January 31, 2008
Warming Up. What’s the Point?
If your schedule is tight, you may find it hard to carve out time to exercise. It can be tempting to save a few minutes by skipping pre-workout warm-ups. Don’t give in!
Warming up helps your muscles and heart get ready for the work of exercising. A good warm-up includes 5 to 10 minutes of less-demanding exercise. For example, if you are planning to go for a run, a walk is a good warm-up. If you are going to lift weights, you might start by lifting lighter ones.
After you feel loosened up, stretching will make your muscles more flexible. Warm-ups reduce injuries caused by tight joints and muscles.
Cooling down is also an essential part of your workout. Click here to find out more.
January 28, 2008
Leaving Salt Behind
The Food and Drug Administration is now considering whether it should regulate the amount of sodium in processed foods. But for now you still have to be in charge of limiting your sodium intake. Here's how:
Retrain your taste buds. Scale back the amount of salt used at the table and in cooking to reduce your exposure to its taste. After three months, most people no longer miss salt, research shows.
Check nutrient claims. Products labeled "sodium free" contain 5 mg of sodium or less per serving. A "very low sodium" product has 35 mg or less, and a "low sodium" item contains 140 mg or less. But be careful: Products labeled "reduced sodium" or "less sodium" need only have 25 percent less sodium than a standard version of the food. So a cup of reduced-sodium chicken-noodle soup may still serve up a hefty 660 mg, about 28 percent of your daily allotment.
Read nutrition information. Look for foods that provide 5 percent or less of the "daily value," or the government recommended maximum. Then check the serving size to tally your actual intake.
Compare brands. A serving of Newman's Own Lighten Up Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing, for example, has 470 mg of sodium, compared with just 75 mg in Annie's Naturals Organic Balsamic Vinaigrette. And a serving of Celeste Pizza For One packs 1,080 mg of sodium, twice as much as a comparable serving of Mystic Cheese frozen pizza.
Sidestep sodium heavyweights. Avoid cured meats, such as bacon, ham, and hot dogs; sardines and smoked salmon; and brined foods, like pickles, sauerkraut, and olives. Go easy on ketchup, salt-based seasonings, and barbecue and steak sauces. And use even the reduced-sodium versions of soy and teriyaki sauce sparingly, if at all.
Rinse your food. Running water over canned tuna and salmon, canned vegetables, feta cheese, and capers can reduce the sodium load by up to 30 percent.
Swap salt for spices. Cook with fresh or dried herbs, salt-free seasoning blends, and acidic flavorings like lemon juice, citrus zest, and flavored vinegars to bring out a food's natural taste. Explore the seasonings used in ethnic recipes, such as cumin and chili powder in Mexican food, and coriander and turmeric in Indian.
Be choosy at restaurants. It's easy to consume a day's worth of sodium in a single restaurant dish. Some chains post nutrition information for each menu item, so check sodium content before ordering. At other restaurants, ask for low-salt dishes, and for sauce or dressing on the side. If you plan to eat out, reduce sodium intake at other meals.
January 26, 2008
Unless you're suicidal, why on earth would you want to subject yourself to a Burger King Quad Stacker? That's 4 hamburger patties, 4 slices of cheese, 8 strips of bacon plus sauce and a bun!
Just think, by eating this one burger you can get half-a-day's calories (1000), one-and-a-half-days' worth of saturated fat (30 grams), 3 grams of trans fat, and 1800mg sodium (2300mg recommended in a whole day).
This is what the advertised version looks like:
January 22, 2008
In Season: Oranges
Did you know:
The proper name for an orange seed is a pip.
Choose oranges with firm, smooth skins, heavy for size.
Store at room temperature for 1-2 days.
Refrigerate for 1-2 weeks.
Fat free; saturated fat free; sodium free; cholesterol free; good source of dietary fiber; high in vitamin C.
For recipes on how to get your kids to eat more fruits and veggies, click here
January 20, 2008
Omron has a new pedometer that you can actually put in your pocket. If calculates your steps whether its resting on it's side or sitting upright. It also comes with a carrier which can clip onto your belt or pants, if desired.
One problem I've found with pedometers is that the belt clip breaks or the pedometer simply falls off. They're also not the most fashionable when wearing a tucked-in shirt. This pedometer is accurate and discretely fits in your pocket. It can also be downloaded onto your computer to track steps which can then be graphed. The pedometer tracks steps, aerobic steps (at least 10 minutes of continuous movement), calories and miles walked. I highly recommend!
January 15, 2008
Eating More Edamame
Eating edamame can be as easy as boiling the whole pod, sprinkle with a little sal and using your teeth to get the bean out. Try adding cooked, shelled edamame to salads, stir-frys or try the recipes below.
3/4 cup frozen edamame, thawed & shelled
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons avocado
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, halved
1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor & process until smooth.
2. Cover & chill.
3. Serve with raw veggies.
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon Asian chili garlic sauce (see Notes)
1 pound shelled edamame, cooked and cooled
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped mint
1/4 cup sliced almonds
In a small bowl, whisk together sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and chili sauce. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine edamame, green onions, mint, and almonds. Toss with dressing to coat.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
Yield: Makes 8 servings
CALORIES 113 (60% from fat); FAT 7.6g (sat 0.6g); PROTEIN 6.6g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; SODIUM 93mg; FIBER 3.2g; CARBOHYDRATE 6.2g
January 11, 2008
How much sugar can I eat?
Americans are fixated on sugar grams. Health experts can’t agree on how much sugar is too much. The WHO recommends that less than 10% of your total daily requirements should come from sugar. This would be 50 grams or 12.5 tsp on a 2000 kcal diet, 38 grams or 9 tsp on a 1500 kcal diet and 30 grams or 7.5 tsp on a 1200 kcal diet. The Institute of Medicine and the American Dietetic Association recommends less than 25% of your total calories coming from sugar.
This would mean 125 grams or 31 tsp on a 2000 kcal diet, 94 grams or 23 tsp on a 1500 kcal diet or 75g or 19 tsp on a 1200 kcal diet. The USDA recommendation is to simply limit sugar calories and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans say to use sugar in moderation. So, what do you do? If you are worried about your blood sugar rising as a result of sugar intake, you really need to focus on the total carbohydrates in the foods you eat. All of those carbohydrates are going to make your blood sugars go up. So, it’s best to eat a consistent, controlled amount of total carbohydrates per meal. Your brain needs at least 130 grams of carbohydrates each day to function properly. High sugar foods are empty calories, meaning they have a lot of calories and very few, if any, nutrients. Instead of counting grams of anything, I think the best advice is to focus on whole grain carbohydrates and high fiber foods. These foods are more nutrient dense, as opposed to empty calories. Concentrated sweets like sodas, syrups and candies should be limited if you have high triglycerides or have diabetes. Choose more whole wheat breads, brown rice, whole wheat pastas and tortillas. Choose foods such as white breads, white rice, candy, jams and pastries rarely.
January 7, 2008
New Allergy Advice for Kids
Breast-feeding helps prevent babies' allergies, but there's no good evidence for avoiding certain foods during pregnancy, using soy formula or delaying introduction of solid foods beyond six months. That's the word from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which is updating earlier suggestions that may have made some parents feel like they weren't doing enough to prevent food allergies, asthma and allergic rashes.
The new guidance report for pediatricians was published in the January issue of the journal Pediatrics. Earlier advice about restricting certain foods from moms' and babies' diets has been tossed out and the only surefire advice remaining is to breast-feed.
The report says:
*There is no convincing evidence that women who avoid peanuts or other foods during pregnancy or breast-feeding lower their child's risk of allergies.
*For infants with a family history of allergies, exclusive breast-feeding for at least four months can lessen the risk of rashes and allergy to cow's milk.
*Exclusive breast-feeding for at least three months protects against wheezing in babies, but whether it prevents asthma in older children is unclear.
*There is modest evidence for feeding hypoallergenic formulas to susceptible babies if they are not solely breast-fed.
*There is no good evidence that soy-based formulas prevent allergies.
*There is no convincing evidence that delaying the introduction of foods such as eggs, fish or peanut butter to children prevents allergies. Babies should not get solid food before 4 to 6 months of age, however.
January 4, 2008
New Cookbooks for Kids
Better your child’s nutrition with these kid-focused books.
1. Lunch Lessons, Changing the Way We Feed Our Children. This book explains the basics of child nutrition, gives practical steps on how we can change the way our kids eat and offers numerous kid-friendly recipes.
2. The Spatulatta Cookbook. A zany collection of recipes written by kids, for kids.
3. Lunchbox Menu For You. This book will help parents create healthy school lunches. It provides 40 different five-day menu cycles including foods kids love but are also healthy for them to eat. To make it even easier, it also provides grocery list for the week which can be detached and taken to the grocery store.