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The LILI Letter - October 2023

The Ogden Regional Medical Center / Heart Center, “Losing It & Loving It” weight loss class & support group newsletter.

Jennifer James
October 23, 2023
Hillside covered by colorful autumn-time trees.

Such a beautiful month, yet so fleeting. Just like life, eh? A good time to switch up the exercise routine and meal planning. The turning of our seasons, from summer to fall, happens gradually, not overnight. Notice the natural world and how the trees, weather, daylight and temperatures gradually change. We can make positive changes too, gradually. We observe Indigenous Peoples/Columbus Day and Halloween this month. Boo!

In good health,
Jennifer James

Success story

All the Success Story tellers are a little timid, so I get to expound a bit. The theme this month is how life changes and evolves gradually, not overnight. If you have not been up to see our fall foliage, get on up those canyons and check out the mesmerizing riot of color. Spectacular!

For beautiful leaves to occur, the tree has to emerge from a seed, become a seedling, and finally grow into a mature tree. The leaves grow, starting in the spring, and mature as well. With the decrease in temperature and shortened days, they turn into beautiful, colorful autumn leaves. Then voila! The tree lets them all go, in preparation for next year.

So, my friends, remember that things take time, which includes improving our health, attitude, relationships, etc. And secondly, remember it is important to let things go to make room for new growth.

Do you really know…apples?

Does an apple a day keep the doctor away? Apple trees are a member of the rose family, and originated in Central Asia 4-10,000 years ago. They spread to Europe via the Silk Road and hybridized with wild crabapples. There were specific varieties as early as 2,000 years ago. The colonists brought them to the New World, and John Chapman, aka “Johnny Appleseed”, a nurseryman, planted many apple trees throughout Ohio and Indiana. Apples are best when harvested in late fall, and will keep for a year if stored just above freezing temperatures. Used to make a variety of foods and beverages, they are rich in vitamins A, C and dietary fiber.  And yes, they are good for our health. Try the recipe below.

Apple | Description, Cultivation, Domestication, Varieties, Uses, Nutrition, & Facts | Britannica

Another reason to get/stay healthy and fit

I like Suzee Orman. I like her financial advice and receive her newsletter. She even personally answered an email I sent to her once.

A recent newsletter was about enjoying our retirement by staying healthy and fit. Wow! I had not thought of that specifically as an investment in ourselves, but there it is.

I know of people who have worked very hard all their lives, amassing a fortune, but did not take care of their health. When they finally retired, they were too ill to enjoy the fruits of their labor. A sad situation indeed. If we have many years to go before retirement, this is likely not something we think about. If we are closer to retirement, now is a good time to “up our game” by taking good care of ourselves.

The American Heart Association now features “Life’s Essential 8”, key measures to manage wisely to lower our risk for cardiovascular and other chronic diseases (for a healthy retirement). They are:

  • Eat better
  • Manage weight
  • Be more active
  • Control cholesterol
  • Quit tobacco
  • Manage blood sugar
  • Get healthy sleep
  • Manage blood pressure

I would add, “Manage Stress”. How do we rate on all eight/nine of these? If we are not sure about our blood pressure, cholesterol or blood sugar, it might be time to see our physician and have a physical. Better to know where we stand so we can make changes for the better. If we are not managing stress effectively, possibly try meditation, see a therapist, or say “no” more often to things we really don’t want to do. If we feel resentful doing something, better to back off from it.

Hopefully we will all enjoy an active and rewarding retirement. It is never too late to start preparing for it.

Orman, S. (2023, September 18). Unlocking your ultimate retirement. Money Monday with Suzee Orman, newsletter on LinkedIn.
Life's Essential 8 | American Heart Association

Gym anxiety

One of my favorite jokes... A businessman is on a trip and stays at a motel in a small, rural town. He asks if they have a gym so he can get a workout. The man at the front desk squints at him, thinking, then says, “Well, our handyman’s name is Jim, he might be willing to wrasle with you”. Haha. Moving on…

After two years of a pandemic and foot surgeries, I decided it was time to go back to a bona fide gym. I am a few pounds heavier than the last time I set foot in a gym, and four years older. I have more gray hair. And for the first time I found myself feeling anxious about going back to a gym! I have gone to a gym, or concocted my own, since my twenties. If I felt this way, moi, who is in pretty good shape and health for my age, in spite of the foot issue, I can imagine others feeling this way. How do we get past these feelings of inadequacy?

Others will look at us, possibly judge us, but they are likely worrying about being judged too. We will probably check out everyone too! Look around at the people who go to a gym. Some obviously attend regularly and are very fit and “cut”, others are average Joes and Janes just working on their fitness and weight. They are not all fitness stars.

What are some tips for joining a gym? And feeling confident about it?

  1. Face reality. We may not be where we want to be health and weight-wise, but we have to start somewhere. Seeing our initial weight and body fat may set us back a pace but be brave! This is the lowest point (or rather, the highest point ).
  2. Buy clothing we feel comfortable wearing. Invest in some good shoes for our workouts. Buy a gym bag and combination lock that appeal to us. Get a sturdy water bottle.
  3. Let the gym employees take us on a tour of the gym, or possibly set us up with a basic workout routine. If we think personal training is the way to go, they can be very encouraging and supportive. They are not cheap, but may be worth the money to get started.
  4. Pat ourselves on the back for doing this. Everyone in that gym had a first day too, and likely felt intimidated.
  5. Set up a schedule for attending the gym. Plan to go on certain days of the week. Otherwise, we may find ourselves lapsing.
  6. Be open to different ways of getting and staying fit. It will keep us from getting stuck in a rut with our workouts.

Bit by bit

Something sank into my small human brain recently. It was the importance of our day to day choices. Our health is built incrementally, step by step. What we practice on a daily basis sets the foundation for our future lives, be it good health, money in the bank, a well-maintained home and vehicle, good relationships, and the way we manage, and possibly evolve from, the curve balls thrown at us throughout our lives.

Getting a college degree, raising children, and crafting good friendships take time. Improving our health and/or losing weight is like this too: a slow, step by step process. In the days of instant gratification, this does not sit well. We often think weight loss is different, and expect quick results. Hence the booming diet industry. I gave a presentation a few months ago on losing weight. I laid out what works, from my 35+ years of experience as a dietitian. It is not fancy, flashy or gimmicky. It does not produce instant results. Fundamentally changing what we do from day to day is the secret. And continuing with those changes. We might even enjoy the process. We most certainly will start to feel better. Something as simple as giving up regular soda will produce results, but not instantly.

I ask you, my friends, what are small changes you can make today, that you can sustain? We are not moving mountains overnight here, but a mountain can be moved a shovelful at a time. We can be patient, have faith in ourselves, create a plan, and go after it. Realize you are in it for the long haul, like raising a child.

If you would like the link to the presentation, please send me an email.

Double apple peanut cake

This is a simple recipe I created based on an old cookbook favorite of mine. I used Granny Smith apples. Healthy, not too sweet and very yummy. I hope you like it.

2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup natural peanut butter (just peanuts and salt)
1 egg
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups grated apples: unpeeled and cored (~4-5 apples)
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1-1/4 tsp. baking soda
Cooking spray

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Cream together the sugar and peanut butter (it will be crumbly), and then stir in the egg, applesauce and vanilla. 
  3. Stir in the grated apples, flour, cinnamon and baking soda. 
  4. Stir until combined. Pour into a 9 x 13-inch pan coated with cooking spray. 
  5. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Calories: 139 for 1/18th of the cake

October support groups

Mondays, 2:00pm-3:00pm

Heart Center Conference Room,
ORMC Medical Plaza, Suite #200
Free to LILI graduates

**We will not meet October 30th**

"A person without patience, sooner or later, becomes a patient."

-- Vikrmn: CA Vikram Verna, Rep by Rep

October 23, 2023
Ogden Regional Medical Center

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