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October 16, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Green Mountain Broccoli Slaw

This recipe is so easy and it’s a tasty addition to any meal! This healthy recipe is paired it here with a sandwich for a quick lunch, but you can enjoy this healthy eating side just as easily with grilled chicken or meat. Bonus: Broccoli is king when it comes to “good for you” vegetables!

Makes 4 servings

2 cups finely chopped fresh broccoli
2 tablespoons finely chopped red or white onion
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced oregano or thyme
Salt
Pepper

In medium bowl, combine ingredients and refrigerate for about an hour before serving.

Posted by Laura on October 16, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


October 15, 2008

For Healthy Eating & Healthy Weights, Eat Fat

I just finished a breakfast of a bagel and sausage. Okay, it was half a small bagel and sausage made from a pig grown down the road from me, but still, it was sausage in all its high-fat goodness. Yes, goodness.

We've long encouraged women who come to Green Mountain at Fox Run to give up the fear of fat. Yet we see it continue among the calorie-conscious -- fat does have more than twice the calories of protein or carbohydrate. And too much of it probably has a negative effect on health independent of the calories it contains, especially saturated fat, an excess of which is linked to heart disease and maybe other diseases.

But many of us went to the extreme many years ago in reducing fat -- jumping on the fat-free bandwagon that many experts now suspect created more healthy eating problems than it solved (if it solved any at all). One thing that I am sure of is that going fat-free took much of the joy out of eating. A fat-free version of a yummy food just isn't yummy anymore. In many cases, too, the lowfat version isn't any good either. My solution is to eat the real thing, but be conscious of how much we eat of it.

In particular, many of us have become very turned off to animal fat, such as that in the yummy sausage breakfast I just enjoyed. When we're looking for healthy weight loss, or to keep our weight at a healthy level, animal fat is often the last thing we'll really consider putting in our mouths. In a recent article on salon.com, Monica Bhide, who has written for the Washington Post and New York Times among other publications, interviewed Jennifer McLagan on in her new book, "Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, With Recipes." Jennifer says, and I agree [except with the blanket 'blame' about obesity; sometimes it not a question of blame; some of us are genetically destined to be larger, and we don't suffer any negative health effects from it],

It's difficult to blame obesity on one thing. But it is definitely not consumption of animal fats. I think there are many causes -- the way we eat, alone, in the car, walking down the street, the constant snacking. Increased consumption of low-fat, fat-free "foods" results in us eating more sugars and carbohydrates. These products don't satisfy our hunger and leave us wanting to eat more. Eating good animal fat does, so you eat less.

I haven't read Jennifer's book so can't vouch for the veracity of any claims made in it or about it. But I do appreciate her vote for moderation, one of the three basic principles of healthy eating, whether it's to lose weight or just stay healthy and feel good. What are the other two principles? Variety and balance. Key principles for mindful eating, and words to live by, indeed.

Posted by Marsha on October 15, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack


October 14, 2008

Healthy Living: Giving Back

RoseI haven't mentioned Green Mountain at Fox Run much lately. And its true I may not be considered an uninterested party, but I happen to believe that the program offered here is the very best in the nation.  For those of you new to this blog, Green Mountain at Fox Run (Vermont) began in the summer of 1972 when founder Thelma Wayler, MS, RD, took over an empty dorm at Vermont's Green Mountain College. There she began telling women that diets can make you fat -- almost four decades before the idea became as accepted as it is today.

Today, Green Mountain operates out of a former corporate retreat on a hill overlooking Okemo Mountain and the Okemo Valley Golf Course, premier winter and summer resort areas in Vermont. Set on 26 wooded acres, the lodge is a comfortable, relaxing retreat. For over 37 years, Green Mountain at Fox Run has been helping women achieve healthy lifestyles and long-term weight loss through a practical, down-to-earth, healthy eating, non-diet approach to fitness and weight loss. The philosophy is focused on an approach to health that focuses on intuitive eating and the intrinsic joy of exercise, rather than on dieting and weight loss.

When you walk in the door to Green Mountain at Fox Run, you enter a proven educational program with a singular focus on healthy weight loss and we're proud everyday to share our knowledge, expertise and friendship to thousands of women across the globe. The goal here is about long-term lifestyle change, not a short-term health spa vacation. In fact, our long-term published success rates are one of the highest in the United States.

Consequently, we believe it is important to share what we know. And we know times are tough. Therefore, I wanted to take the opportunity here to announce the Rose Caron Scholarship to assist women in need of financial assistance who wish to improve the quality of their lives through serious lifestyle change. A limited number of scholarships will be provided each year to deserving women ready to take charge of their weight, their health, themselves.

Established in honor or Dr. Rose Caron, a nationally- renowned psychologist, who with her husband and research partner, Albert Caron, PhD, is credited with the development of the field of psycholinguistics of newborn infants. A graduate of Vassar (BA) and University of Chicago (PhD), Rose was a highly endowed researcher at the National Institutes of Health, Professor, George Washington University and Boston University, in both the departments of Psychology and Women's Health Studies.

Rose attended the first program of Green Mountain in 1973 and became a frequent participant and advisor to the program. As Rose often shared, the Green Mountain philosophy approach and community of participants had a profound and positive effect on her life.

Rose felt strongly that a key element for the success experienced by the women who come to Green Mountain was that they were willing to make an investment in themselves, which attached a real "value" to the experience.

In celebration of Rose, Green Mountain at Fox Run is announcing a series of partial scholarships that will be awarded for Fall and Winter periods through 2008 - 2009.

Women interested in applying should contact me at (800) 448 8106, or via email to [email protected].

Or:

Learn more about this healthy weight loss spa and retreat and the Rose Caron Scholarship by clicking here.

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Posted by Cindy on October 14, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


October 13, 2008

Weight Loss: Possible Explanation for Obesity-Related Insulin Resistance

Researchers are getting closer to understanding the association between obesity and insulin resistance, a condition in which normal amounts of insulin are inadequate to produce a normal insulin response from fat, muscle and liver cells.  Insulin resistance can precede the development of type 2 diabetes.

"Obese adipose, or fat, tissue is characterized by the presence of macrophages, specialized cells that usually fight infection. Adipose tissue macrophages (ATMs) accumulate in fat tissue as body weight increases. Growing evidence shows that ATMs are a significant contributor to inflammation in obesity – inflammation that leads to insulin resistance, resulting in type 2 diabetes." (Statement from recent press release highlighting results of a new study from the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine.

"A decrease in ATMs is associated with a decrease in adipose tissue inflammation and a reduction in insulin resistance, while an increase in ATMs is associated with a further deterioration of insulin sensitivity," explains Jerrold Olefsky, M.D., Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Associate Dean for Scientific Affairs at UC San Diego.

Healthy weight loss has already been proven to lower body fat and therefore improve insulin resistance, but  understanding the reason why why obesity leads to insulin resistance is key to developing new type 2 diabetes treatments.

Posted by Laura on October 13, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack


October 10, 2008

Weight Loss: Breast Cancer Survivors Decrease Risk of Recurrence by Losing Weight, Lowering Estrogen Levels

Breast Cancer Awareness efforts generally focus on preventative measures for healthy women, early screening, and fundraising, but it's just as important to emphasize ways of preventing recurrence in women who have survived the disease.

Studies have linked higher estrogen levels in the body to breast cancer in women, and excess weight plays a role in elevating the hormone.

“Overweight women have larger breasts,” Houston-based surgeon, Dr. Duc Vuong, states bluntly. “These women have more exposure to estrogen, which we think increases their risk of several different cancers, including breast and uterine cancer.”

Dr. Susan Love, president of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and former breast-cancer surgeon, says there may be higher risks for recurrence in pre-menopausal, obese breast cancer survivors, but post-menopausal women can also be vulnerable.

“We do not know exactly why, but one hypothesis is that fat is capable of making estrogen post-menopausally,” says Love.

Losing weight can be difficult even under the best of circumstances, but the physical and psychological toll of battling cancer can make weight loss even harder. Fatigue and depression are common obstacles, and even though many women lose weight as a result of cancer treatment, some medications can cause weight gain.

Empowerment, says Dr. Love, is key.  Although the fear of recurrence may always remain in the minds of survivors, taking steps towards achieving healthy weight loss can give women a sense of control and inner strength.

(Source: MSNBC.com)

For related reading, see our blog post Study Show Links between Breast Cancer and Diabetes.

Posted by Laura on October 10, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack


October 09, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Sweet Potatoes and Apples

Loaded with carotenoids, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, sweet potatoes are one best veggies you can eat - and they're yummy, too! In this healthy recipe, we bake and then mix them with sliced apples for extra moisture and sweetness.

Makes 6 servings

1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
3 York or Stayman apples, unpeeled, cored and sliced
3/4 cup orange juice
3/4 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

In a medium saucepan, cook unpeeled potatoes in boiling water for 25 minutes. In a medium skillet, over high heat, heat apples and orange juice with ginger, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. Cover and cook until apples soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Uncover and reduce heat; simmer apples a few minutes longer. Peel and slice cooked sweet potatoes and add to apple mixture. Mix gently and heat thoroughly. Makes 6 servings.

Healthy eating tip: the difference between yams and sweet potatoes

Yams, one of the most important food crops in the tropics, originate from Asia and Africa.  They're used as a starch and are distinguished by their thick skin and white, purple or orange flesh.

Sweet potatoes come in two main varieties and are what most American eat.  The one most responsible for the confusion is a dark-skinned kind, which has a sweet orange flesh similar to that of a yam. The other type of sweet potato has a tan skin and dry yellow flesh.

Posted by Laura on October 9, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


October 08, 2008

For Healthy Weight Loss, Read a Book?

According to a women's health website, Duke University researchers this week released results of a study that showed young girls (age 9 to 13) who were part of a weight loss program fared better after reading a novel that featured a story line about a young large size girl who worries about going on an outdoor school trip but ends up doing well on the trip, improving self-esteem and physical activity levels along the way. The researchers said that the study shows a novel way (pun intended) to reach young girls with positive weight loss information.

In my book (pun intended again), it sounds like this is all about identifying with others, finding others that deal with similar issues and seeing how they successfully navigate their way to taking care of themselves. We see that all the time at Green Mountain. Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of taking part in our healthy weight loss program is bonding with other women who are here, learning that we are not alone in our search for how to take care of ourselves and gaining the powerful support of like-minded women who can help us see our options.

Peggy Elam, PhD, clinical psychologist, is founder and president of Pearlsong Press in Nashville, Tennessee. It's a wonderful source for fiction that features story lines starring large size women that may be able to help provide inspiration, insight and support for other large size women. At the least, they're entertaining reads.

Posted by Marsha on October 8, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


October 07, 2008

Healthy Living: Pink October!

Fight_like_a_girlOctober is the perfect time to ensure you’re in the pink as far as your breast health is concerned. If you haven’t already done so, begin this October to get regular screenings in a clinical setting by a trained health professional.

To date, mammography screening is your best bet for dectecting breast cancer early. If you need assistance finding an imaging location where you live, you can contact the National Cancer Institute. (1.800.4.CANCER).

In many areas of the country, low-cost or free mammograms are provided as part of the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program or through community organizations, such as the YWCA.  In October each year, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, many radiology facilities offer mammography at a reduced rate.

Most insurance companies cover the cost of mammograms. However, for women over 40 who might be uninsured or underinsured,  you can find more affordable or even free screenings in your area by either contacting the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (1-888-842-6355), or  find a certified radiology center in your area, by calling the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation National Toll-Free Breast Care Helpline at 1.800 I'M AWARE® (1.800.462.9273).

It’s important we all get to know our breasts a little bit better.  Educate yourself about breast health and regularly give yourself a proper breast self-exam. There was never a better reason to get proactive about your health!

FYI: Friday, October 17 2008, is National Mammography Day!

"I Fight Like A Girl" tees may be purchased here. All proceeds go to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation

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Posted by Cindy on October 7, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


October 06, 2008

Diabetes: Get in the K.N.O.W. with Randy Jackson

Get in the K.N.O.W.!  Randy Jackson, TV personality and well-known figure in the music industry, will be airing a diabetes webcast on October 14th at 1 p.m. (EST).  Joining him is Daniel Jones, M.D., from the American Heart Association.  Together, they hope to bring more awareness about the disease to the public through the Heart of Diabetes campaign. The webcast is for those with - or affected by - type 2 diabetes.

What does the K.N.O.W. stand for?

  • K - Keep active and maintain a healthy body weight
  • N - Normalize your critical health numbers
  • O - Opt for a healthy lifestyle
  • W - Work with a healthcare provider

Jones and Jackson will offer tips and information on how best to improve the  management of type 2 diabetes, including:

  • Information on type 2 diabetes and how it's related to cardiovascular disease
  • Randy Jackson’s personal type 2 diabetes journey
  • The Heart of Diabetes campaign
  • Tips on optimal management of type 2 diabetes
  • Educational information and tools made available through The Heart of Diabetes program

For more information and registration...

Posted by Laura on October 6, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


October 03, 2008

Healthy Eating: Chicken Soup a Healthy Food for Pandas at China's Wuhan Zoo

People have sworn by their grandmother's chicken soup to fight off fall and winter colds, and some research* has actually studied the potential health benefits of the age-old folk remedy.

Now even Pandas are responding to a healthy dose of chicken soup! CNN reports that over-stressed pandas at the Wuhan Zoo in central China (due to the busy tourist season) are being fed "home-cooked chicken soup twice in a month to reduce stress and give them a nutritional boost."

"They had been getting less sleep, and they had to run around more," zoo keeper He Zhihua said, referring to two 3-year-old pandas named Xiwang and Weiwei ("Hope" and "Greatness"). "We felt it would be good to give them the soup because they were fatigued and had a bit of a shock."

Although pandas normally eat bamboo, they can also eat meat.  Zhihua said that pandas will sometimes eat insects and small birds in the wild. The zookeepers thought of giving this 'prescription' to their pandas because the Chinese have a long tradition of drinking slow-cooked chicken soup for their own health.

So how did the pandas like the soup? 

"They drank it all like they drank their milk. They loved it," reports Zhihua.

China's week-long National Day holiday is one of the biggest travel seasons of the year. 

* Chicken soup contains several ingredients that affect the body's immune system, a team at the University of Nebraska Medical Center found in a research study conducted in 2000. The soup's anti-inflammatory properties may explain why it soothes sore throats and eases the misery of colds and flu, according to Dr. Stephen Rennard and his research colleagues. (Source: CNN.com)

Read Healthy Eating on a Budget to learn how to stretch your food dollars in managing type 2 diabetes, healthy weight loss, polycystic ovarian syndrome, metabolic syndrome, or any of the myriad problems that healthy eating can address.

Posted by Laura on October 3, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack