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November 14, 2005

Weight Gain & Higher Learning - The Freshman 15

It’s the middle of freshman year for many university women across this body conscious land of ours - a time when many may be facing a frustrating realization: they’ve gained weight.

A recent Seattle Times article regarding the ‘Freshman 15’ (the few pounds many of us gain immediately after leaving home and attending college), caught my eye because, like so many other young women of my generation, I too gained weight shortly after attending university…and oh how I wish I would have handled it differently.

Of course, there’s a simple explanation for this phenomenon – lifestyle change,  time management issues, peer/social/academic pressure, less nutritional food options, stress, lack of exercise and of course…beer! 

It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that moving away from home to a completely new environment with all the pressures and temptations might lead to some weight gain. But when you’re 18, your comprehension of cause and effect are left in the classroom. All you can see is the end result - your jeans are getting tighter and you may no longer be as thin as the ‘other girls’. The next steps a young woman takes to come to terms with her new body are crucial.

With all the highly publicized diets and social pressure for women's weight loss, young women can often not obtain or ignore healthy weight loss information. Many aren't aware of the pitfalls of stringent dieting so they aren't learning strategies avoiding or managing binge eating or managing emotional eating.

Unfortunately, like many young women, I went on a litany of diets, tested, borrowed and begged for every new diet pill I could get my hands on, fasted, ate Ex-lax after meals like it was dessert. Along with Art History, English Literature and Philosophy, I learned about deprivation, manipulation and obsession around my weight and food. Although I lost the weight, I gained an unhealthy attitude around my food and my body image for the next 20 years.  I never really ate normally again.

This time is critical for young woman. Addressing any weight gain is a VERY slippery slope. The key is how a young woman accepts her new body image and perhaps, more importantly, how those most influential in her life handle these changes as well. I believe this is one of those times in life when it’s best to leave well enough alone. NOT commenting on weight gain may be the best thing you can do for her.  Trust me, she knows she’s gained weight, and it may surprise you to know it doesn’t bother her as much as it bothers you! Just making sure she feels secure about being loved and valued and feels no correlation to those things and what the scale may say.

Fortunately, Christina Olson (who was interviewed for this Seattle Times article) came to the following conclusion,

     "I decided, you know what, it's OK if I don't wear a size 2 anymore," she said. "I don't need to look like I'm  in junior high!”

Amen sister!!

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Perdita di peso - Dimagramento - Benessere - Centro per dimagrire - esclusivamente alle donne e rispettoso della salute
Il programma di perdita di peso Green Mountain tutela la salute
Perdita di peso,Dimagramento,Benessere,Centro per dimagrire,Dimagrire,Salute,Dieta,Sovrappeso,Problemi di peso

Posted by Cindy on November 14, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


November 11, 2005

Lentil Stew

Inspired by the delectible cuisine from Umbria, Italy, this delicious
lentil stew is called Lenticchie e salsicce in umido. The original recipe calls for Italian sausage, of course, but a modified version uses chicken to make this tasty entrée. Served with a whole grain roll and some fruit for dessert, you’ll have a great lunch or dinner on a chilly fall day.

(Makes 4 servings)

    1 cup dry lentils
    1 1/2 cups chopped onion
    1 tablespoon minced garlic
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    3 Italian sausages or chicken Italian-style sausages (about 12 ounces)
    2 cups tomato sauce
    1 cup canned diced tomatoes
    2 bouillon cubes dissolved in 1 cup of hot water
    1/4 teaspoon chili pepper

Wash and sort lentils. In large kettle, bring 2 quarts of water and lentils to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 25 to 30 minutes or until tender. Rinse and drain. Meanwhile, cook onion and garlic in olive oil in large skillet over medium heat until onions are slightly soft. Crumble 1 sausage into skillet mixture and cook about 3-4 minutes. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and remaining sausages (cut in half) and simmer over medium-low heat about 30 minutes. Mix in lentils and add bouillon and chili pepper and continue to simmer for about 10 minutes. Serve.

If you enjoyed this recipe, come and enjoy our complete collection of healthy eating recipes.

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Programa Green Mountain para una pérdida saludable de peso
Pérdida de peso, Saludable, Estilo de vida, Vida sana, Actividad física, Filosofía vital, Perder peso, Ejercicio, Modo de vida, Retiro, Sana ,Sano,Retiro sano

Posted by Laura on November 11, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


November 10, 2005

"News Diet," Yoga and Exercise Modifications

Jugglingarts Hi Blog Readers! Did anyone miss me (or even notice my absence!) these last few weeks? I was moving into a new house and a little tied up, so to speak. If you’d like to hear about the 24-foot U-Haul, the narrow driveway, a ditch and tow truck, email me!

