Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Families Eating on the Run: 1 2 3

With all this talk of "soccer mom" on the news I'm reminded families with young children, single parent families and families with both parents working (which pretty much covers most of us) have challenges eating healthy on the run, driving here, there and everywhere!

How did all this healthy eating get started? I remember thinking "what would be something easy I could do that would not be too hard? You know a small step in the right direction?" Something easy to do. It came to me ... the easiest thing to do would be not step foot in a fast food restaurant and nor would my family for one year.

Easy? What was I thinking?

I didn't realize how much time I spent in the "got to have that toy", inside jungle gym "play place" which of course is the location of all "happy meals". Once I make a decision I stick to it and I could stick to this too. I had set the challenge before me and I was up for it. Me turn back? Never! After all I announced to all my friends my new eating plan "stay way from fast food places" so how could I turn back? Although, I have to admit my family did not share in my enthusiasm or commitment however they were along for the ride, mostly because I do all the driving.

This may seem like "too much time" but the next time you are sitting in the drive-in window with the kids screaming at each other, can't decide what they want and you are running late for where ever you are going... think about how much time you are wasting sitting there making yourself crazy and the kids too! Last time I checked there really is nothing "fast" about "fast food." Besides what could be faster than a apple and a glass of water?

Here is what I learned.... plan, enlist some help and reward success.

1. Plan ahead.
Remember the old saying "plan your work and work your plan'? Well here you go ...
  • Your car is your refrigerator, keep a cooler or reusable insulated bags in the car.
  • Freeze bottles of water to keep foods cold and for cold water later.
  • Have cold bottles of water ready to go.
  • If you like flavored water, make tea (decaffeinated), make lemonade in the bottles.
  • Snacks, divide into single portion sizes as directed on the package put in containers, zip lock bags.
  • Cut up fruit and veggies sprinkle with lemon juice prevent from turning brown.
  • Your car is also your trash can so keep trash bags handy. I keep extra in the trunk of my car.
  • Expect guests. Other children will love the snacks you have and will want some too!

2. Enlist some help.
Enroll your family in the program. Ask them for help, ideas and support. Make it fun. Once your family sees there is no turning back they will jump on board.

Snack ideas:
  • Whole wheat, rice crackers and cheese
  • Sliced apples (lemon juice) and natural peanut butter
  • Oranges pealed, sectioned
  • Brussel sprouts, Carrots, Broccoli, Green Beans raw or steamed
  • Green peppers, cucumbers sliced
  • Whole wheat pretzels
  • Pita bread, sliced and hummus
  • Hard boiled eggs, pealed
  • Chicken cubed
  • Protein, snack bars (no hydrogenated oils or high fructose corn syrup)

3. Reward your success.
Any time you make a change there will be challenges the biggest challenge being your thinking. Many of the choices you make are from habit, what comes easy, without thought. So this will require some re-thinking. It's not easy for you or your family. Set small goals. I started with one week. Then 2 weeks, then 3. Success builds on success even small changes all up to big ones. Reward yourself. Decide what the reward will be in advance, enlist some help, when you reach your goal, celebrate!

It is now 6 years later. Funny how things are different since my family stopped eating at fast food joints. I lost 30 pounds (and have not put it back on), my kids never fight over where we are going to eat after school and we saved money on our food bill. The fast food places have continued to grow, as have our nations obesity epidemic for adults and children.
Maybe it really isn't funny at all.

Food for thought:
  • Reusable containers and bottles are good for you (easy) and good for the environment.
  • Anything you make yourself will be more healthy than anything you buy ready to go.
  • Any sugar you add will be lower in sugar than anything you buy.
  • If it comes out of the freezer it is not the "best" or even a "good" choice of foods.
  • The more convient the food is the more salt and unhealthy additives it has.
  • The lower the fat content the higher the sugar content.
  • The longer the self life ... the shorter your life.
I did make one more small change that was to enroll my children in the Juice Plus+ Children's Health Study, I consider it the "real health insurance - prevention".

Monday, September 15, 2008

Can Fruits and Vegetables Cut Cancer Risk?

H e re i s a great article published by WebMD on Sep 12, 2008. Findings might be mixed about eating fruits, vegetables and colon cancer but the consensus isn't for improved health. There are over 4,000 publish studies that establish the benefits (reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses) of eating a diet packed full of fruits and vegetables.

Major health organizations recommend eating a diet full of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. The USDA recommends 7 - 13 servings of fruits and vegetables (6 cups) every day to maintain a healthy body. (www.mypyramid.org).

There is no medical condition that is not improved by good nutrition and there is not one medical condition that is not made worse by bad nutrition. - Dr. Paul Williams, Emergency Room Specialist

Can Fruits and Vegetables Cut Cancer Risk?

