Health & Nutrition blog
As we come to the end of the summer, don’t forget, grilling is STILL one of the best preparations for food.
While the average outdoor cookout meal exceeds 1500 calories, or almost an entire day’s worth of calories in one meal, the good news is with some minor adjustments, the barbecue season doesn’t have to be fattening. Read the following tips to grill your way lean!
On the Grill: Believe it or not, grilling is actually a very healthy way to cook meat. Of course the type of meat that you choose will make all of the difference. Burgers and hot dogs are traditional barbecue meats, but they aren’t the healthiest.
Here are 4 Tips To Make the Barbecue Work For Your waistline:
1. Choose the correct cuts of meat:
Choose lean cuts of beef, pork or poultry
Marinade with low fat dressing
Make hamburgers with extra-lean ground beef
Take the skin off chicken before grilling
Replace beef patties with ground turkey patties
Grill up salmon or cod
Forego the meat and grill veggie burgers
Side Dishes: This is where most people run into trouble. Barbecue side dishes are typically filled with loads of fat. Creamy coleslaw and potato salads can hold as much as 15 grams of fat per serving. Try the following instead:
2. Don’t Forget The Vegys!
Make veggie kabobs and grill them
Grill bok choy (see recipe below)
Replace the mayo in your salads with low-fat mayo
Serve fresh salad with light vinaigrette
Try whole-grain macaroni for your pasta salad
Grill up corn on the cob (pass on the butter)
Put out a veggie tray with low fat dip
Drinks: Most people don’t realize that beverages play a big role in summer weight gain. Margaritas, beer, soda and punch all contain lots of empty calories. Try the following:
3. Don’t Drink Those Extra Calories:
Drink water, it is always your healthiest option
Stick with light beer
If you have to have a soda stick with diet
Brew unsweetened ice tea and serve with lemon
Dessert: Yes, there are ways to satisfy your sweet tooth while getting lean. Think outside of the box instead of turning to the typical fattening options like ice cream, pie, cake or cookies. Try the following:
4. Don’t Forget Dessert!
Grill mango, banana and pineapple on kabobs
Stick with sorbet instead of ice cream
Replace peach pie with grilled peach halves
Choose light ice cream over regular
Remember, it’s ok to splurge every once in a while. Enjoy yourself. Just keep in mind that by taking a few of the above suggestions you can enjoy great food while getting back into great shape.
Let’s face it, some days you just don’t feel like exercising. You get too busy, too stressed and quite simply too tired. Here’s a list of great reasons to stay motivated to exercise. Pull out this list and read it when you’re having one of those days.
1. To Prevent Disease
Exercise has been proven to reduce the risk of just about every single health problem known to man, from stroke to heart disease to cancer and osteoporosis. Exercise is also a great defense against type 2 diabetes, which is one of the most widely growing diseases of our time.
2. To Look Great
Exercise firms your body, improves posture and even makes your skin glow. Looking your best is a wonderful result of regular exercise.
3. To Lose Weight and Keep It Off
Exercise burns fat and prevents future fat storage. If you want to have a thinner, healthier body, exercise is the answer.
4. To Have More Energy
Anyone who exercises regularly will tell you that they are more energetic, less easily irritated and are more peaceful.
5. To Sleep Better
Exercise boosts energy levels, but also wears you out. It makes you feel more vibrant during the day and sleep better at night.
6. To Age Slower
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to fight aging. When you age your body loses muscle and bone, while the loss of both are drastically reduced with regular exercise. Exercise also helps reduce inflammation.
7. To Relieve Back Pain
In most cases, the best thing that you can do for back pain is to move and strengthen those muscles. Consult your physician or physical therapist for guidance.
8. To Ease Depression
Exercise has been proven to reduce depression – sometimes even as effectively as medication. Just chalk this up as yet another amazing benefit to exercise.
9. To Reduce Aches and Pains
By strengthening muscles around your damaged joints you’re able to use exercise to reduce joint pain and overall aches. Always consult your physician before starting an exercise program, especially if you have chronic joint pain.
10. To Stay Mentally Sharp
Exercise has been shown to improve memory and other cognitive functions, and seems to have a protective effect against dementia. A Harvard University researcher called exercise “Miracle-Gro for the brain.”
11. To Enjoy Your Lifestyle
Whatever it is that you love in life – your kids, travel, sports, fashion – it is all more enjoyable when experienced in a fit and healthy body. Exercise so that you are able to enjoy all the great things in life.
12. To Reduce Sick Days
People who exercise regularly are 50% less likely to call in sick to work. A regular exercise program reduces colds and upper respiratory infections.
13. To Boost Confidence
Being fit, feeling healthy and having energy are all building blocks to having great confidence. There is no better confidence booster than sticking with a regular exercise program.
One of the most important things you can do to achieve and maintain good health is very simple: Drink lots of water! Water revitalizes your body and flushes out toxins. In addition, people often think they’re hungry when in fact they’re only thirsty. Accordingly, drinking water can help you lose weight as well. The amount of water you need will vary, depending partly on your activity level. If you’re not active, you should drink a minimum of eight cups of water per day. If you’re working out regularly, you’ll probably need more to replace fluids lost during exercise. The following conditions may indicate that you’re not getting enough water:
- loss of appetite
- flushed skin
- heat intolerance
- dark urine with a strong odor
These days, you face a choice of spring water, mineral water, tap water, sparkling water, and various other options. Which one’s for you? The most convenient choice is water from your faucet. Tap water contains a variety of useful minerals. In many areas, however, it also contains contaminants such as pesticides, chlorine byproducts, and harmful microorganisms. If you’re concerned about contamination, bottled water is an option. Some bottled water is merely tap water, however, and many people argue that bottling and shipping water is bad for the environment. Accordingly, you might choose to drink tap water that has been run through a water purifier, which filters out some contaminants. No matter what kind of water you choose, the bottom line is to drink lots of it!
What are your habits?
Do you eat the same thing for lunch, go through the same exercise routine, and fall into bed at the same time each night?
Or maybe you’ve made a habit out of eating whatever looks good, avoiding the gym, and staying up as late as possible.
John Dryden famously said, “We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.”
Confucius said, “Men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that separate them.”
And Aristotle noticed that, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”
It’s pretty clear that the habits you adopt will shape who you are. When it comes to your body, the two habits that define your physique are your eating and exercise habits. In fact, everyone that you know who is in great shape has dialed in these two important habits. If you aren’t happy with your body, then simply adjust your eating and exercise habits. Here’s how to adopt a habit of healthy living:
1) Decide on the ONE habit that you would like to develop. It’s tempting to pick up 3 or 4 healthy habits, but choosing just one new habit is realistic and doable.
Here are some healthy habit ideas:
- Do not eat after 7pm each night.
- Bring your lunch to work instead of eating fast food.
- Exercise 4 times a week after work for 45 minutes each time.
- Only eat fruits and veggies as your afternoon snack.
- Get up early and exercise for an hour each morning.
- Work with a personal trainer 3 times a week.
2) Write your new habit down on paper. Also include your 3 main motivators for developing this new habit, the obstacles you’ll face, and your strategies for overcoming these obstacles.
3) Commit fully to your new habit, in a public way. This could mean posting it on facebook, or simply announcing it at the dinner table. Put yourself in a position where you’ll be embarrassed to give up on your new habit.
4) Keep track of your progress. You could keep a detailed journal or simply make a check mark on each calendar day that you successfully exercise your new habit.
5) Keep yourself publically accountable. This means either status updates on facebook or verbal status updates at the dinner table. Your friends and family are in a position to offer you support, so don’t shy away from those close to you.
6) When you fail, figure out what went wrong so that you can plan around it in the future.
7) Reward yourself for your success.
Once your new habit becomes second nature, usually in about 30 days, feel free to add a second habit by going through the same 7 steps.
David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding sure think so. They did write the book on it: Drink This Not That. They’ve even gone so far as to claim that you could lose up to 32 pounds in a year just by changing what you drink.
What most people don’t know is that it’s a lot easier to drink extra calories than to eat it. So you really need to pay attention to what you’re sipping on.
Here is a sample of what their book has to offer.
While a cup of hot coffee or a glass of lowfat milk are both great ways to start your day, beware of the smoothie trap. More often than not smoothies are closer to milkshakes than protein shakes.
A study done at Virginia Polytechnic Institute showed that people who drink 17oz of water before sitting down for a meal ended up eating 9 percent fewer calories. Those calories can really add up over time.
When the afternoon rolls around most of us are ready for a pick-me-up. Too often caffeinated drinks are loaded with waist-expanding calories.
There’s no good reason to follow up a great workout with a sugar-filled beverage, even if it makes claims for quick recovery and muscle growth. After exercise your body is in need of protein, carbohydrates and potassium, so choose a beverage filled with these three.
There are known benefits to drinking alcohol in moderation (one or two drinks per day) such as raised HDL (good) cholesterol, boost in bloodflow, and improved sugar metabolism. A recent study in the journal BMC Public Health reported that people who have a daily drink were 54 percent less likely to be obese. However, it’s called a beer belly for good reason, since many alcoholic beverages are loaded with calories.
Recent studies are reporting that most of us drink 21 percent of our daily calories. That adds up to an average of 460 calories each day. It’s easy to see how these calories quickly add up into unwanted pounds. Pay extra attention to what you drink throughout each day. Make it a habit to pass on the calorie-packed drinks and to focus on drinking lots of water. Remember that small changes to your lifestyle over time will make the difference.
Consumer Reports latest tests of canned foods, including soups, juice, tuna, and green beans, have found that almost all of the 19 name-brand foods they tested contain some BPA. BPA has been linked to breast and colon cancer.
So, although it may be convenient to pull a can off the shelf for dinner, it may be worth the time to make a big pot of fresh soup and freeze some in BPA free containers. “I know. It seems like everything causes cancer these days. I think we need to get back to living more simply, when there wasn’t so much technology. You grew your food (without pesticides). You ate your food. And if it’s something the FDA is talking about, I’d rather get a jump on it than wait for an official regulation,” says Beth Mills.
I am excited to announce a new relationship between Capitol Rehab and The Humble Gormand . We are committed to the future of organic food and sustainable farming, so getting the opportunity to work with the Founder of The Humble Gourmand, Alison Pierce, promises to be a rewarding endeavor. Without further adieu, I would like to introduce everyone to Alison Pierce and let her tell us a little more about “Bringing the Farm to You”.
Grass-fed or corn-fed? Organic? Free-range? All-natural?
The terms confronting us in the grocery aisle these days are bewildering, but knowing they mean different things to different companies and farmers compounds the confusion.
Perhaps you’ve gone further and seen Food Inc., FRESH, King Corn, or another of the many food documentaries released recently. You may have found that a little knowledge goes a long way in driving educated consumers away from traditional food-purchasing channels (grocery stores, wholesale clubs) and toward locally, responsibly raised produce, meats, poultry, game, dairy, and eggs.
There are myriad reasons to eat locally grown food, including pasture-raised meats:
- Insulation from nationwide food safety scares (such as e. coli and salmonella outbreaks)
- Sustainable environmental impact
- Proper treatment of animals
- Health benefits (including ideal balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats)
- Ideal quality & taste
Yet in a reflection of the unfortunate, backwards priorities of the American food system, it isn’t always easy to obtain locally & responsibly grown food. To eat the way nature intended you must take extra steps to seek out farms and farmers’ markets in your area. That’s getting easier these days, given the explosion of interest and the Washington area’s support for “slower” food in restaurants, stores, and markets.
The Humble Gourmand takes this concept a bit further, delivering food from small Chesapeake Bay watershed farmers to customers in DC and NoVa. At the HG’s online store, we sell:
Deliveries are made to three pickup locations in NoVa once a week. Home and office deliveries are also available, subject to an order minimum and small delivery fee. It doesn’t get much easier than that – unless you’re ready to dive into farming yourself! We are thrilled to be part of a growing, grassroots movement that is certain to change the face of American eating: out with the hormones, chemicals, antibiotics, preservatives, and disease; in with the fresh, tasty, healthy food!
You can visit The Humble Gourmand’s online store at http://humblegourmand.com
About the author:
Alison McConnell Pierce founded The Humble Gourmand in 2007. A chef by trade, she also teaches fitness, cooking, and nutrition classes at Potomac CrossFit in Arlington. She travels occasionally to give cooking seminars and private lessons in clients’ homes. Alison is a resident of Del Ray, Alexandria. Contact her with questions at email@example.com or (202) 286-5572.
Like most people, I have historically been terrified of my annual visit to see the dentist. Historically, at the end of my dental visit, that little blue bib thing that they tie around your neck would look like a scene from “Saw 4″!
This was before I grew up, and realized that dental technology, like most medical practices has evolved and improved greatly. When you find a highly skilled and highly competent Dentist, the experience can actually be enjoyable, almost sureal.
But more importantly, regular dental visits do more than just guarantee clean teeth. The link between gum disease and heart disease continues to investigated and substantiated.
There are several theories for this critical link:
-Oral Bacteria can enter affect the heart when it enters the blood stream and attaches to the fatty plaques in the coronary arteries,
-The inflammation caused by periodontal disease increases plaque buildup,
-Researchers have found that people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease as those without periodontal gum disease.
So with October being National Dental Hygiene Month, take the opportunity to schedule that dentist appointment and get that mouth worked on!
If you would like the names of some great dentists, feel free to email me at DrBooker@CapitolRehab.com.
To understand food is to understand body chemistry. In a nutshell, certain food increase inflammation and therfore pain, while certain foods reduce inflammation. Here is a short list:
1. Cherries. One study showed that drinking 12 ounces of tart cherry juice twice a day for eight days reduced muscle pain and strain. Fresh or canned tart cherries are also helpful.
2. Olive oil. Good source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids.
3. Cold Water Fish, fresh or packed in Water or Olive Oil. Salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines are the highest in Omega 3 Fatty Acids.
4. Vegetables and fruit of every color.
5. Vegetable Protein such as soy.
6. Nuts of all kinds.
7. Green Tea.
8. Ginger. Try in a stir fry OR grated root in boiling water and added to tea.
And now 6 Foods That will Make You Feel Worse
1. Vegetable oils. Corn, safflower, sunflower and mixed vegetable.
2. Products high in fructose corn syrup.
3. Foods made with trans fats.
4. Foods high in saturated fats including red meat and dairy products.
6. Processed Foods.
We you are feeling the pain, steer towards healthier, more natural choices and lots of water.
Buried in the news of the summer was the reports that came out this past August of one of the largest egg producers having to recall some 380 million eggs linked to an outbreak of salmonella. This type of news may be shocking to most, but it really shouldn’t be.
For far too long, most of us have trusted that Mega Farming Corporations have had our best interests at heart. Obviously, it is irresponsible to paint all large corporations with a broad brush, but it is safe to say that your local, small farmer is going to be far more connected to their product AND with their community.
When I speak to patients and friends, I try my best not to be “preachy”, but this recent egg outbreak is yet another example of why I strongly encourage everyone to be more conscientious about what you put in your body, and where you get your food from.