Do you want more energy?

Do you want to feel better, look better, and experience a longer, more active and more fulfilled life? Do you want to have more energy throughout the day and improve the quality of your life?

By working regular, moderate exercise into your daily routine, you can have all of that and more. And, your FirstLine Therapy® (FLT) healthcare provider or lifestyle educator can create a program that’s just right for you. This program incorporates an optimal food plan, supplements, exercise, and stress relief.

Use It or Lose It

Exercise is a crucial component of re-gaining your energy. Recent research has shown that physical deterioration and lack of function associated with aging is largely due to an inactive lifestyle. We’ve all heard, “Use it or lose it,” and while many of us are “losing” physical function because we don’t exercise, we are also increasing our chances of degenerative diseases, such as heart disease, hypertension, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and arthritis.

Regular exercise not only gives you a better body shape, but it:

• Increases your body’s metabolic rate—you burn more calories even after you have stopped exercising
• Increases your body’s percent of lean muscle versus percent of body fat
• Improves your insulin sensitivity
• Lowers your cholesterol levels
• Lowers your risk of chronic disease
• Increases your energy and vitality
• Improves your quality of sleep
• Reduces stress and tension
• Elevates your mood
• Increases your mental performance

 Start at Your Own Pace and Have Fun

Go for a walk in nature or join the local gym. Choose a satisfying activity—like yoga—that’ll include all three aspects of fitness: aerobic, strength, and flexibility. Whatever type of fitness program you and your FLT healthcare provider create, incorporate what you enjoy. Have fun in the sun or hike the hills—dive into a deep pool or jog with your dog!

Contact Comprehensive Center for Women’s Medicine today at 773.435.1150 to start the FLT journey, so you can feel the benefits of being fit—and live a long, healthy life!

Avoid Excessive Sugar Intake

Foods that are high in sugars or have a “high” rating on the glycemic index, can add to the total amount of sugar in your bloodstream. These excess sugars “cook” in your body and caramelize in your eyes – a reason why people with uncontrolled diabetes face blindness.

24 Heart Healthy Foods

Almonds
Almonds are full of vitamin E, plant sterols, fiber, and heart-healthy fats. Almonds may help lower LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of diabetes. Slivered almonds go well with vegetables, fish, chicken, even desserts, and just a handful adds a good measure of heart health to your meals.

Barley
The fiber in barley can help lower cholesterol levels and may lower blood glucose levels, too. Try this nutty, whole grain in place of rice with dinner or simmer barley into soups and stews.

Black Beans
Black beans are packed with heart-healthy nutrients including folate, antioxidants, magnesium for lowering blood pressure, and fiber — which helps control both cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Blueberries
The list of healthy nutrients in blueberries is extensive: anthocyanins give them their deep blue color and support heart health. Blueberries also contain ellagic acid, beta-carotene, lutein, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, potassium, and fiber.

Carrots
The latest research on carrots shows these sweet, crunchy veggies may help control blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of developing diabetes. They’re also a top cholesterol-fighting food, thanks to ample amounts of soluble fiber — the kind found in oats.

Cayenne Chili Pepper
Shaking hot chili powder on food may help prevent a spike in insulin levels after meals. A study showed that simply adding chili to a hamburger meal produced lower insulin levels.

Cherries
Cherries are packed with anthocyanins, an antioxidant believed to help protect blood vessels. Cherries in any form provide these heart-healthy nutrients: the larger heart-shaped sweet cherries, the sour cherries used for baking, as well as dried cherries and cherry juice.

Coffee
Coffee and tea may help protect your heart by warding off type 2 diabetes. Studies show that people who drink 3-4 cups a day may cut their risk by 25% — and even decaffeinated coffee works. Caution is due, however, for those who already have diabetes or hypertension; caffeine can complicate these conditions.

Edamame
They’re packed with soy protein, which can lower blood triglyceride levels. A half cup of edamame also has 9 grams of cholesterol-lowering fiber — equal to four slices of whole-wheat bread. These green soybeans are moving beyond Japanese restaurants, where they’re a tasty appetizer.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This oil, made from the first press of olives, is especially rich in heart-healthy antioxidants called polyphenols, as well as healthy monounsaturated fats. When olive oil replaces saturated fat (like butter), it can help lower cholesterol levels. Polyphenols may protect blood vessels.

Flaxseed
This shiny, honey-colored seed has three elements that are good for your heart: fiber, phytochemicals called lignans, and ALA, an omega-3 fatty acid found in plants. The body converts ALA to the more powerful omega-3s, EPA and DHA.

Fresh Herbs
Fresh herbs make many other foods heart-healthy when they replace salt, fat, and cholesterol. These flavor powerhouses, along with nuts, berries — even coffee — form a global approach to heart-wise eating. Read on for more delicious ways to fight heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

Kosher Salt
This may be worth a try for people with high blood pressure. The larger crystals impart more flavor than finely ground salt. A teaspoon of Kosher salt has 1,120-2,000 mg of sodium, while the daily limit for most people is 1,500 mg. Kosher salt may give you more salty flavor with less actual salt — and less sodium — than if you sprinkled table salt on your food.

Oatmeal
Oats in all forms can help your heart by lowering LDL, the bad cholesterol. A warm bowl of oatmeal fills you up for hours, fights snack attacks, and helps keep blood sugar levels stable over time — making it useful for people with diabetes, too.

Oranges
This sweet, juicy fruit contains the cholesterol-fighting fiber pectin — as well as potassium, which helps control blood pressure. A small study shows that OJ may improve blood vessel function and modestly lower blood pressure through the antioxidant hesperidin.

Red Wine (and Resveratrol)
If you drink alcohol, a little red wine may be a heart-healthy choice. Resveratrol and catechins, two antioxidants in red wine, may protect artery walls. Alcohol can also boost HDL, the good cholesterol.

Salmon
A top food for heart health, it’s rich in the omega-3s EPA and DHA. Omega-3s lower risk of rhythm disorders, which can lead to sudden cardiac death. Salmon also lowers blood triglycerides and reduces inflammation. The American Heart Association recommends two servings of salmon or other oily fish a week.

Sterols
Want the heart-healthy power of vegetables in your milk or on toast? Margarine, soy milk, or orange juice can deliver — when they’re fortified with cholesterol-fighting sterols and stanols. These plant extracts block cholesterol absorption in the gut and can lower LDL levels by 10% without affecting good cholesterol.

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a hearty, healthy substitute for white potatoes for people concerned about diabetes. With a low glycemic index, these spuds won’t cause a quick spike in blood sugar. Ample fiber, vitamin A, and lycopene add to their heart-healthy profile.

Swiss Chard
The dark green, leafy vegetable is rich in potassium and magnesium, minerals that help control blood pressure. Fiber, vitamin A, and the antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin, add to the heart-healthy profile.

Tofu
Make soy protein the main attraction more often at dinnertime by cooking with tofu instead of red meat. You gain all the heart-healthy minerals, fiber, and polyunsaturated fats of soy — and you avoid a load of artery-clogging saturated fat.

Tuna (for Omega-3s)
Tuna is a good source of heart-healthy omega-3s; it generally costs less than salmon. Albacore (white tuna) contains more omega-3s than other tuna varieties. Reel in these other sources of omega-3s, too: mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines, and anchovies.

Walnuts
A small handful of walnuts (1.5 ounces) a day may lower your cholesterol and reduce inflammation in the arteries of the heart. Walnuts are packed with omega-3s, monounsaturated fats, and fiber. The benefits come when walnuts replace bad fats, like those in chips and cookies — and you don’t increase your calorie count.

Yogurt (Low-Fat)
While low-fat dairy is most often touted for bone health, these foods can help control high blood pressure, too. Milk is high in calcium and potassium and yogurt has twice as much of these important minerals. To really boost the calcium and minimize the fat, choose low-fat or non-fat varieties.

Comprehensive Center for Women’s Medicine is a Multispecialty Holistic Practice. Vesna Skul, MD, Danuta Hoyer, MD, and Jean Walker, MD are nationally ranked in 11 specialties. U.S. News Top Doctors ranked them as the top 1% in the nation in their specialty. All three doctors have been ranked Top Women’s Doctors by Chicago Magazine.

Comprehensive Center for Women’s Medicine is located in the heart of Chicago’s Goldcoast. Visit them on the web at www.ccwm.com