Think fast – and lose weight?

There’s a new buzz word that I’ve been seeing popping up on the internet in the diet world lately: Intermittent fasting.

Continue reading “Think fast – and lose weight?”

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Spring brings nutritional tidings

National Nutrition Month

We are officially in March – only a hop, skip, and a jump away from spring! As I sit here writing this now, we in Arizona are experiencing a seasonally appropriate rain and thunderstorm, good for all those backyard gardens and local farmers in the prickly desert.

March is also a very active holiday month, health-wise. It is the official national month for nutrition, in its 40th year! National Nutrition Month was first started as early as 1973, with the tag line “Invest in Yourself—Buy Nutrition.” After 40 years, those words still ring true. As a student member of the American Dietetics Association, I couldn’t pass up a chance to remind everyone just how important nutrition is in everyone’s quality of life – now, and in the future. If you’re investing in healthy, “whole foods” (as in, not processed, in a box or in a can, and is a recognizable food by itself) now, will guarantee a much healthier you as you age.

Today’s Standard American Diet (SAD) has increased the rates of Americans developing cancer, heart disease, problems associated with obesity (diabetes, sleep apnea, etc.), and stroke. And it’s all pretty much preventable, if you are putting the right things in your body so that it can work right for you.

Sure, everyone knows they should “eat better,” but not everyone knows how. Here are some resources from the American Dietetic Association that will help you get a leg-up on educating yourself on food. Or if you’re not into a lot of heavy reading, there’s always magical YouTube!

I, personally, am subscribed to several YouTube channels, including:

And there are probably many, many more for healthy cooking, eating, and excerising. Get your learn on, and invest in yourself!

I am also posting this at the tail end of School Breakfast week. I have already ranted and railed about the benefits of eating breakfast, so I won’t repeat myself *grin* But as a way of celebrating school food, check your local theatre listings and educate yourself on hunger in America and its effect on children with a new movie that opened up last week, called A Place at the Table.

It’s a great month to start eating right. It’s spring, when many ancient cultures used to honor as their “New Year.” It’s a time to turn over a new leaf along with the trees, bushes, and plants this season! So take a class. Watch a video. Make an appointment with a dietician. Throw a few seeds in the ground and start a garden. The time is right.

March Food Holidays

• Maple Sugar Month
• National Nutrition Month
• National Frozen Food Month
• Great American Meatout Month
• National Peanut Month
• National Sauce Month
• National Flour Month
• National Noodle Month
• International Hamburger & Pickle Month

• School Breakfast Week (Mar 3 – Mar 9)
• Chocolate Week (Mar 10 – Mar 16)
• National Agricultural Week (Mar 17 – Mar 23)

March 1
National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day

March 2
National Banana Cream Pie Day

March 3
National Mulled Wine Day

March 4
National Pound Cake Day

March 5
National Cheese Doodle Day

March 6
National Frozen Food Day

March 7
National Crown Roast of Pork Day

March 8
National Peanut Cluster Day

March 9
National Crabmeat Day

March 10
National Blueberry Popover Day

March 11
National Oatmeal-Nut Waffle Day

March 12
National Baked Scallops Day

March 13
National Coconut Torte Day

March 14
National Potato Chip Day

March 15
National Pears Helene Day

March 16
National Artichoke Hearts Day

March 17
National Green Beer Day

March 18
National Lacy Oatmeal Cookie Day

March 19
National Chocolate Carmel Day

March 20
National Ravioli Day

March 21
National French Bread Day

March 22
National Bavarian Crepes Day

March 23
National Chip and Dip Day

March 24
National Chocolate Covered Raisins Day

March 25
National Lobster Newburg Day

March 26
National Nougat Day

March 27
National Spanish Paella Day

March 28
National Black Forest Cake Day
Something On A Stick Day

March 29
National Lemon Chiffon Cake Day

March 30
Turkey Neck Soup Day

March 31
National Clams on the Half Shell Day
Oranges and Lemons Day
Tater Day

Health Awareness Holidays

• Save Your Vision Month
• Workplace Eye Health and Safety Month
• National Nutrition Month
• American Red Cross Month
• Eye Donor Month
• Mental Retardation Awareness Month
• National Brain Injury Awareness Month
• National Endometriosis Awareness Month
• National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
• National Multiple Sclerosis Education and Awareness Month
• Great American Meatout
• Hemophilia Month
• Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Awareness Month
• Colorectal Awareness Month

• Brain Awareness Week
• Root Canal Awareness Week
• National Sleep Awareness Week
• National School Breakfast Week
• Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week
• National Patient Safety Awareness Week
• National Problem Gambling Awareness Week
• National Inhalants and Poisons Awareness Week
• National Poison Prevention Week
• Pulmonary Rehabilitation Week (Mar 10 – Mar 16)
• Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Week (Mar 3 – Mar 9)
• Save Your Vision Week (Mar 3 – Mar 9)
• Brain Awareness Week (Mar 10 – Mar 16)
• Inhalants and Poisons Awareness Week (Mar 17 – Mar 23)
• Poison Prevention Week (Mar 17 – Mar 23)

• World Kidney Day
• American Diabetes Alert Day
• No Smoking Day (United Kingdom, second Wednesday in March)
• World Water Day or World Day for Water (March 22)

March Gardening Holidays

• March 11: Johnnie Appleseed Day
• March 20: National Agriculture Day
• March 21: National Flower Day
• March 21: National Fragrance Day

Reinvigorating your healthy New Year’s resolution

By Lindsey Gemme

We’re one month into the new year already. So how’s that New Year’s resolution coming along? Let me guess—and stop me if you’ve heard this before—“I’m going to start exercising more, eating better, and lose ‘x-amount’ of pounds in 2012”? I thought so. Those professions of personal betterment are in the top 10 resolutions Americans make every year, right along with quitting smoking, and getting a better education.

Surprisingly, only about 67 percent of Americans make resolutions each year. But of that small pool of annual oath-makers, according to Cone Health: The Network for Exceptional Care, about 19 percent of Americans make a pact with themselves to lose weight in the new year, and about 10 percent have ambitions of fitting in more exercise into their lives.

The bad wrap resolutions get is, unfortunately, well-earned. Only one in five Americans (about 20 percent) manage to carry out their resolutions for a full year.

And the shocker? A whopping 35 percent don’t even get their resolutions off the ground and into practice. They merely stay in the “wouldn’t it be nice someday” idea box. After all, there’s always next year.

But I get it. Taking health into our own hands is often times a difficult task, especially if you aren’t used to doing it. And trying to start coming right out of the holiday nutrient stupor is a challenge in itself. Making an exercise regiment when you are grievously out of shape is easily off-putting. I’ve been there. For the instant-gratification generation we’ve become, it’s nearly torture to stick it out until we start seeing results.

And giving up those high-salt and high-sugar treats for plain veggies and fruits can feel like a chore, especially for those who don’t have that much experience in the kitchen and know how to spice things up.

Also, doing it all on your own is another nail in that resolution’s coffin. If you don’t have a friend or mentor to keep you on the straight and narrow, it makes it too easy for a person to slack, and eventually give up. The buddy-system is not for the weak. It’s for the determined.

When making resolutions, you have to mean what you say. Put together a plan that will not only help you attain your goal realistically, but put a plan into place that will also hold you accountable as you journey into the great unknown. Put in safeguards that will guarantee to put that fire under your butt when you start falling behind. We all need it!

And we have to make time for it. We all have made the same complaint at least once in our lives: We don’t have time. Sometimes you just have to make it a priority for some things and just do it. You’ll be surprised what other things fall away that aren’t that important – and how much time you used to waste flipping through TV channels or scrolling through your Facebook or Twitter feeds.

The world wide web has a cache of gems all over the place to solve problems like this, if you know where to Google. Here are some ideas to get your goals into a weekly practice.

If you’re looking for groups or partners to get together regularly for the same purpose of exercise, there are options. For support groups, visit either Peer Trainer, or Meet-Up.com for groups interested in doing fitness together.

Don’t have any support groups near you? Start your own! Meetup.com is a handy social site that allows you to start a group with any theme or intention in mind, from general social outings, to quilting. Invite people, and get a team going!

Here are some other helpful links to get you started:
http://dailyexercise.livejournal.com/
http://www.dailystrength.org/c/Fitness-Goals/support-group

Healthy Eating
Some parts of the “eating healthy and exercising more” process is a little more solitary. Learning what to eat and how to eat can be confusing, as there are so many sources out there. And they seemingly conflict each other on a regular basis.

The Academy Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) website Eatright.org/, the official organization for professional dieticians, has any number of resources for those wanting to learn feed their bodies right. VisitAND’s website and read up on any recent food news, or get information on basic nutrition, and healthy, fast recipes – for you, and your family.

Oh wait: There’s an app for that.

Right? Of course. There’s an “app” for everything these days for our cell phones. If you’re always on the go, but live and die by your cell phone, have AND help you discern what apps are right for you. To read the reviews on the sundry health apps, go to AND’s website for information on weight management, gluten-free diet, and diabetes-related app information.

Tracking Your Progress
Once you’ve figured out how to eat right, it takes a little practice, and a little work, to track your dietary choices, and how to correct those offending eating habits.Some people are more visual, so being able to chart your progress can be very satisfying. There are sundry ways to do this. In the age of the Internet, you can google “online fitness logs” and get any number of websites (like FitDay or Online Logs websites) dedicated to giving you a space to chart your fitness goals.

Or for those that are a little more tactile, there are plenty of websites that offer downloads and printable sheets to help you chart your progress manually. Alternatively, for those not extremely comfortable with the computer, check out http://www.amazon.com or your local bookstore for a “fitness diary” or “nutrition diary.

Need a hand calculating those calories and carbs for your logs? It’s probably one of the trickiest parts about learning how to lose weight properly. But don’t worry, no problem! A great desk reference guide is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’s (formally known as the American Dietetics Association), Complete Guide to Carb Counting, which lists the nutrition information for everything from blueberries to a baked potato.Now you have the tools – good luck, and may you go forth and live a healthier 2012!