It turns out that if you have a strong family history of heart problems, exercise can still make a dramatic difference in your own heart health. We also talk with Dr. Cathy Utzschneider about celebrating our accomplishments. This is a good episode of the The Huntsman World Senior Games Check it out.
Review the show transcript below:
Kyle Case: Hello, and welcome to the Huntsman World Senior Games Active Life. My name is Kyle Case, and I'll be your host on this amazing journey as we attempt to help you get the most out of your life.
Kyle Case: Joining me in the studio today, filling in for Jeff Harding who is out of town actually recruiting for the Huntsman World Senior Games, is Michell Graves. Michell, how are you doing today?
Michell Graves: I'm doing good. I feel like it's my lucky day.
Kyle Case: It is your lucky day.
Michell Graves: Glad to be here.
Kyle Case: It is your lucky day because we're going to do this radio show.
Michell Graves: It's so fun.
Kyle Case: And learn all about health and wellness.
Michell Graves: I know. It's always very educational. I really do enjoy it.
Kyle Case: Yeah. That's awesome.
Kyle Case: So today, Michelle, I want to talk a little bit about diet.
Michell Graves: Okay.
Kyle Case: Now, I'm not talking about a specific eating plan, per se, that guarantees that you'll drop pounds in mere minutes. I'm not talking about that.
Michell Graves: Well good.
Kyle Case: I'm just talking about overall eating for good health.
Michell Graves: Okay. I like that better, than just like what's the new trend.
Kyle Case: Yes. What's the new trend, right?
Michell Graves: All right.
Kyle Case: So here we go. Well, let me start with this, I think for many of us, when we reach a certain age or a certain point in our lives, we find that we can't just keep eating willy-nilly like we used to when we were teenagers and in our early 20s. Have you noticed that?
Michell Graves: I've noticed and it's so discouraging because I have teenagers, and they really can eat whatever they want with no fault-
Kyle Case: And It doesn't matter.
Michell Graves: ... and I used to be like that. What happened?
Kyle Case: Yeah, and it wasn't even that long ago, but now all of a sudden, everything's different, right?
Michell Graves: Well, it doesn't seem that long ago but I think it was a little-
Kyle Case: It may have been a few years ago.
Michell Graves: ... a few, yeah, a few minutes ago.
Kyle Case: Well, I think many of us reach that point where we find that it's just, something's changed, something in our body, our metabolism, whatever it is, something has changed.
Michell Graves: I say that all the time, you know, there's a point where you just can't work yourself out of a bad diet.
Kyle Case: Yeah. Yeah.
Michell Graves: And I like to work out, so that's really disappointing to me. So yes, tell me-
Kyle Case: Well it's good.
Michell Graves: Tell me what I need to try and do.
Kyle Case: It's good, at least that you're working out because it certainly isn't hurting.
Michell Graves: Right. No, every little bit helps.
Kyle Case: But maybe the effects aren't quite the same.
Kyle Case: So anyway, I found this article, it's in the Insider magazine, it was written by [Cheyanne Lance 00:02:14], and it's called, Ten Foods You Should Be Eating More Of As You Get Older. Now, I'm not going to hit all ten of them.
Michell Graves: That sounds good.
Kyle Case: But I thought I would highlight a few of them that really stood out to me. Okay?
Michell Graves: Okay.
Kyle Case: Number one. Whole eggs.
Michell Graves: Yeah, eggs are really back in.
Kyle Case: I know.
Michell Graves: I'm really happy about that.
Kyle Case: They're kind on that roller coaster thing where first they're really good for you, and then they're really bad for you, and now they're good for you again, but they do say that eggs are one of the richest sources of nutrients and protein out there.
Michell Graves: Yes, and I just read that starting your day with eggs really helps curb those appetite cravings and helps you-
Kyle Case: Yeah, because it's protein.
Michell Graves: Right. Helps-
Kyle Case: And it sticks with you.
Michell Graves: Exactly.
Kyle Case: According to Pamela Schoenfeld, who is a registered dietician, she says that eggs are rich in choline, biotin, as well as protein. She says protein protects you from bone and muscle loss, and it supports your immune functions. Choline helps the liver clear fats, which is important and good, and biotin is needed for energy, skin and nails, so you really get a lot of benefits from eating your eggs. Eggs can also contain vitamin K2 which works together with vitamin D, as well as vitamin A, to put calcium into the bones and keep it from just deposited in your arteries, and plus, in addition to all that, they contain even higher levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are potent antioxidants that protect the eyes, especially from macular degeneration, which is an eye disease which can really lead to vision loss. That's kind of a serious thing.
Kyle Case: So who knew that you could get all of that from the incredible, edible egg.
Michell Graves: It's a good thing.
Kyle Case: Do you remember that ad campaign?
Michell Graves: Yeah. Are you going to sing it?
Kyle Case: When we were kids. No, I'm only going to say it, which I just did.
Michell Graves: Okay. Yeah, I remember it.
Kyle Case: Eggs are back in, as you said.
Michell Graves: I'm so glad.
Kyle Case: So if you're looking for some health benefits, eggs should be one of the things you consider.
Michell Graves: And those are a few benefits that I hadn't known, so that's just a plus.
Kyle Case: Yeah, same here. That was new to me.
Michell Graves: That's very good.
Kyle Case: Now Michell, I know you're from the East Coast, and I know you love seafood.
Michell Graves: Oh, my gosh. Yes.
Kyle Case: I know you do. I know you do.
Michell Graves: So much.
Kyle Case: So do you like oysters?
Michell Graves: Yes.
Kyle Case: Oh, that's something you enjoy?
Michell Graves: I love fresh oysters on the half shell.
Kyle Case: Okay. Well guess what?
Michell Graves: People think they're slimy and disgusting, I think they are amazing.
Kyle Case: That's what I think. I think they're slimy and disgusting.
Michell Graves: Please tell me they're like one of the best foods for us.
Kyle Case: They are.
Michell Graves: Yes.
Kyle Case: Michell, this is like a bonus day for you-
Michell Graves: Yes.
Kyle Case: ... because they are.
Michell Graves: I think I need a trip back east right away.
Kyle Case: Oysters are by far the best dietary source of zinc, which many people, especially those who limit their red meat consumption, can fall short on according to Shoenfield. Zinc supports the immune system, along with vitamin A, and it also helps support healthy hormone levels no matter what your sex is, so there are some significant benefits to eating oysters on the half shell.
Michell Graves: Good.
Kyle Case: Your welcome.
Michell Graves: Thank you. I'm so excited. I always tell my sister when I come to visit, don't prepare anything else, I'm on a seafood only diet, and I just get as much of it as I can. So I hope that's a good thing too, like you can stockpile it, because that's what I try to do.
Kyle Case: You know that's a good question. I don't know, but I hope for your sake that you can do.
Michell Graves: Maybe you can share that with us in another episode.
Kyle Case: I'll see if I can find anything out on stockpiling zinc. My guess is that it probably doesn't last perpetually.
Michell Graves: Oh, I know, but it sounds good doesn't it?
Kyle Case: Nothing does. Nothing does so-
Michell Graves: More is always better, Kyle.
Kyle Case: More is better when it comes to oysters, at least, and zinc.
Kyle Case: Number three, citrus fruits maybe anti-inflammatory which is a good thing. Citrus should be eaten whole, preferably with the skin, and if it's organic, without all those pesticides that come within organic foods sometimes. You should have a bit of the peel, or the zest mixed in as well.
Michell Graves: Yeah, I had a friend that used to eat orange rinds. Like the whole orange rind.
Kyle Case: Oh, so she'd just eat the whole thing?
Michell Graves: I think that's a little much.
Kyle Case: Yeah.
Michell Graves: But I think the thing we do worry about it the pesticides that are on the fruit, but we know that skin on fruit is-
Kyle Case: The protector, right?
Michell Graves: ... really where some of the best nutrients are-
Kyle Case: Yeah.
Michell Graves: ... so we have to kind of juggle that.
Kyle Case: And I guess, according to this article, and a couple of other things that I've heard, I guess that there's plenty of nutrients in orange rinds as well. I'm not eating them currently right now, but what they're talking about here, the skin is the white stuff, so that's the skin, the peel is separate from that, but they say that the white stuff, the skin, has a lot of health benefits.
Michell Graves: Yeah, that's like the pulp, and I'm not a huge fan of pulp, but I do know that, that that's the really good stuff.
Kyle Case: Well, pulp is the meat part of it.
Michell Graves: Yeah, but it comes from the rind doesn't it?
Kyle Case: Ummm.
Michell Graves: Do we need to investigate some of this?
Kyle Case: I am pretty sure that the pulp is just the orange that is not obliterated into juice.
Michell Graves: Okay, maybe some of our listeners should chime in.
Kyle Case: But the white stuff on it has some health benefits.
Michell Graves: And that's what we're talking about.
Kyle Case: Overall, citrus fruits are anti-inflammatory, which is good. They say that the white netting around the oranges, in particular, is abundant in bioflavonoids which strengthens the blood vessels. And then the peel, which we've just said we don't eat ourselves, but the peel is rich in limonene, which is potentially anti-cancerous, and anti-inflammatory as well, so I don't know, something to consider. I'm not going to start eating the orange peel right away because I think it is very bitter.
Michell Graves: Okay, but you could zest it and put it some of your foods or something.
Kyle Case: Yeah, put it in some other stuff.
Kyle Case: All right. I'm going to go with the last one here, number four, fish, now we just talked about how you love fish.
Michell Graves: Oh, very good. Back to that.
Kyle Case: So they say that fish may help boost your brain power. Fatty fish, in particular, such as salmon, tuna, and sardines are a great source of high quality protein, and fish also provides valuable omega-3 fatty acids, so we've been hearing about that for a long time now. The omega-3 fatty acids are associated with better mental health, and decreased cognitive decline, and eating fish twice a week can allow you to start reaping some of the great benefits of, as you just mentioned, a seafood diet.
Michell Graves: Yeah, sounds really good. I'm getting hungry.
Kyle Case: You're getting hungry? Well, it's almost dinner time, so ...
Michell Graves: Maybe fish for dinner.
Kyle Case: Get ready for fish for dinner tonight. Right.
Kyle Case: Our guest today, joining us in the studio is Mary-Helen Stricklin. She's an Intermountain System nursing director for palliative care.
Kyle Case: Mary Helen has been a registered nurse for 40 years. She has advanced degrees, and lots of experience in the health care industry, especially in the delivery of health care. She loves working to help people live their healthiest lives possible, and working to have person-centered care delivered with individuals at the center of all that we do. She's currently working on improving advanced care planning for patients and families at the Intermountain Health Care facility, and Mary-Helen, we're grateful that you can join us today. Thank you.
Mary Stricklin: Thank you. Nice to be here.
Kyle Case: So, you're a nurse.
Mary Stricklin: I am.
Kyle Case: Been a nurse for a very long time.
Mary Stricklin: Have been.
Kyle Case: Any of those foods that I mentioned, does that ring true to you, or is that just the next fad that we're hearing about?
Mary Stricklin: Well, long term good research behind that much evidence, especially understanding omega-3s, they're probably on that list of what you just said, the most comprehensive thing you can do to keep your brain healthy, and your brain is one of the things we should concentrate on.
Kyle Case: Absolutely, we see so much, it feels to me like so much more prevalence of dementia and Alzheimer's and cognitive decline, and maybe it's just that we're more aware of it, but to me it feels like we're seeing more of it, and it has to be connected to something, and maybe it's our diet.
Mary Stricklin: Well, they say you are what you eat.
Kyle Case: That is what they say. That is what they say. I think there's something to it, for sure.
Kyle Case: Well, Mary-Helen, today we wanted to visit with you a little bit about palliative care, and I'll be honest with you, I am not really sure what that is, so maybe let's start there, give us a good working definition of what palliative care is, and what that looks like, and we'll kind of go from there.
Mary Stricklin: Palliative care is a specialty within medicine, the way we deliver care to people with chronic, serious illness. So I tell people, it's kind of like a bridge that helps hold up your highway of life, and we help to make the quality of your life, with chronic, serious illness, the best that we can. So you'll go along your own highway, with whatever you're trying to do, and when it gets overwhelming, your symptoms may be there, or you don't have enough education, or you just need more help, the highway sags a little bit, palliative care is an interdisciplinary team approach to delivery of care that helps you hold that bridge up until you're able yourself to move along the highway by yourself. It helps with symptom management, it looks at your body, mind and spirit, your whole person. So the team includes chaplaincy, social workers, mid level positions like nurse practitioners and physicians that are all helping you have the best quality of life that you have with whatever chronic disease you have.
Kyle Case: So to me, that seems like that would be so important and so useful for someone who's struggling in every way, physically, emotionally, spiritually, with a pretty heavy weight, right?
Mary Stricklin: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kyle Case: A chronic illness, something that's just not going to go away. Is this new, or is this something that we've always kind of done in the past but done it differently, or is this kind of a new area of care delivery?
Mary Stricklin: In the 40 years I've been in health care delivery, it has not always existed.
Kyle Case: Okay.
Mary Stricklin: It's a new specialty, but a very strong specialty, an understanding that in order to live your healthiest life possible, how do you get ahead of it? And just because you have a chronic disease that was diagnosed, doesn't mean that you have to succumb to it being just a certain way.
Mary Stricklin: So when there was seeing a need, an ongoing need, palliative care became a specialty. It's been around for a couple of decades, but not very widely spread. People don't understand it very well, and a lot of people just don't get into health care unless they absolutely have to, they avoid it.
Michell Graves: Yeah, and often, it's like the emergence of it-
Mary Stricklin: Exactly.
Michell Graves: ... that causes the stress. I know, maybe one of the things you're going to talk about today is kind of that emergence prevention, like being prepared if something like this happens so that the way can be a little bit smoother.
Michell Graves: We had a daughter that was very ill as an infant, and she's doing great today, but we spent some time there, and I really never thought of the whole team besides doctors and nurses that help in a situation where you're really living in the hospital. I can't tell you how important and beneficial that was to us when we went through things, especially with an infant daughter, because nurses are really just there to administer medications, but who is there to see all the other needs while you and your child are really living in the hospital. That social worker, and chaplain and the things that you mentioned, really were so important in our emotional health, as well as getting her physically better.
Mary Stricklin: In emergencies, we think about it all the time, and there's been such a push, you know, when you think about earthquakes, and things around the world has changed, the world's changing, and our emphasis towards emergency preparedness has really been that way, we encourage people to have a 72-hour kit, and do you have an emergency evacuation plan at your house? Advanced care planning is like that, it's like taking the preparation for an emergency that you may never use in your life, but if you do, you're prepared. And thinking ahead of time, if I could not speak for myself in this situation in health care, who could speak for me? And what importantly is, if I thought about my wishes and what I really want from my health care, and does my agent, the person that I've chosen that can speak for me when I can't, do they completely understand my wishes? and how that interfaces and helps the medical team deliver care for exactly what you want, and what is needed without all the extraneous, and definitely the trauma that comes out of crisis.
Michell Graves: Well, and that makes it so important too because the person who is not in the emergency situation, sometimes feels the stress, I have to make this decision, and I don't know what's best, and so really, if you talk about it before, and even, you know, as far as like estate planning, or funeral planning, things like that, I think if you have a plan in place, then you're so just much better apt to deal with it during a stressful time in your life.
Kyle Case: Absolutely. No question about it.
Mary Stricklin: Correct. I agree.
Kyle Case: You're listening to the Huntsman World Senior Games Active Life, and we're visiting with Mary-Helen Stricklin who is a registered nurse, and she specializes in advanced care planning. And I guess the key there is the planning, right? That's just what we're talking about is sitting down and deciding what your plan is, and how you'd like to approach an emergency or a chronic illness, hoping that we'll never need to use it, right? Hoping that we'll never need to use it, but knowing in advance what we're going to do if that occasion arises.
Kyle Case: How do people go about starting that conversation, because none of us want to talk about this stuff? Like these are things that we all know are important, but none of us really want to talk about it, so how do you start that conversation? Where do you begin?
Mary Stricklin: Well, it's a really good question. The state of Utah is actually more proactive than many other states, and altogether in the state it drafted with legislation documents. So there is a Utah Advance Directive, and with it, it's a form that can be filled out with different sections, including one that identifies who your agent is. Utah also have been proactive to understand that you can go to the next step and fill out a document called a POLST, which is the Physician Order of Life Sustaining Treatment, so if you really, really know what your wishes are concretely, and you want them to follow them no matter what, we fill out a POLST.
Mary Stricklin: Most of the time those documents are reserved for people when they know they're more towards the end of their life, but every single person, who's 18 years of age, or older should be thinking about a general scenario. There are documents available in conversations. Intermountain has an opportunity to invite people into facilitated conversations where you'll sit down with a facilitator, walking through a series of question and thoughts that'll help you figure it out.
Mary Stricklin: One of the most beginning places we start about is just helping people really realize that today if I was just going down to the local grocery store, and I got in an accident, and I ended up in the hospital, when I'm unconscious, I have a brain injury, I can't speak for myself, who can speak for me? And then in that situation, how much intervention, or how much help would you like at that particular piece? So we really begin with understanding, what's your quality of life? What's your good day? What do you want your life to be like? We explore a little bit if you've had any past experiences that would influence your decision. And then clearly understanding an agent. The person that you want to pick for you has to be 18 years of age or older. They have to be someone that you feel comfortable enough to sit down and say, "These are my wishes." And that person will follow your wishes, honoring your wishes, not necessarily their's.
Kyle Case: What they want to do.
Mary Stricklin: What they want to do. And that's sometimes hard. People also don't realize that it does not have to be a family member, oftentimes it's not a family member. That's one of the biggest places we start, is just with those parameters, so they can start to think about things.
Michell Graves: Now is this a legal document, does this person have to have power of attorney over you to make these decisions? Or how does that work?
Mary Stricklin: Great question. In order for it to become a document that's legal, it has to be in a Utah Advance Directive, or drafted in a legal document, signed by the person, and witnessed. Utah eliminated that need to have a notarized witness a few years ago to make it easier for people just to have it witnessed. That document defines then who your person is that can speak for you, otherwise in the state of Utah, it defaults into a decision tree, your spouse, adult children, parents, grandparents, all that, it goes down a series of lines. And sometimes people are estranged from those people, so it's better to have it defined who you really want, and who you trust, and who knows your wishes, then situations we get into all the time where people now are having legally, here your next in line, "I don't know what to say, and I don't want to do it, and I haven't talked to them in 10 years."
Kyle Case: So I have two questions. One is, you talked about a couple of forms, a couple of documents, where can people find them? Are they available online? How do you get these documents?
Mary Stricklin: Right online. So if you just google advance care planning or advance directives in Utah it pops up.
Michell Graves: And if you're outside of Utah you should be able to find out-
Kyle Case: That was my second question.
Mary Stricklin: Outside of Utah, every state has one, and there is a website called Five Wishes that you can go to and they will get you connected with any Advance Directives for every state that's here.
Mary Stricklin: California's doing a lot of work that's going to be tied into the nation, where they've already done in one spot put all the information tied to the legality. Every state has a different legal approach to this, we're not universal, so when people are snowbirds-
Kyle Case: and they're moving, bouncing back and forth, yeah.
Mary Stricklin: ... and we see them coming and going and they're in more than one state, which we see a lot here, we just encourage people to understand their documents necessary, draft in both of the usual places that they do, and that their agents don't have to necessarily live wherever you are.
Michell Graves: Wow, that's some really good information. I don't really know much about any of this. So, excellent.
Kyle Case: Well, I'm in the same boat. I can tell you right now, I do not have one of these forms filled out, but you're definitely, you know, you're making some really powerful cases to sit down and have a very difficult conversation with people that you're connected to in one way or another that maybe able to fulfill your wishes in the unpleasant event of some kind of an emergency.
Michell Graves: Well then I can testify, you don't want to make these decisions when you're under a lot of stress in an emergency situation, so it makes a lot of sense.
Mary Stricklin: We have a saying that goes that it's always too early until it's too late.
Kyle Case: Yeah.
Michell Graves: [crosstalk 00:21:28].
Mary Stricklin: So everybody pushes back all the time thinking I don't need it. I don't know why America is so reluctant to talk about death, it's a circle of life.
Kyle Case: But we are.
Mary Stricklin: But we are. And we never think it's going to happen to us, but it happens every single day.
Michell Graves: Happens to everyone.
Kyle Case: Yeah.
Michell Graves: Eventually, it does.
Mary Stricklin: That would be the biggest thing I would say to people, in order to live healthier and have your piece of mind, it's one of the greatest gifts that you can give to your family to be prepared-
Kyle Case: Absolutely.
Mary Stricklin: ... and not let them be in crisis with nothing to back them up to make decisions.
Kyle Case: It's already crisis enough, but to not know how to proceed.
Kyle Case: So you lived this, just a little bit, this concept of an agent, how would you recommend finding the right agent for you? How do you go about that process?
Mary Stricklin: You sit down and think about, who do I trust? Who would be over 18 years of age? And really say, can I just sit down and have the conversation? So we can frame it, if we were in this situation, and you had this accident today, you came to the hospital, how do I feel about resuscitation? How do I feel about food and fluid? How do I feel about doing everything, compared to my quality of life? What's my quality of life? It's just, get started, and if you're interested, we have facilitators that sit down and help those conversations.
Kyle Case: So you mentioned a few forms, let's mention those one more time, what, if I were to do a Google search, what am I looking for?
Mary Stricklin: Advance Directives, State of Utah. Advance Care Planning in the State of Utah. [crosstalk 00:23:04].
Kyle Case: And again, we have an audience that goes worldwide, or at least nationwide, so outside of the area, just a google for advanced directives?
Mary Stricklin: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kyle Case: There going to get some help, some kind of direction there? And then you mentioned a website, Five Wishes?
Mary Stricklin: Five Wishes is a non for profit organization that has organized advance care planning in the United States, and you'll also see that on the CMS website for Medicare, if you're over the age of 65 and familiar with that, they also have a conversations toolkit for how to have these conversations.
Kyle Case: Wow. Important information. Mary-Helen, thank you so much for coming and sharing your expertise on that, that's about the time we have to visit with you, but really great information, appreciate your time.
Mary Stricklin: Appreciate you taking the time to get connected and get the important word out.
Kyle Case: Wonderful.
Kyle Case: Speaking of time Michell, time is flying.
Michell Graves: I know.
Kyle Case: But it's still the beginning of the new year.
Michell Graves: Spring is springing,
Kyle Case: Well, at St George it is-
Michell Graves: I know.
Kyle Case: Nowhere else in the United States, is it?
Michell Graves: Well it's been pretty brutal, the rest of the United States.
Kyle Case: Oh my word.
Michell Graves: I know, I'm sorry for them. I'm glad for us.
Kyle Case: Yeah, we do live in a great place, but it is the beginning of a new year, even though it's February, it's still nascent on the calendar, and we hope that those of you who are 50 years or older are considering making participation in the Huntsman World Senior Games one of your goals this year. With that in mind, there's some important dates that you need to know. First of all-
Michell Graves: March 1st.
Kyle Case: Yeah, March 1st.
Michell Graves: Coming right up.
Kyle Case: That's the day that athlete registration opens, so put that on your calendar, it's less than a month away, you want to prepared for that, so March 1st athlete registration opens. You can get more information on that at seniorgames.net. The dates of the 2019 Huntsman World Senior Games, the games are going to take place October 7th through the 19th, and that does seem like it's a ways off, but I'm telling you, it's not, it's going to be here-
Michell Graves: It comes quick.
Kyle Case: ... before you know it. Remember to tune in live next, and every Thursday, at 5.30pm mountain time on AM1450, or FM93.1 for the Huntsman World Senior Games Active Life. You can also subscribe to our podcast, pretty much anywhere that podcasts are found. Once you've subscribed, give us a rating and write a quick review, you can really make a difference in helping us spread the word, and also find this and all previous shows right on the website [inaudible 00:25:21] that address is seniorgames.net, so check it out. [inaudible 00:25:27] is from the great poet, Walt Whitman, he says, "Keep your face always toward the sunshine, and the shadows will fall behind you."
Michell Graves: That's [inaudible 00:25:35].
Kyle Case: Until next Thursday, stay active.
Michell Graves: Bye-bye.