Archive for March, 2010

Here’s a Food Revolution — Join a CSA

Have you seen the popular show, Food Revolution with Chef Jamie Oliver?  

In a nutshell he is trying to “makeover” Huntington, WV since they are always ranked as one of the worst cities in terms of obesity and several other associated diseases. 

Food Revolution.  That’s powerful.  Most people need one!

While he’s not the first to coin this term, he’s definitely bringing it more to light.  

Even though we’re well aware of how poor nutrition knowledge is with most kids and adults, it was still amazing to watch as kids couldn’t identify very basic fruits and veggies, like tomatoes!  

And then I thought about how we are and how we’re trying to raise Ella.  

She’s already been exposed to foods that many adults haven’t tried – plain asparagus (not her favorite), quinoa with squash and ground cumin (LOVES THIS), and her ultimate favorite mixture of sweet potato, asparagus, and leeks all cookedeat local join a CSA and blended (asparagus are acceptable when mixed, I guess).  In fact, here’s a picture of her waiting for a spoonful of this delicious treat.

Now, this isn’t to say in 5 years she’s going to demand Twinkies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (I cringe as I write that). But hopefully with exposure to so many different things she continues to enjoy them and makes smarter food choices throughout her life.

What’s the point?  Well, the Farmer’s Markets officially open in early April here in Kentucky.  And it’s a Saturday morning tradition for the 3 of us to walk there to see what “goodies” they have …

…but in addition, we also joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).  We’re lucky to have a Farmer’s Market just a few minutes away from our house.  But CSA’s give you the opportunity to benefit from the same great foods even if there isn’t a market as close to you.

I’ll give you the website to find one in your area.  A CSA basically means you buy share of a local farmers crop.  In Louisville we pay about $600 or so for produce (that is for weekly delivery from May – November) which comes out to around $15-20/week.  Then you can usually add on milk, poultry, eggs, meat, etc.

You definitely want to check them out and see if there are any near you.

The farm we’re likely going with this year is 100% organic (not all are), assures you that nothing is picked earlier than the morning you pick up your delivery, and their drop off location is 10 minutes away.  

We’re supporting the local farmer, getting more nutrients because of the freshness, and it will taste much better than most produce in the grocery store.  Now if those aren't enough reasons, I can't convince you to give it a try!

You can find one in your area by visiting http://www.LocalHarvest.org and typing in your zip code.

Let us know if you’ve ever participated in one and give us your feedback.

My prediction is that CSA's are going to continue to grow by leaps and bounds!

 

How Can We Help?

Spring is FINALLY HERE…

But with this warmer weather, we always hear "that means we're THAT much closer to bathing suit season!"

We asked this same question a week or ago and got some great questions.

What is YOUR biggest stumbling block when it comes to losing body weight, getting rid of that beer belly or muffin top?

Do us a favor, click on the comment tab above, and leave a comment  …

 

Our goal is to help YOU achieve yours.  And with your help, we can do that.

The Healthiest Breakfast in the World

It shouldn't be a surprise to hear that breakfast is the most important meal of the day — you'll lose weight, have more energy, and more focus…

But sometimes it's easy to run out of ideas…

…and 99% of breakfast cereals leave a lot to be desired!  Very simply, they're full of sugar and other junk.

So here is our FAVORITE breakfast in the world — gives you more veggies than most people eat in a week, is easy to make (particularly when you prep the veggies ahead), and will fill you up so you don't fill out!

You've never seen so much spinach in one omelet!

Women Should Exercise an Hour a Day to Maintain Weight

Linda woke up at 5 AM, like she does every morning, for her daily workout before work.  This was her routine five days per week for 30-45 minutes per day.  Her exercise varied each day; sometimes she did some weight training, other days she walked outside with girlfriends, and in the warmer months, she sometimes swam laps.how much exercise do I need to lose weight

At 43 years old, her main goal was to prevent weight gain and keep up with her active grandchildren.  Of course boosting self esteem and improving her confidence were up there too.

But there was a panic in her voice when she called us the other day when the results of a new study were released – suggesting that just to maintain body weight, women needed to exercise for 60 minutes per day, 7 days/week.

A study released earlier this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association tracked body weight in over 34,000 women who were an average of 54 years old at the start of the 13 year study. 

During this period, women gained nearly 6 lbs. 

This is compared to most Americans who gain around 1.5 lbs each year between 25 and 55 years of age.

The goal of the study was to see how much exercise is needed to prevent weight gain without a change in diet.

And the conclusion was that women need to exercise at a moderate intensity for 7 hours each week.  Those who met this higher level of regular exercise gained fewer than the nearly 6 lbs most women in the study gained.

Few things going on here.

  1. Remember this was without a specific dietary change.  Losing or trying to prevent weight gain without changing your nutrition is not smart.  Exercise doesn’t work … without a change in diet.
  2. Don’t look at this 7 hours per week and get overwhelmed thinking you have no hope if you just do 30-60 minutes 5 days/week.  All exercise is incredible for you.  Make smart nutrition decisions as well.
  3. They didn’t compare different exercise intensities in this study – high intensity exercise is more effective for weight loss and weight gain prevention. 

Take Home Point.

Take the results of this study, like all studies, with a grain of salt.  We all need to move more, but don’t think that if you’re not doing structured exercise for 7 hours every single week, all hope is lost.  That being said, as men and women age, it is more difficult to maintain body weight so don’t slack off now. 

Eat clean 90% of the time.  Move as much as possible.  Make time for structured exercise.  Ramp up the intensity of what you're currently doing.

 

Does High-Fructose Corn Syrup Make You Fatter?

Is high fructose corn syrup making you fat? 

We've talked about this before, but a brand new study that was just published is bringing this topic to light again.

You may have seen the commercials by the Corn Industry saying high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is no worse than other added sugars.high fructose corn syrup causes weight gain

On the flip side, some scientists and nutrition experts have been screaming at the top of their lungs that HFCS causes weight gain and is partly responsible for the obesity epidemic.

Well a brand new study is out that's receiving a ton of attention. 

"High-fructose corn syrup causes characteristics of obesity in rats: Increased body weight, body fat and triglyceride levels"

Here's a quick summary.  HFCS is an added sugar that is used by many food and beverage companies because it's cheap and easy to use in beverages because it's liquid.

Well, interestingly, the boom of HFCS use matches very closely to the increase in the obesity epidemic over the last few decades.

But while some research made the correlation between HFCS and obesity, most has shown mixed results.

However, the currents study looked at both the short and long term effects of HFCS on weight, fat, and triglycerides in male and female rats.

The first study was 8 weeks long and the male rats were separated into 3 groups:

The first group was maintained for 12 hours/day on a diet made up of 8% HFCS and unlimited amounts of "chow."

The second was maintained for 12 hours/day on 10% sucrose (table sugar) and unlimited chow.

The third was was maintained for 24 h/day with HFCS with unlimited chow

And the fourth — chow alone.

They found that rats with 12-h access to HFCS gained significantly more body weight than the rats in the table sugar group. 

What's important, though, is that they both ate the same number of overall calories.

In the longer term part of this study, rats were fed these diets for 6 or 7 months and they found that the male and female rats with access to HFCS gained more body weight, fat and had higher levels of triglycerides than those in the other groups.

What's the moral of the story?

We're not fans of ANY added sugars — sucrose to HFCS, turbinado to molasses.  At the end of the day, though, is one WORSE than the others?

This one study shows it may be — but after looking at the study, I'm not too impressed with the design and methods.  We're still not convinced that HFCS is worse than other added sugars.  And we're not convinced that HFCS is the cause of the obesity epidemic — that being said, the foods that it's most prevalent in, though, surely play a role:

  • Soft drinks
  • Fruit juices/cocktails
  • Most other sweetened foods

It's even in "common" foods like ketchup, so read food labels carefully!

Take Home: if a food as added sugar (any type) as one of the first 3 ingredients, leave it on the shelf. 

Stay tuned on the HFCS debate as more will surely be uncovered.

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