Meat Lovers’ Misfortune

What you need to know about the listeria outbreak

A tiny but potentially deadly microorganism has prompted a massive recall of meat products in Canada. In late August, several people in the province of Ontario became sick after consuming “ready-to-serve” deli meats. Inspections later determined the meat to contain listeria monocytogenes, a bacterium found in soil, vegetation, animal feed, and feces (both human and animal). Consuming listeria-contaminated food can lead to a virulent form of food poisoning known as listerosis. For most people, according to Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, “the risk posed by listeria is very low.” However, the resulting condition can be quite harmful and even fatal for the elderly, babies, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems. Three dozen cases of listerosis have been either confirmed or are suspected and at least 12 deaths have been reported since the outbreak began. Here are some more key facts on listeriosis and meat products:

  • Symptoms of listerosis mimic those of the flu and include nausea, vomiting, cramps, diarrhea, headache, constipation, and persistent fever. They usually appear within two to 30 days and up to 70 days after consuming contaminated food. In extreme cases, symptoms may be followed by a brain or blood infection, either of which can result in death. For a complete list of food products that have been recalled by the Public Health Agency of Canada due to concerns over listeria monocytogenes, click here. (Source: Public Health Agency of Canada)
  • To avoid contamination, refrigerate foods promptly and keep the refrigerator at 4°C (40°F) or colder. Thoroughly cook or boil foods such as hot dogs and poultry products. Avoid raw, unpasteurised milk or foods made from it, such as raw milk cheese. Wash raw vegetables thoroughly before eating them. Clean all utensils, cutting boards, and work surfaces with a mild bleach solution (5 ml/1 tsp. bleach per 750 ml/3 cups water) before and after use. Separate utensils for raw and cooked foods. Follow “use by” dates, especially on packaged goods with a long shelf life. Wash your hands before, during, and after handling any type of food, especially raw meat and poultry. (Source: Public Health Agency of Canada)
  • Although most processed meat products remain safe for human consumption, you’d be wise not to make them a staple of your diet. Cold cuts, bologna, and hot dogs contain nitrites (a chemical used to preserve their pink color), which can combine with stomach acid to produce nitrosamine, a suspected cancer-causing agent.
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Young at Heart

Why kids are the experts on rejuvenation

Ask a skin-care model or those covertly greying men in the Grecian Formula ads: where looks are concerned, we all want to be youthful.

Yet what we eagerly seek on the outside, we routinely bottle up on the inside. Faced with a disapproving adult world, we quickly learn to repress our playfulness, exuberance, and curiosity. We put on poker faces and follow strict schedules that leave no time for fun and games.

As adults, we may continue to look young thanks to our genes or the wonders of cosmetic rejuvenation therapies. But we’ll never enjoy true rejuvenation — complete renewal of the mind, body, and spirit — if we don’t embrace our inner youthfulness.

The secret to rejuvenation is living in the moment. It enables us to get a true break from whatever’s on our minds.

Kids are the undisputed experts at living in the moment. By absorbing deeply whatever the moment has to offer, they’re able to go forward with renewed energy, increased vitality, and a fresh perspective on life. What could be more rejuvenating than that?

Here are five more important lessons about rejuvenation that kids can teach grownups:

  1. Give yourself permission to feel what you’re feeling.
  2. Have you ever seen babies cry after a spill or being separated from a toy, only to break out into a glorious smile seconds later when someone does something to amuse them? Believe it or not, those babies may actually be schooling us.

    Denying and burying your emotions will only leave you stuck in them. You’ll do much better to simply feel whatever you’re feeling without any resistance. All you need to do is let the emotion wash over you and then let go of it when it no longer feels good. You’ll be amazed at how good it can feel (temporarily) to grieve or have a self-righteous fit of anger. After a while, however, these feelings no longer feel good. That’s when it’s time to let them go.

  3. Don’t worry, be happy.
  4. Unlike adults, kids don’t splurge a lot of emotional capital on worrying. Part of the reason is because they don’t have as many responsibilities as grownups. But they also aren’t as worried about maintaining their status or a carefully cultivated image (we’re talking about little kids here, not tweens or teens, of course!). For them, each day is a fresh start. Take your cue from the youngsters. Plan ahead, but don’t become bogged down in unhealthy worrying. Focus on enjoying the present, while moving ahead on your goals for the future.

  5. Have a laugh.
  6. Laughter isn’t something to be stifled but encouraged. As well as inducing positive emotions and feel-good endorphins, it improves lung capacity and cardiovascular health, and produces antibodies that help to strengthen the immune system. But while a fit of the giggles is considered cute and charming in kids, chances are you’ll be curtly told to “grow up” if you spontaneously burst into laughter as an adult. So try to find some socially acceptable outlets for laughter. Go see a comedy, watch a funny TV show, or spend time with a friend whose witticisms crack you up. Amid all the hilarity, you’ll be experiencing some serious rejuvenating benefits.

  7. Get excited.
  8. Everything excites kids: going to the mall, seeing a doggie, the shapes they think they can make out in the clouds. As adults, we may be older, wiser, and a lot more jaded, but we still need to indulge our inherent yearning for childlike wonderment and excitement as often as we can.

    What thrills and captivates you? If it’s the beauty of nature, go for long nature walks. If it’s the mysteries of the universe, buy a telescope and explore the heavens from your backyard. If it’s a favorite musical artist, make a point of seeing them the next time they’re in town. Make whatever excites and inspires an integral part of your rejuvenation program.

  9. Get out and have fun.
  10. Remember when your friends used to show up at your door and ask your parents if you could “come out and play?” While those days of sandboxes and jumping jacks may be done, we still need to get out and have fun if we want to enjoy rejuvenation. Playing a sport like baseball lets us socialize and have an excuse to run around and think of nothing beyond catching and hitting a baseball. The arts offer another potential playground for adults. In fact, according to a Swedish study, attendance at cultural events, reading, and playing music may even help you to live longer.

    No matter what your preferred form of rejuvenation, give yourself ample opportunities to laugh, get excited, have fun, and generally feel like a kid again. No kidding!

Did you know?

In its earliest usage, the word “rejuvenation” — derived from the Latin root word for “young” — literally meant to become young again.

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Building Strength

Hope you had a wonderful and long holiday weekend? Now, I know that sometimes after the holiday it’s hard to get back on track but…I’m here to help you do so. Often some of us find that holidays are a great time for us to get in more exercise, more cardio and to get in better shape. Unfortunately even more of us find the holidays are a great time to intake (again…unfortunately) more calories.

So if one of your Summer goals are not to add on any additional weight, to decrease your body fat or to just get started…this blog is for you! This and in the next few weeks, I’m going to be address how not to add any additional pounds to your body during the summer months, through strength training and nutrition.

Usually when the weather is warmer we’re more incline to grill or eat lighter, since we don’t want to have to spend too much time in the kitchens or heating up the oven.

In conjunction to getting in your steps (10k plus a day) as well as your cardio steps (5k plus a day), it’s time to start adding in some strength training if you haven’t started yet. The following are some of the best exercises to do whether you’re short on time or are new to exercising. This 2 day routine are also some of the actual exercises that I give my clients:

Day 1:

Squats - Quads (front of thighs), Hamstrings (back of thighs), Calves and Glutes

Push-ups - Chest, Shoulders (front), and Triceps (back of arms)

Reverse Lunges Quads, Hamstrings, Calves and Glutes

Tricep Extension Triceps

Calf Raises - Calves

Seated Leg Lifts Quads

Reverse Crunches Lower Abs

Crunches - Upper Abs

Day 2:

Squats - Quads, Hamstrings, Calves and Glutes

Seated Rows - Back, Shoulders (back of) and Biceps (front of arms)

Lunges - Quads, Hamstrings, Calves and Glutes

Shoulder Press Front, Mid and Rear Delts

Bicep Curls - Biceps

Glute Lifts - Hamstrings, Glutes and Calves

Bicycles - Upper, Lower, Internal and External Obliques

Full or Modified Plank – Core

Upper body: 1 – 3 sets 8 – 10 reps

Lower body: 1 – 3 sets 12 – 15 reps

You can do this routine on alternate days as well as on your cardio days. Remember that if you experience an pain or discomfort, discontinue IMMEDIATELY! Make sure that you continue to stretch before, during and after your workout.

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Benefits of Weight Training

Hi WalkingSpree Members!

I know that you’re strong in your Cardio (Walking, Jogging or Running), but this week, I’d like to remind you about the importance of Strength Training. Whether you workout in your living room, exercise outside or go to the gym, with all the latest equipment, regular strength training can make an awesome difference in your body, self-image and confidence.

Studies have confirmed what Personal Trainers have always known; women who engaged in a 12-week weight-training program emerged feeling more confident and happy about their bodies. This in turn gave them a more positive emotional outlook in their life overall! So don’t let the possibility of minor weight gain scare you away from a weight workout.

Remember, muscle is denser that fat, so even if the number on the scale climbs a little, your body will be leaner and stronger if you strength train regularly. Have a great weekend, remember to upload your pedometer and see you next week!

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Stress Busters Milestone 5: Walk your way to Happiness

Congratulations, you have reached Milestone 5 and completed the Get Zen in Hawaii Challenge. You are now at the beautiful Rainbow Falls.

Stress can be good for you at times.  It keeps you alert, motivated and primed to respond to danger.  As anyone who has faced a work deadline or competed in a sport knows, stress mobilizes the body to respond, improving performance. Yet too much stress, or chronic stress may lead to major depression in susceptible people.

Stress — whether chronic, such as taking care of a parent with Alzheimer’s, or acute, such as losing a job or the death of a loved one — can lead to major depression in susceptible people.  Both types of stress lead to overactivity of the body’s stress-response mechanism.

Exercise has such a profound effect on stress and our happiness and well-being that it’s actually been proven to be an effective strategy for overcoming depression. Exercise produces chemicals in the body that boost your mood and stimulate hormones and neurotransmitters, including endorphins, that can help reduce stress.

You don’t have to be depressed to gain benefit from exercise, though. It can help you to relax, increase your brain power and improve your health.

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