Diet, Nutrition & Exercise and let's not forgot those recipesThis page is in PROGRESS and will be changing ~  It will contain recipes (send me your favorite), helpful hints (send along those as well) and any concerns or questions you may have.  A treasure chest of information (communication, facts and knowledge).  Did you look in the treasure chest --  heart healthy, low sodium recipes ~ many other items of interest. Questions, comments, concerns or suggestions write to Merle:   
What is PHAbout UsMeeting InfoWelcome to Merle's WorldMore About UsNews & ViewsDiet, Nutrition & ExerciseHelpful Hints etc
More Helpful HintsSpecial Events 4 CAPHSPics of Walk and RollMore picturesCaregiversThings that make you Previous MeetingsMeetings Previous Years

Before doing any exercise program - check with your doctor.
Click picture for braised brisket 
A new study from the National Institutes of Health found that the most sedentary individuals (i.e. couch potatoes) are 2.5 times more likely to develop dementia than regular exercisers. Dementia is a condition of declining mental abilities (especially memory) that affects your personality, skills (like driving a car), and verbal abilities. (And I thought it was a PH moment) 
Stay on a consistent exercise program throughout your lifespan. Try not to view exercise as a temporary means to an end (weight loss). It is part of a healthy lifestyle, and while it does help you lose and maintain weight, it can steer off plenty of health problems, from heart disease to depression.
Don't forget to check with your doctor first before starting any exercise program.Make sure to give your body a rest after a strength workout. Whichever part or parts of the body you work, give it two days’ rest before you work it again. This gives the muscles time to repair themselves and allows your metabolism to do its thing.
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
Exercise info-click on picture also go to :
Merle Reeseman 
Support Group Leader
Drinks  ~  From SparkPeopleIt might cost just a few dimes more to guzzle down a large soda instead of a small one, but your family's waistlines will be paying the real price. Soda (diet or regular) is filled with empty calories -- sugar, artificial sweeteners, and other ingredients that fill you up without giving you any nutritional benefits. One way to make a fast food meal healthier is to opt for a drink other than soda. Juice and low-fat milk are two alternatives that cut calories and add nutrition, while water is always a great choice, hydrating your body and aiding in digestion. Even small sizes usually contain 2 or more servings. Ask for "child size" drinks, even if you don't see it on the menu.
Merle's Infamous Spaghetti Sauce
Ingridents: 2 cans NO SALT stewed tomatoes
yes there really is such an animal as no salt :o)      It does have natural salt :o(
1/4 C or less of water (to swish around in those empty cans and get all that good stuff)
Empty the stewed tomatoes into a blender and mush away ~ make it as fine or thick as you want.
I add a 1/2 T of sugar and a pinch or 2 of cinnamon
The stewed tomatoes I buy already have the onions, garlic and zuchinni in it.  Yum
If you want to add other spices - as long as it isn't salt - go right ahead - but really no need as tomatoes are a naturally salty food.
Place in a sauce pan and reduce it down to the consistancy you like.
This is also good to use in a meatloaf instead of ketchup and water~and save some for the top when baking the meatloaf.  Just follow regular directions for a meatloaf~1 or 2 eggs depending upon how much meat, oatmeal or breadcrumbs for the loaf part. Have fun -- be creative.
Hopefully all of us are eating more balanced meals now and checking labels on food products when shopping.   Buy frozen vegetables instead of canned vegetables.  Remember that "low-fat" or "low-calorie" doesn't mean healthy. These diet foods can also be higher in sodium because manufacturers hope that added sodium, a flavor-enhancer, will bring back the flavor that is missing since fat and other higher-calorie ingredients are removed. This is especially true for frozen dinners, which are often loaded with extra salt. Remember you can eliminate or at least reduce salt portions when cooking most foods. 
Term Means • sodium free or salt free         
• less than 5 milligrams of sodium per serving    
• low sodium        
• 140 milligrams or less of sodium per serving 
• reduced or less sodium   
• at least 25% less sodium than the food's standard serving
• light sodium       
• 50% less sodium than the food's standard serving  
• unsalted or no salt added    
• no salt added during processing, but could contain naturally occurring salt
Now let's think about  potassium and what about fiber and let's not forget carbohydrates .   More about sodium.    

Did you know:  a pinch of salt
1/4 t    575 mgs
1/2 t  1150 mgs 
3/4 t  1725 mgs
1 t      2300 mgs
1 tbaking soda is 1000 mgs of sodium
If a label says 200 mgs of sodium per serving ~ it would be wise not to buy 
Once again ~ Fat free or "lower" fat items have added salt.
Divide your dinner plate into quarters ~ 1/2 veggies, salad, or fruit ~ 1/4 grain ~ 1/4 protein. Another tip: use a smaller size plate. Keep a journal, you are what you eat.
BJ's Chicken Salad

1 Roasting chicken with celery, carrot and yellow onion placed in cavity of chicken. Add garlic if you’d like. (The sodium content of the chicken will depend on what brand you buy….they all vary. Our chicken had 380mg sodium for 4ozs. prior to cooking). Roasting your own chicken with vegetables provides more flavors and will need less salt or additives for flavor enhancement.

Roast the chicken according to the package directions. Let it rest before cutting up.   Cut up into small pieces and place into large mixing bowl. 
Add 3/4-1cup of mayonnaise depending on your taste buds. (There is 90 mg sodium in 1 Tbsp. of Hellmann’s mayo)
½ cup of halved green grapes
¼ cup of pecans or any kind of nut you prefer --sliced
2-3 Tbsp. of fresh tarragon (you can always add more for flavor if you’d like)
1 stalk of celery finely diced
Fresh ground pepper to taste and if you must… you can use a salt substitute.
You can add more mayo if needed –the chicken tends to absorb the mayo when you first mix it together.

Don’t have any leftover chicken? Start with 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (4 – 6 oz.). Place in a large frying pan with 1 cup water or low salt chicken broth. Simmer, covered, for 12 to 14 minutes until no longer pink inside. Drain. Chop. Makes about 2 cups of cooked chicken.                                      * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Diana's Fried Chicken Breasts    6 chicken breast halves~vegetable oil~1 cup flour~1/2 teaspoon black pepper~1 teaspoon baking powderRinse chicken breasts and pat dry; sprinkle with pepper. Drain well. In plastic bag, combine flour, pepper, and baking powder. Shake chicken the flour mixture until well-coated. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours. Put 1 1/2 inches of vegetable oil in a deep skillet; heat to medium high, or about 375°. Place chicken in hot oil. When chicken pieces are hot and browning well, lower heat to medium low. Continue cooking for 8 to 12 minutes on each side or until well-browned and juices run clear when pierced with a fork.                                     
                                     % % % % % % % % % % % % % %
Yesterday I went to the doctor for my yearly physical. My blood pressure was high, my cholesterol was high, I'd gained some weight, and I didn't feel so hot. My doctor said eating right doesn't have to be complicated and it would solve my physical problems. He said just think in colors. Fill your plate with bright colors; greens, yellows, reds, etc. I went right home and ate an entire bowl of M&M's and sure enough, I felt better immediately. I never knew eating right could be so easy.  ;o)              + + + + + + + + + +         Thanks Barb it's a good one
Remember, this is information only and should be used as a guideline.  Some of us can do more while others can't; some of us can eat certain foods while others can't; some of us are limited with our liquid intake, some are not.  Always check with your doctor first before trying something new or different ~ i.e. a diet or exercise program.  * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Be a smart shopper: read those labels before you buy;  research beyond the product information provided in stores.Ignore those catchy claims on the front of the box. Go straight to the nutrition facts label for those facts.....                       
Deep Breathing Exercise
Say you have an extended stay at the hospital and are not able to get around.  This will help keep your lungs full of zip.  Take a deep breath in through your nose, hold it for 3 seconds and let it out slowly through your mouth. After the 3rd one, do a deep cough.   Do this 3 times every hour.  This also works well for those long winters or hot summers when we are stuck in the house, then just 3 or 4 times a day.  Hopefully you are able to get around in your home and keep those lungs a working....
FYI - anything that is underscored is a link to a topic, a theme, or a web site
Q.  I have high blood pressure, and my doctor has restricted me to a low-sodium diet of less than 1,500mg a day.  Are Salt substitutes a good alternative?
A.  While the spice aisle in your grocery store abounds with salt substitutes, they are not a healthy option for everyone.  Many contain potassium chloride in place of sodium chloride, and potassium consumed in excess may be harmful for some people.  For example, many people with kidney problems are unable to rid their bodies of excessive potassium, which could result in a deadly situation.  If you have kidney problems or are on medication for your heart, kidneys or liver, check with your doctor before using salt substitutes.
<- Otherwise, a salt substitue containing potassium chloride is an acceptable alternative in moderation.
Some salt substitutes labeld "lite" or "low sodium" still contain sodium, just less than what's found in table salt.  These products often contain a mix of sodium chloride and potassium chloride.  If a product is labeled "sodium free", the main ingredient is potassium chloride without sodium.      (see list above as to what "salt" means)
Keep in mind that a 1,500 mg sodium restriction includes TOTAL sodium for the day.  This includes prepared foods, not just the seasoning you add.  Keep a keen eye on nutrition labels, and try to eat servings of foods, that contain 140mg or less of sodium, which qualifies them as "low sodium".
Ideally, your best bet is to go salt free.  Instead of mimicking the taste of sodiuim with salt substitutes, experiment with flavorful herbs and spices.  Try fresh garlic or garlic powder, lemon juice, flavored vinegar, salt-free herb blends, cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon, fresh ground pepper, tarragon and oregano.
Often, the preference for salt is learned, meaning you can unlearn your craving.  By reducing your craving, you can learn to appreciate new flavors and flavor combinations.  Gradually add salt-free herbs and spices into your favorite recipes, and soon you won't even miss salt!  
By Julia Zumpano, RD, a registered dietitian who works with patients at Cleveland Clinic's Women's Cardiovascular Center.  
Ever look for a spice and you don't have it, this may help: The Cook's Thesaurus
For some special low sodium RECIPES   <-- click
 *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *
Feeling a little stressed or you're a little sob ~ try Diaphragmatic breathing ~ work up to having a 5lb or 10lb bag of rice or beans on your belly.