Does eating fruits, vegetables, and grains really protect against colorectal cancer? Researchers have been studying this question for years, but their findings have been mixed.

Now a new study from the University of Hawaii weighs in on the issue, but it may do little to clear up the confusion.

The investigation found a modest protective benefit for fruit and vegetable consumption in men but not in women. The benefit was stronger for colon cancer than rectal cancer , and eating grains was not
linked to colorectal cancer.

The findings raise as many questions as they answer, Abraham Nomura, MD, PhD, tells WebMD.

"Based on our research and some of the other studies, there is a suggestion that men derive more benefit from eating fruits and vegetables in terms of colorectal cancer risk than women," he says.
"But at this point it is only a suggestion."

Fruits, Vegetables, and Cancer Nomura and colleagues followed close to 200,000 adults between the ages of 45 and 75 for an average of seven years, during which time 1,138 of the men and 972 of the women developed colon or rectal cancer.

All the study participants filled out a food frequency questionnaire when they entered the trial.
Based on those answers, the researchers concluded that men who ate the most fruits and vegetables were 26% less likely to develop colorectal cancer than men who ate the least. No decrease in risk associated with fruit and vegetable consumption was seen for women.

There is some suggestion that the female hormone estrogen and estrogen therapy helps protect against colorectal cancer. If this is the case, it might help explain why women would derive less benefit from eating fruits and vegetables than men, Nomura says.

When the researchers analyzed data from only women who took estrogen therapy, they found no difference in colorectal cancer risk among those who ate the most fruits and vegetables and the least.
The study is published in the latest issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Different Studies, Different Findings

The investigation is not the first to suggest that eating fruits and vegetables may be more protective for men than for women. Last year, a joint study by the National Institutes of Health and the AARP concluded that eating vegetables but not fruit lowered colorectal cancer risk in men but not women.
But a pooled analysis of 14 studies of fruit and vegetable consumption on colon cancer risk, also published last year, showed no strong link to colon cancer risk in general and no difference between men and women. A protective benefit appeared stronger for cancers of the lower colon, with a 26% decrease in risk seen.

Anita Koushik, PhD, who led the study team, tells WebMD that most of the recent studies examining the impact of fruit and vegetable consumption on colorectal cancer risk suggest no more than a modest benefit.

"There are still many unanswered questions," she says. "We don't yet know the effect of fruit and vegetable consumption at younger ages and throughout life. That hasn't really been studied."

By Salynn Boyles Reviewed by Louise Chang ©2005-2008 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved. Feedback Terms of Service Privacy Statement
If this is you, you might want to try Juice Plus+
See what everyone is talking about...

PS Great movie " SuperSize Me"

Monday, September 8, 2008

Change 5 to Lower Cholesterol

Remember the old saying "There are many roads to Rome"?

When it comes to the state of health whether your concern is cholesterol, heart disease or stroke it is no different. You took many roads to get where you are. Most likely you will need to take many roads back. It is good for you to remember it took some time for your state of health to develop to where it is now. Getting back is not an over night process. There is no one solution and no quick fix.

You can begin by asking yourself "how did I get here?" Your health and well being is complicated with many factors to consider. Your sleep or sleeplessness. The amount of activity (exercise) you do or not, what and how much you eat, drink. Your feelings, thoughts and those around you who care or do not "care" for you. Some of what you were born into is in the mix but just a little (10 -30% is genetic).

On the road to better health remember, one change will not do it, several small changes will make a big difference in the long run. Let's start with 5.
  1. Eat a fiber rich breakfast.
  2. Switch to whole grains.
  3. Eat beans.
  4. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
  5. Eat foods rich in omega 3's.

Suggested foods

Make a habit of eating breakfast. Breakfast improves mental clarity, reduces weight gain, increases weight loss and increases your chances of adding fiber to your diet. The more fiber you eat the lower your blood sugar and cholesterol.
  • Whole grain cereal - greater than 8 grams of fiber
  • Oatmeal - add almonds, walnuts, berries, cinnamon
  • Soy yogurt (unflavored) - add fresh fruit, apples, berries, oranges, almonds
  • Peanut butter (all natural, low sugar) - with apples, pears, celery, carrots
  • Smoothie - Soy or almond milk, yogart, fruit, flax seeds or flax oil, soy protein powder
Omega 3: Eat fish 3 times per week.
Research supports increasing omega 3 in your diet will reduce blood pressure, reduce inflammation, reduce risk of blood clots, decreases brain fog and in some cases depression. (www.nordicnaturals.com, www.coromega.com)
  • Salmon
  • walnuts
  • almonds
  • avocados
  • flax seeds, flax oil
Whole Grains:
Adding whole grains reduces LDL (bad cholesterol) and total cholesterol, the body's insulin requirement thus lowers blood sugar (Type 2 diabetes) and reduces risk of many cancers. The recommendation for daily fiber is 35 grams. For example: 1 1/2 cups of oatmeal = 6 grams.
  • Barley
  • Brown rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • Millet
  • Oatmeal
  • Whole-wheat bread, pasta or crackers
  • Wild rice
Beans: Beans are a major player is the fight against cancer, high in protien, high in fiber, anti-inflamitory andlower cholesterol and also impact diabetes. (www.nutritiondata.com)
  • Add 1/2 cup 4 times per week. Add to soups, salads, dip ect.
Fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are the only way to clean up oxidative stress in your body. Oxidative stress impacts DNA, immune system and inflammatory process. The anti- oxidents in fruits and vegetables are critical to the state of your health or dis-eas. When you eat fruits and vegetables you feel more energetic, awake, improves digestion, impacts depression and every chronic disease including cholesterol management. (www.yourjuiceplus.com)

Fresh, raw, is best, blanched, lightly steamed is OK.
  • 2 cups/day children
  • 6 cups/day for women
  • 7 cups/day for men

The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association no longer recommends taking supplements of antioxidants to prevent cardiovascular disease. They recommend getting your antioxidants from whole foods.

Food for Thought: Every state of health or dis-ease is impacted and improved by the nutrition you put into your body. There is no disease that is improved by bad nutrition. - Dr. Paul Williams, Emergancy Room Physician

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Live to 100 - 10 Tips to Optimal Nutrition


Have you ever wondered if you could make 10 choices to positively impact your health what would they be? After all if you are not making yourself healthy, are you making yourself unhealthy? Is there really a neutral ground?

Here is one way to look at it. With each healthy choice you make on a daily basis you are moving closer to the health and vitality you want to experience from this day forward. Of course the other side of the coin is ... with every unhealthy choice you are making you are moving your self away from the optimal life you deserve. Just think the body you have is the one that is going to take you the rest of the way.

And how far would that be? What is the rest of the way? Depends on who you ask.

As reported in the article 100 Ways to Live to 100 published in The Huffington Post "we're living longer than ever: The average American born in 2013 will be alive nearly four years longer than someone born 20 years ago. But until recently, it wasn't clear if the years we've added to our lives were good-quality years.

A recent study from the University of Massachusetts Medical School starts to answer that question. Researchers found that today, 25 year olds can expect to live "2.4 more years of a healthy life" and 65 year olds can look forward to 1.7 extra healthy years than people who lived two decades back."

Your financial planner will encourage you to plan to live to 98 years old. Time magazine reported in the article Health Check Up: How to Live to 100  for those who were born before 1979 ... 1 in 25 of us will live to be 100. For those who were born after 1979 ... 1 in 10 will live to be 100 years old. 

Anti-aging experts say we can live to 120 years old, in Secrets of a Long Life published in National Geographic devoted an entire issue to aging with vitality for those who are currently living 100+ years. The 3 secrets eat a healthy diet (fruits, vegetables), keep active and have a strong social support group. Seems easy enough.

There is even a website that will calculate your "real age" vs. your chonicalogical age. You can take the test here  www.realage.com. 

What is your personal goal for longevity and vitality?

When I worked at the hospital I met a man who was 99 years old. I ask him how it was going, living so long. His response was "If I knew I was going to live this long I would have made taken better care of myself." What are you going to say when you are 99 years old?

10 Tips to Optimal Health
Source: Holford, Paul. The New Optimum Nutrition Bible.

1. 1 tablespoon of ground seeds or seed oil. (such as flax).

2. 2 servings of beans, lentils, quiona, tofu.

3. 3 Pieces of fruit such as apples, berries, pears, melon.

4. 4 servings of whole grains - brown rice, millet, rye, oats, whole wheat, quiona.

5. 5 servings of dark green leafy veggies; root vegetables - carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach.

6. 6 glasses of water, herb teas.

7. Eat organic when ever possible.

8. Supplement.  We recommend the whole food nutrition of Juice Plus+, Carlson Labs organic Vitamin D3 and Nordic Naturals Omega 3)

9. Avoid fried, burnt, browned food, hydrogenated fats and excess animal fat.

10. Avoid any form of sugar, chemical additives, alcohol, coffee or tea. Drink no more than 1 glass of wine/alcohol per day, more than 2 increases your risk of stroke.

There you have it!

Your partner in health,

Cindy Cohen RN
Health Coach
C2 Your Health LLC