Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Turkey Day Advice

We're about to plunge into the best food fests of the year -- Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. As we do, N.C. health officials are offering a free resource to help keep weight gain at bay.

The six-week "Eat Smart, Move More…Maintain, don’t gain! Holiday Challenge" runs through Dec. 31. Participants will receive free weekly email newsletters with tips to manage holiday stress, ideas for fitting physical activity in during the busy season, and resources for cooking quick and easy meals when time is in short supply. You can also download a calorie counter, food log and activity log to help track your progress.

On-line sign-up is at www.MyEatSmartMoveMore.com. Only an email address is needed to join. All participant information is kept confidential.

While we're at it, Rick Petitt of Carolina CPR Professionals in Concord offers these tips to manage stress:

Slow down: Take one minute to breathe deeply, take five and call a friend, take 15 and walk around the block.

Be aware of your actions: Alternate alcoholic beverages with water, eat a vegetable serving for each dessert you plan to consume, go to bed early the night before a celebration.

Avoid your stressors: Let someone else drive, shop online to dodge crowds, make lists so you feel in control.

“During the holidays, people overeat, drink more alcohol, and exercise less,” Petitt says. “When you add in financial pressure, travel, sleep disruptions, and family expectations you end up with much higher stress levels than usual. Since you can’t stop the holidays you can fight the stress.”

Friday, November 4, 2011

Brain teasers

Charlotte's Pat Battaglia, a longtime rocket scientist turned puzzle creator, has a new book of word games that can exercise the brains of young and old alike.

"Smart Is as Smart Does: Brain Games to Reveal the Genius in You" is the fourth book in Battaglia's Smart Series. And he's eager to let people know about it in time for "National Game & Puzzle Week," Nov. 20 - 26.

Battaglia, who also has a syndicated newspaper puzzle column called "If You're So Smart, " often takes his puzzles to elementary schools, dressed as "Dr. Fun" in a white wig and lab coat with a pocket protector and a weird bow tie. He also visits nursing homes, sharing his "joy of words" with senior citizens.

"I've been lucky, " he said. "I've made my pastime my profession."

To order a book: http://www.cleverpuzzles.com/.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Celebrate cancer survivors every month

Punkin Brookshire of Charlotte (center in lower photo) is a brain cancer survivor who was shocked to learn she also carries a genetic disease called Lynch syndrome.

Keesha Carter of Wingate (center photo) used her experience with cervical cancer and her background in theater and the arts to educate and empower other women.

Jane Taillon of Davidson (top photo) survived rectal cancer, but refused to let chemotherapy and surgery interfere with her bowling tournaments.

They're among 13 cancer survivors featured in the fourth annual "Stories of Survivorship" calendar published by Presbyterian Cancer Center and Presbyterian Buddy Kemp Cancer Support Center.

This year's subjects, also from Kannapolis, Concord, Huntersville, Mint Hill and Lake Wylie, were photographed by Charlotte photographer Kori Hoffman.
The calendars are free, but donations are accepted. Call 704-384-5223 or stop by Buddy Kemp at 242 Colonial Ave.