I HEART CHOCOLATE

10 02 2011
DID YOU KNOW…Both dark chocolate and cocoa had a greater antioxidant capacity and a greater total flavanol, and polyphenol, content than the fruit juices!  (Which is outstanding because of the glycemic value of cocoa v. fruit juice is much better too!)
Heart disease is the #1 cause of death of people in your city, state, country, and world. But guess what? Great news for all of the chocoholics! Dark chocolate and cocoa are super foods that contain a very high amount of antioxidants – meaning they have been proven to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol therefore lowering your risk of heart disease! The darker the chocolate the more super the food!

Another bonus is that cocoa has a low glycemic index (GI). Although it is a sweet treat, it doesn’t impact our blood sugar in the way that sugar does, which is important when it comes to diabetes prevention.

So far, chocolate does not seem to be so bad, right? Well, what about all the fat? Chocolate in general does have a lot of fat. Although dark chocolate is different; it contains a special saturated fat from the cocoa bean that is unusual. Research has found that this fat actually acts more like an unsaturated fat in the body, therefore not resulting in increased cholesterol like other saturated fats do. Another chocolate bonus!

But there is one downfall of chocolate – the calories. On average a chocolate bar has ~220 calories, therefore it is essential to enjoy your love of chocolate in small quantities!

You gotta try this!! When it comes to cooking with cocoa, most recipes include adding fat (butter) to make it chocolaty. Keep in mind a heart healthy solution you can try is lowering the fat in the recipe by choosing an alternative, such as I can’t believe it’s not butter sticks. It looks like butter, cooks and bakes like butter, but has half the saturated fat!

Making healthy substitutions is the easiest way to keep your heart and your taste buds happy.

Try this recipe for DARK CHOCOLATE BROWNIES from best-selling author Ellie Krieger, Registered Dietitian on the Food Network.

Click on the photo to see a video of Ellie making these scrumptious brownies!
To see the actual recipe click here!

The ingredients we use in recipes are important. Not just for taste, but also how they affect the body.

Here are a couple of things to consider about ingredients used in this chocolaty recipe.

Dark chocolate– Try dark chocolate that is 60-70% cocoa solids. It is the “perfect combination between health and taste.”

Limit to 2 tbsp of butter – Butter is needed to mix with the sugar in dessert recipes to give them the right textures – try I can’t believe it’s not butter sticks.

Whole-wheat pastry flour – This flour has more fiber and vitamins than white flour, and can be a sneaky healthy substitution for your family. It is “soft and tender, just like all regular purpose flour, but it has all the goodness of whole wheat.”

Cocoa powder– It is full of heart healthy antioxidants with out the fat

Light brown sugar – provides flavor to your dessert – try splenda brown sugar substitute to cut the calories and sugar!

Eggs- are essential to hold foods together when baking, but they do contain a lot of saturated fat and cholesterol – give egg substitutes a try, you will never know the difference – but your heart will thank you – ½ the calories, no fat or cholesterol!

Yogurt– provides moisture to baked foods, your best bet is low-fat or nonfat

Canola oil – is the heart healthy fat of choice.

Vanilla – is a calorie free flavor for you desserts.

Walnuts – are a great addition to any food to provide your heart healthy essential fats.

Cooking spray – is a great way to cut the calories without cutting the flavor.

To learn more about healthy substitutions or cooking, or to speak with our nutrition staff, please email us at healthyhome@jmossfoundation.org

By Emily Barr, MS, RD, CNSC





New Year’s Resolutions, Not Just For January Anymore

12 01 2011

Try the month to month resolutions challenge, to achieve a healthier weight and lifestyle for 2011!  Here are some ideas that will help rev up your metabolism one month at a time!  Once you have mastered the monthly resolution, you must continue with it and then add the next month’s lifestyle improvement to maximize your weight loss!

 [Example- Once you have completed January’s challenge, being able to jump rope for 15 minutes every day (for 30 days), then continue jumping roping daily but add February’s activity – doing sit-ups and jumping jacks during commercials. After you have mastered January and February’s activities, keep doing them and add March’s goal, and so on.]

Now, here comes the fun part – weight loss! For each monthly challenge you complete there is a corresponding possible weight loss. The net weight loss listed for each challenge is what you may lose EACH month you successfully complete that action.

You may lose up to 50 ¾ pounds after 6 months!

[Example- January you jump rope for 15 minutes a day and lose 1 ½ pounds. February you jump rope (lose 1 ½ pounds) and do sit-ups and jumping jacks during commercials so you lose an additional 1 ½ pounds. During the month of February alone, you would have lost 3 pounds. When you add these 3 pounds to the 1 ½ pounds you lost in January, then you would have lost 4 ½ pounds in total (i.e Year to Date).]

So, in summary… make small, doable changes and achieve big results!

Ready to get started? Just follow the plan below.

Month to Month Resolution Challenge

January:  Jump rope 15 minutes everyday – burns 5,115 calories, net weight loss 1 ½ pounds

February:  Sit-ups and Jumping jacks during commercials – burns 5,096 calories, net weight loss of 1 ½ pounds – Year to date -4 ½ pounds

March:  Take your lunch to work – saves 12,250 calories, net weight loss 3 ½ pounds – Year to date -11 pounds

April:  Eat 6 small meals daily – saves 12,000 calories, net weight loss of 3 ½ pounds – Year to date -21 pounds

May:  Eat 3 fruits everyday – saves 11,160 calories, net weight loss of 3 ¼ pounds – Year to date -34 pounds

June:  Drink more water (rule of thumb, your weight divided by 2 to get goal fluid ounces of water per day) – saves 12,250 calories, net weight loss 3 ½ pounds – Year to date -50 ¾ pounds

By Emily Barr, MS, RD, CNSC

Want More?? Check out these posts from Emily…

Meet Emily

Setting Attainable Resolutions

Fight the Urge to Splurge-How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Lumps of Coal vs Sugar Plum Fairies- The Reason For Making Healthy Changes this Season

How Did You Do It?

Sweets & Sabotages

Sugar Aliases

Halloween Temptations

High Five to Healthy Lunches

Vitamin D: Sunshine Vitamin, or not?

Summertime Drinks that Won’t Bust Your Diet or Your Waistline

Best Defense Against Cellulite

Water Filled Summer

Value Menu-Eat now, Pay later

Different ages, different requirements to be healthy

Kids Really Do Like Fruits and Vegetables

Spring into Green





SOLUTION FOR YOUR RESOLUTION

12 01 2011

Would you make a New Year’s Resolution if you knew you’d be able to keep it?

Whether you call it a New Year’s resolution or just happened – sometime early January- to make the decision to make a few changes in 2011, we’re going to give you a few solutions for your resolution.

What’s your goal? A.)Want to improve your financial situation?  B.)Spend more quality time with your family? C.) Lose weight?  Maybe you, like most of us, want option D. All of the above. 

If you want to join the 8% of the people who will actually KEEP their resolution, you’ll need to start with these 2 things, and a dose of realism.

Definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. – Albert Einstein

1-BE A BIT MORE LIKE JANUS (Evaluate):  Turns out, the idea of making New Year’s resolutions dates back to Roman god Janus in 153 B.C, who had the ability to look backwards and forwards.  

Look back onto 2010 and find one thing you want to change in 2011. Then think back to when that thing changed from being okay to becoming an “emotional burden”. [Example: My weight was okay (not great) but then I lost my job, got depressed and started to overeat.]

Knowing what you know now (the consequences of your action)… if you could go back to that time, what would you tell yourself? Instead of fill in the blank (ex: eating a bag of potato chips when I’m upset)_, DO THIS  fill in the blank (ask a friend to go for a walk and talk when  I need “comfort”).  Whatever you would say after the “DO THIS”, should be your doable resolution for 2011.

2- ASK FOR DIRECTIONS:  We’ve all heard jokes about how men won’t stop for directions when they’re lost- which is funny  ‘cause it’s true- but in reality, aren’t we all guilty of doing the same thing?  Whatever point in 2010 you just identified as being “where things went wrong” is essentially where you got lost.

This time, ask for directions!  Get help from a friend, good ole’ google, or a professional.  If you don’t, chances are time will pass and you’ll find that you’ve turned in circles to just come back to where you started.

If your goal is to lose weight in 2011, we want to give you real, long-term solutions for your resolution. We’ll help you to stop dieting and start living a healthy lifestyle. Check out our New Year,  New You special we are running for January.

Looking for more direction? Don’t miss our featured article this month – New Year’s Resolutions, not just for January anymore!!   Emily (Registered Dietitian) shows us how making small changes can have a significant impact on your weight loss goal.





Setting Attainable Resolutions

12 01 2011

We’ve said it year after year “starting January 1st, I will lose weight”.  More times than not, it does not play out this way.  We often fall off the wagon due to frustration, being side tracked, or loss of our motivation somewhere between January 7th and 21st.  But why does this happen to us when we have the best intentions?  Please don’t be mad, but I think I may know why….we are setting ourselves up for failure.   By simply stating, that on one obscure day you are going to do a 180 degree turn to better health and while you are at it, your goal is drop 30 or 40 pounds.  We all know it’s not that easy! 

So this year let’s focus on setting goals that are attainable.  Let us take one day at a time and at the most one week at a time!  Set yourself up for success by setting small goals that you know you can achieve!  For example week 1, challenge yourself to eat 3 servings of fruit per day, then once you got that down move on to your week 2 goal, possibly walking 15 minutes per day.  As we set small goals that we can follow through on, the momentum begins to swing our way and hopefully the weight begins to go down! 

Cheers to your health this New Year!

By Emily Barr, MS, RD, CNSC

Want More?? Check out these posts from Emily…

Meet Emily

Fight the Urge to Splurge-How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Lumps of Coal vs Sugar Plum Fairies- The Reason For Making Healthy Changes this Season

How Did You Do It?

Sweets & Sabotages

Sugar Aliases

Halloween Temptations

High Five to Healthy Lunches

Vitamin D: Sunshine Vitamin, or not?

Summertime Drinks that Won’t Bust Your Diet or Your Waistline

Best Defense Against Cellulite

Water Filled Summer

Value Menu-Eat now, Pay later

Different ages, different requirements to be healthy

Kids Really Do Like Fruits and Vegetables

Spring into Green





Fight the Urge to Splurge-How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

13 12 2010

Santa Claus is at the mall?  Check!  Christmas music on the radio, in the stores?  Check!  Check!  Holiday parties galore? Check, check, check!  That’s right, the holiday season is here and it’s time to celebrate! 

Parties at work, parties at school, parties with friends, and oh yes, parties with the family!  One thing we know for sure is that food and drinks will definitely not be in shortage for these festive events, but that cannot be our excuse to splurge!  Waiting for those New Year resolutions to roll around is not an option, some research has found that we never lose the few pounds we gain during the holiday season!   This is your year to fight the winter weight gain

Here are some tips to help you conquer the urge to splurge. 

By Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL)'s

What You Can Control

  • Have a high fiber snack and some water prior to the event so you aren’t starving!
  • Be sure to bring a healthy dish to the party.
  • Make only one trip to the buffet. 
  • Choose the smallest size plate available.
  • Load up your plate with high fiber foods, such as raw vegetables and salad. 
  • Focus on being social at parties.  Enjoy the company of family and friends, while strategically positioning yourself out of arms reach of appetizers.     
  • Drink a full glass of water between any alcoholic drinks.  Drinking in moderation is key, 1-2 drinks for women and 2-3 drinks for men.  Drinking too much is a sure segue to eating too much.
  •  Incorporate exercise, especially the days prior to, the day of, and the days after each event.

 

What You Can’t Control:

  • When choosing food from the buffet table, keep an eye out for the colorful foods and beware of the white creamy foods.
  • Choose small portions – Try small spoonfuls of the other higher calorie foods only if they are your favorite.  Be sure to savor you food!
  • Choose your sweets wisely, each dessert can have 200-1200 calories!
  • Be careful with the appetizers, these little bites of bliss can easily add up in a matter of minutes. 
  • Have your “excuses” ready.   One of the best lines is that you are just plain full and maybe you will try some in a little while!
  • Try to avoid taking home extras of those tempting (high calorie) foods.

 Sour cream dips, cheese balls, little sausages and meatballs, sweets, chocolatey desserts, and alcohol will all be present at the holiday affairs, and so will you!

 Have a happy and healthy holiday season and do your best to fight that urge to splurge!

By Emily Barr, MS, RD, CNSC

Want More?? Check out these posts from Emily…

Meet Emily

Lumps of Coal vs Sugar Plum Fairies- The Reason For Making Healthy Changes this Season

How Did You Do It?

Sweets & Sabotages

Sugar Aliases

Halloween Temptations

High Five to Healthy Lunches

Vitamin D: Sunshine Vitamin, or not?

Summertime Drinks that Won’t Bust Your Diet or Your Waistline

Best Defense Against Cellulite

Water Filled Summer

Value Menu-Eat now, Pay later

Different ages, different requirements to be healthy

Kids Really Do Like Fruits and Vegetables

Spring into Green





Lumps of Coal vs Sugar Plum Fairies- The Reason For Making Healthy Changes this Season

13 12 2010

What’s on your Christmas list this year? 

What if I told you, you can choose between sugar plum fairies or a lump of coal?  Seems like an obvious answer, but somehow, the decision is not that easy.  Let me explain my thinking.

By Star 5112

So…day in and day out, as a health care provider, I have the challenge of helping adults that have previously struggled with weight loss finally lose those pesky pounds to improve their health.

 In my efforts to help each person with an increased Body Mass Index  (BMI) and other health risk factors to lose weight, I pull out all of the “scary” words in hopes that each individual will have the ah-ha moment and commit to changing their ways.

 These “scary” words are the coal in your stocking.   It’s not what you want for Christmas, but what you may be getting… whether you like it or not.  These “lumps of coal” are heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, and cancer to name a few.  I tell each person about these life threatening problems, the ones that may kill you, but somehow, these warnings don’t translate to better health.  So this holiday season, I am taking a whole new refreshing approach…sugar plum fairies

The “sugar plum fairies” are those amazingly wonderful things that you love and live for.  Moments with your family and friends, reminiscing about old times with your favorite people, exotic vacations or traveling abroad, great laughs, and all of your happy thoughts.

 Making a list of reasons you want to lose weight is always one of my favorite requests I ask of our clients during counseling sessions.

 This list may contain some things that make you feel good on the outside – of course- like how you look in your jeans or swimsuit.  It should also contain the things that make you feel good on the inside – those happy thoughts.

 Some of my favorite reasons for weight loss is to be able to keep up with your kids, meeting your grandkids, being able to travel without feeling tired, and on and on.

 My hope for our entire Skinny Gene family is that as the New Year approaches, we can all take time to reflect on our goals for better health.

The choice is yours, lumps of coal or sugar plum fairies?  It might be time to make some changes – I’m sure you’ll find the sugar plum fairies are worth it!

By Emily Barr, MS, RD, CNSC

Want More?? Check out these posts from Emily…

Meet Emily

How Did You Do It?

Sweets & Sabotages

Sugar Aliases

Halloween Temptations

High Five to Healthy Lunches

Vitamin D: Sunshine Vitamin, or not?

Summertime Drinks that Won’t Bust Your Diet or Your Waistline

Best Defense Against Cellulite

Water Filled Summer

Value Menu-Eat now, Pay later

Different ages, different requirements to be healthy

Kids Really Do Like Fruits and Vegetables

Spring into Green





Redefine Gift Giving

10 12 2010

Some people get a jump-start and begin purchasing gifts in July, but most of us are still racking our brains mid December over giving the perfect gift to each person on our list.  With each passing year, gift giving gets seemingly more difficult. What happened to “it’s the thought that counts?”  

If you listen to the commercials that encourage you to buy the latest and greatest, you might be persuaded to believe that it’s not the thought,  but the brand  that matters.  We’re here to restore a little sanity and bring the gift giving season back to the thought and heart of the matter.

The greatest part about gift giving is the giving itself.
 
 
Gift giving is an important part of our human nature that has been proven to help us strengthen bonds, define relationships, and express our love and commitment. 

By Thomas Hawk

Unfortunately, limited financial resources have had a shrinking effect on our annual gift giving lists. Even with Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday, it seems financially impossible to give to each person that positively impacts our life. 

 So how do we expand our giving without overextending our bank accounts?

One idea is – give gifts that don’t have any quantifiable value. That’s right! Gifts that don’t come with a per person price tag (or a tag at all). The biggest gift of all being YOU!

Looking for some ideas? Think extended warranty.  Give gifts that have long-term benefits and help fulfill a specific need.

Are you a great cook? Put together a list of healthy recipes and email them to friends. Start an annual tradition of sharing recipes.  
 

Are you a great listener with a positive outlook on life? Create a small support group among friends. 

Do you live a healthy lifestyle?  Be an accountability ally for a friend that wants to make healthier choices.  Be a walking buddy or healthy dining partner.

Have your family and friends asked (or begged) you to take the steps needed to improve your health?  Take the plunge. Put a bag of coins in each person’s stocking and tell them that you’re ready for change.

The point is, don’t let finances dictate your gift giving this year. Great creative. Redefine gift giving. Always remember, YOU are the greatest gift you can give.