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Leah Sarich – Health Specialist: Healthy Food Options at Stampede 2013

Leah Sarich | posted Tuesday, Jul 9th, 2013

Of course there are the corndogs and minidonuts, and who doesn’t love those at Stampede? But if you’re also looking for some healthy options, there are a few!

I went down to Stampede Park with Registered Dietitian Kristyn Hall. She recommends eating a good breakfast first to lay a nice foundation in your tummy and then sharing all treats with friends to reduce your portion size.

One of the new options on the midway this year is Wrap Daddy’s. This is a nice rolled tortilla filled with a protein choice, vegetables and topped with a bunch of fun stuff. Hall says if you ask for less oil with your chicken or beef, half the cheese and sourcream, this is a great option! Hall was very impressed with how you can customize your meal.

Hall also liked Idaho Taco, another new stand this year. This is a baked potatoe with taco fixings. Once again, if you customize and have the potatoe without the liquid cheese and go easy on the real cheese and sourcream, it’s a wonderful food choice. I tried this one, and the salsa is amazing with just the perfect amount of heat. I’m not alone in liking this, Idaho Taco won Stampede’s Best New Food of 2013.

Other healthy food choices include the Noodle Bar, the Hidden Valley salad bar where you can get a salad for a dollar and keep the container as well as the smoothie and frozen yogurt stands. To drink, consider the small size Lemonade.

Hall says remember to share with a friend and enjoy!

For more information on new food at Stampede and where it’s located: Stampede Fun Food

Andrew Schultz – BT Calgary Weather

Andrew Schultz | posted Tuesday, Jul 9th, 2013

TODAY: 26, Partly Cloudy (Wind: South 20)
TONIGHT: 12, Clear
TOMORROW: 28, Sunny
THURSDAY: 22, Sunny
>After a fairly cool and ‘unstable’ Monday, we’ll see quite the turn in the Weather department today thru Fri. A great stretch for the mid-point of the Calgary Stampede.
-Meteorologist Andrew Schultz (twitter: @AndrewSchultzWX)

Andrew Schultz – BT Calgary Weather

Andrew Schultz | posted Monday, Jul 8th, 2013

TODAY: 17, Showers/T-Showers (Wind: N/NW 10)
TONIGHT: 10, Partly Cloudy (Clearing late this eve.)
TOMORROW: 25, Partly Cloudy
WEDNESDAY: 26, Sunny
>Stampede in full swing, and the forecast making a turn for the better…Look for rising temps past today, with a generous amount of sunshine thru Thursday.
-Meteorologist Andrew Schultz (twitter: @AndrewSchultzWX)

Andrew Schultz – BT Calgary Weather

Andrew Schultz | posted Friday, Jul 5th, 2013

TODAY: 19, Partly Cloudy (PM: T-Showers?) Wind: NW 20
TONIGHT: 10, 60% Chances Showers
TOMORROW: 15, Late day Showers?
SUNDAY: 21, Partly Cloudy
>Looking good for the Parade! Could see some Showers or Thundershowers late-day, but nevertheless…Not gonna ‘rain on our parade’ – had to use that, sorry!
-Meteorologist Andrew Schultz (twitter: @AndrewSchultzWX)

Leah Sarich – Health Specialist: Flood Stress and Kids

bt.calgary | posted Wednesday, Jul 3rd, 2013

There are many families in Calgary and Southern Alberta that will be displaced for months. And this situation can be very stressful for children.

Kids will experience all the same stress reactions as adults, they just don’t have the same capacity to cope. Clinical Psychologist Gene Flessati says as adults our life experience helps us put traumatic events into context, something kids just don’t have. So as adults we need to help them understand that life will not always be chaotic, that they will in fact have toys again and that they will once again have a bedroom.

Also, children are not as verbal as adults. And we know talking about a stressful event helps people cope. So Flessati says we have to help our children talk about how they’re feeling and reassure them everything will be okay.

Children are also more likely to exhibit behaviour changes in response to stress. Flessati says children may act out more as they try to process what’s going on, they may also act out to get attention because mom and dad are busy dealing with rebuilding. Children may also resort to earlier behaviours. So if they used to wet the bed, they may start doing so again.

Flessati says the best thing we can do for our children is create some structure and routine in their lives. Have a family meal together and keep bed times the same. Distract the children by setting aside an hour of playtime, even if you think you can’t spare the time. But most importantly talk to them. Flessati says it’s essential to check in with our kids every day to see how they’re doing and to clear up any misperceptions they may have about the situation. Kids may think this is how their lives will always be, we need to reassure them that things will get better and that this is a temporary situation. We also need to make sure children know they didn’t cause the flooding. For example, children may think they didn’t pick up their toys in the basement and that’s why it flooded.

As adults we also have to make sure we are careful what we say to each other about the flooding when little ears could be listening. We don’t want to unload our stress or anxiety onto our children.

And Flessati also wants parents to remember that children are very resilient. We just need to keep the messaging to the children the same: we love you as much as we ever did and everything will be fine in the future.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the stress of the situation, Calgary residents can call Access Mental Health at 403-943-1500 or HealthLink at 403-943-LINK and they’ll point you in the right direction. Outside Calgary call 1 877 303 2642.

Andrew Schultz – BT Calgary Weather

Andrew Schultz | posted Wednesday, Jul 3rd, 2013

TODAY: 22, Chance showers/T.Showers (Wind: North 30)
TONIGHT: 13, Showers/T.Showers
TOMORROW: 23, Showers/T.Showers
FRIDAY: 18, Late-day rain
>Here we go….a little bit of a cooldown….and that’s not a bad thing after the “hot & sticky” trend we’ve been witness to in the past 24 hours…
-Meteorologist Andrew Schultz (twitter: @AndrewSchultzWX)

Leah Sarich – Health Specialist: Flood Stress

bt.calgary | posted Tuesday, Jul 2nd, 2013

Thousands of Albertans are going to be out of their homes for a long time, cleaning and rebuilding. It’s a very difficult time emotionally and will be for the months ahead.

Clinical Psychologist Gene Flessati of Alberta Health Services says it’s normal to be stressed at this time, so don’t be stressed about being stressed. If you’re worried and anxious, suffering from mood swings, irritability and brain fog – these are all normal reactions to traumatic situations. That said, these are not pleasant symptoms so you want to do what you can to try and reduce your stress.

Gene recommends creating routine and structure in your day, even if the day is very stressful. Try to go to sleep at the same time, eat regular meals and check in regularly with family and friends. Gene also recommends creating small, realistic goals for each day that you can achieve so you can feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.

For families, now would be a good time to establish or reestablish the family meal. Sit down together at least once a day to find out how everyone is doing and maybe take a break from it all for even an hour.

Gene says it’s also useful to actively look for the little joys each day. Research shows those who remain optimistic are more resilient in times of stress. So recognize that your neighbours are helping out, that maybe no one was hurt in your family, even acknowledge that perhaps it’s a sunny day.

And for those of us not directly affected by the flooding, this is the time for us to continue to reach out to friends, family, neighbours and the community. Gene says don’t say, “give me a call if you need anything” because making that call is hard for many of us to do. Instead, just head over to a friends house with meal, to offer childcare or simply to listen.

Gene also wants us to be aware that while it’s great so many of us are lending a hand now, many people will need emotional assistance in the long term…. for the next birthday, Christmas and so on. This flooding has devastated so many lives, we need to support one another in the days, weeks and months ahead.

If you’re not seeing a reduction in your stress symptoms in the coming days, or if you’re feeling an overwhelming sense of despair, it might be time to talk with a mental health professional. Call HealthLink at 403-943-LINK and the nurses there will point you in the right direction.