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Maintain Healthy Skin, No Matter Your Age

Keeping your skin looking and feeling healthy as you age can seem like a complicated, time-consuming and expensive task. However, maintaining good health as you get older can translate into beautiful skin and a confident appearance.

blog_woman in mirrorCooper Clinic Dermatologist Dr. Helen Kaporis recommends using daily sunblock with SPF higher than 30. Sunblock not only reduces the risk of developing skin cancer, but also decreases premature collagen breakdown. We naturally lose one teaspoon of collagen each year in our face, and sunblock helps prevent additional breakdown.

Dr. Kaporis also notes that daily use of antioxidants can help diminish environmental free radicals that cause oxidative stress on skin. Antioxidants such as Obagi Vitamin C Serum or Skinceuticals Phloretin CF Gel Pump are her top recommendations. In addition, tretinoin or retinol can help reverse photo aging, fine lines and dyspigmentation.

Finally, Dr. Kaporis suggests using moisturizers with ceramics, such as Elta MD Lotion or Cerave Cream, on dry skin that develops over time. These products will help lock in moisture and repair damaged skin.

Cooper Spa’s newest esthetician, Andrea Rankin, also shares her own tips that can help you age beautifully:

  • Less is best! Too much product will strip your skin of the acid mantle, the skin’s natural protector, and imbalance your pH levels.
  • Wash your face both morning and night – and after any workout. Even if you don’t have time to fully shower, use a towelette on your face, neck and back to remove toxins and bacteria. And, if you have time, use a toner to moisturize and protect your skin until you have time to shower.
  • Before bed, wash your face properly and use moisturizer for soft and supple skin.
  • To support your diet for healthy skin, take Cooper Complete Dermatologic Health to be sure you’re taking in the proper nutrients.
  • Exfoliate once a week. Men typically exfoliate as they shave every day, but don’t forget to exfoliate your nose and forehead, too!

Andrea’s favorite age-defying skin care products include:

  • SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Interrupter
    • Improves skin creping and thinning
    • Corrects the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and rough texture
    • Restores water and nutrients to improve the appearance of skin elasticity
    • Restores comfort to dry, aging skin
  • SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Cream
    • Helps protect against stress factors and environmental aggressors
    • Combats the appearance of puffiness, sagging skin and dark circles
    • Supports the skin’s natural hydration
    • Suitable for normal, combination and oily aging skin

Focusing on skin care at any age is an important part of keeping your body healthy. Prevention is key – the more you can take care of and protect your skin in your younger years, the less your skin will seem to age in your later years. But remember, it’s never too late to start a skin care routine that will leave you looking and feeling beautiful!

Heart Health Boosting Foods

February 17, 2015 Leave a comment

This month we celebrate heart health. There are many powerful foods that deliver big benefits to reduce your risk of heart disease. Here are a few super-stars that you may want to incorporate into your routine. All of these foods are loaded with heart-protective components that will keep your heart strong and pumping.

Salmon
This fatty fish ranks high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fats may reduce inflammation throughout the body which can cause damage to your blood vessels and lead to heart disease. These healthy fats may also lower cholesterol, blood pressure, reduce blood clotting, decrease stroke and risk for heart failure. Try to eat fatty fish, like salmon, two to three times a week.

Blueberries
These berries are bursting with antioxidants, specifically the phytonutrient polyphenol. Anti-oxidants are potent substances that reduce inflammation in the body and reduce the risk of heart disease, along with other chronic diseases. Add blueberries to yogurt or smoothies. Frozen blueberries are just as nutritionally packed as fresh!

Avocados
Everyone loves avocados! These fruits are packed with mono-unsaturated fat that bumps up your good HDL cholesterol and lowers risk of heart disease. Recent research shows a link between consuming avocados daily and reducing bad LDL cholesterol. Avocados also contain vitamin B 6 and folic acid which are also beneficial to your heart. Enjoy avocados in salads or as a sandwich spread instead of mayo several times a week.

Walnuts
Walnuts contain a wealth of omega-3 fats in the world of nuts. If you’re not a fan of salmon or other fatty fish, this is a great way to fit these fats into your diet. Walnuts also contain vitamin E which is an antioxidant that may protect your heart. Enjoy walnuts on salads or as a crunchy snack. Try to eat nuts at least 3 times a week- 4 or five times is even better!

Oatmeal
Oatmeal is good news for your heart. The type of soluble fiber in oats, beta-glucans, forms a gooey mass in your stomach, trapping cholesterol and transporting it out of the body before it can get absorbed into your blood, thus lowering your LDL cholesterol levels. It takes about 1 ½ cups of cooked oatmeal (equal to ¾ cups dry) to get the maximum benefit. Try to eat oatmeal several times a week. Top with blueberries and walnuts- two other star foods on the list!

For information on nutrition consultations at Cooper Clinic visit cooperclinicnutrition.com or call 972.560.2655.

Saluting Spaghetti Squash: A Power Food

December 30, 2014 2 comments

Ten fruits/vegetables a day will help lower blood pressure (from potassium) and can cut a person’s risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer by almost half.

Winter is the perfect time to try out different varieties of fall and winter-type squash. There are many to choose from and some of the popular standouts are acorn, butternut, pumpkin and spaghetti. My personal favorite is spaghetti squash. Like its namesake it can be a perfect swap for noodles in various recipes which call for pasta. It’s a great way to bump up your veggie intake while trimming down on carbs. I love it because it’s delicious and easy to prepare. Spaghetti squash is also referred to as squaghetti, vegetable spaghetti and noodle squash.

What is spaghetti squash?
Spaghetti squash is an oval shaped yellow fruit that contains a stringy flesh and a mild taste. It can also be found in ivory or orange colors; the orange kinds have higher beta-carotene content. The center contains many large, edible seeds.

Nutrition Facts
Spaghetti squash is packed with nutrients including folic acid, potassium, vitamin A and beta carotene. It’s low in calories and fairly low in carbs, especially compared to starchy noodles. In fact, spaghetti has about five times the calories as spaghetti squash

Nutritional Analysis | One cup, cooked
Calories: 42
Fat: <0.5g
Sodium: 28 mg
Carbs: 10 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sugar: 4 g
Protein: 1 g

Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Oven or Microwave

With a very sharp knife, chop off the top or bottom of the squash so it will stand flat and secure on your cutting board. Be very careful as you slice it in half lengthwise. Then use a spoon to scrape out all of the seeds.

To bake in the oven: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Brush the inside of each half with olive oil and optionally sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Place the cut sides down on a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until you can easily pierce the squash with a fork. Cool for about 15 minutes, or until squash is cool enough to handle. With a fork, scrape out the spaghetti-like strands and prepare as desired.

Or to microwave: Place squash cut sides down in a microwavable baking dish. Fill the dish with about one inch of water. Microwave on high for about 12 minutes, or until you can easily pierce with a fork. Cooking times will vary depending on the size of the squash. Cool for about 15 minutes, or until the squash is cool enough to handle. With a fork, scrape out the strands and prepare as desired.

Preparation Tips

  • Toss cooked squash in chunky marinara sauce
  • Top with lean protein such as 97% lean ground beef or ground turkey breast
  • Lightly toss strands in olive oil and spices and top with grated parmesan
  • Make a tomato basil spaghetti squash bake
  • Prepare spiced squash pancakes
  • Save the seeds and roast them with olive oil and salt or for a sweet, spicy kick mix in honey, paprika and cayenne pepper

Spaghetti squash is versatile vegetable that is easy to make, delicious to eat and has a high nutrient profile you can’t beat. Try it this season to balance out all the calorie-laden carbs and sweets. You might surprise yourself how good it is and make it a new fall favorite.

Find more recipes from Cooper Clinic Dietitians here.

What Nutritionists Eat When They Dine Out

I was sitting in an interview with Meridan Zerner, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD, listening to her give tips on how to make a healthy decision at meal time when I thought, “I wonder what she eats when she goes out to dinner?” The writer asked questions about changes anyone could make when they were meal planning and the information Meridan shared was great. There were plenty of tips and tricks I could use while grocery shopping but I spend more time dining out with friends and family than I do cooking at home.  A few weeks later, I finally got around to chatting with Meridan about how she decides what restaurants to dine at and what she orders.

“Whatever happens, always eat consistently throughout the day,” says Meridan. Meals and snacks provide you with the necessary nutrition and energy to have the most productive day. Eating regularly also helps to avoid overeating when you do finally sit down to eat. Consider eating a lighter lunch before a big dinner but definitely don’t skip a meal.

  1. Think lean and green. Always go for salads, fruits and vegetables first. These foods are high in fiber and will fill up your stomach faster. Whether it’s a cup of fruit or vegetable soup, you will be starting off with foods that will keep you from overindulging later in your meal.
  2. Consider sharing an appetizer. Splitting that delicious appetizer will help you manage portion control. Eating two appetizers instead of an entrée is another great way to make sure you’re eating a healthy portion size.
  3. Substitute for something healthier.  If your meal comes with pasta or rice, consider substituting that for double veggies in order to get the healthiest version of the meal possible.  Most restaurants are willing to allow customers to substitute or make changes to the listed menu items as dietary needs continue to change.
  4. Skip the sauce. Depending on what you order, you’re adding an additional 500 calories to your meal. Skipping that extra sauce, oil or butter goes a long way in managing your caloric intake. Meals may start out healthy but be mindful of how little extras add up quickly.

Choose restaurants carefully and always know before you go. Look at menus online before deciding where to plan your next meal. Check out Healthy Dining Finder for restaurant reviews and contact Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services to find out how to plan meals according to your lifestyle.

Happy Father’s Day From Cooper Aerobics!

Father’s Day is well-celebrated at Cooper Aerobics. Not only because we are a family-owned business, but also because of our Founder and Chairman, Dr. Cooper, is the ‘father of aerobics.’ Dr. Tyler Cooper, Cooper Aerobics’ Chief Executive Officer and son of Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper, shared a video tribute of his father’s legacy with their home church, Prestonwood Baptist.

More than 45 years ago, Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, MPH published his first book in 1968. When discussing the title with his publisher, Dr. Cooper said the title Aerobics would never catch on and would be mispronounced and misspelled. After a little convincing, it was decided as the title of his first of 19 books. Aerobics has now been translated in 41 languages, including braille, and is well-known around the world. In 1986 Dr. Cooper’s submission for the official definition of ‘aerobics’ appeared within the Oxford English Dictionary.

Happy Father’s Day from Drs. Cooper and all of the Cooper Aerobics family!

 

Cooper Fitness Center Renovation Celebration

In February Cooper Fitness Center celebrated the completion of its $7.5 million renovation. We marked this milestone the Cooperized way with a ribbon run-through and media were on-hand to capture the moment. We also had a members’ event and Cooper Aerobics teammates (employees) demonstrated exercises in each of the newly-renovated areas.

Not only did the renovation bring expansion to the facility, modern technology and beautiful finishings, but it was a milestone in the aerobics movement Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper started in 1968. Watch the video below to hear about Dr. Cooper’s impact and the vision his son, Dr. Tyler Cooper, has for Cooper Fitness Center to Cooperize the next generation.


View Photo Gallery | Read News Release | Request a Tour | Visit cooperfitnesscenter.com

The next phase of the campus-wide renovation is Cooper Hotel & Conference Center. Read the press release, see photos of the progress and stay tuned!

Peanut Butter at Cedars Woodfire Grill at Cooper Aerobics

February 26, 2014 Leave a comment

From smoothies comes a tasty, healthier peanut butter! When in Cedars recently, the manager, Justin Self, was delivering a jar of freshly-made peanut butter. I overheard the conversation and asked to learn more. Members, trainers and guests asked about the type of peanut butter that was used to make the smoothies. To cut back on sugar and fat, Justin wanted to provide a healthier option. He decided to make his own peanut butter to eliminate the mystery. He said, “You should know what’s in your food. We get the creamy texture by heating the peanuts and using all-natural friction, not hexabromocyclododecane.” And yes, hexabromocyclododecane is a word—it is a chemical that generates heat.

Now nearly all of the employees at our location have been trained to create this simply delicious recipe. Although it is not on the menu yet, it’s something to ask for! Made with only peanuts and sea salt, it is lower in calories and very tasty. Next time you are in Cedars Woodfire Grill at Cooper Aerobics, ask for a sample! An eight-ounce mason jar is sold for $6.75 (pre-tax). They also created a second recipe with local honey for a sweeter taste, sold for $7.75 (pre-tax).

Cedars Woodfire Grill at Cooper Aerobics opened in July 2013 as part of the multi-million dollar renovation of Cooper Fitness Center. Cedars Woodfire Grill has two other locations—one in Plano and one in Frisco, but our location is the only Cedars to serve breakfast and smoothies. The “eat well, live well, feel good” philosophy is a natural fit for Cooper Aerobics. Click here to learn more about the relationship between Cooper Aerobics and Cedars Woodfire Grill.

If you’re in the Dallas area, stop by and give Cedars a try. We’re open to the public for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Download the menu and call 972.560.2700 with any questions or a to-go order.

Eat More For Less

February 17, 2014 Leave a comment

What if you could eat more food for fewer calories? The trick is to fill up on the right foods that satisfy your hunger but carry a lower calorie count. These types of foods tend to be high in water and fiber content so you can eat in volume, feel fuller and consume a lesser amount of calories.

Calorie density is simply the number of calories in a certain volume of food.  Low calorie density foods have fewer calories per bite. For example, three cups of popcorn has only 80 calories. High calorie density foods are higher in calories for a smaller amount. One cup of nuts has more than 800 calories. Do the math and that’s eight times more calories than popcorn!

“The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet” by Barbara Rolls, introduces the concept of Volumetrics. The Volumetrics Plan is based on low calorie density options such as water-based and higher fiber foods like fruits, vegetables and broth soups, balanced out with other healthy choices such as high fiber whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean meats. Limit foods high in sugar and fat-even healthy fat found in nuts, avocados and olive oil (because of the high-calorie load).

Many years of research have proven that the quantity of food we eat has a greater impact on satiety than the actual number of calories. Satiety is the full feeling at the end of a meal that signals our brain that we have eaten enough. This is great news for many of us who like to eat a fuller plate of food and still slim down. It follows the My Plate guidelines of filling half your plate with vegetables, one quarter with lean protein and one quarter with healthy carbs. So how is this done? See the tips below for tricks to eat more for less.

How to Volumize Your Diet:

  1. Pile on the vegetables. Vegetables are one of the best examples of low energy density foods because they contain high water and fiber content for a minimal number of calories.  Plus they are super-nutritious! One half cup of cooked vegetables or 2 cups of leafy greens has about 25 calories and an average of two grams of satisfying fiber. Pile your plate with volumes of Brussels sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, okra, spinach, kale and romaine lettuce.
  2. Fill up on fluids. Choose water-rich foods such as fruit to accompany a meal or as a fiber-packed snack. One serving of most fruits has about 60 calories, such as 1 ¼ cup strawberries or watermelon and ¾ cup blackberries, blueberries or fresh pineapple. Other ways to get more volume from fluid is to serve a broth-based soup prior to or with a meal or drink a glass of water or a sugar-free beverage before a meal.
  3. Slash the fat. Cut down on oil, butter, eggs and high-fat dairy, such as whole milk, cream, full fat salad dressings and cheese. Replace these with lower fat options such as fat free milk, reduced fat cheese, lower fat dressings, egg whites and non-fat yogurt. Choose leaner meats, fish and skinless poultry, and trim any visible fat.

Simple Swaps: Choose This vs. That

  • One cup air-popped popcorn (31 calories) vs. one cup regular potato chips (137 calories)
  • One cup grapes (104 calories) vs. one cup raisins (434 calories)
  • One cup Kashi® GOLEAN Crunch!® Cereal (190 calories) vs. one cup Kellogg’s® Low Fat Granola (380 calories)
  • One cup Progresso® Vegetable Minestrone soup (100 calories) vs. one cup Campbell’s® Cream of Mushroom soup (200 calories)
  • One Yasso Greek frozen yogurt bar (80 calories) vs. one Ben & Jerry’s Vanilla ice cream bar (300 calories)

For more nutrition tips, download the Cooper Clinic Nutrition brochure, call 972.560.2655 or request an appointment online.

Kitchen Gadget Gifts

December 11, 2013 1 comment

Looking for the perfect holiday gift for your health-minded friend or family member? There are a few kitchen essentials that are simple to use and encourage healthier eating.

1)      Oil misters. These are designed for the health-conscious cook in mind. They offer an easy way to add flavor, use less oil and reduce calories and fat. Simply fill the non-aerosol can with your favorite oil and spray on pasta, salads and veggies. Perfect for grilling, sautéing, roasting and non-stick cooking.

2)      Handheld food chopper. This is a very “handy” gadget that can uniformly chop veggies, nuts and cooked meats in seconds. Use it to sneak more vegetables into your favorite dishes. Gets the job done more safely than chopping with a knife.

3)      Kitchen steamer. Take advantage of steaming as a simple and quick way to cook vegetables without added oil. Cover veggies in a small amount of water and cook for a few minutes. Less time cooking helps retain more nutrients than other methods such as boiling.

4)      Apple corer/slicer. Use this kitchen tool to core and evenly slice fruit without fussing with knives.  You can also practice mindful eating by choosing a crunchy fresh fruit snack and taking smaller bites, one slice at a time. Works great for pears too.

5)      Herb saver. Keep your fresh herbs fresher longer. Place herbs slightly submerged in a water well to keep them fresh for up to several weeks. Herbs are a great low calorie and low sodium way to add zest to your food.

6)      Decorative measuring cups. These attractive cups can sit out on your countertop as part of the décor. In clear view, you can practice healthier size portions to measure cereal, pasta, rice, sweet treats and so much more. You might find a variety of novelty measuring cups such as owls, beehives and Russian dolls.

7)      Mix and measure glass measuring cup. This is another great measuring tool all in one single glass. Use it to measure tablespoons, teaspoons, cups and ounces. Some also measure milliliters and grams (for sugar or flour). You don’t have to hassle with a different measuring device for each ingredient because they are all in one handy cup.

8)      Avocado savers. Avocados are a delicious food rich in healthy unsaturated fats, but a medium size one contains a sizable 320 calories and 30 grams of fat. You can still enjoy this health food but in the right size portion using an avocado saver. Use this tool to cut your avocado in half and the save the other half for later. It helps reduce exposure to air and preserves it to stay fresher longer.

9)      Tea mug with infuser. These attractive tea cups feature a built in infuser/strainer so you can make your favorite flavor loose tea in a single cup. Perfect for the cold winter months.

For more Health Tips visit cooperaerobics.com/health-tips, or sign up for our free e-newsletter, The Cooperized.

Cooper Challenge on Good Morning Texas

October 29, 2013 Leave a comment

Did you see familiar faces on Good Morning Texas earlier this month? If you missed it, we’ll be on air live again tomorrow! The producers at WFAA-ABC selected four bloggers to work with Cooper Clinic dietitian Meridan Zerner and Cooper Fitness Center’s Director of Fitness Mary Edwards for four months as part of the Cooper Challenge. On Oct. 2 Meridan introduced each contestant and shared their challenges and opportunities for weight loss. Meridan said each of these contestants face common challenges that we all struggle with and wanted to share to help motivate others. Check them out:

Valerie is an award-winning blogger for Family eGuide who has struggled with her diet. Valerie was trying to lose weight with a very low-calorie diet (approximately 1,000-1,200 calories per day). Meridan said with her height and weight she needed a more balanced diet and is working on a more balanced diet with minimal carbs at night.

A dad of five kiddos, Colby also known as “Days of a Domestic Dad” online, doesn’t get much good quality sleep. Meridan said that not receiving proper sleeps can be a huge barrier in maintaining or losing weight. Rather than measuring his progress on the scale, Meridan said she wants to look at his change of body fat.

Arena also known as “The Nerd’s Wife” eats a lot of take out. Rather than eliminating it all together, Meridan will help her to choose better choices and slowly start adding in easy nutritious meals she can prep at home.

Latrice also known as “The Untidy Clean Freak” has a challenge we can all understand—she is a chef, so she is always around food! With her diet plan, Meridan is trying to lower her blood pressure with minimal sodium. Latrice said one of her goals is to run the National Veteran’s Day Run in Dallas on Nov. 11—go Latrice!

After introducing each contestant, Meridan gave a breakfast nutrition consultation. “Studies show those who have breakfast eat less over the course of the day,” Meridan stated. She presented many quick breakfast options (under 300 calories) to help jump start their Cooper Challenge. Click here to watch the video clip.

Along with a healthy diet, Mary provided simple at-home workouts for our contestants—even if they can’t make it into the gym. A common struggle for all four contestants was a lack of time. Mary demonstrated a few exercise moves to get them moving and to kick off the challenge—click here to watch the video.

As bloggers, our contestants have been sharing their Cooper Challenge journey on their multitude of social media channels with the hash tag #CooperChallenge. Reach out to the contestants via email, Twitter, Facebook—whatever social media channel you have to give them words of encouragement to help reach their goals and to Get Cooperized™.

Tune in tomorrow morning to catch up with our contestants, hear their progress and get further health tips from Meridan and Mary to keep them on track!

To receive free health tips from Cooper Aerobics, click here to receive The Cooperized. Distributed on the first and third Tuesday of the month, The Cooperized offers research-based health information and tips from all of our Cooper experts, guiding you to Get Cooperized™.

For more personalized help, learn more about nutrition services at Cooper Clinic and professional training at Cooper Fitness Center.