Archive for October, 2011

Activity Dos & Don’ts

October 16th, 2011 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

As the weather waxes and wanes this lovely autumn, it’s a good idea to revitalize your exercise regimen and frame of mind that gets you moving. It helps to have a few reminders to progress from inertia to a full court press. Listen UP!!

DO work in extra fifteen minute increments 5 to 6 days per week when more social events pop in your calendar to counter the extra intake

DON’T exercise if you feel a cold or flu coming on and get your fluid and rest until you recuperate

DO start back slowly and cut yourself some slack as your strength returns

DON’T work out at peak temperature times when it’s sweltering if you can

DO work out in house, dance to music, go up and down your stairs, garden

DON’T do your work out all at one time if you feel you’re day is too busy

DO break it up in a few increments and just do a little at a time to fit it all in

DON’T decide to eat whatever you want once you exercise because being active is not your free pass to gluttony, calories still count

DO pay more attention to what your eating on your days off of activity

DON’T work out if you have an injury, get it checked out and change your regimen accordingly

DO find a buddy to share your activity with if that helps you but

DON’T avoid activity if they aren’t available, develop resiliency and flexibility with your plan

DO include your family members when you can to enjoy staying active together

DON’T hold anyone back if you’re a tortoise like me!!

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Skinny on Bad Food, Good Food & Piglets

October 13th, 2011 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Deb wrote in exasperated:

“Since my Dad is actually paying attention to someone by reading your blog…. T & T, could you post about how ice cream is bad for him? ;-) He’s a bit of a piglet.”

Well oink oink Deb, hmmmm your Dad sounds a little like mine; the food lovin’ kind. Who doesn’t have a piglet or two living in their midst? Visit my May 19, 2010 post on “Old Dogs & New Tricks” and take heart. Yes, we will overcome!!!

What’s a bad food anyhow??
I’m an “all foods fit” kind of RD. The minute a food is deemed “bad” people revert back to their childish ways wanting, pining, finding, hiding, binging and more of this seemingly bad food. For many, bad is what they want. Michael Jackson even wrote a song about it!!

In my old chunky days I remember dating Indy and going out for dinner. I would routinely order the large salad while he’d woof down a jumbo burger, fries while washing it down with a super thick milkshake. Trust me I made up for only having that salad at some point those crazy, mixed up, dieting, fat days. Then I came to terms with this “all foods fit” thing and now I eat more balanced. I never feel I am not worthy to eat a certain food, ever.

Defining a bad food is not a straightforward undertaking. I feel the secret lies in your particular nutritional profile and needs AND how often you’re at the proverbial ice cream trough. So Deb, he needs to evaluate his weight, his blood cholesterol, triglyceride levels and overall diet? If his health is off kilter, it might be time for a change.

Years ago when I made lunch to go to school, I’d assemble a standard cheese sandwich, fruit and carrot sticks. Day after day, week after week, month after month – yes a budding dietitian back then, but I digress. At one of my my check ups at the paediatrician, our beloved Dr. Hoare noticed an orange tinge to my skin and realized my Vitamin A levels were through the roof. I had Vitamin A toxicity. Who could have guessed, healthy ole me?? Poll anyone you know and they would say carrots are on the “good” list. But at that time in my life too many of them were not good. It’s all about the frequency and the person. I eat carrots, but not as many as I used to.

How BAD are bad foods??
This past weekend I treated myself to traditional pumpkin pie with whipped cream two days in a row AFTER enjoying the main Thanksgiving fare. Gotta love back-to-back family celebrations. I wasn’t rushed to the hospital, nor were any of the other piglets I dined with either dinner. Because I know my lazy metabolism at age 50 and my food loving ways I laid low all week and upped the ante on my exercise routine to offset my planned indulgences and laid low after. I can now see my feet again. I enjoyed those dinners to the MAX.

Now if I started down a pie-lovin’ path for the next weeks and month and threw in the towel on my other positive eating and activity habits, then I’d be heading down the big bad path. See what I mean??

Defining Moderation
I wrote a series posted June 29, July 18, 20 & 21, 2011 that addressed moderation. Give it a reread because my definition of moderation for ice cream is probably different to your Dad’s and the 19 year old fellow next door. In fact the picture on July 18 is me and Indy having an iced cream treat. Trust me, I walked Mount Knox for that treat and it was worth it.

I worry when we professionals start wagging our fingers with our hand on our hip over foods considered a treat. It can set up a whole negative feedback loop of guilt that’s worse than having 1 innocent iced cream. On the other hand, our hedonistic society tries to make us believe we need a treat a minute and that’s wrong too. We need to act all grown up, take a look in the mirror, put our big pants on get real finding middle ground.

So Deb, I’m not sure if I answered your question. I hope I shed some light on this very popular issue. There’s a lot of grey zone when dealing with these kinds of questions, not black and white (or chocolate and vanilla) like the media often paint it which often brings more confusion into view.

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Remember Your Vitamin C Laden Foods

October 12th, 2011 No Comments Tags: , ,

I have been told by some folks that I’m a tad repetitive with my mantra reminder to eat 5-10 fruits and veggies per day. I recently read that a new study is out touting the importance of this – namely eating more fruits and veggies, especially those rich in vitamin C. These help protect your memory as you age. Sign me up for an extra dose of improved memory!!

The researchers recommended we aim to include at least 3 vitamin C rich sources each day. And supplements don’t count. Fruits highest in vitamin C are cantaloupe, oranges, grapefruit, kiwi, mango, papaya, pineapple and strawberries. While veggies highest sources include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, peppers (green & red), kale and tomato juice.

This is one nutrition nugget that’ll come in handy before I forget where I put my car keys again. Ok, I’m off to the market to load up on more of these choices :-)

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Cheers to 400 Strong Through T & T!!

October 11th, 2011 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

Well folks I’ve reached another T & T milestone – 400 posts have gone live!! Oy, talk about verbal diarrhea…. hold the Pepto Bismol!!

Since March, 2010 I have written about food, dieting, life and us on this blogging roller coaster and I don’t see any end in sight….Thank goodness. I feel like we’ve only just begun. I’m in the midst of organizing content with an eye to self publish key themes of material. Stay tuned on that!!

A most sincere thanks to you, my trusty readers. There are times that I wonder, hmmmmm, is there anybody out there reading this stuff. Then I’ll bump into a friend who tells me that she thought I was writing about her in a story series, for instance. Or I’ll receive an e-mail from a gal telling me that what I wrote rang true for her or that she just got a chuckle and who can’t use more of that these days. I have received my share of messages from readers telling me they lost weight by making changes I’ve suggested in their eating and activity and are on their way to successful, long-term weight loss. And WOW, isn’t that what this is all about – bravo!!

Yes folks we ARE in this together, through thick and thin for the long haul. Don’t hesitate to post a comment or drop me a line with anything you’d like me to write about. I’d really love to know. Upward, onward and a hearty cheers!!

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Happy & Healthier @Home

October 10th, 2011 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

How appropriate it is to read about the benefits of eating at home around this Thanksgiving weekend. A study was done asking women to track their eating habits and emotions over a 10 day time period. The researchers found that women tended to eat healthier when they felt happy and at home. How great is that??

We have so many reasons and excuses to eat out so often TGIF, it’s the weekend, gotta get over the Wednesday hump – TIME!! Since when does the food experience from a drive thru window even come close to noshing at home. NEVER that’s when.

I did listen to a radio show about the demise of the coveted dining room though this weekend. I have so many special memories connecting with family and friends around my family table that it shall never be turned into another home entertainment room…good grief……

So the next time you’re tempted to go out to wine and dine, consider doing it up nice yet simply at home. Like Dorothy said so perfectly “there’s no place like home”.

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ThanksGIVING, Not ThanksGETTING….

October 6th, 2011 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

Ahhh yes, it’s that time of year again, here in the great-autumn-coloured-nonwhite-north. Our Thanksgiving long weekend is almost upon us. I took a long walk today and thought about all there is to be thankful for. There certainly is plenty…..

My mind wandered to those selfless souls in our life who are good deed doers. You know, the people who you can always rely on, those silent soldiers who you have on speed dial. YA, those people. My brother-in-law who is hosting my family’s Thanksgiving dinner came to mind……..

I thought more deeply about the word “thanksgiving”. A lightbulb went on about the GIVING. It certainly isn’t called ThanksGETTING, is it? But for some, sadly, it’s about the taking and the getting…..

How often though, do we do deeds to get something in return? You know what I mean, do a favour for someone then broadcast your actions to get public praise or approval. How about buying an expensive gift to ease guilt for what hasn’t been done, but clearly should have. These examples are pretty much a zero sum game and not about giving at all.

Every day is a good day to give thanks, that’s for sure. But this weekend think more deeply about it and how in our lives we can give more, without getting back.

Enjoy this photo as one of my faves this year. It was taken the evening of our 25th anniversary family extravaganza celebration at Mission Hill Winery. A true blessing of a memory, that’s for sure…

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Food Revolution – Leek & Potato Soup

October 5th, 2011 1 Comment Tags: , , ,

It’s that time of year when my cauldron beckons. The wind outside is blowing the trees to and fro as the fallen coloured leaves dance to Mother Nature’s whistling tune. Ahhh for the love of soup. What better a time to make some. I get a smile on my face when I think of soup. My eldest nephew’s first sentence he uttered was “….more soup Sassy….” as we spooned in my Mom’s Acini di Pepe soup oh so many years ago….

My soup repertoire is pretty narrow so I’ve decided this is the season to move my cheese and try a few new recipes. I have written about including soup in your diet and how it has a positive effect on your weight. So join with me ladies, unearth your big pot and ladle and make this a soup-endous season!!

2 leeks (white part)
3 potatoes (washed and peeled)
1 shallot
4 tsp butter
4 cups water or chicken broth
salt, pepper

2 Tbsp fresh cream or low fat sour cream with a few drops of lemon

Peel, wash and dice the leeks and potatoes. Peel the shallot. Put these ingredients in the food processor fit with the knife and chop coarsely.

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Slow fry the vegetables for 5-10 minutes, covered. Add the liquid of your choice and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 20 minutes then liquify the soup in the food processor.

Add the optional ingredients, reheat before serving sprinkling with chopped chervil and fresh ground pepper.

I tried this over the weekend when the wind was whistling and served it with crusty bread on the side. I recounted that ole soup tale which warmed my heart even further. And yes, we did ask for more :-) Yes, some good things never get old!!

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Posted in Food Revolution Recipes, Foodie Fundamentals, Successful Loser Logic | 1 Comment »

I Beg Your Pardon – Vitamin E & Hearing

October 4th, 2011 No Comments Tags: , ,

Well here’s some good news for those in my family hard of hearing, so LISTEN UP!! Australian research shows that vitamin E rich foods may help reduce the risk of age-related hearing loss. Three key foods they mentioned were sweet potatoes, salmon and almonds.

The study found that subjects who consumed the highest amount of carotenoid-rich foods experienced a 47% lower risk of moderate or great hearing loss compared to those subjects who had the lowest amount. Another study was done with salmon intake and there was hearing protection. Say what?? That’s terrific news!!

If you’ve even been to a family function of mine it’s like a Seinfeld episode with a bunch of loud talkers. Everybody gets in the habit of ending a sentence with “pardon” or “what did you say?” So you go prepared to repeat everything…..

Well alleluia pisanos, add these foods to your grocery list STAT!! Now, I will just ask Santa to forget the orange in the stockings and put a sweet potato or almonds instead :-)

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Hey YOU – Ya I’m Talkin’ to YOU!

October 3rd, 2011 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

Well the jig is up folks. Recent literature shows that almost 90% of Canadian children are not meeting Canada’s Physical Activity Guidelines, yet in another study when asked almost 90% of parents thought their kids were active enough. Well, hello McFly, ya I’m talkin’ to you!!

It’s time to wake up and smell the roses, what’s left of them anyways. I don’t care how old you are, it’s a good time to break the bond with your much loved sofa and TV just for a little while and get moving.

Ok so here are the new guidelines:

  • Adults should get 150 minutes of activity per week. It seems low, but hey, who am I to judge? Only 15% of adults meet this goal.
  • Kids and youth should get 60 minutes per day. I think everybody should, but again, who am I to judge?
  • Max (as in upper limit) recreational screen time per day is 2 hours.

As we move our cheese while we move our butt national rates for obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases will improve hands down.

So folks, let’s take it outside with the kids in toe and give our move on a move on, shall we??!!

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Out, Out Darn Spot! Spot Reduction

October 2nd, 2011 No Comments Tags: ,

Does this sound familiar? “I do spot reduction exercises and my “spot” hasn’t changed!”

Do you exercise and feel you’re not achieving the results you’re aiming for? Does your tummy still protrude after doing all of those ab crunches? Do your thighs still jiggle in the opposite direction that you’re walking after months of working out on the stair climber? What gives?

Well for starters folks, persistence pays off. However, not exactly to the degree and exactly how you envision it. Your exercise efforts are not in vein and have many additional benefits than just tightening your butt!! Banish the thought of giving up PERIOD. And say to yourself, like the curlers in the photo “HARDER”!!

There are a wide array of benefits of exercise. Let’s be clear, spot reduction is a misnomer. As you lose weight and your body reshapes we gals often lose weight from where we don’t want, such as the chest first. Mother Nature surely does has a funny way of doing things, doesn’t she? This is one of those phenomena in life flat out of our control.

Over time reflect on the following:

  • Do you sleep better?
  • Do you generally feel more toned?
  • Do you feel you have more energy?
  • Do you handle stress better?
  • Are you able to do life simple activities with ease, like carry your computer bag or open a pickle jar?

Sometimes the benefits of exercise are subtle that it takes some self reflection to realize them.

If your wellbeing has improved since working out take heart knowing you are benefiting from the wide array of positive aspects of exercising. Now about that spot that has barely changed. Think again about your body’s genetic phenotype from family photos and see if you are being realistic about “that spot”. You are better off now than you were before because you exercise so stand back and look at the whole picture and pat yourself on the back for your positive efforts.

As Lady MacBeth said “out, out, darn spot…” in a different context of course; you haven’t lost weight and are unsure of what your body will emerge into keep an open mind. For many if not all, perfection is not a possibility even in Hollywood. Define your own perfect and be realistic.

Now’s the time to learn how to accentuate your positive assets with the way you dress. There is so much dynamic information on this topic, do yourself a favor and take the time to learn about this. You will not only dress for success but your self esteem will flourish. There’s nothing like feeling the best you. Is your haircut in a time-warp? Have you gotten too used to wearing “mommy jeans” that keep you from looking and feeling your best? Do you wear elasticized waists way too often which often results in accommodating overeating??

As you work on that darn spot with exercise look toward accentuating your assets in the meantime so you stop giving yourself a pain in yours. You’ll be feeling much better about yourself in the longrun.

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