Kamis, 21 Mei 2015

Hello Healthy

Hello Healthy

14 Slow Cooker Dinners—400 Calories or Less!

Posted: 21 May 2015 10:00 AM PDT

Herb & Sausage Stuffed Peppers

Stumped on what to make for dinner? Set it and forget it with these tasty slow cooker recipes from our friends at Cooking Light.


1. Chicken with Carrots and Potatoes: All you need is twenty minutes to get this dish in the slow cooker. You’ll have a hearty chicken and veggie supper waiting for you when you get home. If you don’t care to use the wine, you can use 1/2 cup of additional chicken broth.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 229; Total Fat: 5g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 80mg; Sodium: 454mg; Total Carbohydrate: 21g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugars: 5g; Protein 22g

2. Chicken Korma: If you prefer milder foods, reduce or omit the crushed red pepper. Add warm naan as a side to this classic Indian dish.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 297; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 94mg; Sodium: 507mg; Total Carbohydrate: 34g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugars: 3g; Protein 27g

3. Chicken Verde: Make your friends “green” with envy at your slow cooker savvy by serving up this savory Southwestern-style entrée, loaded with tomatillos, onion, and roasted poblano and jalapeño peppers. Corn tortillas and a simple green salad round out the menu.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 282; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 86mg; Sodium: 168mg; Total Carbohydrate: 21g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugars: 10g; Protein 37g

4. Chicken Cacciatore: The Italian word “cacciatore” translates to “hunter” in English, referring to a dish prepared with tomatoes, mushrooms, and onions–”hunter-style.”

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 361; Total Fat: 8g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 106mg; Sodium: 476mg; Total Carbohydrate: 36g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugars: 5g; Protein 33g


5. Chinese Pork Tenderloin Noodles: This slow cooker medley of Chinese flavors is a yummy and healthy alternative to take-out. Serve with lime wedges to add zesty flavor.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 303; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 72mg; Sodium: 555mg; Total Carbohydrate: 34g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugars: 4g; Protein 28g

6. Plum Pork Tenderloin: Serve with jasmine rice to help soak up some of the sauce. Snow peas make a great side dish for rounding out your meal.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 199; Total Fat: 3g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 74mg; Sodium: 238mg; Total Carbohydrate: 18g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugars: 18g; Protein 24g


7. Tarragon Lamb Shanks with Cannellini Beans: Drench tender lamb shanks in perfectly seasoned veggies and savory Cannellini Beans. You’ll be surprised at the remarkable taste!

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 353; Total Fat: 10g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 145mg; Sodium: 554mg; Total Carbohydrate: 13g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugars: 4g; Protein 50g

8. Herb & Sausage Stuffed Peppers: You can set up this recipe in less than fifteen minutes, turn on the slow cooker, and go. Come back in four hours, and your supper will be ready.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 299; Total Fat: 13g; Saturated Fat: 6g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 44mg; Sodium: 625mg; Total Carbohydrate: 29g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugars: 8g; Protein 18g

9. Stuffed Squash: Serve this classic Middle Eastern meal in bowls so you can scoop up every drop of the tasty sauce with warm pita bread. Offer a salad of chopped lettuce, cucumber, and feta cheese.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 347; Total Fat: 15g; Saturated Fat: 6g; Monounsaturated Fat: 6g; Cholesterol: 41mg; Sodium: 507mg; Total Carbohydrate: 38g; Dietary Fiber: 6g; Sugars: 18g; Protein 16g


10. Three Bean Vegetarian Chili: This soup has a mild chile flavor. If you want more heat, increase the amount of chili powder and don’t seed the jalapeños.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 197; Total Fat: 4g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 8mg; Sodium: 591mg; Total Carbohydrate: 29g; Dietary Fiber: 9g; Sugars: 6g; Protein 11g

11. Vegetable Pot PieLeaving out the chicken doesn't make this dish any less filling or tasty. The medley of vegetables topped with a fluffy and savory biscuit create phenomenal flavors and will appease every one in your family.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 346; Total Fat: 13g; Saturated Fat: 6g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 25mg; Sodium: 606mg; Total Carbohydrate: 48g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugars: 9g; Protein 12g

12. Tofu & Chickpea Curry: Experiment with a variety of fresh vegetables in this vegetarian Madras curry. You can stir in spinach or Swiss chard during the last 30 minutes of cooking, if you like.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 328; Total Fat: 7g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 627mg; Total Carbohydrate: 54g; Dietary Fiber: 7g; Sugars: 8g; Protein 13g


13. Potato Soup: This classic soup gets a double hit of cheese–stirred into the soup and sprinkled over the top.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 259; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 17mg; Sodium: 683mg; Total Carbohydrate: 38g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugars: 6g; Protein 13g

14. Butternut Squash-Parsnip Soup: This soup is simple, savory and extremely soothing on a cold winter night. To serve twelve to sixteen, make two batches of soup instead of doubling the recipe.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 132; Total Fat: 2g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 4mg; Sodium: 228mg; Total Carbohydrate: 30g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugars: 9g; Protein 4g

10 Moves to Build Balance

Posted: 21 May 2015 08:00 AM PDT

balance workout video

Functional fitness contributes to quality of life in so many ways: We feel better when we can move well without pain—and feeling good when you move is one of the keys to making exercise a lifelong habit.

This fun, dynamic workout challenges your speed and agility, all while working on your balance.

Your balance and stability work is the foundation for which your strength, speed and power is built upon. Incorporating balance work into your training will ensure proper posture, stability and muscle balance.

Intervals Using the Tabata Pro App

30 seconds of WORK and 15 seconds of REST

Warm-up: Your warm-up should mimic your workout with big range of motion movements like squats, knee tucks, bottom kickers and lateral lunges.

  1. Work: Jog into a Single-Single-Hold
  2. Rest: Squats
  3. Work: Speed Skaters. For an extra challenge, slow down your tempo.
  1. Rest: Plank Hold or Mountain Climbers
  2. Work: Hops can be double leg with the option to change direction. For an extra challenge, hop on one leg instead of both.
  3. Rest: Squats
  1. Work: Jump Squats or Dorothy’s
  2. Rest: Static Squat
  3. Work: Forward Jump and Scoot in Back
  1. Rest: Plank Hold
  2. Work: Jog it Out & In
  3. Rest: Squats

Food Politics

Food Politics

This week’s post on industry-sponsored research

Posted: 21 May 2015 06:18 AM PDT

As promised, I am posting examples of industry-sponsored research every time I collect five.  These, like the others, produce results favorable to the sponsor’s interests.

I am happy to post examples of sponsored studies that do not favor the sponsor’s interests, and this first one comes closest.  This Unilever-sponsored study found that consuming the product had no effect on blood flow in people with high blood cholesterol levels, although it did lower their levels of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol).

The effect of a low-fat spread with added plant sterols on vascular function markers: results of the Investigating Vascular Function Effects of Plant Sterols (INVEST) study. By Rouyanne T Ras, Dagmar Fuchs, Wieneke P Koppenol, Ursula Garczarek, Arno Greyling, Christian Keicher, Carole Verhoeven, Hakim Bouzamondo, Frank Wagner, and Elke A Trautwein.  Am J Clin Nutr 2015; 101:733-741 doi:10.3945/ajcn.114.102053.

  • Conclusion: The intake of a low-fat spread with added PSs [plant sterols] neither improved nor worsened FMD [flow-mediated dilation]or other vascular function markers in hypercholesterolemic men and women. As expected, serum LDL cholesterol decreased, whereas plasma PSs increased after PS intake.
  • Sponsor: Unilever Research and Development

The next four are more typical:

Dairy proteins, dairy lipids, and postprandial lipemia in persons with abdominal obesity (DairyHealth): a 12-wk, randomized, parallel-controlled, double-blinded, diet intervention study. By Mette Bohl, Ann Bjørnshave, Kia V Rasmussen, Anne Grethe Schioldan, Bashar Amer, Mette K Larsen, Trine K Dalsgaard, Jens J Holst, Annkatrin Herrmann, Sadhbh O’Neill, Lorraine O'Driscoll, Lydia Afman, Erik Jensen, Merete M Christensen, Søren Gregersen, and Kjeld Hermansen.  Am J Clin Nutr 2015; 101:870-878 doi:10.3945/ajcn.114.097923

  • Conclusion:  We found that a whey protein supplement decreased the postprandial chylomicron response compared with casein in persons with abdominal obesity, thereby indicating a beneficial impact on CVD risk.
  • Sponsor: Arla Foods Ingredients Group P/S, and the Danish Dairy Research Foundation, among some independent sources.

Policy Statement: Snacks, Sweetened Beverages, Added Sugars, and Schools. Council on School Health, Committee on Nutrition, American Academy of Pediatrics.  Pediatrics Volume 135, number 3, March 2015.

  • Conclusion: A positive emphasis on nutritional value, variety, appropriate portion, and encouragement for a steady improvement in quality will be a more effective approach for improving nutrition and health than simply advocating for the elimination of added sugars.
  • Conflicts reported: One of the members of the committee writing this statement is supported by the National Dairy Council and the American Dairy Association.  Another receives support from the Nestle Nutrition Institute.

Maternal long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid [omega-3] supplementation in infancy increases length- and weight-for-age but not BMI to 6 years when controlling for effects of maternal smoking. L.M. Currie, E.A. Tolley, J.M. Thodosoff, E.H. Kerling, D.K. Sullivan, J. Colombo, and S.E. Carlson . Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, 2015.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j. plefa.2015.04.001

  • Conclusion: Our results… suggest that LCPUFA [omega-3s] could have positive effects on stature without negative effects on weight status; and that LCPUFA could mitigate lower stature and higher BMI associated with maternal smoking, particularly in boys.
  • Sponsor: Mead Johnson Nutrition, the maker of the LCPUFA omega-3 supplement

Mediterranean Diet and Age-Related Cognitive Decline:  A randomized Clinical Trial. Cinta Valls-Pedret, MSc; Aleix Sala-Vila, DPharm, PhD; Mercè Serra-Mir, RD; et al.  JAMA Intern Med. Published online May 11, 2015. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.1668.

  • Conclusion: In an older population, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with olive oil or nuts is associated with improved cognitive function.
  • Conflicts reported: Dr Salas-Salvado reports receiving research funding and is a nonpaid member of the scientific advisory committee of the International Nut Council. Dr Ros also reports receiving research funding and is a nonpaid member of the scientific advisory committee of the California Walnut Commission.

Let me comment on this last one, which may seem like pushing things, given that the study itself was funded by the agency for biomedical research of the Spanish government.  I would have left it off this list had I not read an article about it in the Wall Street Journal.

The Journal interviewed Dr. Ros, the lead author:

The diminished decline in cognitive function likely stems from the abundance of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents found in the supplemental foods…He recommends that, to decrease age-related cognitive delay, people should add 5 tablespoons of olive oil as a well as a handful of nuts a day into their diet.

But the Journal also interviewed a clinical neuropsychologist who was not involved in the study:

The changes observed in cognition were very small and didn't actually show that those diets improved cognition, they just showed less decline. Based on the research…people shouldn't rush out to buy lots of olive oil and nuts.

My point here is that the sole purpose of this study was to prove the health benefits of olive oil and nuts.  Yes, these are healthy foods, but so are many others.  Like virtually all such studies, this one seems designed to produce the desired answer.

On his Weighty Matters blog, Dr. Yoni Freedhoff explains how biases play out in supposedly unbiased research journals, in this case, the British Journal of Sports Medicine.  Dr. Freedhoff talks about the journal’s temporary withdrawal of a paper arguing that diet is more important than physical activity in weight loss on the grounds that the authors did not disclose conflicts of interest.  In contrast, an editorial arguing the opposite, by authors who also did not disclose conflicts, went unchallenged and was not withdrawn.

Dr. Freedhoff asks: “Are these sorts of conflicts important to disclose?”

On the basis of today’s and many other examples, my answer is an unqualified yes.

Rabu, 20 Mei 2015

Hello Healthy

Hello Healthy

Nutty Banana Stuffed French Toast

Posted: 20 May 2015 10:00 AM PDT

6. May_Nutty Banana Stuffed French Toast

French toast stuffed with gooey nut butter and banana goodness? Count me in! Courtesy of Eating Bird Food, this recipe soaks whole grain bread in vanilla almond milk and eggs. Top with maple syrup and fresh berries for a fancy breakfast.

EBF---Brittany-MullinsBrittany Mullins is a health coach, certified NASM personal trainer and author of the blog, Eating Bird Food. Check out her blog or follow her on Facebook,  Twitter and Instagram for delicious recipes, workouts and tips for living a balanced, healthy life.

Photo courtesy of Brittany Mullins. Original recipe published on Eating Bird Food.

9 Keys to Rock Your 5K

Posted: 20 May 2015 08:00 AM PDT

fast first 5k

Running a 5K. Sounds simple enough. After all it's just 3.1 miles, right? Well, until you've stood in the well-trodden sneakers of a 5K finisher, it's hard to gauge how that first race (and the build up towards it) will go.

To help wrap your head around all of that, we had Lisa Chilcote, a top masters runner and Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) certified coach in North Bethesda, MD, offer some insight into the process of preparing for your first 5K.

Give Yourself 12 Weeks to Train

While a 5K isn't as much of an undertaking as, say, a marathon, you do want to give yourself plenty of time to prep. A 12-week training plan with four days of running is ideal, says Chilcote, as it gives you enough wiggle room to build base mileage before you work on your speed. So just how do you build that base, anyway?

"For folks who are new to the sport, go with the walk/run approach for the first few weeks," says Chilcote, who suggests alternating three minutes of running with one minute of walking until you hit your goal time. "If you're more experienced, you'll do the same amount of running without stopping." Start by shooting to run, or run/walk for 20-30 minutes, slowly building your total time each week. (Note: You may want to invest in a watch with GPS or use an app like MapMyRun to keep track of your time, distance and pace.)

Pick a Pace

And speaking of time, Chilcote recommends setting your sights on a goal pace well before your race to help you frame your workouts. "If you're committing to a training program, you should be able to focus on a realistic goal time," she says. One exception? If you're just getting back into fitness after a long layoff. "In that case, simply finishing the race is a good enough goal," says Chilcote.

Step up the Speed

After those first few weeks of solid running, it's time to turn up the intensity and introduce your legs to some speed work. But we're not talking about sprinting like you're the next Usain Bolt. Rather, about once a week, you'll hit the track to do some intervals at your 5K pace or slightly faster to get a good sense of what it'll feel like on race day. "A little speed work can go a long way if done appropriately with ample rest time," says Chilcote. "The specificity of training for a certain speed is critical to a good race."

So, what kind of pace should you set? Say you're shooting for 10-minute miles, which will have you finishing a 5K around 31:00. Base your speed workouts on that pace. Chilcote suggests a workout like 8 x 400 meters (one time around the track) at 5K pace (that's around 2:30 or faster per 400m) with a minute recovery. "Fartleks are another great way to incorporate speed at the end of a run," says Chilcote. "Try doing 6 x 20 seconds fast, one minute easy, after a 3-mile run."

Warm Up (and Cool Down) Right

Aside from speed work, Chilcote cannot stress enough how important it is to properly warm up and cool down before—then after—your speed work to help prevent muscle pulls, soreness and injury. The right recipe? A 10- to 15-minute warm-up of light jogging followed by dynamic stretching. After the workout, "Always cool down with up to 15 minutes of light jogging," says Chilcote. And while mild muscle soreness is to be expected after a tough track session, "Definitely take it easy if you're carrying around any nagging issues," says Chilcote. "You'll want to lay off the speed work again until you're completely healed."

Rock Race Day

At the end of that 12-week training block—once you've built your base and sharpened your speed—it's time to run that race already. If you've followed a plan precisely, the hay is in the barn, so to speak. So you should be confident that you'll get to that finish line fast. Here are Chilcote's tips for executing the race like the superstar you are.

  1. Fuel up. If your race is in the morning, eat a simple, light breakfast about two hours before go-time. The smartest move? Test out your planned race-day eats before a hard workout so you can see how your stomach reacts. If you think you'll get hungry closer in, pack an energy gel to slurp down as you wait for the gun. And keep a spare water bottle handy to sip on (and quickly discard once the race starts) so you're not starting off parched.
  2. Go with the old. Do not—we repeat do not—try anything new on race day. No new shoes, no new gear, not even the race T-shirt. You never know what's going to be uncomfy or rub you in all the wrong places, and derail your race. Play it safe and stick to the gear you've trained in.
  3. Start off steady. Races are exciting and it's easy to get swept up in the crowd when the gun goes off. But avoid the urge to go out too fast. Try to maintain your goal pace throughout the 5K, or start off slowly so you can gradually pick it up.
  4. Leave nothing behind. And if you feel like you can shift into another gear? Do it. Yes, your legs may be heavy and your breathing labored, but we're betting you have a little more in you. With about 400 meters to go, dig deep and push the pace all the way to the finish line. That way, regardless of how you place overall, you'll know you've won your race.

6 High-Fat Foods That Are Good for You

Posted: 19 May 2015 12:00 PM PDT

myfitnesspal almonds

self logoIt wasn’t long ago that we blamed fat for all of life’s ails. Sure, fat can make you gain weight and contribute to chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer and stroke. But not all fats were created equal. In fact, as you’ve probably heard, certain types of fat are actually good for your health.

So which “fattening” foods should you be eating?

“While it’s a good idea to limit saturated fats (found in cheese, meat, butter, sausage and desserts), you need fat to aid in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamins A, E, D and K,” says Registered Dietitian Patricia Bannan, author of Eat Right When Time Is Tight. A bonus: Fat makes you feel full for longer periods of time.

The key is focusing on the good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) and eliminating the bad fats (trans and saturated fats). Here are a few of Bannan’s favorites:

Avocados Sure, avocados are high in fat — perhaps that’s why they’ve earned the nickname “butter pears” — but most of the fat in an avocado is monounsaturated, the heart-healthy kind that actually lowers bad cholesterol. In recent years, the U.S. government has even revised its official nutrition guidelines to urge Americans to eat more avocados. Moderation is still key, since one medium avocado boasts 30 grams of fat. Try substituting avocadoes for butter or cream cheese, or replace the mayo on your sandwich with avocado slices.

Eggs Eggs are an inexpensive and easy source of protein. People often think eggs whites are a healthier option than whole eggs because they contain less fat, and while it’s true that the egg yolk contains some fat, it’s also packed with important nutrients. One whole egg contains 5 grams of fat, but only 1.5 grams are saturated. Whole eggs are also a good source of choline (one egg yolk has about 300 micrograms of choline), an important B vitamin that helps regulate the brain, nervous system and cardiovascular system. And while there’s a lot of buzz about the cholesterol in eggs, research has linked moderate egg consumption to improved heart health.

Olive Oil Olive oil is commonly used in the Mediterranean diet (one of the most recommended for a healthy lifestyle), and we’ve all heard that olive oil reduces the risk of heart disease, blood pressure and certain types of cancer. However, it still packs 100 calories per tablespoon, so moderation is important if you’re watching your weight. A recent study published in Neurology found that cooking with heart-healthy olive oil and using it for salad dressing may cut stroke risk.

Nuts Your best bets for nutrition are almonds, walnuts and pistachios. Almonds are the richest in vitamin E; walnuts contain a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid; and pistachios have lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids important for eye health. Research shows nut eaters are generally thinner, less likely to develop type 2 diabetes and have a reduced risk of heart disease to boot. In terms of getting the most from your snack, pistachios win hands down. One of the lowest-fat nuts, you get 49 pistachios in a 1-ounce serving, compared to 23 almonds or 14 walnut halves.

Nut Butter Nut butters are another source of healthy fats, and peanut butter is just the beginning—try almond or cashew butter if you’re feeling adventurous. All of these butters boost protein and fiber intake. Just be forewarned, some are high in added sugars. Choose all-natural nut butters with as few ingredients as possible. Bannan likes almond butter jars that contain “dry roasted almonds” as the sole ingredients. Some may also contain sea salt.

Fatty Fish The term “fatty fish” may sound unappealing, but actually, these are the healthiest and most delicious foods from the sea. Oily fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel and trout are full of omega-3 fatty acids—good fats, unlike the bad saturated fat you find in most meats. According to the American Heart Association, people should eat at least two servings weekly of lake herring, lake trout, mackerel, salmon, sardines or tuna for the healthy omega-3 fats they contain.

Which high-fat foods do you rely on to meet your macro goals? And which ones do you stay away from? Share in the comments!


Food Politics

Food Politics

Case study on why regulation matters: salt reduction in the UK

Posted: 20 May 2015 05:30 AM PDT

Thanks to Courtney Scott, a doctoral student at University of North Carolina, for sending me this account of the fate of Britain’s salt reduction strategies, published in the BMJ (British Medical Journal).

The lead author on the article is Dr. Graham MacGregor, Britain’s leading advocate for diets lower in salt.  It is about the derailing of Britain’s remarkable successful salt reduction strategy.

Under the auspices of Britain’s Food Standards Agency (FSA), the salt reduction program initiated in the early 2000s—getting companies to slowly but steadily reduce the salt in their products—was working well.

Most impressive: salt intake, blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke declined in parallel with the decline in salt in the food supply.

But in 2010, Britain elected a more conservative government.

Andrew Lansley was appointed secretary of state for health, and he moved the responsibility for nutrition from the FSA to the Department of Health. This disrupted the salt reduction programme, making it unclear who would be responsible for the policy. In 2011 Lansley launched the responsibility deal, whereby he made the alcohol and food industries responsible for reducing alcohol consumption and improving nutrition, respectively. As a result, salt reduction lost momentum.

The key points of the article:

  • Most of the foods that industry currently provide are very high in salt, fat, and sugars and are therefore more likely to cause cardiovascular disease and predispose to cancer than healthier alternatives.

  • The UK's salt reduction programme…led to a significant reduction in population salt intake, accompanied by reductions in blood pressure and cardiovascular mortality.

  • The programme has been set back by the coalition government's decision to hand power back to the food industry as part of the responsibility deal.

  • An independent agency for nutrition with a transparent monitoring programme is urgently needed to improve the food that we eat.

As I’ve explained previously, most salt—80% or more—in American diets is already in processed and prepared foods when they are presented to us.  That’s where the salt reduction has to come from.  As the authors explain,

Members of the food industry have said that they are keen to reformulate their foods to make them healthier. All they require is to be on a "level playing field" with the other major companies, so that they can make their foods healthier in a structured, incremental way. They need to be assured that there are proper reporting mechanisms in place and that all of the companies are being monitored equally. Enforcement is required, and if it doesn't work, regulation or legislation must be enacted.

The debates over salt may be the most contentious in the field of nutrition (as the Washington Post puts it), but the parallels between the British decline in salt intake and in salt-related disease are impressive.

On a population basis, eating less salt is healthier.

This is something you can’t easily do on your own.  The food industry has to do it.  And food companies don’t want to, for obvious reasons.

Hence: the need for regulation.

Selasa, 19 Mei 2015

zen habits: Feeling Determined to Change

zen habits: Feeling Determined to Change

Feeling Determined to Change

Posted: 19 May 2015 07:00 AM PDT

By Leo Babauta

Let’s say you’ve been wanting to quit smoking for awhile, or you’ve really been wanting to start exercising.

All of a sudden, you read something that motivates you … you’re ready to make the change!

You’re determined.

You’re going to make this happen.

That’s amazing.

The question is: are you going to convert this determination into actual lasting change? How will you do that?

The feeling of determination is wonderful, but it can be ephemeral. It doesn’t necessarily last for more than a few days, unless you create an environment in which it will stick around.

But it can be done.

Here’s what I suggest, based on my successes and failures:

  1. Make a commitment: It’s easy to say to yourself, “I’m going to make this change” but then let yourself off the hook when things get tough or you get busy or stressed. Don’t let yourself back out — take action now to make a big commitment to others.
  2. Set up a daily session: If you have enthusiasm right now, that’s great, but what happens to your change when your enthusiasm wanes? The change withers away. The only way you can make something stick is to create a habit through daily practice. So if you want to exercise, set up 10 minutes every day, at the same time of day, when you’re going to do your yoga or pushups or jogging/walking. Put it on the calendar, and make it an unmissable appointment. Quitting a habit is tougher, but perhaps try a “smoking-free zone” when you don’t smoke. (Or a “procrastination-free zone”.) Just an hour a day, then two hours after a few days, then three after a few more, etc. Eventually you’ll learn coping tactics and awareness during your zone that will help you quit completely.
  3. Create unforgettable reminders: What happens if your session is supposed to happen but you forget? That’s incredibly common when you first start a new habit. Don’t let yourself forget! Put sticky notes all over, put up a big sign, have a zillion reminders on your computer and phone. How would you make yourself remember if it were your wedding day and you needed to get to church? Oh, that’s right — you wouldn’t need reminders, because it’s one of the biggest days of your life. Make this new habit (or effort to quit a habit) the most important thing in your life for awhile.
  4. Be accountable: If you have to tell people every day, or every other day, how you did … that will create an awareness when you feel like giving up. You’ll stop yourself from giving up, for at least a moment, and reconsider. So in Step 1 above (“Make a commitment”), be sure to commit to regular accountability.
  5. Give yourself an event: This is one of my favorite tricks … I have an event in the near future that I sign up for, and that forces me to prepare. If I sign up for a 5K race, for example, I have to do some training before the race so I don’t embarrass myself (too much). You can do the same thing … sign up for a sporting event if you want to exercise, or announce a date a month from now where you’ll be completely smoke-free, or join a quilting bee if you want to learn to quilt (you get the idea).
  6. Enjoy each step: All of this might seem like a bit of work, but honestly, they can all be a lot of fun! See each step as a celebration of yourself, of life, of compassion for yourself and others. See each step as an amazing moment to be enjoyed, not a sacrifice for some future gain. The victory is right now, in the doing, not in a later reward. Smile.

If you put these ideas into action (and you’re determined, so you will!), you’ll turn your ephemeral feeling into lasting change.

Hello Healthy

Hello Healthy

6 Refreshing Smoothies Under 250 Calories

Posted: 19 May 2015 10:00 AM PDT

6 Refreshing Smoothies Under 250 Calories

If you have trouble getting enough fruit throughout the day, smoothies are a great way to incorporate them into your routine. Smoothies make for a quick (and sip-able) breakfast—just add fruit and a couple of other ingredients, and blend. It’s a healthier alternative to juice because blending fruit keeps the fiber intact. Check out these refreshing smoothies all under 250 calories per serving!

1. Red Cabbage Smoothie | Elle Penner, MyFitnessPal Dietitian 

The most shocking thing about this red cabbage smoothie (besides the gorgeous color): the cabbage is practically undetectable! With just one cup of blueberries, one banana and a little bit of vanilla yogurt mixed in, red cabbage adds a ton of insoluble fiber to the mix. Recipe makes 2 servings at 16 ounces each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 199; Total Fat: 2g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 3mg; Sodium: 78mg; Carbohydrate: 46g; Dietary Fiber: 7g; Sugar: 30g; Protein: 5g

2. Avocado & Strawberry Smoothie | BBC Goodfood
Enjoy this high-calcium smoothie, which takes advantage of avocados for a creamy base. It’s a tasty way to enjoy fruit for breakfast that will leave you feeling satisfied. If your calorie goals are higher, feel free to add more avocado or sprinkle in some nuts for texture. Recipe makes 2 servings.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 197; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 62mg; Sodium: 300mg; Total Carbohydrate: 15g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugars: 15g; Protein: 9g

3. Mango Lassi | Cooking Light
It takes five ingredients to make this simple smoothie loaded with ripe mango and creamy yogurt. Use frozen mango chunks to speed up the process. If you’re going to use fresh mango, cut and freeze it ahead of time. Recipe makes 4 servings at 1 cup each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 143; Total Fat: 2g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 8mg; Sodium: 84mg; Total Carbohydrate: 26g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugars: 25g; Protein: 7g

4. Banana Berry Buttermilk Smoothie | Cooking Light
Contrary to it’s name, “buttermilk” is lower in fat and higher in protein than you might expect because buttermilk is simply the liquid left behind after churning butter out of cream. It’s a great tangy base for this banana berry buttermilk smoothie, which packs plenty of vitamin C. Recipe makes 4 servings at 1 cup each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 113; Total Fat: 1g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 3mg; Sodium: 67mg; Total Carbohydrate: 26g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugars: 20g; Protein: 3g

5. Berry Beet Smoothie | Dietitian Debbie Dishes
Don’t love beets? Try out this berry beet smoothie by blending together roasted beets, blueberries, milk and plain yogurt. Beets add color, fiber and sweetness to the smoothie without adding any sweetener. Roast the beets ahead of time and freeze to satisfy your smoothie cravings anytime. Recipe makes 1 serving.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 240; Total Fat: 5g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 17mg; Sodium: 172mg; Total Carbohydrate: 40g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugars: 32g; Protein: 12g

6. Go-Getter Green Smoothie | Cooking Light
Try out this smoothie during the summer when melon is at its peak. This go-getter green smoothie is packed with mashed bananas, ripe melon, spinach and tangy kiwi. The recipe calls for fat-free Greek yogurt with honey, but feel free to use plain yogurt if you want to cut back on sugar. Recipe makes 2 servings at 1 1/2 cups each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 224; Total Fat: 1g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 91mg; Total Carbohydrate: 48g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugars: 27g; Protein: 9g

6 Moves to Manage Wrist Pain

Posted: 19 May 2015 08:00 AM PDT

wrist pain workout

If you’ve ever experienced wrist pain during an exercise, you know it’s no fun and it could even be holding you back from seeing progress if it prevents you from completing your workout!

This basic wrist-focused routine is designed to help you build strength, range of motion and flexibility in the muscles that surround and support your wrists. Try these moves before a workout or on their own up to four times on non-consecutive days each week.

All you’ll need to do these exercises is:

  • a small ball (it should fit in the palm of your hand; a tennis ball is perfect)
  • a resistance band
  • a set of dumbbells (simply to grab, so don’t worry about the weight)
  • exercise mat if you're on a hard floor (for the final exercise).

Remember, not all exercises are suitable for everyone, so if you are dealing with a specific condition or injury, be sure to check with your doctor or physical therapist before trying this workout. This routine is not meant to diagnose or treat any conditions or symptoms. Be sure to see a qualified specialist for expert treatment if you experience pain on a regular basis.

Please leave me a comment below and let me know if you tried the workout—which move did you feel the most?

5 Tricks that Kept Me Healthy When I Was Broke

Posted: 18 May 2015 12:00 PM PDT

grocery shopping

I recently made a career shift that resulted in a new full-time job, but, during the transition, there was a time when I had no income—or any money at all for that matter. Aside from being more than a little disconcerting, I allowed this stress to affect my healthy lifestyle negatively. It pained me to let my gym membership fizzle and lower my food standards, but life has a way of interrupting our plans.

This small turmoil did get me thinking: How much of my healthy lifestyle is directly related to my income or budget?

As I really started to think about it, budget should not affect my ability to be a healthy individual. Yet budget is one of the most common pain points I hear when I talk to folks about embarking on their own health journeys.

Sometimes it can be difficult enough to find the motivation to make healthy lifestyle changes, and the last thing that we need is to add the stress of money concerns. I offer an alternative solution: drop the economic dependency, and change your mindset.

Let’s go over a list of things that you need to survive and be healthy:

  • A positive attitude
  • Essentials such as: shelter, food, water, clothing (although some of these may be debatable)

Now let’s take a look at a list of things you don’t need:

  • Diet pills, supplements
  • Liposuction, tummy tucks, spot removal or wraps
  • An iPod or pricey fitness videos
  • A gym membership
  • Diet food, low-carb options, enhanced protein products, etc.

I don’t intend to bad mouth any of the items on the aforementioned list; in fact, listening to a paid workout playlist, and eating non-GMO and organic food has helped me stay focused and feel more healthy. However, if lacking any of these luxuries is an excuse to put off your health journey for another day, I ask that you look elsewhere.

The key to your lifelong health and fitness comes down to finding a combination of good habits that works best for you and your situation. If you aren’t blessed with a blossoming money tree in the backyard, then to hell with it! You can use your circumstances to fuel your motivation and drive onward.

I have used affordability as an excuse for far too long, but I have found a pretty good system that works for me at my current financial state. I welcome you to try some of these tips when looking to save an extra buck.

Buy Sale Items in Bulk

Cutting coupons has never been for me, but when I walk past a good deal on canned beans or whole-grain rice in the market, I pick up as much as I can afford. Although you may spend more initially, when it’s three days before payday and you’re hungry, you have a healthy option to eat rather than settling for a value menu and crushing your dieting goals.

Buy Frozen Produce

Sure, buying organic produce and supporting your local farmer’s market would be ideal, but sometimes this isn’t always within our budgets or time commitments. Frozen vegetables can be as nutritious or more nutritious than their fresh counterparts and, aside from being budget-friendly, they practically last forever.

My favorite parts of buying frozen produce:

  • Measure correct portions easily
  • Find great deals on bulk items
  • Prep work is slim to none
  • Toss frozen fruit easily into a smoothie
  • Toss frozen veggies into an omelet, stir-fry, soup or crockpot

Plan Your Meals and Prep Ahead of Time

This definitely didn’t come easily for me until I found a pretty lazy solution to accomplish this: the crockpot. Typically, I’ll spend my Sunday slow cooking 10 pounds of chicken to toss into various meals throughout the week. Whenever I'm finished making the recipe, I divvy up the portions and freeze the meals I plan on having later in the week.

This can not only make logging your meals very easy, but can also save you money throughout the week since you’ve already done the preparation and won’t need to eat out. Try a few different prep options until you find one that works best for you. If you have a large family, you may need to plan additional meals to serve everyone’s needs.

Value Shop Your Gym Membership

Gyms can be a very expensive regimen. Fortunately, gyms often offer seasonal incentives to bring new members on board. Be wary of signing your life away to a one-year membership or any fixed term with a convoluted cancellation policy—these can be a total nightmare and cost a fortune.

If a gym membership isn’t within your budget, consider visiting a college campus or park with a track or recreational sports fields. Grab some friends, the kids, or just go alone, and get active for free.

Just Keep It Simple

If budgeting is adding stress to your health and fitness goals, be honest with yourself and question if you really need all of the fitness luxuries that we are often told we need. Consider cutting back to your bare minimum—can you still accomplish your goals? Of course you can.

I recommend finding any of the free motivation around you: fitting into a smaller pair of jeans, keeping up with your grandkids, being a positive influence on your family, impressing your spouse, or surprising your doctor at your next check-up. Ongoing health and wellness isn’t about your paycheck, past, or anyone’s opinion—it’s about getting what you want without reservation.


To readers from Jacob: Thanks everyone for the overwhelming feedback and support from What to Do When the Scale Won’t Budge. For those keeping score at home, I made a career transition, and am now a full-time writer.

I want to thank everyone again for keeping up with my story and sharing my articles. The feedback that I have gotten from the MyFitnessPal community has motivated me to become a better person each and every day. Those of you whom have reached out and shared your personal stories with me have been especially exciting, and I could not have asked for a more awesome community to support. Until next time, stay motivated and stay healthy, my friends.

Food Politics

Food Politics

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines: the saga continues

Posted: 19 May 2015 05:39 AM PDT

I am indebted to Pro Politico Morning Agriculture for this tidbit:

HOUSE AG COMMITTEE PRIES INTO DGAC COMMENT REVIEW: The chairman and ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee have requested that the USDA and HHS supply an accounting of how they intend to review the more than 29,000 public comments on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee's report, as well as an accounting of the staff maneuvering that's been required to review those thousands of comments in a timely manner.

In a letter sent by Reps. Michael Conaway and Collin Peterson, the committee has also requested more information on whether the departments will be able to deliver the final Dietary Guidelines for Americans document by the end of the year, as originally intended.

"Have you reconsidered that goal given the overwhelming number of comments that now need to be reviewed,” the letter states. “If not, do you intend to incorporate the review of the 29,000+ comments received into this work product, and how do you intend to complete that process?” You can read the full letter, which the lawmakers expect a response to by June 10, here: http://1.usa.gov/1EJcrSM

OK.  Let’s review the process here.

  • Congress, in its infinite wisdom, wants the Dietary  Guidelines reviewed and redone every five years.
  • We’ve had Dietary Guidelines every five years since 1980.  Their basic messages have not changed much.
  • The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) reviewed the research and issued a lengthy report.
  • The report was released for public comment.  More than 29,000 comments came in.
  • Now the agencies—USDA and HHS—must deal with the comments are write the actual Dietary Guidelines.

Until 2005, the DGACs wrote the actual guidelines with minimal editing from the agencies.  That was certainly how it worked in 1995 when I was on that committee.

We did the research and wrote guidelines based on that research.  The agencies published them pretty much as we wrote them.

That changed in 2005 under the Bush II administration.

By now, nutrition advice has become so politicized that the public—from individual consumers to corporations—has a say in them.

Which method helps the public eat healthier diets?

You decide.

I withholding judgment until I see how the agencies extract guidelines from the 650-page DGAC report and its 29,000 comments.

I’m guessing that after all this fuss, the guidelines will still basically say:

  • Healthy diets are based largely on foods from plant sources (eat your veggies)
  • Don’t eat too much sugar, salt, or saturated fat (avoid junk food)
  • Don’t gain excess weight if you can avoid it (balance calories)

Good advice.  Too bad that following it does not increase profits for the food industry.