Stay Healthy Through the Holidays

As the holidays are quickly approaching, this time of year is always the hardest to keep up with healthy eating and regular exercise. While indulging in your favorite sweets, Thanksgiving dishes and family traditions, your health does not always need to go by the wayside…completely.  Easy swaps and simple changes can make a huge difference in how you feel (and look) during and after the holiday season. Here are 7 tips to stay on track through the holidays and get a jump-start on that New Year’s Resolution!

  1. Stay Active – While you may not want to take an hour to go to the gym while the family is in town, creating a fun way to get the whole family to participate is a great way to get active before the food coma hits. Organize a family flag football game for Thanksgiving morning before cooking ensues or take a walk and look at the stars after you’ve eaten!
  2. Lighten Up Typical Meals – No one will even notice these simple swaps, but they will notice they feel much better the day after! A few simple suggestions are to use fat-free chicken broth to baste the turkey or make gravy, reduce butter and oil wherever you can and try using plain Greek yogurt or fat-free sour cream in dips, casseroles, and mashed potatoes.
  3. Watch Your Portions – The table may look like an all you cat eat buffet, but being mindful of your serving sizes may be the trick to keep your pants fitting! Instead of loading up on mashed potatoes, which are available all year, fill your plate up first with the seasonal favorites!
  4. Enjoy Each Other’s Company – Enjoying conversation, putting the fork down between bites and tasting each mouthful will leave you feeling more satisfied after just one plate instead of not allowing your stomach to tell your brain, “that’s enough!” Try to fill up first on fiber-rich foods and foods that hold water to feel more full.
  5. Sip Your Alcohol – Alcohol calories add up quickly! While it is easy to get caught in the moment on the day and want to out drink your Uncle, you will not be feeling great the next day, and will be drinking way too many calories you would rather be eating! Instead, stay hydrated throughout the day and enjoy a glass of wine with the feast!
  6. Be Realistic – While you may not lose weight during the holidays, focusing on maintenance will change your attitude about eating and indulging. While limiting yourself may cause a big binge meal at the end of the week, indulging slightly throughout the week will make maintaining weight easier and even easier to kick off a few pounds after the holidays pass.
  7. Focus on What Matters – While the holidays are the best time of year to indulge, they are also a time to create lasting memories with the friends and family you spend them with. Instead of creating memories around food, take food out of the picture and focus on the people who are surrounding you for them!

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Healthy Through the Holidays

As the holidays are quickly approaching, this time of year is always the hardest to keep up with healthy eating and regular exercise. While indulging in your favorite sweets, Thanksgiving dishes and family traditions, your health does not always need to go by the wayside…completely.  Easy swaps and simple changes can make a huge difference in how you feel (and look) during and after the holiday season. Here are 7 tips to stay on track through the holidays and get a jump-start on that New Year’s Resolution!

  1. Stay Active – While you may not want to take an hour to go to the gym while the family is in town, creating a fun way to get the whole family to participate is a great way to get active before the food coma hits. Organize a family flag football game for Thanksgiving morning before cooking ensues or take a walk and look at the stars after you’ve eaten!
  2. Lighten Up Typical Meals – No one will even notice these simple swaps, but they will notice they feel much better the day after! A few simple suggestions are to use fat-free chicken broth to baste the turkey or make gravy, reduce butter and oil wherever you can and try using plain Greek yogurt or fat-free sour cream in dips, casseroles, and mashed potatoes.
  3. Watch Your Portions – The table may look like an all you cat eat buffet, but being mindful of your serving sizes may be the trick to keep your pants fitting! Instead of loading up on mashed potatoes, which are available all year, fill your plate up first with the seasonal favorites!
  4. Enjoy Each Other’s Company – Enjoying conversation, putting the fork down between bites and tasting each mouthful will leave you feeling more satisfied after just one plate instead of not allowing your stomach to tell your brain, “that’s enough!” Try to fill up first on fiber-rich foods and foods that hold water to feel more full.
  5. Sip Your Alcohol – Alcohol calories add up quickly! While it is easy to get caught in the moment on the day and want to out drink your Uncle, you will not be feeling great the next day, and will be drinking way too many calories you would rather be eating! Instead, stay hydrated throughout the day and enjoy a glass of wine with the feast!
  6. Be Realistic – While you may not lose weight during the holidays, focusing on maintenance will change your attitude about eating and indulging. While limiting yourself may cause a big binge meal at the end of the week, indulging slightly throughout the week will make maintaining weight easier and even easier to kick off a few pounds after the holidays pass.
  7. Focus on What Matters – While the holidays are the best time of year to indulge, they are also a time to create lasting memories with the friends and family you spend them with. Instead of creating memories around food, take food out of the picture and focus on the people who are surrounding you for them!

(Source)

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Avoiding Varicose Vein Development During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, it’s no secret that the female body goes through many diverse changes.  While many of these changes are internal and may not be visible to the eye, some are not so subtle.  Varicose vein development is common in roughly 50-60% of women and pregnancy greatly increases risks of early development due to pressure on the veins and reduced circulation.  While the cause of varicose veins is unknown, during pregnancy there are several precautions you can take to prevent development such as:

  • Exercise and walk regularly.
  • Elevate your legs early on in pregnancy stages.
  • Avoid standing for prolonged periods of time.
  • Avoid crossing your legs while sitting.
  • Control weight gain during pregnancy (additional weight will put more unwanted pressure on veins and circulation).
  • Avoid tight clothing that may compress waist or groin.
  • Limit salt intake to avoid excess water retention.

While these practices do not guarantee 100% prevention, being proactive and taking preventative actions will greatly reduce your chances of varicose veins occurring during pregnancy and reduce risk of future development as well. Varicose veins do worsen if not treated properly over time and can sometimes lead to more serious complications, such as venous ulceration, venous eczema and bleeding.  If you do develop varicose veins during pregnancy, there are treatment options available to reduce visibility and side effects. Call us at (775) 329-3100 to schedule a consultation or to learn more about treatment options.  (Source)

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3 Major Diet Tips to Fight Varicose Veins

When it comes to eating healthy, we should not just be thinking about bikini season, but overall health and how our everyday choices are preparing us for (or damaging) our future. Whether you have existing varicose veins or are being proactive and fighting the symptoms, these 3 easy diet tips can help your veins stay healthy and strong for years to come.

Consume more fiber

Fiber is a key ingredient to maintaining healthy veins. Soluble fibers from foods including oats, flaxseed, beans, apples, carrots, barley and berries allow for softer stools and will not put additional pressure on your veins. Because soluble fiber forms a gel when mixed with water, stools will be softer and prevent added pressure from building up.

 Stay hydrated

As mentioned above, water is also crucial in preventing added pressure on veins all throughout your body. By drinking water throughout the day, blood will be able to flow easily through the body without additional pressure.

Consume Vitamins C & E

Vitamins C and E, both powerhouse antioxidants, are crucial in maintaining connective tissue throughout the body and help to keep veins strong and toned. When consumed together, C and E have stronger effects on blood vessels and make for healthier vein activity overall. Available in foods such as, fruits, dark leafy vegetables, broccoli and berries, this combo is a varicose vein-fighting dynamic duo.

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Red Wine and Vein Health

Sure we’ve maybe heard that a glass or two every now and then can actually be beneficial to our health. Red wine is a dose depended drink, meaning a little can show health benefits, while too much can become unhealthy. Dependent on varietal, red wine provides resveratrol, an anti aging antioxidant as well as phytonutrients like flavonols and flavonoids. Here’s how they work to help your vascular health:

Flavanols: Wine contains flavanols which are phytonutrients linked to maintaining heart health, neutralizing free radicals that can damage cells and boosting antioxidant defenses in cells. Phytonutrients, like flavanols, are naturally produced by plants to protect them from viruses, bacteria and fungi. Similarly, in the body phytonutrients appear to reduce your risk of diseases by working as antioxidants to fight free radicals. Phytochemicals/phytonutrients are what provide the aroma, texture, flavor and color of foods.

Flavonoids: This is another phytonutrient group found in wine and includes resveratrol. These are linked to heart health, urinary tract health and antioxidant defenses. Specifically for resveratrol, these phytochemicals may increases the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol. Also being researched is if resveratrol boosts the natural clot-dissolving enzyme, which could help reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke.

So, if you are a wine drinker, go ahead and have ONE glass! If not, no worries, while there is some added nutritional benefits, it’s always healthiest to abstain from alcoholic beverages.

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Top Questions to Ask Your Vein Surgeon

If you are preparing to meet with a vascular surgeon for the first time, these are the questions we recommend you asking. This will help both you and your doctor establish the best course of treatment and results! Of course any additional questions you have for your vein doctor should be brought up, and remember questions are extremely encouraged!

What is the cause of my varicose veins and why do some people have large bulging veins and other people only have spider veins?
Bulging veins are frequently caused by valvular insufficiency. Valves act as one-way shutters to keep the blood moving back toward the heart. Patients may also have a large amount of swelling if they have a component of obstruction or blockage. Some of the smaller vessel dilatation is due to hormones while larger bulging veins are most often due to valvular dysfunction. Some patients have a decreased number of valves and some patients have decreased function of the valves.

Why do I have swelling at the end of the day?
Swelling at the end of the day may be caused by fluid leaking outside of the veins and into the soft tissues. Initially this will come and go and resolve with elevation and rest overnight. However, eventually there will be a buildup of fluid and protein in the soft tissues causing darkening of the skin and loss of shape, which then may become irreversible. Compression stockings can help to delay and slow down this progression. Weight loss and exercise are also helpful.

What can be done for my bulging veins and also what can be done for my spider veins?
You can injure the vein by using laser or radiofrequency causing heat injury, or you can inject them with foam or sclerotherapy which causes chemical injury to the cells lining the veins. Each of these treatment options will have different benefits and risks as well as recurrence and recovery periods. It is important to clarify with your doctor what the treatment plan is and what the recovery and restrictions will be.

Will insurance pay for my varicose vein treatment? What is fee splitting and how does the determination for the medically necessary and cosmetic portions work?
The answer is critically important for everyone, as the answer is variable. It’s important to work closely with the staff to determine what is and isn’t covered by your insurance.

What are my post treatment restrictions and limitations? How active can I be? Is this going to be done in the office or in the hospital? What type of sedation or anesthesia will be required? Will I need more than one treatment?
The answers to these questions are varied. All of these questions need to be answered. Make sure your expectations are realistic.

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How Obesity Affects Vein Health

One of the most important steps you can take in preventing problematic veins is controlling your weight. Not only does being overweight and obese affect your overall health and wellbeing, but it can take a major toll on your veins as well.

The extra weight on the feet of an obese person decreases the pump function of the foot and the calf. Additionally, the fat of the leg impedes venous outflow. Abdominal fat also increase internal pressures, increasing resistance to proper venous flow. All of these factors that surround extensive weight gain impede vein function, making swelling and skin changes more likely.

Wearing tight or constrictive garments or high heels can exacerbate obese individual’s vein health. Add a sedentary lifestyle or prolonged travel in a constricted space and there is an increased risk of DVT. Obesity also increases the risk of developing blood during abdominal pelvic or orthopedic operations.

One of the best things you can do for your health is maintain a healthy weight. It is likely that a variety of ailments pertaining to obesity, like poor vein health, will dissipate once your body reaches healthy levels of fat, sugar and muscle.

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