Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Preparing for the FEAST

November 22, 2009

Turkey day has arrived! How are you going to approach this most hallowed days of dining?

Consider this –

  • If you’re going to someone else’s house eat something before you go. Protein is preferred. But don’t enter your host’s house hungry
  • Leading up to dinner drink plenty of water. Water has a way of filling you up and you won’t eat as much when you sit down. (if you have any control at all!)
  • Push aways!! After a few bites PUT YOUR FORK DOWN!!! Experts claim that it can take 7 to 10 minutes for the stomach to signal to the brain that it is full. So put your fork down, sit back and chat for a couple of minutes before your next bite.

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Meta WHAT?!?!?!

October 4, 2009

When we talk about metabolism and metabolic rate the first thing that comes to mind is energy. We all know people who have “slower” (gain weight easy) and others who have “fast” (can almost eat whatever they want without gaining) metabolisms.

But how do you measure this? Is there a numeric scale?

The answer to what your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) is comes down to how many calories you need to survive to maintain your weight.

And yes once you attain that number you then apply your activity level and then that changes your calorie needs to what you require.

Up until recently in order to get an accurate number you would spend time in an atmospheric controlled chamber known as a calorimeter. The amount of heat that you produced at rest would then be measured. Problem is this chamber was quite expensive. So it was very difficult to find one.

Technology is a wonderful thing. Recently, a hand held device has come on the market. This device is called a MetaCheck and it can calculate your RMR in about 10 minutes. You breathe into its mouthpiece where lung gases are collected and their oxygen content analyzed. Formulas are applied and your answer is given in calorie requirements.

So why is Resting Metabolism so important? Don’t we speed it up through exercise?

Our metabolism absolutely increases while we are active. But we don’t spend the bulk of hour 24 hour day exercising. Most people burn 70 to 80% of their calories at rest.

So how does this apply to weight loss?

Sometimes weight loss plateaus occur because excessive calorie restriction causes your metabolism to slow down to conserve energy. When you know your RMR then your diet can be adjusted so that the maximal amount of calories can be taken in without risking weight gain.

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Eating Healthy At The Airport

September 20, 2009

This weekend I’m traveling to Asheville, NC. I work with quite a few people who travel extensively. Their common complaint is how hard it is to maintain a healthful diet while on the road.

When I arrived at the airport and made my way through security it was time to find something to eat. My flight is going to be 4 hours and I lacked the preparation to bring any food with me from home.

Along the concourse were the normal fast food stores, Cinnabon, Burger King, California Pizza Kitchen and Starbucks. What is a traveler to do? I was realizing what I had been hearing all along. Where is that needle in the haystack? Where can I find nutrition in a sea of junk?

Now I know as well as anyone that I’m not going to find much at most of these places that is not fat-laden. And I am a caffeine junkie. So I steered towards Starbucks.

I have sworn myself away from Starbucks over a year ago. It is too involved to discuss my reasons for this now. Just know that normally I will go out of my way to avoid walking into these establishments, unless they are the only alternative that I have.

Much to my pleasure and surprise along with the butter filled muffins that Starbucks offered were also bananas, fruit cups and vegetable trays. (By the way I checked, Cinnabon was not offering any of these).

I chose the vegetable tray and banana. The only thing I found alarming on their nutrition label was the sodium content. And this was included only if you used the dressing. No problem, I rarely dip.

So although you do have to search a little and have an understanding of how to read nutrition labels, these day’s travelers can find what they need without gaining 5 pounds by just entering the airport.

Now, I’ve got a little time left before my plane leaves, and that smell from Cinnabon is awfully alluring. Gotta Go!!!

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Plastic Bottles – Safe or Not???

September 10, 2009

Please answer me this. Is any corner that I turn safe anymore? If we listen and believe to what our media tells us, danger lurks around every bend.

In the last several years a lot of attention has been brought to the alleged dangers of drinking water from certain plastic containers when exposed to heat. Supposedly they leach BPA (bisphenol-A) into the water and this has caused a lot of concern. BPA is a substance commonly used to harden plastic, it can also mimic estrogen when digested.

And although the FDA has not finished reviewing their findings and scientists are in disagreement as to the dangers of BPA, many stores have pulled these bottles from their shelves. In fact, in May Minnesota became the first state to approve the ban of the sale of baby bottles and sippy cups made with BPA. Connecticut followed soon after.

But we do have a savior in all of this. Maybe?….Thank the heavens for Sigg bottles!!!???

Sigg Switzerland brought to the market a bottle they claimed to be safe. They saw a need and they filled it. Suddenly these bottles are showing up everywhere. The eco/health/style conscious jumped on this product in mass. These bottles sold for $20 and were going to take away all of our troubles…….We thought.

It has just been announced that bottles made by the company before August 2008 had trace amounts of BPA in their liners. Not only that but Sigg officials were aware of this since June 2006 but did not announce this until last month.

Now I could go on and on about misinformation in the media. But instead I think I’ll just go out to my truck and pop open a bottle of my warm Arrowhead water.

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September 3, 2009

Are you like most people with a busy schedule who inhales their food rather than chews it correctly and actually gets a chance to enjoy it? Chewing doesn’t only allow us to enjoy our culinary delights but it really does aid in our nutrition intake.


Here are a few examples of why proper chewing is good for you:

  • Chewing well grinds food into small bits, allowing it to be more easily swallowed. When you swallow food without chewing enough it can actually tear and scrape your throat
  • Well chewed bits of food are more easily coated with digestive juices once in the stomach
  • Which in turn, then allows the nutrients from the chewed food to be more quickly released.

Dr Gillian McKeith, the internationally acclaimed holistic nutritionist, suggests in a recent article that the following could all be signs of inadequate chewing:

burping, farting, bloating, indigestion, irritable bowel, stomach aches, heartburn, cramping.

And after all don’t we already have enough people walking around like this.

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Soggy Vegetables…..Should I??

August 27, 2009

A couple of days ago I picked up lunch for my partner (Marcia) and I. We try to eat right so I brought home some steamed vegetables over chicken and rice. Normally this is a very tasty meal. This time the veggies were soggy from being overcooked. We discussed what affect this might have on their nutritional value. So I began digging.

As it turns out, just like with exercise, a little is better than none at all. Vegetables benefit you no matter how they are prepared. Don’t get me wrong, the best situation is that you steam them and eat them crisp.

It is true that some nutrients are lost due to being overexposed to heat or water. This includes loss of minerals such as potassium and sodium. Also water soluble vitamins such as folic acid and vitamin C are reduced.

But it’s not all bad news. According to David Haytowitz of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Data Laboratory vegetables also contain protein, fiber and carbohydrates that are not harmed by overcooking.

So do as your Mother told you and EAT YOUR VEGETABLES, no matter how crisp or soggy they may be.