Healthy Holiday Survival Guide

Posted by Dr. Lucky Bennett, ND, CPT on Nov 24, 2020 2:29:39 PM

Research studies show that most adults gain some weight over the holidays. It doesn't have to be that way — this year can be different! Here are seven great ways to enjoy the holidays without adding pounds. From healthy eating to a healthy mind, some of these seven simple tips are guaranteed to contribute to your overall sense of well-being inside and out this holiday season!

Guide to Healthy Holiday Eating

1.  Focus on tradition and comfort foods. Even though you may not be spending the holidays together, if your family makes special foods for the holidays, make sure they are a part of this year’s celebration. If you can see if you can coordinate your own food preparation with other family members. You might not be in the same kitchen cooking, but you can still cook together. 

2.  Consider those who are struggling this holiday season. Consider donating non-perishable food to a food bank or working with your local food bank or church to donate a meal to a family that is struggling. You can also make a little extra of the dishes your own family will be enjoying to give to a neighbor who may not be able to see their own family this year. 

3.  Be aware of your sugar intake. Sugar is great comfort food that usually feels good as we’re eating it, but the satisfaction is short-lived. Too much sugar can negatively affect mood, energy, digestion, and immune function. 

4.  Make extra protein. Protein is the building block your body needs to maintain and build muscle, but it’s also important for immune and hormone function. Protein is also the macronutrient that many people under-eat. By making extra protein when you’re preparing your holiday meals, you’re giving yourself the gift of leftovers and you’ll be able to save time, effort, and clean-up in the days to come.      
      
5.  Find a new way to cook vegetables. Spend 10 minutes looking for a new vegetable recipe. See if you can find a vegetable dish that has at least three different vegetables in it. As with making extra protein, making extra vegetables will give you a break when it comes to feeding yourself and your family for a few days.                                                                                                                                               
6.  If you drink alcohol, consider limiting the number of drinks you consume this holiday season. Similar to sugar, alcohol can dramatically affect mood, energy, and immunity. Try an alternative like flavored sparkling water with cranberries or other fruit in it, or find a mocktail recipe online.

7.  Practice gratitude. This last recommendation isn’t strictly food-related, but it’s important nonetheless. For most people, this holiday season is like none in living memory. Document this time by photographing the meal and the people who are present to eat it. Keep a record of the recipes you used and who helped prepare the food. Ask your family, both in your home and afar, what they are grateful for and write it down. You can assemble the photos, recipes, and your family’s responses into a single document that can serve as a time capsule. 

Need more help with your nutrition plan this holiday season and beyond?LuckyBennett1_portrait (1)-1

Why not schedule a virtual nutrition consultation with our nutrition guru and certified personal trainer, Dr. Lucky Bennett? She can help guide you past the pitfalls of the holiday and set you up for success in the new year. With either 30 or 60 minute sessions available, working with Dr. Bennett could be the best present you give yourself this holiday season!

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please email: TWCNutrition@gmail.com

0 Comments

Topics: nutrition advice for women, nutrition, healthy recipes, nutritional coaching for women

Women's Wellness Series:  How to BOOST your immune system

Posted by Meredith C. on Aug 7, 2020 10:54:23 AM

How does the immune system work and can you improve its effectiveness?  This is a very important question given the current events worldwide over the last few months. Usually, your immune system does a remarkable job of being your first line of defense against illnesses.  But sometimes it fails or completely loses its ability to protect you. This is why we have put together some tips and suggestions as to how to boost your immune system in this installment of our Women's Wellness Series.

The human body’s immune system is a complex network of cells and proteins that defend the body from invading microbes such as bacteria and viruses. What is important to understand is that it is a system...a system that interconnects throughout your body that requires balance and harmony.  Think about the multiple systems of a car.  A car needs a properly running fuel system, electrical system, and steering system to name a few in order to work.   In the human body, the immune system needs a properly functioning cardio-respiratory system, nervous system, and digestive system to name a few. Each of these systems needs to be as strong as possible in order to support the health of the immune system.

how to boost your immune system

 

Boosting these varied systems requires a CONSISTENT multi-faceted approach to include:

  • A healthy diet high in fruits and veggies
  • Limit sugar, alcohol, processed foods
  • Adequate high-quality sleep
  • A well-rounded exercise program that includes heart rate work AND strength training
  • Behaviors and/or programs to manage stress and anxiety.