I have decided to take this move as an opportunity to start/break some habits. I’ve decided to take my long-standing “news diet” further. I gave up TV news, periodicals, magazines, papers after 9/11 – just couldn’t handle it anymore. So now I’m taking the next step - no more Golden Girls  or Nanny, no infomercials, no basic or expanded cable, no nothing!

I was planning on still watching just the occasional movie DVD or VHS tape, so I hooked up the cables to all the electronic components, turned on the TV and what to my wondering eyes appeared – PBS!  The program was a woman that was very limber and had that peaceful look (if you have a yoga instructor, you’ll know what I mean). She was going through some stretches and drew me into continuing to watch because she seemed to be very safe and moderate in her approach.

As I continued watching, I realized the truth in the saying “first impressions can be deceiving”…she rapidly accelerated into some moves that I’m not sure anyone should do, but certainly not anyone with Plantar Fasciitis – or tendencies toward having it, or does not frequently stretch her feet - should ever do! I had a bad bout of fasciitis myself for a time, and believe me, you wouldn’t wish it on anyone!

And while this might seem contrived, you’ll have to take my word for this when I say that my first thought was thankfulness for having had the Green Mountain education and experience in my background…otherwise I could picture myself, still out of shape, being lured in by her calm tone and seeming knowledge, trying to follow along. Of course I would have done all the moves, injured myself (compounding my lack of activity) and worst of all, blamed myself for being a failure, never realizing that it was her failure for demonstrating a high risk move without noting it’s risk or providing a modification.

What a lovely word that is - “modifications” - especially when applied to exercise! My blood is starting to pound a bit harder as I think about all the “exercise professionals and gurus” out there that are negligent in presenting exercise and fitness as something that only a  20-year old hard body can do. I specifically said 20-year-old rather than a professional athlete because athelets do make use of modifications extensively to prevent injury (or re-injury) while continuing their conditioning

So what’s an imperfect body that would like to be healthy to do? How do you start? How do you learn? To be honest, I never found that answer on my own – I had found a lifetime of frustration at gyms, health clubs, trainers, magazine articles, fitness videos, programs, etc. But I think I could have found the right path if I haDancingd dropped my attitude that to "work" exercise had to be formal, in a gym, and just right or perfect. If I had thought about moving my body for pleasure, and to feel good, I think I could have found the right path eventually. So my advice is to take a walk (or dance to the radio, or play in the leaves, or park the car a little further than usual) and think about how it feels to move, listening to your body, stopping before it’s uncomfortable, and by all means NEVER think about burning calories, losing weight or whether it’s going to “work”. Accept the goodness that moving brings, and you’ll continue to do it, better fitness will happen without pain, and probably when you’re not even looking! What could be better than that?!

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Programa Green Mountain para una pérdida saludable de peso
Pérdida de peso, Saludable, Estilo de vida, Vida sana, Actividad física, Filosofía vital, Perder peso, Ejercicio, Modo de vida, Retiro, Sana ,Sano,Retiro sano

Posted by Gina V. on November 10, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack


November 09, 2005

‘Tis the Season

Glasscran_2My thoughts these days are generally focused on Thanksgiving and what follows. Maybe that’s why when I picked up a recent newsletter from the Mayo Clinic, I noticed an article on the health benefits of cranberries. Ocean Spray doesn’t talk about much beyond their potential value in maintaining the health of the urinary tract, but the Mayo Clinic cites a multitude of good-for-you characteristics, including:

  • High in vitamin C
  • Contains plenty of the antioxidant phytochemical anthocyanin
  • Has a potential role in treating stomach ulcers caused by H. pylori bacteria
  • Possibly helps lower LDL, or "bad," cholesterol
  • Contains salicylic acid, an anti-inflammatory compound similar to aspirin which may have health benefits

They do warn, however, that people who take blood thinners may need to be wary about using cranberry supplements (they apparently can affect bleeding time), and that they contain oxalate – which can be a problem for people who have a history of kidney stones that contain oxalate.

My interest in cranberries doesn’t have anything to do with supplements, though. I like them for that thing they do to turkey and stuffing…yum, I can hardly wait! And that’s why I thought this subject a good one for this blog. Holiday eating time is upon us, and I encourage everyone to eat mindfully, appreciating the health value in eating well and even in eating foods that are often thought ‘bad for us.’ Sure, cranberry sauce is loaded with sugar. But with benefits like the above, cranberry sauce adds more than just good flavor to our foods.

So enjoy healthy eating! Here’s a festive healthy recipe to get you started -- Cranberry-Pistachio Biscotti that will surely impress family and friends this holiday season. They’re not only chock full of healthful cranberries, they taste great! The Mayo Clinic website also features a cranberry-studded stuffing that looks pretty good, too.

Photo from The Cranberry Institute

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Programa Green Mountain para una pérdida saludable de peso
Pérdida de peso, Saludable, Estilo de vida, Vida sana, Actividad física, Filosofía vital, Perder peso, Ejercicio, Modo de vida, Retiro, Sana ,Sano,Retiro sano

Posted by Marsha on November 9, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


November 07, 2005

Healthy Lifestyle Changes That Will Take You Through The Holidays and Long After

Halloween is here and gone and that only means one thing:  Retailers everywhere getting their usual head start on the holidays.  'Deck the Halls' playing  24/7 in your local Target, plastic wreaths swinging off every traffic light and  mass produced Christmas trees bundled up with twine and scrunched together by the dozens outside your grocery store...all while you're still trying to figure out where to store your beach umbrellas!

So, maybe this is the year to get a head start on something even more important...our health!  Instead of waiting till the holidays are around the corner, or chucking it all in until after the New Year, how about getting real about healthy eating and fitness now?

Here, from the professionals at Green Mountain at Fox Run, are a few tips for healthy weight loss that you can start thinking about today - while you still have your wits about you...

  • Get real.  Whether we're trying to start eating healthier or become more physically active, the first step is to be clear about our goals...and clear whether they are something we can achieve.
  • Get committed.  We're talking about energy and dedication to find healthy behaviors that work for you.  If it doesn't feel right to say you're committed to something, explore why.  Is the goal you've set really right for you?
  • Give up 'shoulds.'  A tangle of beliefs and thoughts about what we 'should' do or where we 'should' be with our fitness and health can threaten our ability to find what's right for us.
  • Get assertive.  Does everyone around you have opinions about what's best for you?  Exercise your right to make your own choices.  That also means putting yourself first.  If you don't make it a priority to care for yourself, you won't be at your best in caring for others either.
  • Reward yourself. Build your self image as a winner by acknowledging and celebrating your small successes with ways that are meaningful to you.  It's all about feeling good and keeping yourself going.
  • Remind yourself.  Whether it's remembering to eat lunch, or getting in that two-mile walk, add your new behaviors to your 'to do' list. 
  • Seek support.  Support is one of the key predictors of success at lifestyle change or healthy weight loss program.  Buddy up with friends or family to accomplish your goals.

One of the most promising things to remember about making positive changes, is that if you keep practicing your new behaviors, before you know it, you're no longer making 'changes' - it will be just the way you do things!

For more information, read Making Healthy Lifestyle Changes that Last, or more check out Changing for Good, one of the premier books on how to make changes that last.

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Programa Green Mountain para una pérdida saludable de peso
Pérdida de peso, Saludable, Estilo de vida, Vida sana, Actividad física, Filosofía vital, Perder peso, Ejercicio, Modo de vida, Retiro, Sana ,Sano,Retiro sano

Posted by Laura on November 7, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack


November 03, 2005

Turkey Chili

Turkey Chili.Brrr! After "falling back" for daylight savings, the sun goes down earlier making evenings even colder in many parts of the country. Luckily, a delicious bowl of turkey chili is a healthy way to warm up!

(Makes 8-10 servings)

    2 medium onions, chopped (1 cup)
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    1 medium red bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
    1 medium green bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh garlic
    2 pounds ground turkey
    2 tablespoons ground cumin
    1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
    1 tablespoon chili powder
    1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, drained
    2 jalapeño chilies, seeded and chopped
    1 can (14 1/2 ounces) whole roma (plum) tomatoes
    About 4 cups water
    1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained
    1 can (15 to 16 ounces) kidney beans, drained
    Salt
    Pepper

Cook onions in oil in large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat about 10 minutes or until onions are tender. Add green and red bell peppers and garlic; cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add turkey; cook 3 to 4 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink. Add cumin, oregano, chili powder, green chilies, jalapeño chilies, tomatoes and water; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes.

Add beans; simmer 15 to 20 minutes longer. (If necessary, thin chili with additional water to desired consistency.)

To serve, season with salt and pepper.

Variation

Vegetarian Chili: Prepare chili as directed, except substitute 1 can (16 ounces) pinto beans, drained, for the turkey. Add pinto beans with black beans and kidney beans.

If you enjoyed this recipe, come and enjoy our complete collection of healthy eating recipes.

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Posted by Laura on November 3, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


November 02, 2005

The 5,000-Year-Old Weight-Loss Plan

I recently returned to yoga after several fits and starts over the years.  Recognizing my tendency to be gung ho for short periods of time about new ventures on my part, I’m very cautiously optimistic about the potential of this centuries-old method to help me in my quest to be physically active and enjoy it. So when Eleanor Kohlsaat, whom we heard from a couple of weeks ago on this blog, sent me this piece to post on the blog, I was excited to share it.  To me, it underscores the fact that yoga isn’t just another method to lose weight - it’s an inroad to changing the way you think and act, paving the way to those healthy lifestyles that often seem unattainable.  As far as the 10-year follow-up study goes, I’d wager it exists because the yoga lifestyle is something that’s easy to stay with.  Hence, the researchers were able to find 15, 500 people who had practiced yoga for 10 years.  Try to find that many people who’ve followed the latest weight loss scheme for that long.

