Monday, November 14, 2011

Tips For Holiday Eating

The holidays are soon approaching...Don't let them ruin your healthy habits!
Here are ten healthy tips for holiday eating:

1. Be realistic. Don’t try to lose pounds during the holidays, instead try to maintain your current weight.

2. Plan time for exercise. Exercise helps relieve holiday stress and prevent weight gain. A moderate and daily increase in exercise can help partially offset increased holiday eating. Try 10- or 15-minute brisk walks twice a day.

3. Don’t skip meals. Before leaving for a party, eat a light snack like raw vegetables or a piece of fruit to curb your appetite. You will be less tempted to over-indulge.

4. Survey party buffets before filling your plate. Choose your favorite foods and skip your least favorite. Include vegetables and fruits to keep your plate balanced.

5. Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed. Savor your favorite holiday treats while eating small portions. Sit down, get comfortable, and enjoy.

6. Be careful with beverages. Beverages can be full of calories and sugar.

7. If you overeat at one meal go light on the next.

8. Take the focus off food. Turn candy and cookie making time into non-edible projects like making wreaths, dough art decorations or a gingerbread house. Plan group activities with family and friends that aren’t all about food. Try serving a holiday meal to the community, playing games or going on a walking tour of decorated homes.

9. Bring your own healthy dish to a holiday gathering.

10. Practice Healthy Holiday Cooking. Preparing favorite dishes lower in fat and calories will help promote healthy holiday eating. Incorporate some of these simple-cooking tips in traditional holiday recipes to make them healthier.

Gravy — Refrigerate the gravy to harden fat. Skim the fat off. This will save a whopping 56 gm of fat per cup.

Dressing — Use a little less bread and add more onions, garlic, celery, and vegetables. Add fruits such as cranberries or apples. Moisten or flavor with low fat low sodium chicken or vegetable broth and applesauce.

Turkey – Enjoy delicious, roasted turkey breast without the skin and save 11 grams of saturated fat per 3 oz serving.

Green Bean Casserole — Cook fresh green beans with chucks of potatoes instead of cream soup. Top with almonds instead of fried onion rings.

Mashed Potato — Use skim milk, chicken broth, garlic or garlic powder, and Parmesan cheese instead of whole milk and butter.

Enjoy the holidays, plan a time for activity, incorporate healthy recipes into your holiday meals, and don't restrict yourself from enjoying your favorite holiday foods. In the long run, your mind and body will thank you!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

False Realities

I just wrote a paper for my persuasive writing class (my last general! woo hoo!) on the false-realities of fashion models. In my paper, I mentioned Barbie. Barbie was my absolute favorite childhood toy, no doubt. However, the image Barbie portrays is quite deceiving. So many girls and women of all ages want to look like her. However, it is honestly quite impossible. If Barbie were a real-size person, she would look like this...
The girl on the right is college student, Galia Slayen, who mimicked Barbie’s proportions into a life size version in honor of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. I found this fascinating. No wonder there are so many problems with self-image/self-esteem, eating disorders and women never feeling like they look good enough.

Also, the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty is an awesome concept that portrays beauty the way it should be. Check out this link:
Even this model doesn't look as 'good' as she does in her OWN picture...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fact or Fallacy?

Are the following statements a fact or fallacy? Test your knowledge by answering the questions, then look at the answers below!

1. Doing crunches and sit-ups everyday is the best way to strengthen the abs.
2. If you get breathless during exercise, it's usually your lungs fault.
3. The best way to lose body fat is to burn the greatest amount of fat during the exercise itself.
4. Stretching right before resistance exercises may cause the muscles to relax and lower one's ability to lift heavy weights.
5. Fat is the smallest potential energy source in the body.
6. The best way to get strong without hypertrophy is to lift lighter weights with higher repetitions.
7. Proper nutrition is more important than proper exercise when it comes to hypertrophy gains.
8. There is no advantage of sweat that drips from the body.

1. Fallacy. You don't want to work on the ab muscles everyday and when you do work the abs, you want 80% of the exercises to focus on stabilization and the other 20% be exercises such as crunches or sit-ups.
2. Fallacy. It is your heart's fault.
3. Fallacy. Some mistakenly believe that body fat is only burned in a long-bout of moderate-intensity exercise. However, our bodies are always burning fat at some point and for weight loss, it is best to burn calories in the long run. We shouldn't be focused on the "fat-burning zone" because calories will add up faster with a higher intensity exercise.
4. Fact. However, this really only applies to those who lift a very heavy amount of weight, such as bodybuilders.
5. Fallacy. Fat is definitely the largest potential energy source and ATP is the least. ATP in a given skeletal muscle can only fuel about 2 to 3 seconds of activity.
6. Fallacy because this statement is talking about endurance training.
7. Fallacy. Someone can consume all the protein powder they want, but their body will get rid of the excess protein. For hypertrophy, it is important to focus on total volume (weight x reps x sets) while weight lifting.
8. Fact. Sweat has to evaporate to cool the body and anything in excess is just causing one to lose body water. No heat is being lost with excess sweat.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fruits and Veggies. More matters!

The other day in one of my classes, our TA asked how many of us eat at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day. I immediately shot up my hand and was expecting most everyone else to as well, but was so surprised that were are only about 10 other people out of about 80 who raised their hand! If people in a health major aren't eating at least 5 servings, it is kind of scary to think what the average American is missing out on.

Fruits and veggies are SO SO good for you! They provide so many phytochemicals and antioxidants that fight off free radicals in your body. The also contain fiber and essential vitamins and minerals that help protect you from chronic dieases. Also, they are naturally low in calories.

There are so many varieties in fruits and veggies. Also, with spring here and summer just around the corner, there will be many more fruits and veggies that are cheaper at the grocery store! They are the perfect snack and can also add so much volume to a meal. In reality, our plates should look like this at a meal:

Do your portions look like this?

The next time you reach for a snack or are still hungry at a meal, try eating fruits and veggies instead of something else! And remember, when it comes to fruits and veggies...MORE MATTERS!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

SMART goals

Many people set goals, especially when it comes to exercise, weight loss, nutrition and health. It's safe to say that most adults have been on some type of "diet" or "weight loss program" in their lives. In fact, a recent study was done that found 87% of Men and 92% of Women were currently on a diet as a means of weight loss and 67% of Men and 66% of women were on some type of exercise program to try to lose weight.

However, much of the time, these goals are not achieved. Many find these types of goals extremely overwhelming, discouraging and/or they don't end up with the results they had hoped for. When it comes to goals, I feel that the only way to truly be successful in accomplishing them, is to take the time and go through each of these steps of the SMART acronym. There are a few different versions of it, but I like this one a lot. I would add, to the "R", the word recorded. Keeping track and recording one's progress is a huge step to success.

Although it takes time to set up and create goals using the SMART method, it can really help to have a plan of action and a way to ensure one will accomplish what they set their mind to!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What is your BMI?

BMI (Body Mass Index) is a measure of an adult's weight in relation to their height. It is a very convenient way to determine whether or not your weight is in a healthy range.

To find your BMI, just take your weight in kilograms and divide it by your height in meters (squared). BMI can help you determine if you are underweight, normal weight, overwieight, obese or extremely obese.

Underweight = Less than or equal to 18.4
Normal weight = 18.5 - 24.9
Overweight = 25.0 - 29.9
Obese I = 30.0 - 34.9
Obese II = 35.0 - 39.9
Extreme obesity = Greater than or equal to 40

(Or you can just look at this chart)
Although BMI is a simple way to classify your weight, it is important to remember that BMI works well for the general population and not for individuals necessarily.
For example, look at this picture below:

These males are the same height and weight, so therefore, they have the same BMI and they are both classified as obese. But clearly, the male on the left is not "obese". He is in great physical shape and has a great amount of muscle mass. It is important to remember that muscle weighs more than fat.

So when figuring out your BMI, don't get too caught up in the numbers. BMI is just a good way for most people to classify their weight to determine if it is healthy or not. It is also good to keep in mind that if someone is classified as "underweight", they can be more at risk for disease/complications than someone who's weight is classified "normal".

Welcome To My Blog!! :)

I am totally pumped about starting this new health blog! I have wanted to do it for some time now, but finally decided that NOW was the time to get it started.

I will be posting things that I learn from class, textbooks, professors, personal experiences and research studies. I will also post healthy recipies, ideas, tips and opinions on things related to health, fitness, wellness and nutrition!

If you ever want to know more about something, want to give an opinion or just want to give input, please leave comments and I will do my best to respond to you.

I believe that I have the best major there is (I think that everyone should feel that way about their major!) and I can't wait to share my knowledge, ideas and passion through this blog!

Here's to being healthy and being happy! :)