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August 31, 2006

24 Hour Cole Slaw

Today's 24 Hour Cole Slaw Recipe is an easy, do-the-day-ahead sort of dish that leaves you more time to pack up the goodies and head out the door.  As always, make sure you prepare and preserve your food well so that it doesn't spoil.  Seattle's Public Health shares some great tips on picnic food safety tips.

(Makes 4 Servings)

  2 onions
  1 large head cabbage
  1 teaspoon salt
  1 teaspoon mustard seed
  3/4 cup salad oil
  1 cup vinegar
  1 1/2 cup sugar
  1 teaspoon celery seed

Chop cabbage and onion and toss together. Heat oil, vinegar, salt, sugar, seeds. Bring to boil. Pour over cabbage - onion mixture. Chill 24 hours. Stir and serve.

A Little Labor Day History

As Labor Day approaches and many people try to squeeze out one more weekend at the beach, it's fun to reflect a little on the history behind the holiday and what's become an american tradition. Labor Day was the inspiration of Peter J. McGuire, a carpenter and labor union leader, who believed that American workers should be honored with a national holiday  A date was chosen to break up the long stretch of time between Independence Day and Thanksgiving. The very first Labor Day was held on a Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City. Celebrations celebrated with a picnic, concert, parade and speeches, and that tradition holds true today for many towns and cities across the states.

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 August 31, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 30, 2006

Short People & Size Acceptance

Randy Newman brought the plight of short people to attention with his great song.

Short PeopleShort_people_2

Short People got no reason
Short People got no reason
Short People got no reason
To live

They got little hands
Little eyes
They walk around
Tellin' great big lies
They got little noses
And tiny little teeth
They wear platform shoes
On their nasty little feet

Well, I don't want no Short People
Don't want no Short People
Don't want no Short People
`Round here

Short People are just the same
As you and I
(A Fool Such As I)
All men are brothers
Until the day they die
(It's A Wonderful World)

Short People got nobody
Short People got nobody
Short People got nobody
To love

They got little baby legs
That stand so low
You got to pick 'em up
Just to say hello
They got little cars
That go beep, beep, beep
They got little voices
Goin' peep, peep, peep
They got grubby little fingers
And dirty little minds
They're gonna get you every time
Well, I don't want no Short People
Don't want no Short People
Don't want no Short People
'Round here

You could easily substitute 'fat' for 'short' in the lyrics.  But don't think the struggle of short people for acceptance is just found in the lyrics of this song.  Ellen Frankel, co-author (with her sister) of the fabulous Diet Survivor's Handbook, has authored another book Beyond Measure: A Memoir about Short Stature and Inner Growth, due out September 15. The title clearly foretells the focus of the book.  It's one that anyone who struggles with weight can relate to.  That's why a new study from Princeton published by the National Bureau of Economic Research raised hackles in those working for size acceptance.  Although many of us know the weight story intimately, we can see size prejudice rear its ugly head even when it's not about weight.  The study headline:  Taller people are smarter, too.

Just in case you're wondering, this conclusion is flawed (obviously).

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Posted by Marsha on August 30, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

August 29, 2006

Diversity - of minds and bodies

Sun0 I saw a woman jogging along one of Vermont’s main roads near Green Mountain at Fox Run and I started to laugh.

The laughter was a combination of flash backs to a time when I’d see a fit woman exercising, and immediately be annoyed and exclaim through my guffaws, “what is she doing exercising, she doesn’t need it.” For those of you that have struggled with excess weight in your life, you already recognize my cognitive distortion, for the rest here is the thought process that leads to that kind of statement…

“normal” people (read: “thin women”) just are “like that”…I’m like this because of (pick one that fits overall mood at the time) #1 I’m different #2 I’m plagued #3 I’m a failure.

Based on those options above, exercise is a means of torture only for those that are fat. Exercise defined was: forcing oneself to move one’s fat body in an unnatural way, guaranteed to degrade the spirit while the body contorts abnormally and painfully. Exercise will reform the fat body but only if one joins the cult of the Sweat god, and are willing to worship at the Temple 3 hours a day, seven days a week. Those that do not maintain their perfect worship schedule and aren’t transformed into “thin” are obviously also failures. 

The warped thinking there is pretty obvious in this context, but lets look at some of the thinking of the people that don’t struggle with their weight.

“Since my weight is “normal” those fat women are obviously doing something wrong. They are either gluttons, or lazy, or slovenly, or worse – haven’t they ever heard of a diet?

This base thought pattern (fat can be made thin by a little discipline – the kind that the fatty in question is ignorant of) then transform into these helpful kinds of suggestions, “Why don’t you just cut back, dear? You know, I quit using cream and sugar in my coffee and I lot 10 pounds in one week?” Of course this wisdom is being dispensed to a woman that has been on 300 calories a day diets – where brushing her teeth before bed would put her caloric intake a little over for the day. I won’t go on, because I know you’ve heard many, many more such helpful tips.

Test this out….ask someone you know fairly well that struggles with her weight how many diets she’s been on (the answer will be “thousands”), then ask how much weight she’s lost collectively on these diets (the answer will be “hundreds”) then ask her weight her net weight loss/gain is between her first diet weight and her present weight (depending on how long she’s been dieting, the answer will be 10 to 150 lbs overall gain).

I’ve grown to see the errors of my thinking – fit women are fit because they exercise – I’d like to world’s thinking to also mature…that fit women come in all sizes, and fat is more than the erroneous “equation” of ‘calories in, calories out.’ Or more simply, can’t we just be a little kinder to ourselves and others?

Posted by Gina V. on August 29, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 28, 2006

Finding The Best Exercise Fit

Hiking_3When you’re looking to add anything new or important to your life, you certainly consider whether that someone or something is going to suit you. When looking for something as important as a new house, a car, or picking out a new pet, you make sure they feel like a good fit, right?

So why not do the same when you’re looking for a new fitness activity? Too often we don’t consider what we really like to do, or what kind of a person we really are. Do we love adventure and the outdoors? Do we prefer to be around other people? Perhaps, you need a lot of structure and a routine.

It's not often you find me quoting celebrity fitness trainers on this blog, but Grace Lazenby, a well known LA fitness trainer and founder of Move With Grace has an interesting point of view about exercise. She says, “If it doesn’t suit your personality, it won’t work. You’re not likely to stick with something that cramps your style."

The trick is finding the workout that really suites you.

From an article by Amy Paturel, these are the personality types Grace outlines. For fun, maybe you can see yourself in one or more of these 'types'.

Wild Child: If you crave new experiences and excitement, outdoor workouts may be best. Try hiking, canoeing, or tennis. If you like to walk or run, take a different route, and change up your pace and the terrain along the way.

Social Butterfly: If you’re naturally gregarious and love to be around other people you’ll more than likely thrive off of the enthusiasm that can often be found in a gym or in a class like water aerobics.

The Silent Type: If you want to keep it on the down low and get your head together while you’re workingGm_meditation  out, perhaps take a long morning walk or try something new like cross-country skiing. Each of these provides ample time for self-reflection. If you want a more spiritual connection in your workout you may choose yoga or Pilates.

Task Master: If you love structure and plans, scheduled workout sessions and routines may be a more natural fit. You can stay in control by leading yourself through a cardio or strength-training workout than taking guidance from a fitness instructor. You are in control of what you do, when and where you do it.

Some of these suggestions may or may not work for you, but the idea that you should try to suit your workout to your personality makes a lot of sense to me.

Source: Amy Paturel
Article: Know Your Workout Personality

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Posted by Cindy on August 28, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 25, 2006

Beauty Tips

Apple_blossom_1Contrary to what some may think, Audrey did not write this beautiful poem, Sam Levenson did. Levenson wrote "Time Tested Beauty Tips" for his grandchild, and it just so happened to be one of Audrey's favorite poems. She read it to her children on the very last Christmas Eve she spent with us here on Earth.

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his fingers through
it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge you'll never walk
alone ...
People, even more than things, have to be restored,
renewed, revived, reclaimed
and redeemed and redeemed and redeemed.
Never throw out anybody.
Remember, if you ever need a helping hand,
you'll find one at the end of your arm.
As you grow older you will discover that you have two
One for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

-Sam Levenson

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Posted by Cindy on August 25, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 24, 2006

Sirloin Citrus Salad

This is one salad you can really sink your teeth into! Summery citrus and vinegar flavors balance the sumptuous and satisfying flavor the broiled (or, if you prefer, grilled) sirloin. This dish comes from the Michagan Department of Civil Service, which hosts a long list of tempting and healthy recipes.

  1 lb. Boneless, beef top sirloin steak, cut 1" thick, well trimmed
  1 tsp. Olive oil
  4 cups Romaine lettuce, torn
  2 Oranges, peeled and separated into segments

  2 tblsp. Orange juice
  2 tblsp. Red wine vinegar
  2 tsp. Olive oil
  2 tsp. Honey
  1-1/4 tsp. Dijon-style mustard

Prepare citrus vinaigrette by combining ingredients; set aside. Cut beef steak into 1/8 inch thick strips; cut each strip in half. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Stir-fry beef (1/2 at a time) 1-2 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon, season with salt, if desired. Toss lettuce, beef & oranges. Drizzle with Citrus Vinaigrette. Garnish with strawberries, 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 August 24, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 23, 2006

Size Acceptance & Mindful Eating – What’s Not to Like?

Woman_in_mirror_1 More good news on the study front for those of us who have decided to accept our bodies the way they are.  Mindful eating research presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association shows that women who practice size acceptance are more likely to follow principles of  healthy eating.   

Tracy Tylka, co-author of the study, is conducting a variety of studies on intuitive eating (or mindful eating) and had a lot to say about its impact on eating and body weight.  Here’s her take on one of the most controversial tenets of mindful eating – the advice to eat when and what you want:"There's this belief that if you give people unconditional permission to eat, they are going to binge and add on a lot of pounds. But that's not what we have found.”  This very common fear comes up continually at Green Mountain. But like the researchers, we see the opposite – when we do give ourselves this permission, we begin to eat better.

Ms. Tylka also points out a reason for which we’ve been encouraging women to accept themselves and their bodies for some time now: "The message that women often hear is that some degree of body dissatisfaction is healthy because it could help them strive to take care of their bodies.  But it may be just the opposite: an appreciation of your body is needed to really adopt better eating habits."   

For those of us for whom healthy weights mean weight loss, there’s also good news.  In a small study of 199 college women, the researchers found that those who followed mindful eating principles had a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) than those who didn’t. "It seems amazing, but it is true,” says Tylka. “If you listen to your body signals in determining what, when, and how much to eat, you are not going to binge and you're going to eat an appropriate amounts of nutrient-dense foods.”

It’s good to have what we think is common sense confirmed in the scientific literature (albeit common sense that’s gotten buried in the morass of nonsensical diet advice).

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Posted by Marsha on August 23, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 22, 2006

Special Stress Diet

Dinner_2This is a specially formulated diet designed to help women cope with the stress that builds during the day.

1 grapefruit
1 slice whole-wheat toast
1 cup skim milk

1 small portion lean, steamed chicken with a cup of spinach
1 cup herbal tea
1 Hershey's Kiss

The rest of the Hershey Kisses in the bag
1 tub of Hagen-Daaz ice cream with chocolate-chip topping

4 bottles of wine (red or white)
2 loaves garlic bread
1 family-size Supreme pizza
3 Snickers bars

1 whole Sarah Lee cheesecake (eaten directly from the freezer)

REMEMBER: "Stressed" spelled backward is "desserts".

Okay, so I was pulling your leg a bit - but this is a typical pattern for women that wake up every morning with "good intentions" but quickly find that "life" makes those intentions impossible to fulfill. Typically, women blame themselves for lacking "will power" and view themselves more and more as failures (in the eating realm at least).

But there is a far different reality here...looking at the breakfast and lunch, an afternoon binge and all night feast are only natural. The breakfast and lunch are not providing adequate calories or nutrients to satisfy basic needs. After half a day of running on empty, her body demands to be fed, and the closest thing to hand will be (over) consumed. This sets up a cycle of deprivation and excess where there's never enough, even when there's too much. Also note that the afternoon and evening intake also does not provide adequate nutrition (although plenty of calories). So the next morning, you're continuing to run at a deficit. IT'S NOT YOU! You are not defective, but your dietary intake is.

It's amazing how quickly (2-3 days) that women that believe they are food addicts, out of control, defective, find themselves feeling "normal" - eating balanced meals, moving in a balanced way, and able to view their life's balance in a critical but non-judgemental way.

This new found freedom becomes a part of you -- you may find yourself out of balance again, but you'll have the skills to pull it back to shore. And that's livin'!

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Posted by Gina V. on August 22, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 21, 2006

The Rhythm is Gonna Get You!

These are famous lyrics you might recognize from a popular song (The Rhythm is Gonna Get You), sung by Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine in the crazy 80’s. The lyrics came to me prior to writing this post about music and exercise, because it dawned on me how this song is a perfect example of the point I’m about to make.

Music intensifies the joy in movement. Most exercise consists of some repetitive movement and repetitive movement has its own rhythm. Rhythm can more easily be maintained with a beat (preferable a funky beat!). Not to say that sometimes it isn’t just nice to commune with nature on a walk, hike or run, but for me I’ve rather be taken away with some really great music. 

Most of the tapes I’ve made (yes I still make tapes), over the last couple decades have been a result of trying to create the quintessential exercise tape. Some songs are good for walking; some are better for the gym and some are best for stretching, yoga or weight training. Something about the feeling the songs evoke and the rhythm of the beat helps me work out better and more consistently and longer. Listening to music that I love really helps drive me to keep going.

When you first begin your work out you may not feel like you’re going to make it, but a great song can help you forget about that in about 3-4 minutes by putting you in a totally different frame of mind.  As I warm up, the songs get livelier with a quicker beat and inspirational melody. Usually, about 2/3rds of the way through my workout I strategically incorporate a big power song to help move me through that time when I may get bored or tired and want to quie. But, before I know it, I’ve moved through that stage of my workout and suddenly I feel like I can go, go and go!

Music helps you connect your mind and body with something pleasurable and putting together new music for a workout can create positive anticipation. So, think about putting your workouts to music…music you’ve created for yourself, tunes that work just for you. Before you know it the rhythm is gonna get you!

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Posted by Cindy on August 21, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 18, 2006

Back to School

Going back to school is stressful for everyone involved. Moms rushing around trying to make sure clothes are in order, supplies have been purchased and all the other perfunctory requirements have been met with teachers and counselors. Kids are stressed because...well...summer is over and they’re going back to school! Duh!!

This is a time when the rhythm of the summer is suddenly interrupted and everyone has to put on a new pair of dancin’ shoes and get ready for a more demanding time of year. All this activity can throw us off our game and can easily mean less focus on our own health, fitness and stress.

At this time of year the family calendar can fill up with all kinds of activities from football games to cheerleading practice and PTA meetings. Before you know it, your calendar is full and you haven't surrendered any time for yourself. While you still have some control over your own destiny, make sure you leave space in each day for you and what’s most important in your life - healthy eating, moving your body and some time to keep your stress level in check.

Being proactive in this regard can mean a much smoother transition into the new year and a happy, healthier you.

For more tips on going back to school check out this link

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Posted by Cindy on August 18, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack