Sandra M. Grant P.Dt. - Registered Clinical Nutritionist
My Blog

October 2014

Happy Halloween!

Hello everyone! Thanks for checking in again. I had a little trouble with my website as you may have noticed...July's blog has shown up again following September. I'm far from skillful when it comes to knowing anything more about my computer than how to use it. 

So I thought, considering it was so late in the  month, I might post a few ideas for those of you who have decided to throw or attend a last minute halloween party!

There was a time when I threw many costume parties. I just love the mystery and whimsy that surrounds All Hallows Eve, or as most of us know it, Halloween. I am also very fortunate to have some very innovative and creative friends, who put together incredible costumes with things they found around the house. Here are a few I thought you would enjoy, and with a little imagination, they can be put together in just a few hours: 

Frankenstein and his bride: Easy to do with face paint, a chain and an old jacket. The bride was a white tank, chiffon top and slip found at Value village. Add a little white powder, draw dark bags under your eyes and Voila!!

Count Dracula and Kermit the frog, 
Dracula is always super fun and easy. However Kermit spent a long time putting this costume together. You might want to skip it unless you're lucky enough to still have that green pantsuit from the 70's!

Batman! My personal hero...
grey tights, blue undies,
grey undershirt, socks and a 
few yards of Navy or black 
satin fabric. The headgear is 
a black cap with felt ears 
attached and a black mask!

Elvira, Mistress of the dark and her crew;
A black cat, Frankenstein's Bride and a Can Can girl.
Easy as can be!

The Ghostly trio.
I'm quite certain I can skip the explanation on this one. However, they added a little twist by coming in as the Singing Ghostly trio. Casper, the smart little fellow, was nowhere to be found. ;o)     Just make sure the points on top of your head are flopping downwards!
A mummy...from the 1980's!!
   A mummy...Those of you who were not around in the 1970's, THIS is what a real mummy looks like 
(but perhaps a little less relaxed)!

The Grim Reaper:
You'll need a long broom with a white mask attached to it, black string to form a hood over the broom and lots and lots of black fabric.

And finally, Mr. Spock from the original Star Trek series. Light blue shirt, shoulder bag, eyebrow makeup, and I think...those were his own ears! ;o)

So scurry down to the basement or up to the attic, and dig tempestuously for scraps of fabric, old brooms, sheets, worn jackets or anything that looks like it has seen better days. Use your imagination, be creative put on your scariest face and have a great time! I'll leave you with a video (click here) that I think you might enjoy...but be careful, you might want to check under the bed before you turn off the light tonight.  
Good night...and Happy Haunting!

Exercising in the heat

Summer in Montreal rarely disappoints. It's early July and it's already scorching hot! But I'm not complaining! As long as I have something nearby to dip my feet into, I'm happy! 

Although the heat makes it more difficult to exercise, don't use it as an excuse to give up on your fitness routine!

Whether you're into cycling, running or a variety of activities, the effects of training are rapidly lost once exercise stops, especially for those of us over 40. In many cases it takes as little as 4 weeks of inactivity to ruin many months of hard work.

So although we can't stop, we do have to be aware of the dangers of exercising in the heat. There are precautions we need to take once the mercury starts to rise that we didn't have to think about before. 

Below are a few tips to protect you against dehydration and heat stress, and keep you moving throughout the sizzling days of summer.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drink plenty of fluids, during and after physical activity. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink. If your work-out is more than an hour, or the temperature is super hot, then water isn't enough. Try a diluted sports drink or G2 to help replace electrolytes that can be lost in sweat. Avoid alcoholic caffeinated beverages for at least a few hours post exercise.

  • Exercise smarter. Work out during the cooler parts of the day, early in the morning or early in the evening. Consider taking your exercise inside, to the gym, the mall or anyplace else out of the heat.

  • Ease in to summer. If you're used to exercising indoors or in cooler weather, take it easy at first when you exercise in the heat. As your body adapts to the heat over the course of one to two weeks, gradually increase the length and intensity of your workouts.

  • Dress appropriately. Lightweight, loose fitting clothing helps sweat evaporate and keeps you cooler. Avoid dark colors, which can absorb heat. If possible, wear a light-colored, breathable cap. 

  • Team up.  If you can, exercise with a friend or family member. It’s safer, and it can be MUCH more fun (for most of us).

All that said, learn the signs of dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle cramps
  • Cold, moist skin, chills
  • Irritability (your partner might have to pipe up here) 
  • Dizziness, blurred vision
  • Weak or rapid pulse
  • Fast, shallow breathing
  • Nausea, vomiting or both

  • Warm, dry skin with no sweating
  • Confusion
  • High fever
  • Loss of consciousness

If you develop any of these symptoms, stop exercising immediately and get out of the heat. Call for help, lower your body temperature and hydrate. Remove extra clothing and if possible, fan your body or wet it down using wet towels or a water hose on your neck, forehead and under your arms, or sit in a tub filled with cold water.

Heat-related illnesses are largely preventable. By taking these basic precautions, your exercise routine doesn't have to be sidelined when the heat is on.
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