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September 29, 2006

I'll Have a Burger With That Burger?

I think it’s the name that bugs me most… the KING QUAD STACKER. Ok, not the most gentile sounding sandwich, not exactly girly. Apparently, there are two, three and a four-layered Quad Stacker. The latter has four slabs of beef, four slices of cheese and up to eight slices of bacon, "smothered," (per Burger King), in a creamy sauce.

Methinks this new concoction by Burger King speaks to the ever dwindling healthy eating trend that fast food restaurants tried to embrace the last couple of years. Seems as though most their salads are getting tossed (no pun intended) in lieu of monster thick burgers, burger bombs and monster gut busters. When America wants their burgers, they want their burgers!

I’m all for a good burger once and a while, but this gynormous sandwich contains over 1,000 calories and 68 grams of fat (including 30 grams of saturated fat). That's about half the calories and 11/2 times the saturated fat the average adult should typically consume in a day. Ouch.

Denny Marie Post, senior vice president of Burger King has this to offer…

"We're satisfying the serious meat lovers by leaving off the produce and letting them decide exactly how much meat and cheese they can handle.”


Ok, that being said, let’s take a look on the ‘lighter’ side of things. David Letterman’s,

Top Ten Questions to Ask Yourself before Ordering the Burger King Quad Stacker
#10.  "Are my papers in order?"
#9.    "Can I get it super sized?"
#8.    "Will I have time to run 298 miles to burn off the calories?"
#7.    "Could this have anything to do with why the rest of the world hates us?"
#6.    "Should I talk to my doctor about Lipitor?"
#5.    "Can I get it on a low-carb bun?"
#4.    "How come there isn't any sausage on this bad boy?"
#3.    "Why is Burger King making me sign a release form?"
#2.    "Should I wait till they come out with the 'Quint Stacker'?"

And the #1 question to ask yourself before ordering the Burger King Quad Stacker?
         "Do I have my cardiologist on speed dial?"

Take two Tums and have a happy Friday!

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Posted by Cindy on September 29, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 28, 2006

Pistachio and Fig Bread

Figs...an ancient healthy food. According to EattheSeasons.com (whose philosophy is to promote seasonal and therefore more nutritional consumption of food), "the harvesting of figs is depicted in an Egyptian tomb painting from around 1,900 B.C." September-October is the time when figs are in full season, and this Seattle Public Health pistachio and fig bread recipe flexibly serves as a dessert, an accompaniment to tea or coffee, or hostess gift. Figs are rich in minerals and a good source of potassium, manganese and iron. They also contain vitamins A, B and C and a decent amount of fibre. So see just what the Greeks, Romans, and and Egyptians have found so irresistibly delicious and nutritious about the fig!

(Makes 12 servings)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup unsalted roasted pistachios (or walnuts), shelled and chopped
8 dried figs, chopped
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (or 1 teaspoon ground ginger)
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/3 cup molasses
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 eggs
Nonfat cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350º F. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg and mix well. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the pistachios and figs. Mix well.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine ginger, buttermilk, molasses, oil and eggs, mix well then pour into flour mixture. Stir until batter is moist. Coat an 8" x 4" loaf pan with nonfat cooking spray.

Pour in batter then bake at 3500 for 1 hour or until toothpick or knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let pan cool for 15-20 minutes on a wire rack. Loosen bread from pan and cool completely on wire rack before slicing.

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 September 28, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 27, 2006

A Calorie is a Calorie is a Calorie...Isn't it?

Calories_2  That’s true if you’re a bomb calorimeter (a device used to measure the energy [calories] contained in different foodstuffs).  But the human machine is a bit more complex.  The fact is that we all have individual metabolisms that affect how we use calories, and the end result is that a certain number of calories for one person can mean for another person quite a different thing in terms of body weight.

Which is good fodder to support the idea of mindful eating (intuitive, eating).  Our bodies’ appestats are designed to tell us when we need calories, and that’s one of the major premises of mindful eating.  That we listen to signals from within to tell us when to eat and when to stop eating.

So next time you see a chart claiming that if we substitute a lower-calorie choice for  something we regularly eat, we’ll lose a certain amount of weight, be skeptical.  There’s no way that can be accurately predicted outside a metabolic laboratory.  (Even then, there may be limitations.)

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Posted by Marsha on September 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 26, 2006

Think Pink

Index2Breast Cancer Awareness Month is upon us, and shopping can help support the cause. Shopping and supporting a good cause, it's like chocolate inside of chocolate!

Here are some ways to turn your purchases into support.

Origins, $15
Available in 24 shades. $2 goes to Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Red Envelope, $55 for 10 stargazer stems.
10 percent of sales goes to the Entertainment Industry Foundation Women’s Cancer Research Fund.

Papique!, $10 to $20 for 10 cards
25 percent of profits goes to the Young Survival Coalition and the Carolina Breast Friends

Travel Dryer
Conair, $20
15 percent of net profits goes to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Kitchenaid, $15 to $20
10 percent of sales goes to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation

Tea and Marmalade
The Republic of Tea, $10 for 50 tea bags, $8 for 13 ounces
55 to 75 cents goes to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation

Rowenta, $80
100% of profits goes to Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Key Chain
20 percent goes to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation

If you find other goods that do good, please post the “what and where’s” here.

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Posted by Gina V. on September 26, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 25, 2006

Fighting the Frosh 15 - Should You Care?

It’s that time of year again. The kids are off to school...whew! But, for those of you sending your sons and daughters off to college for the very first time, that’s a whole new level of stress!

You may be familiar with the term ‘the freshman 15’ but, hopefully, your kids are not. There’s enough for them to stress about isn't there? Recently, I heard someone close to me discussing this potential problem with her daughter and I cringed. Why set her up for one more thing to worry about? Don’t our young women struggle enough trying to meet the unrealistic standards of beauty that our society forces upon them? And could college be any more of a breeding ground for body image distortion as it is?

It may be inevitable that some freshman men and women will gain weight their first year in college. But should we stress them out about it?  The fact is, the infamous 'frosh 15' may not be a reality at all. But, like many colloquialisms, it has found its way into our vernacular. It is a fact that many young men and women will initially experience some trouble balancing their weight along with all the lifestyle changes they face at college. Dorm food, late night snacking, stress, lack of sleep, time management and the lack of structure all contribute to changes in eating and physical activity.

In an article at kidshealth.org, they share that Researchers at Cornell University actually discovered that students gained an average of 4 pounds during the first 12 weeks of their freshman year - a rate of gain that is 11 times higher than the typical weight gain for 17 and 18 year olds. Importantly, though not everyone is destined to gain a full 15 pounds. A multi-year study by researchers at Tufts University found that, on average, men gain 6 pounds and women gain 4.5 during their first year of college. I can live with that and hopefully they can too.

If your child is one of those who is really struggling with their weight what can you do? For more information on young women and disordered eating you can check out the Young Women’s program at fitwoman.com for advice and additional resources.

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Photo credit: University of Vermont from the Nationaltrust.org

Posted by Cindy on September 25, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 22, 2006

Lighten Up!

Goddess_cards_4Not everyone who visits this blog or comes to Green Mountain at Fox Run, does so because they want to lose weight, some look for a little inspiration and some are just looking to feel good again. But sometimes when we have our weight on the brain, expectations around getting healthy can get skewed. Making just minor positive changes in our behavior, our thinking and creating an intrinsic love for the new way we’re living can be as good for our health as just about anything we could do. The improvements we make don’t have to rock our world overnight, in fact, they shouldn’t.

That’s why it’s so important to remember that increases in activity and subtle healthy changes in your diet can add significant benefits to your overall health and well being - even if you haven’t seen the needle move on the scale - just yet.

So, don’t be so hard on yourself, understand and accept your successes. Every step you take to improve your health and well being is good for you – even if you can’t see it right away.

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Posted by Cindy on September 22, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 21, 2006

Bavarian Beef and Beer Stew

Despite the name, Oktoberfest usually starts mid-September and lasts until October 1st. In Vermont, Stowe is hosting a two-day 'Bavarian Blast' (September 22 - 24, 2006). Todays recipe features a traditional German dish called Bavarian Beef and Beer Stew, (from YourRecipes.com). So, if you can't get away to Germany or your local Oktoberfest this year, make this festive meal a celebration at home with family and friends. Crock pot enthusiasts can also use this recipe. For a variation, try adding a few small cubed potatoes as well.

(Makes 8 servings)

   3 lb. boneless beef (trim fat or use lean cut)
   1-1/4 cup water
   3/4 cup beer or beef broth
   1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
   1/2 cup chopped onion
   2 Tbsp sugar
   1 Tbsp vinegar
   1 tsp salt
   1 tsp cinnamon
   1 bay leaf
   1/2 tsp pepper
   1/2 tsp ginger

Cut beef into cubes. Combine water, beer or broth, tomato sauce, onion, sugar, vinegar, salt, cinnamon, bay leaf, pepper and ginger in a large pot or dutch oven. When boiling, add the cut-up beef. reduce heat, cover and simmer until meat is tender, about 2-1/2 to 3 hours. discard bay leaf. If desired, thicken juices with a paste of cornstarch and water. serve on a bed of cooked noodles or rice. 

Note: you can also simply combine all ingredients into a crockpot on high for 1 hour, then simmer for 2-1/2.

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 September 21, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 20, 2006

A Workout for Body & Soul

Dancing_woman The summer was tough for me.  My hairdresser was always gone when I needed her.  Bad hair days are awful, and when they go on for weeks because you can’t get a good haircut, well, it can get pretty scary.  But if that’s the worst thing that I have to deal with, I’m doing well.

One of the times my hairdresser went missing, she could be found at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health.  She actually owns and operates a wonderful day spa nearby and really practices what she preaches.  She’s been to Kripalu several times for various reasons, but this time she was there to learn DansKinetics.  I was pleased to tell her that as part of its program to transform your life, Green Mountain at Fox Run has been offering DansKinetics as a movement therapy for several years now.

Our fabulous movement therapist Teri Hugo Hirss offers DansKinetics on Monday nights, at the beginning of the week when many women are just starting their stay at Green Mountain.  After 34 years of seeing women come through the doors not quite sure they’re ready to start the journey that Green Mountain represents, the staff agrees that Teri’s class is transformational.  It quells anxieties and helps participants connect with their bodies in a way that no standard physical activity class seems able to do.

If you can’t make it to Green Mountain any time soon to experience Teri’s class for yourself, check out DansKinetics teachers in your area.  You’ll not only get a great workout, you’ll really enjoy doing it.  Now that’s something to strive for!

Photo by Eric Vallin

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Posted by Marsha on September 20, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 19, 2006

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost (1915)


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Okay, you caught me. I needed an excuse to use my favorite photograph taken while on a Green Mountain Vermonting (hike) a few years ago. Robert Frost’s home that inspired so much of his poetry – considered the voice of New England – is in nearby Derry, New Hampshire. And since one of my favorite pastimes is contemplating my navel in natural settings, Mr. Frost and I have become fast friends.

It’s understandable that The Road Not Taken would put you in mind of “health” and “weight loss”. For many years I kept taking the same path that led to a non-stop roller coaster (diet) and only stopped when it crashed into a funhouse with the body distortion mirrors. Once I stopped staring at the mirror, I eventually ended up on that same path, and this time I took the road less traveled, and it has made all the difference.

Have a great fall afternoon, without distortion.

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Posted by Gina V. on September 19, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 18, 2006

Dying To Be Thin

In a post just last week I reported that Madrid Fashion Week organizers were banning models that they perceived to be unhealthy (at a BMI of 18 and under), from participation in this years fashion shows.   I commended their efforts.

However, an important piece of that story was missing. It seems that much of the concern around very skinny models emanated from the unfortunate death of a young model, Luisel Ramos, a 22-year-old model from Uruguay, who reportedly died of heart failure on the stage during Fashion Week in Montevideo, South America. It is after this incident authorities from Madrid instituted the ban. According to noted fashion designer Jesus del Pozo, the decision was made as part of a voluntary agreement with the Madrid regional government. It would have been much more uplifting a story had someone not died on the catwalk to get everyone’s attention.

In a follow up this week, British Culture Secretary, Tesse Jowell, a member of the British Cabinet called Saturday for organizers of London Fashion Week to follow their Madrid counterpart and ban super thin models as well. They declined.

But in more positive news, Colin McDowell, creative director of the Edinburgh Scotland’s annual fashion shows told Alastair Jamieson, Consumer Affairs Correspondent of The Scotsman, that he wanted to use "models who speak of glamour, not anorexia". Mr McDowell said fashion designers will always choose taller and thinner women to show off their clothes, but that models should not be "excessively underweight". Consequently, they are embracing the ban. Reportedly, Milan is set to follow suit.

Currently, the average BMI of catwalk models who participate in runway fashion shows is 16. The World Health Organization identifies underweight as a BMI less than 18.5.

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The picture above was taken from an article referenced in spotlightingnews.com.

Posted by Cindy on September 18, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack