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Bill Belichick: Tom Brady’s diet isn’t for everyone

As Tom Brady turns 40 today, his longevity as a Lombardi-compiling football icon takes on new focus.

The Patriots quarterback has made diet a laser-focused staple of his holistic plan to play deep into his fifth decade.

Constant hydration, limited spirits and plant-based recipes — sans nightshades — are staples of Brady’s nutrition plan.

While a smattering of teammates have latched on to his regimen, including All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski, Patriots coach Bill Belichick doesn’t believe Brady’s diet is for everyone.

“Well, we tailor everything we do to each individual, so we train players that are 185 pounds, we train players that are 350 pounds,” Belichick said Wednesday, per Phil Perry of CSN New England. “We train players that have a lot of different things they do on the football field. Some are very specific, like specialists, like quarterbacks, kickers, snappers, things like that. Some players have a very extensive role — special teams, offense or defense, first, second, third downs — so we have different training programs.

“And again, each individual is different — their age, their physical makeup, their build and their strength and explosion and power and so forth. You know, we have a certain general way of training everybody, but it really becomes pretty specific depending on the individual and what we ask them to do. So, we don’t want to train a player to do something that we’re not going to ask them to do. Unless it’s just part of the general training, we want to train players to do things that fall in line with what we would see them and ask them to perform on the field.

“So, depending on what the player is, then probably his age, his experience, his physical makeup, other medical issues, if there are any, his role and so forth all is part of what we look at for each individual player. So, what’s right for one person isn’t necessarily right for the next person. Not saying it’s wrong, but maybe there’s something better we can do for the other person.”

Full disclosure: I spent large parts of the spring and summer testing Brady’s diet after purchasing his rather expensive and exclusive nutrition manual. Having made roughly 30 dinners from the cookbook, my conclusion is that many of the meals tasted great, were completely filling and loomed as some of the healthiest dishes I’ve eaten in years. On the flip side, I’m not a talented cook. It took me nearly an hour to concoct most recipes, even when the ingredients were purchased through his partnership with Purple Carrot — which isn’t a cheap arrangement for the average human.

That’s what it kind of boiled down to for me: Brady isn’t the average human. While this meal plan works for him, it isn’t for everyone. And to Belichick’s point, it might not be what’s best for a run-of-the-mill 300-pound guard. What Belichick is also reminding people is that the Patriots aren’t lost in the woods when it comes to building a training and nutrition plan for their players.

Brady has devised one that fits him perfectly — he’s a living example of its benefits — but it’s a stretch to suggest that everybody in the NFL should line up and follow suit.

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How to Lose Weight and Keep It Off? Eternal Dieting Vigilance

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Obesity is a risk factor for numerous disorders that afflict the human race, so understanding how to maintain a healthy body weight is one of the most urgent issues facing society. By 2025, it is estimated, 18 percent of men and 21 percent of women will be obese worldwide.

In the U.S. alone, 68.8 percent of people are already classified as overweight or obese. The U.K., meanwhile, has one of the greatest problems in Western Europe—67 percent of men, 57 percent of women and a quarter of children are overweight.

In order to lose and maintain a healthy weight, public health policy typically advises eating fewer calories—by reducing the calorie content of food items or reducing portion size, for example. We propose, however, that simply choosing food items with reduced calories is not necessarily the best way to maintain a low weight.

There are hundreds of diets that, for a period, reduce calorie intake and in this way decrease body weight. But the number of those who are dieting at any one time demonstrates that this is not a long-term solution. Every year in the U.K., 65 percent of women and 44 percent of men try to reduce their weight, by, for example, decreasing fatty or sugary foods or eating smaller portions.

It is estimated that a quarter of people are always trying to lose weight. Mason Masteka/Flickr

Surveys also estimate that a quarter of people are always trying to lose weight, or “yo-yo dieting.” The constant dieting to lose weight, subsequent weight gain and further weight loss are part of a cycle that repeats itself for these people. Losing weight is much easier than maintaining weight loss, yet for health reasons we need to retain the lower weight.

Fighting biology

Although cutting calories can cause weight loss, it does not follow that if a person returns to their usual diet they will maintain their new low weight. In fact, studies have found that after a low calorie diet, between one- and two-thirds of people regain more weight than they had lost initially.

The fundamental problem with cutting calories is that the human body defends its original weight. Evolution has produced a body that anticipates future famine, with the result that when you reduce calorie intake there are strong physiological pressures to replace the lost energy.

For example, dieting causes the gut to release a range of hormones that increase appetite: changes that are still apparent after the diet is over. Leptin—which makes one feel satisfied and full—has been found to be still reduced a year after dieting has finished, while ghrelin, a hormone which stimulates appetite, remains raised. So even a year after a person finishes their diet, they will feel hungrier than when they started dieting, and still anticipate a higher food consumption than before the diet.

Reducing food intake also reduces the body’s metabolic rate and production of body heat. The resulting lower energy consumption helps a more thrifty body to return to its initial weight, as fewer calories are needed to fulfill these basic bodily functions.

There is also increasing evidence that dieting changes taste-sensitivity. For example, those who have recently lost weight rate the taste of sugar as more pleasant.

Dieting makes sugar taste more appealing. USembassy.gov

When low-calorie versions of foods are unknowingly consumed, there is a subconscious tendency to replace lost calories by changing other aspects of the diet. In one study, researchers gave artificially sweetened drinks to unknowing participants who were used to drinking sugary drinks. The scientists found that although on the first day the participants consumed fewer carbohydrates, from the second to the seventh day, the overall energy intake was unaffected: They made up for the lack of calories in the sweetened drinks with energy from other foods and beverages.

The overwhelming message is that the price of freedom from obesity is eternal vigilance. When the initial attention associated with dieting dissipates, basic biology ensures that weight is regained. For the weight-conscious, actively counting calories can be successful, but losing weight and keeping it off can only work if one’s calorie intake becomes an issue high on the agenda.

The passive removal of calories—for example, when a manufacturer reduces portion size, or a government requests that chocolate bars should not contain more than 250 calories—will only be influential if an individual persistently monitors overall calorie consumption. Without this psychological engagement, basic human biology will take over, and any lost calories will be replaced.

David Benton is professor of psychology at Swansea University.

The Conversation

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Author Alissa Nutting Prefers Two Hot Dogs on One Bun

At Barrio in Cleveland.

Photo: Dustin Franz

If there’s such a thing as the “book of the summer,” Made for Love by Alissa Nutting is a strong contender. The futuristic novel — which involves lifelike sex dolls, a terrifying tech billionaire, and romantic attachments to dolphins — has earned rave reviews. (Really, you’ve got to read it.) This week, Nutting, who’s also the author of the novel Tampa, and a creative-writing professor, enjoyed some downtime in a cabin in Minnesota before resuming her book tour, eating “almost anything coated in orange dust,” stacking McGriddles buns “like poker chips,” and drinking cheap beer (“my favorite food”). Read all about it in this week’s Grub Street Diet.

Thursday, July 27
I’m a beverage person. I love eating, but I can drink so much so fast. I’m a nightmare to share a drink with. One past boyfriend took it as a metaphor for my selfishness. Near the end, I think he would’ve preferred me to go cheat on him in the restaurant’s bathroom than to drink more than 50 percent of a shared soda. “You’re thoughtless,” he’d say, staring at the empty glass. Which, okay, but mainly I’m thirsty. All the time. I should probably see a doctor.

When I get up, I have a Diet Coke, and then a large coffee that I pour tap water into until it’s an okay temperature to chug. Taste isn’t a huge concern to me if I’m drinking in the service of a higher goal. I once read an interview with Gisele Bündchen where she talked about seeing models in magazines as a young girl and thinking, I could do that. Well, when the TV show Fear Factor was big, I used to watch people gagging on blended spider smoothies and have similar thoughts.

If I’m traveling, I often order food in exchange for Wi-Fi. Today’s lunch is from a café in rural northern Minnesota. I start with three more Diet Cokes, because they keep bringing refills. I get the turkey club, but when it arrives, it’s on a cranberry bread that has a disconcerting spotted-rash vibe. But the seasoned fries are good. I like to make a sort of “condiment volcano” on my plate to dunk them in: a ketchup mountain with hot-sauce lava in the center, all coated with a few layers of salt-and-ketchup topsoil.

We’re staying in a remote cabin for a few days, getting some RR between readings for my new novel and work events, so dinner is hot dogs. Two dogs per bun is my preferred meat-to-bun ratio. I was vegetarian and vegan for over 15 years, until a Nathan’s hot dog in Las Vegas sent me into a fatal processed-meat-love spiral that I don’t ever predict recovering from. I love processed meats and prefer hot dogs to steak.

Friday, July 28
I have a lot of calls to do this morning, so I pour a cold sugar-free Red Bull into a hot large coffee and gulp it. It tastes like lawn fertilizer, but its effectiveness is undeniable.

Breakfast and lunch are snacks between calls, classic red-bag Doritos and Cheetos and (for my health!) Oven-Baked Cheddar Sour Cream Ruffles. I will eat almost anything coated in orange dust. I feel bad for my internal organs, but also really curious about what they must look like. I’ll donate my body to science when I die; I’m kind of obligated to. How many people get 92 percent of their food from vending machines?

Cheap beer is probably my favorite food, so when I finish my work, I devote the rest of the evening to all the delicious lowbrow northern beers that are hard to find near our home base in Iowa. There’s Grain Belt, which seriously has a blueberry-ghost-syrup aftertaste, and not for craft-brew reasons. I think it just has so much grain that it makes my pancreas hallucinate in a synesthetic way. When insulin dies, my body’s grief is apparently very fruit-flavored. There’s Labatt Blue and Labatt Blue Light (different pleasures), Molson Canadian Lager, Moosehead, and Miller Golden Light, which I purchase in 16-ounce-aluminum-bottle form because it feels the most recreational. For dinner, I pilfer calories each time I go to the fridge for a new cold one: cold cuts, pepperoni, Kraft American-cheese slices with mayo and mustard, and lots of peanuts.

Saturday, July 29
Today’s morning Wi-Fi is courtesy of McDonald’s. I like to get a lot of different McGriddles and McMuffin sandwiches and do this ritual. First, disassemble them and discard the English muffins. The pancakeish McGriddles buns get stacked like poker chips. I set these to the side and eat all the protein first. I’m a fan of violent symmetry, and few things are more satisfying to me than the fluffy discus shape of the McMuffin egg. The eggs in the McGriddles look like tiny folded blankets, which should horrify me, but comforts me instead.

Next, I turn to the McGriddles-bun pile. McGriddles buns have all these little syrupy dots on them, and I meticulously eat all the brown dots out of each bun and toss the rest, which I tell myself is healthier than eating it all. I think psychologists call this pathological rationalization. I once attended a grant-writing conference where I sat next to a doctor who flirted with me mercilessly the first day, but the next morning, when he saw me eating a McGriddles, his face fell and he said, “You know how bad those are for you, right?” — and after that we were mutually dead to each other.

I accidentally work through lunch. Although, because I have unfettered access to a self-serve cola fountain, I probably drink about a dozen Diet Cokes. In high school, the restaurant I worked at let us drink free fountain refills during our shift, and I referred to this as my “second paycheck.”

For dinner back at the cabin, I eat a bunch of s’mores and a large bag of Old Dutch potato chips. It’s a Minnesota company. Cheap beer and potato chips are my favorite ways to be a tourist. Last week, I was in Ireland for the West Cork Literary Festival and I got addicted to both the Tayto and Hunky Dorys brands of crisps.

Sunday, July 30
It’s my last day at the cabin, and I’m going through serious Wi-Fi and cable-TV withdrawal. There are children everywhere, some of them probably my own, and zero recreational drugs. If I’m really bored, sometimes my brain does this thing where it tries to trick itself into feeling high by having me eat things that people would normally only eat when they’re high. I make several Jack’s frozen pepperoni pizzas and cut up thin slices, so I can try a lot of weird toppings. It brings me pleasure to place circular things atop the pieces of pepperoni, so on one I do dill-hamburger chips (sour), and another I top with unscrewed Oreo cookies (sweet). Then I do crumbled Doritos on one, and Goldfish crackers and sriracha hot sauce on another (savory). For dinner, I brown beef and make nachos. I like texture more than flavor, so I enjoy mine with an enormous pile of shredded iceberg lettuce on top.

Monday, July 31
Today, business takes me to Cleveland via Chicago. I’m in O’Hare a lot, and my favorite ORD convenience store is the CIBO Express in Terminal 2. I love eating things out of pouches because it makes me feel like an astronaut. I’m a fan of all the Oloves-olives packets, but my favorite is the Lemon Rosemary. I also really like all the Plum Organics baby- and toddler-food packets that you can just unscrew and suck down while you’re walking to your gate. They’re one of the only things I can eat without staining my clothing. They’re probably also the healthiest food I eat.

For dinner, I go to Barrio, one of my favorite Cleveland taco joints. I was living in Cleveland when I met my now-husband, the novelist Dean Bakopoulos, at a writing festival in Cincinnati. A week later, I basically flew him to Ohio to sleep with me. I was so impatient that I had him meet me at the airport hotel because I could not wait 20 minutes longer to drive home. Afterward, we were both starving — neither of us had eaten all day due to first-time jitters and self-consciously wanting our stomachs to look flatter than usual when naked. So we went to Barrio and ate a postcoital victory meal of what felt like 100 tacos. Melted queso blanco is my dip of choice, and theirs is amazing; I dunk every taco I order in it in between every bite. My favorite is the spicy Carne Trozo, a crunchy shell filled with braised beef (I add the chipotle-honey sauce in addition to the secret sauce that comes with it).

Tuesday, August 1
Today, I go to Oxford, Ohio, where I’m fiction faculty in the Miami University low-residency M.F.A. On busy working travel days or book-tour events, I gravitate toward the multitasking ease of liquid nutrition. I really like Vanilla Bean Iconic Protein Drink because you can buy it at T.J. Maxx. I go there a lot for clean underwear and socks when I’m on the road. The drink tastes like gymnastic chalk and boxed-cake mix, but I’m in the fortunate position of liking the taste of both of those things.

I love hotel rooms with two beds: one for me and one for my delivered pizzas. I get Domino’s even when fancier pizza is available, because I’ve been in lots of small towns where Domino’s came through when no one else would, and I’m not the type to forget that. Also, their phone app lets you track the status of your order, which is great for my anxiety. I know when it’s in the oven, when it’s out for delivery, etc. And I make extensive use of the “saved addresses” and “favorite orders” features in my pizza profile, which is a time-saver.

I get two thin-crust pizzas with ham, pepperoni, green peppers, banana peppers, black olives, mushrooms, onions, and diced tomatoes. Sometimes, alongside the protein drinks, this can get me through two days; I just keep going back to it. I’m a big fan of the “accomplishment reward” system, so if I have to pull an all-nighter for a deadline, every few hours I’ll let myself heat up some slices if I’m on schedule. If I’m running behind, I have to eat them cold.

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Can exercise in childhood ‘program’ your health as an adult?

A new study suggests that exercising in early life can have health benefits that last well into middle age.

A new rodent study has investigated the effects of early life exercise on gene expression, inflammation, and metabolism in adulthood.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), childhood obesity is “an urgent and serious challenge” in many countries across the globe. Whereas in 1990 there were approximately 32 million obese children between 0 and 5 years old, this number jumped to 42 million by 2013.

Not only are children with obesity at a higher risk of developing numerous diseases, but the effects of obesity in childhood are far-reaching, and such a weight problem is very likely to persist into adulthood.

But could these effects be staved off with physical activity early in life? More specifically, could physical activity in childhood have long-lasting effects on metabolism and bone health later in adulthood?

A new study – published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology – suggests that exercising early in life can change how the body metabolizes calories and how it responds to a high fat intake much later in life.

The new study was carried out by Ph.D. student Dharani Sontam, Prof. Mark Vickers, Prof. Elwyn Firth, and Dr. Justin O’Sullivan, all of whom are from the Liggins Institute University of Auckland in New Zealand.

Link between exercise, fat, and bone health

The decision to investigate whether or not early life exercise can change the effects of a high-fat diet in later life was spurred by previous studies that examined how “mechanical loading” affects bone marrow gene expression.

Mechanical loading refers to the mechanical stimulation induced by physical activity. The process has consequences on a cellular level, impacting bone formation and bone loss.

Therefore, not only is physical activity positive because it helps the body to burn fat, but it can also reduce bone mass loss and improve bone health.

As Prof. Firth explains, “Bone metabolism strongly influences energy metabolism in the body, and metabolism – what you do with energy from diet – is the central crux of why some children and adults become obese.”

Some studies referenced by the authors have shown that a high-fat diet reduces the ability of bone marrow stromal stem cells to differentiate into cells that form new bone, or osteoblasts, in female mice.

Other studies have shown that mechanical stimuli, such as those induced by physical activity, promote osteogenesis – but none of those looked at the combined effects of high-fat diet and exercise.

Furthermore, physical activity is known to reduce inflammation, which is caused by excess fat. Prolonged inflammation induced by high-fat diets can damage the cells and tissue in the body, leading to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other conditions in the long run. However, exercise helps to annul some of these negative effects by turning down the genes responsible for low-grade inflammation.

For all the reasons mentioned above, Dr. O’Sullivan and colleagues set out to examine the relationship between early life exercise, bone health, and metabolism in male rats on high-fat diets.

Early life exercise impacts mid-life health

The researchers divided 80 male rates that were 22 days old into two groups: one chow-fed group (in which the rats were fed a normal diet and were allowed to move spontaneously in their cages) and a high-fat group.

The high-fat rats were divided further into three subgroups: a high-fat sedentary group (which was not given access to a running wheel), a high-fat, late exercise group (which was given a wheel after day 67), and a high-fat, early exercise group (wherein the baby rats were given an exercise wheel from day 22).

The scientists then extracted and sequenced RNA samples, analyzing gene expression and the molecular pathways that show how gene expression affects biological functions.

Dr. O’Sullivan and colleagues found that in the high-fat, early exercise group, the genes that are associated with increased inflammation were turned down.

Additionally, exercise changed the way the rats’ metabolism responded to the high-fat diet by changing the pathways responsible for transforming fat into energy.

These effects lasted for at least 60 days after the rats had stopped exercising. The results indicate that the bone marrow of the high-fat, early exercise rats retained a long-lasting memory of the physical activity.

What was remarkable was that these changes lasted long after the rats stopped doing that extra exercise – into their mid-life […] The bone marrow carried a ‘memory’ of the effects of exercise. This is the first demonstration of a long-lasting effect of exercise past puberty.”

Dr. Justin O’Sullivan

“The rats still got fat,” explains Dr. O’Sullivan, “but that early extra exercise basically set them up so that even though they put on weight they didn’t have the same profile of negative effects that [are] common with a high-fat diet.”

The findings may explain why some people are obese without having any of the negative health consequences commonly associated with obesity, he says, concluding that the study “strongly emphasizes the health benefits of exercise for children.”

This healthy diet only works if you’re rich

You can follow this diet to the T, but it only works if you’re rich enough.

The much-touted Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fresh veggies, olive oil and fish, is only beneficial if you’re making at least $46,000 a year, according to a new study.

Scientists think that the well-off and well-educated may have access to nutritionally superior food.

Italian scientists looked at diets, income and education of about 19,000 men and women. Their findings, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, revealed that wealthier, more educated participants on the Mediterranean diet had about a 60 percent lower risk for heart disease and stroke — and that those who weren’t as wealthy didn’t see these same benefits, reports the Telegraph.

Why the disparity? Scientists think that the well-off and well-educated may have access to nutritionally superior food — for example, produce that’s higher in antioxidants and polyphenols and lower in pesticides, or higher-quality olive oil.

“Difference in the price [for those foods] may yield differences in healthy components and future health outcomes,” Marialaura Bonaccio, study lead and researcher at the Neurological Mediterranean Institute (Neuromed), wrote in a press release.

Cooking methods may also play into the gap, Bonaccio added.

This is a big blow for one of the most scientifically-backed healthy diets.

“We cannot [keep saying] that the Mediterranean diet is good for health if we are not able to guarantee an equal access to it,” Giovanni de Gaetano, director of the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention at Neuromed, told The Telegraph.

Women Selected for 7th BetterU Heart Health Challenge

The Dutchess-Ulster American Heart Association announced the 12 women selected for the7th Annual BetterU Makeover Challenge at a kick-off event at Gold’s Gym in LaGrange Friday. Their stories will be featured in blogs and stories in the Poughkeepsie Journal and their success will be celebrated at the annual Go Red for Women luncheon on Thursday, November 9, 2017.

BetterU will assist 12 local women on their journey toward improved heart health through lifestyle changes. The 12-week BetterU program is being sponsored by Central Hudson Gas Electric Corporation. The program’s goal is to remind all women of the need to make healthy lifestyle choices to prevent their number one and five killers – heart disease and stroke.

Each of the 12 women will receive a three-month membership and personal training at Gold’s Gym, a baseline medical evaluation from Health Quest Medical Practice, and nutrition coaching, heart health seminars and group workouts. They will blog about their progress on a special website devoted to chronicling their progress. 
The AHA recommends that all women put their health first with a Well Woman Visit. All women should have this annual physical and discussion to help identify serious health concerns before they become life threatening – such as heart disease and stroke. Heart disease takes the life of one in three women — almost one woman every minute. 

The BetterU 12-week program begins August 4th and concludes at the Go Red for Women Luncheon on November 9, 2017 at the Grandview. Follow their progress online at http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/blog/betteru/ and on www.facebook.com/AHANewYork and on Twitter @HVHeartAssoc.

For tickets or info on the Luncheon, visit dutchessulstergored.heart.org or call Danielle Schuka at 845-867-5379.  Go Red for Women Luncheon is sponsored nationally by Macy’s and locally by the Heart Center/Vassar Brothers Medical Center, Northern Dutchess Hospital, the Poughkeepsie Journal, and Q92 FM. BetterU is sponsored by Central Hudson Gas Electric Corporation, Gold’s Gym-Dutchess County, Health Quest Medical Practice, Poughkeepsie Journal, and Q92.

BetterU Participants 2017

Amanda Balint – Carmel

Although I’ve been on statin drugs and beta blockers for decades, through this program I have an opportunity to foster good habits that can improve my health naturally, such as exercising consistently and engaging in a healthy diet.  I also hope to form long-term relationships with my fellow BetterU peers as no doubt many of us must have similar goals.

Robin Commerford – Poughkeepsie

Robin is married with three children and has a family history of heart disease. She wants to start paying attention to her own health—she said she neglects to take care of her own needs and health. She said, “I hope to gain a better foundation surrounding healthy eating habits and exercise that would assist in providing a healthy lifestyle not only for myself but for my family as well.”

Flossie Burke – Glenham

Flossie lost both parents to heart disease—her father died at age 55. Too young. She has battled being overweight her whole life and now has serious health issues. She said, “I must stop abusing my body and my mind with poor choices and gain the strength and knowledge to fight disease and reverse deteriorating health.  I want to accept challenges with confidence rather than anxiety, and get my diabetes and blood pressure under control to get off the meds.”

Gina Bambinelli – Poughkeepsie

Gina has tried different weight loss programs but wants permanent lifestyle change. She said, “During the next 12 weeks, I intend to gain the knowledge I need to change my life. I will transform not only my body, but also my mind so that I can be healthy and strong, no matter what life throws my way. She wants increased strength, stamina, flexibility and weight loss.”

Michelle DeMild – Salt Point

Michelle turned 50 this year (applause!!) and she found her motivation and energy levels declining. She wants to enjoy retirement when the time comes! She said, “I’m looking to learn to make healthy choices to help lose weight, while to finding my motivation and increase my energy levels and to be an example of health for her kids.”

Lisa Morris – Poughkeepsie

You might recognize Lisa Morris from Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union! Welcome, Lisa! Like many women her age, Lisa would like to lose weight. She said, “I’m looking forward to eating healthier to lose weight and gain energy! I plan to fend off the heart disease that runs in my family for as long as I can.”

Diane Labenski – Wappingers

Diane, like many of us has stress in her life! She has risk factors for heart disease and she wants to improve her eating habits and get healthier! She said, “I hope to increase my energy level and stamina through weight loss and better habits so that I can keep up with my grandchildren and be more productive in life.”

Patricia Lucio-Penn – Poughkeepsie

Patricia has a family history of diabetes and heart disease. She works as Director of Human Services and she wants to set a good example and continue to help others. She said, “I hope to increase my core strength and lose weight. I also hope to establish healthier routines to increase my quality of life and strength my heart.”

Grace Gay – Lagrangeville

Grace wants to learn to gain knowledge and experience to make smarter choices and live healthier. She has family history of heart disease that she wants to avoid. She wants to make healthier choices for her parents, who are homebound, and set a healthy example for her children.

Mary Jones – Stormville

Mary said she knows you can do things alone, but with encouragement and support, success can be greater. She grew up in a family with five brothers and three sisters and now she suffers from diabetes like them. Her father, mother, sister and two brothers have passed on due to high blood pressure or complications from diabetes…She said, “My hopes are to recognize that I can be a BetterU if I am mindful enough to boost my well-being, optimism and self-esteem. My family has been a statistic, I don’t want to be.”

Allison Morris – Poughkeepsie

She has always been active but over the past few years, Allison has had tough life changes that have prevented her from taking care of herself. Her maternal family history is filled with stroke—the number three killer of women—and she doesn’t want to be in that situation! She wants healthier habits, weight loss and a healthier mindset!

Abby Paul – Poughkeepsie

Abby is from Poughkeepsie, and has tried many diet plans but nothing is sticking, and she has a family history of diabetes, stroke and obesity. She wants to walk up a flight of stairs with ease. She wants to give her heart a break. “This is an opportunity” she said, “I don’t want to be defined by my family history. I have so much to live for and so much more to do! I look forward to working with an amazing tribe of women who will help hold me accountable to these habits, and hope to inspire others to do the same.”

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit www.heart.org or call any of our offices around the country.

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