BetterU 2014 – Week 11

Welcome to week 11 of the BetterU Challenge! (New here or want to find out more about this program? Jump back to the week 1 information here!)

Special thanks to Marni Hughes and Q13 Fox News – they are helping spread the word about the Go Red BetterU program! We are looking to help YOU participate right along with us. Are you going to join in on the BetterU program with us? If so we are honored to have you here! Leave messages below to say Hi, ask questions and shout it out that you’re doing the #GoRedBetterU program on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine and more!

Here  is the link to the segment on Q13 news with from June 2, 2014. Chef Kirsten discusses the BetterU program information focusing on smoking/tobacco cessation. We also discussed the weight gain that can happen when people quit smoking. Watch to find out more! Marni and Kirsten also made some delicious heart-healthy snacks! Catch up with Shirley and Kristi this week as well! Here are some clips from their video diaries. Here is the recipe for the Almond Snack Mix from the Go Red website!

snack mix


Week 11

Week 11: Live Smoke FreeChoose to Quit Smoking

  • Cigarette smoking is the most important preventable cause of premature death in the United States. It accounts for nearly 440,000 of annual deaths.
  • Smokers have a higher risk of developing several chronic disorders such as cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (lung problems), and atherosclerosis (buildup of fatty substances in the arteries).
  • Smoking increases your chances of developing heart disease and stroke.

The Best Path to a BetterU is to Stop Smoking

Even if you don’t smoke, chances are someone you care about does.

  • The health risks of secondhand smoke (also called environmental tobacco smoke) are well known.
  • About 38,000 deaths are caused by other people’s smoke each year.
  • Children are especially vulnerable to the effects of secondhand smoke, and exposure increases a child’s risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), respiratory infections, ear infections and asthma attacks.
  • Babies born to women who smoke during pregnancy are at higher risk for lower birth weight sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and lung and other health problems.

Smoke Free In Your Community – How Can You Help?

  • Give your support to the efforts recommended by the American Heart Association.
  • Support strong federal laws.
  • Learn more about federal regulation of tobacco and regulation of tobacco as a women’s health issue.More information here.
  • Support the establishment of smoke-free workplaces and clean indoor air policies.
  • Support increasing tobacco excise taxes at the local, state, and federal levels.
  • Support the funding of tobacco control and prevention programs.
Did You Know?The AHA encourages women to get involved in health advocacy. You’re the Cure is the advocacy network of people committed to reducing death and disability from heart disease and stroke and a group passionate about tobacco control. Enroll in You’re the Cure.

Quick Quit Tips

Quitting smoking can be one of the best things you can do for your health and the health of your family. But, any change – and smoking in particular – is hard. If you, or someone your love, is committed to quit,here are some tips that can help.

Take heart. It may help to know that the health benefits of quitting smoking start almost immediately. Within a few years of quitting the risk of stroke and coronary artery disease are similar to non-smokers.

  • Be prepared. Women are more likely to quit smoking for good if they prepare for two things: 1) the last cigarette and 2) the cravings, urges and feelings that come with quitting.
  • Medication can help. Specific medicines can help people quit smoking when used correctly. Talk to your healthcare provider about the options that may work best for you.
  • Get support. It can help to recruit a support team. Additional support can be found by looking for quit-smoking programs through hospitals, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, or the American Lung Association.
  • Replace the behavior. Women are often concerned about managing stress and weight gain when they stop smoking. There are practical strategies that can help.
  • Learn more about coping with stress when you quit.
  • Learn ways to manage your weight when you quit.
  • Plan for lapses and snapping back. Most women will have an occasional lapse, or slip, which is normal. A lapse does not have to lead into a relapse back to your old habits if you plan ahead for those situations.

All of these resource above, as well as where you can get more information about quitting and a plan to help you stop smoking: Click here.

Important to Keep in Mind:

Choose to Breathe Smoke Free. Whether you have never smoked or you are a current smoker, there are some steps that you can take to choose to breathe smoke free. Apart from quitting smoking, here are some breathe-better choices:

  • Set your own clean indoor air policies. Do not allow anyone to smoke in your home or car.
  • Identify and support smoke-free restaurants and businesses in your community.
  • Support others in their attempts to quit. Be understanding of how hard it is to quit, give encouragement and support, avoid nagging or being a watchdog and help keep smoking triggers away from ex-smokers.
  • For more information on being a support person, read Tips for Friends and Families of Quitters.

Notes from the meetings:

This week the ladies had their follow-up lab work done! We get to find out their before/after numbers next week. I saw a lot of happy dances around the room just from the initial numbers being reported! These ladies are making small, permanent changes to their lifestyle and have been improving their health over the past 10 weeks since we started. They are learning life-long habits to continue to be a BetterU!

Have a wonderful week and congratulations on Week 11 towards a BetterU!

Chef Kirsten Signature

Special thanks to our sponsors:

Verdant Health Commission

Lynnwood Rec center



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