How to Free Your Family From Sugar Without Losing Your Mind

Tips from celebrity nutritionist and mom Keri Glassman on changing your family’s food culture.

Begin with these five tips and incorporate them into your family’s lifestyle over the next 10 days or so. Breaking it down little by little will help you all ease into the process.

Tip #1: Ditch the nonsweet sweets

It begins in your own home. Get rid of anything that’s “sweet” and has added sugar but isn’t “sweet” at all.
Not sure what I mean? Open up the fridge and check out the salad dressing. Now check the labels on your sandwich bread. Go on, take a look at the box of “healthy” crackers you serve peanut butter on. Oh, and check that peanut butter while you’re at it. Sugar, fructose, corn syrup, brown rice syrup — it’s all sugar. Ditch all of this. They’re not worth it and can be easily replaced. Here’s a place to start: http://naturallysavvy.com/recipes/made-by-me-kid-friendly-salad-dressing

Tip #2: Set your food culture

Chances are you have a food culture, but you just haven’t looked at it or talked about it openly. Meatless Mondays, grocery delivery, organic and unprocessed as much as possible, pizza and movie night, are just some food culture traditions and practices. But when you don’t set out with a plan or value system for food in your home, things often go awry — and fast, especially once kids come into the picture.

I’m not going to tell you that you should never have dessert, or that organic foods are always best. That’s something for you and your partner to decide together. If your kids are old enough, ask them what they think are family food values. Bringing everyone into the conversation, maybe at your next dinner, is one of the best ways to stay on track.

Tip #3: Plan your weeknight dinners

You’ve heard this one before: Planning is key to dinner success. But, in reality, when we’re running to pick our kids up from school and dropping them off and running errands ourselves, that’s easier said than done. One of the moms I work with makes planning meals for the week almost a game. At the beginning of each week, she takes out the calendar and her three kids go in order picking dinner for each day. They have mentally committed to the menu and are genuinely enthusiastic about it.

Tip #4: Snack time is nutrient time, not dessert time

Yet, it’s far too easy to get caught up in the “I just want them to eat and get calories in” so as not to mind the cookies. But the truth is, snack time is the perfect time to get in nutrients. Not just calories, but real nourishing nutrients. The trick isn’t to redefine or get rid of snack time, but to adjust it. So if that whole sandwich wasn’t eaten at lunch, serve the other half at snack time. Or, if lunch was finished, take a different approach with sliced turkey rolled up around a carrot or a sliced pear with almond butter.

Tip #5: Hydrate right, and don’t fall for ‘all-natural’ juice

Sugar is sneaky. It doesn’t just hide in foods, but in most beverages too. Read the label carefully and remember that If you’re consciously consuming it for the fruit benefits, know that one piece of fruit has approximately 15 grams of sugar. So perhaps you’d be better off eating a banana instead. And just say no to soda and fruit-flavored juice. Go for plain water or even seltzer with a spritz of lemon or a splash of 100 percent juice instead. Another key thing to remember is all rules apply for your kids too. Kids don’t come out of the womb asking for apple juice. We get this habit started and we can break it for them too, because if you’re sipping on water, then they’ll likely follow suit and do the same.

Written by Keri Glassman, MS, RD | Excerpted from www.healthline.com › Food & Nutrition › #BreakUpWithSugar , October 24, 2016

Daphne VanBuren

While Daphne VanBuren, Assistant City Attorney, was in law school she liked to say the only reason she would ever run is if she were being chased. Back then, she was attending law school nights and weekends and working during the day. She was in what she calls survival mode. She wasn’t getting enough sleep, not exercising and eating poorly.

In 2012 at age 34, years after graduating and working as a lawyer in the Attorney General’s Office, Daphne was inspired by a coworker to try running. The first miles were not easy. But a group of coworkers decided to take on the challenge of Grandma’s half marathon and Daphne signed up as well. As she looks back, she recalls how rough she felt after the race. Everything hurt. Over the next couple years, she continued signing up for different races and events to stay motivated.

By 2014, Daphne was ready to take on the challenge of the Twin Cities Marathon. This time she followed a training program and was well prepared to run it. At the end of that race, she felt better than when she had finished the half marathon two years before.

Training for a marathon is not all running; Daphne also realized the importance of eating a healthy diet. The change in her diet evolved over the years. As a result of the physical demands of running and a better diet, Daphne lost several clothing sizes, losing fat and gaining muscle.

While many people would be satisfied with reaching a goal of completing a marathon, Daphne was ready for more. Her first 50K (approximately 31 miles) was the Grand Island Trail Marathon along Lake Superior. She loved the beautiful, serene trail and felt great at the finish line. She plans on another 50K on the Superior Hiking Trail this fall.

Daphne continues training throughout the winter averaging 30 miles a week. When it is really cold, she just dresses for it and is motivated by thinking about running in May when this winter training will all pay off.

Daphne turns 39 this year and feels that she is in the best shape of her life. While there still are the occasional potato chips, etc. she has lost a little more weight, has plenty of energy and sleeps well. It is sometimes hard to leave work at the office at the end of the day and going out for a run provides a good mental break. She believes that running makes her nicer, calmer and a much better office partner.

As long as her body is able, Daphne plans on continuing to run. The physical and emotional rewards she gets out of running are something she can’t quantify. While she understands marathons and 50K races are not goals for a lot of people, getting outside and moving, whether bicycling, walking, running, or something else can benefit anyone. The important step is just to begin.

Guide to Healthy Grilling

May is the month to break out the grill, marinate some fresh food and cook up something healthy. It’s also the month that the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is inundated with questions about potential cancer risks associated with grilling. Below is advice from the AICR when it comes to grilling.

The Research

AICR’s expert report and updates say there isn’t enough evidence to show that grilled meat specifically increases risk for cancers. But we do know that cooking meat at a high temperature – like grilling – creates cancer-causing substances, called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines (HCAs). These carcinogens can cause changes in the DNA that may lead to cancer.
Risk of these carcinogens forming is higher from red and processed meats – like hamburgers and hot dogs. Smoke or charring also contributes to the formation of PAHs. Evidence is clear that diets high in red and processed meats contribute to an increased risk of colorectal cancer. Based on the evidence, AICR recommends limiting red meat to 18 ounces of cooked meat per week and staying away from hot dogs or other processed meats.

Guide to Safe Grilling

While there does exist limited but suggestive evidence that compounds produced in meat through the grilling process (HCAs) factor in human cancer, AICR has determined that top priority should be what you choose to cook, not how you cook it. AICR offers these guidelines for healthy grilling:

  • Studies have suggested that marinating your meat before grilling can decrease the formation of HCAs. To avoid food poisoning, be sure to discard the marinade in which you soaked uncooked meat, poultry and fish after you remove the food for grilling. If you want some for basting, set aside a bit – about one-third of a cup – before you’ve put the meat in to marinate.
  • Cutting meat into smaller portions and mixing with veggies can help shorten cooking time.
  • If you are grilling larger cuts, you can reduce the time your meat is exposed to the flames by partially cooking it in a microwave, oven or stove first. Immediately place the partially cooked meat on the preheated grill. This helps keep your meat safe from bacteria and other food pathogens that can cause illness.
  • Trimming the fat off your meat can reduce flare-ups and charring. Cook your meat in the center of the grill and flip frequently.
  • Grilling vegetables and fruits produces no HCAs and plant-based foods are actually associated with lower cancer risk.
  • Flip meats with a spatula or tongs to avoid piercing that lets juices run out.
  • Use tinfoil between the meat and the flames.
  • Keep a water spray bottle on hand to keep flames in check.
  • Don’t squirt starter fluid into coals while meats are cooking.

For winning marinade recipes to flavor your food, click here!

Sources: http://www.aicr.org/enews/2013/may-2013/enews-marinades-make-grilling-healthier.html?_ga=1.257176779.1931548040.1493039495
http://www.aicr.org/enews/2014/05-may/enews-guide-to-healthy-grilling.html?_ga=1.257176779.1931548040.1493039495

Sergeant Brian Casey

Sergeant Brian Casey, current Employee Assistance Program Director (EAP) for the Saint Paul Police Department, has had an enduring interest in health and wellbeing, especially behavioral health with its focus on mental health and addiction. He earned a BS in Health Education from the University of Minnesota. After graduation, he spent several years working as a paramedic and EMS educator at Hennepin County Medical Center. In 2006, he left a position training paramedics at Inver Hills Community College to become a Saint Paul Police Officer. In 2012, Brian was promoted to sergeant and in 2014 became the Director of the Police Department’s EAP. “I feel really fortunate to find myself all these years later as a Saint Paul police officer making use of my college degree and all my experience working in public safety.”

In his current role, Brian assures the availability of EAP services to all police department employees and their family members. Services include private coaching, peer support, and therapeutic sessions with contracted licensed mental health professionals. The department actively educates officers in an effort to get ahead of some of the issues that cause mental and emotional distress. Brian provides health education to officers at roll calls, academy classes and in-service training. He believes that a high-functioning EAP is valuable to all employees and their families. Whether or not they find the need to use it, confidence that impactful and trustworthy resources are available brings peace of mind.
Brian knows that in order to be effective he must keep himself healthy, asserting, “I don’t always maintain a healthy balance, but I keep trying.” He watches his diet, eating healthy most of the time. His fitness routine has changed since working as a patrol officer.

At that time, his focus was on strength and endurance. His priorities were to prevent injury, maintain physical confidence, and be prepared to prevail when faced with resistance and aggression. As he has aged and his job changed, he now focuses more on flexibility, mobility, core strength and good sleep hygiene.
For mental and emotional wellness, Brian benefits from feeling well suited for the job, through education, experience and temperament. “Though I have always felt that whatever job I held at the police department was the most important job in the police department, being the EAP Director is some of the most challenging and rewarding work I have ever done. Most inspiring is sharing in how different work groups, especially the patrol officers, are able to find personal meaning and a higher sense of purpose in what they do, while sometimes being exposed to really awful stuff. I could not admire these people more.”

Employees who are not members of the Police Department can receive EAP services through HealthPartners by calling 866-326-7194 or logging on to their website at www.hpeap.com and enter password: saintpaul

CareOptions

We are excited to introduce CareOptions, a new benefit that is available to City employees through the Minnesota Benefit Association (MBA). CareOptions is your go-to source for countless, valuable healthcare and wellness resources at no cost to you.

With CareOptions, you have immediate, unlimited access to an unbiased selection of health, wellness and care resources. With today’s changing insurance industry, it’s vital that you continue to be educated and informed about the changes that impact you and your loved ones. CareOptions is your go-to source for trustworthy, unbiased information at your fingertips and is accessible from any computer, smartphone or tablet.

After signing up for CareOptions, members will have access to:

  • Health, wellness and home safety assessments
  • Income and social security benefits calculator
  • Special services to assist with a short or long-term disability
  • Physicians, hospitals and other providers locally or nationwide, complete with background and quality of care information
  • Information about specific medical conditions and treatment options
  • Professional care managers and elder care attorneys in your area

Additionally, with CareOptions you can save hundreds of dollars on important document sets like Living Wills, Health Care Power of Attorney, and Caregiver Agreements. For more information and to sign up to begin receiving access to this valuable information, visit: www.minnesotabenefitassociation.org and then click on the Member Benefits tab.

The MBA is looking forward to helping our members navigate their health and wellness.
Should you have any questions about this new tool please contact the Minnesota Benefit Association at 651.735.9874 or info@MinnesotaBenefitAssociation.org.

Asha Shoffner

Asha Shoffner has worked for the City for two years as the YJ01 Program Manager for Right Track. Right Track serves Saint Paul youth who come from a low income household or have a barrier to employment (such as chemical dependency, limited English proficiency, or a disability) by placing them in jobs or paid internships throughout the City. She manages around 200 youth during the school year; nearly 450 during the summer.

Asha tries to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. When I called to schedule the interview, she suggested making it a walking interview. She explained her job involves a lot of desk time, so whenever possible she will set up mobile meetings with colleagues.

Asha has been instrumental in getting fellow employees together in being healthy. She has coordinated several ‘Fitbit’ or ‘step’ challenges with co-workers to help build a sense of community and friendly competition. She put together a ‘Build a Salad’ event for the colleagues on her floor as well as for a racial equity change team meeting. As the weather warms, she will be reaching out to co-workers to join her in biking to work. Asha is always looking for colleagues who work out at the YMCA.
While Asha loves the outdoors and being active in nature, she knows that spending time outdoors is not always accessible for everyone. This motivated her to start a grassroots movement called Fiwygin Outdoors (which is pronounced “Fusion Outdoors”).

Fiwygin is an acronym that stands for Fit In Where You Get In, and her role as the founder is to make sure that everyone can “get in.” Fiwygin Outdoors strives to eliminate any barriers that folks have to getting outside by making it fun, accessible, sustainable, and welcoming to all people – with an extra shout out to underrepresented groups (including but not limited to people of color, Indigenous people, LGBTQ people, and people with limited income/resources/experience/mobility). Fiwygin Outdoors operates year round and hosts monthly events like hiking, fishing, canoeing, kite flying and more. Events are free and intentionally designed with non-ableist language and multiple access points, ensuring that all can truly fit in and get in.

To learn more about Fiwygin Outdoors, check out www.facebook.com/groups/fiwyginoutdoors. To join Asha on a bike ride, a visit to the Y, a meander through downtown, or anything else active, feel free to reach out to her! She loves connecting with new people and being active.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down over time. Although osteoarthritis can damage any joint in your body, the disorder most commonly affects joints in your hands, knees, hips and spine.

Symptoms

Osteoarthritis symptoms often develop slowly and worsen over time. Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

  • Pain. Your joint may hurt during or after movement.
  • Tenderness. Your joint may feel tender when you apply light pressure to it.
  • Stiffness. Joint stiffness may be most noticeable when you wake up in the morning or after a period of inactivity.
  • Loss of flexibility. You may not be able to move your joint through its full range of motion.
  • Grating sensation. You may hear or feel a grating sensation when you use the joint.
  • Bone spurs. These extra bits of bone, which feel like hard lumps, may form around the affected joint.

Osteoarthritis symptoms can usually be effectively managed, although the underlying process cannot be reversed. Staying active, maintaining a healthy weight and other treatments may slow progression of the disease and help improve pain and joint function.

When to see a doctor

If you have joint pain or stiffness that doesn’t go away, make an appointment with your doctor.

For more information, visit:
www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/osteoarthritis/symptoms-causes

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Rose Oyamot

Rose Oyamot is a Library Associate in the Youth Services area at the Central Library. She has worked for the City for two years. Some of the things her job includes are presenting story time to children, helping patrons with library requests, and helping to build community outreach.

Seven years ago, Rose was unhappy about her weight. Her wedding was in one year, and she wanted to be in better shape for it. She found the support and motivation she needed by joining Weight Watchers. It changed the way she looked at food and her meals. She added activity as well and lost 30 pounds by her wedding. After the wedding, she kept up the healthy eating and working out. But then – children came along.

Rose did well up until the last trimester of her first pregnancy when she just let it go and put on a lot of weight. After her daughter was born, it was hard for her to transition back to eating healthy. There just didn’t seem to be time to do meal planning, exercising or generally taking care of herself. Last year, her son was born. At that time, Rose knew it was time to add activity to increase her energy and to lose weight so she could fit back into her clothes and feel good about herself.
She couldn’t wait for the Healthy Saint Paul 2017 program to begin. It would help provide the motivation to get her in gear. At biometric screening, her BMI results were a real wake up call for her.

When Rose heard about the Omada program, she knew it was right for her. She wouldn’t have to go anywhere to participate, reporting to a coach provided the accountability she was looking for and there was group support. She began the program just one week ago. She enjoys hearing what she says are “real people challenges and then responses from others in her group as to how they dealt with similar challenges.” It is a very supportive online environment. She has emailed with her coach three times so far and finds it magical that she can step on the scale that Omada provided and her results are automatically fed into her account.

While it has only been one week since she began, she is very enthusiastic. She has been spreading her enthusiasm to co-workers. Some have not been aware of the program and she encourages them to take a look if losing weight and getting healthier is a goal of theirs. Plus, it is free!

Besides being healthier, more physically active and having more energy to enjoy her family, Rose has another goal. She has begun a YouTube channel so looking better on camera is motivating her to lose weight. We wish her luck with her YouTube channel – you can check it out at “Ukulele Storytime.” It has easy video tutorials on how to play the ukulele along with story time songs.

Chronic disease now kills more people than infectious disease

That’s a big shift. And a big deal.

In fact, three out of four Americans will die prematurely from a condition that is mostly related to lifestyle, to habit, or to circumstance. These are conditions that a pill or procedure can’t easily fix.

The City of Saint Paul has recently partnered with Omada Health to offer City employees and their adult dependents a way to reduce their risk for chronic disease. In the Omada 16 week program, positive behaviors are introduced and reinforced from week to week, transforming healthy choices into lifelong habits. The program has been used nationwide and has been very successful in helping people reach their goals.

To get started, take a one-minute survey at omadahealth.com/saintpaul to see if you qualify. Based on your results, if you or your adult dependent(s) are at risk for Type 2 diabetes or heart disease and enrolled in HealthPartners coverage through the City, you will be offered the opportunity to participate in the Omada program (approximately a $600 value) which will be covered at no cost to you.

Omada combines the science of behavior change with unwavering personal support, so you can make changes that actually stick.

You’ll get:

  • A professional health coach to keep you on track
  • A wireless scale to monitor your progress
  • An interactive program that adapts to you
  • Weekly online lessons to educate and inspire
  • A small group of participants for real-time support

Take some time today to visit omadahealth.com/saintpaul.

Below is what some participants have said about the Omada program:

“I loved Omada because I could do it in the time I had.”

My mom, dad, sister and brother all have type 2 diabetes, and my doctor told me I had prediabetes. I needed to slim down. But you know how it is when you’re overweight – you don’t want to hear it. When I got a call about Omada, I said “yes” because I figured there was no harm in trying something that my health insurance plan was recommending.
Chanda 40, Tennessee

“These days we are not lethargic anymore. We feel energized”.

I was a truck driver for 25 years, and a balanced meal was never easy to come by on the road. Omada helped me get out of that rut. My wife joined right in – we started shopping together, eating balanced meals together and walking together.
Phillip 65, Minnesota

“It gave me a sense of healthy control over my own well-being.”

Omada was a real source of strength for me, and not just when it came to rethinking my relationship with food and losing 20 lbs. It gave me a sense of healthy control over my own well-being.
Diana, 59, California

Find out if you qualify and can benefit from the Omada Program. Visit www.omadahealth.com/saintpaul and take the survey today.

Alex Crist

Alex Crist has worked for the City since 2011, when he started out as a temporary employee. In 2013, he received a full time position as an office assistant in the Sewer Maintenance Division of Public Works.

Before Alex began working with the City, he had been active and had kept his weight below 200 lbs. At some point, things changed though. He said he just got out of the habit of running and eating healthy. His biometric screening in 2015 was a real eye opener for him as he was confronted with his weight having increased to the 268 lb. range. He didn’t feel good about himself; he was unhappy and knew he had to make some changes.

Alex began by getting back into a regular exercise routine. He started working out at a gym again, jogging and lifting weights. By the end of one year, he was down 30 lbs. He had a goal though of getting back under 200 lbs. With the improvement in his fitness level, he was able to amp up his exercise routine. He increased the distances he would run and purchased a rowing machine and free weights for at home. He focused on portion sizes and eating more fruits and vegetables.

A year later, Alex is now down to 195 lbs. He started taking advantage of his lunch break to get in a quick jaunt around Como Lake and now really looks forward to that time. While he was committed to eating more fruits and vegetables, it was somewhat difficult for him. Working with the health coach last year provided him with the support he needed. It is no longer a struggle for him to include carrots, apples, cauliflower, etc. as part of his daily eating plan. (Alex does admit that sometimes a White Castle sounds good to him. He doesn’t believe in denying himself some simple pleasures but certainly in moderation.) His energy level is way up and he continues to push himself. He now has a goal of running a ½ marathon – and maybe even the Twin Cities Marathon next fall. He feels that now, at age 45, he is in better condition than he was at 17.

Living healthier is a family affair. His wife gets up early most days to get to the gym before work. She is also very conscious of her eating and has been an inspiration for Alex. He feels he and his wife are good role models for their children. Alex also stays busy coaching his 10 year old son’s baseball team.

Alex was successful for a couple of reasons. He began with a reasonable expectation and went about making changes gradually. He had tried dieting before which didn’t work. It was truly the lifestyle changes he made and keeping positive that allowed him to achieve these results.