Thursday, March 31, 2016

Intuitive Eating Principle #8

Respect Your Body

Accept your genetic blueprint. Just as a person with a shoe size of eight would not expect to realistically squeeze into a size six, it is equally as futile (and uncomfortable) to have the same expectation with body size. But mostly, respect your body, so you can feel better about who you are. It's hard to reject the diet mentality if you are unrealistic and overly critical about your body shape.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Intuitive Eating Principle #7

Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food

Find ways to comfort, nurture, distract, and resolve your issues without using food. Anxiety, loneliness, boredom, anger are emotions we all experience throughout life. Each has its own trigger, and each has its own appeasement. Food won't fix any of these feelings. It may comfort for the short term, distract from the pain, or even numb you into a food hangover, but food won't solve the problem. If anything, eating for an emotional hunger will only make you feel worse in the long run. You'll ultimately have to deal with the source of the emotion, as well as the discomfort of overeating.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Intuitive Eating Principle #6

Discover the Satisfaction Factor

The Japanese have the wisdom to promote pleasure as one of their goals of healthy living. In our fury to be thin and healthy, we often overlook one of the most basic gifts of existence--the pleasure and satisfaction that can be found in the eating experience. When you eat what you really want, in an environment that is inviting and conducive, the pleasure you derive will be a powerful force in helping you feel satisfied and content. By providing this experience for yourself, you will find that it takes much less food to   decide you've had "enough."

Monday, March 28, 2016

Intuitive Eating Principle #5

Respect Your Fullness.

Listen for the body signals that tell you that you are no longer hungry. Observe the signs that show that you're comfortably full. Pause in the middle of a meal or food and ask yourself how the food tastes, and what is your current fullness level?

Friday, March 25, 2016

Intuitive Eating Principle #4

Challenge the Food Police

Scream "NO" to thoughts in your head that declare you're "good" for eating under 1000 calories or "bad" because you ate a piece of chocolate cake. The Food Police monitor the unreasonable rules that dieting has created . The police station is housed deep in your psyche, and its loud speaker shouts negative barbs, hopeless phrases, and guilt-provoking indictments. Chasing the Food Police away is a critical step in returning to Intuitive Eating.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Intuitive Eating Principle #3

Make Peace with Food

Call a truce, stop the food fight! Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. If you tell yourself that you can't or shouldn't have a particular food, it can lead to intense feelings of deprivation that build into uncontrollable cravings and, often, bingeing When you finally “give-in” to your forbidden food, eating will be experienced with such intensity, it usually results in Last Supper overeating, and overwhelming guilt.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Intuitive Eating Principle #2

Honor Your Hunger

Keep your body biologically fed with adequate energy and carbohydrates.
Otherwise you can trigger a primal drive to overeat. Once you reach the moment of excessive hunger, all intentions of moderate, conscious eating are fleeting and irrelevant. Learning to honor this first biological signal sets the stage for re-building trust with  yourself and food.

Use the Hunger & Fullness Scale to listen to your body and pay better attention to when you are hunger and when you are full.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Intuitive Eating Principle #1

Intuitive eating is an approach that teaches you how to create a healthy relationship with your food, mind, and body. Over the next week or so we will focus each day on 1 of the 10 guiding principles of Intuitive Eating. 

Reject the Diet Mentality. Throw out the diet books and magazine articles that offer you false hope of losing weight  quickly, easily, and permanently. Get angry at the lies that have led you to feel as if you were a failure every time a new diet stopped working and you gained back the weight. If you allow even one small hope to linger that a new and better diet might be lurking around the corner, it will prevent you from being free to rediscover Intuitive Eating.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Hunger & Fullness Scale

As we start the Nutrition Challenge remember the Hunger/Fullness scale we mentioned earlier in the contest? Take a look at it again and become familiar with it. This tool is a great way to get back in touch with your body and to live a healthier life is to pay attention and be mindful when you are eating. Start by paying attention to your hunger and fullness. Use the scale below to help you get more in tune with your eating habits and develop a healthier relationship with food.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Staying Safe and Avoiding Injury

Physical activity is generally safe for everyone. People who are physically fit have less chance of injury than those who are not fit. The health benefits you gain from being active are far greater than the chances of getting hurt. Being inactive is definitely not good for your health.

Here are some things you can do to stay safe while you are active:

                        If you haven’t been active in a while, start slowly and build up.

                        Learn about the types and amounts of activity that are right for you.

                        Choose activities that are appropriate for your fitness level.

              Build up the time you spend before switching to activities that take more effort.

 Use the right safety gear and sports equipment.

 Choose a safe place to do your activity.

See a health care provider if you have a health problem.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Work out at Home

No time to make it to the gym?  Try this at-home work out

10 push ups
20 sit ups
25 squats
20 lunges (10 per leg)
80 jumping jacks
60 second wall sit

Repeat 3 times. 
Remember to go at your own pace.  If you are just starting and can't make it through the full work out, try cutting the numbers in half until your body is used to the work out and you can build yourself up to the full work out.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Chicken Salad Sandwich Recipe

Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad Sandwich
From the plump grapes and fresh apples to the sweet cranberries, this lightened up sandwich won’t even taste healthy!
  • 1 pound cooked chicken breast, shredded
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup diced apple
  • 2/3 cup grapes, halved
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 rolls ciabatta bread, toasted, for serving
  • In a large bowl, combine chicken, red onion, apple, grapes, dried cranberries or currants, sliced almonds, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Serve sandwiches on ciabatta bread with chicken mixture.
posted by Chungah on November 7, 2012 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Activity Pyramid

The activity pyramid is a guide that adults may use to plan for an active lifestyle. Choose activities from all levels of the pyramid and consider these tips:
  • Check with your health care provider before you begin a moderate intensity physical activity program.
  • Choose activities that you will enjoy.
  • Begin slowly and set a realistic goal - "I will take a 10 minute walk during lunch on 3 days each week."
  • Record and reward your progress.
  • Get support from family and friends.
  • Plan for problems - have an indoor activity plan for bad weather days.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Walk With Purpose

Not only is regular, brisk walking the activity of choice for millions of people, but you also are more likely to stick with walking than any other exercise.

Regular physical activity helps prevent early death and chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 Diabetes, depression, and some types of cancer. Research shows that for some adults, every one hour of regular, vigorous physical activity may increase life expectancy by two hours.

You can start walking today! It’s free and requires no equipment other than a sturdy pair of walking shoes. As for when to walk, there is only one key: Choose a time that you can stick with. There’s no “right” time to walk; it’s about figuring out what works with your schedule.

• walk your errands

• walk the dog

• walk at lunch

• walk at work (try an outdoor “walking meeting”)

• walk at the park (while kids are playing/ practicing sports)

• walk while catching up with a friend on your mobile phone

American Heart Association

Friday, March 11, 2016

Yes, Exercise Can Be FUN!

Even families on the go can find ways to sneak in physical activity during the busy spring and summer months. A few ideas:

• Organize old-fashioned backyard games (like jumping rope, tag or relay races).

• Feeling creative? Build an obstacle course with your kids that involves activities like hopping, reaching,     pulling and racing.

• Take a hike. Hiking is a fantastic way to explore new places.

• Try a stroller class with your little one.

• Organize a neighborhood scavenger hunt.

• Play pool games (like volleyball and tag) or have pool races.

• Strap on inline skates and head to the park.

• Take a family bike ride.

• Take your yoga mat outside while the little ones play in a splash pool.
American Heart Association

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Fuel up Before Exercise

Your body is your vehicle, so you have to keep your engine — your heart — running when you work out.
That means fueling up your tank with the right foods and your radiator with the right fluids, using with right amounts at the right times.

Before: Fuel Up!                                             

Ideally, fuel up two hours before you exercise by:

  • Hydrating with water.
  • Eating healthy carbohydrates such as whole grain cereals (with low-fat or skim milk), whole-wheat toast (without the fatty cream cheese), low-fat or fat-free yogurt, whole grain pasta, brown rice, fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoiding saturated fats and even a lot of healthy protein — because these types of fuels digest slower in your stomach and take away oxygen and energy-delivering blood from your muscles. 

If you only have 5-10 minutes before you exercise, eat a piece of fruit such as an apple or banana.

During: Make a Pit Stop

Whether you’re a professional athlete who trains for several hours or you have a low to moderate routine, keep your body hydrated with small, frequent sips of water..

After: Refuel Your Tank

  • Fluids. Drink water, of course. Blend your water with 100% juice such as orange juice which provides fluids, carbohydrates.
  • Carbohydrates. You burn a lot of carbohydrates — the main fuel for your muscles — when you exercise. In the 20-60 minutes after your workout, your muscles can store carbohydrates and protein as energy and help in recovery.
  • Protein. Eat things with protein to help repair and grow your muscles. It’s important to realize that these are general guidelines. We have different digestive systems and “a lot depends on what kind of workout you’re doing,” Platt said.

    So do what works best for you. Know that what you put in your body (nutrition) is as important as you what you do with your body (exercise). Both are crucial to keeping your engine performing at its best.
American Heart Association

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken and Rice Recipe

With a handful of ingredients, you have a delicious all-in-one meal that your family will love!

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 (8 oz) box Zatarain's Yellow Rice Mix (or your favorite yellow rice)
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained

1.  Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray.  Place chicken in the bottom, then top with diced onion and green pepper.  Spoon soup on top of vegetables and place lid on top of slow cooker.
2. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
3.  While chicken is cooking, prepare rice as directed on package.
4.  When chicken is finished cooking, remove chicken from slow cooker and shred using two forks.  Return shredded chicken to slow cooker, then add in the cooked rice, cheese, and corn.  Mix together and serve.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Exercise at Work

It seems like everyone is working longer hours and saying there is not time for exercise.  What if you could actually work out at work?  You can!  You can stretch, do muscle strengthening exercises and even short stints of aerobic exercises right at your desk or in a vacant stairwell or conference room.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

·         Do one-legged squats (hold onto a wall or table for support) while waiting for a web page to load, the copier to spit out your reports, or faxes to slither out.

·         Stand with one leg straight and try to kick your buttocks with the other.

·         Sitting in your chair, lift one leg off the seat, extend it out straight, hold for 2 seconds; then lower your foot (stop short of the floor) and hold for several seconds. Switch; do each leg 15 times.

·         To work your chest and shoulders, place both hands on your chair arms and slowly lift your bottom off the chair. Lower yourself back down but stop short of the seat, hold for a few seconds. Do 15 times.

·         To stretch your back and strengthen your biceps, place your hands on the desk and hang on. Slowly push your chair back until your head is between your arms and you're looking at the floor. Then slowly pull yourself back in. Again, 15 of these.

·         Desk pushups can be a good strengthener. (First, make sure your desk is solid enough to support your weight.) Standing, put your hands on the desk. Walk backward, then do push-ups against the desk. Repeat 15 times.

Stretching exercises are a natural for the desk-bound, to ease stress and keep your muscles from clenching up.

·         Sitting tall in your chair, stretch both arms over your head and reach for the sky. After 10 seconds, extend the right hand higher, then the left.

·         Let your head loll over so that your right ear nearly touches your right shoulder. Using your hand, press your head a little lower (gently, now). Hold for 10 seconds. Relax, and then repeat on the other side.

·         Try this yoga posture to relieve tension: Sit facing forward, then turn your head to the left and your torso to the right, and hold a few seconds. Repeat 15 times, alternating sides.

·         Sitting up straight, try to touch your shoulder blades together. Hold, and then relax.

·         You get to put your feet up for this one! To ease the hamstrings and lower back, push your chair away from your desk and put your right heel up on the desk. Sit up straight, and bend forward just until you feel a gentle stretch in the back of your leg. Flex your foot for a few seconds, and then point it. Bend forward a little farther, flex your foot again, and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic-Feature


Monday, March 7, 2016

Suggestions for Overcoming Physical Activity Barriers

Understanding common barriers to physical activity and creating strategies to overcome them may help you make physical activity part of your daily life.

Lack of Time:

·         Identify available time slots.  Monitor your daily activities for one week.  Identify at least three 30 minute time slots you could use for physical activity.

·         Add physical activity to your daily routine.  For example, walk or ride your bike to work or shopping, organize school activities around physical activity, walk the dog, exercise while you watch TV, park farther away from your destination, etc.

·         Select activities requiring minimal time, such as walking, jogging, or stair climbing.

Social Influence:

·         Explain your interest in physical activity to friends and family.  Ask them to support your efforts.

·         Invite friends and family members to exercise with you.  Plan social activities involving exercise.

·         Develop new friendships with physically active people.  Join a group, such as the YMCA or a hiking club.

Lack of Energy:

·         Schedule physical activity for times in the day or week when you feel energetic.

·         Convince yourself that if you give it a chance, physical activity will increase your energy level; then, try it.

Lack of Motivation:

·         Plan ahead.  Make physical activity a regular part of your daily or weekly schedule and write it on your calendar.

·         Invite a friend to exercise with you on a regular basis and write it on both your calendars.

·         Join an exercise group or class.

Fear of Injury:

·         Learn how to warm up and cool down to prevent injury.

·         Learn how to exercise appropriately considering your age, fitness level, skill level, and health status.

·         Choose activities involving minimum risk.

Lack of Skill:

·         Select activities requiring no new skills, such as walking, climbing stairs or jogging.

·         Take a class to develop new skills.

·         Select activities that require minimal facilities or equipment, such as walking, jogging, jumping rope, or calisthenics (exercises using your own body weight).

·         Identify inexpensive, convenient resources available in your community (community education programs, park and recreation programs, worksite programs, etc.)

Weather Conditions:

·         Develop a set of regular activities that are always available regardless of weather (indoor cycling, aerobic dance, indoor swimming, calisthenics, stair climbing, rope skipping, mall walking, dancing, gymnasium games, etc.)


·         Put a jump rope in your suitcase and jump rope.

·         Walk the halls and climb the stairs in hotels.

·         Stay in places with swimming pools or exercise facilities.

·         Join the YMCA or YWCA (ask about reciprocal membership agreement).

·         Visit the local shopping mall and walk for half an hour or more.

·         Bring your MP3 player with your favorite aerobic exercise music.

Family Obligations:

·         Trade babysitting time with a friend, neighbor, or family member who also has small children.

·         Exercise with the kids-go for a walk together, play tag or other running games, get an aerobic dance or exercise tape for kids (there are several on the market) and exercise together.  You can spend time together and still get your exercise.

·         Jump rope, do calisthenics, ride a stationary bike, or use other home gymnasium equipment while the kids are busy playing or sleeping.

·         Try to exercise when the kids are not around (e.g. during school hours or nap times)

Retirement Years:

·         Look upon your retirement as an opportunity to become more active instead of less.  Spend more time gardening, walking the dog, and playing with your grandchildren.  Children with short legs and grandparents with slower gaits are often great walking partners.

·         Learn a new skill you’ve always been interested in, such as ballroom dancing, square dancing, or swimming.

Content in the "Personal Barriers" section was taken from Promoting Physical Activity: A Guide for Community Action (USDHHS, 1999).


Friday, March 4, 2016

Muscle-Strengthening Activities

Besides aerobic activity, you need to do things to strengthen your muscles at least 2 days a week. These activities should work all the major muscle groups of your body (legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders, and arms).

To gain health benefits, muscle-strengthening activities need to be done to the point where it's hard for you to do another repetition without help. A repetition is one complete movement of an activity, like lifting a weight or doing a sit-up. Try to do 8—12 repetitions per activity that count as 1 set. Try to do at least 1 set of muscle-strengthening activities, but to gain even more benefits, do 2 or 3 sets. 

You can do activities that strengthen your muscles on the same or different days that you do aerobic activity, whatever works best. Just keep in mind that muscle-strengthening activities don't count toward your aerobic activity total.

There are many ways you can strengthen your muscles, whether it's at home or the gym. You may want to try the following:

·            Lifting weights

·            Working with resistance bands

·            Doing exercises that use your body weight for resistance (i.e., push-ups, sit ups)

·            Heavy gardening (i.e., digging, shoveling)

·            Yoga                                 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Vigorous-Intensity Aerobic Activity

 Vigorous intensity means you're breathing hard and fast, and your heart rate has gone up quite a bit. If you're working at this level, you won't be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath. Here are some examples of activities that require vigorous effort:

·         Jogging or running

·         Swimming laps

·         Riding a bike fast or on hills                          

·         Playing singles tennis

·         Playing basketball                                                    

Build up over time
If you want to do more vigorous-level activities, slowly replace those that take moderate effort like brisk walking, with more vigorous activities like jogging.

You can do moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or a mix of the two each week. A rule of thumb is that 1 minute of vigorous-intensity activity is about the same as 2 minutes of moderate-intensity activity.

Some people like to do vigorous types of activity because it gives them about the same health benefits in half the time. If you haven't been very active lately, increase your activity level slowly. You need to feel comfortable doing moderate-intensity activities before you move on to more vigorous ones. The guidelines are about doing physical activity that is right for you.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Moderate-Intensity Aerobic Activity

Moderate intensity means you're working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat. One way to tell is that you'll be able to talk, but not sing the words to your favorite song. Here are some examples of activities that require moderate effort:

·         Walking fast

·         Doing water aerobics

·         Riding a bike on level ground or with few hills

·         Playing doubles tennis                                                 

·         Pushing a lawn mower