We've Moved!

 Continue to read our thoughts on how to
get free of eating, exercise and weight worries
at our new location: AWeightLifted.com.

Picture 2


« September 2006 | Main | November 2006 »

October 31, 2006

See You in the Tube

Although I’d consider myself a “power user” of PC’s and a “go-to” person for answers among friends and Communicate_1 co-workers, I did not grow up with computers…I remember being in college, having to go to the library, check out a machine AND the software (your 5.25" "floppy" went into drive “B:\” and the program software (WordStar!) would go into “A:\” in other words - no hard drive!  You couldn’t do a whole lot with this set up, but honestly, how often do we need all that other stuff that Word does now, except to crash the operating system all the time.

From these beginnings, I’m easily amazed at technology, computers, the internet and how people continue to find different ways to communicate, (without actually seeing or speaking to anyone).

Youtube.com is the new jaw dropper for me – can’t believe that such a thing exists and how it’s taken off – now Google is purchasing Youtube (for a billion and change).

So right here with a click of the mouse are some amazing videos that deal with women and body image – watching them is amazing, reading the comments by other viewers can be enlightening as well as shocking (perhaps stupefying is a better word), but thinking about the big picture of you, your body, this thing we call the internet and human communication can really make your head spin! Perspective, please!

Please enjoy:

Dove Evolution – if you watch just one, you HAVE to watch this one!

Body Image and Self-Esteem

I’m More

What You See

Although certainly not x-rated, I found these quite provocative. Youtube.com is a bit additive – please share the videos that you find with the rest of us here.

Tags: , , , .

Posted by Gina V. on October 31, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 30, 2006

Getting A Little Help From Your Fitness Friends

Weights A few months ago I wrote a post titled, 'Your Road to Fitness, or Dangerous Curves'. In it, I talked about personal trainers, how they get their credentials, what to watch out for and some suggestions on how to find a trainer that’s right for you.

I suspect that there are many trainers who come to their profession because they want to help people get fit. However, I suspect a significant percentage find their way to personal training because they have a more personal interest in fitness – their own. This isn’t to say there aren’t some really good, well qualified trainers out there, with the best intentions and a real empathy for the average Joe (or Jane), but I can’t help but surmise from what I’ve seen and experienced over the last 25 years that too many are focused on achieving their own super human body and a little less interested in figuring out what works and is best for their clients.

So, I think its worth mentioning again. Look for a trainer who understands you, one that understands your fitness needs and goals. Most importantly, find one that doesn’t make you feel guilty if you don’t want your body fat percentage to meet Olympic standards. Here are a few more things to think about when selecting a fitness trainer:

1. Is the trainer certified? There are many professional organizations which certify fitness trainers. Remember, some certifications are not that hard to acquire, so make sure you ask questions of the trainer and the gym you belong to.

2. Most universities offer degrees in exercise physiology and courses for those entering the field of fitness training. Ask what your gym requires in terms of their trainers and their training. It’s always a good idea to ask for references.

3. Although the gym is a place meant to get people healthy, it’s also a place where accidents can happen. Not to mention more serious events such as heart attacks. Is your trainer qualified to deal with these kinds of situations? Also check to see how clean your gym appears. How often do they clean equipment? Are members required to clean their equipment after they finish a work out? What measures are taken to prevent such nasty bugs as staph?

4. It’s important to like and respect the person who is going to help you through those inevitable moments of frustration and low motivation. Is this a person you're going to enjoy spending time with? Do they make you feel confident and motivated? A good trainer will want to meet with you before they sign you up. They will take the time to ask questions of you, get to know what you want and need from your fitness experience and share their own fitness philosophy.

Source: ASCM

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

October 27, 2006

Where Did I Put My Keys?

My memory is failing. I’ve thought about trying Ginkgo Biloba, but I keep forgetting to buy it. Pa dum pum! 

So, when does losing your mind actually begin? Is it the day you drive up to your local ATM and realize for the first time in 20 years you can’t remember your pin number? Maybe it begins the 4th or 5th time you lock your keys in your car, or drive away with your briefcase on the roof. Perhaps, you officially lose it when you keep missing your exit on the way home or try to make coffee with orange juice. (Yes, I’ve done all these things).

Well, rest easy. The reason for your early onset senility may not purely be due to your advancing years. It may, in fact, have more to do with your mother. (If only you’d listened to her and eaten more of your vegetables!). Ok mom, we’re just kidding, but according to Martha Clare Morris, ScD and her colleagues at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center ( Rush Center for Aging), eating two or more servings of vegetables a day may slow a person's mental decline by about 40% compared with a person who consumes few vegetables, according to a six-year study of nearly 4,000 Chicago residents age 65 or older.

People aged 65 and older who eat lots of vegetables have a slower slowdown in age-related mental function, researchers report in Neurology

Green leafy vegetables including spinach, kale and collards appeared to be the most beneficial. The researchers said that may be because they contain healthy amounts of vitamin E., an antioxidant that is believed to help fight chemicals produced by the body that can damage cells.

So, why not begin now to add a delicious green salad to your eating plan every day. Get a  head start on building up your brain cells - before you can’t remember where you put the salad bowl.

Tags: , , , .

Posted by Cindy on October 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 26, 2006

Shrimp and Spinach Pumpkin Pot

What does a balanced meal look like? In Eastern, especially Chinese cooking, the concept of a balanced, healthy recipe is based on Yin-Yang energy. According to The Taste of Asia.com, in the transitional fall season, Yin energy (cool) increases as the outside temperature falls, and Yang energy (heat) decreases. But how can this effect your health?

"Fall winds blow away humidity, and as a result, the body's fluid balance is depleted, which is believed to lead to dry coughing and sore throats. As the weather changes, the body's immune system is weakened and struggles to come into balance, which could make it easier to catch a cold."

Today's shrimp and spinach pumpkin pot recipe replenishes the body’s warming Yang (a vital inner force also known as Qi) and are balanced with water chestnuts and spinach whose cooling properties, or Yin, are thought to help with dry coughs. So, make the most of your pumpkins and enjoy healthy eating. This well-balanced dish is sure to make you feel as good as it tastes!

(Makes 6 servings)

  2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  3/4 pound raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  3 cups water
  2 cups rice milk
  1 packet (1.97 oz.) (MAGGI TASTE OF ASIA or other) Hot & Sour Soup Mix
  1 cup pumpkin flesh, cut into 1-inch chunks
  1 cup sweet corn, fresh or frozen
  1 lb. baby spinach
  1 can (8 oz.) sliced water chestnuts
  1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
  2 green onions (white parts only), finely chopped
  2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper
  1 (about 8 lb.) medium baking pumpkin (optional)

HEAT olive oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds or until garlic turns golden and fragrant. ADD shrimp; cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes or until shrimp turn opaque. Pour in water and rice milk; bring to a boil. STIR in soup mix, pumpkin and corn. Cook for 4 minutes or until pumpkin softens. ADD spinach and water chestnuts; bring to a boil. Stir in sesame oil. Garnish with green onions and red bell pepper. Serve hot.

NOTE: To use pumpkin as a serving vessel:
SELECT an attractive, unblemished pumpkin. Rinse and dry outside with a kitchen towel. Cut an approximate 4- to 5-inch diameter hole in top of pumpkin. Scoop out seeds and membranes. Carve decorative motif on the skin around sides of pumpkin, and use a sharp knife to make zigzag cuts around rim.

PLACE vegetable steamer rack in large pot and fill 1/3 of pot with water. Place pumpkin shell upright on rack in pot. Cover and steam over briskly boiling water until pumpkin meat softens, about 25 minutes. (Check the water level often. Replenish the water as necessary.) Be sure pumpkin shell remains above the water level and is not submerged. While steaming, cook pumpkin soup on stove top. Pour mixture into pumpkin. Serve hot.

P.S.  Yesterday's post "Mindfulness in Meditation" touched upon a key Green Mountain at Fox principle: mindful eating - an essential part of achieving a balanced healthy lifestyle.  For more healthy recipes check out the other delicious recipes listed on this blog or visit Green Mountain Healthy Living Recipe Favorites.

Tags: , ,

Posted by Laura on October 26, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 25, 2006

Mindfulness Through Meditation

There's another new book out on mindful eating.  Actually it's called Mindless Eating.  I haven't read it yet, but anticipate that it's about mindful eating, just describing it in reverse.  It appears to be the latest in a flurry books on the subject, most of which I've read, and most of which I think are pretty good.

We've been teaching mindful eating at Green Mountain for years.  As the nutritionist, I was focused on the eating part, but our behavior therapist Mimi Francis was focused on the larger issue of mindfulness.  She has been a proponent of living mindfully for years, which, of course, mindful eating is a part.Meditation

That's why when I saw a recent article written by nutritionist colleague Gretchen Newmark, I thought it would be a great addition to the articles we feature on our website (called FitBriefings).  We titled it Mindfulness Through Meditation: Practicing Balance and Peace.  As someone who's been thinking about starting to meditate for a while now, I think it has some good insight into how to make meditation a habit.  Let us know what you think!

, , ,

Posted by Marsha on October 25, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 24, 2006

What Do Women (Spa-goers) Want?

Recently a magazine contacted several "spas" for feedback on what they thought guests were "looking for" in regard to their health and well being (again, what the "experts" thought - ha ha, see "Expert Answers" if you don't know why I'm laughing).

Here is my answer that will never be printed anywhere - only between us girls, so to speak.

What Do Women Want (by me and my not-so-humble opinion)

  • The end of false hopes pinned to the “newest, latest, greatest” answer to nutrition, diet, exercise, weight loss, restless leg syndrome, gas – oh I mean acid reflux, etc. Just show me how to be normal!
  • To regain the confidence to be able to look forward to her life, instead of the next “should” or perhaps the next disease that she’ll be shamed over if she’s not exhibiting sufficient remorse over having it.
  • True belief that she is entitled to the full force and effect of human dignity based on her very existence. Never apologizing for taking up too much room, breathing too much air, exploiting the earth’s precious natural resources because she eats three meals a day, oh and how about causing all that global warming, uh?
  • To eat peacefully.
  • To experience joy in moving her body – and confidence in doing so – knowing that her aspirations and dreams are fulfilled in her future not on the scale’s dial.
  • Ability to find and trust a true expert – herself!

Please share what you want in your life - your comments are not only welcome and useful to others - but they help all the authors (okay, me!) believe that I'm not sitting behind a computer screen and there's no one else out there!

Tags: , , , .

Posted by Gina V. on October 24, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 23, 2006

Size Acceptance - A Heavy Weight Lifted

BandlargelgOver the last year we’ve received a lot of comments regarding a post which addressed the clothing industry and their introduction of size 0. The fact that women can or cannot fit into a size zero really wasn’t the issue at the time. The point of the post was addressed at how ridiculous the idea of a size ‘0’ seemed. Zero, it's not even a number. What did 'zero' say about women? What was the message? Intentional or not, why was it negative?

Since then there has been a lot of response from women who have expressed their frustration and sometimes anger over their own struggles finding clothes that fit their petite frames. Some women find it impossible to find clothes that fit them and this particularly becomes a problem when one is looking for professional clothes, or age appropriate clothing when forced to shop in the teen department.

In an article written by Rebecca Gardyn in American Demographics, in 2003, titled, 'The Shape of Things to Come' she discusses these changes in fashion, consumer demand and sizing. Here's an excerpt from the article:

”The size and shape of the "average" American consumer today is dramatically different from 60 years ago. Nevertheless, apparel companies still develop clothing lines based on the proportions of 1940s models. As poor fit and lack of comfort compromise clothes marketers' bottom lines, they are investing more into researching size issues and problems, a complex matrix of challenges ranging from new body hefts to an evolving zeitgeist with regard to normal, attractive and healthy appearances.”

Because the average American women is slightly larger on average than in previous decades, a shift in sizing to meet the needs of the consumer has created a problem for women who had previously been able to purchase clothes on the smaller side of the size spectrum.

All this being said it causes me concern to read some of the comments (on both sides of the size issue), that often go beyond the pale of criticism of the fashion industry and take aim directly at women. Resentment towards women who are more petite, round, tall, short or have other body composition issues that may cause them difficulty finding clothes is not where we want to go on this blog – ever. We talk a lot about 'accepting your wonderful self', at Green Mountain at Fox Run, but it is equally important to practice self love and acceptance for all women and not misplace our frustration and resentment towards each other. To begin to feel we 'hate' other 'fat' or 'skinny' women because we can't find clothes to fit us is beneath us all.

We welcome all women on this blog and we encourage open and uncensored discussion, but we can't support intolerance towards each other. Remember, self-acceptance means unconditional appreciation and support for who you are now and supporting others who are struggling to reach that same self-acceptance every day. We encourage you to learn to love your body, while respecting other’s journey to do the same thing.

Tags: , , , .

Posted by Cindy on October 23, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

October 20, 2006

"Expert" Answers

Recently I realized that when I say "at Green Mountain at Fox Run we meet you were you are at" - that it's very likely that few understand my meaning. Let me explain.

Somehow in our technofabulous world, we've accepted the notion that there is an "expert" for everything - and that they have all the answers. I'd rank this falicious assumption in the top ten of "things gone wrong" in our culture, as its roots spread like tentacles into all our thought patterns.

The Sheep Are Right! From where I sit (overlooking Okemo Mountain at Green MIm_an_expert_2ountain at Fox Run), this idea of looking for an "expert" seems to be the number one idea that has seeped into women's brains, which has lead them to not trust themselves and their bodies, which exacerbates the problems that they were looking to the experts for help! That's a long sentance, so let me be more concise - success comes by learning to become your own (intrinisic) expert, not by having someone (the extrinic expert) tell you what you need to do.

HOW many times have I read how the latest self-elected and media endorsed "expert" has found what no one else has about weight loss (ie YOUR body), and they will tell you (because in their world, you can't possibly know what you need) how to "do it"!! All you have to do is obey what the master says!!!!

Yeah. Right. Like Cher said, "if a great body came in a bottle (or by listening to you, Guru of the Moment), everyone would have one."

What's important to remember when looking at all the "success" stories that back up this new one-size-fits-all-cure is that you're seeing someone that was "successful" (does that mean losing weight? or does it mean being fitter? or does that mean feeling better?) for a moment in time, when they were doing exactly what someone else told them to do...what you don't see is someone that has become a competent eater, intrinsic exerciser, or useful thinker.

So back to "meeting you where you are at"...think of it this way. Green Mountain has worked with women for 35 years. These 35 years has confirmed our founding theory - we're not the experts on your body, you are. We acknowledge that your expertise has been dulled for many reasons - mostly by other "experts." The program experience is that of honing ones skills and health behaviors...you learn, you practice, you get better at the behavior of eating well, moving well, thinking well! You have now recognized your own expert - you!

Here's an example that shows how a "one-solution (external) expert" solution falls flat in the face of the true expert (you).

Issue: There are times when I’m motivated to exercise, but I never do. Why?

My Problem identified:  I get defeated looking for and setting up the equipment, unrolling the mat, finding the dvd that I want to use, finding the weights, etc, etc.

Answer that works for me: Move collection of fitness dvds, videos, and equipment (all of it) to where you would actually use it (living room, den) where a TV, VHS or DVD player is available (and you have room). Learn how to run your electronic equipment – if “popping” in a dvd amounts to a 3-hour struggle with cables, AUX in, and a blue screen, you won’t do it.

Issue (same one): There are times when I’m motivated to exercise, but I never do. Why?

My Problem identified: I find that I have 15 minutes here or there, and I’d like to do something, but really, what’s the use.

Answer that works for me: Identify and eliminate the all-or-nothing mentality in your thinking. Learn the facts! Your opinion is that 15 minutes won’t help, the fact is that 15 minutes of movement does make a huge difference in your metabolic health and mental outlook. Get double-duty (and support) from your wardrobe - wear natural fabrics that look good and will breathe during exercise, and shoes that you can really walk in and look good. Then you’re prepared to sneak a walk in anytime, and can do so without having to change clothes before and after – a serious exercise-killer for everyone.

Here’s the really important part…if you can’t pull all this together by yourself, do not chalk it up on the list as something else you couldn’t do (and by the way, why do you still have that list?!). Sometimes our intrinsic expert is too busy to sit down and figure this out without intervention (ie an immersed environment where your job becomes you).

If you wanna be your own expert - especially when end of year thoughts are at the forefront of our minds, along with holidays and "resolutions" - but need some help getting it together for the "real world" visit us and get your PhD in you...it will be different this time.

Make this year your year. 

Posted by Gina V. on October 20, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 19, 2006

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Anyone who has a garden is probably picking the last of their zucchini. While zucchini is great on its own, it also provides wonderful texture and moistness when added to cakes and breads. This chocolate zucchini cake with a hint of orange is a very popular dessert at Green Mountain. Taste it and you’ll know why!

(Makes 16 servings)

    1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1 cup sugar
    1/4 cup cocoa
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    2 eggs
    1/3 cup canola oil
    1/2 cup plain yogurt
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    2 teaspoons grated orange peel
    1 1/2 cups grated zucchini

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8x8” cake pan or 8” round spring form pan. In medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, soda, salt and cinnamon. In large mixing bowl, beat eggs and stir in canola oil. Beat dry ingredients into egg mixture alternately with yogurt. Stir in vanilla, orange peel and zucchini. Pour batter in baking pan and bake 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Cool. Drizzle glaze over cake. (See below)

    Orange Glaze

    1/2 cup powdered sugar
    1 tablespoon melted butter
    2 tablespoons orange juice
    1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel

Mix together powdered sugar and butter. Stir in orange juice and grated peel.

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

Tags: , ,

Posted by Laura on October 19, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 18, 2006

Fish Safety Revisited

Fish_1 I've written about fish safety before but a study released yesterday from the National Academy of Sciences makes the subject news. Although the study really doesn't say anything different from what I've noted before, it's worth repeating:  Eating fish twice a week can reduce risk for heart disease.  Another study showed infants also benefit from the healthy fats -- omega 3 fatty acids -- found in fish. 

Sally Squires' Washington Post article on this poses an environmental consideration -- that if everyone starts eating wild fish (vs. farmed fish) twice a week, we'll deplete the oceans.  So the recommendation is to choose farmed fish most of the time.

The Washington Post also has a chart featuring the omega-3 and mercury content of various fish, along with a note about their cost.  Good reference for anyone interested in healthy eating!

Tags: , , ,

Posted by Marsha on October 18, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack