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Mary Ella’s Weekly Message
February 5, 2010
Happy Anniversary to FFS Online! We are celebrating nine years on the web this Valentine’s Day. Since launching www.ffsonline.org, we have helped more than 250,000 people around the world with information about quitting and support on our Message Boards. We are so happy that you are participating in the program. More people in the U.S. are ex-smokers than current smokers now. That means if they can do it, you can too!
From time to time, participants may recommend products or websites on the Message Boards to each other to try as aids in quitting. This is OK as long as you are not soliciting sales for yourself. Keep in mind that the proven way that most people keep a permanent quit is to use a behavior modification program such as FFS Online in combination with one of the seven FDA-approved smoking cessation medications (such as nicotine gum, nicotine patch, or the nicotine lozenge, which are over-the-counter drugs, or the ones requiring a prescription: nicotine inhaler, nicotine nasal spray, bupropion or varenicline). The American Lung Association suggests you consider all of these options and does not endorse any specific product.
Recently I heard someone talking about trying the e-cigarette or chewing tobacco as a way to stop smoking. The American Lung Association strongly recommends against that. First, the Food and Drug Administration found that e-cigarettes contain carcinogens and toxic chemicals, including ones used in antifreeze. Second, there is no scientific evidence that these products actually help smokers quit. Based on the most current scientific data and evidence, the FDA has approved the seven medications I mentioned above. The best possible way to quit and stay quit is to continue with FFS Online and try one of the seven medications that are FDA-approved.
If you have questions about the medications that are available to help you quit smoking, please talk with your health care provider or call our Lung HelpLine, at 1-800-LUNG USA. We have registered nurses, respiratory therapists and smoking cessation experts ready to answer your questions from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. Eastern, Monday - Friday and there is no cost for this service.
Thanks to Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RD, a Personal Trainer and Registered Dietician practicing in Baltimore, MD, for the following tips on healthy party eating:
Are you planning to go to a Super Bowl or Olympics party? Should you “pass” on the pork rinds, call a “flag” on the fried foods and “run” past the potato chips? These are some questions many people face when hosting or going to a Super Bowl party. Is it possible to avoid all temptations? That’s probably not realistic or very much fun, but you can make a few smart choices to help reduce the caloric load and still enjoy yourself.
Here are a few helpful hints to stay on track:
- Aim for 30%. Do most people think about eating fruits and veggies at Super Bowl parties? Probably not, but finding ways to sneak in a few and making them about 30% of your intake can really help your waistline. You can keep it simple by choosing veggies for dipping like baby carrots, peppers, cherry tomatoes or any of your other favorites. You can also bring a fruit salad for an appetizer or dessert. Great fruits include pineapple, strawberries, kiwi or any others you prefer. Most people love sweet fruits and having them available will increase the odds of party goers making healthier choices.
- Choose good fats. High fat cheese dips, greasy chili and sour cream with fried nachos, and most junk foods are often loaded with artery clogging “bad” fats. Instead, choose dips like guacamole, which have heart healthy “good” fats from avocados, and nuts and seeds like peanuts, cashews, almonds and macadamias. Hummus, a great tasting dip found in most supermarkets, is also a source of healthy “good” fat. Remember that even though foods with “good” fats are healthier, they are high in calories so eat them in moderation. Other ideas include choosing baked and multi-grain chips, vegetarian bean dips and a great no fat option is salsa.
- Mix your drinks. I don’t mean mixed drinks but rather switch between high and low calorie beverages. If you are going to drink alcohol, keep a cold bottle of water nearby and alternate between water and alcoholic beverages. By doing this, you’ll help fill yourself up while drinking less total calories. Choose light beers instead of regular ones and you’ll save another 50 calories per can or bottle.
If you’re in the Premium program and want help fast on the Message Boards, put “HELP NOW” in the subject line of your post. If you’re looking to offer help, watch for those, “HELP NOW” posts and alert your other FFS Online buddies friends to offer some assistance as well.
This week I encourage you to follow the 3 “rules” of the program:
- Read all of the lessons in all of the Modules.
- Do every activity that is suggested in the program.
and for those of you in the Premium program:
- Give and receive support on the Message Boards.
Exercise your lungs and sing, “Happy Birthday” to FFS Online!
See you on the Message Boards. :-) Mary Ella