Posts tagged with Nutrition

Local leaders unveil community health plan

Local governments and health care providers in Douglas County unveiled a plan Tuesday for improving the health of the community through strategies that range from improving sidewalks and bike paths to expanding access to primary care physicians and implementing federal health reform.

The Douglas County Community Health Plan is the result of 16 months of work, but organizers say the biggest challenge still lies ahead in turning the plan into action.

"The plan isn't complete," said Dan Partridge, executive director of the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, at the end of a wrapup meeting Tuesday morning where the document was released. "We hope that there are going to be pages at the end that articulate and describe how each of your organizations are going to move this plan forward."

The plan focuses on five components of community health: access to health foods; access to health services; mental health; physical activity; and poverty.

Within each component, the plan outlines specific goals, along with strategies to achieve those goals.

In nutrition, for example, the plan sets goals of increasing by 5 percent the number of children and adults who eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day. To achieve that, it sets out strategies for improving meals offered through school and day care programs; promoting healthy options in workplaces and vending machines; and improving food and beverage options at public venues.

But organizers conceded one of the most difficult challenges will be increasing access to health care services, an area that is largely influenced by federal and state policy.

"I think Medicaid and the uninsured are both a real challenge," said Heartland Community Health Center CEO Jon Stewart. "The way our system works in the United States, insurance is just a real facilitator of opportunity for care, and if you don't have insurance you are oftentimes on the outside looking in."

Stewart said he's hopeful that more area residents will gain insurance through a health insurance exchange that the federal government will establish in Kansas and other states later this year.

The exchange, an online marketplace where people meeting certain income guidelines can buy subsidized health insurance, is one of the key elements of the federal health reform law known as the Affordable Care Act.

But Stewart said he's pessimistic that another element of health reform, expansion of Medicaid to cover all people below 133 percent of the poverty line, will be implemented in Kansas.

"Right now, for an adult, Kansas has one of the most restrictive thresholds in the nation," Stewart said.

Under current guidelines, the only adults eligible for Medicaid in Kansas besides pregnant women are those with dependent children and incomes below roughly 24 percent of the poverty line. Childless adults are not eligible in Kansas.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that states do not have to take part in the expansion if they choose not to, and Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has not yet said whether he will agree to participate.

"I think at this point, no decision is a decision, at least for this year," Stewart said, meaning that until Kansas takes affirmative action to participate, the expansion will not occur in this state.

In other areas of the plan, however, organizers said the city and county are already making progress.

For example, the goal of reducing poverty in the county calls for expanding career and technical education in public schools, something the Lawrence school district has committed to doing with a portion of the recently approved $92.5 million bond issue.

And in the area of improving physical activity, officials pointed to the city of Lawrence's plan to build a new recreation center and its program of designating bicycle routes on public streets as positive developments.

Reply

Report: Kansas obesity rate on track to reach 62 percent by 2030

The number of obese adults, along with related disease rates and health care costs, are on course to increase dramatically in every state in the country over the next 20 years, according to a new report released Tuesday.

The number of obese adults, along with related disease rates and health care costs, are on course to increase dramatically in every state in the country over the next 20 years, according to a new report released Tuesday.

A new study forecasts the adult obesity rate in Kansas could reach 62 percent — more than double the current rate — by 2030, contributing to 367,000 new cases of Type 2 diabetes and 769,000 new cases of heart disease and stroke.

“The track that we are on is leading us down a path to even worse health and significantly higher health care costs but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are things we can do now to change the future,” said Jeff Levi, executive director of Trust for America’s Health.

The 124-page report “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future” was released Tuesday by Trust for American’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The country’s obesity rate has seen substantial growth since 1995 when Mississippi had the highest obesity rate with 19.4 percent. Today, every state’s obesity rate is higher than 20 percent. Mississippi’s is now 34.9 percent. Kansas has seen its rate grow from 13.5 percent in 1995 to 29.6 percent.

“It truly is a nationwide crisis,” Levi said.

For the first time, the annual report included an analysis that looked at 2030 obesity rates in each state based on current trajectory and the likely resulting rise in obesity-related diseases and costs.

In Kansas in 2030:

62.1 percent — of adults would be obese. Someone who is obese has a body mass index of 30 or greater, which would be at least 186 pounds for a 5-foot-6 woman or 215 pounds for a 5-foot-11 man.

$5.5 billion — will be spent on obesity-related health care costs, up 11 percent from today.

The report recommends spending more on prevention efforts and implementing policy changes at the national, state and local levels. Such initiatives might include increasing physical activity time in schools and ensuring farmers’ markets accept food stamps.

“Small changes can add up to a big difference,” Levi said.

The report highlighted efforts across the nation that are being made to reduce obesity, among them was Seaman High School in Topeka, which has about 1,150 students. It is preparing meals with lower-calorie, lower-fat ingredients and offering fresh fruit during breakfast and lunch. It also has established Wellness Wednesdays and Fitness Fridays activities that are designed to incorporate nutrition and fitness information into the school day.

“We need to invest in obesity prevention in a way that matches the disparity of the problem. We can’t afford not to," Levi said.

To view the full report, visit healthyamericans.org.

Reply 6 comments from George_braziller Frankie8 Tukee Sheprecedes

Lawrence doctor goes from fast-food junkie to health nut and loses 150 pounds in process

Dr. Malati Harris pushes weights across a room at Underground Lab Fitness on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, as part of a 30-minute workout with her trainer Fernando Rodriguez. Harris has lost about 150 pounds since November 2007 through exercise and better eating habits.

Dr. Malati Harris pushes weights across a room at Underground Lab Fitness on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, as part of a 30-minute workout with her trainer Fernando Rodriguez. Harris has lost about 150 pounds since November 2007 through exercise and better eating habits. by Richard Gwin

During a recent lunch hour, Dr. Malati Harris worked out at a Lawrence fitness center with her trainer.

In 30 minutes, she worked up a sweat by climbing a ladder machine, lifting weights, doing push-ups, pulling on heavy ropes and pushing weights across the room.

“She’s in incredible shape,” said Fernando Rodriguez, her trainer at UnderGround Lab Fitness. “She’s self-motivated, and she’s a real competitor with herself.”

Harris, 38, of Lawrence Family Medicine & Obstetrics, said that motivation comes from knowing where she was nearly five years ago when she weighed 330 pounds.

•••

Harris, who grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, said she wasn’t overweight as a child or teenager.

Her weight gain began a year before she attended medical school when she worked at a restaurant and did some substitute teaching. She said she didn’t exercise and ate fast food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

“I gained 80 pounds in a year and it was ridiculous, and then I just never lost the weight at all,” she said.

Harris, who’s 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighed about 250 pounds through medical school at the University of Illinois-Chicago. She remembers visiting shelters and talking to the homeless about proper nutrition when she was a student.

“One of the guys was like, ‘You should practice what you preach,’ and I’m like, ‘Oh, are you talking about me?’” she said.

When she became engaged, she joined Weight Watchers and lost about 60 pounds for her wedding day, but soon started regaining the weight. The gain accelerated when she became pregnant with her first child. She gained 66 pounds, she said, and while some of it was fluid, most of it was from eating double cheeseburgers.

She didn’t lose any of the weight after the birth of her son, Mateo, eight years ago. Four years later, when she became pregnant with her second child, she weighed 285 pounds. She feared gaining a lot of weight during the pregnancy, and her fears became a reality.

When she gave birth to her daughter, Liliana, she tipped the scales at 330 pounds.

One week later, she was admitted to the hospital because she was having trouble breathing and her blood pressure was off the charts. At first, doctors thought she had heart failure, but they soon found out she had fluid on her lungs. She had severe pre-eclampsia after giving birth, which is rare.

The unexpected hospitalization in November 2007 became her turning point.

“That was when I was like, ‘OK, you’re done, like, this is stupid. You are 34 and going to be 35. You are in the middle of a divorce. Your kids need you. You need to get it together.’”

Dr. Malati Harris, of Lawrence, poses with her children, Liliana and Mateo, for a portrait in January 2008. Since then, Harris has lost about 150 pounds through diet and exercise.

Dr. Malati Harris, of Lawrence, poses with her children, Liliana and Mateo, for a portrait in January 2008. Since then, Harris has lost about 150 pounds through diet and exercise.

Kristi Garber, a licensed practical nurse, left, and Dr. Malati Harris, pose for a picture in July 2004 when Harris started working at Lawrence Family Medicine & Obstetrics. Since then, Harris has lost about 150 pounds through diet and exercise.

Kristi Garber, a licensed practical nurse, left, and Dr. Malati Harris, pose for a picture in July 2004 when Harris started working at Lawrence Family Medicine & Obstetrics. Since then, Harris has lost about 150 pounds through diet and exercise.

•••

The Lawrence doctor went to Walmart and purchased a paperback book on the South Beach Diet and she followed it.

“It’s easy and it makes sense,” she said. The diet consists of eating lean protein, fruits and vegetables and complex carbohydrates like brown rice and sweet potatoes.

When she first went on the diet, she didn’t go to restaurants, she avoided her workplace break room, and she didn’t buy “junk” at the store that would tempt her at home.

“I’m not a good cook. I have a vegetable steamer and a George Foreman and that’s what I live off of. It’s simple,” she said. “I just throw a piece of chicken on the grill and it’s done in 10 minutes.”

Harris lost about 95 pounds within a year and a half by simply changing her diet. She did use a treadmill for a few months, but that was short-lived.

She bought the treadmill as a Valentine’s Day gift to herself and used it five times a week until she got a tattoo on her foot that needed about a week to heal. She ended up taking nine months off.

“That was stupid. It was insane,” she said about her constant battle.

Without exercise, she hit a plateau for several months and was 50 pounds from her target goal of 180 pounds. It was another turning point. She could accept the weight or she could push herself to do more.

She decided to join a fitness center, and started lifting weights to help get rid of the flabby skin that resulted from her weight loss. She also joined the Metabolic Research Center, a weight loss clinic in Lawrence, and it gave her the accountability she needed. She had to weigh in twice a week with someone other than herself.

By adding exercise and accountability, she reached her target weight in July 2009, and has maintained it since. The key is she didn’t change her routine. She still exercises, watches what she eats and she’s held accountable to a trainer and a close friend whom she text messages her weight every day.

“It’s an every day, every meal struggle. Definitely, my habits are a lot better now,” she said.

She went from a size 24 to a size 10, and she believes she’s in the best shape of her adult life.

•••

Harris has worked at Lawrence Family Medicine & Obstetrics for eight years, and her patients have seen her transformation. She’s commonly asked: “What’s your secret to weight loss?” “Did you use diet pills?” “Did you have surgery?”

“It’s one of my favorite things to talk about now because I have been through it and I know how difficult it is and it doesn’t really get easier,” she said. “There’s no magic to it.”

Harris said patients will often say that they’ve tried Weight Watchers or the South Beach Diet and that they don’t work, but she calls them on it.

“I am like, bull, they all work. They all work. The hardest part is figuring out what you can personally do for the rest of your life,” she said. “If they changed their eating habits to lose weight and then went back to their old habits, why are they so surprised they gained the weight?”

“You have to do it forever,” she said.

As a doctor, she never pressures her patients into losing weight because she knows it won’t work.

“If that person is not ready, it’s not going to work. It’s just like smoking,” she said. “You can tell them all of the health benefits, but if they are not there, they are not there.”

•••

Dr. Malati Harris, of Lawrence Family Medicine & Obstetrics, checks the reflexes of Azreal McElwain, 4, held by his brother Caleb Baum, 9, during a check-up Friday, Aug. 24, 2012. Harris has lost about 150 pounds through diet and exercise.

Dr. Malati Harris, of Lawrence Family Medicine & Obstetrics, checks the reflexes of Azreal McElwain, 4, held by his brother Caleb Baum, 9, during a check-up Friday, Aug. 24, 2012. Harris has lost about 150 pounds through diet and exercise. by Mike Yoder

Today, Harris, who weighs 190 pounds after gaining muscle, describes herself as “a little obsessed” with diet and exercise.

She continues to learn more about food, and this summer she took part in a 30-day nutrition challenge at UnderGround Lab Fitness. The challenge was to eat foods that weren’t processed, which meant lots of lean meats, vegetables, fruits and nuts. She couldn’t eat dairy or grains. She liked it so much that she’s continued to follow those guidelines with just a few exceptions.

She admits she cheats now and then.

“When you eat healthy most of the time and then you eat something bad, ‘Oh man it’s terrible. You just don’t feel good,’” she said.

She’s also continues to push herself physically by working out with Rodriguez, whom she connected with in January 2010 when she received a gift certificate for a trainer for Christmas.

“I was like, ‘I can’t stop.’ I have to keep going because he does a lot of crazy exercises. It’s fun and you don’t get bored,” she said.

Although her schedule is “crazy busy” because she’s a mother of two children and a full-time doctor, she still finds time to exercise.

“Everybody has 20 minutes in their day. They just really do and how they choose to spend it is up to them, but everybody’s got it.”

She said she has more energy to chase after her kids and she doesn’t hesitate to get something that she needs upstairs. She now plays basketball with her son.

“They are going to know that you exercise every day, like this is what you do,” she said.

Harris said she entered family practice mainly because it allowed her to deliver babies and work with children. She’s passionate about fighting the obesity epidemic among the younger generations — something she sees firsthand in her office.

She talked about a 4-year-old girl who weighed 90 pounds, and her mother thought she might have a thyroid problem. When they went over her diet, she was simply eating way too much … 6 cups of juice, two peanut butter sandwiches, a couple of bowls of cereal, bananas, Harris recalled.

“She looked stuffed and uncomfortable,” Harris said. She told the mother that if she didn’t do something now, it would only get worse.

“You have to do this for her,” she advised. “She’s not going to wake up some morning and think she needs to eat salads.”

Reply 9 comments from Marilyn Hull Executive Director Meatloaf Thepianoman Ugottabekiddin Markoo Beth Ennis Robert Rauktis

Community leaders cut alcohol abuse, dental care from top health priorities list for Douglas County

Shirley Martin-Smith, center, talks about how jobs can affect a person's health during a meeting Monday, June 25, 2012, at the Community Health Facility, 200 Maine. About 30 community leaders set a list of five health priorities for Douglas County and employment made the list. Pictured, from left, are Paul Liechti and Carol Seager, Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department board members; Martin-Smith; Cynthia Wagner, assistant city manager for City of Lawrence; Maley Wilkins,  health department board member; Chip Blaser, executive director of the Douglas County Community Foundation; and Rick Doll, superintendent of Lawrence Public Schools.

Shirley Martin-Smith, center, talks about how jobs can affect a person's health during a meeting Monday, June 25, 2012, at the Community Health Facility, 200 Maine. About 30 community leaders set a list of five health priorities for Douglas County and employment made the list. Pictured, from left, are Paul Liechti and Carol Seager, Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department board members; Martin-Smith; Cynthia Wagner, assistant city manager for City of Lawrence; Maley Wilkins, health department board member; Chip Blaser, executive director of the Douglas County Community Foundation; and Rick Doll, superintendent of Lawrence Public Schools. by Karrey Britt

While Dan Partridge, director of the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, said Monday’s meeting on setting health priorities wasn’t about picking winners and losers, it sure felt like it to some.

Twenty-eight community leaders were charged with finalizing a list of Douglas County’s top health priorities for the next five years. After 90 minutes of debate and discussion, they voted by a show of hands to focus on the following five areas:

• Lack of physical activity.

• Inadequate recognition of mental health issues and access to mental health services.

• Insufficient access to health care and other services.

• Poverty and too few job opportunities.

• Lack of access to affordable healthy foods.

Concerns that didn’t make the final cut but were discussed: alcohol abuse and limited access to dental services.

David Ambler, a health department board member, was surprised that alcohol abuse didn’t make the list, especially for a college town. He’s passionate about the issue because he saw the effects firsthand as Kansas University’s vice chancellor of student affairs for 25 years.

“It’s a major health problem and it’s not just a young people’s problem, and to leave it off sends a message that we don’t care about this problem or it isn’t a problem,” he said.

Julie Branstrom, executive director of the Douglas County Dental Clinic, was emotionally upset after the meeting. The Lawrence safety net clinic, which serves low-income and uninsured residents, is facing an increase in patients and cutbacks in funding.

“I feel like a lone ranger with the whole dental thing,” she said. “It’s hard to move the needle when you are trying to do it by yourself.”

Branstrom said she realized that the group needed to make difficult choices in narrowing the priority list, but she couldn’t understand why insufficient access to health care was on the list and dental care wasn’t included. She pointed out that there are two safety net clinics — Health Care Access and Heartland Community Health Center — that are working to address medical needs.

Meanwhile, Susan Johnson, a nutritionist with K-State Research and Extension — Douglas County, let out a huge sigh of relief when the group decided to keep access to healthy foods on the list.

She said the Lawrence community has made great strides in working on the issue and is looking at more grant opportunities because of the work. She felt it would have been a step backward if community health leaders decided to devote their attention to other issues.

“When a large, collective group already has been working on this and really has some momentum to move this forward, for this group here to decide that it’s not one of our top priorities would be undercutting what we are trying to do,” she said.

Among those at the meeting were health department board and staff members, Lawrence public schools Supt. Rick Doll, Lawrence Memorial Hospital President and CEO Gene Meyer, Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center David Johnson, and United Way of Douglas County President and CEO Erika Dvorske.

Partridge said the 12-member Community Health Assessment Steering Committee will meet Wednesday to talk about whom they should invite to join the committee. He said they need to add people who work in the areas of poverty and mental health.

Monday’s list was the culmination of six months of work that began with gathering input from the community through an online survey, focus groups and one-on-one interviews. That information was included in a Community Health Assessment that was released by the health department in late April. In the report, 13 areas of concern were identified. The health department then held four public forums to start whittling down the list.

“It’s not about picking winners and losers. It’s just picking things that we want to focus on through this plan,” Partridge said.

Vickie Collie-Akers, left, of the Kansas University' Work Group for Community Health and Development, counts raised hands as community leaders, including Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department Director Dan Partridge, vote for their top health priorities during a meeting Monday, June 25, 2012, at the Community Health Facility, 200 Maine.

Vickie Collie-Akers, left, of the Kansas University' Work Group for Community Health and Development, counts raised hands as community leaders, including Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department Director Dan Partridge, vote for their top health priorities during a meeting Monday, June 25, 2012, at the Community Health Facility, 200 Maine. by Karrey Britt

Janelle Martin, executive director of the Douglas County Community Health Improvement Partnership, third from right, speaks during a meeting Monday, June 25, 2012, about finalizing a list of health priorities for Douglas County. Others at the meeting were from left: Maley Wilkins, Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department board member; Chip Blaser, executive director of the Douglas County Community Foundation; Rick Doll, Lawrence Public Schools superintendent; David Johnson, CEO of Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center; Bruce Beale, DCCCA executive director; Martin; Vince Romero, health department staff member; and Jon Stewart, CEO of Heartland Community Health Center.

Janelle Martin, executive director of the Douglas County Community Health Improvement Partnership, third from right, speaks during a meeting Monday, June 25, 2012, about finalizing a list of health priorities for Douglas County. Others at the meeting were from left: Maley Wilkins, Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department board member; Chip Blaser, executive director of the Douglas County Community Foundation; Rick Doll, Lawrence Public Schools superintendent; David Johnson, CEO of Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center; Bruce Beale, DCCCA executive director; Martin; Vince Romero, health department staff member; and Jon Stewart, CEO of Heartland Community Health Center. by Karrey Britt


COMMUNITY HEALTH DECISION-MAKERS

The Community Health Assessment Steering Committee was formed in December and has been meeting biweekly. The committee will be working on an action plan to improve community health based on the five priorities set during Monday's meeting.

Those on the committee are: Janice Early and Ann Marie Boncella, of Lawrence Memorial Hospital; Janelle Martin, of Community Health Improvement Project; Chip Blaser, of Douglas County Community Foundation; Erika Dvorske, United Way of Douglas County; Jon Stewart, Heartland Community Health Center; and Dan Partridge, Charlotte Marthaler, Charlie Bryan, Vince Romero, Anitha Subramanian and Colleen Hill, of Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department.

Reply 20 comments from Karrey Britt Alceste Mikekt Cowboy Chicago95 Thinkagain Webtoe None2 Belinda Rehmer Toe and 1 others

LMH hopes to motivate residents with new winter health challenge program

Brian Daldorph, Lawrence, took a morning run despite cold temperatures earlier this month. Not everyone has Brian's discipline, that's why Lawrence Memorial Hospital is offering a new program this winter that challenges residents to do a variety of health-related things.

Brian Daldorph, Lawrence, took a morning run despite cold temperatures earlier this month. Not everyone has Brian's discipline, that's why Lawrence Memorial Hospital is offering a new program this winter that challenges residents to do a variety of health-related things. by Nick Krug

It’s cold and there’s not much daylight before or after work. Yep, winter can be a tough time to keep a healthy, active lifestyle.

That’s why Lawrence Memorial Hospital is offering a free eight-week program, “Drive Away the Winter Doldrums.”

It’s unique in that it doesn’t just challenge participants to eat healthier and exercise more, but to get health screenings that they like to put off.

Janelle Martin, executive director of the Community Health Improvement Project and co-coordinator of the new program, said the overall goal is to help people develop healthier habits for a lifetime.

“It’s full of tips that, hopefully, people can find useful,” Martin said.

Here’s how the self-paced, on-your-honor program works:

• Sign up by noon Feb. 3 by contacting Martin at jmartin@douglascountychip.org or 505-3070 or Aynsley Anderson, LMH community education coordinator, at aynsley.anderson@lmh.org] or 505-3066.

• They will provide a packet of information by email or snail mail. It will include a handful of challenges per week to choose from. The goal is for each participant to complete one challenge per week. If they do, LMH will provide a small reward. The program begins Feb. 6 and ends April 1.

Martin said the challenges include:

• Moving 10,000 steps a day.

• Getting 150 minutes per week of activity that’s moderate to vigorous.

• Tracking the fruits and vegetables consumed on certain days.

• Creating a healthy recipe and providing a nutritional breakdown.

• Attending the LMH Healthy Hearts Fair on Feb. 18.

• Forming a team for Walk Kansas, a team-based program that’s March 18-May 12.

• Checking cholesterol and blood pressure.

• Creating a list of prescriptions that’s handy for appointments.

“We just wanted offer some sort of challenge to get people motivated to be more active in the winter. Some people fall off the map in the wintertime. They will use the cold as an excuse to not exercise one day, and then it turns into two. So it’s encouraging people to get back out and do the things they enjoy or just trying something different.”

— Janelle Martin, co-coordinator of program

Madison Vaughn, 12, picks out some kumquats Wednesday, March 2, 2011, at the Community Mercantile while shopping for groceries with her mother.

Madison Vaughn, 12, picks out some kumquats Wednesday, March 2, 2011, at the Community Mercantile while shopping for groceries with her mother. by Mike Yoder

Reply

Resolutions are healthy: Community leaders offer tips on how to get started, be successful

Americans are reflecting on the past year and, hopefully, making resolutions for the coming one. Among the most popular resolutions are to: get organized, go to church more often, save money, get more exercise and eat healthier.

Americans are reflecting on the past year and, hopefully, making resolutions for the coming one. Among the most popular resolutions are to: get organized, go to church more often, save money, get more exercise and eat healthier. by Kevin Anderson

It’s healthy to make resolutions for the coming year even if you oftentimes don’t follow through.

“Improvements are good, and self-improvement is fantastic. I don’t think we should ever get to the point where we are like, ‘I’m done,’” said Marciana Vequist, a therapist at Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center. “I think we should always be growing. Change is good.”

When making a resolution, Vequist recommends setting realistic goals and framing them in a positive way. For example, don’t set a goal of losing 20 pounds. Instead, set a goal of exercising five times a week for 30 minutes. Also, share your goals with a friend or loved one because it will hold you more accountable.

Susan Johnson, nutritionist with K-State Research and Extension — Douglas County, takes it a step further. She says to be successful you must be specific, write it down and tell a friend.

“Research shows that if we just write down what we eat or write down how much we exercise, we are going to be more successful,” she said. “Sounds crazy, but it’s true.”

Exercising more and eating healthier tend to be among the top resolutions. Others include: organization, saving money, stop smoking and going to church more often.

Lawrence health experts recently offered their tips on being successful in the new year:

EXERCISE

Vequist says exercise is the best medicine and hopes everyone resolves to do more.

“That doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon or work out at the gym every day for two hours. It just means having some kind of routine,” she said. “I think that makes people feel a lot better.”

Chad Richards, owner of Next Level Sports Performance, said it’s important to start with something you enjoy whether it’s lifting weights, boxing, biking or dancing.

“Finding something that you love is ideal,” he said.

Also, link exercise to something positive whether it’s walking a dog or listening to your favorite music.

“Everyone has that soundtrack that gets them moving regardless of what they were planning on doing. It gets you happy, amped up and excited about what you are doing,” he said.

He recommends having short-term goals and short-term rewards like getting a massage.

Also, be patient.

“It took a certain mount of time to get out of shape, so it’s going to take the same amount to get in shape or maybe double that. That’s the realization of it,” he said.

Ann Gabel, director of education and learning services at Lawrence Memorial Hospital smiles her way through a series of stretching exercises during the first WorkWell Lawrence Symposium on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011, at the Holiday Inn Lawrence, 200 McDonald Drive. Gabel and other professionals listened to speakers tell stories of their efforts to help create a healthier workplace.

Ann Gabel, director of education and learning services at Lawrence Memorial Hospital smiles her way through a series of stretching exercises during the first WorkWell Lawrence Symposium on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011, at the Holiday Inn Lawrence, 200 McDonald Drive. Gabel and other professionals listened to speakers tell stories of their efforts to help create a healthier workplace. by Nick Krug


EATING HEALTHIER

Keep it simple.

Johnson said too often people want to overhaul their diet and change too much at once. Instead, she suggests picking one or two habits and trying them for a month and then re-evaluating to see if they are working. Maybe, it’s eating whole-grain bread instead of white.

“We want to keep it so simple that we hardly even recognize that we are doing it,” she said.

Another example would be to eliminate one 12-ounce soda every day. That would be 140 calories a day or 51,100 calories a year. That equals 14 pounds.

“I don’t ever want to recommend a particular diet because there should never be a diet. It should be a lifestyle change,” she said.

If you’re looking for suggestions on how to improve your eating habits, she has eight and they are from the book “Water with Lemon” by Zonya Foco and Stephen Moss. They are:

• Drink water.

• Include breakfast every day and stop eating two or three hours before bedtime.

• Tame your sweet tooth. Don’t just switch to sugar substitutes but gradually cut back on sugar, starting with maybe cereals. “Once our taste buds no longer enjoy that heavy sweet taste, then we naturally eat less sugar without feeling deprived.”

• Find the fat. Eat more of the good kinds that are contained in salmon, nuts and seeds and less of the kinds found in baked goods.

• Replace processed foods with wholesome foods that are produced on farms. “We really need to avoid food that have enhanced colors and preservatives that you can’t even pronounce. If you look at the ingredients and they are basic, that’s a good thing.”

• Eat only until you are no longer hungry. Eat slower and savor each bite and don’t feel like you need to clean your plate. Also, know what your weak links are whether it’s continuing to eat that extra bite at the table, sampling while cooking or buying junk food at the store. For Johnson, it’s buying it. “If it’s not in my house, then I won’t eat it,” she said. “Some people can have chocolate in their desk and not touch it, but not me.”

“There’s not a perfect plan for eating right. Moderation is still the key,” Johnson said.

Posters and signs serve as healthy reminders for employees at Golf Course Superintendent's Association of America. This one focuses on nutrition.

Posters and signs serve as healthy reminders for employees at Golf Course Superintendent's Association of America. This one focuses on nutrition. by Mike Yoder


ORGANIZATION

Kimberly Erwin, owner of Family and Home Organizing in Lawrence, joked that most people don’t get that tingling feeling that she does when it comes to organizing.

“So, you need to look at it as a tool for the things you actually want to do in life,” she said. “It helps you enjoy life more, be more productive and prevents those little emergencies from happening.”

Before starting, you need at least two things: a filing cabinet for papers and a little tray or cup to hold odds and ends like paper clips and pens.

“A lot of times we have piles because we don’t have the proper containers for them,” she said.

When organizing, keep it manageable by doing just a corner of a room or a closet. Maybe, it’s just the shoe rack in the closet. She said to only keep things that:

• Inspire you or that you really love.

• You need.

• You regularly use.

Get rid of items that are depressing and that bring you down, like things you are never going to get around to fixing or using.

Other tips:

• Create a master calender that has everyone’s schedule and the household budget.

• Don’t check the mail until you have time to sort it.

• Pay bills online. “It’s more efficient, I think, and more peace of mind and productive, just making sure you have money in the bank. Instead of remembering I need $60 for this one and $120 for that one. Just remember the maximum amount you need every month to cover bills.”

Kimberly Erwin, owner of Family and Home Organizing is pictured on Monday, Sept. 12, 2011 at Weaver's Department Store, 901 Mass. She says organizing should be looked at a tool for the things you actually want to do in life.

Kimberly Erwin, owner of Family and Home Organizing is pictured on Monday, Sept. 12, 2011 at Weaver's Department Store, 901 Mass. She says organizing should be looked at a tool for the things you actually want to do in life. by Nick Krug


FINANCES

Dan Cary, a Lawrence financial planner, said everyone needs to take a look at where they stand financially and then set goals.

“Most Americans don’t know where their money goes, they just know it goes,” he said.

He said people should have three to six months worth of savings for emergencies, a retirement plan and a will.

“Seventy percent of Americans don’t have a will and when you have children, it’s so important,” he said.

He also recommends paying down debt as early as possible, but he said that needs to be weighed with accumulating savings. It’s good to do both, and it’s possible if you live within your means, make a plan, and stick to it.

He won’t soon forget a client who approached him in 1994. She was a respiratory therapist, single and in her mid-40s. She questioned whether she would ever be able to save enough to retire. She said to him: “I think I will be living under a bridge. I can’t save any money.”

He said she started by putting spare change under her sink and then taking it to the bank. She was able to retire three years ago.

“The important thing is to have a goal in mind,” he said.

Vequist, a therapist, said she commonly sees people who are distressed about their financial situation. “Debt brings a lot of psychological distress for people and it’s one of the common things that I see.”

http://www2.ljworld.com/photos/2008/aug/11/153220/


FAITH

Jeff Barclay, lead pastor at Christ Community Church, supports resolutions whether they are spiritual or about giving up french fries.

“I think any kind of commitment of renewal is a super idea,” he said.

However, he’s more in favor of resolving daily to do good things rather than waiting until Jan. 1.

“The minute we start improving our lives we have the power to help others, and I think that’s when the real energy starts,” he said.

None

Reply

Health educator to share nutrition tips over lunch

Julie Mohajir, a wellness consultant and health educator, will speak on the importance of good nutrition at an upcoming Lunch and Learn event.

Topics include:

  • The relationship between what we eat and our health
  • Foods that help reduce our risk of disease and illness
  • Foods that weaken our immune system
  • How to read food labels
  • Eating more fruits and vegetables

Mohajir, who has studied the relationship between nutrition and disease for more than 10 years, speaks throughout the country. The education is being sponsored by Juice Plus+.

The event is Wednesday in the Heritage Room at the Lawrence Country Club. The lunch buffet opens at 11:45 a.m. and the presentation starts at 12:15 p.m. The cost for Lunch and Learn is $6.

Seating is limited, so registration is required by Monday. To register, contact John and Bette Sue Wachholz at 342-1448 or bsue@johnbsue.com.

Reply

Have Fun Learning About Nutrition

Come one, come all! Come to the first-ever Nutrition Carnival from 9 to 11 a.m., Saturday in the lower level of Lawrence Memorial Hospital. In conjunction with National Food Day, children of all ages are invited to learn about nutrition in a variety of ways.

Interactive booths for children aged 5-12 include creating healthy snacks with trail mix, granola and yogurt (not all combined together!); growing a garden in your glove; spin-the-wheel on nutrition and physical activity among others. Children will begin their trek by picking up a passport to be stamped after completing a task at each nutrition station. If 10 stamps are obtained on the passport, an additional prize will be given.

For bigger kids, there will be displays with ideas for healthy eating as well as speakers addressing nutrition in different settings:

  • •9:30 a.m., LMH Registered Dietician Patty Metzler will talk about the Kids Eat Right initiative;

  • •10 a.m., Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department Registered Dietician Trish Unruh will talk about the LiveWell Eat Well initiative with local restaurants;

  • •10:30 a.m., Lawrence Public Schools Registered Dietician Lindsey Morgan will talk about what’s new in school lunches and healthy eating programs.

    Each speaker will make a short presentation and then be available to answer an questions you may have. Don't miss out on this fun and interactive opportunity!

Reply

‘Healthy Eating Made Simple’ presentation set for April 21

Wellness speaker Jennifer Myers will be giving a presentation “Healthy Eating Made Simple” in Lawrence.

Her presentation will be from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 21, at Alvamar Country Club, 1809 Crossgate Drive.

She will talk about:

• How and why to improve your family’s diet.

• How to protect you and your family from degenerative disease and chronic illness.

• What to eat and what to avoid to build a strong immune system and obtain optimal health and wellness.

Myers, of Denver, is known for taking complex concepts and distilling them into easy-to-understand practical knowledge. She has spoken to audiences around the world.

The presentation is free and open to anyone, but seating is limited.

Reservations are requested by April 18, and can be made by contacting John or Bette Sue Wachholz, of Lawrence, by e-mail at bsue@johnbsue.com or by calling 785-856-0881 or 785-342-1448.

Reply

Health beat: Willow gets grant, LMH department moving, Nutrition Carnival postponed, Complete Streets advocate’s story

WILLOW CENTER TO UPGRADE TECHNOLOGY WITH GRANT

The Willow Domestic Violence Center has received a $15,347 grant from the Sunflower Foundation.

The grant will be used to update the center’s computers.

“We are grateful to the Sunflower Foundation for funding much-needed technological improvements. These improvements will increase efficiency."

— Sarah Terwelp, executive director

The center provides safe shelter, peer counseling, advocacy and other services to survivors of domestic violence in Douglas, Franklin, and southern Jefferson counties. The center provided 148 women and 118 children with shelter last year, and answered 1,683 crisis calls.


http://www2.ljworld.com/photos/2007/dec/07/136588/

LMH COMMUNITY EDUCATORS RELOCATING

Lawrence Memorial Hospital’s community education department will be moving back to the hospital in early March.

It has been located across Maine Street inside the Medical Arts Building for the past six years.

Its employees include Aynsley Anderson, community education coordinator; John Drees, community education specialist; and Melissa Hoffman, community education specialist.


Allyson Leland, director of volunteer services at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, and Aynsley Anderson, community education coordinator, provided a variety of information during the annual Healthy Hearts Fair, on Feb. 12, 2011, which attracted about 500 participants.

Allyson Leland, director of volunteer services at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, and Aynsley Anderson, community education coordinator, provided a variety of information during the annual Healthy Hearts Fair, on Feb. 12, 2011, which attracted about 500 participants. by Karrey Britt

NUTRITION CARNIVAL POSTPONED

The Nutrition Carnival that was scheduled for March 12 at Lawrence Memorial Hospital has been postponed.

One of the key organizers, Aynsley Anderson, had to leave suddenly due to a family emergency. Anderson said it will be rescheduled. The event is being co-sponsored by LMH and the Douglas County Community Health Improvement Partnership.

The carnival will have nutrition-related activities and information for all ages. It will feature interactive exhibits, speakers, games and healthy snacks. The new date will be announced on WellCommons.


Jennifer Church

Jennifer Church

COMPLETE STREETS ADVOCATE'S STORY

Jennifer Church, 35, is coordinator for the LiveWell Lawrence Complete Streets committee.

When I interviewed her for a story about the city being honored for its wellness efforts, I also asked about her story. I learned during a Complete Streets meeting that Church didn’t own a vehicle until age 28.

“I imagined a life where I would never have to have a car. I never wanted to own a car,” she said.

Church grew up in California and then moved to Salt Lake City where she was an environmental studies major at the University of Utah. She said she was able to get around by bus and bicycle.

Then, she became pregnant. She rode a bicycle to work until she was six months pregnant and then she took the bus until her last day of work at nine months. Expecting their first child, Church and her husband decided to buy a car for emergencies.

“We finally gave in,” she said.

Today, she commutes to her job with the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department from Topeka.

While growing up, she said the idea of not having sidewalks seemed unimaginable. That was until she met her husband’s parents, who lived in a suburb area of Salt Lake City where there were no sidewalks.

“I was like, ‘How can you live in such a place?’”

Then, she moved to Kansas: “Sidewalks are a luxury here.”

Church has long been an advocate of a built environment that is friendly for all users — bicyclists, pedestrians, bus riders and drivers.

She said the next steps for the Complete Streets committee are:

• Recommend a Complete Streets presentation to the City Commissioners.

• Create questions related to Complete Streets for committee members to ask candidates running for the city commission and school board.

• Develop a communications/marketing plan to educate the public.

• Work with the Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Organization on a model ordinance that fits with the metropolitan transportation plan and considers all users of the transportation system.

Know of something happening on the health beat? Send me a tip at kbritt@ljworld.com.

Reply

Lawrence resident changes lifestyle after suffering heart attack at 39

Lawrence resident Michelle Derusseau suffered a heart attack at age 39, on April 15, 2003.

Now 47, she feels lucky to have survived without permanent heart damage because the symptoms were there, but she waited until they were severe before seeking treatment.

“I changed a lot after my heart attack,” she said.

She shared her life-changing experience during the seventh annual Go Red For Women Luncheon & Expo on Friday at The Oread hotel. About 200 people attended the event, which raised approximately $30,000 for the American Heart Association.

Before the heart attack, Derusseau said, she worked too much, slept too little, and ate too much fast food. She didn’t eat fruit or vegetables, but she did exercise regularly. She never suspected that she might have heart disease although she often was fatigued.

“It was springtime and the weather was beautiful, and I would go home and put on my pajamas and sit on the couch and go to bed immediately after dinner — that’s not normal. But I kept blaming it on things.”

About 36 hours before the attack, Derusseau thought she was suffering from the flu because she was sweating, dizzy and nauseated.

“It just knocked me out. I slept all day,” she said.

The next day, she felt a little better and went to work. But she left work early and returned home to sleep. Then she had a sharp pain between her shoulder blades, and later her left arm went numb. That’s when she decided to go to Lawrence Memorial Hospital’s emergency room. On the way, she said, there was a tightness in her jaw and neck.

Derusseau was flown by helicopter ambulance from LMH to St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., where two stents were implanted into her heart.

“When I got up to my room, I couldn’t believe how good I felt. I just didn’t realize how bad I had felt for so long,” she said.

Michelle Derusseau has put her heart into fighting cardiovascular disease.

Michelle Derusseau has put her heart into fighting cardiovascular disease.

She began eating healthier, adding more fruits, nuts, fish and salads to her diet. Now she eats out only about once a week.

She’s also an exercise nut. Last year she participated in 20 5K runs and completed her first triathlon in September — in 1 hour and 41 minutes, beating her goal by four minutes.

“I didn’t win any medals, but I got it done and that’s all I wanted to do,” she said.

She finished an indoor triathlon last month, and has registered for six more triathlons.

“I have a hard time taking that one rest day a week. When I don’t exercise on that one day, it makes me crazy,” she said.

Derusseau, business manager at O’Malley Beverage, said she’s cut back on work and gets more sleep.

“I feel great,” she said. “I am very fortunate considering how long I had put off getting treatment. Luckily, my heart healed.”

Michelle Derusseau, Lawrence, and her mother Sue Lavery, Lenexa, attend the Go Red For Women luncheon, Friday, Feb. 11, 2011, at The Oread Hotel. Derusseau, 47, was the passion speaker during the event. She suffered a heart attack at age 39 in April 2003.

Michelle Derusseau, Lawrence, and her mother Sue Lavery, Lenexa, attend the Go Red For Women luncheon, Friday, Feb. 11, 2011, at The Oread Hotel. Derusseau, 47, was the passion speaker during the event. She suffered a heart attack at age 39 in April 2003. by Karrey Britt

Note: Derusseau has a group called "With All My Heart" on WellCommons to raise awareness about heart disease. It's a place where people can share their stories and/or heart-health tips and, more importantly, encourage each other.

Reply

Health beat: Chiropractor’s ‘Have a Heart’ cause, it’s The Merc, nutrition carnival coming in March, state leader got start at Willow Domestic Violence Center

http://www2.ljworld.com/photos/2010/mar/15/188532/

Chiropractor has heart for children's center

Dr. Mark Howarter, of The Chiropractic Experience, is participating in the annual “Have A Heart” campaign for Oklahaven Children’s Chiropractic Center.

Oklahaven is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making sick children well using natural, drug-free chiropractic care.

The Oklahoma City-based center draws children from around the world and specializes in the treatment of nursing difficulties, colic, diarrhea, allergies, asthma, failure to thrive, developmental delays, ADHD through the autistic spectrum, and cerebral palsy.

Howarter is exchanging new patient examinations and wellness exams Feb. 7-18 for “hearts” that are purchased in support of the organization, and 100 percent of proceeds will benefit Oklahaven.

New patient exams are $25 during the campaign — what a great deal because they typically cost $350. For a $5 donation, patients receive $10 in wellness bucks that can be used for items such as a yoga class and aqua massage, or an adjustment for existing patients.

To make a donation, visit The Chiropractic Experience Wellness Center at 2449 Iowa St., Suite Q, or call 838-3333.


http://wellcommons.com/photos/2008/apr/26/145695/

The Merc changes its name

The Community Mercantile is calling itself The Merc — Community Market & Deli, but it prefers The Merc when it comes to media.

Josh Kendall, brand manager, said they’ve always kind of had two names in the media — The Community Mercantile and The Merc. So, they now just want to be called The Merc.

“It’s kind of like a kid whose full name is Theodore and wants everyone to call him just Ted,” Kendall said.

As for its new full name, Kendall said they’ve used “Natural Foods Market and Deli” on the outside of the building, but wanted to make sure community is always part of the name. And, of course, the store wants to let people know that they have a “great deli and market.”


During lunchtime Monday, Oct. 18, 2010, West Junior High School students reach in for some vegetables from the school's garden.

During lunchtime Monday, Oct. 18, 2010, West Junior High School students reach in for some vegetables from the school's garden. by Kevin Anderson

Fun — a nutrition carnival!

Lawrence Memorial Hospital will be hosting a new “Nutrition Carnival” in March in recognition of National Nutrition Month.

The carnival will be from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 12. It will have nutrition-related activities and information for all ages. It will feature interactive exhibits, speakers, games and healthy snacks.

Participants are encouraged to bring a nonperishable food item for donation to a local food bank.

Aynsley Anderson, LMH community educator, and Janelle Martin, executive director of the Douglas County Community Health Improvement Partnership, are organizing the event.


Joyce Grover is the new executive director of the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence.

Joyce Grover is the new executive director of the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence.

State director’s work took root at Willow Domestic Violence Center

The Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence board of directors has hired Joyce Grover as the new executive director.

Grover had been serving as interim executive director since July. Grover has worked at KCSDV for more than nine years, most recently as general counsel.

Grover began her work with survivors of sexual and domestic violence in 1983, when she worked as a children’s program coordinator at Women’s Transitional Care Services in Lawrence, which is now called The Willow Domestic Violence Center. While at that program, Grover served on the steering committee of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and as a member of the board of directors of KCSDV.

“It’s an honor to be able to work with survivors and their children across Kansas. They are the strongest and most resilient people I have ever known. And, the Kansas programs who serve them are filled with advocates who devote their lives to ending the great tragedy of violence against women and children.”

— Joyce Grover

KCSDV is a coalition of 29 programs providing direct services to victims and survivors of sexual and domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. These programs serve thousands of adult victims and their children each year, providing 24-hour crisis intervention, advocacy and support.

— Know of something happening on the health beat? Send me a tip at kbritt@ljworld.com.

Reply

City commission to consider joining ‘Let’s Move’ campaign

The Lawrence City Commission will decide Tuesday whether to become a “Let’s Move” community or not.

So far, 458 cities, including 15 in Kansas, have joined the national movement to fight the rising childhood obesity rate. These include Leavenworth, Overland Park, Wichita and Herington.

The “Let’s Move” campaign was started by First Lady Michelle Obama and kicked off Feb. 9, 2010.

“Let’s Move is pushing for sustainable, evidence-based practices,” said Judy Baker, regional director for the Department of Health and Human Services. “In other words, having a fun run once a year is great, but we are looking for change within the community that is sustained over time.”

For example, she said, putting down more walking paths and having school policies that promote nutrition in the lunchroom.

“Let’s Move” communities are encouraged to take action in each of the following areas:

• helping parents make healthy family choices;

• improving the health of schools;

• increasing physical activity opportunities;

• making healthy food affordable and accessible.

There is no cost to participate. The benefits include access to branding and marketing materials, networking opportunities, and the initiative’s ability to promote communities, like Lawrence, on a national level.

And there’s plenty to brag about.

West Junior High School ninth-grader T.J. Everett sorts peppers harvested Sunday, Oct. 17, 2010, from the school's garden. The peppers will be used in the cafeteria.

West Junior High School ninth-grader T.J. Everett sorts peppers harvested Sunday, Oct. 17, 2010, from the school's garden. The peppers will be used in the cafeteria. by Nick Krug

LiveWell Lawrence, Douglas County Community Health Improvement Partnership, and Lawrence Public Schools, already are addressing childhood obesity through various projects.

For example, a vegetable garden was planted last spring at West Junior High School. Six students learned how to grow food while getting plenty of exercise, and in the fall the garden provided more than 180 pounds of produce for the school cafeteria. The garden project — Growing Food, Growing West — is now being spun off at other schools.

There’s also a LiveWell EatWell program, where a nutritionist is working with local restaurant owners and chefs. The idea is to offer healthier options for all ages.

“The city already is ingrained in a lot of these activities and we are already doing a lot of the requirements that are part of this initiative,” said Megan Gilliland, communications manager for the city. “It’s a way to be recognized with this national initiative.”

Reply

Junior high students gaining strength, confidence through after-school program

Fifteen-year-old Sharkiesha Jackson does lunges across the gym floor at Central Junior High School.

She also does soldier steps, side steps and big skips.

Sharkiesha, a ninth-grader, was among about 30 junior high students participating Wednesday in an after-school program called Smart Strength.

“It has helped me a lot, like my legs are so much stronger, my endurance, stability, everything, and it gives me more confidence that I can be good at sports also,” she said.

Smart Strength was the brainchild of Michel Loomis, an English teacher at CJHS, and Chad Richards, owner of Next Level Sports Performance.

“This was an idea that I had because of all we are seeing with kids’ fitness and their nutrition,” Loomis said. “Our country is just getting so obese and so I thought this would be one way to address that problem.”

Richards saw the program as a healthier, more productive way for teens to spend their time after school. He also hoped to develop some young athletes.

Chad Richards, owner of Next Level Sports Performance, demonstrates an exercise during the Smart Strength after-school program at Central Junior High School. The program is offered to junior high school student on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Chad Richards, owner of Next Level Sports Performance, demonstrates an exercise during the Smart Strength after-school program at Central Junior High School. The program is offered to junior high school student on Wednesdays and Fridays. by Richard Gwin

Sharkiesha Jackson, 15, participates in Smart Strength, an after-school program, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010, at Central Junior High School. She said the program has helped her become a better athlete. She competes in basketball and track.

Sharkiesha Jackson, 15, participates in Smart Strength, an after-school program, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010, at Central Junior High School. She said the program has helped her become a better athlete. She competes in basketball and track. by Richard Gwin

Next Level provides four or five trainers for the Smart Strength program, which is held Wednesdays and Fridays. They do exercises that work on everything from strength to agility to flexibility. They start with group warm-ups and then break down into smaller groups. After a water break, they play a game. The students’ favorite is dodge ball.

“In dodge ball, you get to attack the trainers,” Sharkiesha said. “One day we played and I was called the TK — trained killer — because I was on sniper mode taking out all of the trainers. It’s really fun.”

The trainers offer words of encouragement and helpful advice, and clearly serve as role models. The trainers are Richards, Isaac Combs, Matt Scanlon, Chris Dellasega and Scott Elliott.

“They are amazing guys,” Sharkiesha said. “If it wasn’t for them, many of these kids wouldn’t be here.”

Isaias Rojo, 14, also a CJHS ninth-grader, agreed.

“I think they are cool and get along with everybody. If you ask them any questions, they will help you,” he said.

Rojo, who is a member of the CJHS wrestling team, said he participates in the program to improve his fitness and for something to do.

“I’ve seen myself getting stronger and stuff, and I guess being more social with people,” he said with a grin.

Isaias Rojo, 14, participates in the after-school Smart Strength program Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010, at Central Junior High School. Rojo said the program not only has improved his strength, but he's become more social.

Isaias Rojo, 14, participates in the after-school Smart Strength program Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010, at Central Junior High School. Rojo said the program not only has improved his strength, but he's become more social. by Richard Gwin

Smart Strength started last school year and was open to CJHS students only. This year, CJHS teamed up with the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence, so students from West Junior High School and South Junior High School also participate. The program typically draws about 50 students.

Smart Strength, which costs about $10,000, is funded through a number of grants and donations from organizations and individuals, including the Lawrence Schools Foundation, East Lawrence Neighborhood Association and parents.

Loomis said they are working on getting more grant money to grow the program, which also includes information about nutrition. It’s a program that the former physical education teacher is passionate about because she knows its value.

At 65, Loomis runs, does spinning classes and Bikram yoga. She began strength training at Next Level a couple of years ago.

“I am so much stronger now. The reason I thought about the children wasn’t just because I see a need with obesity in being out of shape and eating all of the wrong things, but for the confidence. I noticed that I have more confidence, which surprised me,” she said.

“The more confident you feel, I think your grades go up. I just think all kinds of good things happen and the research bears that out.”

Sharkiesha enjoyed the benefits of Smart Strength so much that she approached Richards about getting some additional training at Next Level, which is located in North Lawrence. He agreed to provide training in exchange for cleaning. So, Sharkiesha cleans two hours for every hour of training.

“It’s been amazing,” she said.

Reply

Food for thought: Traditional Thanksgiving meal adds up to 1,000 calories easily

Ahhh, the Thanksgiving feast.

It’s the start of the holiday season when Americans tend to cast their health aside and indulge in their favorite goodies.

Susan Krumm, nutrition educator with K-State Research and Extension — Douglas County, says it’s not uncommon for people to gain 5 pounds over the holidays.

It’s easy to do: Eat an extra 500 calories per day — or a small piece of pecan pie — and that adds up to 1 pound per week.

Now, consider the Thanksgiving meal. If you stick to a serving size of the traditional fare, you will have consumed 992 calories. That’s without pie! Add a slice of pecan and you’re up to 1,518.

A 155-pound person would have to walk six hours to burn that many calories.

And, who sticks to a serving size of anything? For stuffing, that’s a half a cup or a cupcake wrapper full.

THE MENU

Here’s a look at what’s considered a serving of various foods and the amount of calories in each, according to the University of Minnesota Nutrition Coordinating Center Food and Nutrient Database:

• Turkey with skin, 3 ounces (or a deck of cards) — 156.

• Stuffing, 1/2 cup — 214.

• Mashed potatoes, 1/2 cup — 119.

• Gravy, 3 tablespoons — 54.

• Cranberry sauce, 1/4 cup — 110 calories.

• Candied sweet potatoes, 1/2 cup — 165 calories.

• Green bean casserole, 1/2 cup — 96 calories.

• Roll, 2-inch by 2-inch — 78 calories.

• Pumpkin pie, 1/8 of a 9-inch pie — 316 calories.

• Pecan pie, 1/8 of a 9-inch pie — 526 calories.

“The holidays for some reason give us permission to overindulge in food and alcohol,” Krumm said. “There just seems to be that mindset that it’s OK.”

But, it’s not. Overeating can contribute to an assortment of chronic health issues like heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea and respiratory problems.

HEALTHY IDEAS

Krumm offers these tips for a healthy, happy holiday:

Moderation, not deprivation. It’s better to take a small portion of food you want.

“I think when the food passes by you at the table and you really want it, but you’re like, ‘No, I can’t eat it.’ At some point, you might eat it and then you might go overboard.”

So, if you want the pecan pie, take a slice.

Eat slowly. You will enjoy the company and the flavor of food, and likely not eat as much.

Don’t make it unhealthy. Turkey, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and green beans are all healthy choices until they are loaded up with extras like gravy, butter, mushroom soup, brown sugar, honey and marshmallows.

“If you want that flavor, go with half the amount. Nobody will ever know the difference — ever,” Krumm said.

Fill up on good stuff. Eat fresh vegetables and a green salad before the meal. Also, drink plenty of water.

Don’t skip breakfast. Don’t “save up” for the meal, it will ultimately lead to overeating.

Exercise. “I highly recommend getting out and taking a little walk before or afterward, just to get out and enjoy some fresh air.”

Reply

Nutrition educator chats about food safety, Turkey Day leftovers, and more

In preparation for the holidays, Susan Krumm, nutrition and wellness educator at K-State Research and Extension — Douglas County, answered:

• Which traditional Turkey Day dish has the most calories?

• How long can food safely be left out after serving the meal?

• What about the leftovers?

These were among the questions asked during an online chat today on WellCommons.com.

To read the transcript of the chat, click here on WellCommons.com.

If you have a suggestion for a health-related chat, please contact health reporter Karrey Britt at kbritt@ljworld.com.

Reply

Family meals focus of roundtable discussion this week at Lawrence Memorial Hospital

Vince Downing helps his 3-year-old daughter Mackenzi with her meal on Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010, as his wife, Dawn, finishes up in the kitchen. The Downings have family dinners about five times a week.

Vince Downing helps his 3-year-old daughter Mackenzi with her meal on Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010, as his wife, Dawn, finishes up in the kitchen. The Downings have family dinners about five times a week. by Richard Gwin

Family meals will be the focus of Lawrence Memorial Hospital’s free monthly nutrition roundtable event at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18.

Eating together as a family encourages relationship-building and overall good health in both children and adults, says registered dietitian Patty Metzler, of LMH Food and Nutrition Services.

“Family meals have started decreasing in the past few years, especially as we’ve moved into a more technological society. You see people having meals together in a restaurant, but how many of them are texting under the table?”

— Patty Metzler

According to some studies, children who have more family meals are less likely to have childhood obesity, are more likely to do better in school and have better grades, and are less likely to have substance abuse and depression, Metzler said.

Metzler hopes people will make family meals more of a priority after participating in the discussion.

“If families are eating together just once a week and we can get them to eat together three times a week, I’d consider this event successful,” Metzler says.

For more information, call 749-5800 or visit online at www.lmh.org.

For more information about the importance of family meals, check out LiveWell Lawrence's group page "Family Day Story Contest" on WellCommons.

Reply

Today is National Start! Eating Healthy Day

The American Heart Association encourages Americans to start eating better to reduce the risk of heart disease — our No. 1 killer.

You can START by eating:

• fruits and vegetables.

• whole-grain, high fiber foods.

• oily fish.

• lean meats.

• fat-free, skim or low-fat milk.

• little or no salt.

Watching out for:

• Beverages and foods high in added sugars.

• Pastries and other high-calorie bakery products.

And, when preparing foods, choosing:

• fresh, frozen and canned vegetables in light sauce/syrup, sugar-free or low-sodium varieties.

• liquid vegetable oils over solid fats.

• grilling, baking or broiling.

For more tips, visit the American Heart Association’s website: StartWalkingNow.org.

Reply

Research shows eating meals together creates healthier family

Vince Downing helps his 3-year-old daughter Mackenzi with her meal on Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010, as his wife, Dawn, finishes up in the kitchen. The Downings have family dinners about five times a week.

Vince Downing helps his 3-year-old daughter Mackenzi with her meal on Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010, as his wife, Dawn, finishes up in the kitchen. The Downings have family dinners about five times a week. by Richard Gwin

For today’s busy American families, it’s difficult to sit down and have a meal together.

Both parents are working full-time to make ends meet. Before and after work, there are committee meetings, board meetings, plus the kids’ baseball practices and dance lessons ... the list goes on.

Surveys indicate that only 33 percent of families have daily family meals.

But, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) is working to change that. In 2001, it started Family Day — A Day to Eat Dinner With Your Children. This year, it’s Monday, Sept. 27.

The center’s research consistently finds that the more often children eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink or use drugs.

There’s also research that shows family meals can improve children’s vocabularies, reading skills and academic performance. Children tend to be more courteous, well-mannered and conversational.

Susan Krumm, a family and consumer sciences agent with K-State Research and Extension-Douglas County, said families also eat healthier when they sit down together.

“They often eat more fruits and vegetables,” she said.

It also builds healthier relationships among family members.

“When you share food and conversation at meals, you just build a stronger network between the family, and it strengthens families as a result,” Krumm said.

She said when her 22-year-old son was at home they ate dinner as a family and shared their highs and lows of the day.

“It’s so different than just asking, ‘How was your day?’ At times, we would have some pretty interesting conversations because it kind of gets into feelings,” she said.

Krumm doesn’t encourage families to talk about negative issues, such as financial troubles, at the table.

“We want it to be a pleasant experience,” she said.

Dawn Downing said she looks forward to sitting down and eating a meal with her husband, Vince, and her 3-year-old daughter, Mackenzi. They have a family dinner about five nights a week.

“I love that whole concept of being able to kind of talk about your day and just have that family time together,” she said. “It’s fun.”

The parents both work full-time and Mackenzi is in preschool.

“I can’t lie. I am very blessed because my husband loves to cook, which does make it easier,” she said.

But, everyone pitches in — even Mackenzi — when it comes to preparing food, setting the table or cleaning up.

“I think it’s a nice way to connect with your family after you’ve had a long day,” she said. “I think it goes a long way to help build that foundation for your family and that communication.”


WIN FREE GROCERIES

LiveWell Lawrence is having a contest to raise awareness about national Family Day — A Day to Eat Dinner With Your Children on Sept. 27, and to encourage families to participate.

To enter, share your story and/or photo about your family’s dinner experience on WellCommons.com.

The top three stories will win Dillon’s gift certificates: first place, $90; second, $45; and third, $30.

Deadline for entries is Sept. 30. Winners will be announced by Oct. 7.

Reply

LiveWell Lawrence contest encourages families to eat together on Sept. 27

National Family Day is Monday, Sept. 27, and it encourages Americans to make family dinners a regular feature of their lives.

Research by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University consistently finds that the more often children eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink or use drugs.

To help motivate Lawrence families to participate Monday, LiveWell Lawrence has cooked up a contest.

Here's how it works:

Tell us about your dinner with your family. Why did you decide to celebrate Family Day? Who was there (first names, include ages of children)? Where did you eat? What did you eat? If you stayed home, who helped prepare the meal and table? What was the best part about celebrating Family Day?

If you can, include a photo of your family at the table and any other photos that help tell your story.

Top three stories posted on this WellCommons group page will win Dillon’s gift cards:

First prize: $90.

Second prize: $45.

Third prize $30.

The entries will be judged by: Susan Krumm, community educator in nutrition, health, wellness and safety at K-State Research and Extension-Douglas County; and Marilyn Hull, LiveWell Lawrence community facilitator.

Deadline for entries is Sept. 30, and winners will be announced by Oct. 7.

Here's how to post your entry:

• Visit WellCommons.com.

• In the "Search WellCommons" box on the upper right-hand corner, type in Family Day story contest.

• Click on the blue headline: LiveWell Lawrence's Family Day Story Contest.

• Join the group by clicking in the box at the right.

• Once you've joined, click under the tab called "Commons."

• Click on "new post."

• Enter the title or headline of your entry, and put the text under the box that says content. You can upload photos right there.

• At the bottom, there is a button to "save as a draft" or "publish." You can always go back and "edit" by hitting the edit button.

Good luck!

Reply

Lawrence Memorial Hospital’s annual health fair is Saturday

Need a flu shot? How about a blood pressure check?

Lawrence Memorial’s Hospital’s 29th annual health fair will offer these services and much more.

The fair will be from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday (Sept. 18) at LMH, 325 Maine. It attracts about 2,000 people.

Free health screenings may include prostate and skin cancers, hearing, vision, bone density and blood pressure. Exhibits will provide information about issues such as dietary fats, smoking cessation, hospice care, organ donation and advance directives.

The only fee that is charged is for blood work, which is $40, and $50 for males who wish to have a PSA (prostate screening antigen) test included.

Douglas County Visiting Nurses, Rehabilitation, and Hospice Care will be offering flu shots to anyone older than 18 for $24.

Also, participants may bring any non-perishable food item to help support the efforts of Just Food, the Douglas County food bank. While any amount is appreciated, participants who bring five or more items will receive a recycled tote bag.

For more information, call LMH Connect Care at 749-5800.

Reply

Warrior Walker exercises his message on KU’s campus

Stanley Bronstein, 51, aka the "Warrior Walker", walks around the KU campus Monday, Sept. 13, as part of his five hour daily walking exercise. Bronstein is walking 5 hours in 50 U.S. states to raise awareness of the need for Americans to exercise daily. Bronstein choose Lawrence as his place to walk in Kansas.

Stanley Bronstein, 51, aka the "Warrior Walker", walks around the KU campus Monday, Sept. 13, as part of his five hour daily walking exercise. Bronstein is walking 5 hours in 50 U.S. states to raise awareness of the need for Americans to exercise daily. Bronstein choose Lawrence as his place to walk in Kansas. by Mike Yoder

He’s walking the walk.

Stanley Bronstein, a 51-year-old Scottsdale, Ariz., resident, spent about five hours Monday morning walking on Kansas University’s campus.

Bronstein — who calls himself Warrior Walker — is raising awareness about the importance of exercising and eating right, one step at a time.

“You are going to feel so much better if you will start walking — even if it’s 15 or 20 minutes a day, just start,” he advised. “The motivation will build. You will feel better, and as you get better and better and better, you will keep going.”

About two years ago, he was returning from a family function with his older brother. They were on an airplane and he couldn’t get the seatbelt around his waist. He weighed about 325 pounds.

“My brother is a fitness fanatic and I was so embarrassed,” he said.

That was the moment that got him to start moving. First, he walked in a swimming pool, and then he put on his sneakers. “One of the things that happens when you walk a lot is you have a lot of time to think, and when you think, you start coming up with ideas,” he said.

He came up with this “crazy idea” to walk five hours in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and to do it between Aug. 10 and Nov. 26. So far, he has walked about 450 miles and Kansas was his 18th state to visit.

Stanley Bronstein, 51, of Scottsdale, Ariz., walks around the KU campus Monday, Sept. 13, 2010, as part of a national tour to raise awareness about the importance of exercise. He tries to visit college towns, so he can reach out to students.

Stanley Bronstein, 51, of Scottsdale, Ariz., walks around the KU campus Monday, Sept. 13, 2010, as part of a national tour to raise awareness about the importance of exercise. He tries to visit college towns, so he can reach out to students. by Mike Yoder

Bronstein said he walks in college towns because he wants to reach out to students.

“They are our future,” he said.

Sunday he was in Fayetteville, Ark., and Saturday he was in Norman, Okla.

“That was quite an interesting experience to see all of the electricity and all the tailgaters and smell the barbecue and beer at 8 o’clock in the morning,” he said with a grin.

While walking on KU’s campus, Bronstein said he observed students waiting to take the bus. He did the same thing as a college student at the University of Texas.

“I used to take the shuttle bus also, and now I am going, ‘Boy, I should have walked,’” he said. “I mean this campus is big, but not that big. It’s a pretty day. It’s 65, 70 degrees outside. We should be walking.”

Wearing a fanny pack around his waist and carrying a bottle of water, he walked around KU’s hilly campus from 6:45 a.m. to noon. He stopped and took a few pictures along the way.

“In the beginning, I was having to force myself to exercise. Now, it is a privilege to go walking every day,” he said.

Bronstein has lost about 100 pounds and now weighs about 225. He wants to lose more. While on the road, he avoids restaurants as much as possible. He said the salty, fatty foods are too tempting along with the big portion sizes.

“That’s what got me fat in the first place. My eyes are bigger than my stomach,” he said.

His next stops include: Columbia, Mo.; Lincoln, Neb.; and Ames, Iowa.

Bronstein, a certified public accountant and attorney, is working while on the road thanks to his BlackBerry and laptop.

He has started a website, iwarriorwalk.com, where anyone can sign up and track their own miles, or follow his journey. Bronstein estimates he will spend about $10,000 on the project, which includes flights to Alaska and Hawaii.

His tour culminates with a national event, “Walk Friday,” on Nov. 26 — the day after Thanksgiving also known as Black Friday.

Bronstein hopes the event will encourage Americans to begin a program of walking at least 30 minutes per day for at least five days per week.

“If you go to the mall, fine, but I want you to walk 30 minutes in the mall before you start spending money,” he said. “Get your exercise, and then I want you to walk the day after that and the day after that.”

Stanley Bronstein, 51, aka the "Warrior Walker", walks around the KU campus Monday, Sept. 13, 2010.

Stanley Bronstein, 51, aka the "Warrior Walker", walks around the KU campus Monday, Sept. 13, 2010. by Mike Yoder


JOIN WALKTOBER

Lawrence Memorial Hospital and Douglas County’s Community Health Improvement Project are offering “Walktober,” a free walking program for individuals or groups in October.

Participants will receive fitness and nutrition tips along with a healthy recipe. There will be a small gift for people who complete 20 walks during the month.

There are two orientation sessions at LMH, 325 Maine:

• 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. today, Sept. 13.

• 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 27.

For more information or to enroll, contact LMH Community Education at 505-3066 or the CHIP program at 856-7312, or e-mail aynsley.anderson@lmh.org or jmartin@ldchealth.org.

The deadline to enroll is Sept. 27.

Reply

Heart attack survivor now training for triathlon

I wanted to share this story written by Margie Carr. It's about Michelle Derusseau who suffered a heart attack at age 39. Since then, she has changed her lifestyle and will be competing in her first triathlon on Saturday. Michelle uses her story to inspire others. She has started a group page on WellCommons called "With All My Heart."

Lawrence resident Michelle Derusseau will be competing in her first triathlon on Saturday after four months of training. Derusseau, now 46, suffered a heart attack at the age of 39, is using her efforts to raise awareness about heart disease, particularly among women.

Lawrence resident Michelle Derusseau will be competing in her first triathlon on Saturday after four months of training. Derusseau, now 46, suffered a heart attack at the age of 39, is using her efforts to raise awareness about heart disease, particularly among women. by Nick Krug

By Margie Carr

The first indication that something was wrong was when 39-year-old Michelle Derusseau went to sleep halfway through the KU-Syracuse NCAA college basketball championship game in 2003. Her husband, Ron couldn’t believe his wife, a loyal Jayhawk fan, was sleeping through the biggest game of the year.

Derusseau didn’t think much of it.

“A week later I got up feeling really nauseous and just soaked with sweat,” she says. “I thought I had the flu, so I called in sick and went back to bed.”

After dinner the next evening (a BLT slathered in mayonnaise), Derusseau felt a sharp pain in between her shoulder blades.

“I thought it was a muscle spasm, and I kept trying to work it out,” she says, reaching back to indicate the space where the pain originated. “Then I couldn’t seem to catch my breath, and my arm went numb. I called for Ron, and he said we should go to the hospital.

“When we were driving, I finally put everything together — the fatigue, nausea, sweating and shortness of breath — I was having a heart attack.”

Once they reached LMH, Derusseau was life-flighted to St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City because there was no cardiac unit in town at that time. At St. Luke’s she had two stents implanted.

But while the stents had the desired result of immediately reducing her physical pain, it took longer before Derusseau realized the emotional toll heart disease would take.

“It was a dark day,” she says of her release from the hospital, an Easter Sunday. “I just kept crying.”

As with others who have survived a heart attack, Derusseau had to readjust how she saw herself.

The heart attack “came as a complete shock as I had always been athletic and at the time was swimming three miles a week,” she recalls.

But Derusseau says she didn’t have the healthiest lifestyle habits.

“I thought I was doing well if I ate the tomatoes at Taco Bell and the lettuce on my Big Mac,” she says.

And while Derusseau quit smoking three years prior to the attack, she never got regular medical checkups. And when she had her cholesterol checked at the hospital she noticed that while the overall number was only borderline high, her triglycerides were “off the charts.”

The impact of the heart attack has stayed with her.

“For many years there wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t at some point have this fear that I could drop dead at any moment,” she recalls, noting that “none of us is guaranteed tomorrow.”

To help guarantee more tomorrows, Derusseau has made changes in her lifestyle, including a more heart-healthy diet. “And I’ve learned to listen to my body,” she says.

She received another stent in 2007 when tests revealed a 75 percent blockage in one of her arteries. It left Derusseau more determined than ever to continue her journey toward physical and emotional health.

Part of her healing involves telling everyone she knows her story and the truth about heart disease, which is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States. To spread the word, Derusseau has set up a group on Facebook, “I Wear Red with All My Heart” which provides information about keeping your heart healthy and includes links, recipes and healthy events.

“If people find themselves in my position, listen to your body,” she says. “Listen to the doctor, be sure to do the cardiac rehab — the group at LMH is a great support group — I was lucky to have them and my very supportive husband, family and friends. I am truly blessed.”

With her doctor’s OK, Derusseau decided to enter the Olathe Medical Center’s triathlon, which is Saturday. And she received special permission to wear the American Heart Association’s logo on her cycling jersey.

“I have never worked so hard in my life,” she says of her preparations, which begin at 4:30 a.m. daily. And while her old self might have been worried about winning, the new Derusseau is only interested in competing against herself.

“Victory for me is each time I complete a 5K, or open water swim, or a bike ride,” she says. “It’s not about the fastest time, it’s about the journey.”

Reply

Low-income residents describe new cooking series as beneficial, fun

Catherine Franklin and her daughter Mia, 12, make breakfast burritos during a "Fresh on Wednesdays" cooking class Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2010, at Edgewood Community Facility. A group of organizations provided a series of cooking classes for recipients of food stamps.

Catherine Franklin and her daughter Mia, 12, make breakfast burritos during a "Fresh on Wednesdays" cooking class Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2010, at Edgewood Community Facility. A group of organizations provided a series of cooking classes for recipients of food stamps. by Mike Yoder

Lawrence resident Dominique Franklin cut up peppers and onions and put them in a skillet along with some pork sausage.

While stirring, she talked about how “Fresh on Wednesdays,” a series of three cooking classes, had helped her. It provided quick-and-easy recipes that she could make at home.

“A lot of people think that you have to eat out when you don’t have time, but you come in here and see that you can prepare a 30-minute meal and make it delicious, she said.

Franklin also learned about nutrition, portion sizes, even where to shop for fresh produce.

“You can’t do anything but win when you come here,” Franklin said. “You take away so much, just knowing sizable options. They’ve been showing us the difference between golf ball-sized and baseball-sized portions.”

Franklin was among 11 low-income residents who made breakfast burritos on Wednesday evening at the Edgewood Community Facility in east Lawrence. It was the last class in the series. Besides cooking lessons, the participants also received a knife, cutting board, skillet, cookbook and gift certificates to the Lawrence Farmers’ Market.

“They not only learn how to fix the food, but they get the tools that they need to prepare the food,” said Carolyn Ward, interim Just Food bank coordinator.

The series was funded through a $4,000 LiveWell Lawrence grant. Four organizations were involved in the effort: Just Food of ECKAN, Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority, K-State Research and Extension-Douglas County, and the downtown Lawrence Farmers’ Market.

“It’s a collaborative project that targets food stamp or SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) recipients in Douglas County,” Ward said. “Our goal is to teach participants about healthy cooking, portion control and local food access.”

Paula Aiken, of K-State Research and Extension — Douglas County, leads a "Fresh on Wednesdays" cooking class Aug. 25, 2010, at Edgewood Community Facility. Four organizations joined efforts to provide a series of cooking classes and nutrition lessons for recipients of food stamps. They were able to do so through a $4,000 LiveWell Lawrence grant.

Paula Aiken, of K-State Research and Extension — Douglas County, leads a "Fresh on Wednesdays" cooking class Aug. 25, 2010, at Edgewood Community Facility. Four organizations joined efforts to provide a series of cooking classes and nutrition lessons for recipients of food stamps. They were able to do so through a $4,000 LiveWell Lawrence grant. by Mike Yoder

Paula Aiken, of K-State Research and Extension-Douglas County, taught the class on Wednesday. She started by offering some healthy reminders: There’s no replacement for water, plenty of sleep and exercise.

“There’s no magic pill for losing weight,” she said to the class.

She also provided shopping tips: “Typically the darker the color, the more vitamins,” she said of fruits and vegetables.

After the brief lesson, the cooking began. Participant had their own table space and skillets.

Catherine Franklin, Lawrence, and no relation to Dominique, took the classes with her 12-year-old daughter, Mia.

“It’s definitely something fun to do after school,” Mia said. “I definitely like all of the stuff that we made.”

Besides breakfast burritos, they learned how to make a stir-fry with chicken and vegetables, and a goulash.

“I will make the goulash over and over and over again. It’s like a healthier version of Hamburger Helper,” Catherine Franklin said. “We are learning a lot.”

Participants also could try a cucumber salad, and another salad of cucumbers and tomatoes with Italian dressing. For dessert, there was watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe.

“It’s been very beneficial,” Dominique Franklin said. “I am having fun with the ladies. It’s like a fellowship in itself. We laugh, have fun and eat. It’s been a good time.”

A participant looks at her cookbook during a "Fresh on Wednesdays" cooking class.

A participant looks at her cookbook during a "Fresh on Wednesdays" cooking class. by Mike Yoder


FRESH ON WEDNESDAYS

The final series of cooking classes begins Sept. 8. The classes will be at 2:30 p.m. Sept. 8, 15 and 22.

The free classes are for participants in the Food Stamp program, now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. There were two other series this summer.

To enroll or for more information, contact Chris Lempa at clempa@ldcha.org or 331-4418 by Sept. 6.


Here are a couple of recipes from the “Fresh on Wednesdays” series:

Breakfast Burritos

4 ounces bulk pork sausage

1/4 cup chopped onion

2 tablespoons finely chopped green or red sweet bell pepper

6 eggs

1/3 cup milk

4 10-inch flour tortillas

1/2 cup or 2 ounces of shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese.

1/4 cup bottled salsa

In a skillet, cook sausage, onion, and green/red pepper over medium heat until meat is brown and vegetables are tender.

Drain off any fat and blot with a paper towel.

In a separate bowl, beat together eggs and milk. Add egg mixture to the skillet with the sausage and vegetables and continue cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a spatula until cooked through.

Remove from the heat.

To serve, warm the tortillas. Place one fourth of the egg and sausage mixture just below the center of each tortilla. Divide the cheese and salsa evenly among the tortillas and place on top of the egg and sausage mixture.

Fold the bottom edge of each tortilla up and over the filling. Fold the opposite sides in. Roll up from the bottom.

Serve with additional salsa, if desired. Makes four burritos.

— From K-State Resarch and Extension — Douglas County.

Cucumber Salad

3 cups cucumbers, thinly sliced

1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup vinegar

2 tablespoons canola or extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar (optional)

Mix together vinegar, oil, salt and sugar. Pour over cucumbers and onions.

Serves 4.

— Adapted from “Simply in Season, Expanded Edition” by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert.

Reply

LiveWell initiative seeks to increase healthy foods in restaurants

LiveWell Lawrence wants to increase access to healthy foods in restaurants.

Trish Unruh, a nutritionist with the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, said Americans spend 44 percent of their food dollars on eating out.

“My goal with the restaurant program is to have nutritious and delicious healthy food choices when going out to eat,” she said.

For example, the program could encourage restaurant owners to offer:

• Salad, fruit and/or vegetables as a side dish.

• One entrée prepared with a lower-fat method such as baked or broiled.

• Whole-grain products.

• A low-sodium entrée.

• Low-fat sauces and dressings.

Cook Michael Abraham fixes a dish on the healthy menu that is offered at 23rd Street Brewery, 3512 Clinton Parkway, The dish — the most popular on the healthy menu — is a red pepper stuffed with couscous and served with a spring mix tossed in rice wine vinaigrette. Sitting on the plate is another healthy menu item: sundried tomato salmon.

Cook Michael Abraham fixes a dish on the healthy menu that is offered at 23rd Street Brewery, 3512 Clinton Parkway, The dish — the most popular on the healthy menu — is a red pepper stuffed with couscous and served with a spring mix tossed in rice wine vinaigrette. Sitting on the plate is another healthy menu item: sundried tomato salmon. by Richard Gwin

LiveWell Lawrence provided a $5,335 grant to the health department to help facilitate activities that focus on improving access to healthy food, and the restaurant program is the first activity.

Unruh has been working closely with Susan Krumm, nutritionist with K-State Research and Extension — Douglas County, and Marilyn Hull, LiveWell Lawrence facilitator, along with other members of the LiveWell steering committee.

They are determining what criteria restaurants would need to meet to get LiveWell’s seal of approval or sticker. The group is seeking feedback from restaurant owners, chefs and consumers.

Unruh has met with Matt Llewellyn, managing partner with 23rd Street Brewery, 3512 Clinton Parkway. He is interested in participating in the program because he wants to inform residents that healthy choices are available at his establishment, which is best known for its beer and bar-and-grill-type fare.

The restaurant, which as been in business for five years, began offering a selection of healthy entrees about two years ago. They were listed on a piece of paper and weren’t part of the main menu.

“It went over very well,” Llewellyn said. “We’ve changed it, and tweaked it around a little bit.”

Three months ago, five healthy options were added to the main menu.

“The dish that I thought was going to be the least popular on it — is the most popular,” he said.

That’s a red pepper stuffed with couscous and served with a spring mix tossed with rice wine vinaigrette.

“I felt like there was no way people are going to eat this, and they love it,” he said with a laugh.

Llewellyn admits that the unhealthy options — cheeseburgers, pizzas and fries — are still better sellers. His goal is to satisfy both appetites.

“I think Lawrence is a healthy town. You can’t tell by looking at me, but it is,” he said. “People want to treat their bodies well and we are a very active town. We are into sports and activities outdoors. We are into living well.”

Matt Llewellyn, managing partner of 23rd Street Brewery, talks about some of the healthy dishes the establishment began offering in May. These include, back to front, Brewery Stuffed Pepper, Sun-dried Tomato Salmon, Caprese Salad, and Tilapia Florentine. Llewellyn is interested in participating in a new LiveWell Lawrence initiative that would recognize restaurants that offer healthy foods.

Matt Llewellyn, managing partner of 23rd Street Brewery, talks about some of the healthy dishes the establishment began offering in May. These include, back to front, Brewery Stuffed Pepper, Sun-dried Tomato Salmon, Caprese Salad, and Tilapia Florentine. Llewellyn is interested in participating in a new LiveWell Lawrence initiative that would recognize restaurants that offer healthy foods. by Richard Gwin

23rd Street Brewery offers several healthy entrées, including Tilapia Florentine. The dish is pan seared tilapia topped with toasted almonds and feta cheese, and served with sauteed spinach and artichokes. Such dishes are part of a new LiveWell EatWell intiative in Lawrence.

23rd Street Brewery offers several healthy entrées, including Tilapia Florentine. The dish is pan seared tilapia topped with toasted almonds and feta cheese, and served with sauteed spinach and artichokes. Such dishes are part of a new LiveWell EatWell intiative in Lawrence. by Richard Gwin


GET INVOLVED!

Trish Unruh, nutritionist with the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, is contacting restaurant owners who might be interested in becoming part of the LiveWell program that recognizes healthy foods.

She also is seeking feedback from the community on what kind of information they would like to see included in a restaurant program.

You can contact Unruh by e-mail at tunruh@ldchealth.org or visit the health department's website.

Reply

LiveWell seeking input on how to recognize restaurants who offer healthy menu options

Would you like to know which Lawrence restaurants offer healthy, flavorful options on their menus?

I would.

Three members of the LiveWell Lawrence initiative are working to establish a system that would recognize restaurants that do just that. They are Marilyn Hull, facilitator for LiveWell Lawrence; Susan Krumm, nutritionist with K-State Research and Extension — Douglas County, and Trish Unruh, a Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department nutritionist.

The group is in the planning stages of how the system would work and what criteria restaurants would need to meet to get LiveWells’ seal of approval or sticker.

They are considering the following list:

• offers fresh, frozen or canned fruit.

• offers steamed or fresh vegetables.

• menu includes one entrée prepared with lower-fat method (baked, stemed, poached, broiled, roasted or barbecued.)

• menu includes whole-grain products (cereal, bread, pasta, rice).

• menu offers smaller servings of entrées or noted on the menu that smaller servings are available upon request or at a reduced price.

• will serve sauces, gravies and dressings on the side upon request.

• offer one entree with less than 1,000 milligrams of sodium.

• will modify cooking preparation for healthy requests.

• will provide a substitute for fried side dishes, like salad, vegetables or fruit.

• offer fat-free, vinaigrette or low-fat dressings and/or sauces.

None

This group is seeking feedback from restaurant owners, chefs and consumers:

• How many of these categories does a restaurant need to meet to get approval? Five, eight or all of them?

• Is there a category that is too strict?

• Are there missing categories?

Also, they are contemplating what the logo would look like and say. They want customers to be able to identify with it.

Up for consideration: “LiveWell While Eating Out” and “Eating Out Well.”

Do you have a better suggestion? We’d love to hear from you.

From left, Marilyn Hull, of LiveWell Lawrence; Karrey Britt, WellCommons.com reporter; and Susan Krumm, nutritionist with K-State Research and Extension — Douglas County; discuss an initiative to recognize Lawrence restaurants that offer healthy menu options.

From left, Marilyn Hull, of LiveWell Lawrence; Karrey Britt, WellCommons.com reporter; and Susan Krumm, nutritionist with K-State Research and Extension — Douglas County; discuss an initiative to recognize Lawrence restaurants that offer healthy menu options. by Karrey Britt

I met with this group today, along with Jane Stevens of WellCommons.com. These labels struck a chord with everyone at the table. Everyone shared stories about what they wished restaurants offered.

For example, Krumm talked about serving sizes. She ate at Applebee’s one evening and wanted the small, 99-cent dessert that they promoted. But, the restaurant didn’t offer the smaller version after 4 p.m. How crazy is that?

Jane would like to see healthier options at Mexican restaurants. She praised Salty Iguana because it offers black beans. She also looks for restaurants that offer brown rice.

I would like restaurants to point out the healthier entrées on their menus. If I order a black bean burger, I assume it’s fairly healthy, but is it?

Everyone felt like restaurants can only benefit by offering healthier choices because, like it or not, there’s a movement to get moving and eat healthier, and customers would like to know their options.

Let us know what you think? Will you use such a system?

Reply

Lawrence company steps up wellness efforts by offering yoga, garden and more

Yoga instructor Tanya McNeely, second from right, leads employees at Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, through a lunchtime yoga class on Thursday, July 29, 2010. The company offers  yoga classes five times a week.

Yoga instructor Tanya McNeely, second from right, leads employees at Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, through a lunchtime yoga class on Thursday, July 29, 2010. The company offers yoga classes five times a week. by Mike Yoder

Sarah Arbuthnot takes the stairs instead of the elevator at the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, where she has worked for the past year as curriculum specialist.

“It’s like you know you should, but the sign confirms you are doing something healthy. It’s very effective,” Arbuthnot, 30, said.

The nonprofit organization has posted 24 signs throughout the four-floor building in west Lawrence that remind its employees about the benefits of eating right and exercise.

It’s just one of the steps GCSAA has taken during the past four years to make the environment a healthier one for its 90 employees.

“It’s a collection of small things that really creates that culture of wellness,” said Paige Wilson, human resources manager.

GCSAA started by forming a wellness committee, then surveying its employees.

“You have to ask the employees what they want,” Wilson said. “It really helps if we get their feedback because then they become personally invested in the initiatives. It creates buy-in.”

The company also encouraged its employees to take a health risk assessment, commonly called HRA, so they knew what health issues to focus on. The first year, GCSAA provided a $60 incentive and 55 employees completed the HRA.

GCSAA learned many employees suffered from stress and depression, so they scheduled “lunch-and-learn” programs in these areas. For example, Aynsley Anderson, of Lawrence Memorial Hospital, gave a presentation in November on “50 Ways to Simplify the Season.”

Wilson said it was a hit among employees, who provide feedback on programs and initiatives. “This place is only as good as its employees and we need to value their health,” Wilson said.

Linda Koester-Vogelsang,  left, court adminstrator at Douglas County District Court, and Paige Wilson, human resources manager at Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, share some of the health initiatives they have established at their workplaces. The two spoke July 28, 2010, at a workplace wellness workshop at South Junior High School.

Linda Koester-Vogelsang, left, court adminstrator at Douglas County District Court, and Paige Wilson, human resources manager at Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, share some of the health initiatives they have established at their workplaces. The two spoke July 28, 2010, at a workplace wellness workshop at South Junior High School. by Mike Yoder

Community leader

Wilson spoke during a worksite wellness workshop last month at South Junior High School. The three-hour workshop covered the importance of offering comprehensive smoking cessation programs, how to create a culture of health at work, and the resources available to do so.

Susan Krumm, of K-State Research and Extension-Douglas County, was one of the keynote speakers. Workplace wellness is a subject she’s passionate about. She took a five-month sabbatical in 2008 to study the issue in-depth, and has been working to implement workplace wellness in the statewide agency that she works for. She also wants to make a difference locally.

“It just makes sense when we are spending 50 percent of our time at a business that perhaps we could notch out some time during the day to focus on wellness,” she said.

Krumm recently received a $13,500 grant from LiveWell Lawrence to establish a community leadership team to help identify what works and what doesn’t when it comes to wellness programs in workplaces of all sizes.

She plans to hire a part-time employee by Sept. 1 to help facilitate the team and effort called “Work Well Lawrence.”

Krumm estimates about 20 percent of Lawrence businesses are “dabbling in” wellness, but many aren’t implementing a program that promotes a “culture of change,” like GCSAA is doing.

“It’s best not to plan your workplace initiative around an activity of the month because research shows that’s not working. It needs to be results-oriented,” she said.

Wellness initiatives

Arbuthnot described GCSAA as the most health-centered place that she has worked for, and she likes it.

Among the programs that she takes advantage of is the healthy snacks program. Members of the wellness committee take turns buying fruits and healthy snacks for the kitchen areas. The program charges 50 cents for a snack and 35 cents for fruit, and employees put the change in a can.

“It’s super affordable. So, if you get hungry, you don’t have to go buy a Snickers, you can buy something that’s better for you,” she said.

Wilson also like the program.

“There are mornings when I don’t eat breakfast at home and so instead of starving myself, which is not healthy, I will go grab a banana and a granola bar,” she said.

Fresh fruit is made available to employees at Golf Course Superintendents Association of America through its healthy snacks program.

Fresh fruit is made available to employees at Golf Course Superintendents Association of America through its healthy snacks program. by Mike Yoder

Among GSCAA’s other initiatives:

Fresh produce. Employees planted a garden of tomatoes, green peppers, basil, eggplant, corn and more. They can pick produce when they want. Employees help maintain it during and after work hours.

Annual wellness fair. This year’s event was July 29 and featured 16 vendors. Employees received $20 if they completed a health risk assessment. Wilson said the economy has caused them to reduce the incentive, but they still had more than 40 people participate.

Payback. Not only are employees offered a discount to fitness centers in town, but they get $10 per month added to their paycheck if they use it, or participate in any other exercise-related activity. This includes runs, walks, swimming lessons and personal training.

Yoga sessions. It offers an hourlong session five times a week in the building. Sessions cost $5.

Wilson said the company hasn’t seen a change in its bottom line because of the wellness initiatives — yet.

“Our health insurance claims have been maintained at the same level, which I think is huge considering the direction of health in our country, she said.

More importantly, Wilson said they hope the measures help retain employees and make them more productive.

“We want them to be as stress-free, healthy and happy as possible,” Wilson said.

Katie Butler, fitness director at Body Boutique, left, visits with Becky Gonzales, director of human resources at Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, 1421 Research Park Drive, on Thursday, July 29, 2010, during a wellness fair. Representatives from 16 area organizations and companies were on hand to speak with GCSAA employees about community health and fitness programs.

Katie Butler, fitness director at Body Boutique, left, visits with Becky Gonzales, director of human resources at Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, 1421 Research Park Drive, on Thursday, July 29, 2010, during a wellness fair. Representatives from 16 area organizations and companies were on hand to speak with GCSAA employees about community health and fitness programs. by Mike Yoder

A garden area at Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, contains vegetable plants and herbs. Employees are welcome to pick and take home the fresh produce. Paige Wilson, human resources manager, said she has picked a tomato and cucumber and ate them for lunch. She also tries to be the first one to visit the garden on Mondays, to see what grew and ripened over the weekend.

A garden area at Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, contains vegetable plants and herbs. Employees are welcome to pick and take home the fresh produce. Paige Wilson, human resources manager, said she has picked a tomato and cucumber and ate them for lunch. She also tries to be the first one to visit the garden on Mondays, to see what grew and ripened over the weekend. by Mike Yoder

Posters and signs serve as healthy reminders for employees at Golf Course Superintendent's Association of America. This one focuses on nutrition.

Posters and signs serve as healthy reminders for employees at Golf Course Superintendent's Association of America. This one focuses on nutrition. by Mike Yoder

This poster hangs in a kitchen area at the Golf Course Superintendent's Association of America.

This poster hangs in a kitchen area at the Golf Course Superintendent's Association of America. by Mike Yoder


WORKPLACE WELLNESS

Susan Krumm, of K-State Research and Extension-Douglas County, has done extensive research on the benefits of workplace wellness programs.

For employers:

• reduced health care costs

• reduced absenteeism

• improved employee performance

• improved productivity

• enhanced employee morale

• enhanced employee recruitment and retention

• community goodwill

For employees:

• improved health

• improved quality of life

• less time being ill or with disability

• reduced health care costs

Krumm is seeking people who represent Lawrence nonprofits, agencies or companies to serve on a new community leadership team. The team will address what works and what doesn’t when it comes to wellness programs, and help implement a Work Well Lawrence initiative.

If you are interested in serving on the committee, contact her at skrumm@ksu.edu or 843-7058.

Reply

10 ways to save about 100 calories

A couple days ago, I posted "10 ways to burn about 100 calories."

Aynsley Anderson, community education coordinator for Lawrence Memorial Hospital, also provided "10 Ways To Save About 100 Calories" in the August newsletter "Wellness Words."

Here's the list:

1. Drink only half of a 12-ounce bottle of soda instead of the whole thing.

2. Substitute 3 ounces of turkey sausage for pork sausage.

3. Dip your salad fixings into 2 teaspoons of ranch dressing instead of pouring on 2 tablespoons.

4. Drink a 12-ounce glass of skim milk instead of whole milk.

5. Eat low-fat frozen yogurt instead of ice cream.

6. Eat 4 ounces of sugar-free chocolate pudding instead of regular pudding.

7. Choose 3 ounces of fat-free sour cream instead of regular.

8. Dip 1 cup of celery into salsa or hummus instead of dipping tortilla chips.

9. Put a slice of tomato, lettuce and onion on your burger instead of a slice of cheese.

10. Use canned tuna packed in water instead of in oil.

I am pretty good about cutting calories where I can. For example, I follow Numbers 4, 5, 7 and 10.

For salad dressing, I stick to fat-free versions. I eat baked tortilla chips when I indulge in them, but it would be tough trading chips for celery.

It also can be difficult giving up a slice of cheese on a burger. But maybe, I make up for it by only using lean beef (4 percent fat) or opting for healthier veggie versions. Often I use reduced-fat cheese.

Of course, it's better to stick to veggies and fruits.

But, I am interested in knowing what everyone else does to curb their caloric intake? Do you follow these tips? Or, do you have better ones?

Reply

Don’t Let Arthritis Slow You Down

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a particularly troubling form of arthritis because science views it as an auto-immune disease, meaning that the body's immune system actually attacks its own tissues as if they were foreign invaders. The good news is science also suggests there are natural ways to deal with the pain and mobility limitations of RA without relying exclusively on medication.

link text

Reply

First lady calls on NAACP to help fight childhood obesity

First lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during the 101st annual NAACP convention, Monday, July 12, 2010, in Kansas City, Mo. During her remarks she talked about the Let’s Move! initiative and its goal of solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation.

First lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during the 101st annual NAACP convention, Monday, July 12, 2010, in Kansas City, Mo. During her remarks she talked about the Let’s Move! initiative and its goal of solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation. by AP Photo

First lady Michelle Obama encouraged the NAACP to help fight the growing child obesity rate, just like it fought slavery and discrimination.

“If we don’t do something to reverse this trend right now, our kids won’t be in any shape to continue the work begun by the founders of this great organization,” she said.

Her comment drew applause from the crowd of 4,000 people Monday during the NAACP’s 101st annual convention in the Kansas City Convention Center.

Obama spoke about her “Let’s Move” campaign, a national movement to raise healthier children. One in three American children is overweight or obese. This is the first generation in history that is on track to live shorter lives than their parents.

“This issue isn’t about how our kids look,” she said. “It’s about how our kids feel. It’s about their health and the health of our nation and the health of our economy. There is no doubt that this is a serious problem and it’s one that is affecting every community across this country.”

Obama, 46, said Americans live very differently today than when she grew up. For example, she walked or biked to school. She didn’t ride in a bus or car.

“We went to neighborhood schools around the corner. So many of us had to walk to and from school every day — rain or shine — I know you’ve told that story before,” she said, which drew laughter.

She said they had recess and gym class, something that’s been a target of budget cuts.

“When we got home in the afternoon, there was no way we would be allowed to lie around watching TV,” she said. “Our parents made us get up and play outside. And we would spend hours playing outside.”

When it came to mealtime, her family sat down at a table and she and her brother ate what was on their plates or they went hungry.

“There was always a vegetable on the plate,” she said, adding that desserts, candy and soda were left for special occasions.

“Back then, without any expert advice or without spending too much money, we managed to lead pretty healthy lives,” she said.

Four goals

The “Let’s Move” campaign has four goals and she talked about each of them:

Empowering parents and caregivers. New federal legislation will require restaurant chains to post the amount of calories in foods. Officials are working for better food labels and with pediatricians to screen children for weight issues.

Providing healthy food in schools. Obama said 31 million American children are participating in school meal programs and consuming more than half of their calories at school. The campaign wants to cut the sugar, salt and fat and add fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Improving access to healthy, affordable foods. She said 23.5 million Americans and 6.5 million children live in “food deserts” or neighborhoods without a supermarket. Obama said it’s not convenient for these families to buy a head of lettuce or fruits; often they resort to foods in nearby gas stations. The campaign’s goal is to eliminate these deserts in seven years.

Increasing physical activity. The campaign’s goal is to increase the number of children walking and biking to school by 50 percent in five years.

Marah Williams, 16, of Atlanta, was among the attendees. She said her school’s vending machines are full of junk food, and the cafeteria serves items like cinnamon rolls. She also said her school doesn’t have a gym.

“I am serious. We don’t even have a gym,” she said.

Personal responsibility

Obama emphasized that the government can only do so much.

“This is about families taking responsibility,” she said. “It’s about small changes that add up, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or walking instead of riding. ... It can be something as simple as turning on the radio and dancing with your children in the middle of the living room.”

Obama said adults have to lead by example. If a parent is obese, there’s a 40 percent chance the child will be obese.

“We owe it to all of those who come before us to ensure that all of those who come after us — our children and their children — have the strength and the energy to ...,” her words were drowned by applause as people rose to their feet.

She asked loudly, “Will you move with me?”

The crowd clapped louder, and many were shouting, “Yes! Yes! Yes!”

Convention goers give a round of applause after first lady Michelle Obama delivered remarks during the 101st annual NAACP convention, Monday, July 12, 2010, in Kansas City, Mo. About 4,000 people attended the event.

Convention goers give a round of applause after first lady Michelle Obama delivered remarks during the 101st annual NAACP convention, Monday, July 12, 2010, in Kansas City, Mo. About 4,000 people attended the event. by AP Photo

Reply

Chiropractic Experience to host BIGGEST WINNER competition!..

Beginning July 19th The Chiropractic Experience will lead 6 contestants through a life-changing weight-loss competition, focusing on exercise, proper nutrition, and better lifestyle habits. This competition is open to the public, so if you think you have what it takes to be THE BIGGEST WINNER stop by The Chiropractic Experience at 25th and Iowa St. and pick up your application today!....

Applications due July 9th! Are you ready to be in the greatest shape of your life?!! Would you like to feel better, have more energy and a higher self-esteem than you ever thought possible? If you answered YES to any or all of these questions, The Chiropractic Experience thinks you have what it takes, and would like to invite you to be 1 of 6 contestants for this year’s “Biggest Winner” challenge!

The 12 week life-changing program for $199 includes:

*90 days of personal training using the acclaimed P90X training program

*Before & after body composition analysis and fitness assessment

*Body For Life book

*Eating For Life book

*Chiropractic Experience water bottle

Grand Prize $500 cash

Workouts will be held every morning from 630-800 AM in The Chiropractic Experience yoga studio. Dr. Sean Cailteux will be leading these classes using the workouts of the acclaimed P90X series. We only have room for 6 participants which we will select from the provided applications. For more information or for an application stop by The Chiropractic Experience at 2449 Iowa St., Ste. Q or call us at 785-838-3333

Reply

Lawrence Meals on Wheels celebrates 40 years of delivering food, friendship

To celebrate, the program is having a community reception from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 31, in the auditorium at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, 325 Maine.

Its mission is to serve homebound residents of all ages nutritious meals to help them remain independent in their homes as long as possible.

To volunteer or receive a meal, call 830-8844.

Reply

Health Care Access offering FREE wellness classes for the community

The first one is “Nutrition 101: The Basics of Good Nutrition” and will be presented by Aynsley Anderson, Lawrence Memorial Hospital community education coordinator.

The class will be:

• from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 31.

• in the lobby of Health Care Access, 330 Maine.

“I am just trying to get different groups in the community to come to the clinic and present on different wellness topics,” said Shasta Zielke, executive assistant and wellness coordinator.

She plans to offer classes twice a month. The next class will be April 14 and about financial wellness.

http://www2.ljworld.com/photos/2009/dec/30/184010/

Zielke was hired by Health Care Access in September to help improve wellness among its 1,400 uninsured clients and the community. Diabetes is one of the top diagnoses among its clients.

She has a bachelor’s degree in sports and exercise science from Kansas University and worked at Health Care Access as an intern this summer.

Zielke works one-on-one with clients who want to improve their nutrition and fitness. She also has started walking with one client, and hopes it leads to a new walking group.

She also is passionate about promoting prevention:

“People don’t need to wait until they are completely sick to come see us. They can come get their screenings and come get their checkups, so that maybe they can avoid being so ill when they do come see us. Prevention is definitely key to keeping yourself out of the doctor’s office with dire situations."

Reply

State health officer praises “menu-labeling” contained in health reform

Dr. Jason Eberhart-Phillips, of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, used his column this week to applaud the menu-labeling provision contained in the health reform bill passed this week by Congress.

The provision requires chain restaurants with 20 or more outlets to disclose the number of calories on their menus or menu boards. Additional nutrition information must be made available upon request.

In his column, he said: For more than a million Kansans, keeping off unwanted weight has been very hard to do. But with menu-labeling becoming the law of the land, maintaining a healthy weight may start to get a little easier.

He pointed out one study performed in Los Angeles that estimated the annual community weight gain would be cut by 38 percent if California’s new menu-labeling law — which is similar to the new federal statute — would prompt only 10 percent of fast food patrons to reduce their intake by just 100 calories each time they ate out.

For his full column, click on KDHE's Web site.

Reply

Health law will make calorie counts hard to ignore

Calories of each food item appear on a McDonalds drive-thru menu in New York. Calorie counts will have to be listed on restaurant menus under a provision tucked into the massive health care overhaul bill.

Calories of each food item appear on a McDonalds drive-thru menu in New York. Calorie counts will have to be listed on restaurant menus under a provision tucked into the massive health care overhaul bill.

Will this law make you think twice before ordering a large mocha or huge burger?

Here's the Associated Press story by Mary Clare Jalonick:

That Caesar salad you’re about to eat? It’s 800 calories, and that’s without the croutons. The fettuccine alfredo? A whopping 1,220 calories. You may choose to ignore the numbers, but soon it’s going to be tough to deny you saw them.

A requirement tucked into the nation’s massive health care bill will make calorie counts impossible for thousands of restaurants to hide and difficult for consumers to ignore. More than 200,000 fast food and other chain restaurants will have to include calorie counts on menus, menu boards and even drive-throughs. The new law, which applies to any restaurant with 20 or more locations, directs the Food and Drug Administration to create a new national standard for menu labeling, superseding a growing number of state and city laws. President Barack Obama signed the health care legislation today.

The idea is to make sure that customers process the calorie information as they are ordering. Many restaurants currently post nutritional information in a hallway, on a hamburger wrapper or on their Web site. The new law will make calories immediately available for most items.

“The nutrition information is right on the menu or menu board next to the name of the menu item, rather than in a pamphlet or in tiny print on a poster, so that consumers can see it when they are making ordering decisions.”

— Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, who wrote the provision

It was added to the health bill with the support of the restaurant industry, which is facing different laws from cities and states. Sue Hensley of the National Restaurant Association says it will help restaurants better respond to their customers.

“That growing patchwork of regulations and legislation in different parts of the country has been a real challenge, and this will allow operators to better be able to provide their information,” she said.

Some meals will be exempt from the calorie counts, including specials on the menu less than 60 days, and other nutritional information in addition to calories will have to be available somewhere else in the restaurant.

The law will also apply to foods sold in vending machines, specifically those that do not have visible calorie listings on the front of the package. The requirements will be enforced by the FDA, with the possibility of criminal penalties if operations do not comply.

New York City was the first in the country to put a calorie posting law in place. Since then, California, Seattle and other places have done so.

The FDA will have a year to write the new rules, which health advocates have been pushing for years. Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said it’s one step in the fight against obesity.

“Coffee drinks can range from 20 calories to 800 calories, and burgers can range from 250 calories to well over 1,000 calories,” she said.

Still, it’s unclear what effect the labeling will have. In a study published last year by the online journal Health Affairs, only half of customers in poor New York City neighborhoods with high rates of obesity and diabetes noticed the calorie counts.

The accuracy of the counts could also be called into question, according to a different study.

In January, the Journal of the American Dietetic Association published a survey of 10 chain restaurants, including Wendy’s and Ruby Tuesday, that said the number of calories in 29 meals or other menu items was an average of 18 percent higher than listed. The discrepancies were said to be due to variations in ingredients and portion sizes.

Reply