Sunday, January 4, 2009

Eating Well - portion control, better shopping, picture links to eating out and a healthy recipe

4 Ways to Trim Servings - Learn portion control
All foods can be part of a healthy diet, if you eat them in the right amounts. But many of us don't know how big a single serving is — and the rest of us still "super size" it instead of sticking to a reasonable portion. How often is your chicken dish just 3 ounces (the size of a deck of cards) or your cereal bowl filled with just 1 cup? Try these tips to get servings down to size:

Measure out proper portions for one week to learn what the serving size looks like.

Dish out meals and snacks in single serve containers before storing them in the pantry, fridge or freezer.

Spend a little extra on pre-measured foods if that technique helps you eat less; it won't cost more in the end because you'd have finished the box faster the old way.

At restaurants, when the mega-plate arrives, immediately cut it in half and ask the waiter to bring a second plate, and put it aside, or better yet have the waiter put it in a doggie bag at the start of the meal, so you're not tempted by it.

8 Ways to Keep Portion Sizes in Check

The amount of a food that you are used to eating may actually equal two or three standard servings. Learning to recognize the size your portions should be can help you maintain healthy eating habits. Try comparing serving sizes to everyday objects. For example, three ounces of meat or poultry is about the size of a deck of cards. Though these comparisons are approximations, try using them as guidelines when you can't measure or weigh your food:
1 cup of cereal = a fist
1 cup of cooked rice, pasta, or potato = a baseball
1 baked potato = a fist
1 medium fruit = a baseball
1 cup of fresh fruit = a baseball
1 1/2 ounces of low-fat or fat-free cheese = four stacked dice
1 cup of ice cream = a baseball
2 tablespoons of peanut butter = a Ping-Pong ball
Source: The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

(Asian Stir Fry)

Upgrade the Items in Your Shopping Cart

Healthy meals require healthy ingredients. When you head to the supermarket, make sure to read nutrition labels as you shop, and pay attention to serving sizes and the number of servings per container. Compare similar products and choose the product with the fewest calories. Shop for low-fat items and fill your kitchen cupboards and refrigerator with a supply of lower-calorie basics like these:

Fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, and cottage cheese
Light or diet margarine
Eggs or egg substitute
Whole-grain sandwich breads, bagels, pita bread, English muffins
Soft corn tortillas, low-fat flour tortillas
Low-fat, low-sodium crackers
Plain cereal, dry or cooked
Brown rice, whole-grain pasta
White-meat chicken or turkey (remove skin)
Fish and shellfish (no batter)
Beef: round, sirloin, chuck arm, loin, and extra-lean ground beef
Pork: leg, shoulder, tenderloin
Dry beans and peas
Fruits and vegetables
Fresh, frozen, or canned fruits in light syrup or juice
Fresh, frozen, or no-salt-added canned vegetables
Low-fat or nonfat salad dressings
Mustard and ketchup
Jam, jelly, and honey
Herbs and spices

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Winter is Here!

Healthy Habits for Your Family

Enlist your children in the fight against germs
Does it seem like your little one is always running around with a runny nose? Or a sore throat? Or a bad cough? There's a simple reason why. Kids love to hang out (and touch, and share toys) with other kids — other kids with runny noses, sore throats, and coughs. This close contact allows germs to pass back and forth from one child to another (no backs, no takes, finder's keeper's). What's more, kids use their hands to explore their world (not to mention explore their noses). And babies go one step further, using their mouths to explore just as much as their hands (one study found that babies perform the mouth-to-object maneuver more than 80 times per hour). Since hand-to-mouth transmission is a virus' favorite way of getting around, it's no wonder germs are having a field day with your children.

So what's a concerned mother or father to do? Following your child around with a disinfecting wipe 24/7 obviously isn't practical (kids move too fast) — and could definitely cramp his or her style… and yours. A more sensible approach and a more effective one: Enlist your offspring in the fight against germs. Here are some tips how:
Passing along the clean gene: Teach your little ones the association between germs and the icky sick feeling they don't like, and they'll start to understand the benefits of cleaning up their acts (and washing their hands). Teach your kids to wash their hands after they go to the bathroom, after they come in from playing, before and after they eat, after they've been in contact with an animal, and after they've sneezed or coughed. Instead of telling children to sneeze or cough into their hands (hands they'll promptly use to pass along the germs they just expelled), teach them to use the inside of their elbow. Or better yet, hand them a tissue to use. And teach kids to toss tissues after each use — and then to wash their hands before touching anything, or anyone.

Happy hand-washing: Your kids might think a two-second hand wash is enough to send those germs down the drain, but a really thorough hand cleaning requires a solid 20 seconds of rub-a-dub-dubbing. Sound impossible to get your little one to commit 20 seconds to washing up? Not if the scrubbing is good clean fun. To make hand washing fun — and effective — have your child sing "Happy Birthday" or the ABC song two times (three times if he or she is a fast singer) while washing his or her hands. Once the renditions end, so can the hand washing. A game of "I'll wash your hands, you wash mine" will make washing more fun for both of you.

Fighting the flu: Flu's in season every year – from about October through April. And during each flu season, about 10 percent of the population in this country catches this virus — adding up to a whole lot of runny noses, achy muscles, fever, lethargy, and sore throats. For most flu sufferers, the flu is annoying, uncomfortable, and possibly inconvenient — they'll be miserable for a week or two, and miss at least a few days of work or school. For those whose immune systems are still developing (aka children) or who are immunocompromised (the elderly; someone who is already ill), a case of the flu can be a lot more serious.

Luckily, there are ways to help avoid catching the flu in the first place, and there are ways to reduce the risk of spreading the flu virus if one member of the family has already caught it. To help control the flu virus, get the flu shot. The flu vaccine is approved for infants over 6 months, and new CDC guidelines recommend that all children up to age 5 (and all their household contacts including siblings, parents, babysitters, etc.) get the flu shot, as well as those at high risk of complications from the flu (such as pregnant women or those with depressed immune systems or asthma, for example). To help reduce the risk of spreading the flu virus, use disinfecting wipes on such often-touched surfaces as bathroom and kitchen countertops, doorknobs, telephones, computer keyboards, toys, tables, and so on.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Take Small Steps to Wellness

Small Step #4 - Walk during lunch hour

One of my favorite places to walk when I do not have unlimited time is Woodlawn Nature Center. With ten acres of wooded trails WNC is a great place to get away from the hustle and buslte of the daily rat race. You can walk or jog, free of the hazaards of traffic, in the sanctuary of the oak canopy while breathing in the oxygen rich air of the forest.

Seasonal wonders from Jack-in-the-Pulpits and Mayapples to a vast variety of colorful fungus will be there for your viewing pleasure. Leave your IPOD off and listen to the music of the forest. Cardnials, Veeries, and Thrushes will serenade you as squirrels scamper about. There are picnic areas for eating lunch before taking a quick walk.

Woodlawn Nature Center is located at 604 Woodlawn Ave.


Getting The Correct Information

We are bombarded every day with conflicting information about our health.
Is it better to eat a low-carb diet or a balanced diet?
Should we be physically active 3 times a week or 5 times a week?
And how can we be expected to follow any of these recommendations when we're always so busy? It's no wonder that many of us throw up our hands and give up. But if we want to live long and fulfilling lives, it's essential that we learn the real facts about health, nutrition, and physical activity.Luckily, the real facts are pretty straightforward.

Fact - 2 out of every 3 Americans are overweight or obese - defined as having a body mass index over 25.
Fact - In order to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you consume.
Fact - Even small changes in your life will add up to big results.

Eat A Healthy Diet - Learn how eating right and being physically active are keys to a healthy lifestyle.
Get Active - Get physically active at least 5 times a week, for 30 minutes or more.
Avoid Harmful Substances - Avoid tobacco and illegal drugs altogether.


Well, if it were that easy, we'd all be effortlessly fit and healthy.Today's lifestyle doesn't allow much room for health. And that's where Small Steps comes in. We know that it's impossible for many people to make dramatic lifestyle changes. Instead, we want to help you learn ways that you can change small things about your life and see big results.

Explore further to get more in-depth facts about health, diet, and activity. And check out the Small Steps section to see what changes you can easily make in your life.