Eve's Health & Fitness

DOB: October 27 CURRENT RESIDENCE: North Eastern Oklahoma OCCUPATION: Certified Group Fitness Instructor HEIGHT:5'1"; WEIGHT:105 lbs.; BF%:14.3% bodyfat FAVORITE BODY PARTS TO TRAIN: Back, abs FAVORITE CHEAT MEAL: Mexican and any dark chocolate CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Featured as a fitness role model in Chad Tackett's Global-Health & Fitness website: http://www.global-fitness.com/ DESCRIBE MYSELF: Competitive, energetic, persistent, focused, consistent, and driven.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Portion Distortion?!

Just How Much Food Is on That Plate? Understanding Portion Control

Most people consume far more calories than they realize. The culprit? A warped sense of portion size.

According to a survey conducted by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), most Americans (78%) still believe that the kind of food they eat is more important in managing their weight than the amount of food they eat.

Respondents to the AICR survey were asked to estimate the standard servings defined by the USDA Food Guide Pyramid for eight different foods, including pasta, green salad, beans, and mashed potatoes. Only 1% of respondents correctly answered all eight serving-size questions, while 63% missed five or more. A notable 31% managed to estimate only one serving size correctly.

Serving Sizes Essential to Good Nutrition

Experts say that understanding the concept of standard serving sizes is essential to good nutrition. Standardized serving sizes help consumers, health professionals, and food manufacturers find a common language for the sake of communication.

Although serving sizes are "standardized," individual portion sizes will vary, because people have different caloric requirements. Portion size also depends on a person's specific weight management goals and health needs. For example, pregnant and breastfeeding women may require larger portions of food than do women who are not pregnant or nursing.

Weight Management: The American Dilemma

The problems of obesity and lack of nutrition awareness also seem to have a cultural component. Take a look at fast food restaurants. Most of these restaurants offer "super-size" or "value" meals, which often contain an entire day's worth of calories and fat.

Statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture reveal that Americans' total daily caloric intakes have risen by 148 calories per day since 1980. This amount reflects an extra 15 pounds every year.

Interestingly, the same studies show that the amount of fat in the average American diet has decreased from 40% of total calories to 33% during the same period. So even though calories from fat have decreased—at nine calories per gram of fat versus only four for a gram of carbohydrate or protein—Americans have more than made up for their lower fat intakes with larger portion sizes of other types of foods. Larger portion sizes equal more calories. And more calories lead to weight gain, regardless of the source of the calories—fat, protein, or carbohydrate.

Fat provides a feeling of fullness, which can help some people avoid eating to excess. By cutting fat out of their diets, people may loose this signal to stop eating. In addition, many "low-fat" and "no fat" foods can be just as high—and in some cases higher—in calories compared to the regular versions. This is because manufacturers often add extra sugar to make-up for the taste lost with the fat.

Nutritional Needs Vary

Portion sizes and overall dietary requirements depend on several factors, including activity level. For example, an inactive person may only need three-quarters to one cup of cereal in the morning, which is the usual serving size of most varieties. But someone who runs several miles a day or who engages in other forms of aerobic exercise may need two or three standard serving sizes.

To help determine a standard serving size, Ms. Polk recommends measuring out Food Guide Pyramid serving sizes or those listed on the "Nutrition Facts" food label.

How to Estimate Portion Sizes

What's a portion size? According to the American Dietetic Association, you can use the following "models" to approximate portion sizes:

  • A deck of playing cards = one serving (three ounces) of meat, poultry, or fish (can also use the palm of a woman's hand or a computer mouse).
  • Half a baseball = one serving (one-half cup) of fruit, vegetables, pasta, or rice (can also use a small fist).
  • Your thumb = one serving (one ounce) of cheese.
  • A small hand holding a tennis ball = one serving (one cup) of yogurt or chopped fresh greens.

The AICR recommends the following tips to control food portions:

When at Home:

  • Take time to "eyeball" the serving sizes of your favorite foods (using some of the models listed above).
  • Measure out single servings onto your plates and bowls, and remember what they look like. Figure out how many servings should make up your personal portion, depending upon whether you need to lose, gain, or maintain weight.
  • Avoid serving food "family style." Serve up plates with appropriate portions in the kitchen, and don't go back for seconds.
  • Never eat out of the bag or carton.

When in Restaurants:

  • Ask for half or smaller portions. (Don't worry if it doesn't seem cost-effective; it's worth it.)
  • Eyeball your appropriate portion, set the rest aside, and ask for a doggie bag right away.
  • If you order dessert, share it or choose a healthier option like fruit.
  • Seek Dietary Guidance

    If you are unsure about your personal nutrition requirements, seek the advice of a registered dietitian (RD). These professionals can create individual menus and food plans that are suited to your specific weight management and overall health goals.

    References:

    American Institute for Cancer Research
    http://www.aicr.org

    American Dietetic Association
    http://www.eatright.org

Cheers,

Eve:-)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Here's How to Get Your Gluteus Maximus In Shape

The American Council on Exercise has announced the findings of research that pinpoints the most effective gluteal exercises.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse used electromyographic (EMG) analysis to compare the muscle recruitment patterns of eight common gluteal exercises. After gathering EMG data for all participants, researchers compared the recorded amount of muscle activation for each exercise with that of a traditional squat.
The results of this research showed that several of the exercises were as effective as the traditional squat at targeting the gluteal muscles.

Here are the exercises recommended by the ACE:

Quadruped Hip Extensions

--On your hands and knees, slightly contract your abdominals to stabilize your torso and spine. Lift one leg up, keeping the knee bent at 90 degrees.

-- Lift the leg until the bottom of the foot is pointing toward the ceiling and the leg is lined up with the body.

-- Repeat on the same side for eight to 12 reps.

-- Change legs.

Step-Ups

-- Stand with good posture behind a tall step or box [approximately 15 inches (38 cm) high] while holding a dumbbell in each hand.

-- Place your left foot on top and transfer your weight to that leg.

-- Push down with your left foot (especially the heel), straightening your leg, to come up on top of the box.

-- Use the left leg only; keep the right leg passive, especially as you initiate the step-up.

-- Repeat on the same side for eight to 12 reps.

-- Change legs.

Lunges

-- Hold a dumbbell in each hand, standing tall with good posture.

-- Step forward with the right foot, keeping the head up and spine neutral.

-- Drop your left knee toward the floor by bending knees, making sure to keep the front heel down and the knee directly over the center of the foot.

-- Push down and forward through your heel to return to the starting position.

-- Repeat on the other side, alternating for eight to 12 reps per side.

Four-Way Hip Extensions

-- Stand upright and grasp the stabilizing bar of the machine. The resistance pad should be placed at the knee on the back side of the exercising leg.

-- Move your thigh to the rear until your hip is fully extended backward.

-- Repeat for 8 to 12 reps and change sides.


Source: American Council on Exercise; Website: www.acefitness.org



Cheers,

Eve :-)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Will Canola Oil Help Your Heart?

As you've searched for healthier ways to fix your food, you've heard about canola oil and its purported health benefits. Now, the oil has picked up the blessings of the federal government.

Expect to see more products made with canola oil now that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given producers the green light to say on product labels the oil can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

The FDA okayed the "qualified health claim" Oct. 6 after reviewing studies that show canola oil's high levels of unsaturated fat, what nutritionists and other health experts call "good fat," as opposed to artery-clogging saturated and trans fats.

'Ample evidence'

The U.S. Canola Oil Association submitted its petition to the FDA for the health claim in January and hopes to promote the benefits of canola oil as an ingredient in healthy cooking, group leaders said.

"The type of fat consumed is as important as the amount," said John Haas, the association's president. "The claim may encourage food manufacturers and food service providers to substitute canola oil for other oils with less favorable nutritional profiles.

"There is ample scientific evidence to demonstrate these benefits from the unsaturated fats in canola oil. By using it in place of other common edible oils, consumers can increase their compliance with the latest dietary recommendations."

Health experts say canola oil is 93 percent unsaturated fat and is free of "bad" cholesterol and trans fat. It also contains the lowest amount of saturated fat - 7 percent - of any common cooking oil.

A staple of the healthful "Mediterranean diets," olive oil also has an FDA heart health claim.

Cutting saturated fat

Canola acerage in North Dakota, which produces 95 percent of the country's canola, or about 1.5 billion pounds, hit a record 1.3 million in 2001 and 2002.

And those totals could hit 2 million in two or three years, thanks to the FDA action and the push for using canola as an ingredient in biodiesel fuel, said Barry Coleman, executive director of the Northern Canola Growers Association.

Dr. Guy Johnson, a nutrition consultant and one of the experts behind the canola qualified claim, said recently you can cut nearly 10 percent of the saturated fat out of your healthy eating by switching from vegetable oils and margarine to canola oil.

Canola oil would help boost the monounsaturated fat and "alpha-linolenic acid" - a type of omega-3 fatty acid - by 28 percent and 73 percent respectively, Johnson said.

Source: U.S. Canola Association

Cheers,

Eve :-)




Saturday, October 14, 2006

The 20 Best Weight-Loss Foods

Breakfast

Homemade raisin bran. Mix one cup of Total cereal, a packet of raisins, and 1 cup nonfat milk. Save 50 calories, 6 teaspoons of sugar, and 5 grams of fat compared with ready-to-serve raisin bran doused with a cup of 2-percent milk.

Scrambled whites with greens. Pour into a pan four servings of Eggology, Second Nature or Egg Beaters egg whites, in a bowl and blend with 1/2 cup spinach and 1/2 cup mushrooms.

Save 40 calories, 100 milligrams of cholesterol and 13 grams of fat compared with two normal scrambled eggs.

Balanced Diet Shake. The Balanced Diet nutritional drink provides complex carbohydrates vitamins, and minerals in a naturally flavored French vanilla or chocolate royale.

Save 60 calories daily and nearly 6 grams of fat compared with similar drinks.

Frozen fruit smoothie, the kind runner Bruce Shapiro used to lose 30 pounds over the past few years. Combine and blend one cup frozen, unsweetened blueberries; 1/2 banana; 1/4 cup wheat germ; and water.

Save 200 calories for each 2- to 3-cup serving, compared with many commercial smoothies.

• Toasted plain Lender's Bagel with natural jam. Save 160 to 360 calories and more than 10 grams of fat compared with similar bagels you can buy slathered with cream cheese.

Lunch

Boca Burger. A soy-based alternative to other high-fat lunches. Burgers contain hints of zucchini, red-bell pepper, garlic, onion, and even cheeses. Add lettuce, tomato, ketchup or other healthy toppings.

Save up to 180 calories and 19 grams of fat compared with grilled 3-ounce beef burger.

Alvarado Street sprouted wheat tortilla. With this tasty, organic, whole-wheat tortilla, combine a handful of greens, shredded carrots, tomato, peppers, grilled chicken, lean meat, turkey or a bean-based filler.

Save at least 50 calories and 5 grams of fat compared to commercial wraps doused in mayo and oily toppings.

Subway 6-inch roast beef sub sandwich. Save nearly 100 calories and 12 grams of fat compared with a tuna salad sub, and 20+ fat grams with a meatball sub.

Health Valley fat-free chili. Save 200 calories and 22 grams of fat compared with other prepared and restaurant chilis.

Tossed salad with croutons instead of salad dressing. Instead of using high-fat dressings, decorate with croutons, beans or fruit.

Save 100 calories and 28 grams of fat by adding 1 ounce of croutons and 1/2 cup of beans, peas and raisins to your salad in place of 1 ounce of an oil-based dressing.

Snacks

Frozen grapes, blueberries or bananas. Save 80 calories when you compare a whole 12-ounce bag of frozen blueberries to a small serving of TCBY frozen yogurt, and 200 calories and 14 grams of fat when you compare a frozen banana with a 1/2 cup of Ben and Jerry's.

• Dried papaya, mango, and/or dates. For a sweet taste that mimics a piece of candy, try a dried-fruit snack. Raisins are the most popular, but these papayas, mangos and dates will provide your daily dose of vitamin C, plus some vitamin A and iron.

Save 100 to 150 calories for 4 to 6 pieces when compared with a handful of raisins or other dense, sugary foods and candies.

Glenny's Apple Cinnamon Low-Fat Soy Crisps. Available in two-serving bags, the crunchy cinnamon treats will set you back just 150 calories for 28 crisps. Also available in lightly salted and onion flavor, each bag contains 10 grams of soy protein.

The American Heat Association recommends 25 to 50 grams of soy protein each day for heart health.

Save 150 calories and 15 grams of fat compared with graham-cracker snack treats.

Dinner

Spaghetti squash. Rich in fluids, carbohydrates, fiber, potassium, Vitamin C, and pantothenic acid (a B vitamin) - and looks just like regular spaghetti.

Save 200 calories compared with 2 cups of wheat spaghetti.

• Papadini, hi-protein, pure-lentil, gluten-free bean pasta. When you prepare Papadini pasta as a vegetable primavera, tossed with peas, beans carrots, tomatoes and corn, you get as much protein as a chicken or steak dinner without the excess fat, cholesterol and calories.

Save 20 calories per 2-ounce serving compared with traditional wheat pastas.

Idaho Supreme, wheat- and gluten-free potato pasta. The Idaho Supreme pasta is made from organic potatoes to help preserve the Vitamin C, calcium and iron.

Save 20 calories per 2-ounce serving compared with traditional pastas.

Advantage\10 pizza. This alternative, which features grilled vegetables, was designed by low-fat health guru Dean Ornish.

Save 250 calories and more than 20 grams of fat compared with most restaurant or supermarket pizzas.

Barbara's Mashed Potatoes. An easy-to-prepare, high-carb, low-fat "comfort" dish. Prepare with nonfat milk, water, a little salt, and nonfat margarine.

Save 50 calories and 6 grams of fat compared with a 1-cup serving of traditional mashed potatoes.

Dessert

• Haagen-Dazs chocolate sorbet. A Haagen-Dazs product in a health article? But this chocolate frozen creation manages to taste creamy without containing fat. Sure, it's sugary, but at least you're getting some protein and fiber.

Save 100 calories and 15 grams of fat per serving compared with HD's chocolate fudge ice cream.

Chocolate Dreams cookies. A meringue-type version of the traditional chocolate chip cookie, this one lets you gobble down 5 cookies for under 30 calories and no fat.

Save at least 150 calories and 9 grams of fat compared with just 3 regular chocolate chip cookies.


Cheers

Eve :-)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

10 Tips on Healthy Grocery Shopping and Cooking






In our weight management plans, the phrase "healthy eating" just doesn't involve what to consume, but also how to shop for the right kinds of foods and then how to fix them once we get home.

• Study labels on packages. Manufacturers will list sugar in different ways, such as "dextrose" and "honey," so they don't appear high up on the nutrition label. In addition, "xylitol" and "mannitol" are pseudonyms for sugar.

• Study the labels carefully for "partially hydrogenated oils." These are the oils that lead to "trans fatty acids," what nutritionists and dietitians curse as the worse kind of fat. Health experts say trans fat will clog your arteries, boost cholesterol, and increase your risk for heart attacks and strokes. You'll likely find "trans fat" in fast foods, snacks, regular potato chips, cookies and other products.

• Stick to the outer aisles, never venture to the inside aisles. On the outer aisles is where you'll find produce and other healthy goods. Notice how candy, chips, cookies and soda are taking up the middle aisles.

• Keep your eye out for added sugars in yogurt. Not all yogurt is healthy. Some contain 30 grams of sugar, more than your typical candy bar. Whole-milk yogurts are high in fat. The best buy? Non-fat yogurt with fresh fruit.

Now, you've gotten home, brought in the groceries, stored them away. Now, it's time to fix the food in healthy ways. Here's how:

• Steam vegetables. Boiling them breaks down the vitamins, which then leach into the water.

• Bake, broil or grill fish and lean meats - and cut your levels of fat and cholesterol tremendously.

• Substitute applesauce for oil in baked goods to save fat and calories. Swap 1 tablespoon applesauce for 1tablespoon vegetable oil - and slash 96 calories and 14 grams of fat.

• Top a baked potato with nonfat yogurt instead of sour cream - and slash your calories, total fat and saturated fat tremendously. Some people blow their weight-management programs by piling their baked potatoes with all kinds of unhealthy stuff. So keep in mind that just because you eat a baked potato, doesn't mean it's healthy; it all depends on what you put on top of the potato.

• Cook with wasabi, pomegranate molasses or tandoori paste to add exotic flavor to your dishes, but little or no fat.

• Keep the peels off citrus. Peels are rich in vitamins and disease-fighting phytochemicals. So what do you do with the peels? Spread grated orange and lemon peels on baked or grilled fish. Add them to muffins and cookies.


Source: Shape; Tuesday, 20 June 2006; Website: www.shape.com


Cheers,

Eve:-)


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