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December 2005 Newsletter!

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Welcome back - we hope you have a wonderful holiday season of joy!  
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Thoughts from Dr. Steelman
We know the Christmas season is a tough time to diet. It may be equally hard to live with someone who’s making that struggle. The keys to successfully handling the holidays are having realistic expectations, keeping up a healthy lifestyle, and keeping a sense of humor. With that in mind, we offer you the original...never been used...Dr. Steelman’s version of The Twelve Days of Christmas.

On the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me a partridge in a pear tree. The partridge has a point! When you decide to have a “sweet for a treat”...why not make it a pear or some other fresh fruit instead of a double chocolate truffle. You’ll get a lot more vitamins and a lot less calories.

On the 2nd day...two turtle doves. Well...if you can’t find doves in the meat department of your favorite supermarket, at least you can be sure to eat more fowl — chicken, turkey, game hen — and less of the high calorie red meats during the holidays.

On the 3rd day...three french hens. Speaking of French...what about that bikini you want to wear next summer...or that French cut leotard you bought to wear at your aerobics class? Keep a mental picture of yourself parading around in that cute number...maybe it’ll help you resist those rich hors d’oeuvres.

On the 4th day...four calling birds. Talk may not be cheap...but it can be a good way to keep your mouth busy and away from all the melt-in-your-mouth goodies on the buffet table at that special party you attend. Join a conversation group as far away from the chow line as possible.

On the 5th day...five golden rings. Not the kind that go on your finger...more like the five ring symbol for the Olympics. A regular exercise program is more important now than ever. How else are you going to counteract the fattening effects of those extra holiday calories? Fitness or fatness...the choice is yours!

On the 6th day...six geese a laying. Eggs contain 270 mg. Cholesterol, 5 1/2 grams of saturated fat and 80 calories. There’s going to be enough of these in that goodie basket that Aunt Jane or Grandma sends to you. Better cut down on the eggs, dairy products, and red meat...or the goose won’t be the only one who’s getting fat as Christmas approaches.

On the 7th swans a swimming. (Do you get the feeling that the guy who wrote this had a bird fetish?) What you drink may be as important as what you eat. Not only do alcoholic beverages contain lots of calories, they are dehydrating and rob you of various minerals and vitamins. Be sure you drink lots of water so your body isn’t swimming in a polluted stream.

On the 8th day...eight maids a milking. An old fashioned milk bath may not be the main method you use to pamper yourself, but look for ways to give yourself some pleasure without adding calories during this hectic season. Visit a friend, go to a performance of The Nutcracker, put on headphones and listen to your favorite music, take a long luxurious bubble bath. Just stay out of the pantry.

On the 9th day...nine ladies dancing.  Maybe it’s time for a little “shake it up baby”. Get that video work out tape and find a few minutes every day to whittle down the waist and firm those hips. Pick a routine you like...kick up your heels and pull off those pounds.

On the 10th day...ten lords a leaping. Going shopping? Sure you are. Leap up that flight of stairs instead of riding the escalator. Park your car a little further away. I’m sure those cold December winds will have you leaping across the lot. Plan a good diet and exercise program...then hop to it.

On the 11th day...eleven pipers piping. Keep in mind that we all have to pay the piper. Remind yourself that the typical American “pays” by gaining 8 pounds during the winter months. Moderation is the key. The more you play...the more you’ll pay!

On the 12th day...twelve drummers drumming. We hate to keep drumming this into your head, but the holidays have been the downfall of many a dieter. Step to the beat of a different drummer.

Don’t follow the herd through a season of overindulgence...lead yourself to a healthier and slimmer New Year!
diet humor

A Touch o' Humor to Brighten Your Day!


recipe of the month
Outrageous Macaroons Recipe

1 14-ounce can nonfat sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups sliced almonds
2 cups coconut flakes, preferably unsweetened
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped shelled pistachios
2 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt

Garnish (optional)
3/4 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped shelled pistachios

1. Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 325°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

2. Whisk condensed milk and almond extract in a large bowl until combined. Pulse almonds in a food processor (about 10 quick pulses) until broken unto small pieces. Stir the almonds, coconut, 1/2 cup cranberries and 1/2 cup pistachios into the condensed milk mixture.

3. Beat egg whites and salt in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Fold 1/2 cup of the egg whites into the coconut mixture. Add the remaining egg whites, gently folding into the mixture until just combined. Drop 1 teaspoon of dough onto a prepared baking sheet and top with another teaspoon of dough, making a double-tall macaroon. Repeat with the remaining batter, spacing the macaroons 1 inch apart.

4. Bake the macaroons, switching the pans back to front and top to bottom halfway through, until the coconut is lightly golden, 18 to 22 minutes (sweetened coconut will brown faster than unsweetened). Let cool on the pans on a wire rack until cool to the touch, 30 minutes.

5. Optional garnish: Place 1/2 cup chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and melt in the microwave on Medium in 30-second bursts, stirring after each burst to ensure even melting, until completely melted. (Alternatively, melt the chocolate in a double boiler over hot water, stirring constantly.) Stir the remaining 1/4 cup chips into the melted chocolate until smooth. Drizzle or spoon the melted chocolate over the top of each cooled macaroon; sprinkle with cranberries and pistachios. Let the chocolate dry completely before storing or packing.

diet tips
Some Healthy Reminders!

Bank your calories.
It's common sense: If a big Christmas meal is in your future, cut down on the treats and rev up your workout beforehand.

Case the joint.
If you spot Aunt Rita's yummy coconut cake on the dessert table, skip the mashed potatoes and rolls so you'll have room for a slice.

Ride the crest.
You're craving the leftover holiday cookies. Wait 10 minutes-- your desire will most likely pass.

Pass on seconds.

Happy Healthy Holiday Eating!
This Month's Question for the Doctor:
Question:  I have been taking active 8 about three weeks now and have noticed that about 1 - 1 1/2 hours after I take my tablet, I am uncontrollably sleepy.  It has been pretty consistent but happens even faster if I take it at dinner.  Has anyone else experienced this effect?  I do take thyroid medicine daily, usually before breakfast.
Answer from Dr. Steelman: I haven't heard of anyone else having this symptom. However, Magnesium will have some nervous system "calming" effects in certain individuals. Also, some minerals will interfere with thyroid absorption and this could cause some drop in energy levels. So, it might be wise to take Active 8 at bedtime (that's when I take mine) or, at least, at a time different from taking the thyroid.
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