Archive for the ‘Tip of the Day’ Category

By Joy Bauer, M.S., R.D., C.D.N.

Can you relate to this very typical diet story? You start off super-committed and the pounds fly off.  But a few weeks or months later, your enthusiasm and motivation start to peter out, as do the losses on the scale.

If you’re in this boat (or expect to be soon), these weight loss strategies promise to keep things fresh so you don’t lose steam.

Try journaling (not just your food!).  
Keep a special diary to record and process your feelings, challenges, and successes along your weight loss journey. Also jot down the reasons you committed to losing weight in the first place and some of the best “perks” that you’ve experienced so far (maybe it’s an array of complements, or a once-uncomfortable task you can now do with ease).  Re-read your entries often to keep your motivation from stalling.

Set small goals (i.e., no eating after dinner for a week, or losing 2 pounds this week) and reward yourself after every achievement. Treat yourself to a manicure, a new book, clothes (in your new, smaller size!), a stylish haircut, or another special prize each time you pass another mini-milestone.

Spice up your food. 
If you’re sick to death of oatmeal, tossed salad, and grilled chicken, it’s time for a menu overhaul. Follow these three tips to reignite your taste buds.

  • Don’t repeat the same meal two days in a row.
    I can appreciate how easy—and convenient—it is to fall into the same food routine, but that can get old fast. Instead, go out of your way to vary up your breakfast, brown bag lunches, and at-home meals to break through the boredom.
  • Buy a healthy cookbook for creative inspiration.
    Work your way through the book one recipe at a time and try all sorts of new, interesting flavors. It’s just like the movie Julie and Julia!
  • Experience healthy ethnic cuisine.
    Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Mediterranean, and South American cuisines can be very light and refreshing, and they’re full of delicious flavors and fresh produce. Just choose wisely (no tempura or pasta alfredo, please).

Jazz up your fitness routine.
It may just take some new, high-energy music downloads to rekindle your relationship with exercise. If you belong to a gym but always hit up the same cardio machines, start sampling some of the group fitness classes offered at your club (I promise, you won’t be the only newbie there!).  Or, try taking your workout outside, where you can walk or jog a different route every day. The change of scenery will keep things from getting stale.

Here’s one of my absolute favorite strategies for helping people stick with their exercise routine: buy books on tape (or audiobooks for your iPod) and make a deal with yourself that you’re only allowed to listen to the books while moving (walking outdoors or on a treadmill, riding a stationary bike, etc.). As long as you pick interesting books, you’ll be so engaged in the storyline, you’ll actually look forward to working out so you can hear the next chapter unfold!

If all else fails, GO SHOPPING! 
Stand in one of those 180 degree mirrors and really study yourself wearing a smaller pair of jeans. Celebrate your new figure and all the hard work you’ve put into getting to this point.

No doubt about it, losing weight is a struggle at times, but almost every “big loser” will tell you it’s worth the effort. Stay strong and focused…your goal is within reach!

For more info on losing weight and healthy living, visit joybauer.com and follow Joy on Facebook and twitter.

Follow Kaeng Raeng on Facebook.

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Milk and other dairy products might seem like a good idea.  They’re pretty delicious and go great with other foods.  They are high in calcium, which is good for the bones, but they are also high in lactose, casein and other nutrients that sometimes are rejected by the body. These substances can worsen allergies, including both food and seasonal allergies.

Food Allergies

If you have an over reactive immune system, then you may have allergies. The symptoms will appear after you have eaten something that the immune system thinks is attacking the body. The immune system then goes into a defense mode to stop the attacker, thus causing the symptoms. Symptoms may vary from person to person and may include headaches, abdominal pain, arthritis, hives, nasal congestion, asthma and many more.

The most common foods that cause allergic reactions are dairy products, wheat, corn, soy and peanuts. If you experience any allergy symptoms you should eliminate these foods from your diet for a few weeks and then gradually bring them back into your diet one at a time. This will help you determine which foods you are allergic to. Once you find the culprit, you can eliminate that food from your diet.

Seasonal Allergies and Dairy Products

Seasonal allergies are also the result of the immune system overreacting. But this time the invader is airborne and is usually in the form of pollen, dust or other foreign particles that the system does not recognize. Symptoms usually include sneezing, an itchy and runny nose and difficulty breathing.

One of the biggest reasons that dairy products worsen seasonal allergy symptoms is because dairy contains arachidonic acids, which increase the production of leukotrienes. Leukotrienes restrict the bronchial tubes, thus making it difficult for air to get through. This can bring on the production of phlegm and mucus, which can worsen the symptoms of allergies.

