Archive for the ‘nutrition’ Category

Again, a picture’s worth a thousand words!

This morning on Good Morning America: What a Fatty Meal Does to Your Insides! Yuck.

Notice that’s one fatty meal, not five!

You couldn’t have paid me enough to take that assignment!

Thanks, Anne! I think….

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Bring on the Fries!

I particularly liked the visual comparisons she used. Ouch!

Check this out: Summer Foods That Fool!

As if the calories and addictive properties weren’t bad enough!

Thanks go to my sister for this little tip!

Best fast food nutrition guide EVER!

I tend to be pretty down on fast food chains — even those that are only semi-fast food — in terms of providing customers with good nutrition information.

The other day, however, I was heading to Boloco’s and I just happened to check on-line to see whether they had nutritional information available. Unlike other comparable restaurants that have a static pdf (which, granted, is 3,000 times better than those that have nothing) Boloco offers an interactive nutrition guide. The nutrient values change as you decide what kind of wrap you want, the size, whether its on whole wheat, spinach or white, or if you’d like chicken (dark or white meat), beef, or tofu! Whether you want broccoli, carrots, or even cilantro.

It’s great!

If you have a Boloco near you, I recommend you check it out before heading off to lunch! And if you don’t have a Boloco near you, you should check it out anyway, just because it’s so friggin’ cool! If nothing else, you’ll see how quickly calories multiply when moving something from a regular to a large!

Good job, Boloco! You guys are definitely on the lunch list!

Rainbowfy your food!

I’d been looking for an article on this very topic and low and behold — I find one written by one of my favorite former students. Check it out here! Thanks, Diane!

Another reason to eat quinoa

In addition to being delicious in soups and stews, it apparently also fights cancer as well: check it out!

Jillian Michael’s Time Interview

Some interesting tips in here! Enjoy!

Sugar Stacks — a visualization of the amount of sugar in a variety of foods

This jewel came from Meg! Thanks!

I wonder if there is a sister site for what the 40 grams of fat in your typical Whopper really looks like? If not, there should be!

Another List of “Superfoods” That Help You Lose Weight!

Luckily there is quite a bit of overlap with the previous list I posted!

I try to avoid — or at least to seriously reduce– dairy, for reasons I will explain later; however, this list is a little more inclusive for those people who just can’t seem to (or want to) kick the milk habit.

I was actually glad to see item number one, as it just so happens to be on the menu for Sunday night!

This tip, by the way, came via my sister! Thanks!

Another great tip from my colleague!

Check this out! My colleague — one of the ones with whom I routinely talk food — sent this to me after I sat through the faculty luncheon scarfing down beets! It’s amazing; I used to hate beets when I was a kid, but they are currently one of my favorite foods. I think the sugar in them helps stave off my cravings for less healthy sweets!

I’m actually doing pretty good according to this particular list of healthy food. I routinely eat beets, I love cinnamon, and I drink goji and pomegranate juice every morning. I also use blueberries frequently in smoothies, I often put turmeric in when I cook Indian food at home, and make a mean vegetarian white bean and cabbage soup!

How did you do?

Super Foods

In addition to the daily breathing and guiding my thoughts to focus on my successes rather than my failures, I have also started consuming the so-called Super Foods. In the morning, I drink a shot glass full of Acai Juice Cocktail that also contains the juice from pomegranates and blueberries. It’s a really strong, juicy drink, full of antioxidants.

Then, in the afternoon, I usually mix 2 Tablespoons of Super Food (either all greens or, sometimes, greens and berry) in cold water. I am currently using Garden of Life’s Perfect Food or, better yet, their Perfect Food Berry. Again, I find that in addition to the reported health benefits of consuming wheat and/or barley grass, a glass of Perfect Food helps to stave off cravings between meals.

When I was dieting before, I never used supplements. Vitamins, yes; but supplements, no. I always figured that if I was eating healthily, I could get the nutrients that I need.

I actually do think I get the nutrients that I need from my diet. However, the additional supplements make it easier to not over eat. They also shift my cravings away from junk food towards fresh fruits and vegetables. Not only do I get the benefits of more antioxidant rich foods in my diet (which have been linked to all sorts of bodily processes) I also get an amazingly effective appetite suppressant.

Today I was sitting in a talk with my bottle of cold water and Perfect Food; if you haven’t seen this stuff, it comes out bright green. Truly, it looks disgusting.

My colleague says, “What’s in the bottle?”

And I tell her.

“So, what does that taste like?” she all but sneers, “Grass?”

I’m not going to lie, the first time I tried it, it was ugly. In addition to thinking that it did, indeed, taste like grass, I just couldn’t stand the color. Because I was committed to incorporating it into my diet, I began mixing it it in an old Udo’s 3-6-9 jar, which just happens to be made from dark brown glass. I couldn’t handle the green, so putting it in a brown jar that hid the color and allowed me to really shake it up for better mixing was, literally, just what the doctor ordered. Even with the color sorted out, I still didn’t like the taste. However, by the time day three rolled around, I thought it tasted great! In fact, I was craving it. The thing about Perfect Food (and other similar brands) is that it changes the chemistry of your body from being essentially acidic to alkaline (or non-acidic). Trust me, there are several reasons why you want an alkaline system, not the least is the fact that it makes you crave alkalizing foods and makes highly acidic food, such as wine, largely unappealing! Additionally, it encourages your body to stop storing excess fat — always a plus!

Anyway, I know people who wouldn’t touch wheatgrass or barley grass with a ten foot pole! But I remember taking my first sip of red wine — or coffee for that matter — and both were 10 times more unpleasant on first pass then my Perfect Food stuff (especially once I could no longer see it)! But eventually, I kept drinking the wine and the coffee until they began to taste better and it was finally safe to say that they were two of my favorite beverages.

Did my tastes just become more mature? Maybe. Or was it that my system grew increasingly acidic and began to crave other (or more) highly acidic things. Most likely.

Look over the list of alkaline and acid food and see which side best describes the current state of the diet. If the majority of your food is highly acidic, I highly recommend making more alkaline choices and finding a nice brown bottle with a lid that closes. I swear, after the third try, you’ll love it! And chances are you’ll feel better not only physically, but also about the choices that you’re making about food!

p.s. My first introduction to wheatgrass/barley grass was Odwalla’s Super Food. It’s also green, but somehow extremely palatable. It’s also widely available and it a great thing to have in airports when you’re traveling! I admit, it is expensive, but, then again, most everything when you’re traveling is. The only reason I don’t drink it at home on a regular basis is the calories.

Product Recommendation – Food

I love bread, no doubt about it. My latest discovery is Joseph’s Multigrain Lavash Bread with Flax! Yum! The entire sheet is 100 calories; it’s not only a good source of your Omega 3 Oils, it’s also a great source of fiber and protein! And if you’re counting carbs, either for diet or controlling diabetes, it’s only 4 grams of net carbs!

I typically use them as wraps–filling them with hummus and salad or just simply toasting them as a base for hummus or baba ghanoush!

I also took one to a street vendor the other day (who only had white pita) and asked him fill it up with hummus, shredded vegetables, and falafal! It was heavenly!

And, embarrassingly, when I’m really hungry, I’ll just tear them into strips and eat them straight out of the bag!

This company also makes pita bread: 60 calories for the whole loaf. They are a little on the thin side, but they are great lightly toasted!

I’ve found these particular wraps at BJ’s, and I’ve heard rumors that you can get them at Wal-Mart Super Centers, but the last time I got some, I ordered them on-line from Netrition. They arrived in a day and were still cool! They have a really long shelf life, especially if kept in the fridge! I think it’s up to 8 weeks or something crazy like that.

And if that’s not versatile enough for you, some guy has posted a recipe using them to make cereal!

Time for lunch!

My influences on Issues of Diet

As I always tell my students, it’s best to be honest about your biases up front. The strategies and approaches that I have adopted regarding health and fitness come from a variety of sources. For instance, a lot of the more cognitive based strategies, as well as some of the dietary practices come from my experiences of attending Tony Robbins events and listening to his audio program, The Body You Deserve. Additionally, I have been influenced by the book, Fit for Life by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond; unknown to me at the time, Robbins used to work with the Diamonds, so it’s little wonder that both approaches seem to resonate for me! Similarly, I also was drawn to the book, Skinny Bitch, by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. Ironically, Freedman and Barnouin had also spent their fair share of time at Robbins seminars. In fact, the book is dedicated to him. Although I originally picked up because of the title, it’s quite informative and amusing, if shockingly obscene language does not offend you that is! And last, but certainly not least, I have been influenced by my 90-pound-weight-loss-year on Weight Watchers, my 20 years of pseudo-maintenance, and my decade of vegetarianism.

The things I share, here, are the things that work for me; feel free to take some and leave the rest. Also feel free to send me your own winning strategies. As I hope the above has illustrated, I’m not a purist. One of the keys to success is to keep trying until you find something that works; you can’t just give up because the first thing you tried isn’t, or stops, working! So send them on!

A Salad a Day….

One of my favorite classic movies is Sidney Poitier’s, “To Sir with Love.” Ironically, the one scene that has remained most poignant for me is not Lulu’s delightful rendering of the title in dulcet tones, but rather when “Sir” teaches his students about making salads. He says something along the lines of, if you’re like most Brits, your idea of a salad is a little lettuce (he throws a wilted head of lettuce into a large bowl), a little tomato (which he tosses in carelessly), and a little mayonnaise. He then mixes it all up with wooden spoons. Yuck!

Once his class stops laughing, he then shows them how to make a real salad–one with greens, fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc.

Growing up, I did not like to eat salads at home. Although they were several steps above Sir’s rendition, they weren’t particularly inspiring. But more to the point, I just didn’t like making them before every meal. Essentially, I was lazy.

Since then, however, I have developed a great fondness for salads–eating them and making them. In fact, I tend to eat salad–that I make myself–at least once a day.

So what happened? One day one of my colleagues asks, “Would anyone like a salad spinner? I realized the other day that I have two.” Bingo. If you don’t have salad spinner and you like salads, get one! You don’t know what you’re missing.

Salad spinners are revolutionary, because if you use it correctly (that is, you repeat two or three times, making sure that you empty the water out of the bowl between spins!), you can get nearly all of the moisture out of your ingredients. When you get the water out, the salad stays good! Now, instead of making a salad before every meal, I only have to make one big salad on the weekend and another on Wednesday. It’s wonderful. Typically, I start with a spinach base and add whole grape tomatoes, yellow bell pepper, quartered baby carrots, and broccoli. I also keep mushrooms in the refrigerator to be added to my individual salads (Michael can’t stand them), as well as sliced cucumber or sprouts.

The reason you don’t put the cucumber and the sprouts in the salad is because the water content is too high and it makes your spinach (which lasts longer and has more nutrients than lettuce) get all gooey. That’s also why you use whole grape tomatoes instead of tomatoes that have been chopped.

Neither one of us use salad dressing; instead, we spritz on the juice of a fresh lemon! Yum. It’s easy, fast, delicious, and good for you. What more could you want?

Fit, Fit, Fit, Fit, Fun!

I recently attended a small workshop with the lovely, vibrant fitness expert, Sonni Tallant. Although she shared a number of tips with us–including how to change our emotional state on the count of three–the one that has really stuck for me is the “fit-fit-fit-fit-fun!” nutrition guideline.

Just in case it’s not obvious, the “fits” and the “fun” refer to the quality of the food that you need to eat in order to maximize health (including weight loss if you’re heavy and weight maintenance if you’re not). According to her model, 80% of what you eat should be good for you (or fit foods), whereas the other 20% should be fun. Fun, of course, is a matter of taste.

This approach to eating seems a little more forgivable and sustainable than programs that cut all of one thing (say fat) or all of another thing (say carbs).

It’s also easy to remember: fit, fit, fit, fit, fun!

80% fit (which includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, etc.) and 20% fun (which can include steak, fish, an ice cream sundae, or, if you’re lucky, more fruit, vegetables and whole grains). I happen to think most fruits are heavenly, but, then again, I also happen love brussels sprouts!

Anyway, give it a try. All you need to remember are the proper proportions (fit, fit, fit, fit, fun) and have more than a passing awareness of what you’re putting in your mouth!

Water – How Much is Enough?

The conventional wisdom on how much water you need to be healthy and hydrated is 8 cups (or 64 ounces) a day. But it’s important to note that that’s for the average person. Think about it, wouldn’t it make sense that someone who weighs 120 pounds would probably need to drink less water than someone who weighs 220 pounds? If you think yes, you’re right. Basically, you should drink 1/2 of your weight everyday in ounces. If you weigh 120 pounds, that means you need to drink at least 60 ounces of water a day. If you weigh 220 pounds, you need 110 ounces a day! Big difference.

The good news is that herbal tea (not decaf tea) can count towards your daily water intake. You can also add flavors to your water, such as a splash of lime, lemon, raspberry, mint, or even cucumber! And the jury is now out (again) on whether carbonated water actually leeches calcium.

The bad news, however, is that soda, alcohol, caffeinated beverages (and even decaffeinated beverages) actually dehydrate you!

So, figure out what you weigh, do a couple of quick calculations, and drink up!

Note: according to some scientists/nutritionists, drinking cold water actually burns more calories than warm water, as your body has to work harder to warm it up!

Spiru-tein Shakes

One of my daily staples is Spiru-tein. Spiru-tein is a soy based powder that you can get at any health food store or on-line vitamin house. Depending on the flavor, the powder has approximately 100 calories per serving. I blend it up with two trays of ice, a banana, and a cup of soy milk (usually chocolate or vanilla). Yum! In total it yields you about 24 grams of protein in the form of something that looks and tastes suspiciously like a milk shake! When I’m feeling truly decadent, I also throw in half a cup of frozen wild blueberries. It’s heavenly, not to mention multi-purpose. It gets me my protein and it’s close enough to the real thing that it breaks my urge for ice cream. It also contains a full regiment of vitamins, antioxidants, and amino acids. My current favorite, made with Chocolate Silk, cookies and cream spiru-tein, bananas, AND blueberries makes a great breakfast for under 400 calories. And sometimes, depending on how much time I spent at the gym, they also make a wonderful dessert. So although you’re eating more calories, the quality of those calories are better than any you’d get out of a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. Further, your shake will yield approximately 32 ounces! When’s the last time you sat down and ate a quart of Ben and Jerry’s for less than 400 calories?

Caveat: While Spriu-tein comes in a variety of flavors, I would avoid anything that has fruit in the title, such as Blueberries and Cream, Strawberry Shortcake, or Peaches and Cream. I’m not sure what it is about the fruit flavors, but the taste is funky and the smell is even worse.

Having said that, the vanilla, the chocolate, the chocolate peanut butter swirl, and the cookies and cream are stellar. The Double Fudge (if you can find it) is also quite tasty.