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What is your favorite section of the magazine?

Ask the Trainer:

Untitled Documen

Samir Becic



Q:  How does eating healthy and exercising impact my health?

A: With proper exercise and nutrition, you can control, manage or completely avoid 60-70% of illnesses such as: heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, colon cancer, breast cancer, stroke, heart attack, arthritis, etc.  Working out improves your confidence and self-esteem. It aids you in getting better sleep and giving you more energy and stamina throughout the day. Exercising slows down the aging process, improves sexual performance and restores libido. Last but not least, a healthy lifestyle builds and maintains healthy bones, muscles and joints while simultaneously increasing your immune system.

Q: How is my social life affecting my health?

A: Being healthy isn’t just a lack of illness, it’s a positive balance between body, mind and soul. In order for your social life to affect your life in a positive way, you need to create a healthy environment to socialize in. Socialize in a physically friendly a environment with walks in the park, meeting in an exercise facility for a class, biking, hiking, volleyball or tennis. Surround yourself with people who believe in healthy lifestyle and encourage your friends to join you. If you need to meet in a restaurant or a bar, choose healthy foods and low calorie drinks to stay on track.

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Health & Wellness

momkidAsk the Dietician

With Mother’s Day in mind, our expert tackles nutrition matters affecting women

By Karen Collins

Q: Why does my doctor suggest that I avoid soy foods while I am taking an anti-estrogen medication to treat breast cancer?
A: Soy foods contain natural plant compounds called isoflavones that are referred to as phytoestrogens because they have estrogen-like activity. Note, however, that this is a much weaker form than our body’s natural estrogen. Women who have or have had hormone-sensitive breast cancers often question whether it is safe for them to eat these phytoestrogen-containing foods. Researchers now say that eating up to three standard servings a day of traditional whole-soy foods is probably safe for these women.

However, to avoid any chance of these compounds interfering with anti-estrogen medications, many experts advise against eating soy foods while taking these medicines. Foods that women should avoid include: tofu, tempeh, edamame, soy nuts, soymilk, soy flour, textured soy protein (often in meatless crumbles) and soy protein isolate. Soybean oil and soy sauce, which do not contain isoflavones, are safe to consume.

Q: How can I tell whether my baby gets enough milk if I breastfeed?
A: The baby’s doctor will make sure your baby is gaining weight appropriately, an important sign the infant is drinking enough milk. Soiled diapers are another sign of adequate intake. Starting at three to four days old, your baby should have at least five to six wet diapers each day with pale yellow urine. Although it can be frustrating not to see how much breast milk your baby is taking, rest assured that most infants are excellent managers of intake, drinking just enough milk to satisfy them. In fact, it is often the caregivers of bottle-fed infants who nudge the baby to “finish off” a certain amount of milk. Some researchers theorize that learning to self-regulate intake early on may help establish a lifelong ability to appropriately regulate food consumption-considered a key factor in weight control.

Q: What’s the latest research on preventing ovarian cancer?
A: Prevention of ovarian cancer is especially important because it often has no symptoms in early stages. As a result, it is frequently diagnosed at a more advanced stage, resulting in poorer survival rates than some other common cancers. At this time, there is no consensus regarding proven approaches to lower risk for developing ovarian cancer.

According to some research, diets high in certain flavonoid compounds that are found in vegetables, fruits, beans and tea may lower a woman’s risk. Other research shows benefit from greater consumption of carotenoids, another phytochemical found in a wide range of produce. Some research shows that breastfeeding may lower a woman’s risk–probably through its impact on hormones. And, although results are mixed, limited studies suggest that obesity may increase risk for this cancer.

For now, women are best advised to follow current guidelines to lower overall cancer risk. General recommendations include following a diet that provides a wide variety of vegetables and other plant-based foods and getting regular physical activity.

Contributing editor Karen Collins, MS, RD, CDN, is a dietician with the American Institute for Cancer Research. For more information, visit


The problem of overweight children in America is easily explained, according to Dr. Alvin Eden, MD, longtime pediatrician and author of “Positive Parenting.” Larger portion sizes and eating out more often are both part of the problem. Children also spend too much time with TV, video games and computers.

With all of this temptation available to kids, what are parents to do? The treatment of childhood obesity is difficult. “The relapse rate is well over 95 percent,” says Eden, whose many years of experience as a pediatrician have shown him that the best way to deal with childhood obesity is, in fact, through prevention. “Prevention techniques should start at a very early time in the child’s life to maximize effectiveness.”

Here are seven simple and specific steps that parents can follow to prevent obesity:

  • Breast feed for at least three months, if possible
  • Identify whether or not your family history is “high risk” for obesity
  • Limit juice to four ounces per day, and limit milk to 16 ounces per day
  • Minimize TV in the first two years of a child’s life, and allow only one hour per day after two years
  • Encourage your child to exercise each day
  • Make sure your child drinks at least eight ounces of water every day
  • Replace all unhealthy snacks in your house with healthy ones and never use food as a reward

Eden says by giving your child a healthy relationship with food from the beginning, you’ll provide your child with the opportunity to become a healthier, happier person.

pieFrom The Kitchen

Instead of commercial breadcrumbs, usually full of oil and trans fat, substitute a low sugar crunchy breakfast cereal such as Grape Nuts or organic wheat flakes (avoid cereals with more than four to six grams of sugar per serving).