Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘HEALTHY EATING’ Category

September is Healthy Aging Month. Don’t let this month end without assessing how healthy you are, especially if you are over the age of 50. Regardless of your current age, all of us want to remain as healthy as possible. Yet, the aging process may start much earlier than we think. Our minds and bodies don’t wait until we’re 70 or 60 or even 50. Aging begins by the age of 30. How fast we age depends on the reaction of the cells within our bodies. Even our body organs age at different rates.

Many factors influence the aging process such as heredity, lifestyle choices, habits, environment, and disease conditions. We can’t change some things, like heredity. However, one major aspect of aging we can control is the food we put into our bodies. Whether normal aging changes in vision, hearing, taste, and bones and organs or some disease condition such as diabetes, metabolic disorders, heart disease, or numerous other maladies, food can play a role in how rapidly cells deteriorate.

The recommended diet for the aging is similar to a healthy diet for all adults. According to the 2020 Dietary Guidelines, older adults as a group tend to have healthier eating habits than other age groups. However, based on the Healthy Eating Index, older adults scored 63 out of 100 which leaves a lot of room for improvement. Recommendations for a healthy diet include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, and adequate amounts of protein foods. Nutrient intake hampered by insufficient amounts of these food categories include calcium, vitamin D, potassium, and dietary fiber. Because of the decreased ability to absorb B12, older adults are encouraged to consume protein foods, a major source, and foods fortified with B12 such as cereals.

Healthy Food, Healthy Eating, Dietetic, Food, Fruit

The following dietary suggestions can help to maintain and improve health. Unless otherwise indicated, these are listed as serving per day. For those with a healthy BMI, the number of servings is based on daily recommended calories starting at 1,600 calories for women and ranging to 2,600 calories for men. Greater diet improvement occurs when limiting added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium. For fruits and vegetables, ½ cup cooked or 1 cup raw is considered a serving.

  1. Fruits: Choose a variety of 3 to 4 each day. Blueberries and strawberries contain antioxidants which enhance memory and brain health, help prevent cancer, heart disease, and dementia, and boost the immune system.
  2. Vegetables: Eat 4 to 6 serving a day based on the following.
    • Dark green – 3 to 4 servings weekly (kale, spinach, etc.)
    • Red or orange – 8 to 12 servings weekly (sweet potatoes, winter squash, etc.)
    • Beans/legumes – 2 to 4 servings weekly (pintos, dried lima beans, etc.)
    • Starchy – 8 to 12 servings weekly (white potatoes, corn, etc.)
    • Other vegetables – 7 to 10 (a variety of vegetables not included in the above categories)
  3. Grains: Select 10 to 16 ounces with half of selections from whole grains.
  4. Dairy: Consume 6 cups milk or the equivalent per day, preferably low-fat. Choose milk, cheese, yogurt, or other forms of dairy.
  5. Protein foods: Include 10 to 13 ounces daily. Select from meats, poultry, and eggs; seafood; nuts, seeds, and soy products.

In addition to appropriate foods, conditions to assist in healthy eating include; a pleasant environment to enhance meal enjoyment, good dentition and the ability to swallow, and consuming food that is safe and wholesome.

While food plays a significant role in healthy aging, other considerations include (but are not limited to):

Senior man and senior woman jogging side by side on the street Couple of seniors jogging outdoors in the city Exercising Stock Photo
  • Adequate exercise: Depending on current physical abilities, walking and other exercises help our bodies retain flexibility and prevent stiffness as well as lethargy. Advancing years may slow our pace, but exercise, like appropriate eating, is a lifetime function.
  • Plenty of sleep: Our bodies rebel when we fail to get adequate sleep. While rest may be disturbed by pain or health issues, talk with your health professional for help and suggestions.
  • Socializing: Staying secluded is more likely to result in psychological problems. When we have little to focus on other than ourselves, depression is more likely to set it. It’s important to retain friends and leave your dwelling when possible.
  • Stimulating your mind: Many avenues exist to stimulate your mind and memory. Whether you choose a favorite game, read, or start a new hobby, the challenge can be rewarding. Many older adults return to the classroom to expand their knowledge while also improving their brain cells.
  • Counting your blessings: A negative attitude helps no one. Whatever our age, we are blessed to reach that chronological age. A scripture verse I find helpful is, “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps.118:24 NRSV). Try it

Although there is no guarantee we will live a long life, these guidelines can help. As Spock (Leonard Nimoy in Star Trek) said, “Live long and prosper.” Don’t wait a day longer. Start now. Happy, healthy aging.

