Image and Lifestyle

Fashion, Style, and Professional Impression in Hong Kong

Nutritional Expert Weighs in on Hong Kong Lifestyle

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing nutritionist Chrissy Denton, owner of Bebe2Be for the scoop on the services she offers, weight loss, and prenatal dietary advice.

http://www.bebe2be.com/Nutrition(2056269).htm

Contact: chrissy@bebe2be.com

1. What services do you offer for clients who want to make a major lifestyle change?

We offer a range of nutritional services tailored to each client’s lifestyle and personal goals.   Our services include weight management, sports nutrition, pregnancy nutrition, family nutrition, body composition analysis as well as corporate seminars and workshops.

2. As a nutritionist, you must see all kinds of unusual weight loss strategies.  What advice do you have for in-active women 35-45 years old who want to adopt a healthy diet to lose weight?

    There are many crazy diets in the media these days that convince women to consume an unhealthy eating regime.  Healthy weight loss is achieved by choosing healthy food options that will be maintained over a long period in order to prevent the weight gain or ‘yo yo’ effect.  Exercise is equally important and should be done in conjunction with a healthy diet.

    3. Do you have specific nutrition advice for women who have just become pregnant?

    It is important to maintain a balanced diet during the entire pregnancy, ensuring that you get all the important nutrients that your baby needs.  In the first few weeks some women may lose their appetite due to morning sickness and nausea but overall your body doesn’t need any extra calories for the first six months of the pregnancy.    There are some unsafe foods to avoid during the pregnancy such as soft cheeses, pate, and raw seafood’s such as oysters and sushi and of course no alcohol and limited caffeine.   Folic acid should be taken for the first 3mths of pregnancy and some may also need a vitamin D supplement right up to after the birth.

    4. Do you offer nutritional services for children?

    Yes, we offer nutritional services for children of all ages.  We help parents deal with fussy eaters, offer a variety of snack/recipe ideas as help children with allergies/food intolerances, eating disorders or those dealing with overweight or obesity.

    5. What do you think is the one major dietary mistake people in Hong Kong make each day?

    I think people in Hong Kong tend to go with convenience and chose foods that are ready-made because of their busy lifestyle.  Most people believe that it is cheaper to eat out than cook at home which is very untrue.  Education is the key and by simply showing people basic recipes and how to cook on a budget this would dramatically improve their weight control and overall health.

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    Filed under: Health, Healthy Eating, Hong Kong, Losing Weight, Pregnancy - Healthy Eating, Pregnancy Foods, Prenatal Health, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , ,

    Interview with Dr. Raymond Chan, Medical Director of Fit Health Physiotherapy Centre

    Interview with Dr. Raymond Chan, Medical Director of Fit Health Physiotherapy Centre

    Doctor Raymond Chan is the Medical Director of Fit Health Physiotherapy Centre in Causeway Bay.  The Centre specializes in physiotherapy for injury management and rehabilitation, personal training services, and a variety of classes for prenatal women and couples.

    Do you offer workshops and/or classes for women and couples expecting a baby?

    Dr. Chan: We offer workshop on breathing exercises and massage therapy.  This is a one-and-a-half hour workshop for couples to take during which the mother would learn the breathing techniques, her partner would also learn how to give clues to the breathing.  The partner will also learn the massage techniques for relieving common problems in pregnancy, such as neck and back pain, legs cramp etc.

    What health services does your clinic provide for prenatal women?

    • Dr. Chan: We offer Pre-Natal physiotherapy for pregnant women with neck and back ache, legs pain, etc.  Our treatment will emphasize manual therapy, so that expectant mothers can be treated without the risk of side effects from medication.

    Do you have classes for postnatal women as well?

    • Dr. Chan: Yes, we offer treatment for post-natal urinary incontinence.  This is done by female physiotherapist, using pelvic floor muscle exercises, biofeedback, and electrotherapy to stimulate the pelvic floor muscles.  We also have classes for baby massage techniques for any member of the family to join.

    Do you offer OB/GYN services at your clinic?

    • Dr. Chan: We offer Musculo-Skeletal, Sports medicine, and Physiotherapy service at our clinic.  We are not specialists in Obs & Gynae.  We would like to keep our roles separate, and co-operate with Hong Kong Obs & Gynae doctors, rather than be their competitor.

