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October 3, 2006

Welcome to the NVFC Heart-Healthy Firefighter E-News. The NVFC Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program was designed to help firefighters become more heart-healthy and lower the incidence of heart attack related deaths in the fire service. We hope that you enjoy this newsletter and that it benefits not only you, but others in your fire department, family and community.

This issue of the Heart-Healthy E-News is Sponsored by


In this issue:

  1. Joe Montana’s Heart-Healthy Tailgating Recipe Contest
  2. NVFC’s Heart-Healthy Program Provides Health Screenings, Cooking Demonstrations to Hundreds at FRI
  3. Recipe for Chef Kevin Harris’ Roasted Onion and Jack Cheese Polenta
  4. October is National Healthy Lung Month
  5. Tips to Help You Stop Smoking
  6. Counting Calories: Getting Back to Weight Loss Basics
  7. Heart-Healthy Firefighter Tip
  8. Small Steps

Joe Montana’s Heart-Healthy Tailgating Recipe Contest

Greetings!
           
High blood pressure affects more than 65 million American men and women, including me.

I invite everyone out there who has adjusted their eating habits to better manage their high blood pressure--or helped a loved one manage theirs--to enter my Heart-Healthy Tailgating Recipe Contest, just in time for my favorite season of the year: football season!

Joe Montana’s Heart-Healthy Tailgating Recipe Contest

www.GETBPDOWN.com

To enter, submit your most creative and heart-healthy recipe that can be enjoyed at the stadium or at home, and an essay of 100 words or more about how you or a loved one has managed high blood pressure and learned to live a healthier lifestyle.

In addition to exciting prizes, you could also win the chance to cook your recipe for Joe Montana in New York City during a fun-filled cook-off event the week of November 12, 2006!

Submission Deadline: October 18, 2006

Good luck!

Joe Montana

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NVFC’s Heart-Healthy Program Provides Health Screenings, Cooking Demonstrations to Hundreds at FRI

The NVFC’s Heart-Healthy Firefighter booth screened almost 600 fire and emergency services personnel and their families for blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose at Fire-Rescue International (FRI) in Dallas, TX, September 14-16. The NVFC partnered with L&T Health and Fitness, an award-winning fitness management and health-promotion company, to provide the free health screenings.

“In the four years that the Heart-Healthy booth has been going to trade shows, we have screened over 12,000 emergency services personnel and their families,” said Maggie Wilson, NVFC’s Director of Health and Safety. “These screenings really make a difference. One firefighter at FRI told us this program saved his life. He had no idea his blood pressure was dangerously high until he was screened at the Heart-Healthy booth at a trade show last year. As a result of the screening he was able to get to his doctor before any complications arose. Now thanks to a combination of medication and a healthier lifestyle he is successfully managing his blood pressure level.”

In addition to the health screenings, hundreds of attendees stopped by the booth to learn healthy cooking techniques and recipes during a series of cooking demonstrations performed by Chef Kevin Harris of Food For Love, Inc. Harris shared his recipes for Pollo Con Harissa Y Salsa Verde, Quinoa Azteca, and Roasted Onion and Jack Cheese Polenta, inviting the audience to sample the foods after each demonstration. The recipes are available on the Heart-Healthy Firefighter website at www.healthy-firefighter.org.

Heart attack is the leading cause of firefighter deaths. As part of its mission to reduce the number of firefighter and EMS personnel deaths from heart attack, the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program brings its booth to emergency services trade shows and conferences across the country. Other initiatives of the program include the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Resource Guide, the Fired Up for Fitness Challenge, the Heart-Healthy Firefighter E-News, and a Heart-Healthy Firefighter Cookbook, which will be released later this year. For more information about the NVFC Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program, visit www.healthy-firefighter.org.

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Recipe for Chef Kevin Harris’ Roasted Onion and Jack Cheese Polenta

Try this delicious, heart-healthy recipe from Chef Kevin Harris. To see more of Chef Kevin’s heart-healthy recipes, go to www.healthy-firefighter.org.

Ingredients:
2  tbsp. olive oil
1  large onion, diced
1  tsp. chopped garlic
1  quart chicken stock
1 ½  cup cornmeal
1  tbsp. salt and pepper
2  oz. grated Monterey Jack cheese

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the onion in 1 tbsp. olive oil and spread on cookie sheet. Roast for 15 minutes or until lightly browned, tossing with spatula occasionally.

Heat rest of olive oil in a 2 quart saucepan; add onion and garlic. Sautee for two minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to boil. Add cornmeal gradually until well
incorporated. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until mixture is smooth and creamy. Add cheese and season to taste.

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October is National Healthy Lung Month

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Tips to Help You Stop Smoking

Cigarette smoking, and even smoking cigars or a pipe, is one of the greatest risk factors for a heart attack as well as for stroke, lung cancer, and emphysema.

To stop smoking:

  • Set a quit date. Smoking cessation is most successful when it's done "cold turkey," not slowly by reducing the number of cigarettes smoked daily.
  • Throw them out. Throw away all cigarettes and matches at home, in your car, and at work. Put away ash trays and lighters.
  • Share your goal. Tell your family and friends you're quitting and ask for their support.
  • Avoid triggers. Avoid alcohol, coffee, and other triggers for smoking.
  • Set a no-smoking policy. Do not allow anyone to smoke in your home or car, and avoid other people when they are smoking.
  • Get tools. Take advantage of the available stop-smoking aids: nicotine replacements, drug therapy, and counseling. Less than 1 in 10 smokers can quit without some help. Nicotine gums, skin patches, and lozenges are available over the counter. Nicotine nasal sprays and inhalers require a prescription from your doctor. Don't smoke when using these products.
  • Get a prescription. Bupropion (Zyban) and varenicline (Chantix) are two prescription-only medications that may help you quit. Start taking one of these drugs shortly before your quit date.
  • Join a support group. Find a source of individual or group counseling. Counseling alone can be helpful, but it is particularly useful in combination with nicotine replacements or smoking cessation drugs.
  • Call the Quit Line. Call the National Cancer Institute Smoking Quit Line if you need more help. Their toll-free number is 1-877-44U-QUIT.

 

Though these measures and help aids considerably boost the chances of quitting, there's a more than 50 percent chance that a smoker who quits will start again. I hope this doesn't happen to you, but if it does, don't give up. Announce another quit date and start stopping again.

Courtesy of Yahoo! Health

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Counting Calories: Getting Back to Weight-Loss Basics

Of all the diet strategies out there, it still comes down to the calorie. Fad diets may promise you that counting carbs or eating a mountain of grapefruit is key to weight loss, but when it comes to weight control, it's calories that count.

Calories: Fuel for your body

Calories are the energy in food. Your body has a constant demand for energy and uses the calories from food to keep you functioning. Energy from calories fuels your every action, much as gasoline powers your car. Carbohydrates, fats and proteins are the types of nutrients that contain calories and thus are the main energy sources for your body. The amount of energy in each varies: Proteins and carbohydrates have about 4 calories per gram and fats have about 9 calories per gram. Alcohol is also a source of calories, providing about 7 calories per gram. Regardless of where they come from, calories you eat are either converted to physical energy or stored within your body as fat. Unless you use these stored calories — either by reducing calorie intake so that your body must draw on reserves for energy, or by increasing physical activity so that you burn more calories — this fat remains stored within your body.

Your weight is a balancing act, but the equation is simple: If you eat more calories than you burn, you gain weight. Because 3,500 calories equals about 1 pound of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in to lose 1 pound. So if you cut 500 calories from your typical diet each day, you'd lose approximately 1 pound a week (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories). Cutting calories doesn't have to be difficult. In fact, it might be as simple as forgoing one extra item a day, swapping foods or trimming serving sizes. The number of calories you save is likely to translate into pounds lost.

Cut out high-calorie foods
Skipping one or two high-calorie items that you might have otherwise eaten is a good place to start when cutting calories. For example, you could skip your morning caffe latte or the bowl of ice cream you always have after dinner. Think about what you eat and drink each day and identify items you could cut out. Here are examples of high-calorie foods and beverages and the possible calorie savings:

Choose lower calorie foods
Replace foods that are high in calories with ones that are lower in calories. For example, drink fat-free milk instead of whole milk and sparkling water or diet soda instead of regular soft drinks. Or have an extra serving of vegetables at dinner instead of an extra serving of meat. You might find that these substitutions are easy to make and the number of saved calories quickly adds up.

Reduce your portion sizes
The sizes of your portions affect how many calories you're getting: Twice the amount of food means twice the number of calories. To reduce how much food you eat, and therefore how many calories you consume, try these tips:

  • Serve smaller portions. At the beginning of a meal, take slightly less than what you think you'll eat. You can always have seconds, if necessary.
  • See what you eat. Eating directly from a container gives you no sense of how much you're eating. Seeing food on a plate or in a bowl keeps you aware of how much you're eating.
  • Check food labels. Be sure to check food labels for the serving size and number of calories per serving. You may find that the small bag of chips you eat with lunch every day, for example, is two servings, doubling the calories listed on the label.
  • Don't feel obligated to clean your plate. Stop eating as soon as you feel full. Those extra bites of food that you're trying not to waste add unneeded calories.

 

Managing your calorie intake is essential to weight control. Still, it's only part of the weight loss and maintenance equation. For a successful — and sustainable — weight management plan, you need to increase your physical activity while decreasing the calories you take in. It's this combination of regular activity and healthy, calorie-focused eating that will help you achieve a healthy weight.

Courtesy of Yahoo! Health

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NVFC Heart-Healthy Tip of the Day

Lose 15 lbs. This Year
One important change in your lunchtime routine can make all the difference. In one study, women who ate at least five restaurant/takeout meals a week took in almost 300 more calories a day than women who ate out less often, with a larger proportion of calories from fat. Over a year's time, those calories can add up to an extra 15 - 20 pounds. Try bringing lunch from home -- not only will it help you lose weight, but it'll fatten your wallet by cutting down on expenses!

Tee Party
Instead of watching Tiger Woods tone up by shooting a round, hit the golf course for your own above-par workout. Benefits of regular visits to the links include improved overall flexibility, increased range of motion in shoulders and hips, sharpened hand-eye coordination, toned legs, waist and arms, and stronger hands, stomach and back muscles. Best of all, it puts you outdoors in a social, sporting atmosphere.

Courtesy of Yahoo! Health

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Small Steps

  • Snack on fruits and vegetables.
  • Top your favorite cereal with apples or bananas.
  • Try brown rice or whole-wheat pasta.
  • Include several servings of whole grain food daily.
  • When eating out, choose a small or medium portion.
  • If main dishes are too big, choose an appetizer or a side dish instead.
  • Ask for salad dressing "on the side".
  • Don't take seconds.
  • Park farther from destination and walk.
  • Try a green salad instead of fries.



If you have received this update from a friend and would like to be added to our e-mail list, please e-mail: bmarshall@nvfc.org.

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