Some folks have tried everything to lose weight except standing on their heads. Now, it turns out, standing on your head is not such a bad idea.

According to new research, doing yoga regularly may prevent midlife weight gain and actually help practitioners shed a few pounds. In a study of 15,500 people between the ages of 53 and 57, published in a recent issue of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, those who practiced yoga regularly lost about five pounds over 10 years, while those who didn’t do yoga gained about 13.5 pounds over the same span.

As is usual with emerging health news, this announcement was soon followed by contradictory reports. An article in the Washington Post disputed the supposed link between yoga and weight loss, pointing out that because yoga does not meet the American College of Sports Medicine’s criteria for moderate-intensity exercise, the pounds lost by participants in the study were likely not the result of the calories burned while doing yoga. Instead, the article suggested that people who do yoga are already more concerned about their bodies and more inclined to eat healthfully.

It’s true that yoga is not generally an aerobic exercise -- the kind you’re supposed to do if you want to burn calories and lose weight. With the exception of a few variations that emphasize constant flowing motion, yoga focuses mostly on gentle stretching, breathing, posture and alignment. Could it still conceivably prevent weight gain?

I asked Jill Johnson, my yoga teacher at Ancient Healing Arts yoga studio in downtown Lebanon, N.H. I attend Johnson’s early morning class on Wednesdays, and I can vouch for one thing at least: headstands are not compatible with big breakfasts.

“From my own experience,” Johnson agreed, “because I can’t eat two hours before I practice or teach, it keeps me from eating frequently or from eating large amounts.”

But, she added, yoga’s effects go further than that. (After all, it’s not always practical to do a few downward-facing dog poses every time you get the urge to snack.) Johnson explained a regular yoga practice helps to cultivate a sense of equilibrium and the desire to avoid excess, both on and off the mat. “You learn to practice moderation in all aspects of your life.”

But how exactly does yoga inspire people to change their lifestyles? One theory is offered by Dr. Timothy McCall, a yoga practioner and a specialist in internal medicine, writing in the fall program guide of the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox, Mass.  In his article, “Yoga as a Technology for Life Transformation,” McCall describes seeing patients who sincerely wanted to improve their diets, exercise regularly and stop smoking, yet couldn’t stick with their programs.

“The more I’ve studied yoga,” McCall writes, “the more I’ve become convinced that it offers the piece doctors and public health authorities are missing: a way to implement the changes people want to make.”

According to McCall, the ancient yogis had a word for habits of action and thought: samskaras. He compares samskaras to ruts in a muddy road, an image that might seem particularly vivid to some twin state residents. “From the yogic perspective,” McCall writes, “every time you do or think something, you increase the likelihood that you will do it or think it again. That’s true of both desirable and undesirable things.”

The key, the ancient yogis believed, was to replace the negative habits with positive ones, and to repeat those positive habits over and over -- as you would in a regular yoga practice. Each time you replace a bad habit with a healthy alternative, you are building a different road for yourself. Eventually the new samskaras begin to feel more comfortable than the old ones.

As Johnson puts it, “As you practice more, you come to prefer a feeling of lightness in the stomach vs. heaviness.”

What makes the yogic approach so intriguing is that it goes far beyond the old “eat less, exercise more” formula that so many people know they should adopt but somehow can’t. In my four years of regular yoga practice, I’ve become more aware of how my body feels at any given moment and less willing to subject it to unnecessary punishment. Yoga puts you and your body on the same team. Instead fighting a battle of wills each time you drive past the Dunkin’ Donuts, you suddenly recognize that inhaling a jelly-filled might not be in your best interest.

So even if your half hour or so on the mat every day is not creating a huge caloric deficit, its effects are spilling over into the rest of your life, causing you to make healthier choices in general.

Some would argue that weight loss is not really the main objective of this 5,000-year-old system of philosophy and spirituality, and they have a point. What does Johnson think of the millions of Americans flocking to the ancient practice of yoga in pursuit of eternal youth and a “yoga butt”?

“I’m fine with people starting yoga for the purpose of weight loss,” Johnson said. “It really doesn’t matter what brings people to yoga, only that they come.”

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Programa Green Mountain para una pérdida saludable de peso
Pérdida de peso, Saludable, Estilo de vida, Vida sana, Actividad física, Filosofía vital, Perder peso, Ejercicio, Modo de vida, Retiro, Sana ,Sano,Retiro sano

Posted by Marsha on November 2, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack