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April 30, 2008

Disordered Eating: The "New" Epidemic

Several years ago I was on a media tour in New York, visiting various women's magazine editors in an attempt to get them to think about publishing different kinds of stories on eating and weight loss and weight loss programs. My focus: That women (and increasingly men) were suffering from disordered eating -- too much focus on calories, fat grams, weight loss, even 'healthy' choices. The response I remember from one prominent magazine in particular was that the term 'disordered eating' was too 'scary,' that it was even too sensational for magazines (imagine that!).

So imagine my relief that they have finally jumped on board (although I do admit a bit of exasperation that they didn't even talk to me in putting together their story on the issue!). Self magazine recently published the results of survey that showed '65 percent of American women are disordered eaters." MSNBC published this story on the survey:

The disorder next door: Alarming eating habits

SELF poll reveals 65 percent of American women are disordered eaters

By Tula Karras, SELF

SELF's groundbreaking survey reveals that more than six in 10 women are disordered eaters. Another one in 10 has an eating disorder. Find out if you're at risk and how to get healthier, starting today:

Michelle Marsh, 32, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, seems like the perfect dieter. If you ran into the 5-foot-1-inch, 103-pound marketing specialist checking food labels for calories in the supermarket or powering through one of her seven weekly workouts, you'd envy her ability to control her intake and burn off any excess, too. But Marsh, who had her first baby nine months ago and is now below her prepregnancy weight ("I'm the tiniest I've ever been!" she says), could be the poster girl for an unrecognized epidemic among women: disordered eating.

No, she doesn't starve herself to an unnatural weight (like anorexics) or throw up daily (like some bulimics), but she doesn't seem to have a healthy relationship with food or her body, either. "I spend about half my time thinking about food and meal planning," she says, although her meals don't require much planning — she usually restricts herself to the same foods every day (oatmeal, brown rice and two small corn tortillas with chicken and a sweet potato). "I weigh myself every morning, and if the scale goes up a pound, I exercise more. If I gained 5 pounds, I'd be very upset."

To read the rest of the story, go to http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24295957/. They even have tips at the end of the story for moving away from disordered eating and achieving healthy weight loss, if it's in your cards. The tips echo what we've been saying at Green Mountain at Fox Run for years. It's nice to know they've gone mainstream.

Posted by Marsha on April 30, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 29, 2008

Shapely Bodies -Same Old Story Same Old Hype

110104_bikini_1This time of year I envision magazine editors all across America temporarily filing away their 'Top 20 Summer Dieting Tips', only to be churned out again next year, with the same old weight loss promise of ‘Miracle Bikini Butts by Memorial Day!’ 

Although their first reaction might be ‘gimme a break!’, too many women read these covers and, against their better judgement, pick one up just in case they too might ‘Lose 20 Pounds In One Month By Eating 10 Fat Burning Foods’, or whatever tempting misinformation is taunting them. 

The Canadian website, Media Awarness Network published this excerpt from an article, ‘Beauty and Body Image in the Media’:

“Researchers report that women’s magazines have ten and one-half times more ads and articles promoting weight loss than men’s magazines do, and over three-quarters of the covers of women’s magazines include at least one message about how to change a woman’s bodily appearance—by diet, exercise or cosmetic surgery.”

Some of the biggest weight loss hype comes from the diet pill industry. Is it my imagination or are diet pills advertised by actors posing as medical authorities on my television almost every 10 minutes?  The FTC does seem to be taking notice, although, nothing much seems to be happening. If anything, advertisments for weight loss drugs seem to be on the rise.

For more interesting reading on the subject of women and advertising, pick up, Deadly Persuasion – Why Women and Girls Must Fight the Addictive Power of Advertising’ by Jean Kilbourne

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Posted by Cindy on April 29, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 28, 2008

Diabetes: Diabetes UK Funds Trial To Explore Effects Of Chocolate Compound

Older women with type 2 diabetes have a five-fold increased risk for developing heart disease than women of the same age who do not have diabetes. Statin drugs are generally indicated for heart disease, but there may be an alternative: chocolate - or, at least - flavonoids that can be found in cocoa. 

A three year study has just been funded by Diabetes UK to research the potential heart-protecting properties of flavonoids.

But don't throw your healthy eating plan to the curb! Diabetes UK advises against consuming large amounts of chocolate.

"We certainly don't advise people to start eating a lot of chocolate as it's very high in sugar and fat", said Dr. Iain Frame, Director of Research at Diabetes UK. "We would always recommend that people with diabetes eat a diet low in fat, salt and sugar with plenty of fruit and vegetables."

Soy protein, which also contains flavonoids, has been shown in clinical studies to have a protective effect on the heart, blood vessels, and kidneys of patients with type 2 diabetes.

Look for this week's healthy recipe which will feature both soy and chocolate!

Read our other blog posts on chocolate and soy:

More Good News on Chocolate!
Healthy Eating – Is Chocolate the Answer?
It's That Chocolate Time of Year Again
So, So, Soy
Soy Protein Beneficial in Type 2 Diabetics

Posted by Laura on April 28, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 25, 2008

Diabetes: Soy Protein Beneficial in Type 2 Diabetics

People with type 2 diabetes may benefit from a healthy eating lifestyle that includes soy protein. In the journal Diabetes Care, researchers reported that the heart, blood vessels, and kidneys are positively affected in type 2 diabetes patients who consume soy protein.

Over 4 years, the Iranian study followed 41 patients with type 2 diabetes, twenty of whom ate a diet that contained 35 percent animal protein, 35 percent textured soy protein and 30 percent vegetable protein. The other patients were the control group, and they consumed a diet that consisted of 70 percent animal protein and 30 percent vegetable protein. 

Dr. Leila Azadbakht, of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, and colleagues determined that consuming soy protein lowered fasting blood sugar level, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. Also reduced were indicators of inflammation called C-reative proteins and other urinary markers of kidney disease.

In the past, other shorter studies have shown the potential benefits of soy protein, but apparently, this is the first study that indicates these benefits are lasting and stable over the long term in people with type 2 diabetes.

Read So, So, Soy for more information about soy protein.  Want to try using soy in a healthy recipe? Rigatoni with Zucchini and Onions is a easy and delicious way to go.

Posted by Laura on April 25, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 24, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Mediterranean Focaccia

Anyway you say it, tomatoes (or to-MAH-toes) are a tasty healthy eating ingredient for a variety of dishes. In addition to the vitamins and minerals, tomatoes contain the antioxidant, lycopene, which may help prevent certain types of cancer, heart disease, and even eye diseases. Today's healthy recipe comes from the California Tomato Growers Association, and - since it's kid-friendly - you can make dinner a family cooking event! If it's warming up in your corner of the world, you might even be able to dine al fresco.

Makes 8 servings

1 large round loaf Italian bread
1 (8 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup pitted and chopped ripe olives
1 2/3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (6 ounces)
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (1 1/2 ounces

Place bread shells on baking sheet. Brush lightly with olive oil. Layer with tomatoes, red peppers, basil, olives and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle Parmesan over all. Bake in oven or broiler at 450°F until heated through and cheese is melted. Cut baked loaf into 8 wedges.

Posted by Laura on April 24, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 23, 2008

Overcome Self-Doubt to Build Self Esteem

My daughter first looked at me strangely when I mentioned to her that her "I feel fat" thoughts really weren't about her body. I explained that fat is not a feeling; instead, when we think we feel fat, we're usually distracting ourselves from something else that's bothering us. For many of us, negative body image often has to do with feelings of insecurity -- we're worrying about how we're falling short in some area.

To the rescue: Tips from one of my favorite e-letters -- that from Annette Colby. She recommends we try the following tips when fears and self-doubt threaten to overwhelm us.

1. Awareness Recognize the fear and doubt within you. The first step to overcoming doubt is to be willing to face the situation. By being honest and admitting that you have doubts can you seek alternatives.

2. Acceptance
Understand that it is all right to have doubt. What matters most is that you love yourself enough to overcome your doubt by taking calculated risks.

3. Explore Your Fears
Take out a piece of paper and write down a list of your fears. Explore your doubt, examine your fear, and look at the areas in your life where they get the upper hand.

4. Examine Your Excuses
Write down your reasons for not pursuing a personal challenge or moving forward on something important to you

5. Say Good Bye
Write a goodbye letter to your doubt, then bury it, burn it, or release it in some other creative way.

6. Mirror Mirror On the Wall
When your doubt pops up, go to the mirror and talk to yourself. Positive talk isn’t the entire answer, but without we haven’t got a chance of success. People are more successful when they talk to themselves in a reassuring, compassionate, and loving way.

7. Build Self-Esteem
Keep reminding yourself that you are valuable, that you have worth, and that your life matters.

8. Take Positive Action
Take positive action in the direction of your dreams. You can put doubt in it’s place when you take action on the activities and goals that are most important to you.

9. What's the Best that Could Happen
Imagine the best possible outcome. Practice allowing yourself to envision yourself being the person you want to be.

10. Take Care of Yourself
Take some action every day that allows you to feel better about yourself.

No matter what self-doubt is blocking our way to -- whether it be successful weight loss or going after our dream job -- these tips can help us move forward. The bottom line is believing in ourselves because our minds are the most powerful tool we have to help us achieve our dreams.

Posted by Marsha on April 23, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 22, 2008

Can Journaling Help Keep Us Healthy?

946152_desk_1There seems to be a fair amount of evidence that journaling is an effective tool in healthy weight loss management. I’m not talking about simply putting together charts and graphs about your age, height, weight, what you eat and how far you walked. I believe journaling can provide an outlet for expressing ones thoughts and feelings. Allowing us to express things that we need to get out in the open or at least on the written page. 

Daily journaling engages us to self-monitor, but more importantly check in, which is essentially a conversation we have with ourselves. It also provides an opportunity to repeat the best practices in our new healthy lifestyle choices until they become more intrinsic and natural to us. It is therapeutic, and helps bring a daily level of awareness to the issues you we’re grappling with.

Journaling about the stresses in our lives – recognizing what might be getting in the way of our success helps put perspective around and focus on what we might be doing to sabotage ourselves and some very simple steps we could take to get back on track.

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Posted by Cindy on April 22, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 21, 2008

Weighing In: Show Menu Calories Next To Prices Federal Judge Tells New York Restaurants

On Wednesday April 16th, a federal judge ruled that some New York City restaurants must list the calories of dishes alongside menu prices.

Opponents of the law, the New York State Restaurant Association had claimed this law infringed upon free speech, but Judge Richard J. Holwell of the United States District Court dismissed that argument.  In his 27 page ruling opinion, the judge decided that displaying calories alongside prices will enable consumers to make healthy eating choices. 

"The judge's ruling means that any restaurant chain with 15 or more nationwide outlets will have to display calorie counts on menus, menu display boards and food tags. The health department told the New York Times this covers about 10 per cent of the City's restaurants, around 2,000 in all.

The ruling is due to take effect [today], but the restaurant association said it would be asking for it to be held back pending an appeal.

A spokesman for the restaurant association told the Times that if the ruling went ahead and then had to be withdrawn after a successful appeal, it would cause "irreparable harm".

The association maintains that restaurants should make their own decision whether to show the calorie count of a dish on the menu, as with any other information about the nutritional value of the food it serves."

(Read full article in Medical News Today)

New York City has a much higher incidence in obesity and type 2 diabetes compared to the rest of the nation. Proponents of the new measure hope that it will lead to a lower incidence of these diseases. Dr Thomas Frieden, New York City's commissioner for health, told the New York Times that Judge Holwell's decision was a "victory for New Yorkers."

Your turn to weigh in

New Yorkers interviewed by the New York Daily News appeared to be in favor of the judge's ruling.  But we'd like to hear from you. 

Do you think this new ruling will help consumers fight obesity?  Let us know what you think!

Posted by Laura on April 21, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

April 18, 2008

Weight Loss: Bad Carbohydrates Are Not The Enemy

Many weight loss programs like NutriSystem and low carb diets like Atkins are still perpetuating the myth about 'bad carbs vs. good carbs.'

The Glycemic Index

"The description of carbohydrates as 'good' or 'bad' is based on glycemic index, a measure of the quality of the carbohydrate in terms of how much it raises blood sugar. Foods having a high GI are generally thought to be 'bad'because they raise blood sugar more than 'good' carbs do. Proponents of the glycemic index claim that this leads to excessive insulin secretion, which can cause weight gain and health problems." (Medical News Today)

"That's Just Nonsense," says University Professor Glenn Gaesser.

A professor of exercise physiology and director of the kinesiology program in the Curry School of Education, Gessar has extensively analyzed studies on carbohydrate consumption.  He firmly states tha eating white bread, the occasional doughnut won't kill you, or even lead to obesity.

In an article in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Gaesser reviewed several hundred articles and large-scale scientific studies on carboydrate consumption, body weight and glycemic index. Gaesser found that "people who consume high-carb diets tend to be slimmer, and often healthier, than people who consume low-carb diets." He also believes there is no compelling data to suggest that carbohydrate avoidance helps to prevent type 2 diabetes, heart disease or cancer. Even high-glycemic foods have a place in the diet, he said, attributing that to the overall higher quality of a high-carb diet, which includes more fiber-rich and other nutritional foods.

"There is no reason to be eating fewer carbs -- they're not the enemy," says Gaesser.

Carbs and weight loss

Dr. Manny Alvarez from Fox News, reports that recent studies show there are many healthy benefits to eating carbs, and that some carbs like potatoes and beans contain a 'resistant starch' that can help the body lose weight. Click on image below to view video.

Posted by Laura on April 18, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 17, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Teriyaki Turkey Burger with Wasabi Mayonnaise

A healthy eating food, turkey is very lean protein which provides essential amino acids, niacin, and phosphorous. However, I confess that I sometimes get bored with turkey, so I was happy to come across today's teriyaki version! This healthy recipe from BC Turkey Growers turns an otherwise bland burger into a spicy, tangy, and textured turkey meal.  And there's just one word for the wasabi mayonnaise: WOW!

Make 6 servings

1-1/2 lbs  ground turkey    
2 garlic cloves, minced    
1 tbsp  fresh ginger, grated    
1/4 cup  thick teriyaki sauce    
3  green onions, finely chopped   
1/4 cup  toasted sesame seeds    
1/2 cup  dry bread crumbs    
1/2 cup  light mayonnaise 
1 tsp  wasabi paste

In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, garlic, ginger, teriyaki sauce, green onions, sesame seeds and bread crumbs.Shape into 6 burger patties. Broil or grill burgers 4 - 6 inches (10 - 15cm) from broiler or over medium-hot coals for 10 12 minutes turning once. Meanwhile, mix together mayonnaise and wasabi paste; spread on 6 lightly toasted burger buns. Place cooked burgers in buns. Serve with sliced cucumber and watercress or arugula.

Posted by Laura on April 17, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack