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June 30, 2006

A Bushel of Blueberries A Day, Keeps Mariah’s Wrinkles Away

It’s Friday and I’m in the mood to keep it light. Ok, what’s the newest dieting news coming out of Hollywood?  It has been reported that Mariah Carey who just recently lost about 32 pounds on a diet she and her nutritionist coined ‘the morsel diet’ (dieting on morsels consisting of only bland soup and fish), has now instructed her nutritionist to prepare only purple foods to be consumed 3 days a week. Why, you ask? Because she believes that eating purple foods such as blueberries, plums, grapes and raisins will help her keep the wrinkles away. (Isn't that what botox is for? Just kidding!)

Now, it’s true that many fruits contain powerful antioxidants that are very nutritious, but leave it to a Hollywood celebrity to take this concept to its most ridiculous conclusion. Apparently, Ms. Carey believes that a huge injection of purple foods in one go makes a powerful weapon against ageing (the worst possible thing that could happen to a supernova star), because purple food can prevent the breakdown of collagen and slow the wasting away of muscle tissue.

Maybe there’s scientific evidence of this, but I couldn’t find any.

So, what’s the message in all this? 1) Mariah may be a little cuckoo, and 2) bright purple foods might just be  good for you – in moderation. So, what the heck, when you’re out picking up groceries for the long holiday weekend - pick up some grapes, blueberries and a few plums. They won’t turn you into a multi-Grammy winning songbird, or immediately stave off the ravages of time, but boy they sure do taste good!

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Posted by Cindy on June 30, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 29, 2006

Blueberry Gorgonzola Salad with Mixed Greens

Nothing says 4th of July like Red, White and Blue - and you can't get much more blue than blueberries!  The US Blueberry Council offers this spectacular blueberry gorgonzola salad, and we've added optional raspberries to complete the patriotic theme.  A real crowd pleaser!

Note: Independance day picnics are a blast, but make sure your's doesn't go bust with food spoiling.  Today's recipe calls for some Gorgonzola cheese, so if you plan to make it for a picnic, visit the US Food Administration site for some Food Safety Tips for a Safe 4th of July

(Makes 4 servings)

1/4 cup  Safflower oil   
3 tablespoons  Sour cream   
2 tablespoons  Honey   
1 tablespoon White vinegar   
1 tablespoon  Poppy seeds   
1 teaspoon Lemon juice    
1/2 teaspoon Salt   
1/8 teaspoonGround black pepper      
8 cups Mixed salad greens such as Bibb lettuce, tatsoi & Belian endive   
1 cup   Fresh blueberries 
1 cup   Fresh raspberries (optional)
2 ounces (about 1/2 cup)  Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled 

To prepare poppy seed dressing: In a blender container, combine oil, sour cream, honey, vinegar, poppy seeds, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Process until blended.

To plate each serving: In a bowl, combine 2 cups salad greens with about 2-1/2 tablespoons poppy seed dressing; toss. Place greens on serving plate. Top with 1/4 cup blueberries, 1/4 cup raspberries, and 2 tablespoons Gorgonzola cheese. 

Garnish plates with additional endive leaves, if desired.   

For more healthy recipes check out the other delicious recipes listed on this blog or visit Green Mountain Healthy Living Recipe Favorites

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Posted by Laura on June 29, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 28, 2006

Does Intuitive Eating (Mindful Eating) Work?

Bliss At last weekend’s ASDAH (Association for Size Diversity and Health) conference, the subject of today’s post garnered a bit of discussion.  In a workshop, someone commented that intuitive eating (or mindful eating) didn’t seem to work for her.  Several questions arose, the most central of which was the meaning of ‘work.’

When we ask whether intuitive eating ‘works,’ what are we asking?  Whether it will lead us to weight loss?  Most people at the conference agreed that definition (or expectation) is a set-up for failure.  Intuitive eating isn’t about eating less so that you can lose weight.  It’s about eating peacefully, according to your body’s needs, to support your body in achieving its natural, healthy state.  For many women who’ve dieted their way to higher weights, that often means they’ll lose weight.  But it’s no guarantee, especially if someone is already at a weight that’s right for them, but they’re just not happy with it – a size acceptance thing.

Hanging onto the goal of weight loss is pretty much a guarantee that intuitive eating won’t ‘work.’  Keeping weight loss as a goal makes us question every morsel we eat – primarily centering around questions whether we really need to eat (even though we’re hungry) or whether something is too ‘fattening’ (even when we think we’ve given those thoughts up). 

Setting our sights for eating well – intuitively choosing to eat in a way that makes our bodies feel good – is the most sure way to support our bodies in achieving their best.  As a minor (?) aside, eating well can look very different for each individual.  Nutrition guidelines can tell us as a population what seems to be the healthiest choices, but when it comes down to each of us personally, we have to tune in and discover how a food makes us feel.  If we’re worrying about whether it will make us fat or not, we’re getting in the way of true discovery.

Photo by Stephanie (strph) on flickr.

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Posted by Marsha on June 28, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 27, 2006

Eat, Move, Think

213830_966296da16_m_2 In simplest terms, the basics of a healthy lifestyle are changing the way you eat, changing the way you move, and changing the way you think.

For most of us that have decided to "start our diet on Monday" we succeed in temporarily changing the way we eat, might increase our activity, but rarely think in a new way. And if we try to think in a new way, it is usually just another "tape" that we put on in our heads that is equally unhelpful. For example, the "new" thought processes might be, "I'll never eat ice cream again because I don't want to be an ugly whale" or "Look how virtuous I am now - how can anyone enjoy eating 'unpure' food?"

I'm going to cut my verbal wanderings short today, so that you can read all of this article titled, "Achieving Weight Loss Success By Changing Negative Self Talk."

Peaceful living to all.

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Posted by Gina V. on June 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 26, 2006

Nestle Moves Into The Diet Market

NestleI guess I’m a little slow on the uptake (chalk it up to a very busy month), but I didn’t read until yesterday that Nestle was gearing up to buy Jenny Craig for $600 million dollars. What I found interesting is what this purchase says about Nestle. The chocolate candy bar company must be seeing some big dollar signs down the road to make such a sizeable investment outside their market of expertise.  With all the news on obesity, it’s climb and how it is effecting the youth of America (soon to be paying consumers), I guess it makes sense that they’d want to put their fingers in the proverbial pie. (Mine with a scoop of ice cream please).

Calling obesity a "major public health concern," Nestlé's chairman and chief executive, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, said in a statement that the Jenny Craig purchase would help transform Nestlé into "a nutrition, health and wellness company that sees weight management as a key competence." 

Hmm…really?  Wow, that’s seems like a bit of a stretch.

What seems more factual is that Nestle commands lots of supermarket shelf space. They could cover a lot of retail real estate selling prepackaged diet food and products using their immense power and influence.  With diet related products growing each year in the double digits that’s no small change.

Andrew Ross Sorkin of the New York Times writes:

For Nestlé, which already owns Lean Cuisine, the deal will bolster its position against rivals like Unilever, which sells Slim-Fast packaged meals and shakes — a business that is growing at double digits — as well as Weight Watcher International and ConAgra Brands, which owns Healthy Choice.

For more on the Nestle-Craig acquisition, check out the rest of Sorkin's article in the New York Times.

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Posted by Cindy on June 26, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 23, 2006

Idol Worship and Disordered Eating

I appreciate not everyone was as big a nut about American Idol this year as I was. And posting now a couple times about AI on a healthy weight management blog may seem a bit disconnected, but if AI isn’t a show about self image and pressure to be ‘marketable’ well, I don’t know what is. After all, isn’t trying to prove you’re ‘idol’ material (arguably) second only to having talent so unfortunately ‘American’?

All the more reason my heart went out to Elliott Yamin this year, because his talent far surpassed any consideration of his image. I believe his late in the race 2nd runner up underdog finish had as much to do with his improved image as with his tremendous talent. The AI image makers turned him into quite the hunk by mid-season, when America seemed to sit up and take notice.

But how does all this ‘idol business’ effect young women? First runner up, Katherine McPhee came out this past week to Teen People, confessing her struggle with severe bulimia for the previous five years up until the tryouts less than a year ago.

An excerpt from her recent interview:

McPhee attributes some of her problems with food to growing up in a city, where tremendous emphasis is placed on celebrity-slim bodies. "Growing up in Los Angeles and spending all those years in dance class, I'd been conscious of body image at a young age, and I went through phases of exercising compulsively and starving myself," she says.

By using the intuitive eating approach she learned at the Eating Disorder Center, McPhee was eventually able to redefine her relationship to food. "I learned that there's no such thing as bad food," she says. "If you look at a doughnut, people think it's a fattening food--why? Because if you eat it you'll get fat? No, you'll get fat if you eat 10 doughnuts." As a result, she dropped 30 pounds and broke her cycle of bingeing and purging. "That's why I say American Idol saved my life, because if I hadn't auditioned, I don't think I would have gotten a handle on food."

Kathrine McPhee may not have been my American Idol choice for this season, but she has millions of fans, comprised apparently of legions of teen and tween girls. She is to be commended for coming out to speak to young women about her struggles with eating and self image at a time when her own image has been thrust up on that unrealistic American Idol pedestal. That took courage.

We wish her all the success she has coming to her.

Source: Yahoo News

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Posted by Cindy on June 23, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 22, 2006

Grilled Shrimp Kabobs with Southwest Citrus Marinade

It's summer -- time for fun and easy cooking! Shrimp is plentiful and reasonably priced this time of year so why not plan your next casual dining around this tasty variation. Try the Southwest Marinade, or choose one of your own favorite marinades. Serve with a grilled vegetable and a cool pasta salad such as our Orzo Salad.

(Makes 4 servings)

2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon tequila (optional)
2 tablespoons plain or flavored garlic oil
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/4 pound large peeled shrimp (16-20 count)
Fresh lemon wedges
Wooden skewers (soaked in water about 30 minutes)

Combine all ingredients except shrimp and lemon wedges. Prepare or heat grill to high heat. Toss shrimp with marinade in a large bowl or plastic bag and marinate for about 10 minutes. (Note: Texture of shrimp will change if left in marinade too long.)

Place shrimp on wooden skewers alternating with fresh lemon wedges and grill, basting frequently with marinade, until shrimp turns pink (about 2 minutes per side). Serve and enjoy!

For more healthy recipes check out the other delicious recipes listed on this blog or visit Green Mountain Healthy Living Recipe Favorites

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Posted by Laura on June 22, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 20, 2006

Just Say No

Woman20flying_1 Learning how to set limits is harder than it might seem…if you’ve been a giver of the superwoman variety, it’s easy to swing the pendulum too far the other way to complete obnoxiousness. Theres' even a book written on how to say no - "The Book of No" by Susan Newman, PhD.

Here’s a few types of “no” to consider using when you’re about to agree to something that you don’t enjoy or have time for.

“I’m sorry, but I just can’t” – when no explanation is needed don’t give one! Explanations only invite further pressure to accept because you appear that you would if you could.

“I’d like to help, but I can’t sign on and do the kind of job you deserve.” When an important request is being turned down, this explanation conveys the importance of the project, and that you have the best interests of the requestor at heart.

“Thanks for the offer, but no. Besides you can do that just as well as I can.” Works best when you feel like your skills or good nature are being taken advantage of – just because can do it, doesn’t mean you have to or that you’re the only one that can.

“No” to Superwoman; “Yes” to Super You.

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Posted by Gina V. on June 20, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 19, 2006

Waging War On Our Bodies - Acceptance and Diversity

Scale_4 In the May issue of "Today's Dietician" Green Mountain friend, Kindy Peaslee, RD has authored a terrific article entitled, “Dieting – At War with out Bodies, Celebrating Body Acceptance and Diversity”. Kindy speaks eloquently about how so many otherwise, enlightened women continue to live in a restrictive mindset while they still embrace dieting. Clinging to their individual dieting panacea’s like the newest and trendiest handbag.

To this end there is a movement underway. Not such a new concept for those within our industry, but to the general public, a movement some might describe as radical. Green Mountain at Fox Run has been a pioneer in the non-diet approach to healthy weights since 1973.  And today, there are many who believe and support the idea that a non-diet approach to eating and weight management speaks most effectively to women who are tired of struggling with their weight.

To prove that the belief that diets don’t work is worldwide, in May we celebrated the 15th annual International Non Diet Day. Hats off to, Mary Evans Young, the director of the Canadian campaign, Diet Breakers and the author of "Diet Breaking: Having It All Without Having To Diet!", who started INDD in 1992.

From Kindy’s article, here are the goals of the INDD:
• Increasing public awareness of the dangers and futility of dieting, weight-loss surgery and obsession with thinness;
• Affirming that beauty, health, and fitness come in all sizes;
• Affirming everyone’s right to eat normally and enjoy physical activity and emotional well-being; and
• Helping change the way people of larger sizes are perceived and treated by society.

More recently, is an organization which supports the idea that healthy bodies come in all sizes and shapes. Health at Every Size (HAES) appreciates that battling eating and weight related issues are complex and promotes healthy eating and fitness as a means to reaching your own individual path to wellness.

It seems with a movement that is growing stronger every day that we would be able to reach women who are tired of struggling with their weight and help them regain the courage to love themselves where they are -today. And from that place, we may finally be able to make peace with our bodies, our minds and our spirit.


Kindy R. Peaslee, RD, is the founder of Kindy Creek Promotions. She can be reached at [email protected]

International NO DIET Day (INDD) links: To view DVD trailer
Of Dieting: At War with our Bodies. Details of press release on INDD

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Posted by Cindy on June 19, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 16, 2006

Cortisol and Belly Fat – A New Body Fat Phenomenon?

Patterns_1 I just recently received a comment to an old post about the current state of clothing sizes for women that raises an interesting question. Why (if it’s true), do American women seem to be carrying more weight in their bellies than they did one or two decades ago? Evidenced in this readers mind by the waists in her pants getting increasingly larger while the size stays the same. 

I’m not sure that the fashion industry has caught on specifically to the expanding waistlines of many American women to the degree that they're altering patterns, (because I still think they’re driven primarily by fashion trends), but I do think the discussion around waist size, and/or belly fat, is an important one.

Of course, there are important genetic factors when considering your shape, build and body composition, so to simply say belly fat is a recent culprit of stressful life styles may seem simplified, but there is significant evidence that the hormone cortisol can and does play a significant role…especially when triggered by stress.

There is an interesting and informative article in the Arizona Republic outlining the lastest scoop on cortisol, you may want to head over and read up on how cortisol works and what are the considerations of stress, over-eating and inactivity. There is also a great read by Marsha Hudnall, MS RD at the Green Mountain at Fox Run website, about how cortisol and stress are linked to weight gain.

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Posted by Cindy on June 16, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack