Nutritional

Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving

Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving

The American Council on Fitness estimates that the average person consumes around 3,000 calories on Thanksgiving and 229 grams of fat.  Yikes! It doesn’t have to be that way. The best defense is a good offense – prevention!  Here are a few tips to incorporate into your Thanksgiving holiday.   Get Moving – Exercising before the big meal will help jump-start your metabolism and declare that you are committed to your health goals. It will set the stage for good choices later.  So, go for a walk or run to enjoy some pre-festivities alone time, or grab your favorite second cousin to catch up. For something a bit more competitive, round up a group of family or friends and hit the backyard for a game of football.  Don’t have a lot of time? Check out this HIIT round of exercises from Vicki Heath that anyone can do in about fifteen minutes

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I Need Ice Cream!

I Need Ice Cream!

The definition of comfort food, according to Merriam Webster, is “food prepared in a traditional style having a usually nostalgic or sentimental appeal.” In other words, it’s food that makes you feel better and reminds you of a happier time when you’re stressed or upset.  Research has shown that comfort foods are associated with relationships and do make us feel less alone when we are isolated.   What is your comfort food?  Is it a deep-fried corn dog, which reminds you of summers at home?  Is it ice cream that reminds you of the song of the ice cream truck when you were a kid? A grilled cheese sandwich that your grandmother used to make for you?  Research also shows that foods we associate with happy memories influence how good we think a food tastes, as well as how good they make us feel.   The reasons why we struggle

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Ask the Dietitian – Grains

Can you help me answer the following question that came up for discussion last night at our meeting? Many see grains as bad or a sure way to gain weight/or lose weight. I have personally eliminated a lot due to a season of following Paleo. Another member was told to limit her carbs because she is pre-diabetic. Can you give me some info to share on this topic and encourage grains with a scientific/God background?  Your question about grains comes up quite a bit.  There has been so much confusing media attention to grains in recent years, much of which falsely puts them in a bad light overall.  You have done well to speak a lot about the quality of grains in your classes–that is the best start to “undoing” the damage.  Continue to encourage them to focus on whole grains for the vast majority of their daily grain choices, if not

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Just Tell Me What To Eat

Just Tell Me What To Eat

“Just tell me what to eat.” Have you ever said that? “Just give me a list and tell me what to do.” Or maybe you’ve thought about how nice it would be if someone would make a delicious, healthy meal and set it in front of you every time it was time to eat. Well, there’s a place where they do that. At Wellness Week in Round Top! Every year we make delicious meals that are filling and healthy. We have a breakfast bar that is available all day—full of wonderful things for breakfast and snacks—the things you know you should keep available in your own home, but don’t seem to have the time. There are fruits, yogurt, cereals, peanut butter, whole-grain breads, boiled eggs, flavored teas, coffee and fruit-infused water available all day long. It makes eating healthy so easy, but also enjoyable. During the week, in her afternoon

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A Fresh Pick

A Fresh Pick

When inspecting produce, use your senses. Ask yourself how the item smells, how it feels, and whether it looks appealing. These are good indicators of its freshness. Check out these tips for finding the fresh pick in your fruits and vegetables. FRESH FRUIT The flesh should be firm, but give a little. If your plums, berries, or nectarines are rock hard, they’re not ripe. Citrus fruits that are too firm are likely dry on the inside. Heaviness can indicate how juicy a fruit or melon is, especially with oranges, lemons, watermelon, and cantaloupe. Give the fruit a sniff. You should pick up a light aroma from it. A strong aroma can indicate over-ripeness, and if the fruit smells a bit sour or stinky, you’re probably holding an apple or bag of grapes that’s past its prime. A light, sweet smell is a good indicator that your fruit is fresh and

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Pint-sized Meal Planners

Pint-sized Meal Planners

Summer is a great time for involving children in food shopping and preparation.  Our schedules can be more relaxed and allow the extra time to include them.  Their involvement will help develop positive attitudes about food and prepare them for independence as they get older. Take the kids grocery shopping and ask them to help you choose what to buy. For example, ask them to pick three fruits and three vegetables they would like to eat during the week. Ask each child to help plan the family meal on a designated night.  Let him or her even handle the details. For example, stop at a party supply store and let the planner select special paper napkins. Remind kids that tastes can change.  Encourage them to try at least one bite of everything- call it a “no, thank you” bite. Remember that it takes children a while to try new things,

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Eat Right

Eat Right

You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV) The human body is an amazing and complex creation. God created us, breathed life into us and our bodies are the temple for the Holy Spirit. We have a responsibility to properly care for God’s temple until we take our very last breath. As Dr. Dick Couey says in the First Place 4 Health DVD, Why Should a Christian Be Physically Fit, we want to be strong enough to serve God as long and as best as we can. But eating healthy doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are a few simple tips to get you started: EAT THINGS YOU CAN GROW. An apple comes from a tree. A potato comes from the ground. Where does a Twinkie come from? Unprocessed, whole foods will

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Where’s Your Focus?

Where's Your Focus?

I was recently convicted about something that I thought was no longer a big issue or challenge for me. “So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12) comes to mind, right?  Anyway, I will confess that I allowed a few too many calories to pass through my lips, along with a little less exercise, than I needed over the Christmas holidays.  I was still in my healthy weight range, but not exactly where I knew I needed to be—for me.  So, I made a concentrated effort to cut my calories back a little from my usual maintenance level of 1600-1800 and was following the 1300-1400 calorie level on the FP4H Live-it chart.  I was SO CAREFUL….but after a couple of weeks with still no change, I was getting a little upset.  Old thoughts started popping into my mind—the same ones I battled over 20 years ago

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Spring Cleaning Your Pantry

Spring Cleaning Your Pantry

As we head into spring, our thoughts turn to cleaning out closets and garages, but there’s another place you might want to consider in your spring cleaning plan—your pantry.  Here are some tips to get you started. Before heading to the store, “shop” your pantry to find ingredients you already have for easy, tasty recipes. Homemade soup is a great way to use a mixture of pantry ingredients such as pasta, dried beans, canned vegetables, spices and grains.  You can find a great recipe later in this newsletter. Designate items for donations that you know you won’t use. It’s easy to find a local food bank with Feeding America’s food bank locator – http://feedingamerica.org/foodbank-results.aspx. Place older foods first on each shelf and newer foods behind them so that the older foods get used up first. Place frequently-used items on shelves that are easy to reach. Label each item with the dateit was purchased,

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Seven Reasons to Keep Tracking

Seven Reasons to Keep Tracking

Of all the habits I’ve formed in the last eleven years of my wellness journey, completing my Live It Tracker has never changed.  If I track, I succeed. If I stop tracking, my weight rises. My tracker guides me and doesn’t condemn me. If I have a higher calorie meal or snack, I’m able to compensate during the next meal or the next day. When I fill out a tracker honestly and completely, it’s a great day. My tracker sheds light on the hidden calories.  If I can’t figure out how to track it, it probably has hidden calories.  I look at the nutritional information and determine how to track. If I can’t figure out how to track it, I’ll make a different choice. My tracker gives me greater success when I eat out.  At a restaurant, I ask the server questions and then do a quick Internet search for

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