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January 30, 2009

When I Grow Up, I Want to Be an Old Woman

Some things are just too good not to share.  This video is one of them.  It encourages us to get mammograms.  That's good, too, although not why I posted the video.  Watch it; I'm sure you'll understand my why.

One other good thing I want to share:  a blog called The Gimpy Girls: Solutions for Baby Boomers, the Disabled and the Just Plain Lazy.  That's where I found this video.  Now I'm looking for time to read more of the blog.

Have a great weekend!!

Posted by Marsha on January 30, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 29, 2009

Healthy Recipe: Potato Crust Pizza

Kids-making-pizza Fans of pizza and potatoes unite!  This healthy recipe from Colorado Potatoes combines two favorite foods with simple ingredients and directions.  Wonderfully warm and filling on a winter's day, potatoes are a healthy eating food because they provide dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folic acid (folate), beta-carotene, and iron.  A fun recipe to make with the whole family.  And if you let the kids top the pizza, maybe you can get them to add a few veggies, too!

Makes 1 pizza, serves about 4-6

3 large Potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 T. Olive oil
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 cup Flour

1 T. Olive oil
1 Chopped onion
1 can 8 oz. Tomato sauce
1/4 tsp. Oregano
1/2 tsp.  Dried basil
1 T.  Dried parsley

Boil potatoes and mash until smooth. Mix in olive oil, salt, flour and blend well. Press mixture onto a lightly oiled pizza pan. Saute' the onion in olive oil. Add tomato sauce and herbs. Simmer for 5 minutes and spoon over the potato crust. Top with 1 small can sliced olives and 1/3 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Peel potatoes, dice and cook in boiling water until soft. Drain potatoes and place in mixing bowl. Add honey, cinnamon and salt.

Posted by Laura on January 29, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 28, 2009

Healthy Weight Loss: Is It Harder for Women to Say No?

1055107_stop_spam_signThe headlines were abuzz last week with results of the latest study that 'proved' women are at some sort of biological disadvantage compared to men. This time, it's whether we're able to resist our favorite foods as easily as men can.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, presented 13 women and 10 men with their favorite foods after a 20-hour fast.  They were allowed to smell and taste the foods but not eat them -- indeed, to try to inhibit their desire to eat -- while their brain activity was monitored through a PET scan.  The result: Both the women and men did appear to succeed in making themselves feel less hungry but the brain scans showed more activity on the part of women.  This was interpreted as the women's brains not being entirely in sync with what the women thought they were feeling. That they were actually feeling more hungry than they thought.  Or something like that.

Is there any truth to this?  
To answer that question, my BIG question is:  Was there any attempt to look at the women's previous history of restrained eating? You know, the typical (unfortunately) woman's approach to eating -- "I would love it, but I shouldn't."  "I need to lose X number of pounds, and if I eat my favorite food -- which is high in calories, fat, carbs, etc., etc., I'll be fat the rest of my life, be a bad person, etc., etc., etc."

According to one thoughtful expert in this area, who shall remain anonymous until I can get her permission to quote her (which I should have done before now but oh, well), "It is well-known that people who are trying to restrain [that is, diet] have different responses to 'external' stimuli about food [that is, exposure to food -- you know, like, walking through the mall smelling the Cinnabons], and it is well known that more women diet, and have dieted, than men."  

Simply put, if we have a history of dieting, which almost carves the diet mentality into our brains, it's gonna make it harder for us to say no to food, especially that which we think we shouldn't have.

A BIG caveat:  If we are successful at again adopting mindful eating (or intuitive eating or attuned eating or normal eating -- you choose the term) -- that is, eating like we were born to do -- I doubt we'd show any more brain activity than men when faced with our favorite foods and told we can't eat them. Because we are no longer restrained eaters.  So there is hope that we don't have to be forever victims of our previous folly of dieting.

Just my thoughts on the subject.  :-)  Have a great day!!

Photo by Mzacha

Posted by Marsha on January 28, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 27, 2009

Healthy Living: It’s a Journey - So Be Good To Yourself

Get it? It’s a double entendre - and so early on a Tuesday morning.

Ok all you 80’s ladies, thought this might bring a smile to your face. The resplendent shag hair cut, the embarrassingly tight, high waisted jeans. The child sized symphonic conductor coat, and hey, is that a square-headed Randy Jackson in a holly hobbie clown suit? (Oy! If ever a band needed a stylist, what's up with all that fabric paint?)

It may be a little too early in the morning to toss your spanks at the computer screen, but sometime today you might want to take a quick 4:03 down memory lane and remember that yes, you did in fact own a tube top! So, come on...close your office door...it's ok...get your rock on! 

Runnin' out of self-control
Gettin' close to an overload
Up against a no win situation
Shoulder to shoulder, push and shove
I'm hangin' up my boxin' gloves
I'm ready for a long vacation (shameless plug)

Be good to yourself when, nobody else will
Oh be good to yourself
You're walkin' a high wire, caught in a cross fire
Oh be good to yourself

When you can't give no more
They want it all but you gotta say no
I'm turnin' off the noise that makes me crazy
Lookin' back with no regrets
To forgive is to forget
I want a little piece of mind to turn to

Be good to yourself when, nobody else will
Oh be good to yourself
You're walkin' a high wire, caught in a cross fire
Oh be good to yourself
Be good to yourself when, nobody else will!

All joking aside, Journey's Greatest Hits is one of my favorite workout tapes...so there you go!

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Posted by Cindy on January 27, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 26, 2009

Weighing In: Changing Behavior by Slowly Adding a New Habit or Modifying an Old One

Many of my friends have started off the year with the best intentions of following through with their New Year's resolutions.  A few have vowed to lose weight, others to stop a bad habit.  I checked in with them recently to ask what progress, if any, each of them had made.

The friends of mine who had started on fad diets were not doing so well and had mostly given up or had switched to a different 'quick' weight loss program.  The only woman who was being successful with her  weight loss goal had slowly adding new habits, or slightly changed old ones.

For example, she started walking a couple times a week, slowly increasing the duration and frequency.  Now she walks almost everyday for at least a half hour. "I couldn't have done it every day right off the bat," she related. "But my philosophy is taking baby steps and not setting the bar too high."

Another friend had decided to cut out going through fast food drive-thrus - not necessarily to shed unwanted pounds, but to start a more healthy eating lifestyle. He didn't stop eating fast food altogether, but simply modified his behavior.  "If I'm going to have a burger and fries, at least I'm going to walk for it!" he explained.  Now he finds that he makes healthier choices for his meals, even when going to a fast food joint.

I'll bet many of you reading this post can see yourselves or your own friends in these examples. Let us know how you're doing on your own resolutions (if you've made any).  How are you doing? Have your goals been realistic?  Are you struggling?  Tell us about your experience!

Posted by Laura on January 26, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 23, 2009

Your Healthy Lifestyle: Are Snowshoes in Your Future?

 Women-snowshoe We received the following write-up from Kim Lung, one of our Green Mountain alumnae, who, like several of us on staff, is a snowshoe addict (well, not that extreme, but she loves it!).

Snowshoeing is a fun, easy addition to a healthy lifestyle that helps you enjoy the delights of the season.  Unlike cross-country skiing which requires a certain amount of skill, balance and athletic ability, snowshoeing is much easier than you might think, and the impact to your knees is less than you might expect. Further, the right snowshoe makes a huge difference in your experience. I’ve compiled some information that can save time and money in selecting snowshoes that will ensure you have fun while you enjoy the snow.

The three big considerations when renting or buying snowshoes is gender, weight and the typical terrain you will snowshoe.  All snowshoes have weight restrictions based on the size of the frame. If you weigh over 180 lbs., you will need a snowshoe that is at least 33-36 inches long. Generally, the greater the weight, the longer the snowshoe for what is called in the industry 'float,' or walking on top of the snow (yes, all snowshoes will sink in fluffy powder but less so with a larger surface area). Also if you are concerned with stability, select a men’s snowshoe because they are a bit wider than woman’s and they keep you on top of the snow a bit better, especially in fluffy, light snow.  

If you only go on groomed trails, you can use smaller shoes with aggressive teeth (crampons) that bite into the ice and densely packed snow. These small sporty snowshoes (around 18-30 inches) will not work as well on powder or fresh snowfall and you may sink down and discover the hardest workout you will ever hope to survive. (I’ve done this, so I know.)

Be sure to check out the binding mechanism, too.  Some snowshoes pivot, causing the snow to flip up off the back when walking. I prefer the type that drags along the snow and doesn't flip up when you bring your leg forward (similar to a flip flop).  This flipping whips snow up the back of your pants and eventually often makes it to the back of your jacket. The non-flipping kind, called floaters, also make it easier to climb over objects because you can move your foot through its full range of motion and engage the teeth better going over logs or up a steep grade.

As far as price, get last year’s model. You can find huge savings on the internet for discontinued models, and all descriptions usually include enough information to ensure you're getting the correct one for you. Don’t spend extra on upgraded bindings. I found them all to be a pain to use, and one was not better than another in the eight pairs of snowshoes that I went through. Columbia makes snow boots that already have the groove for the bindings, but any boot with a firm rubber sole will work well. A nice wide snow boot also improves your ability to float on the snow and keeps your feet from getting cold. Ski poles improve your balance and help you keep a rhythm.  They also provide a means to get some upper body resistance training. Plus, they're invaluable when you fall down and are trying to get up. Get them, they are worth the additional money. Most have interchangeable tips so they can be used for hiking in the summer as well.

Tubbs SnowshoeOne final word of advice. When snowshoeing, try to mimic your natural stride. Keeping your knees stiff and swinging your legs from the hip will cause extreme discomfort when you try to get out of bed the next morning. Practice on a level surface for a bit first till you get comfortable and then hit the great white expanse.

Oh, yeah.  Don't forget to have fun!  Getting out in the woods on snowshoes in the middle of winter, amid nature and its quiet beauty, is awe-inspiring and rejuvenating!

Check out the Tubbs snowshoe site for info on how to dress for snowshoeing as well as basic how-to tips and health benefits.

Posted by Marsha on January 23, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 22, 2009

Healthy Recipe: Lemon Avocado Mousse

Avocado Today's healthy recipe is a refreshing, palate-pleasing appetizer spread from the California Avocado website. A surprisingly complete food, avocados contain fourteen minerals to stimulate growth, including iron and copper for your blood. The sodium and potassium in avocados keeps your body chemically balanced, and their low sugar content and absence of starch make them an ideal fruit for people with type 2 diabetes. Vitamins in avocados include A, several B-complex, C, and E, as well as phosphorus and magnesium. They’re also a great source of antioxidants like vitamins E and C.

Unfortunately, one of the mistakes that women with the diet mentality make is to eliminate or avoid foods like nutrient-rich avocados because they are high in fat.  Making any food or food category 'off limits,' however, often creates a sense of deprivation which can lead to overeating or binge eating. But fats are essential in a healthy eating plan and help us maintain body temperature and even delay hunger pangs.

Makes 4 Servings

½ Cup of Canola Oil
1 ½ Ripe Avocados Chopped
¼ or more, Cup of Lemon Juice (depending on taste)
Salt & Pepper to taste (freshly ground)
Dash of Parmesan Cheese
Dash of Minced Fresh Garlic
few dollops of No fat sour cream

Add all ingredients in order listed above and blend together in a food processor or blender. Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve later with crusty French toasts, crackers, veggies, or shrimp.

Posted by Laura on January 22, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 21, 2009

Tomorrow is Women's Healthy Weight Day!

470286_behind_the_shutter Each year, the Thursday of Healthy Weight Week (third week in January) is devoted to women, to honor size diversity and "confirm that beauty, health and strength come in all sizes, and that talent, love and compassion cannot be weighed." Awards this year go to two winners.

Developed at Trinity University in San Antonio, this research-based program combats media images of female beauty.  As part of its national launch, Fat Talk Free Week was created, featuring a viral video email to raise consciousness about Fat Talk and body dissatisfaction among women.  Research shows it's seeing success: 48% of women at one college who said they "felt fat almost every day" reported eight months later they felt that way never or less than half the time).

Best website: Love Your Body
Sponsored by the National Organization for Women Foundation, this website provides encouragement, and perhaps more importantly, tools to help girls and women "just say no" to destructive media images. It also raises awareness about women's health.  Its message: "...be healthy and love yourself regardless of what the scale says."  In 2009, it will collaborate with the Reflections program to sponsor Fat Talk Free Week in October, the month that NOW promotes its own Love Your Body Day.

Check out both these websites for great information on what you can do to promote size acceptance and good health among women tomorrow and every day.  While you're at it, also consider signing the HAES (Health at Every Size) pledge on Linda Bacon's website Health at Every Size. She's also developing a registry to help folks find HAES resources throughout the country.

Another subject entirely:  For a good laugh, check out The FitBottomed Girls blog post on the Celine Dion Workout!

Posted by Marsha on January 21, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 20, 2009

Healthy Living: A Change Is Gonna Come


No, not that change. Come on now, we’re finally inaugurating a new president. Woo hoo! I’m going out on a limb and say, I’m very excited about this change!

I know Obama's camp has received some criticism about the plethora of slogans he’s used throughout his campaign, but, let’s face it, if you’re not willing to make a change, how can you expect anything different? Something most of you who read here know all too well.

But change can be difficult. It’s not always easy, or pleasant. Yet sometimes change can be invigorating, life changing and empowering.  The long term benefits of healthy change should see us through the rest of your lives. And when you’re closer to the end than the beginning, that becomes all too clear.

At Green Mountain at Fox Run we’ve been talking about change for quite some time. In fact, the brochure which we’ve been sending out for years and years, speaks to the change that occurs for so many women when they come to Vermont. Change of pace, change of heart, change of scene, change of clothes, change of life.

So, whether it’s change in the world, change at work, change in the home or change in your heart, change is necessary to make a difference. Maybe now is the time we can all look inside and see what we can do to be part of something special.                             

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Posted by Cindy on January 20, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 19, 2009

Weighing In: Overcoming Fat Prejudice

Fat prejudice cuts across all races, socio-economic levels, and genders (although women face far more fat discrimination in general).  Overweight people are often subject to public ridicule, but there are more insidious, subtle, and illegal forms as well, especially when it occurs in the workplace.

"Body mass significantly decreases women's family income," a study by two researchers at New York University found. "However...men experience no negative effects of body mass on economic outcomes."

The Last "Accepted" Prejudice?

If you think that, in today's PC environment, state legislatures would have adequately addressed weight discrimination in the workplace by now, think again.

The BigFatBlog claims to have a 'complete' list of states/cities where this type of discrimination is illegal and, if accurate, is discouragingly short: Michigan, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Washington.

The Council on Size and Weight Discrimination's goal "is to end weight discrimination in health care, media, education, employment, social interactions, and many other areas of life."  Their website offers an excellent list of resources for victims of discrimination, or people looking to support their mission.

Be Inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr. to End All Forms of Prejudice

We've used a fitting quote for MLK day is our Beauty Tip for the week: 

"A man can't ride your back unless its bent."

Keep the dream alive for all people! Become empowered. If you feel you are the victim of weight discrimination, know your rights.  If you want to help end this pervasive prejudice in today's society, try changing your own attitudes and speaking up when you see examples of discrimination around you.

For more information, take a look at other weight neutral / fat acceptance websites and blogs such as the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance or Health At Every Size.

Posted by Laura on January 19, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack