MountainStar Health - May 14, 2019


Who does not love the month of May? Allergy sufferers for one. It may be a traumatic month for many of us, remembering our dearly departed. However, the raw energy of the changing seasons and new life stirring in March and April settles down a bit in May. It is a beautiful month. I challenge you to appreciate all 31 days this month. We celebrate May Day, Mother's Day and Memorial Day.

In good health,
Jennifer James

Success story

I know someone here at ORMC who has done really well with losing weight in a healthy way. I spoke with him at an employee health fair about eating healthier to lose weight. With that knowledge, he and his family don't eat out as much, and make sure they eat colorful meals at home. They are also more active as a family. He aims to walk 8,000 steps per day and plans to increase this to 10,000 per day. He has a coworker that is very encouraging to him, and asks how many steps he has walked each day. He speaks with our chef, James, about cooking tips and ideas. He commented that "we do have great resources here at ORMC". As he observed, changing one's lifestyle can be difficult, especially with a full, busy life. But, he and his wife found that if they plan their meals in advance, that makes it a lot easier. They also learned which foods are better for them when they do eat out. He even has a son who loves vegetables! And guess what? He has lost 20 pounds and his wife has lost 19 pounds. Simple as that. I won't blow his cover, but his entire family is becoming healthier, and they feel great. Good job Mystery Man!!

Have you tried....Mama Mary's whole wheat pizza crust?

I chanced upon this the other day at the grocery store. Made of whole grain wheat flour and a few other ingredients, it allows us to make a healthier pizza where we control the toppings. These are packaged in twos, so if you don't want to use both, just freeze the remaining crust. This company also makes a gluten-free pizza crust. Calories are 150 per pizza, 350 mg sodium. Check out the recipe below.

Death becomes us

One day you will exit this earthly existence. In another word, die. I look at the classes and support groups I have run over the past seven years or so, and some of the people who have taken the classes have passed on to glory. I will see their obituaries in the paper or find out second-hand they passed away. One even passed away while enrolled in the weight loss class. I suppose a statistician could crunch the numbers on attendees and deaths, and conclude that attending the Losing It & Loving It weight loss class will increase your risk of death! Actually, I hope just the opposite occurs, and you live longer because you have lost weight. So, this begs the question, why take care of ourselves if we know we are going to die anyway? Why do anything? I have always joked about why it would be helpful to know our "Death Day". It sure would make retirement planning easier. Our Episcopalian chaplain Father Tim told me the priests wear black to remind them of our mortality. Brilliant! The month of May is a good time to discuss this, with Memorial Day and all. Why bother to live a healthy lifestyle? I guess it boils down to quality of life. Would we rather wear nice clothes or rags? Eat a diet that makes us feel energetic or lousy? Maintain a healthy weight so we feel good about ourselves, or eat like little piggies and feel disgusted with ourselves? Since we all have a limited number of days on this earth, why not create the very best life possible for ourselves? Savor every morning we wake up, knowing one day we won't. Be kind to everyone (including Number One). I encourage all of you, dear readers, to keep your eventual death in mind. If you knew you were on day 18,250 out of 31,025, how would this change your behavior and attitude toward your precious life? I polled a few of my coworkers and they all said they would do things differently if they knew their "Death Date". Well, maybe we should do those things NOW. ☺

A little unsolicited advice

Martha Beck is one of my favorite people. She is a life coach and author. She offers some very sound advice. In our stressed-out world, we can all use a little redirecting. Many of the bad decisions we make in life are due to not heeding our own wisdom, or internal "compass". Marrying the wrong person, getting into the wrong vocation, pushing ourselves too hard, not covering our bases like sleep and exercise, and not facing life head on, can make for a miserable existence. I am paraphrasing her advice:

  • Do more of what makes you feel good, and less of what makes you feel bad. (healthy diet & exercise anyone?)
  • Tell the truth (to yourself especially)
  • Take a nap (we all could use a little more rest)
  • Unhook from dysfunctional people (news flash, we can't change anyone, regardless of their "potential")
  • Tackle overwhelming tasks in small bites, "baby steps". Cut the baby steps into baby steps if needed, until you do not feel overwhelmed, but rather, "I can do this".

These five brilliant bits of advice can be applied to weight loss, relationships, jobs, projects, where we live, and how we function in the world. What is one suggestion YOU can start applying to your life right now, keeping your numbered days in mind?

Beck, Martha, Five pieces of advice that everyone ignores (but shouldn't!), O Magazine, October 2012, p. 61-64

Where's the beef?

Is it possible to eat beef, but not eat beef? Well, the new company, "Impossible Foods", may have made that a reality. They have developed a "beef" burger patty, that is not related to any 4-legged critters. Rather, it is derived from a variety of plant-based ingredients, including potatoes, beets and soy, with various vitamins and minerals. The ingredient subbing for heme found in red meat, which gives meat it's characteristic bloody flavor, is a genetically engineered soy version of this, called leghemoglobin. The folks at Impossible Foods have partnered with Burger King and are offering their burger mimic in the St. Louis area. They developed this because their CEO wanted to give folks an alternative to beef that tastes like the real McCoy, but without the environmental stressors that accompany raising beef cattle. Die-hard burger-eaters can't tell the difference apparently, and the burger even "bleeds". The nutritional profile: 240 calories per patty, 8 grams of saturated fat, (compared to 13 grams found in a regular 4-ounce beef burger), and 370 milligrams of sodium. Fiber content was 3 grams. However, the thiamine content (vitamin B1) was over 2000% of the Daily Value! Environmental groups are up-in-arms about the leghemoglobin. They want it to be more thoroughly researched before offering it to consumers. I have mixed feelings about all this, and would like to know why the thiamine is sky high. Good for this company for creating a meat-alternative that is much more environmentally-friendly. It is a super-processed food that needs to be eaten with restraint. If it makes it to our area I will likely try one. This is the wave of the future my friends, with more designer foods coming down the pike with less environmental impact in mind, ready or not.


Why environmentalists want Impossible Burger's meatless patties to be pulled off menus
Behold the Beefless �??Impossible Whopper�??

Very veggie pizza

You can vary the toppings as you wish, even leaving off the cheese completely. A quick, healthy meal for dinner.

1 Mama Mary's whole wheat pizza crust
Tomato sauce
Italian seasoning
Grated low-fat mozzarella cheese
Chopped vegetables (mini-bell peppers, mushrooms, asparagus, onions, broccoli, etc.)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Place the crust on a round baking stone, or large round pan. Brush crust with olive oil. Add tomato sauce to thinly cover the crust. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning, grated black pepper, whatever. Sprinkle with a thin layer of mozzarella cheese. Dot with the chopped vegetables and sprinkle with a little grated Parmesan.

Turn oven down to 425 degrees, place pizza on center rack of oven. Bake until the cheese melts and the crust turns a golden brown, roughly 12 minutes.
Let cool a bit, enjoy!

¼ of a pizza crust = 150 calories
Toppings will vary

May support groups

Mondays, 2-3 pm
We will not meet May 27th, Memorial Day observed
Tuesdays, 4:30-5:30 pm
We will not meet May 7th
Heart Center Conference Room
Free to all LILI graduates

That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet.
Emily Bronte