Sunday, August 24, 2014

Windham Middle School football team launches 2014 campaign - By Eric Colby

The Windham Middle School football team showed some promise during a scrimmage against Portland at the Deering turf field last Friday evening. First, on the defensive side, newcomer Blake Houser intercepted a Portland pass in the end zone keeping the opponent from scoring. Then on the varsity team’s last offensive possession, tailback Treva Valliere pounded his way into the end zone scoring for Windham as time ran out.
It was a fitting transition for Houser, who moved to Windham from Texas earlier this year, as he announced his arrival on the Windham scene. He replaces Valliere at quarterback and will play safety on defense. Coaches, parents and teammates are all optimistic about the team’s chances with the transplanted Texan under center.

Houser will be taking snaps from Blake Colby who anchors an experienced offensive line that includes Braxton Cassidy, Logan Douglas, Ricky Brichetto, Jack Alderman and tight end Josh Mora. In addition to Valliere, expect Grant Jacobsen, a punishing north-south fullback, to see time in the Eagles’ backfield. Houser also has some versatile wideouts including Garrett Peeples, Rich Graham and Parker Varney to catch his passes. Peeples and Varney both had some quality receptions in the Portland scrimmage. Look for speedster Michael Fahey to also see plenty of time on varsity. Among the defensive highlights heading into the season are the linebacking trio of Jacobsen and Valiere, while up front nose tackle Colby and defensive end Brichetto wreaked havoc on the opposition at the end of last season.
Head coach Tony Leslie is working with assistants Rusty Babb, Mark Wall and we’ll just call him Coach G, because no one can spell or pronounce his real name correctly. 

On the junior varsity side, some intriguing prospects include quarterback Anthony Guliuzza, Noel Redlon and defensive juggernaut Mattingly Babb. Another JV stalwart who should see some varsity time is Seth Wall.

*** New final paragraph. Check for schedule changes *****

The Windham Middle School’s 2014 season starts at home against Sanford on Sunday August 23rd. On Labor Day Weekend, they play at South Portland on Sunday at 1 p.m. if you’re looking for some inexpensive entertainment. On September 7, Windham hosts Scarborough and then on September 13 is a tough battle against neighbor Bonny Eagle. Windham hosts a difficult Portland team on Sunday September 21 and the following week takes on Massabesic as the teams start to gear up for the playoffs. Finally, the season wraps on up October 5 when the Eagles travel to Saco. Playoffs begin October 11 and, based on the pre-season scrimmage against Portland, Windham hopes to be a contender.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Beware of these 7 dieting mistakes - By Glenn Hutchinson

It's a common problem. You've been on a diet for weeks and aren't losing weight like you thought you would. 

It may be because you're consuming more calories than you think.

Keep reading to discover seven sneaky habits that may be sabotaging your weight loss efforts.

Mistake 1: Forgetting liquid calories
It's easy to forget that the things you drink have calories—some more than you'd think. In fact, some beverages have more calories than an entire plate of food. 

It is estimated that around 20 percent of your daily calories come from what you drink. So as you drink your juice with breakfast, rehydrate with a sports drink at the gym, or drink a glass of wine at dinner, think about the calories you're adding. 

For calories' sake, it's best to avoid all sweetened sodas, sweetened or flavored coffee drinks, and sweetened tea. Replace these high-calorie drinks with water, skim milk, and unsweetened herbal tea. Because while they taste great, liquids generally don't satisfy hunger, so they are just empty calories.

Mistake 2: Meal skipping

Many dieters think they'll cut their calorie intake by skipping a meal, usually breakfast.
But this is a mistake. 

Research has shown that those who skip breakfast actually weigh more than those who eat three meals a day. Skipping a meal usually causes you to eat more calories during the day. You will end up eating even more food later in the day because you're so hungry. 

So aim to eat three (or more) meals a day. A healthy breakfast that will keep you feeling full all morning contains protein and fiber. An example would be whole-wheat toast and an egg.

Mistake 3: Oversized portions
Just because restaurants load your plate with a mountain of food doesn't mean you should eat that much at home for a normal meal. 

Remember that your stomach, like your heart, is the size of your fist. Don't think you could fit much food into your fist? You're right. And contrary to what mama taught you as a child, you don't have to eat all the food in front of you. 

To eat a little less, use smaller plates and eat slower, it takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to signal your brain that you are full. Also, remember that portion control also applies to healthy foods, as they, too, contain calories.

Mistake 4: Too many extras
A salad is a healthy, low calorie option. At least until you add dressing, bacon, cheese and croutons.
One tablespoon of dressing contains 75 to 100 calories. With that in mind, it's no wonder grilled chicken salads at a fast food restaurant can have more calories than a hamburger.

Mistake 5: Blaming your genes
Many people give up on dieting or think there's no hope when it comes to meeting their goal weight because of their genes. 

Just like you may share your father's hair color or your mother's eye color, there is a small chance you also share your parent's body type. However, this is no excuse for doing nothing about trying to lose weight.
Stick to your diet and exercise plan and you should definitely see results.

Mistake 6: Eating without thinking
It happens to everyone. You're tired after a long day and you just want to veg in front of the television or read a good book. Unfortunately, mindlessly eating is often involved. You may think that since it's not on a plate it doesn't matter, but every bite you take counts. 

When it comes to a successful diet, make rules for appropriate times to eat. And don't always feel the need to eat when relaxing. Try sipping on water, tea or chewing gum.

Mistake 7: Eliminating all treats
Dieters often become overzealous in their plan and completely rid the house of all the food they enjoy, whether chips, sweets, snacks or any high calorie food. 

This commitment may last a few days until you can't tolerate it any longer and you overindulge on what you deprived yourself of. 

A better plan is to allow yourself a treat every once in a while. 

Remember that everyone makes mistakes, but be smart and don't let these common pitfalls keep you from meeting your health and fitness goals! 

Reach your fitness potential faster by coupling your good diet with a challenging exercise program.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The truth about portion sizes and a delicious salad idea - By Glenn Hutchinson

Should we eat everything on our plates?

It’s no secret that people are larger today than ever before. Waistlines have expanded over the last forty years and studies show that portion sizes have grown as well. 

Researchers from New York University found that average portion sizes started to grow in the 1970s, rising quickly in the 1980s—and this phenomenon hasn’t shown signs of slowing. A “large” order of fries from McDonalds’ weighs the same as 1998’s “Supersize” fries. And it doesn’t stop there. Check out these eye-opening figures, provided by the National Institutes of Health:

Today's 6-inch bagel has 350 calories. This is 210 more calories than a 3-inch bagel 20 years ago.
Today's 5 ounce muffin has 500 calories. This is 310 calories more than muffin 20 years ago.
Today, a large cookie has about 275 calories. This is 220 more calories than a cookie 20 years ago.
Today, a 3-cup chicken Caesar salad has 790 calories. This is 400 more calories than Caesar salads 20 years ago.

Keep in mind that the health experts all agree on one thing: Obesity is on the rise because people eat too many calories and do not exercise enough. Portion control is a very important factor for losing weight, but to attain a slim and healthy physique exercise is also a must. 
Now that you know portion sizes today are far larger than you really need, what are you going to do the next time you go out to eat? Try the following three tips and watch as your waist begins to slim and your confidence soars.

Trim-Down Tip 1: Re-program your mind
I’m sure your mother did a great job when she taught you to “clean your plate.” The problem now lies in the fact that your plate is usually loaded with more than 3 times the calories that you really need. So what’s the solution? 

Realize that it is okay to leave food on your plate. Eating everything on the plate is probably a habit now, but it is one that you can break. Focus on how you feel halfway through your meal. Are you full? If you are beginning to feel full then stop eating. Don’t worry—your mom won’t send you to your room!

Trim-Down Tip 2: Slow Down
I know that this is a tough one—so bear with me. These days we are in such a hurry, we rush to work, rush to lunch, rush through errands and then rush home. So it is no wonder that food consumption is no exception. Most meals are devoured before your stomach has the chance to let you know that it is full. 

Eat your next meal slower than usual. Chew each bite thoroughly, engage in conversation and pay attention for signs that you may be getting full. Once you realize that you are full, stop eating. Congratulations—you just tailored your portion down to its proper size.

Trim-Down Tip #3: Go Halfsies
I understand that it may be very difficult for you to leave food on your plate, even though your mother isn’t looking over your shoulder, and even if you eat slowly. No problem—you just need to do some strategic planning. The next time you go out to eat do one of the following two options.
1) Share an entrĂ©e with a friend and order salad or soup to start your meal. This will cut your calories down dramatically, while still giving you the satisfaction of clearing your plate. 

2) If sharing isn’t an option then ask your waiter to bring a to-go box along with your order. As soon as the food is placed in front of you put half of it into the to-go box. You are now left with a reasonable portion and even have your next meal taken care of.

Best Spinach Salad Ever

The first thing that you’ll notice about this salad is that it tastes amazing. It also doesn’t hurt that spinach is an extremely nutrient-dense food. The recipe calls for raspberry vinegar, which is a flavorful and refreshing alternative to traditional, oily dressing. The fruit and nuts add flavor, fiber and healthy fat.

Servings: 8

Here’s what you need:
8 cups cleaned spinach leaves
3 oranges, peeled, sliced and quartered
2 cucumbers, peeled sliced and quartered
1/8 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
1/8 cup sunflower seeds
2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
1 cup strawberries, sliced or whole raspberries
1/2 cup white balsamic raspberry blush vinegar
Combined the spinach, oranges, cucumbers, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds and strawberries in a bowl.
Add the vinegar and toss well.
Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 99 calories, 3g fat, 14g carbohydrate, 2.6g fiber, and 3.5g protein.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Windham couple honored by Maine Little League and Maine Softball for years of commitment - By Michelle Libby

At a make-up game for the 10- and 11-year-old championships at Lowell Field in Windham, the fans and players took a few minutes to recognize Michael and Helen Parker. The Parkers are from Windham. Michael has been a veteran of Little League since he started playing for the Red Sox…in Lincoln, Maine.
“It was very much a surprise. It meant so very much to do it in front of the kids,” Michael said. 

For 46 years he has an umpire at various levels, but settled on Little League as the right fit for him because of the satisfaction he got out of umpiring for them, according to his wife Helen, who was also recognized for her organizational skills in the Maine Little League community. 

The cancer survivor does the paperwork for games in district 6 and for Michael’s State O’Maine Umpire clinic, which he has done for the past 19 years. 

“They surprised me and I’m a pretty good snoop,” said Helen, who admits that she wasn’t into baseball until she met Michael. 

“It became very clear that if he was going to do things I enjoyed, I had to do things he liked,” she said.
Michael was given a plaque and Helen was given balloons and flowers. It’s the 75th anniversary of Little League, so Helen wanted to release 75 balloons for each team, but the idea was scrapped and she had to settle for the three balloons, one of them a baseball. 

“Many coaches are confident that when they see Mike Parker coming, they know they will get a fair game and the rules will be enforced,” said tournament director David Field. 

Julia LoSciuto, a former softball player umpired by Michael, sang the National Anthem before the start of the Brewer versus Auburn –Suburban game, which Auburn won 12-6. The game had been postponed from Sunday when Slugger was scheduled to be there and Mort Soule, Maine Sports Hall of Fame and Maine Baseball Hall of Fame member, was to perform “Casey at the Bat.” 

When coaching new umpires, Michael always gave this advice…”Always leave the field on the side of the winning team…quickly,” said Field.