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In the midst of a steamy summer season, many of us, understandably, flee the heat of the kitchen. For older adults, though, the heat is especially problematic, as it can leave them lethargic and with little appetite. Without proper nourishment, they don’t get the nutrition they need to stay healthy and active. Dehydration can also result, an especially common and dangerous condition for older adults, one that often results in emergency room visits.
Chef Tania Collazo addresses these problems everyday as the Health Supportive Chef at JASA, one of New York’s largest and most trusted non-profit organizations dedicated to serving the city’s older adults. She oversees the kitchens at JASA’s senior centers throughout the city and also serves as a private chef, caterer and culinary coach. Her tips for creating appetizing and easy summer fare will keep even the most kitchen averse seniors sated.
Chef Collazo’s Tips:
Hydration Concentration– Over the age of 50, our bodies are not as adept at letting us know when we’re thirsty, so it’s important to consume foods high in liquid content. A Smoothie made in the blender with watermelon, cucumber, mint, watercress and ice is a quick, cool and refreshing way to hydrate.
Don’t Trash That Banana – When your bananas start to feel a tad mushy, don’t throw them out. Make ice cream instead! Peel the bananas, cut into pieces, put them in a baggie and stash in the freezer. When they’re good and cold, toss the pieces in a food processor or high-powered blender with a bit of vanilla, almond butter and 2-3 strawberries. Voila, you’ve got a healthy, fruity, cold concoction. (more…)
Carbohydrates are foods packed with energy. As our bodies digest and metabolize carbohydrates, sugars are released into the bloodstream and this blood sugar races to our cells providing energy so that we can think, walk, run and function. There’s another key factor here, Insulin.
Our bodies produce insulin in response to eating foods with carbohydrates, becasue insulin’s job is to help transport the glucose to the cells. Insulin is like the friend who knocks on the door and helps the glucose gain admission to the cells. The 2 work together, Insulin and blood sugar.
Did you know that having Diabetes means that you’re more likely to be depressed. We don’t know if it’s the calorie restrictions, the frequent blood tests or a combination of factors that increases the likelihood of depression, but it’s there. What we do know is that when people with diabetes have their depression treated, their blood sugar gets better! Amazing.
It sounds like an airport, where you print your boarding pass and then get on the plane. Let’s take 2 very different conditions:
Yes, I know it’s a pain, literally and that checking takes time out of your day, but the more you check, the more you’ll start to see patterns in how your own unique body handles the food you eat and the medications that you use.
When people check their blood sugar 5-7 or more times/day, they actually have fewer long term health problems from diabetes.
Ever notice how some workouts leave you feeling just so – so? And others make you feel that you can do anything? Cope with the demanding boss or never ending To Do List, cranky family, stack of bills? New research is pointing to the feel good factor and what it takes to get there from exercise. (more…)
Treating the underlying depression that afflicts most diabetics helps them get their diabetes under control, decrease blood pressure and helps with the depression. In the 3 year study, people with Type 2 diabetes had regular telephone follow up with specially trained nurses who first addressed depression and later added advice about walking and increasing their physical activity.
There are over 25.8 million people in the US with diabetes! That’s over 8% of the population. The numbers are growing as our waistlines increase in size. Of this number about 16% or 4 million also have diabetic neuropathy which is defined as damage to the nerves from high blood sugar levels.
What I see with patients is that with neuropathy, there is varying degrees of loss of sensation in fingers and toes, which means that a stubbed toe or accidents in the kitchen are more likely.
I have to thank Phil Harris for allowing the cameras to keep rolling, it opened an amazing window, not only into the sleep depriving, frigid, aching muscle reality of crab fishing in the Bering Sea, but also he gave millions of people a bird’s eye view into what real “risk factors” look like up close and personal and what happens when a person smokes too much, has high levels of stress, lots time with no physical activity, a poor diet, a few extra pounds and high blood pressure.