    How does your clinic differ from the Hong Kong hospitals who offer antenatal classes?

    • Dr. Chan: We are conveniently located in Causeway Bay, right above MTR exit.  Our pre- and post-natal exercise classes are available every day.  There is no joining fee or membership fee – you simply pay for the classes you take, and there is no restriction on which day you take it. (unlike some places, which only offer classes e.g. every Wednesday evenings, and you pay for each month, if you miss a class then you miss it)  Also our exercise classes are all led by registered physiotherapists with additional qualifications in fitness training.  The class size is kept small to maximum 10 so that the teacher can give individual attention.

    Our pre- and post-natal classes are function orientated: pre-natal exercise class will focus on relieving the discomforts and preventing health problems, and breathing control to prepare for giving birth.  Our post-natal exercise will focus on “tuning” the muscles weakened during child-bearing and giving birth, and functional strength for taking care of babies; unlike many other places where they emphasize post-natal exercise as post-natal “slimming”

    As a medical doctor, what recommendations do you have for pregnant women who want to begin an exercise routine or continue exercising?

    • Dr. Chan: I would recommend pregnant women to stay active throughout pregnancy.  If you are not used to exercise, the best time to start is after the first trimester – when then fetus is more stable and not yet too big.  The aim of exercise should be to maintain reasonable cardio and muscular fitness, rather than for peak sports performance.  It is always a good idea consult your medical doctor regarding any concerns and make sure you are medically fit to exercise before you begin.

    Dr. Raymond Chan

    FitHealth

    SPORTS MEDICINE · PHYSIOTHERAPY ·  FITNESS

    Rm 1401, Causeway Bay Plaza 1, 489 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay

    Tel: 3904 3388

    Fax: 3904 3389

    www.fithealth.com.hk

    http://hk.myblog.yahoo.com/fit-health

    Filed under: Baby Care, Classes, Dads-to-be, Education, Exercise, Expectant Parents, Health pregnancy, Healthy Eating, maternity, pregnant, Prenatal Health, Prenatal tools, , , , , ,

    Best Pregnancy Applications for Parents-to-Be

    Hello Preggers and Pops!

    This post is all about interactive baby & pregnancy applications for parents-to-be who utilize the convenience of gadgets such as the Android smartphone, i-phones, and i-pads.  (FYI, http://www.doubletwist.com is user-friendly for multiple portable devices and allows for easy song/video/application conversion from itunes.)  A wonderful gift idea for a mother or father-to-be is an i-pad already loaded with applications on pregnancy… or perhaps a gift-voucher for the applications most useful during pregnancy and beyond.

    Included below my a selection of the most interesting medical, prenatal, and baby-related applications:

    1. i-pregnancy – $4.99: The most popular prenatal application on itunes with excellent customer ratings.  This application seems to offer everything an expecting mother and father would want to know including information on pregnancy symptoms and solutions, OB visit tracker, weight gain details and expectations and includes weekly updates for Dads-to-be.
    2. BabyBump – $4.99: With equally impressive customer ratings, BabyBump includes a kick counter, contraction tracker, weight graphs & charts with BMI-based weight gain prediction, a calendar, full-text journal, and a weekly photo slide show tracking your baby’s developments.
    3. Pregnancy Tracker (What to Expect When You’re Expecting) – FREE: interactive guide to everything pregnancy-related from the same people who brought us the book What to Expect When You’re Expecting.
    4. WebMD – FREE: This application has excellent reviews for general health information including a symptom checker, first-aid essentials, conditions, pill identification tool, drugs and treatments, local healthcare listings (USA only I think).
    5. Medimatch – $4.99: 135 most important medical calculators and scoring tools for general medical information.
    6. Lexi-Comp (Individual) – 30-day free trial:  Trusted clinical knowledge from medical databases.
    7. Pilates for Pregnancy $4.990$9.99: Available as a complete set or individually based on trimester, this application offers exercises for your entire pregnancy with an interactive organizer.
    8. Foods to Avoid When Pregnant – $.99: Perhaps convenient for dining out, but a seemingly basic  application.
    9. Baby – $9.99: Mixed reviews from customers, this application is all about keeping track of your baby’s first everything – steps, words, growth… good for recording special moments and might be handy for sharing with out-of-town family.
    10. A Practical Guide To Managing Paediatric Problems on the Postnatal Ward – $16.99: A practical, medical application for all-issues relevant to working within the postnatal industry.  Receives excellent reviews and geared toward those working in the medical industry… but perhaps parents would find it revealing as well.

    Best wishes – have fun exploring all these neat  resources!

    Filed under: Baby Care, Dads-to-be, Education, Expectant Parents, Health, Health pregnancy, i-pregnancy, Pregnancy, Pregnancy - Healthy Eating, pregnancy tracker, pregnant, Prenatal Health, Prenatal tools, , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Antenatal Classes – Hong Kong

    Hello Parents-to-be,

    Antenatal classes prepare you for labour, birth, and early parenthood.  At the same time, these classes are an ideal place to meet other parents and share information about their experiences since they are going through the same phases and changes that you are.  Here is a powerpoint slide presenatation from The Women’s Clinic in Hong Kong relevant to 3rd trimester complications and expectations; by Dr. Alexander K. Doo:  antenatal_classes.  If you are interested to attend antenatal classes in Hong Kong, consider the following locations: 

    Adventist Hospital

    http://www.hkah.org.hk

    This private hospital runs a four-week Prepared Childbirth course (two-hour classes, once a week; $1,000) covering labor, relaxation and alternative pain relief techniques, delivery methods and breastfeeding. It also runs a two-hour baby care class for Home Helpers ($250).

    Obstetrics Unit: 2835-0523; 40 Stubbs Road, Hong Kong; hkahinfo@hkah.org.hk; 3651-8888

     Annerley

    Annerley offers a wide range of antenatal classes, focusing on natural childbirth, hypnobirthing, and more traditional antenatal classes, Babies and Beyond. It runs refresher courses for women expecting their second or subsequent child, as well as courses for mothers of twins. Most courses are five weeks, but semi-private Fast Forward courses are available that compress the lessons into two four-hour sessions. Annerley also runs antenatal checkup and motherand- baby clinics, postnatal visits, developmental assessments, a sleep clinic and lactation consultancy. The organization also runs a nanny agency.

    1801 Car Po Commercial Building, 18-20 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central ; 2983-1558

     

    Matilda International Hospital

    http://www.matilda.org

    Matilda runs a six-week parentcraft course explaining what to expect in the last weeks of pregnancy, giving birth, breastfeeding and giving tips on how to cope in the first weeks of a child’s life. It’s popular, and not just with those who give birth at the hospital, so book early (Health Education Dept: 2849-0357). Courses are held at the hospital, or the Matilda Medical Centre, Suite 2601, 9 Queen’s Road Central. Classes are held in English. Cantonese, Japanese and private lessons are available by arrangement. Prices include lecture notes and refreshments.

    24-hour helpline: 2849-0123; 41 Mount Kellett Rd., The Peak; health@matilda.org ; 2849-0111

    The Family Zone

    http://www.thefamilyzone.hk

    Set up by qualified British health visitor and Matilda Hospital midwife Yvonne Heavyside, the Family Zone offers Active Child Birth and Baby Basics courses, as well as post-natal home visits, parent childcare, domestic helper assessment, guardian service and more. Prices vary.

    9887-3235 ; info@thefamilyzone.hk ; 2544-3399

    YWCA English-Speaking Members Department

    http://www.esmd.ywca.org.hk

    Antenatal & Babycare Classes

    Classes for parents including baby massage, first aid and CPR, effective parenting, cooking for infants and toddlers. Also classes for domestic helpers in basic baby/childcare, first aid and CPR, and more.

    3/F 1 Macdonnell Rd., Mid-Levels; 3476-1340

     Source for classes found at:  http://www.thelist.com.hk/listings/family/antenatal-babycare-classes-0

    Filed under: Baby Care, BabyBump, Classes, Education, Expectant Parents, Health, Health pregnancy, Hong Kong, Pregnancy, Pregnancy - Healthy Eating, Pregnancy Foods, pregnant, Prenatal Health, Prenatal tools, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Stress During Pregnancy – Implicated in Preterm Birth and Low Birthweight

     

    Hello Friends and Mums-to-be:

    Did you know your baby’s weight is affected by your stress levels?  According to an interesting research paper from The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology www.AJOG.org, stress during the first trimester of pregnancy causes preterm birth and reduced infant birthweight (Zhu P, Tao F, Hao J, et al., 2010).  The researchers studied the effects of an expectant mother’s exposure to ‘severe life events’ throughout the phases of pregnancy by sampling 1800 women, all of whom delivered after 32 week’s gestation.  Results indicate that women with higher levels of life stress during the first and/or second trimester have an increased risk of preterm birth.  The unit of perceived stress during the first trimester reduced birthweight by 99.09 grams (3.5oz).  Therefore, pregnant women and women expecting to become pregnant should take care to avoid severe stress, especially in the first trimester.

     Previously, the effects of stress on the fetus during pregnancy were unknown, but researchers did know the stress hormone cortisol was higher in the amniotic fluid when a mother had a high level of stress and cortisol (Sarkar et al., 2007).  This means that when a mother becomes stressed out, her unborn baby will release the same hormone.  Prolonged exposure to cortisol leads to illness, depression, and exhaustion in adults… and we now know that it adversely affects unborn infants as well. 

    So, it’s time to relax and enjoy being pregnant as much as possible.  Regular exercise, meditation, and emotional support has never been more important.  I found interesting and helpful advice on coping with stress during pregnancy at this website: http://www.pregnancy.org/article/help-stressed-out-moms-works

    References:

    Zhu P, Tao F, Hao J, et al. Prenatal life events stress: implications for preterm birth and infant birthweight. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2010;203:34.e1-8.

    Sarkar p, Bergman K, Fisk NM, O’Connor TG, Glover V. Ontogeny of foetal exposure to maternal cortisol using midtrimester amniotic fluid as a biomarker 2007 Clinical Endocrinology 66 (5), 636–640.

    Filed under: cortisol, Dads-to-be, Expectant Parents, Health pregnancy, Manage stress, Pregnancy, pregnant, Prenatal Health, Stress, stressed-out, , , , , , , ,

    My Pyramid – Create Your Plan for Healthy Eating

    My Pyramid Available at http://www.mypyramid.gov

     

     Hello Friends! 

    They say how you look is 80% diet; 10% activity; 10% genetics.  I tend to agree to a point and recently discovered a wonderful website www.mypyramid.gov provided by the USDA (US Dept of Agriculture) full of dietary information.  This impressive site is loaded with interactive tools to generate caloric requirements for your body and lifestyle, menus, eating plans, cost calculators, dietary guidelines and numerous other relevant and up-to-date facts to help guide you through weight loss, weight gain, and special population considerations for pregnancy,  breast-feeding, and pre-school aged children.  

      For example, at “My Pyramid Plan”, I input my weight, height, activity level, age and instantly received feedback for exactly what portions and food groups I should consume each daily to meet my body’s requirements.  Interestingly, the USDA recommends a 2,400 daily caloric consumption for my lifestyle.  In my case, I am relatively young, active, and currently at my ideal BMI.  Your caloric needs will likely be significantly lower if your are intensely physically active for less than 1 hour per day.  I often hear people suggest a daily limit of 1,200 for losing weight, but limiting calories too significantly will cause weight gain in the long run due to your metabolic rate decreasing.  

     Truly, the only way to maintain a fit and toned physique is with adequate physical activity, sleep, water, and a clean diet complete with fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.  Each body processes foods at different metabolic rates and with different requirements, so referring to websites such as www.mypyramid.gov will provide trustworthy and safe information to help you achieve your goals.  Losing weight is not only calories in and calories out, but the nutritional value of those foods, the intervals at which you eat, intestinal motility, etc.  Check it out and enjoy creating an eating plan and menus to generate safe weight loss and improved health with long-term results.

    Filed under: Education, Expectant Parents, Health, Healthy Eating, Losing Weight, Pregnancy - Healthy Eating, Pregnancy Foods, Prenatal Health, , , , , , , ,