Healthy Living



 Question of the Month

Q. Can you suggest some healthy holiday-gift ideas?
A. First, it's important to choose a gift that the recipient would enjoy and not what you would enjoy (they're not always the same!).

For those who prefer food gifts, think about fresh- or dried-fruit baskets, an indoor potted herb garden, a bottle of first-press olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar or specialty mustards. Consider baking (or buying) some whole-grain bread, and combine it with fruit and a chunk of low-fat cheese. These are available in most supermarkets as well as in local specialty stores.

For the activity-minded, think about such presents as introductory classes for yoga, tai chi or salsa dancing. What about a gym membership? These are available in all price ranges, and facilities are located in many neighborhoods. Also check out your local YMCA or community center for more ideas.

Managing Holiday Stress

At this time of year, it seems there's not enough time in the day. Adding holiday preparations to our already-busy lives can be a major stress on both the mind and body. Therefore, it's important to manage this stress and allow yourself to enjoy the season.

For starters: Don't sweat the small stuff. Purchase baked goods or offer to provide napkins and plates for an event instead of food. Enlist family members to help with decorating, shopping or cooking, and accept that others can do a good, if not perfect, job. Recognize that friends and family remember the time spent together, and if you're frazzled from being the "perfect hostess," no one benefits.

Skimping on sleep will only add to poor stress management. When traveling, allow extra time to reach your destination. Small changes to your schedule can mean a big pay-off in your holiday stress.

My favorite idea? Take a break and go for a walk - it's great for stress relief and for burning off those extra holiday cookies!

Holiday Cocktails: Watch Out for Liquid Calories

From eggnog to rum punch, and everything in-between, alcoholic beverages are a part of many holiday parties. Be a smart indulger, since alcohol is a double-whammy when it comes to your waistline.

The calories from alcohol and mixers add up quickly, and the relaxation effect of alcohol often weakens our ability to resist eating too much (after all, fried zucchini IS a vegetable!).

Stick with a glass of wine, a beer or a cocktail made with seltzer, diet soda or water. You'll double or triple the calories using regular soda or juices.

Be mindful of your total consumption. A serving is not what the glass will hold. Serving guidelines are: 5 ounces of wine, a 12-ounce beer and 1.5 ounces of spirits. With super-sized glasses, a "serving" is often two or three times more than the standard.

Coming next month: New Year, New You

A top New Year's resolution is to lose weight. If it were so easy, everyone would be thin. But when it comes to diet and weight loss, no two people are alike.

In the clinic, I often hear, "Don't tell me what to do; tell me how to do it." In my new book, The Real You Diet, I tackle the major tools needed for lasting weight loss: Behavioral, Eating/food, Activity and Medical/biological. It's what I call building a BEAM box, and it all starts with some self-assessment quizzes of what you're willing and able to do.

Look for excerpts from this book in next month's magazine. It'll be in bookstores and online at the end of December. Or check it out at therealyoudiet.com.

If you have a health question for Dr. Fernstrom, e-mail her at fernstrom@wqed.org.

Dr. Madelyn H. Fernstrom, Ph.D., C.N.S., is the founder and director of UPMC's Weight Management Center. She is the diet and nutrition editor for NBC's "Today Show" and is the author of The Runner's Diet. Also visit "Health Journal with Dr. Madelyn Fernstrom," a health and wellness blog at iVillage.com.

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Best of the 'Burgh 2016

Best of the 'Burgh 2016

We scoured the region to bring you 53 items we’ve deemed this year’s “Best of the ’Burgh,” as well as 8 stellar local Instagram accounts you don’t want to miss.
See Yinz: PittGirl Says Goodbye

See Yinz: PittGirl Says Goodbye

After writing for seven years about the city for Pittsburgh Magazine and pittsburghmagazine.com, Virginia Montanez is discontinuing her blog and column.
Restaurant Review: Whitfield at Ace Hotel Pittsburgh

Restaurant Review: Whitfield at Ace Hotel Pittsburgh

The restaurant at Ace Hotel in East Liberty hits some high notes as it finds itself.
Pride of McKeesport: WNBA Star Swin Cash

Pride of McKeesport: WNBA Star Swin Cash

During her final season of professional basketball, Cash remains ferocious on the court and selfless everywhere else.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Feeling Hot! Meteorologists Predict Sweaty Summer For Pittsburgh

Feeling Hot! Meteorologists Predict Sweaty Summer For Pittsburgh

Ready for 90-degree temperature weather? What you need to know about summer 2016.
Pittsburgh's Union Trust Building Renovated and Restored

Pittsburgh's Union Trust Building Renovated and Restored

The historic Downtown building reopens after a two-year, $100 million renovation.
The Section of Mystery: What’s behind the door?

The Section of Mystery: What’s behind the door?

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History opens new permanent exhibit featuring 3-D holograms.
Our JazzLive International Festival Cheat-Sheet

Our JazzLive International Festival Cheat-Sheet

We break down each day of the festival so you don’t have to improv your way through it.

Sign Up for the 412 e-Newsletter

 

Our new, daily e-newsletter is curated by the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine and is designed to give you the very best Pittsburgh has to offer -- delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign me up!
* Email
 First Name
 Last Name
  * = Required Field
 
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Best of the 'Burgh 2016

Best of the 'Burgh 2016

We scoured the region to bring you 53 items we’ve deemed this year’s “Best of the ’Burgh,” as well as 8 stellar local Instagram accounts you don’t want to miss.
See Yinz: PittGirl Says Goodbye

See Yinz: PittGirl Says Goodbye

After writing for seven years about the city for Pittsburgh Magazine and pittsburghmagazine.com, Virginia Montanez is discontinuing her blog and column.
Restaurant Review: Whitfield at Ace Hotel Pittsburgh

Restaurant Review: Whitfield at Ace Hotel Pittsburgh

The restaurant at Ace Hotel in East Liberty hits some high notes as it finds itself.
Pride of McKeesport: WNBA Star Swin Cash

Pride of McKeesport: WNBA Star Swin Cash

During her final season of professional basketball, Cash remains ferocious on the court and selfless everywhere else.
Idol Find: Pittsburgh Rapper Teams Up with Dad Jimmy McNichol for New Show

Idol Find: Pittsburgh Rapper Teams Up with Dad Jimmy McNichol for New Show

Research led Kellee Maize to discover she is the daughter of the former teen singing sensation. Now she and McNichol are teaming up to develop a television series to help other parents and children find each other.
Daytripping: Rating the Roller Coasters at Cedar Point

Daytripping: Rating the Roller Coasters at Cedar Point

One day, 18 roller coasters, four queasy stomachs, two cheeseburgers, one fried dough … whew.
Edit Module

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Feeling Hot! Meteorologists Predict Sweaty Summer For Pittsburgh

Feeling Hot! Meteorologists Predict Sweaty Summer For Pittsburgh

Ready for 90-degree temperature weather? What you need to know about summer 2016.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

Kennywood Park opens soon and new this season is the return of the famed whale at the entrance of Noah’s Ark. In the name of science, PittGirl paid an early visit to test the squishiness quotient of the whale's all-important tongue.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour Stops In Pittsburgh

James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour Stops In Pittsburgh

Justin Severino and Hilary Prescott Severino of Cure and Morcilla organized the event, which featured celebrated chefs from DC, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The Best 7 Spots in Pittsburgh to Watch the 2016 Euro Cup

The Best 7 Spots in Pittsburgh to Watch the 2016 Euro Cup

Grab your kits, scarfs and get ready to watch the Euro 2016 Pittsburgh-style. We'll show you where to go to get your fan on.

Comments


Beer Cults and Brick Ovens: An Evening at Fuel & Fuddle

Beer Cults and Brick Ovens: An Evening at Fuel & Fuddle

The restaurant and bar in Oakland welcomes college students and locals alike.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Perspective Accompanies Long-Awaited Second Crosby Cup

Perspective Accompanies Long-Awaited Second Crosby Cup

The Pittsburgh Penguins may be more poised to establish a dynasty in 2016 than they were in 2009.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Add a Bygone Beacon to Your Living Room

Add a Bygone Beacon to Your Living Room

Vintage signs can add a pop of personality to your decor.

Comments


Sean Collier's Popcorn for Dinner

The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Demons, Orcs, Hipsters and More at the Multiplex

Demons, Orcs, Hipsters and More at the Multiplex

Reviews of "The Conjuring 2," "Warcraft," "Maggie's Plan," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Noah’s Ark Nuptials: One Couple’s Kennywood Wedding

Noah’s Ark Nuptials: One Couple’s Kennywood Wedding

The restoration of the iconic Noah’s Ark whale entrance came just in time to be the backdrop for this Pittsburgh couple’s wedding.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
Purple Reign: PPG Paints Unveils 2017 Color of the Year

Purple Reign: PPG Paints Unveils 2017 Color of the Year

Violet Verbena’s grey-purple tones are playful, elegant and calming. Plus, get the history behind some of Pittsburgh's architectural wonders.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Summer Robotics Camp Offered to High-School Students

Summer Robotics Camp Offered to High-School Students

The camp is a collaboration between two area universities and is open to students entering grades 9-12.

Comments