Posts Tagged ‘limits’

Week 3: Prioritize Portion Size this #NutritionMonth!

March 11th, 2016 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

When it comes to healthy eating, how much you eat can be just as important as what you eat. Eating portions that are too big can lead to overeating and weight gain. Follow these tips to manage the munchies while enjoying realistic portions.

Give yourself a hand! Size up your portions with handy estimates.

Wondering if you’re eating too much or too little? Use your hand and try these estimates on for size:

• 1 cup of leafy green veggies or 1 whole piece of fruit = 1 fist
• Fresh, frozen or canned vegetables = ½ fist
• 1 slice of bread or ½ bagel = 1 hand
• 1 cup of milk or ¾ cup of yogurt = 1 fist
• 50 grams of cheese = 2 thumbs
• Serving of chicken = palm of hand
• ¾ cup of pulses (e.g. lentils, black beans, chick peas) = 1 fist

For more handy serving sizes, visit: https://www.eatrightontario.ca/handyguide/

Size counts! Package, plate and portion sizes can influence how much you eat.

Larger portions, huge packages and bigger plates and bowls can all cause overeating. Set your table for portion-size success with these tips:

• Use smaller, lunch-sized plates and bowls for meals. You’ll eat less but still feel satisfied.
• Serve food, or have family members serve themselves, from the counter or the stove.
• Keep serving dishes of vegetables on the table. If you’re still hungry, eat second portions of veggies.
• Put large glasses of water on the table. You might even drink more water.

Manage munchies! Keep treat-type snack foods out of sight so you’ll be less likely to nibble.
Studies show, you are more likely to choose available, easily reached foods. Try these tips to make healthy choices easier:
• Keep nourishing snacks (e.g. hardboiled eggs, cut up veggies, yogurt, nuts, whole grain crackers) on an eye-level shelf in the fridge or cupboards so something healthy is the first thing you see.
• Put high-fat, high-sugar treats, such as cookies, into non-transparent containers at the back of the fridge or cupboard so they’re out of sight.
• Clear kitchen counters of all food except for a bowl of fresh fruit for crunchy snacking.

Fuel up! For long-lasting satisfaction, eat fibre- and protein-rich foods.
Finding yourself hungry too soon after eating meals or snacks? You might need to add more fibre- and protein-rich foods to your meals. Fibre helps fill you up and protein helps your energy last longer. Together, they deliver meal and snack satisfaction.

• Fibre up. Choose more vegetables, whole fruits, whole grains (e.g. barley or oatmeal), ground flax, nuts and seeds, and pulses (e.g. lentils, black beans, chickpeas).
• Put protein on your plate. Enjoy small portions of meat, fish, poultry or alternatives (eggs, pulses, tofu) and milk products.
For fantastic fibre-filled or protein-packed recipes, visit: www.cookspiration.com

Adapted from The Dietitians of Canada’s Nutrition Month Campaign Materials. Find more information about Nutrition Month at: www.nutritionmonth2016.ca

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Hold the trick on treats this Halloween!

October 28th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

The tweet fest has been mounting about whether to give kids healthy treats or toys at Halloween, hmmmm. Is that an oxymoron – “healthy treats”? I call that a “trick” in the “trick or treat” declaration, wouldn’t you?

Look folks, Halloween comes but once a year. It’s fun to celebrate a spirited day, dress up funny and shell out. Why suck the fun out of it? Truth be told, it’s a perfect time of year to put your relationship with food to the test…

Food means so much more than simply the vitamins and minerals it contains, but has a place within our social and psychological fabric. Kids are sharp as tacks being intuitive, sometimes more than we adults ever realize. When we the “gate keepers” take the “treat” out of “trick or treat” kids get the message that you’re telling them that something is bad about that. When you head down that road, it’s a slippery slope in a negative direction. Kids who live in “cleansed” environments without any goodies could go into “food seeking” mode and will gorge on treats when they eventually get them. Some studies have shown this. The unintended consequence could result in psychological eating issues which could shackle them in a vortex of disordered eating for decades. Lighten up!

Ideally we all want kids to establish a positive relationship with food or as I like to say “a love affair” described in my e-book. This involves eating and enjoying food, some treats in moderation, guilt free. This is not a black or white issue, but grey. When we deem foods by our actions as “bad” the unintended consequences could be staggering. That’s not the goal is it: to create a negative situation by being so virtuous?

I usually wait until the day before the big day to pick up my treats. You name it, I get it – potato chips, Cheetos, chocolate bars, candy, the full court press of offerings. It’s Halloween folks, kids don’t want “healthy treats” and neither do I as I sit at the door when the tykes drop by. Save the bridge games for the old folks home! What kind of trick is that? A very bad one! This is one of those occasions to take part in and have fun – nibble, nosh and be merry. When the sugar rush wears off, it’ll be time for school and work so enjoy!
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Take Me to Your Leader, a Father’s Day Tribute

June 19th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , ,

I did some reminiscing about my Dad lately with Father’s Day right around the corner. He’s been such a positive force and stellar role model for me. This applies to all aspects of my life, but of course I’ll focus on the health related part, mostly. It’s a good time to toot his horn and turn the spotlight on my family’s silent soldier. He’s a silent soldier in part due to living in a household with 5 women who barely allowed him to get a word in edgewise…. When I hear about the importance of various family factors resulting in positive health outcomes for kids, it warms my heart to know how lucky I’ve been.

Family MealtimesHe knew about prioritizing what was important in life despite being a busy accountant (and still does). We consistently ate meals together as a family – breakfast and dinner. Fathers can play a very important role in the health of their family by scheduling work accordingly. It was our time to eat a home cooked meal together, catch up on our day and connect.

Family Activities – We learned activities we can all do together – tennis, swimming, badminton and made time to do them.

Leading by Example – He is a master time compartmentalizer even when work was super crazy. He had a very busy job yet always made time for physical activity. He was in good shape and used to jog a few miles a day and play squash. My sister and I took up jogging too, following his lead. We figured if He can do it, we can too!

Showing Tough Love, Setting Limits as a United Front – My Mom and Dad always worked as a team and he supported my Mom with the limit setting. They weren’t our best friends, they were our parents and secure enough not to cross that line.

Encouragement with a Reality Check – My Dad encouraged us to be the best we could be in whatever we chose to do in life. He didn’t flower up reality and would give you the straight goods when you needed it. He expected we get part time jobs and work, save money and pay for what we could. We learned the value of a dollar and not to spend what we didn’t have. All important life skills.

What does all of this have to do with eating and lifestyle… well, everything??!! When your life is properly balanced, wisely prioritized with good examples to follow it’s easier to make sound decisions. Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People book reflects how my Dad conducted his life naturally.

Thank you Dad for being such an amazing father and role model to me. I kept the family name as a testament of my pride for what you built on our branch of the family tree. You’re the best and I love you bushels full!

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Blizzard to cool off? These findings will chill you…

May 13th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

Ahhh the sights, sounds and smells of summer are here. The magnolias are blossoming, birds chirping while the coif of fresh cut grass abounds, ahhh. Nothing can be finer, truly. I shared a tweet with my better half of a picture of the cartoon Snoopy enjoying an iced cream cone treat, mmmmm. It got me contemplating a visit to MooLix in Kelowna for a scoop and an evening stroll beside Lake Okanagan sometime soon. I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen my share of DQ and Blizzard commercials, haven’t you? I decided to check out their promos like I did last year in my Summertime Scoop post to see how special these specials really are…. Awareness is bliss when discovering the nutritional value of those seasonal treats to cool off by!

Want a Blizzard? Let Hell Freeze Over First!
My fingers did the walking through the cesspool of nutritional data finding delectable choices such as Peanut Butter and Brownie Cookie Dough, Cotton Candy and Salted Carmel Truffle aka the PMS Buster. Hmmm, my dietitian antenna go up with anything served in a super duper sized cup with a spoon that stands on end. Put these benchmark nutritional requirements for an average male/day in your bonnet to compare what I found: 2,100 calories, 13gm saturated fat, 6-12 tsp sugar and 2,400mg sodium.

I sleuthed through the numbers for the large portion of the selections, so play along with me won’t you with some examples:

Brownie Cookie Dough Blizzard – 1510 calories; 63gm fat (14 tsp); 138gm sugar (35 cubes)

Note that the so called PMS Buster has 750mg sodium, so if you were retaining fluid before you gobbled this goblet of goo down you won’t be able to remove your rings until a week Sunday. Awareness is bliss alright and menu labelling would probably stop you in your tracks if you saw these numbers BEFORE you purchased. DQ is doubling down and promoting their buy one get one free to boot, good grief. Save yourself the sugar rush and think this through. With the winter we experienced who even wants to think about blizzards? If you’re looking to cool off take a jump in the lake instead!

The “Not So Special”, Special – Walk 20 Miles to Burn it Off
My attention turned to their summer “not so special”, lunchtime special, hmmm. This combo of doom includes a bacon cheeseburger, fries, 21oz drink and a sundae that can be swapped for a small Blizzard for a buck extra, oh joy. My calculations included a regular soda pop plus the dessert swap:

1,990 calories; 75gm fat (17 tsp); 198gm sugar (50 cubes); 2,090mg sodium

Oh my achy breaky heart! You can build the Wall of China with all of those sugar cubes. How much money are you saving on this “not so special”, special? The numbers hit the stratosphere when compared to those benchmarks for daily intake noted above. If you wanted to burn this lunchtime letdown off you’d need to take a 20 mile walk which is a 7 hour stroll. Now I need some air…

Sink With this Drink!
Then I surfed through the Julius bevys with fruity and refreshing sounding names of Triple Berry to Strawberry Kiwi or Pina Colada. What can be wrong with any of these? Well, everything, that’s what! In one large serving of the Pina Colada here’s what you get:

760 calories; 151gm sugar (38 cubes)

That big gulp will put a lump in your throat among other places. I can hear the honey bees buzzing over now to get at this one with their honey bee noses smudged up against the DQ window! These numbers are far from refreshing so save your money. What began as a humorous little exercise is no longer funny.

Test, Test, Time to Do the Eating Satisfaction Test
I refer to myself as a “non finger waging dietitian” folks and suggest you make decisions for yourself. Begin with my Awareness is Bliss exercise that I describe in my ebook Skinny on Slim the Little Black Dress of Diet Books and gain a better understanding of what’s in your food by knowing what the nutritional numbers are before you choose. You will do better when you know better. That $5 lunch special provided more than my nutritional requirements for energy in 1 day and is “not so special” after all. Take my Eating Satisfaction Test described after Halloween where you hone in on how your food choice made you feel 1 hour after consuming it. I’d wager that after that Blizzard choice you’d be reaching for Tums and a soft comfy cushion to nap like Dilbert feeling the afternoon slump in spades not to mention indigestion. You are not experiencing joy from eating, but misery. Find joy people.

When I say all foods fit I mean a snack sized morsel, once in a while, such as 1-2 small treats each week – sit, savour and enjoy then forget about it. There are many summertime joys and savouring a simple ice cream cone can be one of them. Remember, there’s more to life than stuffing your face!

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Cindy-lou Hoo’s Christmas Do’s & Don’ts

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

So have you started into the pity pudding, the nuts, the cakes, the cookies, the martinis and more? Time to get your head on straight and do a “yoooo hoooo” so you don’t end up with a big “booooo hoo”. You know me, all foods can fit. Oh ye Christmas does only come around for thee, once a year. You; however,  wouldn’t want to ruin all of your stealth eating efforts by the time the clock strikes 12 come New Year’s. Don’t you think?

There simply are some foods this time of year I am truly going to enjoy. The notion of “all foods fit” doesn’t mean you have everything in sight for the duration though. Decide what’s part of your Christmas eating season and make plans to enjoy them in moderation. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to consider as you plan ahead:

  • DO plan to wear a smashing outfit to your parties, without an elasticized waistband to nudge you with a “whoa horsey” slow down mechanism.
  • DON’T tell yourself you can’t eat your favourite foods, cause you’re just gonna give in and binge so much more.
  • DO have a snack before you go to your parties, to help curb your appetite.
  • DON’T start drinking those bottomless glasses of wine, that seems like 1 that’s really 5 as your host tops them up.
  • DO keep track of your bevy’s and plan to enjoy a few then graduate to the bubbly stuff, mineral water with lime.
  • DON’T try to make your hostess overjoyed by overdoing it. You’ll be paying in spades if you do.
  • DO get a handle on the menu ahead of time so you can plan your indulgences according.
  • DON’T skip, skip, skip your exercise cause that gald dang energy equation will bite you in your butt if you do.
  • DO enjoy yourself and your family with the season turning your focus to them and away from food. Isn’t that what the holidays are really all about and not stuffing your face?

So before you get knee deep in the Christmas cookie clamour, give yourself a loud “yoooo hoooo” cause you’ll be happy once you doooooooo!!

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The Other 12 Days of Christmas

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

Ok my cherished T & T followers. Let’s all sing along together from the same proverbial song-sheet now that the Christmas season is in full swing, shall we? HmHmmHmm.

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

1 Daily Breakfast – Successful losers say and research shows it’s the most important meal of the day. Don’t miss it!

2 Little Snacks – Keeping your hunger at bay will really help you from feeling ravenous and overeating.

3 Square Meals – Having a regular eating routine with balanced meals helps your metabolism fire on all cylinders. A true gift to yourself.

4 Small Plates – Keeping an eye on your serving size by using smaller plates is an easy way to help you portion out less food and eat less over the holidays and everyday.

5 No-cal Drinks – Having enough fluids and focusing on eating your calories rather than drinking them helps fill you up and keeps you hydrated.

6 Times a Movin’ – Keeping regularly active and even taking it up a notch this time of year to offset any extra nibbling will help you burn extra calories, keep on track, feel fit and even ease stress.

7 Beauty Sleeps - Getting enough zzzzz’s helps with appetite regulation and allows you to be more productive. Nite nite.

8 Maids a Milkin’ – Including this perfect food into your regimen as a snack and with meals will add taste, protein and help satiety, not to mention a whole lot of nutritional goodness.

9 Ladies Dancing – Doing the hokey pokey at the holiday party will help you burn 276 calories an hour, by rockin’ round the clock! Bye bye trifle calories…..

10 Fruit & Veg – Eating your quota of these everyday helps fill you up while easing those extras out because you’re simply feeling full. Like magic.

11 Wipers Wipin’ – Doing housework isn’t all bad, you’ll burn 216 calories an hour while making your nest pristine for when company pops in unexpectedly.

12 Drummers Drummin’ – March to the beat of your own drum and don’t let those saboteurs change your plans gets you in the dietary drivers seat. Stick with it, you’ll be glad you did!

Ok folks, if you follow this beat for the coming weeks you’ll be in good shape and feeling extra cheer by New Year, fa la la la la, la la la la!

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Sports Snack Pact

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

I’ve been reading all sorts of nuggets on what to eat before sports and after sports and mulling all of this over, hmmmm. It seems to me that those of us from the Couch-Potato World who chronically sit all day and intersperse it with mere movement ought not qualify for the pre or post game snack. Don’t you think?

I have heard that for the average person there is very little if any “discretionary calories” to spend on extras for most adults given our sedentary lifestyles. Many of us have jobs where we sit at a desk for much of the day. Yes my hand is up on that one. So we probably have not earned extra to burn. Think about this folks.

I’m surmising this is the case for a vast majority of people who fit in stealth activity. I suggest you sip on some water to wet your whistles then off you go to get moving. None of this protein bar business is needed, nor is an electrolyte and sugar sweetened laden bevy in order for you. You might just be negating any good you’re doing by sache’ing your way off your easy chair and into mere movement.

Listen up, a solemn, medium sized apple has 72 calories in it so will take 3/4 of a mile to walk off. Take the innocent energy bar which has 220 calories in it, this will take about a 2.2 mile walk to burn that off, catch my drift?

So make a sports snack pact with me now that unless you take up your activity level MANY levels, you can forgo the treat that some have us convinced we actually need before or after activity, when we actually don’t.

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Halloween Scene

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

It’s that time of year again – leaves falling, temperatures dipping and little goblins planning their trick or treating, ahhh Halloween.  I look forward to this day: a good excuse to wear orange; an acceptable reason to have extra treats in the house; a perfect time to connect with the kids and families in the neighbourhood. What’s not to love?

It’s fun to have a spirited day to dress up funny and shell out. Anyone who knows me, realizes it doesn’t have to be Halloween to do that. :-)

I have a special door bell with a Halloween setting, oh joy. When pressed you can hear a witch screach “AaaaaaAaaaa” (no that’s not me, it’s the other one…), a horn honk “beep beep”, a door slam “thump”, a ghost bellow “wooooOOooooOO”, a gong chime….. How fun! What I love the most is that every kid who comes to my door says “thank you”. I know I’m turning into an ole fogey, but I do appreciate good manners even when the little beggers trample my flower bed…

Once the shelling out is done it’s great when parents divide and conquer, sorting through the treats before the noshing begins with safety in mind. Make a few rules around these and keep ‘em for a few weeks then give them away. It’s fun days like this where we challenge our relationship with food. As I’ve said many times all foods fit and work it in. Up the ante on activity. With the last of the leaves falling, extra yard work is certainly in order.

I usually wait until the day before the big day to pick up my treats. You name it, I get it – chips, Cheetos, chocolate bars, candy, the full court press of offerings. It’s Halloween folks, kids don’t want “healthy treats” and neither do I as I sit at the door when the tykes drop by. Save the bridge games for the old folks home! What kind of trick is that? A very bad one! This is one of those occasions to take part in and have fun – nibble, nosh and be merry. When the sugar rush wears off, it’ll be time for school and work so enjoy!

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Weight loss fast or slow? Changing habits is the way to go!

October 20th, 2014 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I read the headline flurry about that study conducted deducing whether you lose weight at a fast or slow rate, people gain the weight back. Somehow I knew that UNsound sound bite would be retweeted by many, good grief.

I get my eyeballs frosted with studies AND reporting like this. Both groups of study subjects were put on diet regimens designed to lose weight quickly or slowly both groups using some degree of liquid meal replacements. The last time I checked I don’t believe Optifast was served at my Thanksgiving dinner last weekend, how about at yours? I describe in my ebook Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books that before you try any diet make sure it passes the Thanksgiving Dinner Test. Hit the buzzer on these folks as they fail on all accounts.

If you talk to any Yo-Yo dieter I’m sure all will agree how easy it is to lose weight, as many admit “I’ve done it many times!” There’s a clue in that statement folks it’s the word “diet” because diets don’t work – period. If you do want to lose weight the secret is in your ability and commitment to change habits and your mindset for the better, for good. I discuss in my ebook details about the National Weight Control Registry of “Successful Weight Losers”, which is a perfect group to emulate if you want to do this.

I feel for people toying with the idea of changing their habits for the better who many now stop in their tracks and exclaim “forget about it!” after reading those headlines.

Let’s hope they find wisdom to embrace change one tiny step at a time so the pebbles of change turn into an avalanche of positive results in time. Don’t give up!

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Posted in Francy Rants, Miss Behavin', Nutrition News, Successful Loser Logic, Who's Zoomin' Who?? | No Comments »

Test 1-2, Test – Put Your Plan to the Thanksgiving Dinner Test

October 8th, 2014 3 Comments Tags: , , , , ,

Well folks, Canadian Thanksgiving is almost upon us. Who doesn’t love this festive weekend, especially the lavish family meals that go with it. That horn of plenty is bursting with all this harvest has to offer. Think about what is served at a typical Thanksgiving dinner: the turkey, the nutty dressing, those golden roasted potatoes, Brussels sprouts, mashed yams, cauliflower and cheese casserole, homemade pie with a dab of ice cream. Ahhh gotta love all of this with a repeat to cover both sides of the bella famiglia.

Some people, might like this time of year though to kick off a new diet plan along with the football season. If this is the case for you put whatever regimen you choose to my special test – the “Thanksgiving Dinner Test” explained in my ebook Skinny on Slim. If a diet doesn’t allow you to eat the food served at this celebratory dinner, then forget about it, don’t give it another thought!

I’m not a lover of diets. They’re like living in a straight jacket with so many don’ts they’re hard to keep track of and even harder to adhere to. Many do result in weight loss, for a little while, until your resolve caves making the food floodgates to fly open, then your weight rebounds. You end up feeling like you failed rather than the diet failed you. Think about it. Let this fall be pivotal for you and go on a plan you can adhere to for life, set in fundamental principles to help you lose weight, thrive, and soar for good to Slim Town.

Look yourself in the mirror and make a pact that from this day forward you will set yourself free from dieting forever. Be darn sure that the plan you choose passes my Thanksgiving dinner test.

Read about this with solutions to help you along your journey in Skinny On Slim, The little black dress of diet books.

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Posted in Foodie Fundamentals, Successful Loser Logic | 3 Comments »