Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I absolutely love to watch the Olympics - especially the winter ones. I love the figure skating - both pairs & individual. I have also begun to really enjoy the snowboarding and the downhill moguls.
I don't have cable, so I don't get to watch everything that is on...but I sure do watch whatever I can on regular TV.
I find myself really getting into the lives of these athletes - that's some of my favorite thing. I love the commentary because it really personalizes these amazing athletes.
And, yes, I do cry at the results when the USA wins!!
GO TEAM USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sunday, February 07, 2010
You didn't put on the weight overnight, and you're definitely not going to lose it overnight. Prepare yourself for a journey. To achieve lasting weight loss, experts recommend dropping one to two pounds a week. Losing twenty pounds may take you five months. However, the healthy habits you establish will last a lifetime and you'll be more likely to maintain that loss. Be patient and stay focused on the goal at hand - getting healthy.
I have kept my weight off for 4+ years now. I think I have finally established the healthy habits I need to last my lifetime!!
Saturday, February 06, 2010
We all know how much better salt makes food taste, right? We also know that too much sodium is not good for you. Here are some ways to get the flavor benefit of salt without going overboard:
Start fresh. Only a quarter of your sodium intake comes from the salt you add to food; the rest is from packaged products (sauces, soups, canned foods and baked goods). This means the first step in creating a healthy recipe should be to start with whole, unprocessed foods. Use fresh vegetables, fish, chicken, meat and beans whenever possible.
Change your techniques. Bring out the natural sweetness in vegetable dishes by roasting or grilling them. For more intensity, finish with a flavored oil. Condiments like ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce and dips are sodium minefields, so use sparingly and experiment with spices and a variety of salt-free seasoning blends by Mrs. Dash or McCormick.
Read labels. If you are an adult age 50 or younger, try to trim your intake to 2,300 mg of sodium or fewer a day. For those over 50, African-Americans and others at risk of elevated blood pressure, aim for 1,500 mg or fewer. Pull out those reading glasses and your calculator-check labels for sodium content and keep your daily target in mind.
Keep track. Use a measuring spoon when adding salt to a recipe. Start with 1/8 teaspoon and add more if you find you need it after tasting. Consider switching to kosher salt-it has less sodium per teaspoon than regular salt.
Salt sensibly. Avoid adding salt to recipes if it doesn’t contribute to flavor. For example, don’t use when boiling pasta or rice. Sprinkle on salt when you’ve finishing cooking your food, so you’ll get the maximum impact. Give a grind of fresh black pepper a try.
Smart swaps. Balsamic vinegar (which also comes in varieties like cherry and fig), rice wine vinegar and lemon or lime juice all bring out the savoriness in a dish. Garlic, ginger, fresh or dried herbs, spices and grated lemon zest also wake up the flavor in foods.
Friday, February 05, 2010
A book that has recently hit the bookstores is The End of Overeating, by Dr. David Kessler, former head of the Food and Drug Administration. He writes that restaurant food is so irresistible because it has multiple layers of sugar, salt and fat. He belives this triple combination of sugar, salt and fat makes food “hyperpalatable” and triggers the brain to release dopamine and to stimulate endorphins. These effects signal a pleasurable experience, creating a cycle of what he describes as “conditioned overeating.”
How do you tackle the stimuli of the sight, taste and smell of good food? Dr. Kessler gives 6 strategies to put you on the offense:
• Remove food from your environment
• Create rules specific to you
• Structure eating episodes
• Find a more rewarding action
• Enjoy the foods you can control
• Rehearse your response to cues that result in overeating.
Dr. Kessler describes what he calls the moment of choice. This is the time when one has the ability to refuse the cues invitation to the brain to eat. He states that we have control only at the beginning of the cue. For example, when at the shopping mall, your moment of choice is the moment you either smell or see a food that would cause you to overeat. That is when you must decide how you are going to choose to respond. If you don’t decide to go in the opposite direction, you will become more stimulated by the smell and sight, then respond by stopping and eating, and then become more stimulated as you eat. Before you go to the mall again, you need to rehearse what your response to the cues of the smell and sight of that cue will be. One response could be mapping your route so you do not come near the smell or sight of the food.
These new behaviors need to be practiced so that you learn new thoughts that become automatic. Practice with determination and commitment, because old habits easily reappear.
It is necessary to become aware of situations that lead to overeating and to know how much of a response you, personally, have to stimuli. It is impossible to have power over cues if you don’t know they exist or to what degree they encourage you to overeat. Keep a diary of your overeating episodes and write down the cues that led to the overeating. Then you can start devising strategies for preventing the overeating.
Write a set of rules that are specific to each of the cues on your diary to help you stop your overeating. These rules should be very specific and practical, so they are easy to keep in mind and become an automatic substitute action.
Dr. Kessler reminds his readers that conditioned overeating is a biological challenge and a chronic problem that needs managing. A change in attitude toward food is required, and we need to consider large portions the enemy.
Finally, he stresses putting structure into your eating, eating just-right, choosing foods that satisfy you, and eating foods that you enjoy. “Putting structure into your eating” means planning when and what you will eat. A “just-right” meal keeps you from feeling hungry for about four hours, and a “just-right” snack has the same effect for two hours. The “just-right” meals are a combination of the complex carbohydrates high in fiber together with protein and a small amount of fat-selected from the foods that you enjoy.
Based on the weight of the food, the amount of protein, and the amount of fiber, www.WebMD.com devised a point system to rate 20 foods for the ability to make you feel full.
Those that scored highest were:
• Bean burrito
• Grilled reduced-fat cheese on whole-wheat bread
• Minestrone soup
• Oatmeal made with milk
• 1 cup whole-wheat pasta with marinara sauce and 2T Parmesan cheese
• Veggie cheese omelet
• Turkey sandwich on wheat bread
• 2 whole-wheat pancakes with 2 turkey bacon strips & 1T lite syrup
In the middle range were:
• Raisin bran with milk
• Sour cream potato
• Fresh fruit salad
• Caesar salad with reduced-fat dressing
• Cheese pizza
• Lite nonfat yogurt
• Chocolate shake
Not surprisingly, a candy bar, potato chips, French fries, cheese puffs, and a Twinkie scored very low on the scale in their ability to make a person feel full.
In 1995, Australian researchers found 38 foods to have a higher satiety rating than other foods. The foods that had the highest scores for making people feel full were:
• baked beans
• whole grain bread
• brown pasta
Incorporat these just-right foods into your diet (except, of course, for the high-calorie, high-fat chocolate shake!) and get started on your game plan to “sack” the opponent.
Thursday, February 04, 2010
Did you know that, over the past 30 years, Americans have gained an average of 19 pounds?
According to the report The Preventable Causes of Death in the United States, overweight contributes to 216,000 deaths a year. Overweight may lead to diabetes, cardivascular disease and certain cancers.
Why are we eating more than our bodies need? In her blog, Why Restaurants Make You Fat, Dr. Susan Roberts, a nutrition professor at Tufts University in Boston, attributes much of our overeating to this sequence of events: Eat out, eat too much, feel bad, repeat. She calls this the Restaurant Syndrome and goes on to describe what she calls the Second Meal Effect: After a particularly tasty meal at a restaurant, we are hungrier and need to eat more at the next meal to achieve that same satisfied feeling.
To break this cycle, Dr. Roberts recommends following an indulgence with a low-fat, low-sugar and low-salt meal. She also advocates eating out less often, micromanaging the food order when we do eat out, and not starving ourselves before going out to eat.
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