Have questions or need help in boosting your immune system?  Our dedicated and informative personal training staff are here to assist you to live your life full of health and vitality. Also, be sure to register for our free ZOOM nutrition webinar that will specially cover how a healthy diet can help to boost your immune system. 

 

Like what you read? Check out other helpful articles in our Women's Wellness Series

 

0 Comments

Topics: women's health, nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, nutrition, the women's club

500 Foods Contain the Yoga Mat Compound?!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Mar 10, 2014 10:56:00 AM
    bakery-bread-breakfast-166021-944158-edited
Photo by hermaion from Pexels

Going, going, gone!

You won't find azodicarbonamide (the yoga mat compound) in Nature's Own products. And Subway is phasing it out, too. But lots of manufacturers are still using the additive.

That compound found in commercially baked bread — yep, the one that's in yoga mats, too — is in the news again.

report from the Environmental Working Group finds that the compound, azodicarbonamide, is found in close to 500 food products, from Pillsbury Dinner Rolls to Little Debbie products to Wonder Bread.

As you may recall, the sandwich chain Subway got a lot of attention a few weeks back when it announced its plans to remove the yoga mat compound — which is used to improve dough and maintain bread texture — from its bread.

And as we reported, the kerfuffle came in response to an online petition posted by the creator of the Food Babe blog. The online petition pointed to a range of possible health concerns linked to the compound — everything from asthma to cancer.

But what is the evidence behind these claims?

Let's start with asthma and other respiratory issues. The concerns about breathing problems stem from factory workers who have been exposed to high levels of azodicarbonamide. But it turns out, outside of this occupational exposure, there's no evidence that there's any risk at all to consumers.

It's good to "remind yourself to be more skeptical," says Justin Pagano, who has written that he'd like to see more scientific inquiry and reasoning used in these what's-really-in-your-food campaigns.

He says there's a "generational zeitgeist" among his fellow millennials to "take back food" from the control of large companies and demand transparency.

And he agrees that it is important to be asking questions about how the food we eat may influence our health. Even if the questions are tough to answer.

Take, for instance, the tricky business of interpreting toxicity. John Coupland, a food science professor at Penn State, has blogged about the complexities involved.

He explains that small amounts of two compounds, semicarbazide, and urethane, are formed as azodicarbonamide breaks down during the baking process. And it's possible that these compounds may pose a risk.

"The real question is whether these tiny concentrations in bread are toxicologically significant," Coupland writes.

Groups such as the Environmental Working Group argue that since it's not essential and it could pose health risks, the yoga mat compound should be removed from the food supply.

"This is an unnecessary chemical that's added to bread," says EWG scientist David Andrews. And there are viable alternatives, such as ascorbic acid, which is a form of vitamin C.

But the FDA considers small amounts of azodicarbonamide to be safe. The agency long ago set an allowable level of 45 parts per million in the dough.

And food scientist Kantha Shelke of Corvus Blue, who works as an independent consultant to the food industry, says this is reasonable. After all, it's the dose that makes the poison. And "45 parts per million is very, very, very small," she says.

But in an era when social media can whip up a frenzy of concern, food companies are becoming quick to respond to get ahead of bad publicity — regardless of the science.

"No [food company or chain] wants to be associated with anything that can be remotely considered harmful," Shelke says.

This may explain why, in the wake of Subway's announcement, several more manufacturers have also decided to drop azodicarbonamide from their products.

For instance, bread maker Nature's Own noted that it has already phased out the compound from its bread products.

And intuitively, it just feels better to know that a compound used to make yoga mats is being removed from bread.

But maybe I'm just being closed-minded here.

For a different perspective, I reached out to bakery industry consultant Theresa Cogswell. She pointed out that "there are many things used in industrial uses" that cross over into food use as well.

"And the assumption that it's bad for you," she says, is just not accurate.

Take, for instance, sheetrock, or gypsum. It contains calcium sulfate, which is also used as a food additive. In fact, it's used to make tofu.

Hmmm. A vegan favorite contains the same compound that's used to make drywall. Who knew?

 

 

 

Article originally appeared on the NPR health and fitness blog: The Salt
0 Comments

Topics: nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, health tips, healthy eating for women, nutrition

The Simply Delish Weight Loss Trick

Posted by Angie Quehl on Jan 7, 2014 11:51:00 AM

Add a little spice to your life!

Zesty dish = slimmer waist? Adding herbs and spices to a reduced-fat meal can make it just as appetizing as the real thing, says a new study from the University of Colorado.

People ate same-sized portions of regular (650 calories), reduced-fat (395 calories), and reduced-fat with spices (including onion, oregano, and paprika) meals of meatloaf, vegetables, and pasta. The eaters then rated the dishes for likability. The results: When made with spices, the reduced-fat meatloaf and vegetables scored higher than the regular versions, suggesting that spicing up food could make up for missing fat.

If you’re trying to lose weight, you don't have to suffer through plain skinless chicken or naked nuked broccoli, says Virginia-based registered dietitian Jill Weisenberger, author of Diabetes Weight Loss. Instead, try these three spices and cook up healthy meals with big flavor.

1. Cinnamon:

Known for its blood-sugar-lowering properties, cinnamon doesn’t just spruce up sweet stuff like oatmeal and rice pudding. Try it in savory dishes, too: Sprinkle the spice on baked acorn squash or roasted carrots, or add a half-teaspoon to a stew of chicken, rice, and tomatoes, Weisenberger says.

2. Chipotle pepper:

Stir ¼-teaspoon of ground chipotle pepper into bean dips, guacamole, or mashed cauliflower, suggests Rochelle Sirota, a registered dietitian in New York City.

3. Garlic:

Place four whole cloves in a vegetable steamer basket along with greens like kale, chard, broccoli rabe, or collard greens. As the greens steam, they’ll be infused with delicious garlic-y taste, says Sirota.

spices for weight loss

 

Want more helpful nutrition tips and tricks to help speed your weight loss efforts?

We invite you to join us on Wednesday, January 8, or Saturday, January 18 for a free informational seminar packed with all kinds of things you need to know to fire up your metabolism and get the body that you want now. It's your turn to ask our experts: Dr. Lucky Bennett, creator of our nationally recognized Nutritional Coaching for Women program, and the Director of Fitness at The Women's Club, Natalia Schifini. If you are a woman living in the Northern Virginia area you should miss this opportunity to get help figuring out what works for a woman's body and finally reaching your fitness and weight loss goals! More information...

 

 

 

 

Original article written by Jessica Girdwain
1 Comment

Topics: nutrition advice for women, healthy eating for women, weight loss for women, fat burning, nutrition

Easy Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

Posted by Angie Quehl on Sep 20, 2013 3:28:00 PM

Mom On-the-Go = Mom In the Know

Emily Stone knows a ton about being a busy mom with lots of challenges to maintaining her fitness and wellness routine. Since so many of our readers find themselves in the same boat with plenty of things pulling them in all different directions, we have invited her to share some personal advice with you on how she keeps herself going throughout the day and how you can boost your metabolism. Enjoy!

Boosting Metabolism and Energy Throughout the Day


When I get to the afternoon, sometimes I want to get the license plate of the Mack truck that ran over me. Often it’s just burnout from the day. But when I’m struggling to get myself going from the morning onward, there are a few things I like to do that help me out. These tips boost my metabolism and energy so that I’m still kicking when school’s out.

Sleep

beautiful-beauty-bed-914910-658632-edited

Did you know that adults who get less than seven hours of sleep each night do not do as well on complex mental tasks? We need more sleep. But as a mom, it’s so hard for me to get a good night’s sleep. There’s the repeated begging for an extra story or song in the evening and the 3 a.m. nightmare. I’ve had to prioritize my life around getting enough sleep. I usually get 9-10 hours from the time the last kid goes to bed and the first one waking up. I aim to spend 8-9 of that time sleeping, and 30-60 minutes getting ready. If I can’t get quality sleep, at least I can usually get quantity sleep. And I’ve found that the more I sleep, the more active I am and the more I can accomplish during the day.

Exercise

My metabolism is slower than a tortoise. My best defense against this is to exercise. The cool part is that it stretches me out and gives me a ton of energy, too. Sometimes I sneak in a run after walking the kids to school. Otherwise, I work out at home. I can wake up 10-15 minutes early and do some interval training for a high-powered workout in hardly any time at all.

Breakfast

cottage cheese

Skipping breakfast is a terrible idea. Better to make it quick and healthy. If I plan ahead, eating before I’m out the door can be pretty easy. And no, I’m not talking about donuts and pastries. If I have five minutes to sit and eat, cottage cheese is my go-to. I get a healthy amount of fat, decent calcium, and tons of protein. If I don’t have five minutes, I love smoothies and protein shakes. I find that protein is the best source of continued energy for me throughout the day. Instead of starting the day with a coffee, I actually start my day with a whey protein shake. I personally buy my protein from Beachbody, but you can find whey protein everywhere, even at the grocery store!

Natural Energy Boost

I also try to stay away from coffee in general—too much caffeine (particularly on an empty stomach) can make me feel crazy, so I try to take other routes. Most natural supplements that are touted as alternatives to caffeine actually have caffeine in them. If I’m looking to avoid caffeine or cut it down, I load up on B vitamins and amino acids like taurine, which are both known to boost energy and metabolism. I really love the liquid B complex from GNC, you just add a few drops to a bottle of water and you’ll feel continuous energy throughout the day!

Relax

Above all, I think it’s important to periodically pull myself off the canvas and look at what I can do to feel happier. This can be as simple as getting up from my desk for a few minutes to stretch and walk around every hour. l set up some music playlists on my computer and phone that I can listen to when I’m home cleaning, out running errands, or working. This makes work and chores less exhausting.

learn to relax


In my busy day, I could get exhausted and overwhelmed easily. But when I try to get enough sleep and exercise, eat well and relax, I find that I end the day happier and excited for what’s to come.

 

The article above was written by Emily Stone.

Ms. Stone is a full-time mom, health freak, fitness enthusiast, and wannabe chef. She is the proud momma of two girls and a loving wife. Emily is in the process of starting up her own blog, but in the meantime, you can follow her at @FitMommaEm.

The opinions and advice expressed by  Ms. Stone are not necessarily that of The Women's Club or it's agents.

3 Comments

Topics: women's health, nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, healthy eating for women

5 Myths about Cholesterol Busted

Posted by Angie Quehl on Aug 2, 2013 1:21:00 PM

The Good, The Bad, The Whaaaaat?!

Did you know that American people overall have the highest cholesterol in the world...Pretty sobering when you look at it that way isn't it? Most people know that high cholesterol is a dangerous problem but many are not sure of the why's and the how's or what the heck is an LDL or HDL and what all of those numbers mean. In addition, there are a lot of myths out there about the causes, symptoms, and prevention of high cholesterol.  The first step to fighting high cholesterol is to sift them and search out the medical facts on both high and low cholesterol in order to make the best determination about what is good for you and subsequently good for your health!

cholesterol

Cholesterol Myth #1

You will experience high cholesterol symptoms if there's a problem.

Cholesterol Fact: Most people can't tell when their cholesterol is dangerously high.

About 20 percent of Americans have high cholesterol and don't know it. There are no real medical symptoms associated with high cholesterol. In fact, most won't find out their high cholesterol status until after they suffer a medical event like a heart attack or stroke.

If you would prefer to find out whether or not you have high cholesterol before such an event, you should begin having your high-risk cholesterol checked in your 20s and then once every five years. Your risk for high cholesterol rises with age, so men over the age of 45 and women who are 55 and over should be tested more often. Those who struggle with high cholesterol or have numbers close to the danger line should be tested more often, as well.

Cholesterol Myth #2

A prescription is the only way to lower dangerously high cholesterol.

Cholesterol Fact: Medication is one way to lower cholesterol, but you can do it without a high cholesterol prescription through dietary changes and exercise.

cholesterol medication

It is in fact recommended-as long as your cholesterol numbers are not too high-that you start fighting the dangers of high cholesterol issues by making changes to your diet and beginning to exercise regularly. If your cholesterol numbers are borderline, you may be able to avoid medication altogether. If your high cholesterol is already in a danger zone, then you may be able to stop taking your high cholesterol medication after some months of regular exercise and a healthy diet. Here a few goals that diet and exercise can help you attain:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise, even if gently, for about 30 minutes a day 5 to 6 days per week
  • Cut out trans fat from your diet (hydrogenated oil)
  • Reduce your saturated fats to under 7 percent of your calories
  • Reduce your cholesterol intake to 200 mg per day or less
  • Increase your soluble fiber intake to at least 10 gram per day
  • Increase your fish intake or take omega-3 supplements each day

Cholesterol Myth #3

All cholesterol is bad cholesterol.

Cholesterol Fact: There are different kinds of cholesterol and some are not only not bad for you, but necessary for your body to function properly.

There are three different kinds of cholesterol: high-density lipoproteins (HDL), low-density lipoproteins (LDL), and very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL). HDL is good because it serves the purpose of helping your body transport waste to the liver, maintain a healthy cardiovascular system, clear extra cholesterol from the bloodstream where it otherwise would collect, and block your arteries.

LDL is also responsible for carrying cholesterol from the liver to where it needs to go in the body, but it is much lighter and breaks more easily. This means that they hover in the bloodstream, often attaching to the blood vessel itself, collecting and causing a blockage that often results in a heart attack. VLDLs are even lighter than LDLs and affect the cardiovascular and circulatory systems just as negatively.

Cholesterol Myth #4

High cholesterol is only a problem for men.

Cholesterol Fact: High cholesterol is a problem for both men and women.

Estrogen is a hormone that helps monitor and maintain healthy levels of cholesterol, so women who are experiencing a regular menstrual cycle are less likely candidates for high cholesterol than are men of the same age. However, after menopause when a woman's estrogen level plummets, her chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke due to high cholesterol significantly increase. It's important that women maintain low levels of cholesterol throughout their lives to prepare for the loss of estrogen later.

Cholesterol Myth #5

You should get your first cholesterol test after the age of 45.

Cholesterol Fact: You should start getting tested for high cholesterol in your 20s.

HDL - 60+ mg/dL Getting tested for high cholesterol is easy: a blood test done after fasting called a fasting lipid profile. You can have it done in conjunction with a batch of other blood tests to simply the process. The test will show your cholesterol levels in terms of HDL, LDL, triglycerides, and total cholesterol. If you have any questions about how to get a test or your test results, ask your doctor. In general, your goals should be:

  • LDL - 100 mg/dL or less
  • Triglycerides - 150 mg/dL or less
  • Total cholesterol - 200 mg/dL or less

Don't Know Your Numbers?

know your cholesterol numbers

If you live in Northern VA in the Chantilly area, you are in luck! We are hosting a women's wellness event on August 12 which is open to the public where cholesterol screenings will be offered. Our screening will feature a simple "finger stick" test that will give you the results in minutes! If you are interested in learning where you are and what you can do to lower or even prevent high cholesterol in the future, get more details on our upcoming event.

 

 

Sources:
WebMD

About.com Cholesterol

Yahoo Health

0 Comments

Topics: women's health, nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness

Alcohol and Weight Loss -- Does Drinking 'Really' Sabotage My Diet?

Posted by Angie Quehl on Jun 28, 2013 3:46:00 PM

To Drink or Not to Drink

So you are super pumped and committed to making some changes in your eating habits. Or perhaps you are trying to shed a few pounds to fit into that perfect outfit for a special occasion like a summer wedding or a class reunion. Buuuuuut you also still like to enjoy a drink two socially. What IS a girl to do?! What the heck is the relationship between alcohol and weight loss and will drinking even a glass of wine socially affect your diet and weight loss plans? 

The Down Low

Alcohol does have a bad reputation when it comes to weight loss, and rightfully so. But the consumption of alcohol in some form or another has been around since the cavemen, so imbibing is not likely to go away any time soon. The question then is if an occasional drink has a place in a healthy lifestyle. The answer...yes, but we should have a strategy about how to consume. 

alcohol and weight loss


First things first

It is important to understand how alcohol affects your body. Alcohol is metabolized differently than other foods and fluids. With a normal diet, of carbs, fats, and protein your body gets the energy it needs. These foods are slowly digested and absorbed within the gastrointestinal system. This digestive process drastically changes when alcohol is consumed. The alcohol now gets immediate attention (because it is viewed by the body as a toxin) and needs no digestion. When the body is focused on processing alcohol, it is not able to properly break down the foods containing carbohydrates and fat. So what happens? These calories are converted into body fat and stored permanently in your body.

So I Should Save My Calories then, Right?

WRONG. Skipping a meal or two because you know it will be a night out on the town or just knowing you will be drinking is a terrible idea for a few reasons. Since alcohol actually stimulates the appetite and then you go out on an empty stomach you are more likely to munch on those salty bar snacks (which makes you want to drink more), or more likely to overeat—especially greasy or fried foods—which can add to your waistline.

A Better Strategy-- Research shows drinking an alcoholic beverage before or during a meal reduces your inhibitions and willpower. Wait to order that drink until you're done with your meal! To avoid over-drinking, sip on a glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage and, if you're planning on drinking later, eat a healthy meal first. You'll feel fuller, which will stop you from over-drinking. If you are worried about a looming night out with friends, include an extra 30 minutes of exercise to balance your calories—instead of skipping a meal.

Tip: To prevent post-drinking noshing you’ll regret the next day, prep some healthy, low cal options before you go out. If they’re ready to eat and right in front of you when you get home, you’ll be less likely to reach for chips or cookies. Good options include pre-popped popcorn, raw veggies with hummus, or cut fresh fruit.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Drinking before bed will keep you from having a deep, restful sleep, thus leaving you tired the next day which can trigger you to feel like you need to eat more. Alcohol can also increase the amount of acid your stomach produces giving you an inflamed stomach lining. At 7 calories per gram, alcohol has more calories by volume than both carbs and proteins and slightly lesscalories in alcohol resized 600 than fats. More importantly, these calories have no nutritional value. None! A 12-ounce beer is about 150 calories. How many calories in a glass of red wine? About 88. And if you reaching for a shot of liquor that number can range from 85 to 115 calories. And who usually has JUST ONE? It only adds empty calories to your diet. Why not spend your calorie budget on something healthier? 

"Dry" 

Another big reason not to mix alcohol and exercise is that alcohol is a diuretic. It causes water loss and dehydration. You also lose important minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, and zinc. These minerals are vital to the maintenance of fluid balance, chemical reactions, and muscle contraction and relaxation.

Sip on This

So, to drink or not to drink? I say “In moderation." Limit your intake and take the occasional time off from drinking altogether to give your systems a much-needed break. Also, consider swapping out some of those high cal choices like fruity mixed beverages (even as cute as the little umbrella is) with some of these lower-calorie "fit chick" options.

goodchoices resized 600

What do you think?

How do you feel about alcohol? Does it tend to get in the way of your weight loss goals? Did any of this info surprise you? Please share your thoughts by dropping a comment in the box below or tweet them to us @Womensclub_va.

1 Comment

Topics: women's health, nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, weight loss for women

The Benefits of Eating Raw Foods

Posted by Angie Quehl on Apr 5, 2013 11:47:00 AM

Eating in the Raw

No, don't worry...we're not talking about eating raw foods such as meat and fish, nor only raw foods such as celery sticks or salads. There are many healthy, vitamin-packed raw vegetables that taste better and are more nutritious in their fresh state, rather than cooked. Raw foodsraw food diet also include a wide variety of luscious fruits and crunchy, flavorful nuts and seeds.

You can even enjoy raw foods blended into juices and smoothies, or in dehydrated form as dried fruits or vegetables, such as sun-dried tomatoes. With proper cooking techniques, however, you can also include raw vegetables (as opposed to canned or frozen) in soups, so you can consume the nutrient-enriched water or low-sodium vegetable broth in the soup along with the vegetables. Eating raw foods in these various forms provides numerous benefits. Yummy Raw Foods Recipes

Specific Benefits of Eating Raw Foods:

  • One of the primary benefits of eating raw foods is the increased nutrients you will enjoy from not destroying them in the cooking process; nutrients include potassium, magnesium, folate, fiber, vitamin A, and health-promoting antioxidants.
  • Raw food is high in fiber content and low in sugar and fat content.
  • Eating raw food contributes to weight loss and fewer problems with hypertension.
  • Health benefits, espoused by proponents of "raw foodism," include lower cholesterol, better glucose levels, leaner body build, clearer skin, and higher energy levels and stamina.
  • While not conclusive, researchers reviewed findings from 50 or more medical studies showing that eating raw foods tends to lower the risks of a variety of cancers, including bladder, esophageal, gastric, laryngeal, oral, and pharyngeal cancers.
  • Another study showed that eating raw foods lowers the risks of heart disease and diabetes, because of lowered concentrations of plasma total cholesterol and triglycerides. In addition, raw food has lower acidity and fewer damaging compounds; as a result, eating raw foods may reduce inflammation and slow the effects of aging.
  • Raw foods are easier to digest and stay in the body's digestive tract for less time than cooked foods--about 24 to 36 hours, compared to an alarming 40 to 100 hours for cooked foods.
  • Eating raw foods improves mental clarity and heightens the ability to concentrate.
  • Eating raw foods leaves you feeling energized rather than tired, and promotes a more restful night's sleep.
  • Raw foods do not build up toxicity in the body, nor cause the body to react by increasing the white blood cell count, as a natural defense of the body's immune system.
  • Raw foods are tasty and appealing "as is" with no need to add unhealthy and/or artificial flavorings.
   agriculture-antioxidant-carrot-33307

Numerous healthy diet studies also identified other benefits that contrasted with certain "myths" or misunderstandings about eating raw food in controlled research groups:

  • Raw foodists rarely exhibited problems with food allergies.
  • Raw foodists revealed healthy bones, less inflammation, and no problems with osteoporosis.
  • Serum sterols attributed as factors in rheumatoid arthritis decreased in raw food diets and relieved joint pain in subjects with arthritis.
  • Raw foods provide significantly more dietary antioxidants than cooked food, especially meats.
  • Eating raw foods alleviated symptoms of fibromyalgia.
  • Eating raw foods improved overall cognitive performance.
  • Eating raw foods reduced abdominal obesity and lowered blood pressure.

Summing it Up

It is always best to check with your healthcare provider or nutritionist before making dietary changes. However, it is likely he or she will be happy to give you a "thumbs up" on a healthier lifestyle so you can enjoy the benefits of eating raw foods. 

 

 

 

1 Comment

Topics: nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, healthy eating for women, weight loss for women

Break Free From Emotional Eating!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Mar 14, 2013 4:23:00 PM

Are You Feeding Your Emotions?


Emotional Eating

Are you an escapist? Do you feel the need to dive face-first into a big bag of chips or a bowlful of ice cream for the pure feeling of being comforted? Food tends to be a way of coping and dealing with the discomfort we experience. Experts believe that up to 75% of overeating may be due to reasons other than physical hunger. By practicing a little introspection you can usually figure out what is causing you to use food as a drug to silence your emotions. First, identify the triggers to emotional eating, such as:

Social Eating -- If you find that most of your social interaction involves food, then it's possible that you and your friends are using food to calm stress. Think about your activities, and consider offering new ideas to spend time with friends that do not involve food.
physical hunger vs emotional hunger


High Stress -- Whether it is job stress, family stress, or something else entirely being too busy and leading a stressful life causes a high level of the hormone Cortisol to be released into
the body, which in turn leads to cravings for high-calorie foods. Also, living a busy life lends itself to running through the drive-through. Preplanning for times of high stress and being busy can go far in eliminating making bad choices.


Habits -- Most of us have habits ingrained in us from childhood around food. That is where the whole idea of comfort foods came into being. Whether it's mac and cheese or a hearty bowl of beef stew, or something else entirely, the foods from our childhood can often comfort us and make us feel loved. Try redefining love to something more healthy such as a nice hot cup of tea and honey or going outside to play a game of tag.

How to Tame the Emotional Eating Beast

Once you identify the issues that are causing you to overeat or eat the wrong kinds of foods, you will be able to stop eating mindlessly and emotionally. It's a lot harder to kick a food habit than any other type of habit. We don't need alcohol, or drugs to live, but we do need to eat. There are a few tried and true tips to help you overcome your need to binge emotionally on the wrong foods.

Make a Substitute -- Instead of binging on Doritos and cheese, find an alternative such as sliced crispy apples with sea salt. You'll get that crunchy satisfaction plus the salt you crave in a healthier way. Plus it's a lot harder to eat too many apples than too many chips.
Start a Journal -- Writing down everything that you eat, in addition to your feelings surrounding eating or choosing not to eat something you know is bad for you is a good way to channel your frustrations. Just keep a small notebook and pen in your purse so you can write any time you're tempted to reach for a donut instead of a more healthy choice.
Get Moving -- Studies show that getting even 30 minutes of exercise per day can help you with your weight, your cardiovascular health, and with reducing cravings. Any time you have a craving, drink a glass of water first, then if you still have it, get out and go for a walk, or turn up the music in the house and dance! The rush of endorphins will assist with resisting cravings and make you feel great.

Alternatives to emotional eatingGraphic from kptto.org

Don't beat yourself up!

Get in touch with your emotions, everyone has them! It is all in how you deal with them. If you do have an episode of emotional eating, learn fromovercoming emotional eating the experience and the very next meal eat healthily!

Need more advice? We have a wonderful team of fitness and nutrition experts that are just a mouse click away. You can click the button below to submit your questions electronically or, if you are local to the Chantilly, Fairfax, Centreville area and would like to talk to us about strategies for overcoming emotional eating, you can Request a Consultation.

 

Ask Fitness Questions Here

 

 

0 Comments

Topics: women's health, nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, weight loss for women

Can You Lose Weight By Eating Lunch Early?

Posted by Angie Quehl on Jan 30, 2013 11:54:00 AM

All in the Timing?

lose weight eating lunch

There could be a connection between eating lunch early and losing weight according to a recently published study. Dieters who ate early lunches tended to lose more weight than those who had their midday meal on the later side, in a new Spanish study.


The finding doesn't prove bumping up your lunch hour will help you shed those extra pounds. But it's possible eating times play a role in how the body regulates its weight, researchers said. "We should now seriously start to consider the timing of food - not just what we eat, but also when we eat," said study co-author Frank Scheer, from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.


His team's research included 420 people attending nutrition clinics in southeast Spain. Along with going to regular group therapy sessions with nutrition and exercise counseling, dieters measured weighed and recorded their food, and reported on their daily physical activity.
Study participants were on a Mediterranean diet, in which about 40 percent of each day's calories are consumed at lunch. About half of the people said they ate lunch before 3 p.m. and half after.


Over 20 weeks of counseling, early and late lunchers ate a similar amount of food, based on their food journals, and burned a similar amount of calories through daily activities.
However, early eaters lost an average of 22 pounds - just over 11 percent of their starting weight - and late eaters dropped 17 pounds or nine percent of their initial weight.


What time dieters ate breakfast or dinner wasn't linked to their ultimate weight loss, according to findings published Tuesday in the International Journal of Obesity. One limitation of the study is that the researchers didn't assign people randomly to eat early or late - so it's possible there were other underlying differences between dieters with different mealtimes. Certain gene variants that have been linked to obesity were more common in late lunchers, for example.


OVERDOING IT AT DINNER?

Dr. Yunsheng Ma, a nutrition researcher from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, said people who eat later may have extra food in their stomach when they go to sleep - which could mean more of it isn't burned and ends up being stored as fat.


"One of the other aspects to this is, what we know is glucose tolerance for example - how well you can deal with sugar in your food - your body is better able to cope with that in the morning than in the evening," Scheer told Reuters Health.


How often people eat during the day and whether they bring food from home or eat out may also contribute to weight loss, added Ma, who wasn't involved in the new research.
He said any implications of late eating could be exacerbated among Americans. "The pattern of consumption of meals is very different in the U.S.," and problematic, Ma told Reuters Health.

Many people skip breakfast or lunch - then end up overdoing it on calories at dinner.
Scheer said in the U.S., where dinner is typically the biggest meal, researchers would expect people who eat later dinners to have more trouble losing weight based on his team's findings.
Regardless of exact meal times, Ma said it's important for people to spread their calories out throughout the day. "Have a good breakfast and a good lunch, and at dinner, people should eat lightly," he advised.


Article written by: By Genevra Pittman, Reuters Health

 

Get the Best Weight Loss Advice Around

If you live in the Northern Virginia area and are interested in finally getting on the path to good health, losing the weight you want, AND getting advice on exercise that can help you make the changes that you need in order to be successful this time, request your consultation about our nationally-recognized Nutritional Coaching for Women program TODAY!

Read what people are saying about the program...

0 Comments

Topics: nutrition advice for women, healthy eating for women

"I want personalized attention from a team of experienced professionals
who absolutely LOVE their job."

Mary Kate, VA

Want 3 FREE Sessions? Get Started Today!

Request Free Consultation