological development but studies have shown that there is a connection between Omega 3 deficiencies in pregnant women and post-partum depression. The baby will drain the Omega stores from the mother in order to develop. Therefore, if this is not supplemented or increased in the mother’s intake, then it will leave them deficient.

Pregnancy is an incredible time of a woman’s life – if she chooses to or is lucky enough to experience it. It is also the best time for women to take care of themselves. Not only for their own health but for that of your future “little bugger!” This information is based on my own experience and research. Remember that you should always consult with your health care professional for your own personal health and circumstances.

LoveLocalMB

LoveLocalMB_Image

At Fit Communications we LOVE local! Products, food, beverages, services and more!

There are so many benefits to shopping local. The list of benefits is long but includes helping the environment, retaining our community’s distinctiveness, and increasing employment. In addition, local businesses are proportionately more generous in their support of local charities, schools and community events. Supporting local shops means a positive financial impact on our community. Finally, local businesses survive by their reputation and repeat business, which means you receive better customer care and service.

As a locally owned business ourselves, we identify with the passion local businesses have for their products, services and crafts. It is with great pride that we are helping to spread the word about Winnipeg’s 2nd Annual beer, wine and foodie event! The 2nd Annual LoveLocalMB Food and Beverage Event will be held on April 30, 2015 from 5 – 10pm at the Canad Inns Destination Centre Club Regent Casino Hotel. This terrific initiative began in 2014 and had over 500 attendees to the event to sample, taste, purchase and celebrate food in Manitoba.

LoveLocalMB was created by Peter Fehr (Gourmet Inspirations) and Bessie Hatzitrifanos (Bessie’s Best Foods), local Winnipeg food entrepreneurs. They both create local, gourmet, handcrafted food products. This event will celebrate and promote over 30 Manitoba food and beverage artisans. For a full list of event vendors, see www.lovelocalmb.com

Guests will enjoy a fun and relaxing evening filled with live music, tons of food sampling, socializing and a free glass of wine with ticket purchase.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.LoveLocalMB.com for $15, or at the door for $20.

A portion of the proceeds from this event will go towards supporting Food Matters Manitoba’s Kids Cooking Club. This great initiative offers free, healthy foods cooking classes to children and youth across Winnipeg’s North End. For more information about Food Matters Manitoba, please click here – www.foodmattersmanitoba.ca

Connect with LoveLocalMB on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/826086287484579/

Be sure you get your ticket now so you can support local for all the amazing reasons listed above. If not for these, then at least to spoil your senses!

Media Links:

Metro News

CTV News

Global News – Morning Show

Global News

 

Sugar Imposters…YES!

No SugarFact: Sugar is bad for you. Table sugar and high fructose corn syrup, promote tooth decay, has no essential nutrients, eating too much of it will result in it being stored as fat – which overloads the liver and can result in fatty liver disease.

It is also linked to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, immune system deficiency, and obesity. Lastly, but certainly not least is cancer. Cancer cells feed on sugar and need it to survive as cancer is uncontrolled growth and multiplication of cells.

But what do you do if you have a sweet tooth like me? What can be used to replace sugar? Luckily there are many options out there – both artificial and natural. I’ve summed up the popular choices and provide a brief break down of pros and cons so you can be better informed when shopping, baking or sweetening your coffee!

ARTIFICIAL

Aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet) – Calories: 0
Health Info: One of the most studied artificial sweeteners, aspartame has been accused of causing everything from weight gain to cancer. Saccharin is in this same category.

Sucralose (Splenda) – Calories: 0
Health benefits: None.
Ideal Use: This sweetener is one of the few not sensitive to heat and can therefore be used in baking.

NATURAL

Honey – Calories: 21/tsp.
Health benefits: It’s a natural antibacterial, boosts the immune system, promotes digestive health, and is high in antioxidants. It also stabilizes blood pressure and helps balance blood sugar levels as it has a slow and steady rise in blood sugar after eating it compared to sugar’s spike.

Agave Nectar – Calories: 20/tsp.
Health benefits: Although its taste and texture are similar to honey, it doesn’t contain as many antioxidants as honey. Agave, however, is sweeter than sugar, so you can use less to get similar sweetness.

Stevia Leaf Extract (Truvia, Pure Via) – Calories: 0
Health benefits: The sweet leaves have been used for hundreds of years and by diabetic patients in Asia for decades. Choose liquid stevia when possible as it doesn’t contain any other ingredients unlike powdered stevia which contains fillers.

Coconut Sugar – Calories: 15/tsp.
Health benefits: Coconut sugar contains traces of iron, zinc, calcium, and potassium, we well as antioxidants. It has a minimal effect on blood sugar levels, making it another ideal option for diabetics.
Ideal Use: Baking

Pure Maple Syrup (evaporated maple tree sap) – Calories: 52/tbsp.
Health benefits: It is high in manganese and zinc. Manganese is necessary for several enzymes that are needed for energy production and antioxidant defenses. Zinc is essential for optimal immune system function.

Molasses – Calories: 58/tbsp.
Health benefits: 2 tablespoons of molasses has 30% of the daily iron requirement for premenopausal women. It is also high in vitamin B6, magnesium, calcium, and antioxidants.

 

Green Envy and Hemp Hearts – Two of My Faves

Green Envy and Hemp Hearts

In this week’s blog I am reviewing two products that I use daily – Green Envy – Daily Detox and Hemp Hearts. I will look at the benefits of each and how to use them. These two products each have their own positive impact on my personal health and are really easy to incorporate to your daily routine.

I purchase both products in large sizes at Costco. I have seen Hemp Hearts at local grocery stores and Green Envy at Walmart. I am sure that both products can be purchased at most health food stores.

Green Envy – Daily Detox

I know that eating greens are great for you. I also know that I don’t think I get enough on a daily basis. There are many supplements out there in a powder form that you mix with water to get your daily dose of “greens”. However for me, drinking an entire glass of this turns my stomach. Luckily for me, I found Green Envy! http://agrolabs.com/site/products/green-envy-daily-detox/. The daily dose is one 30 ml “shot”. This I can handle. Does it taste good? Nope! But I have certainly tried worse. It’s tolerable and well worth it for its health benefits.

Green Envy is packed with 23 vegetables, fruits and herbs. It also contains superfoods including barley grass, wheat grass and broccoli. It is non-GMO and gluten free.

In case you live under a rock and didn’t know that vegetables are good for you, here are a number of reasons why they are:

    • Vegetables contain an array of antioxidants and other disease-fighting compounds that are very difficult to get anywhere else
    • Plant chemicals called phytochemicals can reduce inflammation and eliminate carcinogens
    • They prevent constipation and acts as a natural diet aid
    • People with higher vegetable intake have lower risks of strokes, diabetes, high blood pressure, certain types of cancers, Alzheimer’s and heart disease. They also have shown to score higher on cognitive tests! So they are brain food too!

Hemp Hearts

The variety of hemp hearts I regularly buy are a Manitoba Harvest product http://manitobaharvest.com/… #lovelocal! These raw shelled hemp seeds are virtually tasteless which means you can easily add them to any food or meal. I mix them in with yogurt, toss on top of salads, sprinkle on brown rice, quinoa or your favorite cereal.

The reason I love these little gems is because they are a complete and digestible protein with 10 grams in only 3 tablespoons. The combination of complex carbohydrates and protein make hemp hearts a source of long-lasting energy. They are also a good source of:

  • essential fatty acids omega 6 and omega 3 – think heart health
  • soluble fiber which aids in digestion to keep you regular and can prevent intestinal diseases and lower levels of LDL cholesterol
  • insoluble fiber, which lowers risks of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes
  • vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B1, B2, D and E, as well as the minerals calcium and iron

Do you have any morning health or nutrition rituals? We love spreading the word of health every day and always welcome hearing about your favorite products and services to keep the mind and body healthy.

 

 

Eating Out and On the Run – Healthy!

Drive Thru

These are two times where people looking to eat healthy are usually stumped. Luckily, if this is you, you’re not alone. But we are in a much better spot than as little as five years ago. Whether it is our society pressuring restaurants or them taking initiative on their own, they are recognizing that many more people are looking to eat healthy.

Nowadays most restaurants and fast food chains, even 7-eleven, have an array of healthy options. Many restaurants actually list some of their healthier choices right on the menu – providing nutritional information such as sodium, protein, fat and calories. Convenience stores offer fresh fruit, veggie trays, wraps and protein bars.

Here are suggestions and tips that you can use to make better choices on the go.

  1. Food Groups: Ensure when you are eating a meal out that you choose something that includes 3 or 4 of the food groups (veggies/fruit, carbohydrates, meat or alternatives, and dairy).
  2. Substitutions: Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want including substitutions: salad or cooked vegetables instead of fries, grilled meat instead of deep fried and dressing on the side (you can determine how much you want rather than having it drenched in high calorie and fat dressings)
  3. Take Advantage of Options: Many fast food restaurants have lots of healthy choices on their menus.   No longer is it only an option of deep fried or cheese slathered. Today the majority offer delicious salads, wraps, baked potatoes, apple slices vs. fries, gilled vs. breaded etc…
  4. Beverages add up: Rather than ordering a super-sized pop which have a super-sized amount of sugar and empty calories choose water, fruit juice (cut with water as juice has lots of sugar too), or milk. If you must have a pop, choose diet.

Here are a few other general “better” choices to make when eating out – or eating in general…

  • Whole wheat/grain over white bread/rice
  • Tomato-based soups and pasta sauces over cream-based
  • Boneless, skinless chicken over skin-on, bone-in
  • Steamed, baked, broiled, or grilled over deep-fried
  • “Natural/raw” (fresh chicken) over processed (nuggets)
  • Whole wheat, thin crust (pizza) over regular, thick crust

There is nothing to say that you can never again have those delicious fries or your favorite burger. Just try to remember to follow the 80/20 or 90/10 rule (healthy choices/”not as healthy”). Hopefully these tips and suggestions can help you make better choices if you need some help when eating out.

 

Alzheimer’s or “Forgetfulness”?

 

Alzheimer's

Alzheimer’s may be one of the hardest diseases to deal with as a family member. It is a disease that attacks the brain and can change the person you know and love into someone that doesn’t even know you. This must be emotionally draining for family and caregivers of the people with the disease.

So what is Alzheimer’s? It is the most common form of dementia (60-80% of cases) that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.

In Canada, women make up 72% of Alzheimer’s patients.

Alzheimer’s has no cure. However, there are treatments available and support for caregivers. Although Alzheimer’s treatments cannot stop Alzheimer’s from progressing, they can temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve quality of life.

I know many people my age are dealing with parents and some level of forgetfulness. The obvious concern is that this may be the beginning of Alzheimer’s. However, almost 40% of people over the age of 65 experience some form of memory loss. When there is no “underlying medical condition causing this memory loss, it is known as “age-associated memory impairment,” which is considered a part of the normal aging process.”

But how do you know what is normal aging “forgetfulness” and what is dementia? The Alzheimer Society of Canada http://www.alzheimer.ca/ has a list for you to help determine if behaviors are “normal” or if they are a reason for you or your loved one to seek medical advice.

Normal Aging  Dementia
· Not being able to remember details of a conversation or event that took place a year ago · Not being able to recall details of recent events or conversations
· Not being able to remember the name of an acquaintance · Not recognizing or knowing the names of family members
· Forgetting things and events occasionally ·Forgetting things or events more frequently
· Occasionally have difficulty finding words · Frequent pauses and substitutions when finding words
 · You are worried about your memory but your relatives are not · Your relatives are worried about your memory, but you are not aware of any problems

 

If you are worried about yourself or a loved one, the best advice is to ask your health professional. If you would like more information about support in your area, tips for coping with normal age-related memory difficulties and ongoing research, please visit www.alzheimer.ca.