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Heart Walk Kick-Off encourages healthy living in Santa Maria

A suspicious death investigation is underway in Cayucos after deputies say they approached a parked SUV, smelled something foul coming from it, and found a woman, a girl, and a dead man inside.

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Heart Walk encourages healthy living in Santa Maria – | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

A suspicious death investigation is underway in Cayucos after deputies say they approached a parked SUV, smelled something foul coming from it, and found a woman, a girl, and a dead man inside.

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Healthy Living: Customizing granola


Leia Flure Registered Dietician joins us today to make customized granola. 

Homemade granola is easy, delicious, and completely customizable. You can have more control over the ingredients that go in it – from the type of dried fruit and nuts to the amount of sugar and fat. Plus, the taste can’t be beat!


Leia’s Basic Granola

Makes about 5 cups



· 1 cup chopped nuts/seeds (e.g., pecans, walnuts, slivered almonds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, etc.)

· 1 cup bite-sized dried fruit (e.g., raisins, apricots, cherries, cranberries, blueberries, etc.)

· 2 ½ cups old-fashioned oats (also called rolled oats)

· 1/3 cup – ½ cup honey or maple syrup

· ¼-1/3 cup vegetable oil or melted butter



1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

2. In a large bowl, combine nuts/seeds, dried fruit, and oats.

3. In a glass measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together honey or maple syrup with the oil or melted butter. Pour over dry ingredients and stir to combine and coat.

4. Spread mixture in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet.

5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so. (Baking longer will cause granola to get crunchier, but be careful not to let it burn!)

6. Once granola is golden brown or desired color, remove from oven and let cool in pan. Break into pieces once it has cooled. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


Serving suggestions and tips:

· Enjoy as a topping on yogurt, eat as a cold cereal with milk, or eat out of hand for a quick snack.

· Remember that granola is very concentrated in calories, so portion control is important!

o Recommended portions:

§ Top yogurt with 2 tablespoons of granola (70 calories)

§ ¼ cup for a snack (140 calories)

§ 2/3 cup with low-fat milk (370 calories, not including milk)

· Total calories, carbohydrates, and fat will be lower when you use the smaller amounts of sweetener and oil/butter. You can also increase the ratio of oats to nuts, but this will increase the carbohydrate count while decreasing fat and protein.


Nutrition Facts (1/4 cup; based on using ½ cup maple syrup and 1/3 cup melted butter): 140 calories, 7 g total fat, 8 mg cholesterol, 23 mg sodium, 18 g total carbohydrate, 2 g dietary fiber, 3 g protein

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Healthy Living: Top Health Killer

New research exposes the health conditions that shorten Americans’ lives, and the kicker is they are preventable!

In Healthy Living, Katie Boomgaard reveals the top killer, and how you can avoid being a statistic.     

In Japan, less than five percent of the population is considered obese.

In 2008, the Japanese government enacted the “Metabo Law,” which set waistline limits for adults between ages 40 and 74.

If you exceed the limit, which are 33.5 inches for men and 35.4 inches for women, you must attend counseling and support sessions.

Local governments and companies that don’t meet the waistline targets are fined.

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Hood hosts free course on healthy living for clergy and church leaders

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Healthy Living: Project Brave Heart

Business back to normal in the Saint Mary’s River, after the Calumet, a 600 foot freighter ran aground near Sugar Island just before midnight on Wednesday. A delay bad for the economy nationwide, but did it have different effect in the soo?

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Veggie Fest combines summer fun with healthy living

Karla Gomez discusses the plant moringa with Susan Keys of Downers Grove during the 2015 Veggie Fest in Lisle.
A vegetarian pizza is among several food items available at the 2015 Veggie Fest in Lisle.
Haki Madhubuti enjoys some vegetarian food during the 2015 Veggie Fest in Lisle.
Angela Dennison of Whole Foods demonstrates how to make stuffed portobello mushrooms during the 2015 Veggie Fest in Lisle.

LISLE – Not every summertime festival combines good times with the opportunity to learn about leading a healthier lifestyle, but that’s the goal of Veggie Fest.

The event, one of the largest vegetarian food and lifestyle festivals in North America, drew more than 40,000 people to the grounds of Benedictine University last year.

Similar crowds are anticipated for the 12th annual two-day festival, which runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 12 and 13 at the university, 5700 College Road, Lisle. Admission and parking are free.

Veggie Fest combines food, entertainment and education. Participants can learn how to cook vegetarian dishes, participate in yoga and meditation seminars, and visit vendor booths that cover all aspects of healthy living.

“It’s a family fest,” said Jonathan Kruger, one of the event’s organizers. “The energy at this festival is really good.”

Veggie Fest isn’t aimed at vegetarians, Kruger said.

“It’s for everybody,” he said.

Not everyone who attends the fest will become a vegetarian, Kruger added, but a few thousand people sign up each year for the 30-day vegetarian challenge.

The festival features an international food court; health professionals speaking on diet, lifestyle and environmental issues; food demos by restaurant owners, chefs and authors; a children’s tent; music from several area bands and more than 100 vendor booths.

The food offerings will have an international flare, with everything from Caribbean to Chinese to Middle Eastern dishes available, along with salads, wraps, pizza and desserts.

“We cook and prepare all the food,” Kruger said.

Returning as keynote speakers on healthy living are Dr. Kim Allan Williams Sr., chief of cardiology at Rush University Medical Center, and Dr. Terry Mason, chief operating officer at the Cook County Department of Public Health.

Other speakers include Saraswati Sukumar, professor of oncology and co-director of the breast cancer program at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who will talk about diet and cancer prevention. Arran Stephens, founder and CEO of Nature’s Path Organic, returns to talk about sustaining a healthy food supply.

If you go

WHAT: Veggie Fest

WHEN: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 12 and 13

WHERE: Benedictine University, 5700 College Road, Lisle

COST: Free


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How to Counter the Inflammation of Aging

One of the most recognized consequences of aging is a decline in immune function, illustrated by vulnerability to dying from the flu and poor response to vaccinations. But, about 20 years ago, a paper was published showing that the immune cells of 80-year-olds produced significantly more pro-inflammatory signals. This suggests the worst of both worlds—a decline in the part of the immune system that fights specific infections and an aggravation of nonspecific overreactions that can lead to inflammation. This has since been formalized in a concept referred to as “inflamm-aging,” a chronic low-grade inflammation we now know is typical of aging, which may be responsible for the decline and the onset of disease in the elderly.

So, what can we do about it? Inflamm-aging appears to be a major consequence of growing old. Can it be prevented or cured? “The key to successful aging and longevity is to decrease chronic inflammation without compromising an acute response when exposed to pathogens.” How do we do that? Nutrition. What we eat is “probably the most powerful and pliable tool that we have to attain a chronic and systemic modulation of aging process…”

In the first systematic review ever published of the associations between dietary patterns and biomarkers of inflammation, the dietary patterns associated with inflammation were almost all meat-based or so-called Western diet patterns. In contrast, vegetable- and fruit-based, or “healthy,” patterns tended to be inversely associated with inflammation. The more plant-based, the less inflammation.

The reason meat is associated with inflammation may be because of both the animal protein and the animal fat. In the first interventional study that separately evaluated the effects of vegetable and animal protein on inflammatory status as it relates to obesity and metabolic syndrome when following a weight-reducing diet, researchers found that “a higher intake of animal origin protein—specifically meat—is associated with higher plasma levels of inflammatory markers in obese adults…”

The reason obesity is associated with increased risk of many cancers may be because of obesity-associated inflammation. Obesity-driven inflammation may stimulate prostaglandin-mediated estrogen biosynthesis in breast tissues. What does that mean? The inflammation may activate the enzyme that allows breast tumors to make their own estrogen via this inflammatory compound called prostaglandin. If you measure the level of prostaglandins in women’s urine, it correlates with breast cancer risk.

And what can cause high levels of this inflammatory compound? Smoking, a high-saturated fat diet, and obesity. Why does eating saturated fat lead to prostaglandin production? Because prostaglandins are made from arachidonic acid, and arachidonic acid is a major ingredient in animal fats. To put it another way, animal fats contain arachidonic acid, and our body produces inflammatory compounds, like prostaglandins, with arachidonic acid. Inflammatory compounds can then go on to stimulate breast cancer growth and may also play a role in colon cancer, lung cancer, and head and neck cancer.

In contrast, whole plant foods have anti-inflammatory effects, though some plants are better than others. Folks made to eat five-a-day of high-antioxidant fruits and vegetables, like berries and greens, had a significantly better impact on reducing systemic inflammation and liver dysfunction compared those eating five-a-day of the more common low-antioxidant fruits and veggies, like bananas and lettuce.

In health,

Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations—2015: Food as Medicine: Preventing and Treating the Most Dreaded Diseases with Diet, and my latest, 2016: How Not to Die: The Role of Diet in Preventing, Arresting, and Reversing Our Top 15 Killers.

Can an Anti-inflammatory Diet Help Depression?
Caution: Anti-inflammatory Foods in the Third Trimester
Eating Better to Look Better 

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Health briefs 8-14-17


n Weight Loss Surgery for a Healthier You Information Seminar, 5:30 p.m., Thursday in Community Room 2 of the Uniontown Hospital lobby. Information: 412-641-3744.

n Exercise classes, Tuesdays and Thursdays, Center in the Woods, 130 Woodland Court, Brownsville. Classes include chair dancing at 9:30 a.m. followed by healthy steps at 11 a.m. Information: 724-938-3554.

n Healthy Steps for Older Adults Fall Prevention Workshop, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., August 22 at the Brownsville Senior Center on Shaffner Avenue. Those who are at risk of falling, have fallen in the last year or have trouble with balance are invited to the free workshop. Information and registration: 724-228-7080.

Support groups

n Suicide Bereavement Support Group, 1-2:30 p.m., today and Aug. 28 at the Anthony M. Lombardi Education Conference Center at Monongahela Valley Hospital. Information and registration: 724-268-1144.

n Ostomy Support Group, 2 to 3:30 p.m., Thursday at the Anthony M. Lombardi Education Conference Center at Monongahela Valley Hospital. Information: 724-258-1773.

n Stroke Support Group, 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday in Community Room 1 of the Uniontown Hospital lobby. Information: 724-430-5212.

n Nar-Anon Family Group, 6-7 p.m., August 18 at Monongahela Valley Hospital. The 12-step program shares experiences, strength and hope. Information: 412-512-4718.

n Stepping Stones Bereavement Support Program, beginning 7 p.m., Sept. 11, and running for ten weeks at the Fayette County Health Center on New Salem Road. Anyone who is grieving the loss of a loved one is welcome. Information and registrations: 724-438-9373 or 724-439-1683.

n Al-Anon Family Groups, 8 p.m., Wednesdays, Trinity Church basement, Fayette and Morgantown streets, Uniontown, and 7:30 p.m., Fridays, Christian Church, Pittsburgh Street, Connellsville. These meetings are for anyone who has been affected by or is having problems from someone else’s drinking. Information: or

n Survivors of Incest Anonymous group, 6:30-8 p.m., the first and third Mondays of the month, excluding holidays. This 12-step recovery program is meant for men and women aged 18 or older who were sexually abused by a trusted person as a child. The group meets at the Mount Macrina Retreat Center. A similar group, Healing Friends, is from 6:30-7:30 p.m., East Liberty Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. Information:, or

n Missing Piece of My Heart Support Group, the last Thursday of each month, 6-8 p.m., at the Crime Victim’s Center conference room in the Oliver Square Plaza. The group is for families who have lost a child to a violent crime. Information: 724-438-1470.

n Silver Generation Support Program, 10 a.m. to noon Wednesdays, East End United Community Center, Uniontown. The program is for ages 55 and older. Information: 724-437-1660.


n Childbirth and Labor Preparation Courses, 9 a.m. to noon, August 12 in Community Room 1 of the Uniontown Hospital lobby. Registration is required. Information: 724-430-4646.

n Learn to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes, today and Aug. 21 at the Anthony M. Lombardi Education Conference Center at Monongahela Valley Hospital. Information: 724-258-1483.

n Managing Your Diabetes, 6 to 9 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, at the Anthony M. Lombardi Education Conference Center at Monongahela Valley Hospital. Information and registration: 724-258-1483.

n Is Weight Loss Surgery Right For You? 6 p.m., Thursday, at the Anthony M. Lombardi Education Conference Center at Monongahela Valley Hospital. Information and registration: 724-258-1333.

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‘Healthy Living for Summer’: Having a balanced diet

Dieting can be a frustrating experience, at times leading to feelings of guilt or tempting cravings. In the seventh episode of ABC News’ “Healthy Living for Summer” series, we spoke with Shawn Stevenson, a nutritionist, author and host of the podcast “The Model Health Show,” who shared advice on how to have a balanced diet without necessarily having to diet.

PHOTO: Dieting tips and advice from nutritionist Shawn Stevenson.Galia Sotomayor/ABC News
Dieting tips and advice from nutritionist Shawn Stevenson.

“The real cause of overeating, when it boils down to it, is that nutrient-deficiency leads to chronic overeating,” Stevenson said. “We need to be proactive with our nutrition, instead of reactive.”

Having a balanced lifestyle is preferable to sticking to a specific type of diet, Stevenson advises.

Below is more advice Stevenson gave ABC News. Watch the video above for more details.

Quick tips

  • Eat whole foods, or foods that are not as processed or refined
  • Have leafy green vegetables often
  • At the end of your day, make sure what you’re eating is not nutrient-deficient
  • Incorporate short and intense exercises into your routine to fight stress and cravings
  • Get plenty of sleep — try exercising in the morning and avoid too much technology (or blue light exposure) at night
  • Think positively and avoid looking at food in terms of limits — call it a “treat” meal, not a “cheat” meal
  • PHOTO: Dieting tips and advice from nutritionist Shawn Stevenson.Galia Sotomayor/ABC News
    Dieting tips and advice from nutritionist Shawn Stevenson.

    Watch ABC News discuss balanced eating in the video above.
    This weekly health series will continue throughout the summer.

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