Gotta New Drug….Yet Again…

September 15th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

I heard that the FDA just approved yet another new weight loss drug, sigh. Perhaps it should have been called Burn-Off-Alot! We live in a land where anything seems possible. We assume someday someone else will find something to help solve our dilemmas. The proverbial “they”….. Alas, “they” and we already know the solution to this problem – burn more calories than you consume, repeat day after day, month after month until your weight is where it ought to be? It’s reality, albeit a harsh one for some.

We can compare life to a game of Snakes and Ladders. Remember that one? You roll the dice, hit a good tile with a ladder on the game board and move ahead a bunch of spaces…get a bad roll and you hit a snake and fall behind a bunch of spaces. Well a drug like this is like hitting the tile with the snake that really looks like a ladder, which eventually turns into a snake. Got it? Every miracle weight loss solution is the same. Not a ladder to success but a snake of a deal wrought with failure….eventually.

I find the most unfortunate part of this is that the user bares the brunt of the problems and feels something’s wrong with THEM when they yo-yo to lose then regain weight. How disheartening! The only thing wrong with this notion is the search for a miracle solution when there isn’t one.

The other thing we need to remember is we live in a land where ultra-slimness is idolized. I’m not sure if we even know what “normal weight” looks like if we bumped into it. I don’t know about advertisements you see, but the ones I see are chocked full of images of skinny wenches. Aren’t yours? Anorexia nervosa is NOT in, nor has it ever been. We’d all be better off finding a realistic comfortable weight to shoot for then stay there. Check out what the range of weight for your Body Mass Index is at the link in the right margin, be realistic and take it from there.

I can hear the laundry list of disclaimers already:

Burn-Off-Alot works best when you follow a 1,200 calorie/day diet and exercise 30-60 minutes/day. Avoid all fast food drive thrus while using Burn-Off-Alot. Avoid eating pillow sacks of junk food in front of the TV, especially after midnight or any serving the size of your head while taking Burn-Off-Alot, except a head of lettuce. Drink enough fluids while taking Burn-Off-Alot. Jumbo Slushies do not qualify as one of these fluids. Burn-Off-Alot may cause sensations of satiety (i.e. feelings of fullness) so stop eating when you feel this sensation. Keep out of reach of children, especially the skinny ones….

The next thing we know the competition will launch False-Hope-to-Slim then Skinny-Genie-Tonic with the claim “magic in a bottle”. Whatever you do, don’t fall for it….

Want more juicy details about what not to try with practical, real-life suggestions of what TO try, get my ebook Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books.

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Colour Your World

September 12th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

Don’t you just love watching the leaves turn colour this time of year? As Mother Nature colours our world, consider adding more colour to yours… on your plate and in your lunch bag. The rainbow of fruits and veggies add a wide array of nutrients with health sustaining benefits that really taste great!

What’s Up Doc? – Add veggies to your lunch bag such as a bunch of crunchy carrots.

Paint the Town Red – Make a tantalizing tomato sauce batch to stir things up a bit.

Get Green with Envy – Steam some raging rapini to perk up your dinner repertoire.

Be a Purple People Eater – Enjoy purple plums in season as a perfect snack or meal accompaniment.

Orange is the New Black – Whip up an old orange smoothie to enjoy as a snack or with a muffin for a fast breakfast.

The healthfulness of these colourful foods elevates them to the super food stratosphere while tantalizing your tastebuds… not to mention, they fill you up. Paint your own impressionist creation at meals and snacks to please all of your senses and ratchet up your nutrition.

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Press Start, Press Pause, Press Stop

September 10th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

Everything is so “back to school” these days. I love this time of year. It’s a perfect time to review, reflect and reframe your routine. Wouldn’t you agree? You don’t need to wait until the New Year. Like I always say, any day is a perfect day to make a positive change. Here are some ideas to consider starting, stopping and hitting the pause button:

Press Start

Trying A New Fruit or Veg Weekly – Take a walk on the wild side and try a new fruit or vegetable each week. You might just surprise yourself and discover a new favourite.

Dressing for Dieting Success – Make a pact to dress presentably for your age and shape each day then see how divine it makes you feel, through and through.

Finding 5’s – Having trouble fitting 30 to 60 minutes of activity at one time each day? You’re not alone! Break it down into 5, 10 or 15 minute intervals and watch them add up throughout your day as you do them.

Press Pause

Before Adding Salt or Sugar – Try your food before inundating it with salt or sugar. Give your taste receptors a workout and experience how devilishly delicious natural food really is, yum…..

Before Taking Seconds – In the habit of dishing up more than you should chew? Try serving dinner on a smaller plate, slow down your eating pace while upping your taste sensing then cue in on your degree of fullness.

Before You Pour - Think about your caloric drinks and remind yourself about what you’re going to pour down your gullet is food too! Consider swapping in a no cal drink in its place, except if you’re drinking milk.

Press Stop

On Negative Self Talk – Easy does it cowgirl and talk kindly of yourself to yourself. We’re often our own worst critics. Time to get positive!

Relying on the Drive Thru – Get out of the habit of picking up fast food and choose to drive by the drive thru trying some fast and easy, good for you recipes at home.

Cutting into Your Sleep Time – Make sure you get your full zzzzz quota to help you be as productive as possible. You will eat better too.

So there you have it folks, some ideas to tweak your behaviour as we change the season again and spring into fall….

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Happy Feat….

September 8th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

I found myself in one of those big box sports stores shopping for shoes for a kinesiologist I know. Let me tell you, you need to keep your wits about you before you arrive at the Wall-O-Shoes because you might just forget what activity you needed them for. Do you need shoes for walking, jogging, hiking, biking, jumping, cross training, dancing, climbing, sacheing, sauntering, wandering?? Really folks there is something for every movement you might ever plan to make and then some!

I got that glossed over look early in the going distracted by the splashes of colour rather than form and supposed function. Is being active really that complicated? As I stood at that wall it crossed my mind that if a Marsian landed on Earth and moseyed into this store they would assume that ours is a society of super-fit custodians. Hmmm, I thought, we’re a society of chronic sitters who are now heading in to couch potato harvest season for the masses…. sadly.

I remember when my Dad brought my sis and me to the store for our first pair of jogging shoes, actually used for jogging back in the ’70′s. We had 2 choices – Adidas and some other brand I can’t really remember. The ladies got the white with blue stripes and the men had the blue with white stripes. These did the trick for walking, sauntering, jogging, even hiking, gym class and more.

You know if we truly had a fit-nik society I’d be delighted to write about it and let the sea of shoes wash over my closet. But sadly, we don’t, yet the sea of shoes still swells.

I think on this Motivation Monday we ought to make a pact this season folks, to take out any and all kinds of sports shoes you own and USE each of them at least once a week for an hour. Deal?

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Craving a Sound Sound-Bite….

September 5th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

I’m having some cravings lately, for sound, reliable nutrition information – a REAL sound bite. Not those trivial sound bites we’re inundated with on social media that simply add to confusion of the topic of food and nutrition. This week was the diet face-off between Low Fat versus Low Carb diets, what gives?

When I sit back and mull all of this over I remind myself that nutrition is not black and white but mostly grey zone. There are many nuances that don’t lend themselves to straight “yes” and “no” or 1-sentence answers.

I can hear the groans already when I tout the moderation message, yet again. Sorry folks but I’ll bang that gong until your ears ring and it sinks in! The reality is our bodies NEED fat and carbs and the entire array of macro and micronutrients every single day with fluids and fiber to boot. We need fat, but not too much. We need carbs, but not too much. This sort of messaging albeit sound and reliable doesn’t cut it in the “sound bite” department of the editors.

Sadly, I’m not surprised that consumers become so confused sometimes to the point of exasperation morphing into anti-nutritionists in combat. Actually, I can hear them now “…just tell me what I’m supposed to do already!”

What I suggest you do is find a few reliable nutrition sources with credible degrees and credentials then tune out all of the noise. Then sink your teeth into REAL sound bites to help you on your personal health quest to get and stay on track.

Don’t forget an important rule of thumb in the process, if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is….

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High Action Thriller Filler

September 3rd, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

Another interesting study has been published by the Cornell Food & Brand Lab led by Dr. Brian Wansink. This time this savvy research team looked at various types of TV programming paired with eating. They found that people eat double while engrossed viewing a high action thriller, compared with watching a talk-show. They had the same findings whether they used M & M’s or with veggies. They also found people still ate 36% more when the volume was nixed on the thriller program. Hmmmm.

All of this got me thinking more deeply about eating with distractions which led me to impart 1 main message, and that is to avoid paired eating activities especially those involving TV viewing of any kind. One of the articles I read mentioned how it would be a good way to get “non veggie eating kids” to eat their veggies – NOT! That is a slippery slope of a strategy NOT to consider EVER as this would indelibly ingrain this bad habit.

Numerous studies have been done looking at eating with distractions that show time and time again that viewers can eat so much more mindlessly. Think about it folks, we’ve all been caught at one time or another eating with distractions whether it was a mother-load-tub of popcorn at the movies or noshing while working. Instead of focusing on the wonderful food, taste and eating experience your focus is elsewhere and that’s just a crying shame because eating enjoyment is one of life’s simple pleasures.

The take away message on this is to avoid eating with distractions at all costs, whether it’s TV viewing, driving, working. Prepare a plate of fab food, sit down at a table, eat and enjoy!

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Make Over My Mac

September 1st, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , ,

I was invited to attend the Mac & Cheese chef competition – the 2014 edition of the Grate Canadian Cheese Cook Off held at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto last week. I’d travel far and wide for my cheesy love affair and made the trek on transit. The event didn’t disappoint. I was thoroughly entertained. For me, the winner was my culinary imagination and my tastebuds! Here’s the line-up of entries:

Winner: Crispy Greens Mac & Cheese by chef Andrew Farrell
This entry and competition winner put punched in my pucker featuring four Dutchman cheeses, a very delish dish.

T & T Winner (my choice) (see photo): Dressed Up Wild Mushroom Mac & Cheese by chef David Bohati
My winner’s choice taunted and tantalized my senses with the delicate truffle oil aroma to the creamy and elegant Mornay sauce featuring Sylvan Star Smoked Gouda.

The Goddess Mac & Cheese by Bal Arneson
A smooth take to remake your Mac with an Indo-Canadian twist with silky Poplar Grove Camembert that was truly sophisticated and delightful.

Brooklyn Style Mac & Cheese by “the big cheese” Kevin Durkee
This was no “manga-cake” Mac with the infusion of Italian influences including garlic, herbs, sausage, use of ricotta and Bocconcini that’d make my Mom open to trying it!

This Grate cook off added inspiration to the traditional soulful Mac & Cheese dish we know and love. I make my Mac with some sautéed onions, pancetta with a punch of Asiago and Scooby-doo noodles. I’m poised and ready to try each of these recipes over the coming months. First up though, I’m planning to take a walk on the wild side by trying David’s Mushroom Mac soon.

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Cozy Up

August 29th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

Gotta love this time of year. The evenings are cooler while a hint of colour has begun to wash over the leaves. Who doesn’t want to just cozy up? No one, that’s who! Here are some ideas to consider cozying up to:

Try a New Soup Recipe – What’s better than hauling out your old cauldron and trying a new soup recipe? Nothing, that’s what! Try my famous Pasta Fagioli to warm you, fill you and nourish you.

Steep some Herbal Tea – Try a new herbal tea to warm the cockles of your heart. I shared a cup of black liquorice with my friend Carmen recently. It was delightful with more to come!

Read a New Book – Get some inspiring ideas about your love affair with food and activity by reading my ebook Skinny on Slim the Little Black Dress of Diet Books and write a review.

Roll Out the Yoga Mat – Make some new moves by cozying up to some new core, butt and glute repetitions. You’ll be glad you did by Christmas!

Deck Out some New Jeans - Gotta love some new jeans to make you feel fab in as the days become cooler to make you look svelte!

Hunker down for the duration and cozy up to the new season a new way.

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Fall Back to Basics – Back to School No Brainer

August 27th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

Everything’s so “back to school” these days isn’t it? Everywhere you turn are advertisements, articles in magazines and newspapers, features on the radio. I don’t know but it’s all so last year and the year before and well 10 years before that, even older.

It seems all I ever read about is our society being so time starved coupled with kids who are enrolled in too many activities yet don’t know the basic life skills when they emerge from the teenage wormhole. I read for the umteenth time about “back to school lunch ideas”. Ho hum. Well do I have a lunch idea for you. Let’s get kids to prepare their OWN lunch!

My Mom has had a wondrous ability to set limits and teach my three sisters and me life skills. I remember going to the grocery store with my Mom, cooking and helping in the kitchen with my Mom and even making my own lunch. Really parents, it’s not a big deal. Calling Children’s Aid never crossed my mind all those years ago.

I think there needs to be a paradigm shift getting kids involved in household functions again, don’t you? Instead of running around driving kids to so many activities consider making time to just connect with each other and catch up.

Well parents this fall is a new chapter. Why not start a new trend getting your kids involved in the kitchen. No, you’re NOT mean by taking this step. Actually you’re short changing your kids by NOT getting them involved. Sure, Little Johnny might be able to play the trombone by the time he’s 20, but he won’t know how to make a scrambled egg or a sandwich….

Just like we teach our kids their ABC’s, we also need to teach them how to make a lunch, and oh, not one you order at the drive thru….

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Go Team…. Team Darko’s Best Tournament Yet!

August 25th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

Another year has come and gone. That special nephew of mine who’s part of Team Darko organized an even bigger and more successful fund raiser golf event in memory of their fave fab university friend Darko. They pulled up again in their party bus but it was all business as they raised more funds for the Miracle Network.

Mother Nature was threatening rain but lost her battle as the sun peered through the clouds and the butterflies fluttered about while everyone finished the final 9 holes. More teams than ever signed up, played and donated for such a worthy cause.

Can I be more proud of these twenty somethings who seem like they can run this event with their eyes closed and their hearts wide open? I don’t think so! It warmed my heart to see so many people take part from near and far. It was terrific to see these kids form families of their own as they grow in number as the circle of life turns. With these types taking charge our future is bright as they lead our society as our new “We Generation”.

Thanks Team Darko for inspiring me, yet again, this fine summer’s weekend. I salute you all. And remember “No giving up EVER!” DD

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