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March 23, 2009

Spring into Shape: Our Diabetes and Mother's Day Program Deals

444976647_d67199d2a7 Spring is a time to celebrate renewal and hope…just what Green Mountain is all about! There's a lot happening these days and we wanted to mention few of the special programs and offers we have going on this spring.

Join us April 19–25 for Living Well™ with Type 2 Diabetes, a residential program featuring faculty from the world-renowned Joslin Diabetes Center, affiliated with Harvard Medical School in Boston. The week-long program will be offered at Green Mountain at Fox Run to introduce women with type 2 diabetes to an integrated lifestyle and mind/body approach to mastering the disease. Book by April 3rd and get a $500 discount.

Book our special "Spring into Shape" offer by April 15th for any stay through May 2nd and receive our value season rates and a room upgrade.

We've got the perfect Mother's Day gift for you! May is Mother-Daughter-Sister month at Green Mountain, and participants in this family-focused program receive a ten percent discount. Together, you can re-frame your attitudes about weight and healthy eating and become mindful again.

Photo by Per Ola Wiberg via flickr.

Posted by Emily on March 23, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 24, 2009

Healthy Eating: Flippity-Flop the Potassium and Salt

Cindy's taking some rare time down the first part of this week, but faithfully left this look at what we eat for me to post in her stead.  Enjoy that massage, girl!

K8666-1i On average, Americans eat twice as much sodium (salt) as potassium, just too darn much of the stuff -- and much of it unknowingly.  Since convenience is king, most Americans still buy lots of processed foods which contain oodles of sodium.  If you're leaving the grocery store with most of your goodies in a can or box, it's highly likely you're consuming much more than the 2300 milligrams of sodium recommended by The American Dietetic Association

The truth is, salt makes food taste better -- so what's a salt-lover to do?

Findings from a new study at Loyola University Chicago provide interesting insight into the intriguing and ever-sexy world of dietary minerals.  Turns out encouraging a more intimate relationship between potassium and sodium may have some really important heart health benefits.

"Potassium and sodium are like peas in a pod, except they're in opposite pods," says epidemiologist Paul Whelton, president and chief executive of the Loyola University Health System in Chicago and one of the authors of the study. "This is the first study to show that the two together give you a benefit over and above what you can get with either one."

Healthy eating might mean simply consuming half as much sodium as potassium.  The recommended daily intake of potassium is around 4,700 mg -- twice as much as sodium. But researchers speculate that more potassium may even 'soften the blow' of higher amounts of sodium.  What are good sources of potassium?  Fruits (especially dried fruits like apricots, raisins and dates), avocados, nuts, beans, potatoes (both white and sweet) and brightly-colored vegetables.

We read and review lots of studies here at A Weight Lifted, and more often than not, it comes back to what your grandma told your momma, and hopefully your momma told you , "Eat your fruits and vegetables, eat fresh, and use salt to taste -- preferably from your own hand."


Posted by Marsha on February 24, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 16, 2009

Blood Pressure in People with Metabolic Syndrome More Sensitive to Salt Intake

Salt shaker Metabolic syndrome increases the risk of developing  type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  One is five people are affected, and that rate increases as people age. Salt reduction in people with metabolic syndrome may help play a role in early intervention, and more effective treatment.

Now a study from China examines the connection between metabolic syndrome and blood pressure sensitivity.  Metabolic syndrome was defined as the presence of three or more of: abdominal obesity, raised blood pressure, high triglyceride concentration, low HDL cholesterol, or high glucose.

Nearly 2000 Chinese volunteers, who did not have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, were put diets with varying levels of sodium. Compared with those with no risk factors, participants with four or five risk factors for metabolic syndrome had a three-and-a-half times higher risk of high salt-sensitivity during the low sodium phase and a three-fold higher risk of high salt-sensitivity during the high-sodium phase.

"Metabolic syndrome enhances blood pressure response to sodium intake," writes Dr. Jing Chenin, in an online article soon to be published in The Lancet. "Reduction in sodium intake could be an especially important component in reducing blood pressure in patients with multiple risk factors for metabolic syndrome."

Learn more about the metabolic syndrome (also known as Syndrome) and insulin resistance.

Posted by Laura on February 16, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 11, 2009

Healthy Eating: The Best Way to Resist Temptation

In one of my many conversations recently about healthy lifestyle management, the question came up about the best way to resist eating foods that we believe might not be the best choice for us at the moment.  To wit, the upcoming chocolate celebration known as Valentine's Day, which Cindy so aptly discussed yesterday. 


Cindy talked about enjoying chocolate in moderation, knowing we can have some again later.  But many of us struggle with just eating one or two.  We have experienced having one, then another, then another....before we know it, it's all gone.

So how do we break this cycle?  The best way is to really not want more.  And just how do we do that? 

Mindful Eating is the Key

Tuning into what we really want is what mindful eating is all about.  When we're paying attention, we're better able to find the point at which we have had enough.  Our bodies were designed to be able to tell us that but weight loss diets have taught us differently.  Weight loss diets either leave us feeling hungry much of the time, or set us up for feelings of deprivation that leave us in a state that a whole box of chocolates may not even really ameliorate.  Especially when we're left feeling guilty for eating the whole thing.

To take care of these two major problems, we teach at Green Mountain two basic principles of mindful eating: regular, balanced eating, and eating what you want. 

Regular, Balanced Eating

This one is relatively simple.  Just feed yourself balanced meals/snacks on a regular basis.  People normally get hungry every 3-5 hours or so (it can vary depending on the person and on how much we eat at any one meal or snack), so if you're not sure when you're hungry, start eating on this 'schedule' for a while, and you'll help yourself get back in touch with what true physical hunger feels like.

Eating What We Want

This one can be more challenging.  For some of us, it's just a matter of giving ourselves permission, to get rid of the negative thoughts that cloud our judgment.  We can tell ourselves it's okay to eat chocolate (or whatever is our 'thing'), and we can go on to enjoy it in moderation.

For others of  us, however, we've been dieting too long.  Or if we haven't been dieting, we've been believing we need to be, so we might as well have been as far as our ability to feed ourselves in a way that satisfies is concerned. We might need to move slowly, giving ourselves opportunities to enjoy foods we fear in a relatively controlled way.  For example, instead of the whole box of chocolates, we might better enjoy a small package that limits how much we have access to at any one moment.  Instead of buying the half gallon of ice cream, we might better manage a trip to the ice cream store to enjoy a cone -- single, double or triple dip, you decide -- or the hot fudge sundae.  A triple dip or a sundae is an improvement over the whole half gallon.

Putting It Together

The first step in mindful eating -- eating regular, balanced meals/snacks -- helps immensely with the second step.  When we're hungry, it takes more to satisfy us.  When we eat foods we fear after a period of feeding ourselves well, it doesn't take as much to satisfy.  So we don't have to deal with the fear that arises if we think we're eating 'too much.'  That assumes, however, that we're eating the food without feelings of guilt, which will interfere with our ability to feel satisfied.

Remember, too, that it took a while to develop the attitudes and behaviors that confound our eating.  Many of us have been dieting -- and binge eating as a result --for years.  Being patient with ourselves, knowing we'll have ups and downs (actually, that's a part of normal eating, not just dieting recovery), will help us move forward instead of returning to old behaviors when we think we're not doing as well as we 'should.'

That brings up one of my favorite sayings:  Let's stop shoulding on ourselves.

Have a happy Valentine's Day!

Posted by Marsha on February 11, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 16, 2009

Diabetes: Curvy Women More Protected Against Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Got curves?

Well, a new study (performed on mice) from Harvard Medical School suggests that 'pear-shaped' bodies, i.e., those of us with a little extra padding on the hips and buttocks, may be less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than 'apples' (people who tend to have extra fat around the middle).

Not all fat is bad, relates Dr Ronald Kahn, research team leader. He and his colleagues believe that different substances in fat determine different risk levels and, if isolated, could lead to new medications to help Type 2 diabetes management.

Are You a Woman or a Mouse?

Kahn cautioned that because the report is based on the manipulation of fat cells in mice, that "it would be misleading (or wrong) at this stage to link the results of this work to whether a person is at more or less risk of developing Type 2 diabetes because of the size of their buttocks...Maintaining a healthy weight through a healthy balanced diet low in fat, salt and sugar and with plenty of fruit and vegetables is by far the best way for most people to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes."

Posted by Laura on January 16, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 14, 2009

Healthy Weight vs. Normal Weight: Who's to Say?

1077713_scale_series_5 I had such a hard time deciding on a post topic this morning.  There are so many good/important things to post about. What finally won was another discussion of Oprah's weight.  

But no salacious comments here. 

The question at hand is not Oprah's up-and-down battle with serious weight loss but the measure by which many of us define success. Is it the government's definition of 'normal,' which is defined by the body mass index?  Or is it a weight at which we feel well, function well, and at which a variety of health parameters (such as blood glucose or cholesterol) tell us we're doing fine?

For a great discussion of this, check out the article by Paul Campos, author of The Obesity Myth, in Rocky Mountain News.

If you can get on board with this, I vote that we all give up talking about our weight (and weighing ourselves -- toss out that scale!).  If we want to talk, let's discuss our healthy lifestyle habits instead.   Positive = Forward.

Posted by Marsha on January 14, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack

December 26, 2008

Diabetes: Study Shows Regular Exercise Might Prevent Onset Of Diabetes In Black Women

Not many studies have been conducted on exercise and type 2 diabetes prevention in black women. But a recent publication in the American Journal of Epidemiology shows that several brisk walks per week can help to lower black women's type 2 diabetes risk.

Julie Palmer of Boston University and her colleagues reviewed data from the Black Women's Health Study which is currently following 45,000 black women between 1995 to 2005.

Women who reported walking at least five hours per week as part of their healthy lifestyle were one-third less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than non-walkers. Even with accounting for age, income, diet - even obesity - the chances of being diagnosed w/ the disease were also significantly lower among women routinely took brisk walks.

"This is important," notes Palmer, "because it suggests a way to reduce diabetes risk even among the women who are at highest risk of the disease." 

Posted by Laura on December 26, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

December 22, 2008

Diabetes: American Idol Judge Randy Jackson Diabetes Webcast on Heart of Diabetes

The American Heart Association wants the public to "Get in the K.N.O.W." about type 2 diabetes with American Idol Judge Randy Jackson.  Below is a youtube video of Randy Jackson talking about his part in the campaign to raise awareness about the disease.

K.N.O.W stands for...

Keeping active and maintaining a healthy body weight.
A healthy body weight can reduce the risk for high blood cholesterol and high blood pressure, which are common risk factors for cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death among people with diabetes. Work with a healthcare provider to determine the level and type of exercise that’s right for you.
Normalizing your critical health numbers.
Schedule regular visits with your healthcare provider to help monitor your critical health numbers (blood sugar, blood pressure and blood cholesterol). By learning to carefully monitor and keep track of your numbers, you should be able to better manage the disease.
Opting for a healthy lifestyle.
Opt to make healthy, balanced food choices. Reducing your consumption of saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, sodium and added sugars can help you manage your type 2 diabetes. Also, avoid tobacco smoke – people who have type 2 diabetes and smoke are three times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than nonsmokers.
Working with a healthcare provider.
Speak openly and honestly with your healthcare provider and describe your symptoms. Your healthcare provider can help you develop a comprehensive treatment plan that will help you reach treatment goals and ultimately better manage your type 2 diabetes.

Together, the AHA past-president Dr. Daniel Jones and Jackson have published a webcast hoping to share more information about type 2 diabetes and diabetes management strategies. The type 2 diabetes webcast is available in audio or video formats on the iknowdiabetes.org website.

Posted by Laura on December 22, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 17, 2008

Women's Weight Loss: 'Tis the Season to Be Kind

I had a wonderful interaction with a family member this morning.  Amazingly, it was echoed in my horoscope today on DailyOM, the site I've mentioned before that is often uncannily relevant to what's going on in my life.  Won't get into the generality of horoscopes -- I know they often can apply to anyone. But the words I get in a daily e-letter from DailyOM seem to go beyond that.

But to my real reason for even mentioning this. The horoscope talks about doing something for others with a 'kind and open heart.'  It brought to mind for me the need for women struggling with body image and healthy weight loss and maintenance to be kind to themselves.  Because once we begin to treat ourselves gently, we find we can treat others much more gently -- especially those with similar struggles. And when it comes to healthy lifestyle management, fitness and diet, there's a real need for gentle treatment.  

Of course, one of the things we're most tough on ourselves about during the holiday season is our desire to eat all the great treats of the season -- and our indulgence in doing it. So it bears repeating on this blog that is all about learning to take care of ourselves well, that indulgence is good for us in moderation.  So go ahead, indulge!  Here are a few tips from our article "Go Ahead, Indulge!" that talks about holiday overeating.

  • Feed yourself.
  • Be choosy.
  • Eat mindfully.
  • Cultivate a discriminating palate. 
  • Keep moving. 
  • Enjoy the season!  
For details on doing all that, read our Fitbriefing that defines healthy weight loss foods a bit differently.

Posted by Marsha on December 17, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 01, 2008

Diabetes: How Genes May Affect Your Reaction to Metabolic Stress

Metabolic diseases including type 2 diabetes are a product of genes and lack of a healthy eating lifestyle. Now brand new research shows a link between a person's genetic profile and his or her metabolism.

Researchers at the Helmholtz Zentrum München examined genetic and metabolite data from volunteers, pinpointing the various genetic markers responsible for the metabolism of sugars, carbs, and lipids in the body. Different gene expressions demonstrated a corresponding variation in metabolic function patterns.

"These are at least partly comparable to the different varieties of hair color which are due to genetic variations," explains researcher Karsten Suhre. Redheads, for example, are more sensitive to  sunlight than brunettes.  "For example, differences in hair color are apparent to the observer at first glance. However, in the case of metabolism it takes much more effort to identify the role which the respective gene variant plays in the metabolism of the affected person," Karsten Suhre explained.

While one group is able to react relatively robustly to "metabolic stress", e.g. in the form of a short-term nutritional deficiency or a high-fat diet, another group may have more or less pronounced physical impairments, the precise extent of which can now be ascertained in follow-up studies.

(Medical News Today)

By identifying such genetic variations linked to the differences in metabolic function, new genetic testing methods may aid in assessing risk for type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases as well as an individual's potential sensitivity to medications. In doing so, physicians may be able to minimize risk to their patients and maximize health benefits by personalizing medical treatment in the future.

Posted by Laura on December 1, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack