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WIC is making it easier for clients to pay for groceries

Women, Infants and Children (WIC) offices around the county introduced a new form of payment for their clients recently.

On Oct. 17, the WIC nutrition program rolled out its “eWIC” cards, which replaced the checks recipients formerly used to pay for groceries at the register.

“Instead of having to go use the checks – and use the entire check – now they are able to get one gallon of milk, or one loaf of bread, or whatever they need rather than having to spend an entire check at once,” said WIC Supervisor Brandon Boatman.

With the new payment system, recipients can also download an app on their phones listing food items available for purchase throughout the month.

The Maricopa WIC office, located inside the Pinal County Public Health Department Clinic at 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road, helps pregnant and post-partum women, as well as children up to age 5.

Applicants must meet income-based criteria to participate.

“If you qualify for WIC, you also have the ability to see one of our WIC nutritionists and in Maricopa they actually have a registered dietician who sees high-risk clients,” Boatman said.

To learn if you qualify and for more information, call 1-866-960-0633. The local office is open for appointments 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Friday.

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Aaron Gilbert. Photo by William Lange

By Aaron Gilbert

Are you waiting for the “perfect time” to start eating better, exercising or finally getting in shape? Are you putting off that dream trip, new project or that skill you’ve been meaning to learn?

Human beings are always “waiting for the perfect time.” But why?

For many, it’s a great distraction and justification. It helps us avoid the real – and risky – work of doing. For others, perfectionism and avoidance serve as strong armor against potential embarrassment, criticism and failure.

“I could ___ but ___” keeps us safe from pain.

Unfortunately, it’s also what keeps us from growing, thriving and being who we know we have the potential to be. That’s why all-or-nothing thinking – If I don’t do this perfectly then it’s worthless – rarely gets us “all.” It usually gets us “nothing.”

What to do next:

1. Revise your expectations. Recognize there is no perfect time and there never will be. There is only now.

  1. Carve out time, even if it’s imperfect. Nobody will give that time to you. You’ll need to take it. Give yourself permission to make yourself – and your fitness and health goals – a priority. Find the time you need in your schedule.

Don’t have time for an hour-long workout? No problem. How much time do you have? Twenty minutes? Ten minutes? Work with what you’ve got.

Don’t expect things to go perfectly smoothly. Instead, anticipate and strategize. Instead of waiting for things to slow down, start making something happen right now, in the middle of the mess.

  1. Just start. If you feel stuck, just do something. Anything. Find the smallest possible thing you can do right now, in the next five minutes, and do it. Now you’ve started!

At my personal training studio, we concentrate on finding “five-minute actions.” Instead of coming up with the biggest, grandest scheme, think about what you could do in just five minutes to help move yourself – even just a tiny bit – in the direction of your goals. Then, go do it.

  1. Expect resistance. It’s normal. Push through it. Resistance doesn’t mean this won’t work. It just means you’ve started.

You only have to get through this moment. This moment of starting will be the hardest. Luckily, it won’t last long.

  1. Get support. Let go of the concept of the lone hero. Instead, start building your support systems. Whether it’s a friend or family member, workout buddy or a coach, find someone to fire up your booster rockets until you can fly on your own.

Aaron Gilbert, CSCS, is owner of Longevity Athletics.

520-261-4661
Aaron@LongevityAthletics.com


This column appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.

Paula Powers (left) and Terri Robinson said it is important to find support at work and other outlets besides family during the fight against cancer. Photo by Mason Callejas

Twelve percent of American women will suffer from breast cancer in their lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society. That’s one in eight.

Though modern treatment has improved the survival rate of most patients to better than 70 percent in the worst cases and near 100 percent in the best cases, the affliction still takes its toll on those diagnosed, and their loved ones.

Now, as the country celebrates Breast Cancer Awareness Month this month, Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino once again rolled out its support for those affected by cancer by hosting events such as their annual Battle of the Bras, and by raising money for cancer research.

However, Harrah’s does more than just support the greater cause, cancer survivor and casino employee Paula “Princess” Powers said.

With nearly 30 percent of the casino’s employees having been diagnosed with cancer at one point or the other, she said, there is a unique network to tap into. Often times, relying on close family and friends as your sole support system can be trying.

“Family is not your [main] support system,” Powers said. “They are, but it’s probably harder on them than it is on you.”

That’s why she and so many others offer support at work, she said.

Powers has been a Harrah’s employee for roughly 10 years. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2012, one week before Thanksgiving. Only six months later, in April 2013, she was declared to be in remission, but that wasn’t the end of it for her, she said.

Now she helps wherever she can.

Paula “Princess” Powers. Phot o by Mason Callejas

Not only does the casino itself provide help to the employees through their collective support, but it also sometimes helps minimize the financial fallout that comes with a cancer diagnosis.

Per their website, the Harrah’s Employee Assistance Relief Trust, or HEART fund, “is designed to provide financial assistance to team members who face an unforeseen crisis, which results in financial hardship.”

One of the recipients of the HEART fund, casino employee Terri Robinson, said the program quickly provided financial assistance that helped her afford the costly drugs used to treat cancer.

“I was told to apply, and it was like that day, or the next morning that I had [their] help,” Robinson said. “In my case, it helped with medical bills and helped start my chemo treatment again.”

Robinson has been a Harrah’s employee for just over three years. Less than a year after coming on board in 2015, she said, she was diagnosed. In February of this year she was finally declared to be in remission.

Having access to a great support network among her co-workers, and surprisingly even some of the guests, has helped tremendously, she said.

“One day, out of the blue, [a guest] asked if I was a survivor, and this was partially covered,” Robinson said as she pointed at the pink ribbon and butterfly tattoo she has on her forearm. “It’s just amazing, the support.”

Terri Robinson. Photo by Mason Callejas

As of the publication of this article, Robinson was awaiting the result of another test which could unfortunately show her cancer has returned. Regardless of the results, she said, she will press on.

“It’s hard to be positive sometimes,” Robinson said. “Princess always asks how I’m doing, or says, ‘Hang in there,’ so when you have somebody else fighting the fight, it helps.”

Both Robinson and Powers said it’s important to not be afraid to reach out and ask for help. But, they said, the No. 1 thing that has helped them was staying positive.

“You have to stay positive,” Powers said. “The slightest amount of negativity and you could fall off.”

Terri Robinson’s cancer-survivor tattoo. Photo by Mason Callejas

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From left to right: Jared Hatchard, Community Pharmacy Operations Manager, Kenny Leutz, Pharmacy Manager- Florence, Matthew Bertsch, Director of Pharmacy on University of Arizona College of Pharmacy Graduation day 2017

By Matthew Bertsch, Director of Pharmacy
Sun Life Family Health Center

Giving back to the communities that we work in is extremely fulfilling. When hiring for rural healthcare, one needs to find someone who is

Know your Pharmacist

Get to know your Pharmacist on a first name basis to be engaged and better understand your health and well-being. Never be afraid to ask your Pharmacist a question. No appointment needed. #OneSmallChange

dedicated and passionate, and strives to make the community a healthier place. Recruiting and retaining great employees is of the utmost importance to the success of an organization embedded in rural healthcare. We at Sun Life hired Kenny Leutz onto our pharmacy team in November of 2015. Kenny was one of our first true “homegrown” Pharmacy Managers. We trained Kenny from Intern through Pharmacist and now we are preparing him for his role as Pharmacy Manager at our site in Florence. As is the case with many pharmacists graduating from pharmacy schools around the nation, there is the desire to spread the message that pharmacists, in general, are more than meets the eye. The career is no longer just about filling and looking at prescriptions and medications. The career is focused on patient safety, and making certain that patients leave our hands with the best possible outcomes.

Kenny Leutz answered the following questions regarding pharmacists and patient care.

How can a pharmacist improve patient care?

“Pharmacists can play an important role in providing comprehensive health care to every patient that they have. Pharmacists verify that appropriate medications are prescribed to patients, free from dosing errors, serious drug-drug interactions and drug-disease interactions. Additionally, patients need to be counseled on how to take medications correctly. Having the right medication prescribed means nothing if the patient is not educated on when medications should be taken, how they should be taken, and signs that the medication can be harmful instead of helpful.

Kenny verifies prescriptions during his training as a
staff pharmacist at the Casa Grande location

What do community health centers mean to rural healthcare?

“Community health centers are extremely important to residents of rural communities mainly because access to health care is so limited. Many residents of rural Arizona lack health care coverage, have lower than average income, lack physical access to health care facilities, and have no supplemental support that is needed to live a healthy lifestyle. Community health centers are essential to help bridge this gap in care to underserved communities by providing primary and preventive care, health education, mental health, pediatric, dental, and pharmacy services among others.”

What do you see in your future?

“I see myself continuing to work in rural communities providing quality, comprehensive health care. I feel that I can play a larger role in rural communities due to the limited number of providers and resources that are available”. Pharmacy, in general, is so much more than meets the eye. It is the assistance with over-the-counter medications, education of the patient at the time of prescription pickup and the friendliness of the familiar face when patients visit regularly that is expected of pharmacists. What is rarely seen is the work behind the scenes, the constant communication with providers, ensuring proper medication dosages, and the careful preparation of prescriptions that often pharmacists do not get recognized for. We, as pharmacists, take pride in the quality of care that we offer patients.

For questions regarding Sun Life’s pharmacy services or any of our 13 locations please call Sun Life Family Health Center at 520- 836-3446 or visit our website at www. sunlifefamilyhealth.org.

By Aaron Gilbert

Aaron Gilbert. Photo by William Lange

What is fish oil? Fish oil is, well, oil from fish.

It’s rich in two groups of omega-3 fatty acids known as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). DHA and EPA, along with alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), found in things like flax and walnuts, fall under the subheading of omega-3 fatty acids.

EPA and DHA are often cited as being the beneficial components of fish oil. EPA and DHA originate in algae, which is the base of the food chain for fish. Fish consume algae and thus concentrate high amounts of the beneficial fats.

Why is fish oil so important?

Overall health

Omega-3’s are very important to cardiovascular function, nervous system function and brain development, and immunity health. Research shows low DHA consumption (and blood levels) is associated with memory loss, difficulty concentrating, Alzheimer’s disease and mood problems.

Cell membranes

Essential fats play an integral role in promoting cell health. Human cells have a fatty membrane (lipid bilayer) that is semi-permeable. It regulates what gets into the cell and what goes out of it. The fluidity of cell membranes depends on the fatty acid composition of the diet.

Metabolic health

Finally, DHA and EPA can increase metabolism by increasing levels of enzymes that boost calorie-burning ability.

Omega-3 to omega-6 ratio

It’s easy for us to get omega-6 fatty acids. These are found in plant oils and factory-raised animals, which are fed a lot of corn and soy.

But it’s hard for people in western countries to get omega-3 fats from dietary sources. We eat a lot more processed foods and a lot less wild game and plants than our ancestors did. And we don’t usually eat things like snails and insects, which are also high in omega-3, like are common in diets elsewhere in the world. We rely heavily now on omega-6 vegetable oils.

What you should know

We can’t make omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in our bodies, so we need to get them from our diets.

Recommendations

  1. Aim for 3-9 daily grams of total fish oil (about 1-3 grams of EPA + DHA) per day from a supplement company that doesn’t contribute directly to the depletion of fish (e.g., they use primarily fish discards).
  2. Look for small-fish-based formulations (e.g. herring, mackerel). Small fish are lower on the food chain and less likely to accumulate environmental toxins. Or choose krill oil or algae oil.
  3. Avoid cod liver oil.
  4. Avoid trans fats; they can interfere with EPA & DHA in the body.
  5. Limit consumption of corn, cottonseed and sunflower oil (omega-6-rich vegetable oils), which negatively alter your fatty acid ratio.

Aaron Gilbert, CSCS, is founder/owner of Longevity Athletics.

520-261-4661; Aaron@LongevityAthletics.com


This column appears in the October issue of InMaricopa.

Sponsored content

Orthodontists Tyler and Dustin Coles

Maricopa orthodontists Tyler and Dustin Coles rooted their business in the community when the city was in the midst of historical growth.

“During the housing boom of the mid 2000s, we noticed that there was no orthodontist in Maricopa,” Tyler Coles said. “We decided that it would be a great place to start a practice that could grow with the town.”

For the past 12 years, the Coles have treated over 10,000 patients in Maricopa and their four other locations.

The family’s local office is unique, with cool, slushy drinks and warm, baked cookies ready for patients while they wait.

“We like to think of ourselves as the one orange in the sea of apples,” said Dustin Coles.

Dustin said the recognition they have received for their intricate work is as individualized as the clients they treat.

Premier Orthodontics offers traditional, metal braces, clear aligners, as well as oral surgery and other teeth-straightening options.

“Our practice has won an award from Invisalign for treating the hardest case in the country,” Dustin said.

In addition to its day-to-day operations, Dustin and Tyler said they like to give back to their community through charity work.

“We also have pledged to treat 100 kids a year pro bono, through the Smiles Change Lives foundation,” Dustin said. “It’s our way of saying ‘thanks’ and helping those in need.”

Premier operates out of Chandler/Gilbert, Casa Grande, North Phoenix/Scottsdale and Central Phoenix. Coles said Maricopa customers can visit any Premier office if they need to be seen while visiting the Valley.

“We love what we do, and that we are here to serve the people of Maricopa for the long haul,” Dustin Coles said.

 

YourAZBraces.com

520-448-4045


This item appears in the InMaricopa Health Guide.

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Aaron Gilbert. Photo by William Lange

By Aaron Gilbert

What are Kettlebells?

Kettlebells are iron or steel balls with a flattened bottom on one end and a curved handle on the other. Kettlebells are used both for general fitness training and competitive sport.

They improve whole-body, dynamic movement for strength, endurance and power. They are used by sports teams, those who train at home, world-class athletes and folks who want to burn fat and build muscle.

Kettlebell Advantages

  • They are a room-efficient gym you can take anywhere and use anywhere.
  • By varying the weights used, you can use the same movement for cardio, strength-endurance, speed or power.
  • You can do swings, presses, pulls, squatting-type movements and dynamic work.
  • Because kettlebell movements involve the whole body, you work upper and lower body strength concurrently and time effectively.
  • The focus on form for shoulder work helps strengthen and stabilize the shoulder joint.

Getting Started: Find a coach

Kettlebell

The best start for any kettlebell user is to begin with finding a skilled and experience coach.

A trained eye can evaluate key parts of foundational moves, such as:

  • proper grip/wrist alignment with the bell.
  • foot-to-knee position.
  • shoulder action.
  • appropriate back alignment.

A few sessions with a coach is the best way to help learn and refine these elegant moves.

Summary and Recommendations

 Kettlebells are a fabulous and often-overlooked tool for strength training and general fitness improvements. The mileage one can get from a single kettlebell is hard to match with any other training tool. As the kettlebell’s signature movements are dynamic, they blend the benefits of multiple joint strength lifts with power and endurance work.

Kettlebell work also helps develop forearm, hand and finger strength because of numerous options for grip, and various weights dynamically challenging the grip repeatedly and at high speeds.

A single kettlebell workout can include a great variety of pushes, pulls and power movements. Because of the options of varying weight and sets, kettlebells offer fat-burning alternatives to bikes or treadmills. Kettlebells engage the whole body with a single tool that is small, portable and affordable for home use.

Whether looking for conditioning, fat-burning, raw strength or power, it’s worth looking into kettlebell training.

Aaron Gilbert, CSCS, is founder/owner of Longevity Athletics.

520-261-4661

Aaron@LongevityAthletics.com


This column appears in the September issue of InMaricopa.

This is the third story of a four-part series on the crisis, care and prevention of opioid abuse, which was recently named an epidemic by the governor's office.

Naloxone is sold over the counter to combat the effects of an opioid overdose.

One of the best options for saving an opioid overdose patient is to use an opiate antagonist like naloxone.  

Pharmacies in the Maricopa area are confirmed to carry one or more forms of naloxone.

Arizona Department of Health Services’ Real Time Opioid Data tracker estimates as of Aug. 24, there have been 1,961 suspected opioid overdoses, 1,339 doses of naloxone administered to those overdose patients, and an estimated 1,050 of those patients being successfully revived by the antagonist.

It’s important to note these are conservative estimates. Sometimes when users encounter the stronger forms of opiates such as heroin laced with fentanyl and carfentanil, multiple doses of naloxone are needed to revive the individual.

As of June 9, Arizona has joined more than 25 other states in creating a standing order” for naloxone, making it available without prescription over the counter at most pharmacies.

Anyone near someone who may heavily use opioids or opiates, prescription or otherwise, are recommended to obtain some form of naloxone to use in the event of an overdose.

Though in limited supply, pharmacies typically offer naloxone in two forms.

The most common form is a nasal spray called Narcan, which typically comes in a two-dose package and costs around $140 without insurance.

The next most common is a generic naloxone injection typically sold in 1-milileter, single-dose vials at around $25 a piece without insurance, or in a two-dose kit for around $50.

Another, less common, form of naloxone is being manufactured in the form if an auto-injector similar to an EpiPen, called Evizo. Costs of the auto-injector can be $500 or more.

 

Pharmacies in the Maricopa area are confirmed to carry one or more forms of naloxone. Most, including CVS, Walgreens, Walmart and Bashas’ pharmacies, carry at least the Narcan nasal spray. Though not regularly stocked with naloxone injections, most are willing to order them.

For those with insurance, naloxone can be significantly cheaper. For those without insurance coupons are available and organizations such as Sonoran Prevention Works will deliver free naloxone and offer instruction on how to administer it.


 

Part 1: How the addiction begins

Part 2: Stronger and deadlier than ever

Part 4: Recovery & Rehabilitation

Aaron Gilbert. Photo by William Lange

By Aaron Gilbert

When you are well-hydrated and conditions are awesome in your body, various processes preserve fluid and electrolyte balance. If you become dehydrated due to illness, stress, exercise, climate variations, supplements, foods or beverages, life-threatening imbalances may occur – major bummer.

Symptoms of dehydration include:

  • thirst
  • dry skin
  • fatigue and weakness
  • increased body temperature
  • muscle cramping
  • headaches
  • nausea
  • dry mucous membranes (mouth, nose, eyes)

Severe dehydration can also include:

  • muscle spasms
  • vomiting
  • dark urine
  • vision problems
  • loss of consciousness
  • kidney and liver failure

 

Exercise and Dehydration

During exercise, we need more water. The enhanced metabolic rate of muscle contraction requires a larger delivery of nutrients and oxygen along with faster waste and heat removal from the body – water makes this happen.

Loss of plasma volume during prolonged exercise by dehydration diminishes performance in part because of the associate reduction in stroke volume and increases in heart rate known as cardiovascular drift. So, to maximize your performance potential while exercising, stay hydrated.

 

If no fluids are going to be consumed during exercise, pre-hydrate with the following regimen:

  • 16 ounces of fluid on the night before exercise
  • 16 ounces of fluid in the morning
  • 16-30 ounces of fluid, 1 hour before exercise
  • 8-16 ounces 20 minutes before exercise

While dehydration is a concern, over-hydration or water intoxication is also something to watch for when consuming your fluids. Hyponatremia is a sodium electrolyte disorder that is associated with drinking excessive amounts of water that can result in death. EEK! Don’t be alarmed, cases are rare and you’d have to consume gallons and gallons of water in a relatively short amount of time for it to be a concern.

 

Tips for Avoiding Dehydration:

Be aware of thirst cues.

For men, an average of 16 cups or 128 ounces of water a day from fluid and non-fluid sources (e.g. fruits and vegetables) is adequate.

For women, an average of 11 cups or 88 ounces.

Keep in mind there is extreme variability in water needs based on climate and physical activity levels.

Consume nutrient-dense foods/beverages after exercise to assist in the re-hydrating process.

Those with a history of cramping and “salty sweat” should consider adding salt to foods/beverages after exercising (a quarter to half teaspoon).

For every pound of sweat lost during exercise, rehydrate with 2 cups of fluid.

Aaron Gilbert, CSCS, is founder/owner of Longevity Athletics.

520-261-4661

Aaron@Longevityathletics.com


This column appears in the August issue of InMaricopa.

 

By Joan Koczor

Dementia has become a growing concern for many, and its effects are long-reaching.

Joan Koczor

A person suffering from dementia often experiences confusion, problems speaking and inability to focus. Often the family of a person diagnosed with dementia feels a sense of loss. Overnight, it seems, they are robbed of this person and the important part they played in the family dynamic.

I am not an expert in this field but have been fortunate to meet those who are through seminars and workshops.

The following information comes from Wikipedia.com, MedicineNet.com and persons knowledgeable about this disease. I hope you find it helpful.

Dementia is a broad category of brain diseases that cause a long-term and often gradual decrease in the ability to think and remember that is great enough to affect a person’s daily functioning. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, which makes up 50 to 70 percent of cases.

Symptoms include memory loss, word-finding difficulties, impaired judgment and problems with day-to-day activities, which are caused by injury or loss of brain cells (neurons). Increased risk factors for dementia include older age, family history, heavy alcohol use, hardening of arteries, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and smoking.

Once the brain cells are injured, they lose their ability to communicate with other cells, leading to dysfunction.

The types of dementia include Lewy body dementia, vascular dementia and frontotemporal dementia. There is dementia associated with Parkinson’s disease or Huntington’s disease. Senile dementia (“senility”) is a term that was once used to describe all dementias; this term is no longer used as a diagnosis.

The stages of dementia:

Stage 1: No impairment – The patient has no problems.

Stage 2: Questionable impairment – The patient begins to have some difficulty but can still function independently.

Stage 3: Mild impairment – The patient has obvious but still mild difficulty with daily activities.

Stage 4: Moderate impairment – The patient needs help caring for themselves.

There is help out there. Pinal Gila Council for Seniors is in Casa Grande. Caliche Senior Living in Casa Grande has an Adult Day Care Club that provides a necessary respite for caregivers as well as providing a safe environment for their loved one. Banner Alzheimer’s Institute is in Phoenix with more resources.

This is just a sample of the help that is available.

Joan Koczor is an advocate for Maricopa seniors and a member of the Age-Friendly Maricopa Advisory Committee.


This column appears in the August issue of InMaricopa.

Aaron Gilbert. Photo by William Lange

By Aaron Gilbert

Whether vegan or paleo, some carbs or no carbs, almost all “health-conscious diets” agree on one thing: You should eat your greens!

Despite unique taste preferences, almost anyone can learn to love their veggies daily with this easy 3-step formula. It creates flavor combos that balance out the bitterness and taste great.

Step 1 – Challenge Yourself

Choose a vegetable you’ve avoided in the past or have been a little afraid to try. Research shows veggie distaste is reduced with exposure. It can take 3-4 tries to start liking something you previously didn’t.

Least Bitter to Most Bitter

1 – Spinach

2 – Asparagus

3 – Broccoli

4 – Brussels Spouts

5 – Belgian Endive

6 – Swiss Chard

7 – Collard Greens

8 – Kale

9 – Chicories

10 – Rapini

11 – Radicchio

12 – Dandelion Greens

 

Step 2 – Complement Your Greens

Select 1-3 complementary items for your veggie from these categories:

Spice:

Crushed red pepper

Chopped fresh chilies

Smoked paprika

Black pepper

Chopped garlic

Ginger

Cumin

Sour:

Fresh lemon juice

Fresh lime juice

Vinegar (wine, cider, or rice)

Preserved vegetable (pickles, chilies, etc.)

Fermented vegetables (sauerkraut, kimchi, etc.)

Wine

Salty:

Dijon mustard

Salt

Capers

Anchovies

Olives

Seaweed

Brined cheese (feta, etc.)

Complements create flavor harmony, pushing several taste buttons at the same time. This covers up the certain “veggie flavors” you may not enjoy.

 

Step 3 – Buffer the Bitterness

Select 1-2 buffering items for your veggie.

Sweet:

Maple syrup

Honey

Cooked onions

Fortified wine

Berries

Oranges, tangerines, mandarin

Mirin

Fat:

Tahini

Chopped Walnuts

Olive oil

Cooked bacon

Avocado

Soft cheese (goat, etc.)

Sliced almonds

Butter

Don’t freak out if these buffers sound calorie-dense. It only takes a little bit to balance out bitterness, not a cup of oil or a pound of bacon.

 

Step 4 – Pick your method

Wash your vegetable thoroughly. If cooking, chop them into equal-sized pieces.

Raw:

Cut veggies to desired size and arrange them on your plate.

Top with complements and buffers.

Recommended veggies:

Spinach

Broccoli

Brussels sprouts

Belgian endive

Kale

Chicories

Radicchio

Steam:

Place veggies in a single layer in steam pot with 1 inch of water.

Cook over high heat for 3 min.

Garnish with complements and buffers.

Recommended Veggies:

Spinach

Asparagus

Broccoli

Sauté:

Place damp veggies in single layer in sauté pan with a drizzle of cooking oil.

Cook on medium-high for about 10 min.

Add salty, sweet and/or spice midway through cooking.

Garnish with sour and/or fat.

Recommended veggies:

Belgian endive

Swiss chard

Collard greens

Dandelion greens

Kale

Chicories

Rapini

Braise:

Place veggies in single layer in large pot over medium heat; drizzle with cooking oil.

Add salty, spice and/or sweet along with enough water to half-submerge veggies.

Lower heat, cover and cook until tender but still firm, 15-45 min.

Garnish with sour and or fat.

Recommended veggies:

Belgian endive

Swiss chard

Collard greens

Dandelion greens

Kale

Chicories

Rapini

Aaron Gilbert, CSCS is founder/owner of Longevity Athletics.

520-261-4661

Aaron@LongevityAthletics.com


This column appears in the July issue of InMaricopa.

 

Kelly Antone explains the process

Kelly Antone and his wife Stephanie Burnette-Antone have teamed up to get healthy. Photo by Michelle Chance

A Maricopa man stepped on a scale Thursday evening and learned he dropped nearly 110 pounds in less than five months.

Kelly Antone began his journey in January when he and his wife Stephanie Burnette-Antone walked into Copa Craze. The couple was looking for a solution to health problems they said were caused in part by being overweight.

A history of high blood pressure and painful back and knee pain were motivators for Kelly Antone, who works seven days a week irrigating crops at Ak-Chin Farms.

Kelly Antone has been gradually shrinking since starting his current regimen of diet and exercise. Now his photo hangs on the wall at Copa Craze.

The strenuous, 10-hour days spent working in the heat were made worse by his extra weight, he said.

Irrigating fields requires workers to spend approximately half their day bent over small canals, siphoning water through tubes from the ditches to the crops.

“I started out at 475 pounds,” Antone said. “Four hundred seventy five pounds doesn’t really go too well with walking on little boards (across the canals).  I’d be breaking boards and the little edges on the ditches just trying to start the pipes.”

After work, friends and family described him as a “walking corpse,” depleted of energy. As the New Year rolled around, he knew it was time for a change, and so did his wife.

Stephanie Burnette-Antone said she is diabetic and had high blood sugar levels, sustained, she said, because of certain lifestyle choices.

“It was mainly because we were always eating out,” she said.

One day in mid-January the couple met wellness coach Nathan Smith.

“He came through that door and you could see it in his eyes that he was ready,” Smith said.

Kelly and Stephanie began replacing two meals a day with shakes and incorporated a daily fitness routine.

Since then, Stephanie’s blood sugar levels have become normal and Smith said Kelly has lost an average of around 22 pounds per month.

“It’s not typical to lose that much that quick,” Smith said, adding the fact that Kelly had more weight to lose than most as another factor to the rapid loss.

However, Smith also attributes Kelly Antone’s success to his dedication, as well as to his support system.

“When you have somebody in the picture that you don’t want to let down, then you work harder to do that,” Smith said.

The couple wed in March, crossing off another goal that Kelly said motivated them to get healthy.

Their dynamic is a marriage of love and enthusiasm, with both partners encouraging the other to keep at it.

“There was one point where I wanted to quit because it was getting too rough for me, but she’s my backbone on this and she kept pushing me forward,” Kelly said.

A photo of Kelly Antone now hangs on the florescent-green “wall of fame” inside Copa Craze, a tribute to his success.

But Kelly said he is not done. By the end of October, he plans to lose another 100 pounds.

“This is only one step for me,” he said. “I’ve got a few more steps to go and I’m going to get there.”

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By Andrew H. Jones

Oral hygiene is essential to a person’s overall health. “The simple acts of brushing and flossing are instilled in us so that we maintain our “pearly whites;” yet, oral health is much more than clean teeth; it involves the gums and their supporting tissues, the palate, the lining of the mouth and throat, the tongue, the lips, the salivary glands, the chewing muscles, the nerves, and the bones of the upper and lower jaws” (Benjamin, 2010). Good oral hygiene is important not only for social interactions with others, for a self-esteem aspect, but also imperative for heart health too. Let us explore how oral hygiene effects the body.

TIP of the Month

Oral Care
Oral health tips are easy to come by; but putting them into
practice is sometimes not. Don’t make oral health care a Morning
& Night only routine. Include it in your daily work schedule.
#OneSmallChange

Diseased, crooked or missing teeth can interfere with speech; compromise the ability to chew food properly without difficulty and pain. Bacteria from improper oral care of the mouth will lead to infection in other parts of the body.

  • Heart disease – Bacteria in the bloodstream can travel to the heart and lead to a heart attack.
  • Endocarditis – Bacteria may find its way to the inner linings of the heart and valves, which in turn, create growth pockets of bacteria. These pockets cause inflammation and infection of the inner linings of the heart.
  • Stroke – It is a belief that oral bacteria may be a contributing factor to the arteries narrowing as well as blood clots easily forming because of the body’s negative response to the bacteria in the bloodstream.
  • Inflammation – Inflamed gums and bleeding may cause systemic inflammation.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis – It is a known fact that periodontal disease will worsen the pain already suffered by those inflicted with this autoimmune disorder.
  • Lung Condition – Those already suffering from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and pneumonia may have their condition worsened due to an increase of bacteria in their lungs from the lack of good oral hygiene” (Six health problems linked to bad oral hygiene, 2017).

For those who need a refresher, here is why oral health is so crucial: Every time you eat, food particles stick to your teeth. If you do not brush and floss daily, the particles attract bacteria and form a slimy coating on teeth called plaque. With less than a week of inattentiveness, plaque calcifies into hard tartar that does not come off without dental assistance, and begins to lodge into the gum line. Thus, the gums become inflamed (gingivitis) the first stage of periodontal (gum) disease; little pockets open up between the teeth and the gums. Over time, the pockets get bigger, driven by festering bacteria that eat away at the tooth and its supporting architecture, eventually consuming it.

Prevention is always the best form of health care.

  • Establish daily brushing and flossing routines
  • Dental check-ups every six months
  • Avoid tobacco, high-sugar content foods and beverages

“Oral health can be a gateway to your overall well-being. Oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce the risk of developing oral health issues and disease (Dr. Maryam Mahmood, DMD, Sun Life Family Health Center, 2017). Sun Life Family Dentistry offers comprehensive services to prevent, diagnose and treat those who may be suffering from oral health discomfort to achieve dental health that we all desire. Our highly trained and skilled providers are advanced with cutting-edge technology in dentistry to provide the most current treatment options for our patients. Standing true to the Sun Life Family Health Center Vision: Excellence in: Health – Wellness – Education

REFERENCES

Dr. Maryam Mahmood, DMD – Sun Life Family Health Center, 2017

MD, MBA Benjamin, R. M. (Mar-Apr 2010). Oral Health: The Silent Epidemic. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2821841/ 

Six health problems linked to bad oral hygiene. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.dentalhealth.org/blog/blogdetails/96

 

 

 

Aaron Gilbert. Photo by William Lange

By Aaron Gilbert

What is warming up?

Warming up prepares the body for more intense movement and activity. It literally “warms up” the body by increasing core temperature.

A proper warm-up consists of movements that:

  • Move joints through their full ranges of motion
  • Enhance mobility
  • Release connective tissue bonds
  • Distribute fluid in the joint space
  • Boost speed/force of muscle contractions
  • Promote oxygen uptake

Why warming up is important

While age-related body changes and water loss can contribute to inflexibility, most of it comes down to “use it or lose it.” A proper warm-up helps counteract negative effects of aging while enhancing performance. Not warming up can lead to poor mobility/flexibility, injuries and stiffness.

Warm-up Types

Movements used during a warm-up might include:

  • Movements intended to get the core temperature up and the whole body moving (e.g. brisk walking or light jogging while swinging the arms)
  • Dynamic movements such as stretching while moving (e.g. walking lunges for hip flexibility, or tipping your head side to side for neck mobility)
  • Foam rolling should be included before the dynamic movements as part of a warm-up since it helps with mobility and breaks down scar tissue/adhesions. This relaxes the fascia and makes muscle more pliable.

Flexibility, mobility and injury

Some consider the warm-up a time to build flexibility and mobility. Flexibility is the capacity of a joint to move freely through a full range of motion. Mobility is our ability to produce a desired movement. Both are based on the elasticity of muscle, ligaments and connective tissues, but while poor mobility is correlated with injury, poor flexibility is not necessarily.

We want some areas to be more mobile but other areas to be more stable and strong. For most folks, this means it’s important to mobilize:

  • Front of shoulders
  • Ankles
  • Front of hips and IT band
  • Hamstrings
  • Thoracic spine

Tightness in these areas can contribute to tears and impingements.

Nearly 70 percent of the population will suffer from a shoulder disorder at some point in their lifetime — largely due to the inherent instability of the joint combined with the modern “rounded back” posture that pulls the shoulders forward and hunches the upper back.

While minimal flexibility is related to injury, performing static stretching (exclusively) during a warm-up doesn’t seem to decrease injuries. And too much stretching and flexibility may even increase the rate of injury. Many people, in fact, suffer injuries caused by excessive movement and flexibility in the:

  • Shoulder joint
  • Knees (especially women)
  • Cervical and lumbar spines

Summary and recommendations

Consider your warm-up period an essential part of the workout – not optional free time. It’ll make you stronger and improve your body control, balance, movement mechanics and agility.

Most benefits of a warm-up come from actually warming up the body, which can be accomplished by 4 to 15 minutes of dynamic movements. Find a warm-up that makes your body feel the best, and one that you can stick with.


This column appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

Locally, Derrick Warford is known as the defensive coordinator for Maricopa High School's football team. But he wants to spread physical and emotional wellness among all youth. Photo by William Lange

Born with a heart defect that caused him two heart attacks before his 36th birthday, Derrick Warford wants to spread wellness among the youth – physically, mentally and behaviorally.

IF YOU GO
What: AZEA Wellness Tour
When: June 24, 9 a.m-6 p.m.
Where: Ram Stadium, Maricopa High School, 45012 W. Honeycutt Ave.
How much: Event is free; 7-on-7 Passing Tournament $175 per team
Info: Facebook.com/AZEACLUB

A social services technician and one-time professional football player, Warford is an assistant football coach at Maricopa High School and heads AZ Elite Athletics Wellness Services (AZEA) to provide training and resources for school-age athletes.

“I’ve always been training athletes,” he said.

Wellness is usually top of mind for him personally. He has known since he was a child his condition would get chancy as he got older. He never let the issue keep him away from athletics or his mission to prepare kids for life.

This month, AZEA is hosting a “Wellness Tour” at Maricopa High School’s Ram Stadium. Warford said the expo is focused on mindfulness and wellness. Whether teen players come to him to find a way to use athletics to gain an education or a career or just physical discipline, he wants them to learn young the consequences of decisions they make.

The June 24 event is planned to have four major components. A “Wellness Fest” and community market will have community businesses, vendors, organizations and clubs along with artists and musicians providing resources. A “Youth Engagement Zone” is an active area with games, bounce houses, arts and crafts, raffles and special guests. The free Athletic Skills Camp is for boys and girls age 8-12 who want a try at circuit training, speed drills and a combine course.

Derrick Warford’s AZ Elite Athletics Wellness Services will host a wellness tour and 7-on-7 football passing tournament in Maricopa on June 24.

A main draw is a “Prove It” 7-on-7 football passing tournament and team combine, featuring varsity and junior varsity players from Maricopa and surrounding communities. Team entry is $175.

Warford said proceeds will benefit Be Awesome Youth Coalition, The Streets Don’t Love You Back, Maricopa Rams and Hope for Kids.

He likes to instill “the power of athletic thoughts” through constant repetition and self-awareness. When a student quits or rages or makes another bad decision, he walks them through the process of evaluating their own reaction.

“I say, ‘Ask yourself what was your trigger. What was that moment?’” he said.

A native of Macon, Georgia, Warford played football at Alabama State University. Undrafted after graduation, he signed as a free agent with the Tennessee Titans in 2006. A preseason knee injury hastened his departure from the pro ranks.

He moved to Arizona in 2008. Soured a bit on football, he worked with at-risk youth in his social services capacity. He started AZEA in 2009, building more relationships with youths and Valley coaches. Warford got married and moved to Maricopa the same year, 2014. When he heard MHS was looking for volunteers in its basketball program, he reached out, flirting with the idea of coaching the freshmen.

That position was already filled, however.

“But they knew about my football background, and [Athletic Director Mark] Cisterna caught me on a good day and asked me about the football team,” Warford said.

“He kind of fell into our laps,” said Rams head coach Chris McDonald, who brought him in as a defensive line coach.”

Warford said it didn’t take long for the football “bug” to take hold again. “The freshmen bought into me because of the NFL thing,” he said.

At the end of the year, McDonald sat him down and offered him the job of defensive coordinator.

“He’s very demanding but respectful,” McDonald said. “He’s really good with the kids.”

Warford and his wife Raven both deal with medical challenges, he with his heart and she with epilepsy. Never again wanting to have to drive himself to the hospital in the middle of a heart attack, he worked to lose weight and control his blood pressure. The goal-setting he preaches to the kids is still getting a workout in his own life.


This story appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

An opioid study released by the Arizona Department of Health Services has prompted Gov. Doug Ducey to declare an emergency Monday.

The study, which looked at data involving opioid-related deaths in the state from 2007 to 2016, showed an increase of 74 percent since 2012. The state documented 790 opioid deaths last year. Of those, 308 involved heroin and 482 were from prescription medication.

The emergency declaration of an opioid epidemic sets up an “enhanced surveillance advisory” and requires a rapid response from the health department.

The declaration gives Arizona the ability to coordinate public health efforts between state, local and private-sector partners and allows the state to utilize all public health resources. That includes distributing naloxone throughout the community to help prevent drug overdose deaths. The declaration and enhanced surveillance advisory will provide for enhanced reporting of overdose deaths from doctors and hospitals.

“As the number of opioid overdoses and deaths increase at an alarming rate, we must take action. It’s time to call this what it is — an emergency,” Ducey said.

The report showed 4-9 deaths in the Maricopa area in 2016. The highest concentrations of opioid-related fatalities were in North Mountain in metro Phoenix and the central and south areas of metro Tucson.

The report also includes some data from 2017, showing the number of overdose patients that first responders had to treat with naloxone. That hit a high of 517 in March. Of the 514 treated in May, 27 percent needed multiple doses.

The cost of treating opioid-related emergencies rose 125 percent between 2009 and 2015, according to the study. Those dying from opioid use between 2007 and 2016 tended to be white and under the age of 54.

The study showed heroin-related deaths to have the sharpest rise among opioid users. Nearly 86 percent of opioid deaths involved other non-opioid drugs.

“The only way we will be able to make an impact in the opioid epidemic is to come together as a community, and this declaration helps us move forward quickly,” said Dr. Cara Christ, director of Health Services. “We will look into improving prescription practices, addressing poly drug use, and analyzing raw data on overdose deaths that occur to see where the problem areas are and learn how we can make changes to save lives.”

Sponsored Content

 

By Andrew H. Jones

TIP OF THE MONTH
Educational Activities
Visit your local library for fun educational activities that will stimulate your child’s development.
#OneSmallChange

Children are constantly learning and parents are a defining factor for the child’s developmental milestones. According to the Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development, “The emotional, social and physical development of young children has a direct effect on their overall development and on the adult they will become, thus understanding the need to invest in very young children is so important, so as to maximize their future well-being”. A positive, happy home, full of love and emotion is the best environment for a child

to thrive. Parents can help to achieve a stable learning environment by developing a routine for the child to include healthy eating habits, play time learning, personal hygiene care, and simple tasks relative to the child’s age and competency level. Below is a list of benefits that effect early childhood development and have a lifelong impact:

  • Good nutrition, health, and exercise are critical
  • Children are born ready to learn
  • The best learning happens in nurturing relationships
  • The brain develops through use
  • Children’s wellbeing is critical to brain development and learning
  • Children learn through being engaged and doing
  • Children learn from watching and copying
  • Children learn language by listening to it and using it

Children are stimulated with various opportunities that can be incorporated in everyday activities. The parent should make the daily routine a positive learning experience to explore new (and exciting) ways for the child to expand their developmental goals. Allow and empower the child to do for themselves what he or she is capable of doing. For example: Teaching children, as opposed to taking over and doing even the smallest task for the child, is a huge example of how developmental milestones can be met. Reading to your child will also build communication, language and literacy skills for the child. Describing shapes, textures, colors, for the child will allow him or her to begin to know the world around them, increase their general knowledge and stimulate their thinking abilities.

While these activities address some of the overall development for the child, there are factors that will greatly determine your child’s ability to learn. Genetics can determine the child’s prognosis of learning and retaining information. If there is a learning difference in the bloodline, chances are the child will inherit the difference as well. Therefore, the parent will then need to take measures to understand how the child learns conducive to his or her ability.

Want to see where your child stands on their developmental landmark? Please follow up with your Sun Life Family Health Center pediatrician to discuss your concerns with the provider.

 

Sun Life Family Health Center in Maricopa presents: Meet the Expert

Sun Life Family Health Center is partnering with the Maricopa Public Library to promote early learning literacy and educational programs within the community. Please join Dr. Stella Raposas, MD, FAAP and Dana Rodriguez, PHD, APNP-BC the 1st Wednesday and 3rd Thursday of every month from 9:15am – 10:15am at the Maricopa Public Library. This event will provide story time for the children and an opportunity for parents and adult family members to meet with local health care providers. Our goal is to help and provide

information to parents about non-medical wellness, development, and health behaviors. This is a great opportunity to meet our pediatric providers and ask non-medical questions relating to day-to-day physical and emotional health of your children.

REFERENCES

Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development. (March 2011). Importance of early childhood development. Retrieved from http://www.child-encyclopedia.com/importance-early-childhood-development.

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Submitted photo

By Andrew H. Jones

Is it a cold or allergies? This is a question that plagues many people this time of year. On one hand, you’ve been sneezing and sniffling, swallowing over-the-counter meds every few hours. On the other hand, it’s been going on for two and a half weeks now and it seems there is no end in sight. Let’s take a closer look at some of the similarities and differences to better understand what may be ailing you.

Similarities of Allergies & Colds:
• Sneezing
• Runny nose
• Congestion and stuffy nose
• Coughing
• Sore throat

Differences of Allergies & Colds:
• Itchy eyes are a less common symptom of a cold
• Severe colds can cause fevers and body aches and are not usually signs of allergies
• Sore throat in allergies is most often caused by postnasal drip
• Allergies can cause rashes

“People with allergies are sometimes more prone to catching colds. Recovery from a cold is usually quick – in fact, the average duration of a cold is 7 to 10 days.

If symptoms last more than a week or two, the cold may have progressed into a secondary bacterial infection such as bronchitis or sinusitis. Allergies are more difficult to predict and can be a little tricky, they can be seasonal, or come and go daily and reoccur often” (Dr. Ted Crawford, DO, Medical Director, Sun Life Family Health Center, 2017).

As the season begins to warm, the plants begin to pollinate, spreading the ‘joy’ in the air to all of us who are susceptible to seasonal allergies. However, we are still in the middle of cold and flu season. So the sniffles may very well be one last ride on the Rhinovirus bandwagon..

TIP OF THE MONTH
Cut down on dust in your home
Concentrate on cleaning your bedroom where you sleep. Wash all of your bedding regularly. Wipe dust
off dressers, night-stands, appliances, ceiling fans, and wear a dust mask while doing so. Clean your
house regularly with a vacuum. #OneSmallChange

Allergies range from mild to seasonal allergies with more severe symptoms; which can cause life-threatening reactions. People can have an array of symptoms and allergic reactions to any number of things, including various airborne pollens, foods, medications, and allergy shots. Whether you have a mild or severe allergy, you should know the proper response to a reaction, address accordingly, and minimize your discomfort.

Keeping track of the local daily pollen percentages in your area can be very helpful and might make you Ah-Ah-Ah-choose to stay inside, wear a preventative mask, or limit your outdoor activities. Here is a helpful website that can help keep you informed of your local air pollen content. https://www.pollen.com

Scheduling an appointment with your Sun Life Family Health Center provider is the first step to treating your cold or allergies. He or she will be able to diagnose your symptoms and refer you to a local (specialist) allergist. The allergist can then test you to find out what triggered your allergic reaction and can prescribe medication or give you allergy shots to help manage your symptoms.

REFERENCES
Dr. Ted Crawford, DO, Medical Director – Sun Life family
Health Center
Pollen.com

Aaron Gilbert. Photo by William Lange

By Aaron Gilbert

Strength training, commonly referred to as resistance training, refers to a specialized method of exercise that involves the progressive use of assorted resistive loads and a variety of training methods intended to promote health, fitness and performance improvement.

Wow – can you say long winded much? Let’s put it another way: Strength training is using your muscles against resistance. Muscles adapt to any type of resistance.

The resistance can be a heavy object, one’s own body weight, elastic resistance from bands, or other types of machine resistance from pulleys or hydraulics. The heavy object could be a dumbbell, medicine ball, log, grocery bag, rock, car— anything that has mass.

Why is strength training so important?

For starters – let’s get the obvious out of the way. Strength training makes you stronger. It does this in several ways, including:

■ Building muscle tissue

■ Improving rate of force production — how quickly you can generate force to move against the resistance

■ Strengthening connective tissues such as tendons – it can also make your muscles bigger while creating a demand for blood delivery, engaging the cardiovascular system.

■ Improving muscular coordination — in other words, the ability to coordinate your moving parts

How else can strength training be useful?

Strength training:

■ Preserves and enhances muscle mass

■ Preserves and enhances metabolic rate

■ Improves bone density

■ Improves glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity

■ Lowers risk of injury

■ Improves ability to engage in daily activities

■ Improves balance

■ Improves self-esteem

■ Enhances strength and endurance

■ Enhances speed, power and agility

■ Improves overall body composition

■ Decreases bad cholesterol levels

■ Decreases blood pressure

■ Improves aerobic capacity

Inactivity or a sedentary lifestyle leads to loss of muscle mass and strength which can then influence the development of many chronic diseases. Maintaining muscle mass with strength training can prevent some of the most common and increasingly rampant health conditions, including obesity and diabetes.

Who can strength train?

In the past, strength training was primarily used by athletes to enhance performance and/or increase muscle size. However, strength training is now recognized as critical to everyone’s health and fitness — regardless of gender, age, or ability. Leading health organizations, including the ACSM and NSCA recommend regular strength training as part of one’s fitness regimen.

With a properly constructed workout program that is tailored to individual goals and skills, anyone can strength train: men, women, children and adolescents, older people, and people with disabilities or movement limitations.

Where to go for guidance?

Look for a fitness professional in your areas, specifically a strength and conditioning specialist with credentials from the NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association). A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) has undergone the education and training necessary to ensure safe, efficient, and effective outcomes will take place.

Aaron Gilbert, CSCS, founder/owner of Longevity Athletics.


This column appears in the April issue of InMaricopa.

Justice Brown, 7, has eosinophilic esophagitis, which affects 1 in 1,500 children. Photo by Anita McLeod

By Chris Swords Betts

“Her body is attacking all food,” said Jacquette Brown, mother of Justice Brown, a Maricopa second-grader.

Justice was diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), a chronic immune disease, at the age of 3.

Now 7, Justice will undergo an endoscopy and biopsy of her esophagus under general anesthesia every three to six months until her doctors can determine which foods, if any, she can eat.

This procedure is nothing new to Justice, who underwent her most recent endoscopy Dec. 12. Following the procedure, Justice’s doctor restricted her diet to only fresh fruits and some vegetables, and the hypoallergenic protein formula that gives her the nutrition lacking in her diet.

Brown said when she took Justice to the doctor for her chronic rashes, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting and flu-like symptoms, she was repeatedly dismissed as being a worried new mother.

“Finally, after years of getting the run around, I got fed up,” said Brown, who was living in Michigan with her family at the time. “We drove to Wisconsin and got the diagnosis.”

EoE causes a buildup of a type of white blood cell in the esophagus, due to reactions to food, other allergens or acid reflux. The buildup can lead to serious health problems, including difficulty swallowing, vomiting, food impaction and choking.

EoE was first identified about 20 years ago. According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, an estimated 1 in 1,500 children had EoE in 2012.

“She reacts to just the smell of food,” Brown said. “Her throat starts closing.”

Because of this, Justice can’t eat her lunch in the school cafeteria.

“My friends like to eat with me in the nurse’s office,” Justice said.

There is no cure for EoE.

“They go into remission,” Brown said. “It’s a back-and-forth thing. Some days are good days.”

Justice’s doctor will continue to eliminate foods from her diet until the results of her procedure come back clear.

Brown said there are some people who can only have formula and have gastronomy feeding tubes (G-Tubes) in place.

“We’re hoping she doesn’t have to have it,” Brown said. “Lots of people say that’s the best solution.”

Brown said Justice sometimes expresses a desire for a G-Tube, because of her distaste for the formula.

“It’s just a nasty, sweet taste,” said Wesley Brown, Justice’s father. “It doesn’t taste good at all.”

Despite both Browns working and having medical insurance through Wesley’s work, they are struggling to manage the cost and time constraints of Justice’s condition. On top of medical bills, the formula alone adds up to more than $650 per month. The Browns are hoping Wesley’s new insurance will cover a portion of this.

“We have medical bills mounting up,” Brown said. “We need to be in a position to cover this stuff. It’s getting out of control.”

The family was planning to take Justice to a specialist in Cincinnati, until they found Dr. Mark E. McOmber at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

“It’s just been amazing since the first day,” Brown said. “He genuinely cares about her.”

 

gofundme.com/support-justice


This story appears in the February issue of InMaricopa.

Justice Brown's family includes her parents Jacquette and Wesley and sister Jaysha. Photo by Anita McLeod
Justice Brown’s family includes her parents Jacquette and Wesley and sister Jaysha. Photo by Anita McLeod

Submitted photo

By Chef Neil Magbnua

Chef Neil Magbnua
Chef Neil Magbnua

This month’s recipe is for you vegetarians out there, or those of you who are trying to eat more vegetables but are tired of steamed broccoli. Made known to the general population with the Pixar/ Disney movie of the same name, ratatouille is one of my favorite vegetable dishes to make and, quite frankly, the only way I’m willing to eat zucchini and yellow squash.

Let me start by saying that the following recipe is not traditional ratatouille. The original way of preparing this dish involves slicing the vegetables uniformly thin and cooking them slowly while covered with parchment paper. In today’s world, not many of us have time for that.

Ingredients

1 cup diced zucchini
1 cup diced yellow squash
1 cup diced eggplant
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced bell pepper
1 cup diced tomato
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup tomato juice
1 tablespoon dry herb blend (Herb de Provence or mix 1/3 tablespoon each of dry basil, dry oregano and dry thyme)

Directions

Before cooking, separate the vegetables into the following groups: Eggplant, onion and celery, zucchini and yellow squash, peppers and tomato. These five groups take different cooking times; pre-cooking grouping will help ensure they are done at the same time.

In a large sauté pan, start ½ cup of olive oil over high heat. Sweat eggplant for about 3 minutes. Lower the heat and add onions and celery and sweat for an additional 5 minutes. Add zucchini and yellow squash and sweat for another 3 minutes. Add peppers and sweat for an additional 3 minutes. Add tomato juice, dry herbs, and garlic, stir in thoroughly, then add tomatoes. Cook over medium heat until most of the liquid has evaporated.

To brighten the flavor, you may add a little red wine vinegar to taste. Garnish with fresh basil or any fresh, leafy herb of your choice (I wouldn’t recommend cilantro, though). Season with salt and pepper.

This vegetable “stew” is good as a side dish with meat or hearty fish or can be thrown together with your favorite pasta. Good luck and good eating.

Neil Magbnua is chef at Arroyo Grille at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes.


This column appears in the February issue of InMaricopa.

Aaron Gilbert. Photo by William Lange

By Aaron Gilbert

Our obsession with calorie counting, macronutrients and dieting over the past 30 years has resulted in increased body-fat levels. So what’s the deal? Let’s take a quick look at why fat loss is important and steps you can take in beating the battle of the bulge.

WE NEED TO LOSE FAT…

As a group, people in most industrialized societies are likely to be overweight.

This isn’t just a superficial thing. Excess body fat can negatively affect nearly every aspect of life, including:

■ increased risk of stress fractures
■ increased risk of organ failure
■ poor circulatory health
■ increased risk of heart disease
■ increased risk of strokes
■ increased risk of cancers
■ poor emotional health and self-esteem
■ decreased sexual and reproductive health

…BUT IT’S SO HARD

STEPS TO REDUCE BODY-FAT LEVELS

1. Exercise at least five hours per week.
2. Eat whole/unprocessed foods at regular intervals, while being aware of physical hunger/fullness cues.
3. Substitute trigger foods with foods that are similar tasting and texture but align with your goals (e.g. substitute cauliflower rice for instant rice).
4. Use a journal/planner and create simple, weekly meal plans that are practical.
5. Sleep 7-9 hours per night.
6. Don’t engage in extreme diets.
7. Stay consistent with your habits.
8. Incorporate daily, non-exercise physical activity.
9. Ignore food advertising.


Here’s the problem: As a whole, we’re not very good at losing fat either. Even the most advanced obesity treatments (e.g. bariatric surgery, medication) have success rates of less than 10 percent for permanent weight reduction/management.

About 95 percent of those who are overweight go on repeated diets, only to gain most or all of the weight back within one year. Nearly 70 percent of people in the United States are overweight or obese. The percentage of 12- to 17-year-olds who are overweight has doubled since 1980.

So what can we do to stop this trend and end this cycle? Start with taking it one day at a time. It’s about progress, not perfection. When you stumble, don’t beat yourself up for going astray. Just get back on track and continue applying the steps listed below.

Aaron Gilbert, CSCS, is owner of Longevity Athletics.
520-261-4661
Aaron@LongevityAthletics.com


This column appears in the February issue of InMaricopa.

Aliberto's Mexican Food was among four eateries to corrected issues last month to get satisfactory marks from the county inspector. Photo by William Lange

Of 23 eateries inspected in Maricopa from Dec. 16 to Jan. 15, all received marks of “Excellent” except four. Those four fixed violations on the spot for “Satisfactory” marks.

At Aliberto’s Mexican Restaurant, a cook was observed rolling a burrito with bare hands, items in the prep table were over the required cold-holding temperature of 41 degrees, and there were no date markings on several items in a walk-in refrigerator.

Helen’s Kitchen had a plate of raw, uncovered chicken on top of an uncovered container of beef patties, and some food in the fridge had no date markings.

Maricopa High School had hot dogs being thawed improperly and improper cold-holding for milk containers.

True Grit Tavern had sauce spilled in the walk-in refrigerator, bread next to a puddle of chicken blood, macaroni and cheese at 65 degrees instead of the required hot-holding temperature of 135, unlabeled food items in the fridge, items past their date marking still in the fridge and condensation build-up on containers in freezer.

Excellent [No violations found]
Bashas’
Bashas’ – Bakery
Bashas’ – Deli
Bashas’ – Starbuck’s
Carl’s Jr.
Children’s Learning Adventure Childcare Centers
Chipotle Mexican Grill
The Duke at Rancho El Dorado
Fry’s Marketplace
Fry’s Marketplace – Bakery
Fry’s Marketplace – Starbuck’s
Fry’s Marketplace – Sushi
Honeycutt Coffee
Maricopa Head Start
Penascos Mexican Restaurant
Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart – Bakery
Wal-Mart – Deli
Yogurt Jungle

Satisfactory [Violations corrected during inspection]
Aliberto’s Mexican Food
True Grit Tavern
Helen’s Kitchen
Maricopa High School

Needs Improvement [Critical items noted during inspection cannot be corrected immediately, requiring follow-up inspection]
None

Unacceptable [Gross, unsanitary conditions necessitating the discontinuation of operation]
None


This article appears in the February issue of InMaricopa.

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February is National Heart Health Month. Maricopa cardiologist Dr. Zaher Akkad and his staff offer tips for keeping a healthy heart.

1.    Be physically active. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity at least five days a week, or 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity three days a week. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t have the time or some days are busier than others – something is always better than nothing.

2.    Eat a well-balanced diet. Maintain a healthy body weight. Choose foods low in cholesterol and fats. Watch sodium intake and increase fruits and vegetables. Portion control is key. Always stay hydrated.

3.    Complete yearly physicals. Physicals allow your provider to check for basic things such as blood pressure, blood work, body mass index (BMI) and any abnormal heart sounds or rhythms.

4.    Know your cardiac risk factors. Five major risk factors for heart disease are hypertension, diabetes, family history of coronary artery disease, tobacco use and hyperlipidemia. Prevention is key. If you have cardiac risk factors, discuss them with your provider. A referral to a cardiologist may be beneficial for baseline screening. Make it a goal to control your blood pressure and diabetes. Take your medications as prescribed. Genetics is not something that can be controlled, but it’s very important to know your family medical history.

5.    Control stress. Increased stress can lead to elevated blood pressure and heart rate, as well as unhealthy lifestyle choices. A stress-relieving technique such as yoga and meditation helps relieve stress and benefits your body and quality of life.

Source: Zaher Akkad, M.D. and Katie Minor, PA-C – Affiliated Cardiologists of AZ


This column appears in the February issue of InMaricopa.

Chocolate! Whether it’s the comfort of hot chocolate on a cold day, ooey gooey warm fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, or the decadence of chocolate dipped strawberries, what’s not to love? There seems to be a chocolate that fits every occasion, and, chocolate can be good for you.

Chocolate is made from tropical Theobroma cacao tree seeds, and its use by the Aztec peoples pre-dates European colonization. Ever since then, chocolate has circled the globe.

Studies have shown chocolate or rather the cocoa from the cacao tree, to be a virtual “super food.” It’s high in fiber, and is a quality source of many vitamins and minerals, including iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and a good source of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.

But that’s not all. The many medically proven positive effects of cocoa powder include:

  • Lowers cholesterol (LDL) levels, and increases healthy (HDL) cholesterol levels
  • Improves blood flow to the brain, preventing memory decline (or possibly dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease) as we age, and lowers risk of stroke
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease and lowers blood pressure
  • Increases cell ability to accept and use insulin
  • Can raise your energy level

Cocoa actually helps build capillaries and provides more energy at a cellular level in your muscles, including the most important one – the heart. A recent study in The British Medical Journal claimed that eating chocolate regularly could reduce the risk of heart disease by one-third, and 22 percent less likely to suffer a stroke.

One of the reasons that cocoa has so many amazing physical benefits is because of its ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) rating. ORAC is a measure of the antioxidant activity of foods. These antioxidants include polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins, among other amazing chemicals found in foods. Antioxidants are chemicals that provide protection against aging of cells in the body and premature death from exposure to “free radical” oxygen atoms. According to scientists, raw cocoa has one of the highest amounts of antioxidants of any food source measured in the world.

These antioxidants have been researched and found to lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to the brain and heart. The flavanols can even have protective properties against sun-induced damage. They do so by improving blood flow to the skin. That increases the skin’s density and hydration, and therefore puts up a wall against potential UV ray damage.

But not all chocolates are created equal. Benefits are not found in white chocolate or milk chocolate. Many chocolate products have high amounts of fats and sugars, so moderate intake of these foods is recommended. Many chocolate products are also highly processed, eliminating many beneficial vitamins and minerals so that its taste far outweighs the benefits of the cocoa.

One tip when buying chocolate is to look for the dark chocolate products, especially those that contain a higher percentage of cocoa (70 percent or more). The more raw cocoa in the product and less processed the better.

Or you can even purchase raw cacao, which is unaltered and cold-pressed from the cacao bean, which retains many living enzymes in the product. Cocoa is roasted, and destroys many of these enzymes in the process.

Some concerns have been brought up about the amount of caffeine in cocoa. But according to studies, the caffeine you would get in a small serving of chocolate is nothing to be concerned about, compared to a large steaming cup of coffee.

But wait, there’s more. If you enjoy chocolate and good family fun, join Sun Life Family Health Center for our 2nd Annual “For the Love of Chocolate” Fun Run and Walk. All participants receive a chocolate-filled goodie bag, dri-fit t-shirt, finishers medal, and enjoy chocolate sweet spots placed throughout the course! Consider your chocolate cravings warned!

The fun run / walk event is planned for Saturday, March 4, 2017 at Copper Sky Recreation Complex (M.L.K. Jr. Blvd, Maricopa, AZ 85138). For more information, visit our event page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SunLifeFunRun/, or to register, sign up at www.sunliferun.com.

 

http://authoritynutrition.com/7-health-benefits-dark-chocolate/

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270272.php

Aaron Gilbert. Photo by William Lange

By Aaron Gilbert

Squatting is as fundamental to human movement as apple pie is to America. Performing a squat involves nearly every muscle in the body.

It’s essential for picking up stuff off the floor, sitting down, going to the bathroom – basically most day-to-day activity we tend to take for granted.

Additionally, exercise science tells us squats are excellent for building strength, power and mobility. Full, properly-performed squats can help counteract many of the chronic musculo-skeletal problems we face today, such as weak glutes, poor posture, lower back pain and a weak core.

If a person can properly perform a full-depth squat with their own bodyweight, without pain or discomfort, they are probably fairly fit.

Below are some recommendations on how to master the ultimate exercise. Enjoy!

Guidelines

If you want to get better at the squat, practice. Practice helps coordinate movement and build the mobility you need to do the movement properly.

Every body type is different. Try a variety of squats, stances and ranges of motion. Focus on form and proper technique, not piling on weight to impress your gym buddies. Check your ego at the door.

Do your mobility drills. A body with poor mobility is a body that will likely get injured with squats.

Full squats are often safer than shallow squats. The deeper you go when squatting, the more muscles are recruited.

Control the descent and reverse the movement carefully. Don’t rely on your ligaments to bounce you out of a deep squat.

Think about how the squat helps your fitness and performance. The squat technique that allows you to lift the most weight isn’t necessarily the best or most appropriate option.

Keep it simple. Even babies can squat. Don’t over-think it.

Troubleshooting Your Squat

When you’re learning the squat, snap photos or videotape yourself. This can provide invaluable feedback.

Trouble getting a comfortable squat pattern? Try a wider stance with toes pointed out a little. (Remember knees follow toes.)

Use natural foot positioning (similar to other athletic movements), with toes slightly out.

Keep heels on the ground. If need be, put small plates under your heels until you develop better mobility in hip and ankle joints.

Control squat speed, using a 2-3 second descent (unless your sport/activity demands another style).

Maintain a neutral spine.

Take breaks — fatigue can result in poor mechanics.

Keep your hands close to your body.

Look forward and keep your head up.

Work on mobility drills for ankles, hips and the thoracic spine.

Trouble keeping the weight on your heels? Take off your shoes or get a thin-soled shoe. Keep your chest proud and core tight.

Trouble squatting deep? Get your body warmed up. Widen your stance and rotate your toes out. Start the squat by sitting your hips back. Try box squat progressions (high to low box).

Focus on keeping the knees out and “spreading the floor.” Drop the amount of resistance you’re using.

Aaron Gilbert, CSCS, is the owner of Longevity Athletics.

520-261-4661
Aaron@LongevityAthletics.com


This column appears in the January issue of InMaricopa.

Salmon Lyon

By Chef Neil Magbnua

Chef Neil Magbnua
Chef Neil Magbnua

When I was first told I would be contributing an article about healthy cooking, I was a bit taken aback. Being from the Midwest, specifically Michigan, my idea of healthy eating is a smaller piece of meatloaf, only one scoop of mashed potatoes, a salad with lite ranch and half of whatever dessert is offered (the other half will be eaten at a later time, likely 30 minutes later).

The dish I am sharing with you is one we did recently for a TroonFIT special. The challenge was to come up with a tasty lunch dish that was also under 500 calories. Quite a task for a chef who believes in the old saying, “Fat is Flavor.”

Salmon Lyon

Ingredients
Rice, portioned as needed
5-ounce salmon filet (thick cut, skin on preferred)
1 ounce red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon minced garlic
3 ounces olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh herb of choice
4 cherry tomatoes cut in half
3 cucumber slices cut into strips
A few slivers of red onion to taste
Kosher salt
Cracked pepper

Cook the rice as needed. For us here at Arroyo Grille, that means 1 2/3 cups of water and 1 cup of Basmati rice simmered for 10 minutes. Then take off the heat to rest while still covered for 15 minutes. Fluff the rice immediately after to stop the cooking and cover to keep warm.

Salad
Whisk red wine vinegar, minced garlic, olive oil and herb. Add tomatoes, cucumber and red onion. For maximum flavor, allow this to marinate for 1 hour. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Salmon
Dry the outside surface of the filet thoroughly with a paper towel. Brush a teaspoon of olive oil on the flesh side, season with salt and pepper, and place flesh side down on a very hot grill. The grill is hot enough if you can’t hold your hand over it for more than 2 seconds. Salmon is rich with healthy oils; as those oils are released, some smoking may occur. After 1 minute, check to see if the fish releases from the grill. If it doesn’t, don’t force it. It will release when there is a sufficient crust formed on the surface of the fish. Once the salmon is off the grill, place it in a dry, hot pan, skin side down, and cook to your liking in a pre-heated 350 degree oven. When the fish is done, simply slide a spatula between the skin and the fish. The skin helps to insulate the fish while it cooks, adds flavor and makes the fish easy to remove from the pan.

For best results, prepare in the following order; salad, rice, and then fish. To assemble the plate, place 3 ounces of rice in the center, top with the salmon, drain the salad of extra liquid, and place on top of the fish.

Good luck and good eating.

Neil Magbnua is chef at Arroyo Grille at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes.


This column appears in the January issue of InMaricopa.

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Alliance (c)

With the holidays now upon us, Cenpatico Integrated Care (Cenpatico IC) is offering advice to handle the stress of the season.

While this is usually considered a happy time for most people, the season can be extremely difficult for some. It is not uncommon to feel overwhelmed because there is so much to do. For others, this can be a challenging time due to economic problems, the recent loss of a loved one or other issues. This time can lead to feelings of sadness, loneliness or depression.

Here are some steps that can be taken to help overcome the “holiday blues.”

• Take time for yourself – While you’re trying to get so much done for everyone else this holiday season, don’t forget to take some time for yourself. Spend an evening with a good book or quiet music instead of watching television, and give yourself a break from the hustle of the holiday season.
• Don’t worry about how things should be – Comparing yourself to an ideal version of a perfect family or perfect holiday is not realistic. People from all walks of life have stressors to manage.
• Avoid overindulging – Overindulging in sweets and alcohol, will add to your stress and guilt. Try having a healthy snack before your next holiday party, remember to get plenty of sleep and incorporate regular physical activity.
• Volunteer – Many social service programs need volunteers during the busy holiday season. Participating, even if only for a few hours, can be a good way out of the doldrums. Helping people who are in need can be a rewarding experience.
• Budgets are helpful – Plan ahead and make a list before you go shopping for gifts or food. Decide how much you can afford to spend, and then stick to your budget.
• Seek help – If feelings of sadness, loneliness, or depression persist, make an appointment to see your doctor; you could be experiencing a seasonal pattern, or a biological or psychological challenge.  This time of year can be difficult for many, so be kind to yourself.

Cenpatico IC representatives are available at 1-866-495-6735 to speak with callers about their fears and concerns that may be related to a crisis situation. Crisis services are available to anyone in the community at no cost, regardless of insurance or other factors.

The local contracted provider is Arizona Counseling and Treatment Services at 20046 N. John Wayne Parkway, Suite 106-A.

Vegetable turnover

Vegetable Turnovers

Ingredients
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 cups cauliflower flowerets, chopped
2 medium-sized carrots, pared and chopped
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen peas
2 oz shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup egg whites
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
One packaged pastry for two 9-inch pie shells

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheet.

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion. Sauté 3 minutes. Add garlic. Sauté 1 minute. Add cauliflower and carrots. Sauté 5 minutes. Stir in peas. Cook 1 minute. Set aside to cool slightly.

Combine mozzarella, ricotta, Parmesan, egg white, salt, pepper and nutmeg in large bowl. Stir in vegetable mixture.

Roll pastry into two 11-inch rounds. Spoon half of vegetable mixture over half of one round. Fold over. Pinch edges together to seal. Crimp edge. Prick turnover with fork. Transfer to greased baking sheet. Repeat with second pastry and remaining vegetable mixture. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.

Hot Turkey SaladRecipeschopped-turkey

Ingredients
1 cup cooked turkey, cubed
2 cups celery, chopped
1/3 cup green pepper, chopped
1/3 cup red pepper, chopped
2 tbsp onion, finely chopped
½ cup blanched almonds, chopped
2 tbsp lemon juice
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tsp salt
Slices of Swiss cheese
¼ cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup cracker crumbs

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine turkey, celery, green pepper, red pepper, onion and almonds. Add lemon juice, mayonnaise and salt. Stir well to blend. Spoon into 8×8 baking dish. Top with cheese slices. Combine melted butter and cracker crumbs; spoon over cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbling and slightly brown. Serves 4-6.

Pumpkin BreadRecipesPumpkin-bread

Ingredients
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ cups sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups canned pumpkin
1 cup canola oil
2/3 cup water
4 large eggs

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 5x9x3 loaf pans; flour well.

In a large bowl, stir flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.

In smaller bowl, stir pumpkin, oil and water. Add eggs, beating well after each.

In the large bowl, make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Pour pumpkin mixture into the well, stirring just enough to moisten all of the flour mixture. Pour into loaf pans.

Bake one hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Rest at least 10 minutes before removing from pans and then cool on wire racks.

Guiltless TrifleGuiltless-Trifle

Ingredients
1 angel food cake
Low-sugar strawberry jam
¼ cup cream sherry
2 small boxes sugar-free instant vanilla pudding prepared with non-fat milk
2 (8 oz) lite whipped cream
1 lb strawberries, sliced
2 kiwi, peeled and sliced
Mint leaves

Directions
Cut cake horizontally into ½-inch. Layer into clear glass trifle dish: cake, jam, sprinkling of sherry, pudding, whipped cream, fresh fruit. Repeat. Garnish with mint leaves.


This article appears in the December issue of InMaricopa.

Are sweet potatoes really healthier that white potatoes?

By Aaron Gilbert

Aaron Gilbert. Photo by William Lange
Aaron Gilbert. Photo by William Lange

White v. sweet potato: A nutritional debate fueled by misinformation, baseless claims and carbohydrate fears. Here’s what the evidence says — and why they both deserve a place in your diet during the holidays and beyond.

Both white and sweet potatoes, when eaten as part of a balanced and intentional diet, provide a fantastic array of nutrients while contributing to the fullness and deliciousness of any meal.

Which are really healthier?
Claim 1: Sweet Potatoes are the “superfood.”
If all you want is Vitamin A, then sure, sweet potatoes get the win. But when you pit them against white potatoes for overall nutrition value, it’s a virtual tie.

Claim 2: Avoid potatoes because of the glycemic load.
Worried potatoes will make your blood sugar and appetite spike? Both potatoes and sweet potatoes fall in the middle to high range on the glycemic load scale. Total carbohydrates and calorie intake has a bigger impact on important health markers. Plus, glycemic load is generally irrelevant to health and leanness because your blood sugar’s response to food varies.

Claim 3: Avoid all potatoes because of carbs.
Think the carbs will cause weight gain? Actually, the carbs in potatoes and sweet potatoes are mostly starch and fiber, which help you stay healthy and lean. Potatoes contain beneficial starch, which, like fiber, doesn’t digest at all. Resistant starch and fiber get fermented in the gut, producing short-chain fatty acids. Short-chain fatty acids may keep you fuller longer, act as fuel for healthy gut bacteria, prevent absorption of toxins, decrease inflammation and decrease risk of colon cancer.

How to eat potatoes and sweet potatoes
Potatoes get a bad rap because they’re often used in high-calorie dishes. In reality, there’s a range of ways in which potatoes and sweet potatoes fit into a healthy diet. Eat more often: Boiled, roasted, baked, olive oil and herbs, topped with salt. Eat less often: Mashed with cream and butter, loaded, fried, chips.

How much to eat
Start with 1 to 2 cupped handfuls of your choice of white or sweet potatoes per meal. Then, adjust portion sizes up or down based on Individual goals such as fat loss or fuel for athletics performance, body size (smaller people need less), individual carb needs (higher for active, lean people) and individual preferences.

Benefits of eating potatoes and sweet potatoes
•    Helps you feel psychologically satisfied and physically satiated
•    Ensures that your diet has “carb variety” and keeps colorful food on your plate
•    Gives you steady, slow-burn energy
•    Helps you get beyond “good foods” vs. “bad foods”
•    Helps you achieve health and fitness goals

Aaron Gilbert, CSCS, is the owner of Longevity Athletics.

520-261-4661
Aaron@LongevityAthletics.com


This column appears in the December issue of InMaricopa.