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February is American Heart Month.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States; in fact, 2200 people die every day from heart disease and stroke. Many of these could have been prevented.

Prevention starts with everyone. Protect yourself and your loved ones from heart disease and stroke by understanding the risks and taking these steps:
• Control your blood pressure
• Maintain a healthy cholesterol level
• Try to get 30 minutes of activity most days of the week
• If you smoke, get help to quit

Also, it is important to recognize the signs of a heart attack and to act immediately by calling 9–1–1. A person’s chances of surviving a heart attack are increased if emergency treatment is given to the victim as soon as possible.

The five major symptoms of a heart attack are:
• Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back
• Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint
• Chest pain or discomfort
• Pain or discomfort in arms or shoulder
• Shortness of breath

If you think that you or someone you know is having a heart attack, you should call 9–1–1 immediately.

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New Year – Fresh Start

The #1 most often made New Year’s resolution is to lose weight. It is no wonder – the percentage of people in the U.S. who are overweight or obese has grown steadily over the past 20 years. Here at the City of Saint Paul, this is our employees’ top health risk. In fact, 80% of our employees were identified as being overweight or obese.

Healthy Saint Paul has made it a priority to support employees’ New Year’s resolutions to lose weight. Find out what’s available to help reach a healthier, new you goal.

Healthy Saint Paul is offering the following options to support you in reaching your weight loss goals:

Lose-Weight-in-8-logo
Lose Weight in 8 Challenge
Competition is sometimes just the motivation people need to reach their goal. The Lose Weight in 8 Challenge will begin January 19. It will motivate and inspire you with engaging online tools, tips and trackers to help you be successful. Plus, great prizes will go to the winners!

weightwatch
Weight Watchers at Work
Current meetings are held on Thursdays in the basement of City Hall from 12-1 p.m. A $10/month subsidy is available for up to 6 months. Want to start a Weight Watchers Group at your worksite? Contact for more information. A minimum of 20 people is needed to start a group.

healthpartE-Weight Loss
Offered through HealthPartners, this online coaching program offers support and education to people with a weight loss goal.

Other places for support and information on losing weight:

expfit
Express Fitness offered by St. Paul Parks and Recreation: a low cost, 2 hour drop in class, offered exclusively at El Rio Vista recreation center located in the Wellstone building at 179 East Robie in St. Paul. The class consists of core, balance, strength, endurance and cardio activities combined with a nutrition plan. Contact the El Rio Vista for more information.

HealthPartners’ A Call to Change…Healthy Lifestyles, Healthy Weight – phone-based program. www.healthpartners.com/portal/3107.html.

Local hospitals and clinics that specialize in weight loss.

Best websites to help you stay focused on your weight-loss and fitness goals.

(Best of all, these websites are completely free to use.)
www.Myfitnesspal.com
www.FitDay.com
www.Sparkpeople.com

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Worry-free Holiday Food Prep

The holidays are fun and joyous occasions when family and friends get together for parties and food galore! The last thing you want to invite to your party is food ‐ borne illness. Use the following tips to keep your family and friends from becoming sick. Don’t let bacteria (germs) crash your holiday parties.

Preparing Food for Your Party
• Always wash your hands with warm water and soap before and after handling food.
• Keep your kitchen, dishes and utensils clean.
• Always serve food on clean plates ‐‐ never use plates used for holding raw meat and poultry for cooked food.

To prevent problems with bacteria growing in your food:
• Keep cooked foods hot (140 F or higher).
• Use chafing dishes, slow cookers and warming trays to keep foods hot on your buffet table.
• Keep cold foods at 40F or colder.
• Keep foods cold by nesting dishes in bowls of ice OR use small serving trays and replace them often.
• Cool foods quickly in your refrigerator.
• Divide large portions of cooked foods into smaller portions to cool quickly in your refrigerator. Bacteria can also multiply quickly in moist desserts that contain dairy products. Keep eggnog, cheesecakes, cream pies and cakes with whipped ‐ cream or cream ‐ cheese frostings refrigerated until serving time.

Helpful Hint ‐
Prepare extra serving platters and dishes ahead of time; store them in the refrigerator or keep them hot in the oven (set at approximately 200 to 250 F)
before serving. Then REPLACE empty platters rather than adding fresh food to a dish that already had food in it.

Learn more by visiting: Helpful Holiday Links

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November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

52% of participants in Healthy Saint Paul in 2013 have been diagnosed or are at high-risk for diabetes and heart disease.

Today, more than 25 million Americans are living with diabetes and 79 million more are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. People who are overweight, over 45 years old, or who have high blood pressure are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes. The good news is that you can take steps to lower your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Learn more about preventing this disease by: clicking here.

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) was founded in 1985. The aim of the NBCAM has always been to promote early detection and to provide information and support for breast cancer patients, survivors and their loved ones.

Did you know that
• 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime
• Most women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history
• Physical activity can reduce the risk for breast cancer

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to detect the disease in its early stages. Visit the link below to set up an early detection plan and find out more about reducing your or a loved one’s risk for this disease.

To learn more visit: nationalbreastcancer.org.

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National Cholesterol Education Month

High blood cholesterol affects over 65 million Americans. It is a serious condition that increases your risk for heart disease. The higher your cholesterol level, the greater the risk. You can have high cholesterol and not know it. Lowering cholesterol levels that are too high lessens your risk for developing heart disease and reduces the chance of having a heart attack or dying of heart disease.

Want more helpful tips on how to lower your cholesterol? Click here.

Our healthy recipe of the month too: Chicken Picadillo – a zesty one-pot meal that is easy to throw together on a busy weeknight.

Chicken Picadillo

PREP: 15 minutes
COOK: 25 minutes
6 servings – Chicken and vegetables

Ingredients
2 tsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, rinsed and finely chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, rinsed and finely chopped
1½ Tbsp garlic, mashed (about 3 cloves)
12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
⅓ C no-salt-added tomato sauce
⅓ C low-sodium chicken broth
⅓ C lemon juice
¼ tsp ground cumin
2 bay leaves
⅓ C water
¼ C golden seedless raisins

For garnish:
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, rinsed, dried, and chopped (or substitute 1 tsp dried coriander)
1 Tbsp capers, drained
2 Tbsp green olives, chopped

Directions
1 Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion, bell peppers, and garlic, and sauté until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
2 Add the chicken, and stir fry for another 5–10 minutes until chicken is no longer pink inside.
3 Add the tomato sauce, chicken broth, lemon juice, cumin, bay leaves, water, and raisins to the vegetables and chicken.
4 Cover the pan, and reduce the heat. Simmer for 10 minutes.
5 Remove the bay leaves, and garnish with fresh cilantro, capers, and green olives, and serve.

Tip: Serve with brown rice and black beans.

Calories 162
Total fat 5 g
Saturated fat 1 g
Cholesterol 46 mg
Sodium 133 mg
Total fiber 2 g
Protein 18 g
Carbohydrates 13 g
Potassium 380 mg