HEALTH / FITNESS
Information about fitness, health, nutrition and weight loss
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In this Section....
- July Recipes
- Daily Diet Tip
- Healthy Tips for Summer Time
- Staying Summer Healthy
- Common Nutrition Mistakes
July Recipes - Click Here
Happy July to all our readers, whether you are celebrating Independence Day or Canada Day!! This month we have a meal for you that allows you to enjoy the outdoors and the freshest flavors of the season. The recipes are easy, flavorful, and you can plan on spending most of the day outside grilling the cook on "when will it be done?" Don't forget to always soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes before you use them so they will not burn, and cut the meat into small pieces so they will cook at the same rate as the vegetables. We also have a scrumptious dessert that will keep you cool in the heat of the festivities. Enjoy the celebrations of the day, and be careful around fireworks. Happy eating!!!!
We'd love to feature one of your favorite recipes in any one of our monthly issues, just send them on to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to hear from all of you in the following months, and have a Happy New Year!!!
Healthy Tips for Summer Time
What is summer without baseball, picnics, sandy beaches and family vacations? Who can resist sticky barbequed chicken, creamy potato salad, or a poolside margarita?
If your summer health concern is to lose a few pounds or to maintain your current weight, we have simple tips to keep the pounds off while your bathing suit is on!
While vegetable and bean salads can be low cal accompaniments to your plate this summer, salads with mayonnaise have as much as 350 calories per cup, with a fat content of 20 %. If you are purchasing these items in a store or deli it can be even trickier with recipes and ingredients varying in each establishment.
The healthiest, delicious and most economical way to control the calories is to make the salad yourself. Using ingredients like low fat mayonnaise, mustard/mayonnaise blends, green onions, tarragon, hard boiled egg whites and/or lean turkey bacon can reduce calories and fat content by 40 percent or more without compromising taste.
Here is where watching your intake can prove to be “sticky”. Commercially made barbeque sauces are high in sugar, sodium and unneeded additives and preservatives. If you choose a cheeseburger, remember they average about 350 calories with the roll and about 20 grams of fat. Hot dogs are another high sodium ticket, not to mention they contain carcinogenic nitrates. The high sodium content of these items can cause water-retention, which can cause fluctuations in your weight as well as your blood pressure. Better choices for your grill are marinated chicken breasts, pork tenderloins, turkey franks, grilled shrimp, salmon and other fish.
Festive Fruity Drinks
What says “summer party” other than a frothy poolside Pina Colada? A 3 oz (which is considered a serving, but for most it’s just a sip of the straw!) is over 170 calories and a mouthful of sugar. If you can not resist (and who can) try a glass of wine (80 calories) or a 12 oz beer (117 calories). If only a frozen concoction will do-try using a sugar-free lemonade, 2 oz of vodka and a blender full of ice….a frozen lemon drop, with much less sugar and calories and all the fun. Don’t forget the umbrella!
What is more tempting on a summer night at dusk than the jingle of the ice cream man on your block. Before you run to your wallet, there are plenty of great tasting super market alternatives. The good news is that there is now many options and flavors to choose from. Switch to low fat and light versions of your favorites. New on the market are “slow-churned” ice creams, which cut the fat but have a creamy, full flavored taste. If only something off the truck will cure your need for nostalgia, try a frozen fruit pop...they are less than 100 calories a stick and are a refreshing treat to beat the heat.
Keep in mind, an occasional indulgence will never sabotage a well rounded eating pattern. Visualize a healthy meal plan, even if it includes a little mischief, at the beginning of your day and attempt to stick to it This will ensure your energy, mood, and blood sugar levels are stable. Maintain your exercise program during the summer months. Protect your skin from the sun and stay well hydrated. Summer heat can cause dehydration, which leads to increased hunger (your body will seek water from foods), blood sugar levels, headaches and fatigue. These simple summer strategies will keep you fit for the summer and won’t leave you hiding under sweaters come fall.
Written by: Marianne Westervelt
Staying Summer Healthy
Summertime is here and it is time to stay cool, hydrated, and well fueled. This time of year may find you eating on the go, and losing track of how much or how little water you are drinking. Here are some helpful hints to keep you going in a fit and healthy way:
- Freeze individual servings of grapes. You can just grab them on your way out the door. They will be a cool refreshing treat!
- Pack an apple. It won’t go bad and doesn’t have to be carefully packed.
- Grab a handful of walnuts or almonds, and, yes, it means a single handful (about 10 nuts)! They contain great sources of fiber, vitamin E, and calcium.
- If you find yourself picking up a sandwich, skip the mayo and you will save 100 calories.
- Try mustard, for just 3 calories a teaspoon!
- If you only have time for a drive-thru, pick a grilled chicken sandwich, toss away the top bun, and order a side salad with fat-free dressing. Just skipping the top ½ of your bun and the fries will save you almost 400 calories (for small fries).
- Even if you find yourself eating out for lunch, try to include a salad or steamed vegetable.
And most important, Breakfast
Even if you are in a hurry, DON’T skip breakfast!
Breakfast boosts your metabolism. At night your body requires some fuel to function. In the morning, that fuel is depleted and your body enters a fasting mode. Throughout the evening, your metabolism then slows to a sleep rate. If you don’t wake up in the morning and eat, it’ll remain in sleep mode. Your metabolism will be slower, which means you won’t be burning as many calories in the morning!
- If you are short on time, have a yogurt and a piece of fruit, a sandwich on whole wheat bread, or even a hard boiled egg and a piece of fruit (you can boil a few eggs at a time and store them in your refrigerator).
- Or try making some low-fat bran muffins, freeze or refrigerate them and take one out, add a teaspoon of peanut butter, and go!
- And no matter how busy you find yourself during these hot summer months, have a water bottle in hand at all times! Even if you are not exercising, you should be consuming AT LEAST 2-3 liters of water a day!
Written by: Maria Albus
Common Nutrition Mistakes
Here are some of the most common nutrition mistakes -- and how to avoid them. Nutrition experts say most of us think we are eating a lot better than we actually are. New York University nutritionist Samantha Heller, MS, RD and two colleagues from the American Dietetic Association gave us the dish on seven nutrition mistakes you probably don't know you're making -- along with sure-fire ways to avoid them.
Mistake No. 1: Assuming your choices are better than they actually are.
"If a label says 'Seven-Grain Bread,' it sounds pretty healthy, right? But unless that label also says 'whole grains' it's not necessarily going to be the healthiest bread choice you could make," Heller says. Likewise, she says many folks think that eating a can of vegetable soup is as nutritious as downing a plateful of veggies -- not realizing how few vegetables are inside, and how much of the nutrients are lost in processing.
Another common mistake: Substituting fruit juices for whole fruits. "Are fruit juices healthier than soda? Yes. But they are also concentrated sources of sugar that don't give you anywhere near the same level of nutrients you get from whole fruits," says Bonnie Taub-Dix, MA, RD. What's more, says Taub-Dix, if you're trying to lose weight, you won't get the same sense of fullness from a glass of juice that you will from a piece of fruit. The solution: Whenever possible, eat whole, fresh, and unprocessed foods. Even when you eat them in smaller amounts, you're likely to get a well-rounded group of nutrients.
When buying packaged foods, put in at least as much time into reading labels and selecting products as you do when choosing a shower gel or shampoo. "Don't just assume a product is healthy -- even if it's in the health food section of the supermarket," says Heller. "You've got to read the labels."
Mistake No. 2: Being confused about carbs.
A national fascination with low-carb diets has many Americans eliminating carbohydrates from their eating plans in record "grams." But before you reconstruct your personal nutrition pyramid, there's something you should know. "There are carbs that are very, very good, and some that are less good, but your brain and body must have some carbohydrates every day," says Heller. Moreover, because complex carbohydrates (those rich in whole grains and fiber) keep you feeling full longer, they also help you to eat less -- and lose more! But eliminating this important food group isn't our only carb-related mistake. According to dietician Rachel Brandeis, MS, RD, just as troublesome is the belief that all no-carb or low-carb foods are healthy, or that you can eat them in any amount. "People have come to believe that if it has low carbs you can eat as much as you want and not gain weight," says Brandeis. "And that is simply not true." Eat enough of anything, she says, and you'll gain weight. The solution: Experts say you should never cut any food group out of your diet -- including carbohydrates. Equally important, says Heller, is to learn which carbohydrates give you the biggest bang for your nutritional buck. "It's a lot harder to fail when you are including carbohydrates like fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains in your diet," says Heller.
Mistake No. 3: Eating too much.
Whether you're filling your plate with low-fat, low-carb, or even healthy, nutritionally balanced foods, overestimating how much food your body needs is among the most common mistakes, experts say. "Many people believe they should feel not just satisfied after a meal, but stuffed," says Heller. "I think many of us have lost touch with the sensation of having had enough food." Adds Taub-Dix: "People also tend to believe that they can eat larger portions if all the food on their plate meets the guidelines of their current diet -- such as low-carb or low-fat -- and that, of course, is also not true." The solution: Remain aware of portion sizes. Weigh and measure standard portions, at least at first, so you'll know what the amounts should look like. And, says Brandeis, "never use restaurant portions as your guide -- they super-size everything."
Mistake No. 4: Not eating enough -- or often enough.
While overeating and undereating may seem like contradictory nutrition mistakes, they are related. "If you don't eat at regular intervals throughout the day, you risk disrupting your blood sugar and insulin levels, which in the end can promote fat storage and lower your metabolism -- both of which lead to weight gain," Brandeis says. The solution: Eat something every four hours and never let yourself "starve" from one meal to the next, Brandeis says.
Mistake No. 5: Taking too many supplements.
"People tend to forget that a vitamin pill is a supplement -- it's meant to complement your diet, not act as a stand-in for the foods you don't eat," says Heller. What's more, she says, taking too many vitamins can end up sabotaging your good health. "Every vitamin and mineral and phytochemical in our body works in connection with one another, and it's easy to knock that balance off if you are taking high doses of single nutrients, or even groups of nutrients," says Heller. Bradeis cautions that any diet plan that claims you must take a high-potency supplement to meet your nutritional needs should send up a red flag. "It means that eating plan is not healthy," says Brandeis, "and it also means you are going to miss out on the natural health effects that can only come from whole foods -- including not only helping you to feel fuller longer, but also preventing cellular breakdowns important to preventing disease." The solution: Both experts recommend taking no more than one all-purpose multivitamin daily. Don't supplement your diet with individual nutrients without the guidance of your doctor, nutritionist, or other health expert. Keep in mind that the sales clerk in the health food store is usually not a health expert.
Mistake No. 6: Excluding exercise.
While most folks believe nutrition is all about food, Brandeis says it's also about how your body uses food -- and that's where regular exercise comes in. "Without adequate exercise, you cannot maintain a high enough metabolic rate to burn your food efficiently," says Brandeis. "A pill can't do that for you; foods alone can't do that for you. Exercise is the only way to achieve it." The solution: Make exercise a regular part of your life. And don't get hung up if you can't do it at the same time every day. If you miss your routine in the morning, don't wait until the next day and try to do twice as much. Instead, try to fit in some exercise -- even if it's just a little bit -- every day, says Taub-Dix.
Mistake No. 7: Believing everything you read about nutrition and weight loss.
"Just because someone writes a diet book or a nutrition guide does not mean they are an expert," cautions Brandeis. If you're turning to a book for guidance, she says, "look to the author's credentials and ask yourself: Is this person a dietician; do they have an advanced degree in nutrition? Or are you buying this book because it's written by a celebrity who you think looks good?" Even if an "expert" is behind your nutrition or diet plan, Brandeis says, it's important to make sure the plan is based on solid research. "Has the plan been tried on 20 people or 200 people? Have the results been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal -- or is it based solely on anecdotal reports? These are things that I fear many people don't pay attention to before paying attention to what is being said -- and that is a huge mistake," says Brandeis. Perhaps even more important: Experts say there is no one diet or nutrition plan that is right for every person. Brandeis tells WebMD that dieters need to stop blaming themselves when a plan doesn't work for them. It's not them, she says. It may not even be the plan. "It's just not the correct match," she says. The solution: Before following a particular diet or nutrition plan, check the credentials of the author or creator. Look for plans that are backed up by published medical data, and supported by the opinions of many experts in the field.
Submitted by: Maria Albus