Tag Archives: Health

Diet…is a four letter word

Diet is a four letter word…yes I know it is literally a four letter word.  However, when I usually think of four letter words I think of the ones that I don’t say in front of my mother and the ones I try not to say when I am cut off in traffic.   Sometimes the word Diet is said with such contempt that it carries the same weight as profanity.  As many times as individuals have tried and failed at dieting it is no wonder the word carries such negative connotations.

If you have stopped by over the past few weeks you have probably read a post or two on my new eating regime.  I refuse to call it a diet…diets conjure up mostly negative thoughts.  Thoughts of things I will have to give up or go with out.  The biggest negative that comes to mind when I think of dieting is that I must admit that I am not in control.  I have to admit that I have gained weight and I am out of shape.  (Hey, pear is a shape!)

If you google diet you will get 575,000,000 results; everything from diet plans, pills,  recipes and tips.  WebMD.com lists the facts on the most popular diets so you can decide which one is best for you.  There are at least 90 popular diets listed on their website. 

My husband and I are on this journey together and we talk entirely too much about what we are going to eat.  However, in order to eat right, that is eat foods that are good for us, it takes planning.  We must discuss the weekly meal plan, look up recipes, find alternative ingredients to stay on our chosen eating plan of low to no sugar. 

Foods that are easy to prepare or are quick fix meals usually are packed with plenty of empty calories. Oh but they do make the taste buds dance and sing.  However, these empty calories are the reason Americans, this one included, are overweight!

I have read more articles, followed more tweeters and liked more Facebook pages in the past 3 weeks on healthy eating than I have read in my entire life.  It is no wonder the health and fitness industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. 

I especially enjoy reading the articles that go against the grain.  The ones that offer up tips on breaking the rules or articles that suggest a few sneaky tricks that can help shed the pounds with just a minor adjustment in your eating plan or your exercise routine. 

Recently on Shine, the Yahoo on-line community for women,  posted under the Healthy Living tab just such an article.  To read it in its entirety and see the visuals follow this link or for the condensed version.

Here you go, the meat and potatoes, the cookies on the bottom shelf, everything in a nutshell…ok, enough of the food references.  Here is the readers digest version:

  • Limit your liquids to herbal tea and water only. Drinking even light juices or diet coke will still pack on pounds over time, says Borden. If you need a sweet fix, eat your fruit, don’t drink it. You’ll get more fiber and less sugar that way.

  • Eat with chopsticks. “People who use chopsticks tend to eat way less and get fuller quicker because it takes longer to eat — [chopsticks] slow you down,” says Borden. This is one of the biggest rules of thumb when it comes to eating right. If you eat too fast your body doesn’t register that it’s full, so you’ll keep eating unnecessary calories.
  • Take your workout to work. No time to exercise before or after work? Burn a few calories during your lunch hour instead. Borden likes the virtual jump rope for this purpose (try Airope Original, 34.95). It’s easy to tote, you won’t whip any colleagues, and two simple minutes of jumping will get you out of your chair and help to burn a few calories. Bonus: It’ll give your back a much-needed break from hunching (and hurting), she says.
  • Avoid low-fat diets. “Fat is your friend, it will help you get fewer calories cravings,” says Borden. Find good-for-you fats in avocado, olive oil and fish.
  • Do an activity that jumpstarts your lymphatic system, says Borden, like running, jump rope, and rebounding (jumping on a mini trampoline). These activities boost your circulation to help release built-up toxins, which in turn speeds up your metabolism. And you know what that means: More calories burned without any extra effort.
  • Sprinkle on the cinnamon. Flavoring your oatmeal, cereal, coffee — you name it — with cinnamon may actually control the insulin spikes that often occur after you eat, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture finding. These spikes can make you feel hungry, which isn’t exactly ideal if you’re trying to cut calories.
  • Avoid creamy foods. Example: Dairy or creamy dressings like ranch have more unhealthy fats and are harder to digest than olive oil-based fats found in vinaigrette-like dressings.
  • Add more weight to your weight-training workout. It’s a myth that women “shouldn’t lift more than three pounds,” says Borden. “The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be,” she adds. So, don’t be afraid to pile on the pounds (to your weight room routine, that is) and don’t worry, contrary to popular belief, it’s actually hard to add bulk. If you can do 15 reps of an exercise easily, add more weight until your last rep is an effort, she says.

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Filed under All Things Foodie, postaweek2011

Tweets 2 hlp U stick 2 ur diet…

Image found @ Planet Sonia Blog

Words to Live by...

As my healthy food choice journey continues I have found very helpful and encouraging tweeters to follow.  The tweets I am sharing are the actual thread that was posted on my twitter timeline this past week with the links in tact. 
 
There is really something to say about 140 characters or less…little bitesize morsels filled with yummy goodness. 
 
A few have made me smile, a couple have been encouraging and several have given me helpful tips just when I needed them. 
 
Dave ZinczenkoDaveZinczenkoDave Zinczenko  EAT RIGHT RULE: The word “muffin” was invented so people wouldn’t feel guilty about eating cake for breakfast.
 
Eat This, Not That! EatThisNotThatEat This, Not That!  EAT EGGS: Folks who eat more protein-based calories burn 71 more calories a day, study says! 6 Foods to Flatten Your Abs: http://ow.ly/5tNP6
 
Dave ZinczenkoDaveZinczenkoDave Zinczenko  DOUBLE YOUR DIGESTION: Chewing gum settles your gut by creating more natural bicarbonate, which helps stomach-acid flow
 
Dave ZinczenkoDaveZinczenkoDave Zinczenko  WAIT IT OUT: Most temptations last about 20 minutes–the time it takes for serotonin to bounce back and kill the urge.
 
Eat This, Not That!EatThisNotThatEat This, Not That!  Opt for 1% milk. Some of milk’s nutrients are fat-soluble, so a touch of fat helps you absorb the benefits!
 
Eat This, Not That!EatThisNotThatEat This, Not That!  Love granola? Avoid the sugar attack. Eat Kashi GoLean Crisp! Toasted Berry Crumble instead! Best Supermarket Breakfasts: http://ow.ly/5uK1J
 
Dave ZinczenkoDaveZinczenkoDave Zinczenko HEALTH MYTH: Though we spend more on food labeled “natural”, it usually means nothing. (Tornadoes are natural, too.)
 
Eat This, Not That!EatThisNotThatEat This, Not That!  PERFECT TRAIL MIX: 2 c mixed nuts + 1 c raisins + 1 c chopped dried apricots + 1/2 c sunflower seeds!
 
Eat This, Not That!EatThisNotThatEat This, Not That!  Eating a high-protein, high-fat snack can boost your calorie burn for up to 3.5 hours! We like almonds. 15 Superfoods: http://ow.ly/5uMuo
 
Julie NewNewJulieJulie New  Discover the benefits of Good Nutrition… control your weight. Eat More Often, Lose More Weight! http://t.co/WFblikC
 
SHAPE magazineShape_MagazineSHAPE magazine  Half a cup of cucumbers has just 8 calories. We love dipping them in salsa. Crispy, crunchy, spicy, guilt-free. http://ow.ly/5kntd @FitSugar
 
Keri GanskerigansKeri Gans stop thinking about all the foods u shouldn’t b eating & start thinking about the foods u should :) #positivethinking

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Filed under Life..such as it is, postaweek2011

pull up a chair…no robes, no chanting, no incense required

 

Lately I have been feeling as though my mind has gone on vacation and it forgot to take my body along for the ride.  I am not sad or depressed I just lack focus. I sit at my desk and stare at the computer screen and nothing happens.  I look at the stack of papers on my desk and I can’t decide what to do with them. 

What is my problem?  Could it be that my mind is so filled with clutter or could it be a lack of inspiration?  Maybe it’s the fact that I will turn 50 on my upcoming birthday and I am in denial and the best way to deal with that is by zoning out.  Or do I hear you screaming at the computer screen “it’s menopause!” (Say it ain’t so Joe)

Whatever it is…Its time for a change…

I think what I need is to carve out some time for meditation…extreme quite time, controlled breathing and a clear mind. 

Meditation was once considered extremely flakey, practiced by hippies in incense filled rooms.  It is now being used by the military, corporate america, students and patients. 

Meditation can help control your heart rate, breathing and relaxation. 

Health care providers are increasingly suggesting that patients use meditation to improve their health. 

Here’s how:

  • Find a comfortable seat.
  • Just breathe!
  • When your mind wonders as it will just gently return to your breathing.

Carving out 30 minutes a day will reduce your blood pressure, boost your self-confidence and make you a nicer person.  Now who couldn’t use a little bit more nice in their life? 

No Robes, no chanting, no incense, no fees or mats and no religious groups required.  Just breathe!

Google image

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Filed under encouragment, Life..such as it is, postaweek2011

Take care…not to lose your mind

How is your mental health?  Caring for your mental health is as important as caring for your physical health.  If you are sick your mental state can be affected by feelings of discouragement, listlessness or unhappiness.  On the other hand your mental health can affect how you function physically.  If you are worried, tired or depressed your body can begin to show signs of aches, pains and ultimately illness. 

Everyone encounters stress and/or anxiety at some point in their daily life.  Knowing how to deal with it is the key to maintaining good emotional and physical health. 

Taking time off to relax and re-charge your battery is essential to maintaining good health.  You should arrange time away from your job, housework, little league commitments or whatever is cluttering up your life.  Try unplugging your laptop and turning off your phone for at least a day or two.  

Time away doesn’t require an elaborate plan, an airplane flight or even an exotic destination.  It just requires a change of scenery.  Here are a few suggestions that may help you re-charge, re-focus or relocate the smile that is missing from your reflection in the mirror. 

Take a Walk…in a park you have never visited

Visit the Beach…breathe in the fresh sea air

Take a Ride…in the country or on a ferry-boat 

Stop and smell the flowers…at the local garden center or nature center

Pack the car with an overnight bag, a cooler of healthy snacks.  Point your car in the general direction you want to go and head off for a quick weekend getaway. 

Take care of your mental health…The mind is a terrible thing to waste…

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Filed under encouragment, postaweek2011