Labels- Do’s and Don’ts (part 2)

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The nutrition facts label.  It’s like another language isn’t it?  So many words, numbers, and terms.  It can make your head spin!  Most of the time, people ignore this important tool.  They buy the food they like without even looking at this label.  They choose foods because of price, taste. or convenience.  Sometimes, they do not even realize what they are putting into their mouths!  Put simply, the nutrition facts label can be a helpful tool in your decision making.  It gives you valuable information on that food product.  You can make more informed and good decisions when reading these labels.  Here are some simple tips to make it easy deciding from a food label:
Don’t                                                                  
Blindly chose foods without reading their label
Think a package is 1 serving
Add salt or butter to salty or buttery foods
Choose foods high in sugar Choose foods high in fiber
Eat foods with long ingredient lists
Do
Choose foods lower in calories from fat
Eat the serving size on the package
Choose low salt and fat options
Choose foods high in fiber
Choose foods with short lists
The nutrition facts label can be a helpful tool when making healthy decisions.  It can be intimidating.  Start slow.  Practice with foods at home.  Decide if the food is helping or hurting you from the information included on the label.  You will catch on quickly.  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve! 
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Wine it Out

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“Beer is made by men, wine by God.”  -Martin Luther
“Wine is the most healthful and most hygienic of beverages.”  -Lewis Pasteur

I used to never be a wine drinker. For awhile, I used to think it was gross.  Sour grape juice?  No thanks.  Give me a beer instead.  Some wines are served warm?! No thanks.  I want something cold. It never used to be something I reached for when given the choice.

Lately, something has changed.  I have found that I do enjoy wine!  To me, it was an acquired taste.  It didn’t seem attractive at first.  After trying it a few times, I have found that I have certain preferences.  Wine tastes great!  It is best especially in certain situations or with certain foods.  For instance, I enjoy red wine while relaxing at home in front of a house fire.  I enjoy white wine with dinners including fish or chicken.

Wine can be a great addition to your diet. Wine has many positive attributes to it.  For some people, it relies them.  Red wine has been seen to help protect against cancer.  It does contain some vitamins and minerals to promote wellness.  However, remember this: wine is still alcohol.  Actually, it is high in alcohol- about %12-15! If you chose to enjoy wine, make sure you do responsibly: only 1-2 glasses at a time. In this way, you will reap the benefits while not getting drunk or increasing your waistline.  Cheers!  As Always, Eat, Move, Improve!

Common Core

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“Core strength is key to everything. it’s not the way I look, but about stabilizing my body so I can perform better on stage” -Paul Stanley

“But if I keep my core and back strong, the scoliosis does not bother me” -Usain Bolt

“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.’ -Ralph Waldo Emerson


Everyone is different. We have unique nutritional needs and wants. Some people function well on low carb, low fat diets. Others function well on low fiber vegetarian diets. Some people have extreme allergies and need to avoid certain foods altogether. Some people need to lose weight while others need to gain weight. You get the picture.

But, we all want the same thing.  We all want that strong and sexy core.  We want that “perfect” body with hard muscles and curves.  We want those formed, rock hard abdominals and obliques.  To get there, each person needs to follow certain “common core” practices to stay healthy, well, and improve their bodies. First, Each and every one of us needs to feed our bodies with certain, necessary nutrients:

-low fat protein for strength and healing

-whole grain carbohydrates for long lasting energy

-fruits and vegetables for vitamins and minerals

-Dairy for healthy bones

-healthy fats for maintenance

-water or low calorie fluids to stay hydrated


Consider these principles as well when choosing your foods:

-No one food is good or bad. We create our personal beliefs about foods and humanize them from our experiences and thoughts around them.

-Moderation is key. Small & irregular desserts & snacks are OK.

-Choose to eat high quality foods to satisfy hunger and nutritional needs. Do your best to avoid eating out of boredom or emotions.

-High quality foods and calories will almost always create better health than low quality foods and calories.

-Preparing foods at home will be more healthy than eating out most of the time.

-Consistent portion sizes are key. Appropriate portion sizes of foods will help you get to a healthy weight and keep your body working well.

-Exercise will make your body strong and get you to a healthy weight over time.

Of course, this is a short list of core principles toward a balanced, healthy meal plan. Consult a dietitian and personal trainer to find realistic food practices for you. As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

 

 

The Reality of Ready

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“Don’t wait until they tell you that you are ready. Get in there. I waited a long time out in the world before I gave myself permission to fail.” -Peter Dinklage

“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.”― Hugh Laurie

“If we wait until we are ready, we will be waiting for the rest of our lives” -Hugh Laurie


Ever say this to yourself, “I’ll do it when I am ready?” You’re not alone. Millions of people say this to themselves each and every day. While waiting to be “ready” is the safe play, it does not bring progress. It keeps us in our comfort zones. When we decide we aren’t “ready”, we do not take action. Nothing changes.


Changing your life is scary. It takes courage. It’s risky and puts you in the spotlight for people to judge. But, the only way to make changes is to ACT. No one is ever ready for big decisions. However, the hard decisions are essential to make a difference in your life. When you begin making a change, you may not be ready. But, you can assess, adapt, and adjust your efforts. Just stay committed to the process. You will notice that you were ready all along. As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

Get Personal

 
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“If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.”  -Hippocrates
“A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings, and learn how by his own thought to derive benefit from his illnesses.”  -Hippocrates
“I will accept responsibility for my past and stop blaming other people for my current situation. I am where I am today because of decisions I have made, the way that I think and the emotions I dwell on. I will strive each day to make my life a statement, not an apology. The buck stops here.” –The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews

I hear it all the time now.  “I can’t lose weight because of X.”  “I can’t reach my goals beacuse of Y”.  “Life word be so much better if Z happens”.   It’s so easy. Many people do not take responsibility anymore.  They blame others or circumstances for their shortcomings.  So many people do not shoulder the blame for their situation.  They would rather slough it off to someone else to make it easier on themselves.

 
The truth is, YOU have the power.  You have the power to change your thinking and actions.  You have the responsibility to make better choices for yourself.  It all is in your state of mind.

On another note, everyone has different diet needs.  Your nutrition and exercise  needs will be unique compared to someone else’s.  What may work for others may not work for you.  I suggest you hire a dietitian and/or personal trainer to get detailed and personalized lifestyle change plan.  When your plan is custom to you, the more likely you will enjoy it and reach your goals.  As Always, Eat, Move,  and Improve!

Dear Salt

Dear Salt,
 
What did you do to me?  I am disappointed in you.  You made so many promises to me.  With your savory and satisfying taste, I could’t get enough of you.  You had me hooked.  I found so much pleasure and joy in spending time with you.  On top of that, you were so was to find.  I could find you in processed foods, canned foods, and restaurant foods to name a few.
But, now I know the truth. I know that you are no good for me.  You may taste great, but you do not help me. You take more than you give.  You take my peace of mind away since you cause heart disease.  You raise my blood pressure and make me bloated.  I may need you some, but not as much as I thought.  I want you to know that it’s over.  We’re done.  I am no longer eating foods that contain you or adding you to my meals.  It’s not me, it’s you.
Sincerely, Kicking you to the curb

Booze or Lose

 

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“It’s a great advantage not to drink among hard drinking people.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

“No blame: the most liberating and empowering day of my life was the day I freed myself from my own self-destructive nonsense” -Steve Maraboli

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”-Arnold Schwarzenegger

 “All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” -Walt Disney


I am not sure what your goals are.  If you’re reading this, I hope you are making attempts to change your lifestyle and ultimately your health status.  If you are looking to lose some weight, this chapter is for you.  Also, if you have a few drinks every so often, this chapter is especially for you.


Our society celebrates by drinking excessively OFTEN.  There is something going on all the time.  The temptation is there to drink to excess constantly.  There are so many drinks to choose from: beer, wine, mixed drinks, shots.  They will satisfy you no matter your taste in adult beverage choices.


However, drinking adult beverages does NOT help with weight loss.  Most drinks are high in carbs or sugar.  They are high in calories and not much else.  Our bodies absorb and breakdown alcohol first.  So, when we eat with alcohol, our bodies do not absorb the vital nutrients our bodies need.  Instead, it absorbs the high calories of the drinks!

Do yourself a favor.  If you are looking to lose weight, drop the drinks.  Choose low calorie alternatives instead:

-tea

-water

-coffee

-flavored water

-seltzer water

If you cut out a few drinks a week, you will be astounded of the results you see in a few weeks.  As Always, Eat, Move, Improve!