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Healthy Nutrition

How to Use Fruits and Vegetables to Help Manage Your Weight

Written by Dr. Lee Mancini on Tuesday, 22 January 2013. Posted in Kids' Nutrition, Healthy Nutrition

How to Use Fruits and Vegetables to Help Manage Your Weight
Fruits and vegetables are part of a well-balanced and healthy eating plan. There are many different ways to lose or maintain a healthy weight. Using more fruits and vegetables along with whole grains and lean meats, nuts, and beans is a safe and healthy one. Helping control your weight is not the only benefit of eating more fruits and vegetables. Diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of some types of cancer and other chronic diseases. Fruits and vegetables also provide essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and other substances that are important for good health.
 
To lose weight, you must eat fewer calories than your body uses.
 
This doesn't necessarily mean that you have to eat less food. You can create lower-calorie versions of some of your favorite dishes by substituting low-calorie fruits and vegetables in place of higher-calorie ingredients. The water and fiber in fruits and vegetables will add volume to your dishes, so you can eat the same amount of food with fewer calories. Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories and are filling.
 
Next week, we’ll have tips on how to creatively use fruits and veggies to help you manage your weight, WITHOUT GOING HUNGRY!

Tightening your belt?

on Tuesday, 08 January 2013. Posted in Healthy Nutrition

2013 Fiscal, nutrition, and exercise health

Happy New Year!! Did you notice your paycheck got smaller this week?
 
On January 3rd - just 5 days ago - the IRS released updated income-tax withholding tables fro 2013 reflecting this week’s changes by Congress.
 
Employers are now required to begin withholding Social Security tax at the rate of 6.2 percent of wages paid following the expiration of the temporary two-percentage-point tax cut in effect for 2011 and 2012.
 
Isn’t it interesting how we got used to that extra 2% in our pockets? Now we have to get “un” used to it.
 
Your employer will handle the withholding changes so you don’t need to fill out a new W-4 form.
 
As always, however, the IRS recommends that you review your withholding every year and, if necessary, fill out a new W-4 and give it to your employer. For example, individuals and couples with multiple jobs, people who are having children, getting married, getting divorced or buying a home, and those who typically wind up with a balance due or large refund at the end of the year may want to consider submitting revised W-4 forms.
 
Time to tighten the belt... again.
 
Speaking of tightening your belt, we’ll be offering a new healthy recipe and exercise tip in each issue of our 2013 newsletter. We’ve always got your health in mind and want to help you get started right for the New Year! If you aren't receiving our email newsletter, go here to get our free report and sign up

Gluten Free Diet

on Tuesday, 13 November 2012. Posted in Doctor of Fitness, Healthy Nutrition

Whether you do it for health reasons or simply because it’s a personal choice, maintaining a gluten free diet can be a challenge. And while controlling what you eat at home is one thing, doing it while dining out is dining out can seem more challenging. However, as more and more people are being diagnosed with celiac disease, more restaurants are providing gluten free options. So if you decide to dine out, here are five tips that can help.

1. Eat something before you go.

The hungrier you are when you look at the menu, the more likely you are to be guided by your stomach instead of your head. If you’re not at home, keep some small snacks in your purse or briefcase for emergencies.

2. Do some digging.

Even if you know exactly which grains and foods you should be avoiding, you may not know everywhere they might be hiding. Visit some gluten-free websites and search for areas where you’re likely to find “cross-contamination” and avoid those foods.

3. Research the restaurant.

Many restaurants are now providing gluten free menu options and many now post their menus online, so you can know in advance what your menu options are. If you’re considering a restaurant that doesn’t have a website, call and ask them to fax you a menu. If you can’t find anything you’d feel comfortable ordering, consider switching to a restaurant with more gluten-free options.

4. Ask questions.

If you know you’ll be going to a restaurant that worries you, call the restaurant in advance and ask to speak to a manager. Tell him or her that you have celiac disease and ask what he or she recommends. An Italian eatery or other restaurant that serves pasta may allow you to bring your own gluten-free pasta and prepare it and serve it with their own sauce.

5. Talk about it.

Tell your server that you have celiac disease or a gluten allergy and explain what you need. If the server seems unable or unwilling to help you, ask to speak to the manager.

Prepare yourself, don’t be afraid to ask for what you need, and you should be able to enjoy the occasional meal out without any issues.

Breakfast

on Tuesday, 09 October 2012. Posted in Doctor of Fitness, Healthy Nutrition

What did you have for breakfast today?

If you’re like most people who eat in the morning, chances are you chowed down on something sweet, like a banana, or starchy, like a bagel. Most likely, it was a combination of both –like breakfast cereal or a doughnut, or maybe a hot breakfast like pancakes or waffles.

But for a growing number of people, the idea of just what constitutes “breakfast” is changing. They’re veering away from the sweet and the starchy and incorporating more protein, complex carbohydrates and even – gasp! – vegetables into their breakfast choices.

Vegetables for breakfast? What’s next, dessert for dinner?

Actually, the logic behind this new breakfast trend is sound. Simple carbohydrates and sugars, the kind of things commonly found in prepared cereals and other breakfast foods, have recently come under fire as being less-than-healthy. Americans are constantly being advised to focus on lean protein, whole grains and vegetables -- and there’s really no reason to save them for dinnertime.

If you’re not sure how to incorporate vegetables into your breakfast, try an omelet stuffed with fresh baby spinach and a little light mozzarella or reduced fat feta cheese. Do what the British do and enjoy a roasted tomato as a side dish. You can even try a breakfast salad, with greens and a little turkey bacon topped with a poached egg.

If you still prefer a sweeter breakfast, there are plenty of ways to accomplish this with higher-protein foods. Toss some sliced almonds in with your morning oatmeal, or smear some natural peanut butter and sliced banana on a slice of whole-grain toast.

The bottom line is, today’s “breakfast of champions” has gone far beyond a bowl of cereal and milk. Take some time to play with combinations of ingredients you like to add variety and a boost of nutrition to your mornings.

Vitamins

on Tuesday, 21 August 2012. Posted in Doctor of Fitness, Healthy Nutrition

Here's some real food for thought, when it comes to giving your body everything it needs.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is the ideal way to make sure you're getting all the nutrients you need. However, even the best diet is bound to have some gaps in it – and there are some nutrients, especially vitamins D and E, that are difficult to get enough of through diet alone. That’s why so many health professionals continue to recommend vitamins, minerals and other supplements to their health conscious patients.

Of course, with so many products out there, you may be wondering exactly what you should be taking to give your body the right stuff. Here is a brief rundown of the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs every day.   Remember, this is a general, basic list, so talk to your doctor or health professional to learn more about your own body’s specific needs.

  • Vitamin A for eyes and skin (beta-carotene is a good substitute)
  • The B vitamins – B6, B12, riboflavin, thiamine and niacin – for cell growth
  • Vitamin C, a powerful anti-oxidant and immune-system booster. And yes, you need more even if you drink orange juice!
  • folic acid helps your body form red and white blood cells – and prevents birth defects, if you’re a woman and happen to be pregnant
  • Vitamin E, for healthy skin and more
  • Iron for red blood cells – check with your doctor on this one
  • Vitamin D, calcium and Vitamin K – all three work together to build your bones, which is especially important for women!
  • Magnesium, a mineral that protects against heart disease, colon cancer and diabetes

Most people would rather not swallow eight or more individual pills every day, so it’s fine to take a multi-vitamin that combines most of these substances into a single dose. Just read the label to make sure you know that you’re getting everything you need!

Nutrition

on Tuesday, 26 June 2012. Posted in Doctor of Fitness, Healthy Nutrition

With so much conflicting information out there on “good” and “bad” foods, it’s hard to know exactly what you’re supposed to be eating to stay healthy and keep your weight under control.  Are carbohydrates good or bad?  Is fat the enemy, or is sugar the real problem?  And what the heck is a “superfood?”

Luckily, there is hope.  Fads come and go, but real nutrition is still primarily a matter of common sense.  If you eat a wide variety of foods, concentrating on whole foods closer to their natural form (an orange) as opposed to processed foods (an orange-flavored snack), there’s no need to beat yourself up over the occasional slice of pizza or bowl of ice cream.  There’s actually a place for everything in a balanced diet, provided you focus on the word “balance.”

According to the most recent U.S. Government standards, a healthy diet starts with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and dairy products that are either reduced in fat or fat free.  For protein, it includes beans and nuts – a great choice for vegetarians -- as well as lean meat, poultry, fish and eggs.  In other words, it includes a variety of foods to suit just about every taste. 

When it comes to foods you should consume in lower quantities, the list is a lot shorter.  It basically consists of saturated fats and trans fats, cholesterol, salt and added sugars.  These nutritional no-no’s tend to be found most frequently in processed foods like chips, snack foods and frozen or fast-food dinners.  And beware – those “light” and “fat free” options typically pack a lot of sodium and/or sugar, so avoiding so-called convenience foods in favor of cooking your own meals – or at least eating simpler foods – is usually much healthier. 

A little awareness is key.  Read labels, think about what you’re eating, plan your meals in advance.  That way, when you get the occasional craving for a fast-food cheeseburger, you can indulge without worrying. 

At least some of the time.

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