Old, Youth, Contrast, Young, Power

Read Full Post »

Before June slips away, don’t forget it is National Dairy Month. Milk has been considered a wholesome beverage for many years, and studies continue to confirm the nutritional value of dairy in the diet.

ACME Markets June Dairy Month Sweepstakes 2021 | SweepstakesBible

Milk contains 13 known nutrients. Foods providing from 10 to 19 percent of the Daily Value (DV) of needed nutrients in a food serving are considered as good or excellent sources. At 20 percent DV or above, excellent nutritional sources include calcium, phosphorus, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, iodine (60 percent DV), and B12 (50 percent DV). At 16 percent, milk has remained a major contributor of protein for many years. Milk is also a good source of vitamin D— fortified with 400 I.U. per quart—Vitamin A, niacin, zinc, selenium, and potassium.

Who drinks dairy milk? Consumption of dairy is more prevalent among those over the age of 55. More than 80 percent of this age group consume milk several times a week while those age 18-34 are prone to choose nondairy sources (67 percent). Half of those over age 55 never consume nondairy milks compared to less than 8 percent of those age 18-34.

Nutrients Milk Stock Illustrations – 424 Nutrients Milk Stock  Illustrations, Vectors & Clipart - Dreamstime

What about the fat in milk? In spite of numerous nutrients, many associate the cholesterol content as bad for health. In recent studies, milk fat was found to lower LDL and HDL levels. Those who regularly consumed milk had a 14 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease. More studies are needed to confirm the impact on heart health. One thing did not change. Those who consumed more milk also had a higher BMI (body mass index) indicting an association between milk and weight gain. Researchers did not differentiate between regular milk with higher fat content and dairy milk with less fat content.

Consumers can choose from a variety of milks varying in fat content from whole milk (meaning no fat has been removed) to skim milk with negligible traces of fat. Whole milk has about 3.6 percent butter fat, depending on the type of cows producing it. For 2 percent milk and those with less butterfat, calories are reduced along with fat content. In other words, the less the fat, the lower the calorie count.

Regardless, milk is a wholesome addition to the diet. Few if any foods can compete with the quality nutrients dairy milk provides. Make milk a regular part of your diet if you haven’t already. It’s good for you.

Dairy groups applaud new dietary guidelines but Physicians Committee slams  'racially tinged promotion of dairy products'

Read Full Post »

To say the pandemic of 2020 took a toll on our normal lives is an understatement. Routines were wrecked, and we may have had too much time without any foreseeable outlet. With many families now at home, the pitter-patter of little or big feet may have halted peace and quiet.

Corona, Coronavirus, Virus, Blood, Plasma, Blood Plasma

Each of us had different experiences, but one common factor for many was unwanted weight gain. Already a national pandemic by itself, weight gain exacerbated problems. Nearly 70 percent of the US population is overweight. About half of those are obese. Obesity, an underlying factor in many diseases, now has Covid-19 added to the list. Those with excessive weight, especially if plagued with other serious health conditions, are much more vulnerable to contracting Covid-19.

Scale Clipart Weight Loss - Scales And Tape Measure , Transparent Cartoon,  Free Cliparts & Silhouettes - NetClipart

Research published by JAMA Network Open found that in early months of the pandemic, many gained an average of 1.5 to 2 pounds per month. That adds up in a hurry. The Annals of Internal Medicine reported on the perils of restricted activities. With lost paychecks and concerns about how to afford the next meal, thoughts of exercise faded away. Not everyone had space to make a walking track through their household to help maintain step counts.

However, limited space is only one aspect for weight gain. Many became discouraged, depressed, and lonely—not good motivators for exercise or losing weight. Just getting out of bed may have proved a challenge, not to mention the shear obsession of becoming Covid-19’s next victim. Problems experienced during lock-down affected us differently. Many on the road to a healthful weight slipped into former overeating patterns. In times of stress, many regressed to less healthy foods, whatever those might be. Snacks became more prevalent and less nutritious. Some filled extra time with excessive eating or indulgences in larger portions sizes.

The question is, “What can we do?” Now that many venues have reopened, perhaps we can return to at least some normal activities. Whatever the cause, we can start over. Here are a few guidelines to help.

To Do List Royalty Free Cliparts, Vectors, And Stock Illustration. Image  12157386.
  • Assess where you have strayed from healthy eating and analyze the exact reasons why.
  • Determine ways to cope with problems you can’t change.
  • Seek ways to change the circumstances you can control that interfere with good food choices.
  • Set tentative goals. The sun still comes up even if you miss your mark. Try again. However, indifference pushes you farther from where you want and need to be.
  • Set a specific time frame to assess your progress.
  • Find a partner if possible, even if you can’t encourage each other in person. Just sharing difficulties, frustrations, and successes can help.
  • Get back on track. Covid-19 changed our world, but it doesn’t have to define us. Whatever the unpleasant and hurtful experiences, focus on ways to move forward instead of dwelling on the negative past.

You are worth it. You can do it.

Covid-19, Coronavirus, Sars-Cov-2, Virus, Stamp, China

Additional help for confronting unhealthy weight and other issues.

Read Full Post »

So, what did we do on those cold winter days with many of us stranded because of weather conditions or the lingering pandemic? Did this time call for stuffing more food into our mouths with hope that all the chaos —whatever that was in our lives—would go away? Or maybe a case of blues bordering on depression caused us to stop eating or to eat too much?      

Whether or not we read the latest nutrition or diet news, most of us would like to eat healthier, and many of us would love to lose five pounds or more. Sometimes we don’t know if special diets are good or bad. Compilations from experts, such as those selected by US News and World Report, give a rundown of the best and worst diets for our health. In the last blog, we looked at diets considered the healthiest. The news panel ranked 39 diets for losing weight as well as for other health conditions such as heart health, diabetes, and others.

Fad Diets HD Stock Images | Shutterstock

Lowest Ranking Weight-Loss Diets3

Of diets assessed, those related to specific health issues may have scored low for Best Weight-Loss Diets because they were intended for other conditions and not for weight management.

  • The Glycemic-Index (GI) diet identifies carbohydrates in foods according to their effect on blood glucose (sugar) levels. The lower the GI, the more slowly food is digested, absorbed, and metabolized. It tied with the better-known Paleo diet, touted for weight loss and healthy eating, at #32.
  • The Fertility diet (#35), as the name indicates, was never intended for weight loss. However, the panel considered it expensive, inconvenient, and labor intense. It tied with the popular Whole30 diet.
  • The AIP (Autoimmune Protocol Diet) is designed to reduce inflammation and help those with autoimmune disorders.
  • The GAPS Diet (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) is an elimination diet which tied with AIP for the two lowest ranks.       

Most weight-loss diets, good or bad, will help us lose a few pounds. However, they may be unhealthy, or they are diets structured so that they’re difficult to continue indefinitely. From the 39 evaluations of the news panel, here are the top five losers in reverse order.

  • The Fast diet (#30) mirrors a pattern of eating often referred to as the 5:2 diet: you eat normally for five days of the week and reduce calories to about one-fourth of normal intake on two nonconsecutive days of the week. The diet failed to provide guidance on healthy eating for non-fast days.
  • The Paleo diet (#32 tied with GI) has a strong following. The premise is that if the caveman didn’t eat it, neither should we. The diet is considered too limited for a healthy eating plan. It restricts refined sugar, legumes, grains, and dairy and embraces meats, fish, poultry, fruits, and vegetables.
  • The Dukan diet (#34) ranked among the lowest in several categories and last for Best Diets Overall. Proponents claim dieters lose 10 pounds the first week and 2 to 4 pounds the following week. Some question whether this is actually a weight-loss diet. The panel stated it does not work, and one went so far to call it idiotic. Rules are stringent, and the protocol is hard to follow.
  • The Whole30 diet (#35), according to the developers, is not a diet, weight-loss plan, or quick fix. It supposedly changes your life. For 30 days dieters (or life changers) restrict sugar, dairy, grains, and alcohol. This diet isn’t recommended for the faint of heart and fails to meet government standards for carbohydrates.
  • The Alkaline diet (#37) comes with lots of rules and little research. One expert panelist described it as ridiculous. The theory is, alkaline is good—acid is bad. The diet is measured by a 0 to 14 pH scale with 7.0 as neutral. The higher the number above 7.0, the more alkaline a substance. Likewise, the lower the number below 7.0, the more acidic. What we eat has little effect on blood’s normal pH of 7.35 to 7.45 (slightly alkaline). Those following this diet may have difficulty maintaining adequate protein and calcium intake, and the diet could eventually cause problems with blood pH levels.

I point out lower ranking weight-loss diets for us to realize that just because a diet is popular doesn’t make it a good choice. If you need help in losing weight, consult with a registered dietitian proficient in weight management. This is National Nutrition Month so whatever diet you choose, make sure it will be helpful and not harmful.

Read Full Post »

Fruit Free, Vegetables, Healthy, Fruits, Food

Once again, the U. S News & World Report issued rankings of the best and worst diets for 2021. Their expert panel ranked 39 diets into 9 categories including: Best Diets Overall, Best Weight Loss Diets, Best Commercial Diet Plans, Best Diabetes Diets, Best Diets for Healthy Eating, Best Fast Weight-Loss Diets, Best Heart-Healthy Diets, Best Plant-Based Diets, and Easiest Diets to Follow.

For several years, the Mediterranean Diet has ranked in the top three for best overall diet. This year not only was it #1, but it scored first in best plant-based diets and easiest diets to follow. The Mediterranean Diet also tied for first place in the best heart-healthy diets, best diabetes diets, and best diets for healthy eating. The diet has no specific eating plan. Instead, individuals choose from a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans (legumes), nuts, olive oil, fish and seafood at least twice a week, and poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt in moderation. The typical Mediterranean diet allows one glass of red wine daily for women and two for men.

The Dash diet (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension), also a top three contender for the U. S. News & World Report survey, for many years ranked #1. In 2021, it tied for second place with the Flexitarian diet. The Dash diet includes daily servings of 4 to 5 each of vegetables and fruits, 6 to 8 grains, 2 to 3 dairy products, 6 or less one-ounce servings of fish, lean meat, poultry, and 2 to 3 fats or oils. It suggests 4 to 5 servings a week of nuts, seeds, and legumes and less than 5 servings per week of sweets. Initially developed to reduce hypertension (high blood pressure), the diet recommends that healthy adults consume no more than 2,300 mg/day of sodium. The Dash diet recommends elderly or those with certain health issues refrain from consuming more than 1,500 mg of sodium/day.

Home To The Dash Diet Manual - Lenox Urban Lights Dinner Plate Clipart  (#2083932) - PinClipart

Dawn Jackson Blatner developed the Flexitarian diet, a blend of the words flexible and vegetarian. For 2021, this diet tied for first place in best weight-loss diets and best diabetes diets. It tied for second in the best overall diets, second for the best plant-base diets, and third for best diets for healthy eating and easiest diets to follow. The diet begins with a five-week meal plan for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Individuals have flexibility in substituting different foods within the same food category. Recommended calorie levels include 300 calories for breakfast, 400 calories for lunch, and 500 calories for dinner with two snacks of about 150 calories each for a total of about 1,500 calories (which for many results in weight loss). Calories can be adjusted for those needing additional calories.

In previous years, the MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet ranked in the top three for best overall diet. For 2021, it tied with the Mayo Clinic Diet for #5. The MIND diet has 10 brain-healthy food groups and 5 unhealthy food groups. Brain-healthy foods include green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, berries (especially blueberries and strawberries), nuts, beans (lentils, white beans, etc.), whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil, and red wine (optional). Foods to avoid include red meat, butter/margarine, cheeses, pastries/sweets, and fried/fast foods.

The magazine evaluated the Mayo Clinic Diabetes Diet, published in 2013 and revised in 2019, for the first time. Its purpose is to lower and stabilize blood sugar levels. Designed for people with prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes, it tied for #5 with the MIND diet in the category of best overall diets.

Any of the top-ranking diets constitute a healthy eating plan. Check the links to learn more about each diet. The year is still early, and one of the best ways to help keep your body healthy is through a wholesome diet.

Tomato Mozzarella, Mozzarella, Mozzarella Salad, Salad

A future blog will address rankings of diets on the lower end for healthy eating. These may include diets you have tried or considered for weight loss. Find out what the experts say.  

Health and Wellness Clip Art | Vector Clipart of a Green Eat Healthy Circle  with Silverware - Royalty ... | Clip art, Eat, Healthy eating

Read Full Post »

If we look back on eating patterns during the past five years, we recognize several changes in our food choices and lifestyles. Until Covid-19 came along, we ate out more and adapted to more cultural and ethnic varieties of dishes. Even prior to the pandemic, we witnessed changes in health issues related to food consumption. Research continues to confirm the relationship between health and mortality. People who consume diets with fewer animal products have lower mortality risks. Seafood is a healthy protein choice as are the plant sources of whole grains and legumes.

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, tasked with updating the guidelines, found strong evidence of reduced risks of all-cause mortality (all deaths that occur in a population) when individuals consumed a dietary pattern higher in vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, whole grains, lean meats and seafood, appropriate dairy foods, and unsaturated vegetable oils and consumed fewer red and processed meats, saturated fatty acids and cholesterol, and beverages and foods with added sugar.

All you need for the Summer 2020 Healthy Diet Plan - BBC Good Food

Many consumers have come to believe plant-based diets are healthier, and that is true when compared to diets higher in food components that increase mortality rates. Sales of plant-based foods increased 11.4 percent in 2019. Plant-based meat sales increased 18 percent, and 45 percent of consumers felt plant-based meat was healthier than that coming from an animal. For the first half of 2020, the sale of plant-based meat increased 148 percent compared to 2019.

The meat industry has countered by pointing out the extensive processing and addition of ingredients, such as salt, may make plant-based meats less healthy.

Guidelines for added sugar have also changed. Whereas the 2015-2020 guidelines suggested consuming no more than 10 percent of all calories from added sugars, the new guidelines lower that recommendation to no more than 6 percent. Some studies indicate that consumers prefer to cut back on consumption of added sugars rather than switch to other sweeteners.

Alcohol has little health value, and the committee notes that drinking less results in better long-term health. Millennials tend to lead the way with changes in consumption. With a decline in beer volume sales, bottled low- and no-alcohol beverages in the US are projected to increase by 32 percent by 2022. Breweries have latched on to this trend of producing nonalcoholic beverages.

Health, Disease, Stethoscope, Heart, Frequency, Rhythm

Health Impact

With the many modifications and projected changes, what are the anticipated effects on health? Chronic health conditions are more prevalent among the older population, certain racial and ethnic groups, and those with lower income levels.

Statistics for overweight and obesity continue to climb in all stages of life. On average, 42 percent of adults are obese with slightly higher levels for men than women. Independently, obesity can result in several serious health issues. Directly or indirectly, it increases the risks of obesity-related complications such as coronary heart disease, end-stage renal disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic disease, some types of cancer, and other conditions. More recent research finds that obesity impacts our immune system, thus putting the obese at greater risks of infections such as influenza and Covid-19. For influenza, obesity makes adult vaccinations more difficult and possibly less effective.

The overall highest incidence of cancer is female breast cancer followed by prostate cancer. Lung and bronchus cancer cause the highest mortality rate of any cancer. For those who drink alcohol, smaller amounts result in a lower risk of this disease and all-cause mortality compared to those who consume higher amounts. Dietary patterns recommended by the committee were generally associated with decreased risks of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality.

Based on reports of wellness and diet, we as a nation do not fare well. With so much evidence to support the ill-effects of unwise diet patterns, why do we continue to make risky choices? While the dietary guidelines provide suggestions based on scientific evidence, the choice is ours. Do we want good health, or do we prefer to choose a pattern of unhealthy eating? If the latter, then whether or not intended, we place the burden of escalating healthcare costs on others as well as ourselves.  

Read Full Post »

All Milk Is Antibiotic Free! - The Farmer's Daughter USA

June is National Dairy Month. After a campaign by grocers in 1937 to promote use of milk during summer months, June became the official “dairy month.” The Dairy Alliance, a nonprofit organization in the Southeast, works with dairy farmers and community and public groups to promote their industry, especially during the month of June. The dairy alliance points out that:

  • The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans reinforces the importance of dairy products in the diet.
  • Dairy foods contain nine essential nutrients, including three of the four nutrients typically lacking in the American diet: calcium, potassium, and vitamin D.
  • Nutrients in dairy products provide combinations of nutrients, key in reducing risks of heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
  • Cow’s milk has more potassium and almost twice as much protein as found in alternative milks. Whether skim, reduced fat, whole, organic, or inorganic, dairy contains the same amount of protein, about 1 gram per ounce (or 8 grams in 8-ounce servings). Coconut and rice milks have the lowest amount of protein among plant beverages with 0 grams, while almond has 1 gram and soy 7 grams.
  •  Most beverages made from alternative plant sources cost more and have about half the nutrients of cow’s milk.
  • Lactose is a sugar found only in milk. Lactose-reduced and lactose-free milks are available for the lactose intolerant.

The amount of fat in cow’s milk depends on whether it is skim (with minimal fat), whole (full-fat content), or somewhere in between. Coconut milk, with 4.5 grams per serving of mostly saturated fat, has the highest fat content, and soy milk contains about 4 grams per serving. Cow’s milk with one percent fat, or 2.5 grams per 8-ounce serving, has about the same amount of fat as almond and rice beverages. Research confirms that saturated fat is less healthy than unsaturated fats whether from animal or plant sources.

While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) belabors the issue of how to label and what to call plant-based alternative milks, the International Food Information Council (IFIC) believes consumers know what they are drinking. In a 2018 survey, at least 75 percent of consumers recognized whole milk, chocolate milk, non-fat, and skim milk (90%, 85%, 78%, 74% respectively) contain cow’s milk. But less than one-half understood that lactose-free milk is also from cow’s milk.

Nearly three-quarters of participants understood that plant-based “milks” do not contain any cow’s milk. Of those who bought milk, sixty-two percent purchased only diary milk while thirty-eight percent chose to purchase non-dairy milk. Consumers more likely to purchase plant alternatives lived in the western US (45%), were under forty-five years of age (43%), were people of color (48%), and were college educated (44%).

Controversy continues over naming these non-dairy products and whether they are as wholesome in the diet as cow’s milk. The FDA extended the time for consumer’s responses to these issues. Check part 2 of this topic for greater insight into what choices are best for you and your family.

Recipes to Celebrate National Dairy Month | Atkins

Read Full Post »

As a registered dietitian nutritionist, we have our own special day. Celebrate with us. Click here to learn more about the role of a dietitian nutritionist.

The theme for National Nutrition Month 2020 is “EAT RIGHT BITE BY BITE.” That’s all it takes to become a healthier you. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends actions for each week in the month of March. Check it out and give them a try.

  • Eat a variety of tasty nutritious foods.
  • Plan weekly menus.
  • Learn needed skills for preparing healthy and safe meals.
  • Check with a registered dietitian nutritionist for meals to meet your unique personal and health needs.

Make this the year when you choose more nutritious foods as you “EAT RIGHT BITE BY BITE.”

 

Read Full Post »

Here we are nearly one month into 2020. Varied surveys rank weight loss or healthy eating near the top of new year’s resolutions. If you resolved one more time to lose weight or eat healthier, how is it going? Regardless, don’t despair. The fact that you recognized the need is a step forward. Keep going.Image result for New Years resolutions free clip art

While calories do count, some individuals may jeopardize weight loss because they eat too few calories. That’s right. Extreme limiting of calories may cause weight gain. Metabolism slows to compensate for less food energy. Too few calories may increase output of cortisol, a hormone related to psychological and physical stress. Increased cortisol levels may result in several side effect, among them, depression, tiredness, muscle weakness, and weight gain.

Most of us have a problem with eating too much. After a few weeks of starving ourselves to lose weight or eating foods we don’t like instead of those hearty meals we’re used to, we give up. Deal with the problem as though you are the manager or boss. After all, you are. No one else can control what you eat. Here are a few suggestions to take control of yourself and your eating pattern.

  • Decide where the actual problem lies. Analyze why you eat too much or why you eat unhealthy foods. We tend to rationalize or blame something or someone else. But it is our choice. Be honest with yourself.
  • Make a plan. Once you identify the real problem, decide how you will tackle it. Consider if you get enough rest and sleep. Getting a good night of sleep can do wonders. Food isn’t always the problem, but for most of us, it probably is. Maybe it’s those late-night snacks. If so, find an alternative. Plan how you will adjust to improve. Sometimes it’s a matter of not gaining more weight, and that too, is a win-win.
  • Prepare meals at home. Ordering in pizza doesn’t count. With today’s modern conveniences and the multiple pre-prepared foods on the market already chopped, sliced, or seasoned, cooking at home has become quicker and easier. Also take a lunch to work. Just make healthy choices and include fruit for dessert. These steps can save money and calories. For incentive, take money from your pocket, and put it into a special container. I know, we use credit cards, but seeing cash may have a greater impact. Set a time, maybe once monthly or every three months, and check your savings. Now spend those savings on something you will enjoy other than food, maybe entertainment, a hobby, or a new outfit.

Image result for weight loss free clip art

These are starter suggestions. Pick those you know will work for you. While exercise is another important choice, if you know you aren’t going to follow through, why list it? Choose things you will do. Start eating healthier and get that weight where it belongs for a healthier you. You are worth it.

 

Image result for weight loss free clip art

 

Read Full Post »

With the year swiftly drawing to a close, we pause each November to reflect on and enjoy time with family and friends. The focus of celebrating Thanksgiving often centers on food, lots of food. Who can resist the urge to overeat? Tables piled high with turkey, stuffing, and all the trimmings followed by scrumptious, calorie-laden desserts even tempt those with strong will-power. Is there any hope of enjoyment without tripling the calorie count for the day? How do we cut calories?

We aren’t likely to leave the dinner table hungry, and most of us will feel overstuffed and uncomfortable. For the calorie-conscience, we can choose better options. The Men’s Health magazine published “10 ways to Shave 1,200 Calories off your Thanksgiving.” Here is the modified version:

  • Choose white meat of turkey instead of the dark. Dark meat contains more calories, and some of us prefer the white meat anyway.
  • Exchange bread servings for extra vegetables. Choose vegetables without extra toppings or creamed. If you must taste everything, select very small (about ¼ cup) servings. Remember the stuffing is actually bread.
  • Choose the right toppings (or try to make selections without any).
  • Go for Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Well, maybe. I once bought Greek yogurt for that purpose and evidently picked up the wrong container. When I retrieved it to use, I compared calorie counts on the reduced-calorie sour cream and yogurt. Much to my surprise, the Greek yogurt had more calories. The real point here is to check labels carefully.
  • Use the one-layer rule. Personally, I don’t like to pile other foods on top of my original layer. I can squeeze them close together, but not piled high. If you do stack yours, reconsider. When the plate has one complete layer, stop! The right selections helps avoid the problem.
  • Section off starches. Thanksgiving is a day with plentiful starches. Choose just one or two half-servings not to exceed a quarter of the plate.
  • Make your own cranberry sauce, it tastes better anyway. Lots of good recipes exist, but I use the one Image result for free clip art pixabay cranberrieson a package of fresh cranberries. Another great choice is fresh cranberries chopped with an orange and mixed. The family tradition in my household is an original congealed cranberry mold. See the recipe below.
  • Choose pumpkin pie over pecan pie. Dessert doesn’t have to be pie, but if it is, pumpkin pie has one of the lowest calorie-counts and pecan one of the highest. Maybe try a pumpkin pudding or mousse. The crust of any pie adds lots of calories. I don’t care for crust so I have no problem leaving it on my plate. That isn’t true of everyone.
  • Skip ice cream and whipped cream toppings on pie. If you want something to top that pie, consider frozen vanilla yogurt. Be sure to check the label to make sure it is lower in calories than equivalent amounts of ice cream.
  • For those who drink alcohol, limit the amount and/or choose those with lower calorie counts.

If you’re the cook, check for ingredients in recipes that come in lower-calorie versions or can be omitted. Consider other helps listed below for all meals, but especially during holidays.

  • Change to cooking methods that won’t add additional calories.
  • While a little flavor may be sacrificed when low-fat milk replaces whole, half-&-half, or cream, many recipes adapt just fine.
  • Omit high-calorie ingredients such as sugar, butter, and nuts, and maybe marshmallows on top of sweet potatoes. Top simple sliced and cooked versions with a sprinkling of butter and brown sugar.
  • Skip or limit the gravy. While a great addition to the meat and stuffing, a sparing serving or none suffices.
  • When hors d’oeuvres are served before a meal, skip or choose lower-calorie choices of fresh fruits or veggies without the dip.
  • Watch serving sizes. This may be the biggest downfall for most of us. If numerous dishes are offered, cut serving sizes even more.

Whatever your choices, try to make them healthy. Most of all, be thankful. God bless each of you during this Thanksgiving season.

CRANBERRY ORANGE THANKSGIVING MOLD
1  (6 ounce) package sugar-free orange flavored gelatin
2  cups hot water
1 1/2  cups pineapple juice, diluted with cold water
1  can whole berry cranberry sauce
1  (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple packed in juice, drained
1/2  cup pecans, chopped
2  teaspoons orange zest, optional
Dissolve flavored gelatin in hot water. Add cranberries and mix. Drain pineapple. Add cold water to pineapple juice to make 1 1/2 cups. Pour and mix into gelatin mixture. Add orange zest, pecans, and crushed pineapple. Pour into oil-sprayed ring mold. Chill overnight.
Image result for free clip art pixabay thanksgiving food

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »