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Westchase Spring Garage Sale Is May 2

Throw open your garages and let the spring cleaning begin!

The Westchase Spring Garage Sale is Saturday, May 2. The sale is one of two such events held annually on the first Saturdays of May and October. (The Westchase Fall Garage Sale is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015; please mark your calendars.)

Garage sale hours run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. In order to improve traffic flow and access by emergency vehicles, the Westchase Community Association (WCA) asks that residents not sell food items or collect outside items for sale as part of a large, charitable event. While there is no charge for Westchase residents to participate in the event, those residents who would like items to appear on the Big Ticket List should e-mail their information to the association manager’s office at officemanager@wcamanager.com by Tuesday, April 28. Please include your name, address, phone number, village name and a description of the item(s) you want listed. Also be sure to inform that office if you want your price and phone number included with your ad. You can also mail the information to the association manager at 10049 Parley Drive, Tampa, FL 33626.

Printable copies of the Big Ticket List will be posted on http://www.WestchaseWOW.com and www.westchasewca.com. They will also be available at the Westchase Swim and Tennis Center prior to the sale.

All unsold items can be donated to Goodwill, which will have three donation locations around Westchase from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. to accept your donations. On the day of the garage sale Goodwill will have trailers from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the health clinic parking lot, located at 10509 W. Linebaugh Ave., and Fifth Third Bank, located at 9450 W. Linebaugh Ave. Each weekend Goodwill also has trailers at the Primrose School, 12051 Whitmarsh Lane, from 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

Donations of clothing and household items will support Goodwill's services for people who are disabled, elderly or unemployed. Goodwill cannot accept mattresses, box springs or televisions. They will provide a receipt for tax purposes.

For answers to questions about the sale, please call the Westchase association manager at 926-6404. For more information about the Goodwill donation locations, please call (888) 279-1988, ext. 1440.

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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Resolving to Avoid Dietary Confusion

With a new year upon us, we have a chance to start fresh once again. 

What to eat or what diet to begin pose dilemmas for many.

With the ever-expanding Internet, dietary confusion is becoming a significant source of frustration for many of my clients, friends and family. 

Let’s lift the veil of confusion on a few universal and proven dietary truths to focus on what really matters.

Our western diet increases the risk for many serious diseases. The western diet is characterized as being high in sugar, meats, fat, and processed grains while at the same time low in fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods. Those who adopt a typical western diet have much higher rates of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer, the top three killers in the U.S.

Focus on significantly reducing your intake of western foods that cause disease. Instead, follow the timeless wisdom of Michael Pollan from his classic book, Food Rules: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Eat a lot of plant-based foods, especially whole fruits and vegetables. You can greatly reduce your risk for a multitude of diseases when you choose a diet rich in plant foods. Select a variety of different colors of fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables. Eat as much as you can of the vegetables, salads, and greens. When possible, choose organic, local and seasonal. Don’t forget other plant-based foods such as nuts, seeds, beans, peas, lentils, sweet potatoes, winter squash and whole grains such as brown and wild rice or quinoa.

Eat unprocessed foods. Many foods are so altered that people have lost touch with what an unprocessed food actually is. Unprocessed food is made by nature, not by a factory. Think of apples, almonds, fish, or whole stalks of oats waving in the wind. Even these stellar foods can be factory transformed into apple juice, an almond cookie, fried fish sticks, or a pack of sugar-laden instant oats. Food manufacturers tinker with the salt, sugar and fat content of foods to create what is known in the industry as a “bliss point.” These foods often cause us to over consume – great for the manufacturer’s bottom line, but bad for ours.

Embrace these truths and find 2015 full of joy and health!

By Christine Miller, RD, LD/N

A Registered Dietitian and a Certified Diabetes Educator, Christine Miller owns Advanced Nutrition Concepts at http://www.advancednutritionconcepts.com<./p>

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Diet Can Change Your Brain

Dementia and other brain-related diseases are not just on the rise, but are becoming epidemic.

Someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease every 67 seconds in the U.S.

The conditions’ rise is not explained by genetics alone. Rather, it is the influence of our lifestyles and environment, which pull the trigger and set these devastating conditions in motion.

In his groundbreaking research at the National Institutes of Aging, Dr. Mark Mattson has found that calorie-restricting mice that have been bred to develop Alzheimer’s disease can dramatically slow down dementia’s onset.

The mice, which would normally develop Alzheimer’s disease at a human-age equivalent of 45, delayed the onset of memory problems by an astounding 20-22 human years when fed through intermittent fasting.

Intermittent fasting is a way to restrict calories, but not on a regular, daily basis. It is done by significantly reducing calorie intake for a designated period of time, and only periodically.

Human studies on intermittent fasting have several variations. One popular approach restricts calories to 500-600 calories per day on two non-consecutive days per week as described by Dr. Michael Mosley in his 2013 book, the Fast Diet.

After personally testing different types of intermittent fasting programs, Mosley settled upon the aforementioned program and after five weeks documented the following changes in his own health:

• A reduction in body fat from 27 percent to a healthy goal of 19.1 percent
• A reduction in blood glucose from pre-diabetes to normal ranges
• A 50 percent reduction in IGF-1, a hormone linked with various cancers
• A significant drop in harmful LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL

How can this alternate style of eating be so incredibly powerful that is might preserve our brains, or at least slow its deterioration? The answer seems to be that the brain can produce certain growth factors, most notably, BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor). In Mattson’s mouse model, animals that were intermittently fasted literally gave birth to new brain cells (a process known as neurogenesis) as a result of increasing BDNF.

Knowing we have some ability to slow or prevent the diseases that are stealing the core of loved ones, family, and friends is an affirmation of just how powerful our diet can be.

By Christine Miller, RD, LD/N

A Registered Dietitian and a Certified Diabetes Educator, Christine Miller owns Advanced Nutrition Concepts at http://www.advancednutritionconcepts.com<./p>

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Oh, How Sweet It… Isn’t

Sugar, sweets, and desserts can be fun and pleasurable, but all too often they are consumed in excess.

Men consume an average of 20 teaspoons of added sugar daily and women 14. The American Heart Association recommends that men curb their intake to under nine teaspoons and women to fewer than six daily.

Many health issues are linked to excessive sugar intake. One important concern is the body is more efficient at converting calories from sugar into fat, particularly fat which circulates as a heart-risky blood fat called triglycerides.

Excessive added sugar can also increase the deposit of fat in the liver, resulting in NAFLD, casually called “fatty liver.” In extreme cases, the end result of NAFLD is liver failure.

The largest source of sugar in the American diet is not from obvious sources like soda, cakes and cookies, but from hidden sources. Sugar lurks in plentiful amounts in salad dressings, ketchups, sauces, snack or protein bars, and other unsuspecting foods.

What is one to do?

First, when it comes to sugar, less is always better. Second, learn where the sugar is coming from in your diet and how much you actually consume.

Begin with the ingredient list. Foods without an ingredient list such as fruits, nuts, beans, vegetables, or lean proteins are never a concern for added sugar. Although milk and whole fruits do contain naturally occurring sugars, these are not the harmful types.

On labels look for the word sugar or ingredients that end in “-ose” such as sucrose, fructose, dextrose or maltose. Sugar may also be obscured through words like corn syrup, brown rice syrup, cane juice and others.

On the current food label, sugar grams are listed as a combination of both added and naturally occurring fruit or milk sugars. Fortunately, in the next two years, the label will change to reflect only added sugars.

In the meantime, you can use the sugar grams for foods like beverages, desserts, or foods that do not naturally contain milk or fruit to estimate the actual amount of added sugar. When viewing these foods, every four grams of sugar listed on the food label is the same as one teaspoon of added table sugar.

In the case of sugar, the best policy is to strictly limit your intake.

By Christine Miller, RD, LD/N

A Registered Dietitian and a Certified Diabetes Educator, Christine Miller owns Advanced Nutrition Concepts at http://www.advancednutritionconcepts.com<./p>

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What’s Gluten-Free All About?

If you’ve lived long enough, you know eating styles and diets can cycle like clothing fads. The latest is gluten-free.

Very low carbohydrate Atkins-inspired eating marked the 1970s. The 1980s took consumers on a full circle turn that demonized fat. Today, lower carbohydrate lifestyles have reemerged with a closer focus on the quality and type of dietary carbohydrates.

A body of undeniable research supports the intake of carbohydrates from a colorful variety of plant-based foods, specifically vegetables and whole fruits. Yet, controversy still spins around the topic of starchy carbohydrates, specifically gluten-containing grains.

Gluten is a protein found in a number of grain-based foods. The two types of gluten that most people are referring to as potentially problematic, gliadin and glutenin, are found in wheat, rye, barley and their derivatives. Oats, due to heavy cross-contamination, also contain the two aforementioned forms of gluten.

The most well recognized reason for following a gluten-free diet is celiac disease (CD), an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks the lining of the small intestine. CD affects one out of every 133 people in the United States and is treated with a gluten-free diet for life.

A condition that is less well recognized is Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS). Originally described in the 1980s, this condition is marked by symptoms that typically occur shortly after eating gluten, disappear when it is removed, and reoccur when it is reintroduced. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and/or constipation; depression; fatigue and/or anemia; “foggy mind”; headaches; joint and muscle pain; numbness in legs and/or arms; and skin rash or eczema.

If you suspect NCGS may be causing your symptoms, talk with your doctor or health care provider and be sure to request testing for wheat allergy and celiac disease before embarking on a gluten-free trial.

If tests are negative, work with a registered dietitian (RD) who is experienced in this condition and who can guide you through the process of identifying common and hidden sources of gluten and can help you with the process of properly reintroducing it after a designated period of time.

Though the idea of removing gluten from your diet may initially seem daunting and even depressing, most who are plagued by chronic complaints eventually find that the moment of pleasure from a much loved gluten-containing food passes quickly when the discomfort of problematic symptoms returns.

By Christine Miller, RD, LD/N

A Registered Dietitian and a Certified Diabetes Educator, Christine Miller owns Advanced Nutrition Concepts at http://www.advancednutritionconcepts.com<./p>

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Prevent Your Child from Becoming a Statistic

As of 2010, over two-thirds of the adult population is overweight or obese.

Even more concerning is that the life expectancy of U.S. children, for the first time in more than a century, may be shorter than their parents.

As diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease, once thought to be adult-only maladies, strike younger children, trouble lies ahead.

If your child develops Type 2 diabetes as a tween or teen, serious complications can arise by the time s/he is a young adult.  Part of the problem is that properly managing these diseases requires maturity.

Sedentary lifestyles, poor quality food choices, and excessive portion sizes are at the root of many chronic health conditions. Collectively, these unhealthy habits can lead to inflammation and/or excessive body weight, both of which are the precursors of many illnesses.

What is a parent to do? Physical activity is a must. Equally critical are our diet, our interaction with our kids about food and the types of foods we make accessible.

In her many excellent books on feeding children, Registered Dietitian Ellyn Satter refers to the division of responsibility in feeding. She states that the job of the parent is three-fold. The parent should determine what is eaten, where it is eaten, and when meals or snacks are served.

A surprise to most parents is that the child is left with the final responsibility: how much to eat. According to Satter’s research, if you try to limit how much your child eats, kids will actually be inclined to eat more, hoard or hide foods. These unhealthy behaviors increase the risk of future weight problems or eating disorders.

A second priority is to keep processed junk foods such as candy, cookies, chips or desserts out of the house. Even if some members of your household are lucky enough to exercise moderation, others may not be wired to resist. Studies have concluded that sugary foods can activate the same reward pathway in some individual’s brains as addictive drugs. Treats are fine in small amounts on occasion; just don’t store them in the house.

Remember that your best defense in protecting your children is not keeping tempting foods readily accessible and avoiding the urge to control how much your kid eats. Your kids will (someday) thank you.

By Christine Miller, RD, LD/N

A Registered Dietitian and a Certified Diabetes Educator, Christine Miller owns Advanced Nutrition Concepts at http://www.advancednutritionconcepts.com<./p>

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Making Sense of Supplements

With so many products on the market, how does one choose the right dietary supplement?

It’s essential to understand that impure dietary supplements should be your number one concern when making purchases.

Adulterated supplements have the potential to cause serious injury. Take vitamin D, for example. Although cases of vitamin D poisoning are extremely rare, it is one of the few vitamins that have the potential for toxicity, particularly in dosages above 10,000 IU per day. 

In 2011 three published cases of vitamin D toxicity were documented in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. While one incident involved a prescription error, the other two involved manufacturing errors. One product labeled as containing 1,600 IU actually contained 186,400 IU per capsule. The other incident of toxicity occurred with a product was confirmed as containing a whopping 970,000 IU per serving.

Although prescription drugs pose a far greater risk, dietary supplements are not without risk. Recent data suggests that poorly formulated dietary supplements account for nearly 20 percent of liver injuries.

Web sites such as Amazon and eBay are no stranger to counterfeit products –  that includes dietary supplements.  According to a recent article published by Gary Collins, former special agent and forensic investigator for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), mega online retailers are unable to completely control the sale of sub-standard products.  Collins explains that besides counterfeiting, products may also be expired and repackaged as new.

Although the FDA has implemented measures that require a basic level of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), the challenges of large-scale enforcement and a lack of rigorous standards remain.

You can reduce your risk of becoming a victim of counterfeited or expired products by purchasing from suppliers that obtain their products directly from reputable manufacturers. How do you know if a manufacturer is reputable? Fortunately, there are third-party organizations with higher standards for purity and potency. These groups, whose sites can be found online, can offer some advice to consumers regarding recommended products. The following four are at the top of the pack:

• The Natural Product Association (NPA)
• NSF International
• U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) verification
• Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)

Consumer links to Web pages containing the names of manufacturers with third-party certifications can also be obtained by e-mailing me at christine@advancednutritionconcepts.com.

Dietary supplements have the ability to heal, help and protect. When in the hands of the wrong producer or seller, however, these phony pills can harm not just your pocketbook, but also your health.

By Christine Miller, RD, LD/N

A Registered Dietitian and a Certified Diabetes Educator, Christine Miller owns Advanced Nutrition Concepts at http://www.advancednutritionconcepts.com<./p>

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Making Organic Affordable

We’ve all heard the advice to eat more fruits and vegetables, especially as our understanding of their health benefits continues to grow.

We know that fruits and vegetables can guard against many forms of cancer, lower blood pressure, protect the heart and even shield our eyes from the most common causes of adult blindness and vision loss.

While the benefits are indisputable, concerns have arisen over conventional produce’s links to higher levels of pesticide residues in the urine following their consumption. These same chemicals, however, become nearly undetectable after several days of consuming organic versions of the same produce. 

Whether you eat organic or not, the good news is that the health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables far outweigh risks, even when pesticides are present. The bad news is that organic produce, if not selected wisely, can put a sizeable dent in your pocketbook.

The most efficient way to balance cost is to prioritize organic versions of fruits and vegetables with the highest known pesticide levels. Thanks to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a helpful list – affectionately known as the Dirty Dozen Plus™ – is available to us

The EWG’s most recent listing for 2013 recommends choosing organic when selecting the following: apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, hot peppers, imported nectarines, peaches, potatoes, spinach, strawberries and sweet bell peppers.  Kale, collard greens and summer squash (yellow crookneck and zucchini) bring the traditional dozen up to 15 fruits and vegetables that are best chosen organic.

If you find it tough to get to an organic produce market or farm, two other savings tips are to buy generic and buy in bulk. Publix provides fresh organic celery and spinach and frozen berries under their GreenWise label. Whole Foods’ generic 365 label offers frozen organic peaches, strawberries, spinach, kale, and a wide variety of other quickly prepared frozen produce. Apples, potatoes, and other seasonal organic items may also be available in bulk, often for the same cost as buying conventionally packaged items at your grocery, health food or warehouse stores.

Choosing organic does not need to be an all-or-nothing proposition. You can incorporate more organics without breaking your grocery budget. For more information about this topic, visit http://www.ewg.org. 

By Christine Miller, RD, LD/N

A Registered Dietitian and a Certified Diabetes Educator, Christine Miller owns Advanced Nutrition Concepts at http://www.advancednutritionconcepts.com<./p>

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