Capistrano Unified leaders hosted a webinar Tuesday featuring the advice of a South County doctor on the coronavirus pandemic, general nutrition and related topics.
Dr. Kayla Ramsey, who practices family medicine with the Hoag Medical Group in San Clemente, spoke for nearly 45 minutes on the Zoom session, also taking in questions from the virtual audience of parents.
Ramsey’s presentation, titled “Wellness Tips and How to Stay Healthy During the Holidays,” began with advice on healthy food. She noted that improving diet has a multitude of positive effects, including reducing cardiovascular disease, some incidents of cancer, treating obesity and preventing type 2 diabetes.
She touted the benefits of a Mediterranean diet, which focuses on fruits, vegetables and whole grains alongside limited consumption of red meats and sweets.
For those upcoming holiday meals, Ramsey stressed not skipping meals in advance of the big one.
“Actually, we’ll be even more hungry and likely to overeat when that big meal comes,” she said.
She also advised filling plates with vegetables and cutting back on carbs, like potatoes and bread.
Ramsey also noted: Eat slowly, because it takes up to 20 minutes for the brain to realize the stomach is full and to stop eating.
Regarding exercise — which helps reduce cardiovascular risk, improve glycemic control and contribute to weight loss — Ramsey urged 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week for adults. For children, she added, it should be 60 minutes daily.
But don’t forget sleep, she added.
“Sleep is increasingly being recognized as a good component of health,” Ramsey said, adding that adults are recommended to get 7 hours a night, minimum. Children 6 to 12 should get 12 hours, with teens 13 to 18 getting 8 to 10 hours.
“Sleep hygiene,” she said, is also crucial: going to bed at the same time, even on the weekends; avoiding afternoon caffeine consumption; keeping electronic devices out of the bedroom so they don’t distract from getting sleep; and getting exposure to light first thing in the morning.
Regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its effects, Ramsey said while adults are often worried for themselves, they should not forget the effects this period is having on children. Many are missing significant life events — high school graduation ceremonies, for instance — and even community health care, like immunization visits.
The pandemic can “have an effect on their social, emotional and physical health,” Ramsey said, adding later that, “Try to stick to your normal routine, which I know is hard. We’re all in this together.”
For the upcoming holiday gatherings, she summarized the recent stay-at-home orders, and suggested that visits be limited, with social distancing and wearing masks outdoors, if possible. Ramsey suggested having conversations with holiday guests ahead of time to set expectations, “because we’ve never had any holidays like this.”
For more videos from the Hoag speaker series, visit the CUSD Insider YouTube page here.