Dairy Products and the Immune System

Dairy and dairy products also play a key role in the weakening of the immune system. When the immune system is weak, it causes an overreaction to certain foods, pollen or dust, and can also make other allergy symptoms worse.

One of the proteins found in dairy that weakens the immune system is casein. Casein in limited quantities is good for you. However, the high amounts of casein found in dairy products is too much for the human body to properly digest. This causes excess proteins to float around the body, which in turn can worsen allergies.

Furthermore, many dairy products contain high amounts of saturated fats, which also contribute to weakening the immune system. These products include milk, butter, cheese and ice cream.

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Lindsay is the founder and CEO of Kaeng Raeng natural detox.

For years I struggled to become a “good” runner.  I felt like no matter how many times I jumped on that treadmill or went for a run, I was breathless after 10 minutes.  I knew my body was so much stronger and I was more capable.  I could easily do hours on a bike – why was running so difficult?  After I was diagnosed with asthma while in college (and again in my mid-20’s after I stubbornly ignored it for 5 years), it became clear that I needed to re-examine my fitness goals.

Today, I’m still not a “good” runner despite trying 4-5 times/week.  I run with my boyfriend and he can literally run laps around me.  Some of us were born to run, others not so much.

If you’re someone with asthma who would still like to enjoy a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise, particularly running, there are ways to manage your asthma and still get a great workout.  I have found over time a few simple steps to continue running.  Please do not take my advice if a doctor has not cleared you for exercise – each person’s exercise needs and abilities are different.

What is asthma?

You may hear the term thrown around a lot, or seen advertisements on TV for various asthma-related medications, but perhaps you’re not even sure what it really is.  Asthma  is a common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction, and bronchospasm. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath.  It is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.  A diagnosis of asthma is common among top athletes. One survey of participants in the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., showed that 15% had been diagnosed with asthma, and that 10% were on asthma medication.

Many people with asthma manage it with a basic non-steroid inhaler which helps to open the lungs before or after an asthma attack trigger.  Avoiding allergens is another way people manage asthma (but may not be practical given normal constraints).

Where to Exercise

One of the best ways to exercise with asthma is indoors in a controlled setting like a gym, on a treadmill.  In the event of an asthma attack or medical emergency, being around other people, fresh water, and an inhaler can help prevent serious injury.  Being in a climate controlled setting (like in air conditioning in a hot climate) also helps your lungs recover after bouts of exertion.  Other great places include the pool (the moisture in the air from swimming is great for the lungs), any moist or humid setting, and places with warm (but not blazing hot) weather.

Types of Exercise

While this article is mostly about running, there are plenty of other great forms of exercise that don’t include running that may be more suitable for people with asthma.  These include swimming, biking or spinning, walking, climbing stairs, elliptical, rowing, pilates, or yoga.   Sports that allow for intervals of rest are also great including volleyball, tennis, softball, and gymnastics.

One of the best ways to run with asthma is with interval trainingInterval training is a type of physical training that involves bursts of high intensity work. This high intensity work is alternated with periods of recovery (which may involve complete rest and/or lower intensity activity).  This type of training is great for people with asthma because it can give you time to catch your breath while keeping your heart rate up.  I typically do interval sprinting 30 seconds running at 8.5 mph or higher and then resting for 30 seconds, on and off for 10-20 minutes.  During the “resting” period, my heart rate typically stays within 10 beats/second from my cardio rate.  I love interval training because of the feeling of accomplishment I get when I’ve finished a set.  It gets your heart rate up, your metabolism boosted, and the time flies by!

Types of Exercise To Avoid

It probably goes without saying, but any long-term endurance cardio can be a challenge for people with asthma.  Avoid cross country running, sports like basketball and soccer, and cold weather activities like skating or skiing.  Don’t feel like you’re out of shape just because you can’t finish a marathon.  Asthma is a serious condition – respect your body’s limitations.  If you have seasonal allergies that exacerbate your asthma, avoid running outdoors altogether.  If you live in a heavily polluted area, you may want to avoid running outdoors.  High altitude areas can also increase the risk of an asthma attack.

Simple Tips for Success

I always take two hits from my inhaler, 10 seconds apart, before I start any cardio.  I notice a difference immediately.  If I’ve forgotten to use my inhaler, I barely can last 5 minutes without getting out of breath.  With my inhaler, I can run for much longer.  Visit a doctor if you feel like you might have exercise-induced asthma.  They will have you blow into a tube that measures your air flow.  Most people with asthma regularly use an HFA inhaler.  Some people with more serious cases use a steroid inhaler – your doctor will know which one is best.

Always have plenty of water readily available.  Oxygen is a key component of water, so drinking it while out of breath can help to improve air flow in your lungs.

Use a heart rate monitor.   Your heart rate is important during exercise.  Most people try to stay within a “target zone” that’s also known as the “fat burning zone,” that’s an efficiency point for burning calories while still having energy for your body to endure.  I regularly check my heart rate to make sure I am within my goal zones so I am less focused on the distance I have gone, but more so how long and how hard my workout has been.

Always warm up and cool down.  Your body is like an instrument that needs a little tuning.  Start with some stretching and walking before running to avoid injury.  Warming up your lungs to exercise will help lower the chances of an asthma attack.  Also remember to cool down.  Jumping off a treadmill with your heart rate at 185 can make you dizzy.  Stay safe by easing out of your workout with walking, light jogging, biking, or using the elliptical.

Have a positive mind frame.  So much of running, I believe, is mental.  As soon as you start to doubt yourself and your body, the running will become a painful chore rather than an enjoyable form of exercise.  Stay positive!  Use upbeat music, run with a friend, or repeat to yourself that you’re doing great while running.  Don’t let having asthma disable you – it’s a manageable condition that does not have to stop you from getting a great sweat!

Good luck, healthy girl.

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First off, let me tell you that I’m a friendly vegan! I’m not judgmental, and I truly believe that it’s not my business to tell anyone what they should or shouldn’t eat. I grew up in the South, greatly enjoying chicken-fried steak and barbecued ribs, and every kind of cheesy thing I could get my hands on. I loved meat; never thought about it. Until I thought about it. After a few years of transitioning, I’ve been vegan for seven years. And it seems I’m not alone.

I went out to dinner last night with friends and came home fairly hungry. If you don’t count the bread I tried not to eat too much of and the olives from my martini, or the little side dish of steamed vegetables, there wasn’t much I could call a meal. I scanned the menu for anything that I could eat, but all I saw was lobster, lamb, fish, steak, chicken, veal, pork, and pastas that had any combination of the aforementioned meats with cheese or cream. Nothing for me but the dreaded Grilled Vegetable Plate.

I would SO love a hearty dish with a center of the plate protein, with some TLC from the chef — i.e. sauces and garnishes — to make it just as fulfilling as the meat and dairy dishes. I would pay good money for it! And I know a lot of other people would too — and not just vegan people.

Eating vegan(ish) or vegetarian is mainstream now, and growing ever more so. Oprah, Ellen and Martha each devoted shows to eating vegan. “Good Morning America,” “Extra” and “Dr. Oz” have also dedicated segments to the growing popularity of eating less meat and more plant-based food, and you will find in just about every major magazine or newspaper, there are features about the ever increasing vegan trend. Natalie Portman, Tobey McGuire, Ellen DeGeneres, Portia de Rossi, Mike Tyson, Bill Clinton, Larry Page, Biz Stone, Ricky Williams and Tony Gonzales are all vegan (or veganish!); these folks are the trendsetters — actors, athletes, business and thought leaders.

I realize that vegan is not how the majority of people eat, and restaurants are in the business of giving their customers what they want, but the trend is quite assuredly moving toward reducing and replacing meat. In fact, I’ve noticed that when I can finagle something interesting from the chef (assuming the waiter bothers to approach him with the request) that is both hearty and healthy, nine out of ten times most of the people at the table will say, “I’ll have what she’s having.”

Whether it’s because someone wants a break from animal protein three meals a day every day, or they are concerned with their health or weight, or they want to be conscious eaters for the environment, a vegan option is extremely appealing when presented well.

The problem is, restaurants are generally not presenting them well. A plate of vegetables situated next to a baked potato is okay in a pinch, but I wouldn’t want to pay a lot for it, nor would I return to that restaurant for it. I would choose another place that everyone would be happy, where my husband could get fish and I could get something plant-based (and not just pasta with tomato sauce … too many carbs, and boring).

A meal that looks like what everyone else is enjoying would be so, so gratifying and appreciated! And there are so many ways to make a meal with a vegetarian protein using Gardein (looks and tastes like different meats, high protein, low fat and is available through distributors like Sysco and US Foods ), seitan (wheat protein … made into cutlets or strips), lentils, beans, tofu, chickpeas, tempeh or other high-protein meat alternatives. And on a business note, the profit margin is greater as plant-based protein is cheaper than animal protein, and is how many other cultures get protein.

Check out these stunning statistics on the where the food trend is going:

Number of Vegetarians/Vegans and Trends in Vegetarian/Vegan Eating

– In a 2010 study from marketing firm Context Marketing that included 600 respondents, they found that 21 percent said “vegetarian” is important or very important to them. Fourteen percent said “vegan” is important or very important to them.
– The average American ate 14 pounds less meat (including poultry) per year in 2009 (208 pounds per person) than in 2006 (222 pounds per person).
– In feedback surveys among college students at campuses that Bon Appétit Management Co. (which manages more than 4,000 corporate, college and university accounts)
oversees, in 2005-2006 an average of 8 percent said that they were vegetarian. The 2009-2010 survey, however, had very different results: 12 percent identified themselves as vegetarian.

Vegetarian/Vegan Trends in Dining Out

– According to a January 2011 USA Today article on marketing trends for 2011, 47 percent of Americans are trying to reduce their meat consumption.
– A 2009 issue of Nation’s Restaurant News suggested adding vegetarian/vegan options to the menu as one of its top strategies for improving business. The publication noted that vegetarian food is generally less expensive for restaurants to procure, and mentioned the “veto vote,” the tendency for families with one or more vegetarians to bypass any restaurant that serves no meat-free fare.

Let me just leave you with this: I often dine out in Santa Barbara, and my favorite restaurant is Lucky’s Steakhouse. They make a mean martini and have a fantastic wine list, and the ambiance is festive and fun. They now feature a tofu dish, right alongside the steak, chicken and fish on the menu. A few friends and I had requested something other than the dreaded Grilled Vegetable Plate for so long, they finally relented. Not happily, at first, but they did it. They took one of their fish dishes and simply swapped out the fish for tofu, grilled it over braised spinach and a sweet miso sauce.

I usually start with a chopped salad of three kinds of lettuce, chickpeas, onions and avocado. We get a side of sweet potato fries to share. I asked the manager how the dish was doing, and he said, “I’m shocked, but it’s flying out the door!” His customers are not vegan. Not even vegetarian or pescetarian. But everyone these days, it seems, wants to lighten up on meat a bit. And so they come to the steakhouse for the ambience and a good drink, and they enjoy a hearty protein-centered, plant-based meal, and everyone wins! The other restaurants, we simply don’t consider anymore because we want everyone — veg or carnivore — to be happy!

Here’s a little starter guide:

– Instead of milk or cream, use almond, soy or cashew cream
– Instead of butter, use Earth Balance (you would not know the difference)
– Instead of chicken broth, use vegetable broth
– Instead of chicken, use Gardein, seitan or tofu
– Instead of ground beef, use Smart Ground meatless crumbles or lentils
– Instead of cheese, use Daiya or Teese non-dairy cheese

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From CNN Health

(CNN) — If you’re trying to lose weight, close your eyes for a minute and imagine the moments that make you fat.

Think through your day, and you’ll see them, as big and obvious as a hot fudge sundae sitting right in front of you. You’ve been good all day, and wham, your friends suggest you go to a buffet for dinner; or you’ve diligently worked out and wham, you end up at a cocktail party with an array of the most killer desserts ever.

Don’t rely on your willpower to get you through these tough times, advises James Hill, executive director of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at the University of Colorado.

“Willpower is not inexhaustible,” he says. “You only have a certain amount of it, and it’s gone.”

The key is to accept the fact that your willpower will run out at some point, and plan strategies to get you through fattening situations. Here are the top five moments that make you fat, and what you can do to outwit them.

On vacation

The problem: You’re on vacation and you want to kick back, relax, and enjoy the local cuisine — but you don’t want to come home with pounds to shed.

The solution: “Go for it,” advises Frances Largeman-Roth, a registered dietitian and senior food and nutrition editor at Health magazine. But share with others. If you’re in Paris, for example, don’t skip a visit to the bakery — that would be tres triste — but share the goodies with friends.

After a break-up

The problem: You want to bury your sorrows in a pint of ice cream.

The solution: “Instead of meeting your friend for a drink to dish about your ex, meet up for a power walk or run,” Largeman-Roth advises. Also, sign up for a team that is training for a 5K or some other race to distract your self and meet new people.

A party with fabulous food

The problem: You’re at a party and everything looks delicious. It’s free, it’s in front of you, and no one’s stopping you.

The solution: Don’t arrive famished, says Dr. Melina Jampolis, CNNHealth’s diet and fitness expert. Eat a small protein snack before the party, such as a few slices of turkey, a half a cup of low-fat cottage cheese, or half a protein bar.

Also, limit your alcohol, and not just because it’s caloric, but because if it’s hard to control yourself while you’re sober, imagine how much harder it is while tipsy.

Watching TV

The problem: You want to plop in front of the television with a high-fat snack.

The solution: Use a small bowl, Largeman-Roth says, or snack on frozen grapes or veggies with a yogurt-based dip.

At a buffet, or a restaurant with enormous portions

The problem: Buffets offer limitless amounts of food, and much of it has tons of calories. Restaurants with big portions of delicious foods make it hard to push the plate away.

The solution: Simply don’t go to buffet restaurants, Hill advises. But if you really have to, sit at a table where you can face away from the buffet — Jampolis says studies show people who face away tend to eat less — and load up initially on fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins so (at least hopefully) you won’t have enough room for the bad stuff. At the end of the meal, she suggests having everyone at the table get just one dessert and share, so you get a little taste of lots of things.

As for big portion restaurants, the trick is to get the doggy bag at the front end, not the back end. Hill suggests when you order your meal, ask for half of your dinner to be brought to you on a plate, and the other half in a to-go box.

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Brought to you by Kaeng Raeng

Kaeng Raeng is an all natural meal replacement detox program designed to rid your body of toxins and help you jumpstart a healthier lifestyle.  As a detox program, it also can serve as a great remedy for a weekend or night of too much partying.

Kaeng Raeng is packed with fruit, fiber, lean protein, probiotics and vitamins.  Combine it with at least 32 oz of water and you have a hangover cure!

What is a Hangover?

Other than an amazing movie, a hangover is basically a series of symptoms from your body being dehydrated after a long night of drinking.  Alcohol deprives your body’s cells of water and impairs your liver from creating glucose for your tissues, which is why you might feel dizzy, have a headache, or have difficulty concentrating during a hangover.

There are several obvious ways to prevent a hangover: don’t drink too much, eat while drinking, drink plenty of water in between alcoholic drinks, etc.  But we’ve all been there.

Kaeng Raeng packs everything your body (and specifically your liver) needs to get through your hangover.  It’s easy to drink and works to remove the toxins in your liver that are keeping it from healthfully producing glucose.  Just drink one shake the morning after your drinking binge and you’ll feel better in no time!

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OK, so you’re getting sick of your workout routine, and so is your body.  When you started exercising, you lost 5 pounds no problem.  Then nothing.  Hmph.

Our bodies, thanks to evolution, adjust to new patterns of behavior pretty quickly, which can lead to less than desired results with the same amount of effort.  Love to run?  Good for you – but maybe jogging on a treadmill for 20 minutes just isn’t doing the trick anymore.

It’s always a good idea to switch up your workout – add new types of cardio like swimming, biking, trail running, jump roping, dance, or kick boxing.  But maybe you don’t have the luxury of a full athletic center or a ton of time – we hear you!

An easy way to bust out of that weight loss plateau and fitness funk is to crank it up – the treadmill, that is.  Running at an incline is obviously much more difficult but requires little more than a push of a button.  You can still sweat for the same amount of time, run the same speed, and get a much harder workout without having to switch equipment.

It’s easy to understand why: Running on an incline is harder, even though your pace is slower than on a flat surface. But that extra effort is the driving force of a more efficient workout. Researchers at the University of Georgia found that uphill running activates 9 percent more muscle each stride compared with exercising at the same relative intensity on level ground.

Other benefits of using the incline:

  • By increasing the incline level on the treadmill, you will increase the number of calories burned during your workouts.
  • Incline training works the leg muscles differently and more efficiently than training on a level surface.
  • Incline training provides a great cardiovascular workout without having to increase speed.
  • The lower impact workouts on a treadmill decrease the likelihood of injury or strain to knees, hips, back, and ankles.
  • Incline workouts on a treadmill really stretch the calves and help you build long, lean calf muscles.
  • The incline feature allows for variation and helps prevent boredom during exercise sessions.

Start by warming up walking at an incline, such as a speed of 3.5 on an incline of 6.  Do that for 3 minutes.  Lower the treadmill to an incline of 1 and pick up your pace to a jog, between 4.5 – 5.5.  Stay there for 30 seconds and slowly increase your incline every 30 seconds until you’re jogging at an incline of 6.  Bring it back down and start over, only this time increase your speed to 6-7 and take it up to an incline of 10.  Stay up at a 10 incline for 30 seconds, then come back down in 30 second 1 incline increments.  You’ll be sweating in no time!

Good luck, healthy girl!

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