Archive for July, 2012

Olympic Attitude

July 31st, 2012 No Comments Tags: ,

There’s nothing I don’t love about the olympics. Even though I am a self proclaimed tortoise I get pumped watching real athletes perform their craft. Further, faster, stronger, better are all goals we can all relate to and strive for in our own meagre lives.

I can’t stand being sunk in couch potato-dom with a bad attitude. No matter your walk of life we can all do just a little bit better, especially where our eating and activity are concerned.

So watch these gazelles perform in all of their splendour. Bring on the gold, silver and bronze for all to see. Let them inspire you to light the fire within to improve…. just for today.

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Ode to the Olympics

July 28th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , , ,

The olympics are here
What a great time of year
To watch and reflect then
Get your big butt in gear

How can you improve?
It can start when you move!
Get off that couch,
Sit up straight and out of a slouch

Enjoy all the sports
You’ll view every sort
Those beach volley ball players
Have six packs in shorts!

Makes me wanna get down
And move around and around
Doing ab crunches, squats and
Stop clowning around

Yes the olympics are here
Time to get one thing clear
We can make some small changes
And reap the benefits all year!

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Bosom Buddy Study

July 26th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , ,

I read about how finding a buddy to start a new regimen can help. You can compare notes, inspire each other and remind each other why you wanted to improve in the first place.

You can use a true blue friend, find a cyber buddy or rely on your doctor or dietitian’s support. One study showed that 40% of dieters who connected with their buddies regularly lost weight over a six month period. They kept it off for 18 months following which was most impressive. After all maintaining the changes you made is the most important part, don’t you think?

Everybody on any plan hits a snag now and then with the ebb and flow of life. That’s what life’s about. It sure is easier when you have an ear, a shoulder, a supporter, a cheerleader to travel with you on your diet roller coaster.

Funny, I had dinner last week with my good friend Loretta. Later in the evening we got to talking about how our bodies have changed now that we’re both north of age 50. She had a perfect line “…my body is no longer my own!” Tell me about it.

In no time we shared exercise tips – arm weights, stretches, lunges, squats, push ups, ab crunches, the works. We ended up showing each other moves that help tone and strengthen getting right down on the floor wearing dresses and all. Good thing we were in her kitchen and not a restaurant!

Now when I do my “mat routine” I think about dropping her a line to see how it’s going. Nothing like having a good buddy to share and motivate.

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Best Food Forward – Bowl of Cherries

July 24th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , , ,

There are many reasons to love this time of year, minus the sweltering heat, especially for the seasonal fruit. One of my all time fave’s is cherries. One seasonal fruit I just can’t get enough of, especially BC cherries, my favorite of all!

It’s so cliché to say that it’s hard to believe that a food so yummy can be so good for you, but I can’t help saying it about cherries! A true fruit from the gods and goddesses full of disease fighting antioxidants to serve and protect. The element anthocyanins work to decrease inflammation helping our heart. Eating cherries helps to lower our cholesterol and triglycerides another heart helping benefit.

I love ‘em straight up cold and washed a bowlful at a time. I love ‘em dried in salads or on cereal, made into a sauce with grilled meats (beef, pork, game or lamb), in crisps any old time.

Celebrate all that summer has to offer by enjoying cherries as a seasonal fruit. Surely a highlight of the present time, that’s for sure! Another benefit of staying in the moment….

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Family Affair with Food Needs a Paradigm Shift

July 22nd, 2012 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

What’s the deal with family and food these days? I recently read some alarming statistics on a study conducted on family and food-related habits. The findings left me thinking more deeply on the matter:

  • 44% of parents to 0-12 year olds don’t know, at 5pm, what they will eat for dinner, at least 3 times per week;
  • 35% of parents mention time as being the major obstacle to eating well;
  • 56% of children say they do not regularly cook with their parents;
  • 80% of children would like to take part in meal preparation;
  • Only 18% of children say that they help daily in meal preparation;
  • 34% of families watch television during mealtime;
  • 32% of families eat outside the home one or two nights per week, and 12% have dinner outside the home almost half of the time;

We spend time on what matters most and it appears that food and eating are becoming alarmingly less important to Canadian families. Kids might take lessons up the whazoo like learning how to play the trumpet but know little about food, even though they’d like to lend a hand in the kitchen. Learning about food and eating is a life skill that will hold your kids up to make them soar through life.

One of my pet peeves when I grocery shop is seeing bigger kids sitting in the grocery cart zoned out while their parent is darting around the store. The grocery store is a perfect setting to get kids involved. Little kids know how to fix your computer, your phone and more but know squat about fixing a sandwich. What gives?! They want to join in with food preparation, so why not let them?!

Do a rethink about food prep and eating together this coming week. Get your kids up close and personal with some basic skills – toss a salad, set a table, make a lunch, choose some plums at the grocery store, then eat together face to face with the boob tube off. Really folks, the skies the limit. What’s nicer than connecting with one another after a hard day’s night? Absolutely nothing, that’s what!

The trumpet has sounded, now’s the time to change.

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Posted in Foodie Fundamentals, Francy Rants, Miss Behavin', Nutrition News | No Comments »

Boost – O – Nature

July 19th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , ,

Getting and staying active are certainly admirable goals for health and wellness. There’s something to be said about doing a variety of activities you enjoy so that you can meet and even surpass your goal. I’m not into treachery, are you? For me working out in a gym is not something I enjoy, but many people do. I love getting outside to play, when I can all year long.

I just read about study results that touted additional benefits of walking in nature – that this can significantly boost your self esteem and mood. Wow, talk about a boost you can use. I always knew I loved Mother Nature, she’s so good for us in so many ways.

Just when you were feeling cruddy or your mood was at a low ebb an all natural remedy can help you turn that frown upside down!

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Posted in Miss Behavin', Nutrition News | No Comments »

Poker Face

July 17th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , , ,

One question I get asked the most is how do I get my child to eat his vegetables? Answering this is like finding the Holy Grail, that million dollar question. Funny when I eat in a public place I sometimes get distracted with family interactions while sharing meals.

Feeding kids day in and day out ties parents in knots that’s for sure. Those first months of feeding babies and toddlers are so important. Anything new to an itty baby is met with a spirit of wonder and adventure. Something parents didn’t think they signed up for with parenthood, not to mention what they have patience for after a long day at the office.

Little one’s sensory input is at it’s max. Some studies show that kids can be offered food over 10 times or more before they’ll actually accept it. The look, the smell the taste, the mouthfeel – all of that is so new to babies, that we forget how sensitive they are.

In addition to all of that parents sometimes project their own likes and dislikes of various food when they’re offering various foods. For example offering a food you don’t enjoy with a disgusted look on your face will result in your tyke to hate it too. I often chuckle inwardly when parents say matter of factly that Little Johnny doesn’t like mushrooms just like me, isn’t that funny. As if there were a genetic link to food likes and dislikes.

So the next time you’re offering your kids food put on your best poker face and smile. You might like the outcome when Little Johnny actually likes it!

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Vacation Salvation

July 15th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , ,

Making time to wind down has so many benefits. Recharging your battery, reconnecting with your bella familia or even spending time with the woman in the mirror is oh so important.

I just read about more benefits of vacationing – did you know that high-risk heart patients who regularly take annual vacations decrease their risk of death from heart disease by 29%. This same study found that people who vacation have a 17% lower risk of death from any cause.

We’ve read over and over that taking time off is crucial for stress recovery and this is key to improving well-being and job performance.

I think people say they’ll travel some time in the future and just need to make plans already. What are you waiting for? You may have notions of a grandiose holiday that costs a bomb when planning something simpler could bring you just as much joy with money to spare. Be spontaneous and take advantage of a seat sale. Go some place off season and save dough all around.

It’s a big world out there waiting to be seen. Get out of your own backyard. Check out your own country or travel abroad. Make time and enjoy. It could be your saving grace.

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Best Food Forward – Olives & Olive Oil

July 13th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , ,

Pour it, dip it, herb it and cook it – gotta love the taste and goodness of olive oil. Mmmm I made my famous heirloom Tomato, Salami with Boconcini salad last week and enjoyed everybody’s enjoyment, especially my own. Talk about a special family heirloom recipe – a family gift that keeps in giving.

The benefits are many using these drops of gold or eating olives as a snack. Olive oil is high in those heart healthy monounsaturated fats that assist our bad cholesterol to go down while the good stuff to go up. It’s also a good source of Vitamin E and poly phenols. So much goodness in every drop.

Drizzle some on salad, on grilled vegetables, even on grilled French stick or foccacio with your own assortment of goodies on an antipasto plate that can start a meal or BE your meal. You decide.

Don’t forget just because some is good, a glug glug glug with the olive oil jug isn’t necessarily better, at 120 calories a tablespoon try not to double dribble too much. Do make sure you get double the enjoyment though!

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UNTouched up Models

July 10th, 2012 No Comments Tags: ,

Oh hurray for Seventeen Magazine and their forward thinking declaring they will cease and desist touching up models photos. What is it, 2012? I’m not necessarily jumping up and down over the matter, but feel it’s a baby step in the right direction. How about taking a running leap in the right direction and have images of people who are normal weight – GASP. Do we even know what normal is anymore?

I feel sunk when I think about girls, teens, women and self-esteem, or lack of it. Oh to measure up to the super skinny female images in magazines and on TV. It’s impossible, even for the models. Whether we like to agree with it or not we’re all affected by it.

We now live in a country where almost 60% of the population is either overweight or obese, but have an indelible image of what the ideal female form should be. How nuts is that? Very! Yes it is a mad, mad, mad, mad, mad world, that’s for sure. Sadly.

Where the masses’ weight is compared to these images are diametrically opposed. I wonder if people feel aiming for that unrealistic form is so far from achievable why even try. This is a crying shame when being empowered to make a few small changes can make the world of difference metabolically for many.

Thinking more deeply though, I wish these magazines could make an even grander shift and have images of ROLE models instead of conventional models. Mother Teresa might not have strutted in Manolo’s but she surely provided our world with a mountain of good deeds and grace to make our world a better place because of her. Wouldn’t it be great to spend less time trying to look like a model and spend more time trying to be a role model? How’s that for an idea?

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Posted in Francy Rants, Nutrition News | No Comments »