Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mindful Eating: A Diet for 2010 & a Lifetime

Does your food seem to disappear without you smelling, tasting or truly enjoying the pleasure of a good meal? Mindful eating is a way of eating that can translate into a significant health improvement for everyone in your family. It involves lifestyle changes that you can follow forever, and at no cost. Mindful eating teaches people how to avoid the opposite, mindless eating. Mindful eating requires that you shut off the computer, TV, or electronic devices and put down reading material. It requires that you sit down at the table, portion and plate foods versus bag, counter or car eating. Minus these distractions, you slowly become more in tune to your body’s hunger and fullness (satiety) cues and more appreciative of the meal before you.

People who eat mindlessly often eat in a rushed, panicked or tense manner. They don’t relax during a meal; rather they chew very little and swallow in large chunks. It takes 20 minutes for the stomach to signal the brain that it has had enough. A mindless eater is typically the 1st one done, and reaching for dessert because their stomach brain relay is still in midcourse. Many mindless eaters also need to harness responses to emotions (angry, sad, bored, and happy), society pressures (time is everything, thin is in) and specific foods (chips & cheese, ice cream, chocolate).

Select foods based on quality not quantity. Make sure they appeal to your sense of smell, taste, and are visually appealing. Mindful eating does not require that you eat certain foods just because they are good for you, in fact you shouldn’t eat foods that you don’t like. It is most important to enjoy your meal from beginning to end, savoring each bite, listening to body cues, eating slowly and as a result not overeating. What do you think? Should a change to mindful eating be in your 2010 plan?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

American College of Sports Medicine 2010 Fitness Trends

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has published the top 10 fitness trends for 2010. As you review these trends consider your New Year’s resolution.

(1/4) Would you benefit from the assistance from a qualified health & fitness expert?
(2) Do you need to add a consistent strength training program to your workout routine?
(3) Would your children benefit from better eating and exercise habits?
(5) Have you let your core go this fall?
(6/7) If you are an older adult, are you entering your retirement years strong, energetic & independent?
(9) Do you need to round out your running program with Pilates to maintain your flexibility and improve posture?
(8/10) Would your running benefit from a sports specific book, class or support group to give you that little extra oomph you’ve been missing?

All are great fitness options worthy of resolution. Have a great holiday and enjoy the winter run, snow shoe, skiing or indoor cycling & swims, just don't neglect the weights!  To view the full top 10 trends:

Monday, December 14, 2009

Alcohol Consumption Greater in Athletes?

A study published by the Department of Sociology at the University of Miami compared alcohol consumption rates to the amount of physical activity men and women engaged in. They evaluated these habits for more than 230,850 males and females. They found no differences between sexes. Their research showed individuals who drink exercised an average of 7.2 more minutes than those who abstained from alcohol. When compared with abstainers, light, moderate and heavy drinkers exercised 5.7, 10.1 and 19.9 more minutes per week. They concluded that alcohol consumption and physical activity were positively correlated. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that males limit their alcohol intake to two servings/day and females one serving/day. One serving is equal to 12 ounces of beer, 5.5 ounces of wine or 1 ½ ounces of spirits. Athletes need to adhere to these guidelines since alcohol in excess is dehydrating, reduces effectiveness of workouts, raises blood pressure, creates vitamin and mineral deficiencies and eventually impacts the livers ability to maximize glycogen (energy) storage. Athletes who drink after especially hard workouts need to make sure they rehydrate well with water first so they don’t end up substituting alcoholic beverages to quench their thirst.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Athlete Who Has Everything

The holidays are bearing down as I continue to search for the perfect gift for the athlete who has everything. Here are some of my favorite gifts from years gone by.

1. Ear buds that stay put while running on windy days. Meijers has a wrap behind the ear version that sells for < $20.

2. Ice Joggers cost anywhere from $20-80 and keep your feet firmly planted regardless of snow or ice.

3. Bondi Bands keep hair in place, ears warm and ear buds tight.

4. Books & Magazines: “Fuel for Young Athletes” by Ann Litt, “Nancy Clark’s Food Guide for New Runners” by Nancy Clark, “The Triathletes Training Bible” by Joel Friel & a Michigan Runner Subscription

5. “Runners World Training Journal” it comes with 150 tips on nutrition, hydration and exercise. Journaling has been proven to improve performance and enhance motivation.

6. Foam Rollers. Great for IT bands, shin splints, improving flexibility & range of motion.

7. A grab bag of latest gels, gu, beans & cubes. They are very portable for winter long runs and it’s a good time to experiment with new products.

8. Hydration belt, bottle or pack to keep your energy and fluids high. is a good resource for BPA free Sigg water bottles

9. Running watch, heart rate monitor or GPS or a 3 in 1 depending on your budget.

10. Geer bag. These can be filled with any of the above, sports wash, safety light, glide, socks, shower wipes, reflectors, gift certificates to sporting good stores or prepaid entry fees to favorite races.

If you have other favorites, send them my way on facebook at E2 dietitian, see discussion thread. Happy holidays & keep running.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Make 1/2 Your Plate Fruits & Vegies

The Healthy People 2010 objectives are nearing the end of their 10 year plan. The objective for fruits and vegetables is to increase the proportion of Americans over 2 year of age consuming > 2 servings of fruit daily to > 75% and > 3 servings of vegetables to > 50%. Unfortunately, Michigan like most ranks in the norm as a poor consumer with only 10-14% of the population meeting the goal. Why the push? Fruits and vegetables are a cheap form of health prevention. They are rich in phytochemicals that halt, lessen or prevent disease and are a great source of antioxidants which help repair the tissue damage caused by long runs and sprints. They are also part of a high fiber diet that has been shown to reduce risk for obesity and cancer, lower cholesterol and improve blood glucose levels. If you have younger family members try as a fun way to serve up health meals. If you are looking for ideas on how to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet go to This site will calculate your individual fruit and vegetable needs, provide good budget ideas, identify recipes for picky eaters and feature a special fruit and vegetable of the month.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Go Nuts!

I often recommend that athletes have 1.5 ounce of nuts for a mid afternoon snack and a couple cups of water to stay hydrated between meals. Nuts provide protein to rebuild muscle, healthy monounsaturated fat, antioxidant Vitamin E, potassium for muscle contraction, fiber and phytochemicals that make it a powerhouse of a snack. In the last 5 years, over 100 research papers have been published about the health benefits of tree nuts, mainly its ability to reduce LDL and total cholesterol. Based on the scientific evidence, the FDA approved a qualified health claim for nuts which states eating 1.5oz (42 grams) of nuts per day may help reduce the risk of heart disease, when part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Go nuts this fall! Help your heart, improve your performance, and curb your appetite going into the dinner hour.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Water Bottle Safety

Reusable water bottles are great for keeping us hydrated during sports activities, at work and school. It’s important to bring them home for a regular cleaning to prevent bacteria growth and the spread of flu virus. It’s equally critical to make sure plastic water bottles do not carry the number 3 or 7 embedded inside the triangle on the bottom. Plastics with a 3 or 7 mean they contain BPA or bisphenol A, a compound used to make plastics. Repeatedly, studies show that BPA is hazardous to our health with positive correlations to obesity, infertility, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, DNA abnormalities and thyroid disorders. The 6 top baby bottle manufacturers stopped using BPA plastics in March 2009. While Connecticut already has a ban in place, Minnesota and Illinois will ban the plastic in any children’s sippy cups and baby bottles by 2010. The Food and Drug Administration has promised to review the safety of BPA in food and beverage containers by the end of November and France may become the first European country to ban BPA’s. Our family had a full drawer of water bottles from races and for back to school hydration. It is now down to 5, with the brightly colored, kid, friendly orange and green one from the major grocery store chain hitting the garbage can, both were number 7’s!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Breaking the Fast

By the time breakfast rolls around athletes have gone 8-12 hours without eating. Breakfast makes an important contribution to both our mind and body yet up to 30% of people head out the door with a low tank of gas. It is the most frequently skipped meal. Common excuses for skipping breakfast include: “I have to run or I’ll be late, I’m just not hungry that early in the morning, it makes me nauseous” and “I’m trying to lose a few pounds”. Breakfast eaters share many of the following characteristics that are beneficial in school, work and athletic performance.

• Better hand eye coordination
• Higher attendance
• Improved concentration
• Greater spatial and cognitive problem solving
• More nutritious diet, better intake of vitamin A, C, riboflavin, calcium, iron, zinc and fiber

Breakfast skippers on the other hand tend to have a higher incidence of obesity and their diets that are higher in saturated fat and cholesterol.

As an athlete skipping meals causes the body to rely on glycogen storage in the liver and muscle for energy. Performance will improve if these resources are topped off instead of running on reserves.  In order for an athlete to excel, they must put forth their best effort at every training session. Improving performance means not missing practice, showing up alert and focused and not starting your engine cold for morning workouts.  Break the fast!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What's In Your Grocery Cart?

According to Information Resources, a Chicago based resource firm, the top 10 selling grocery store items are:

The percentage of Americans who are overweight or obese, inactive with heart disease, diabetes and cancer related to obesity continues to rise. It’s no wonder if soda pop, alcohol, junk food, TV dinners and cigarettes (yes some make a diet of this carcinogen) head up the average American’s diet? Look inside a few grocery carts the next time you’re at the store and you will find many examples to support these survey results. Which shoppers are making purchasing decisions based on sustaining good health and optimum performance of mind and body? You don’t have to be an athlete to eat like one and it might even help reform health care the old fashioned way, prevention!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Yikes, I'm Out of Recovery Drink!

What can you find in your cupboards when you had such a great run that you decided to go not just a little extra, but a lot? You arrive home exhilarated but in need of replenishment only to find an absence of recovery drinks? This year, 2 home remedies have been touted in the media. The first study completed by the University of Texas on triathletes and cyclists used breakfast cereal. Muscle biopsies and blood samples showed muscle glycogen and protein synthesis for repair using cereal and milk was equal to that of sports drinks. The second study completed at James Madison University on soccer players used chocolate milk. They found equal or superior muscle recovery when compared to a high-carbohydrate recovery beverage of the same amount of calories. No cereal or chocolate milk? Have a banana and a glass of milk for a carbohydrate and protein equivalent to a Cliff Bar. Remember, recovery foods and beverages should be a 4:1 carbohydrate: protein ratio and consumed within 30 minutes of your exercise when enzymes are most active and blood flow is greatest. Don’t start your next work out fatigued, recover!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Food Diary of an Elite Athlete

If you eat like an elite athlete, train like an elite athlete, believe in your abilities, only then will you will have the potential to perform like an elite athlete (assuming genetics are on your side).  What does an elite athlete's diet look like?  I've had the opportunity to meet with many exceptional runners and triathletes and their food diaries all share the same characteristics:

  • Their weight does not fluctuate during the off season. They know how to fuel their body; never over or under feeding it.  Their muscle mass stays whole because they cross and strength train. 
  • Water is their beverage of choice and they hydrate all day long, with and between meals.
  • They do not run their engines cold in the morning. They always fuel with a light breakfast, sports drink or bar after the evening’s fast so that they are able to maximize their early morning training efforts.
  • They eat 3 meals/day which includes a big breakfast and 2-3 snacks/day. Their meals include a good protein source (low fat milk, yogurt, cheese, meat, beans or legumes) to support continuous muscle repair and growth.   
  • They replenish the fuel used by their muscle within 30 minutes of a workout, before showers yet after stretching. 
  • Their menus are well varied, unprocessed, low in saturated fat and cholesterol, high in antioxidants and omegas, rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and carbohydrates. In other words they choose nutrient dense foods 90% of the time. Yes many do have a sweet tooth, yet even the desserts they choose have a healthy bent such as oatmeal and raisin cookies, low fat ice cream with peanuts, and whole grain, low fat crackers with humus.
  • • They save alcohol for special occasions and don't over rely on caffeine for a pick me up. 

Many athletes have said that their breakthrough performances occurred when they stopped eating whatever, and began to “eat to perform”. Now is the time, maximize your training.  Eat with purpose and achieve your personal best in the upcoming season!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sports Nutrition Dental Health

Many hydration and energy practices of athletes are not great for dental health. Consider the following information from the University of Minnesota Dentistry: Barq’s Rootbeer has pH 4.61/10.7 tsp. sugar; Sprite pH 3.42/9 tsp. sugar; Diet Pepsi pH 3.05/0 tsp. sugar; Nestea Ice Tea 3.04/5 tsp. sugar; Gatorade pH 2.95/3.3 tsp sugar; Coca Cola Classic pH 2.53/9.3 tsp. sugar; and battery acid pH 1.0. Water by comparison has a pH of 7.0/0 tsp. sugar. The sugar contained in these beverages combines with the bacteria in mouth to form acid. This is compounded by the fact that many of these beverages are already high in acid which is the main cause of weakened enamel and promotes a great breeding ground for cavity formation. Energy bars, gels, bloks and jelly beans provide the same high sugar, sticky forum for dental decay. While you can’t stop, brush and floss during your long run there are some precautions you can take.

  1. Chug sports beverages don’t sip. This reduces the length of time in contact with the teeth and is a better hydration practice (faster gastric emptying times).
  2. Follow sticky solutions with water and swoosh.
  3. Chew sugarless gum to reduce residue left on teeth.
  4. Brush, floss and rinse when your workout is done.
  5. Encourage young athletes to drink water in events lasting less than one hour.
  6. Teach young athletes responsible dental hygiene in sports.
  7. Teach young athletes that sports drinks are for sports only; not lunch, break, or after dinner beverages.

 For more detailed information on this topic see:

Friday, August 14, 2009

Responsible Journalism

Is the moon full? This week has been riddled with journalistic attempts to bait the American public into believing inaccurate and misleading information. Time Magazine published an article titled “Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin” stating that the role of exercise in weight loss has been wildly overstated. They claim many people reward themselves with high fat foods following exercise, eat more due to exercise induced hunger and heaven forbid consume an occasional sports drink laden with extra calories! They down play the cardiovascular benefits, never address the improved lipid profile, immune system, bone density, and mental well being to name just a very few.,8599,1914857-1,00.html Further confusing the role of good eating and exercise habits, Good Morning America Weekend Edition featuring a “nutritionist” who received part of her credentialing by a healing arts center in Australia and took 9 week online courses. She touted soy protein bars, peanut butter and fruit after dinner as being taboo foods. Thankfully I also read an article called “Network TV morning health news segments may be harmful to your health” by an organization that reviews media for fact not “hook and bait” tactics. As Groucho Marx said so eloquently "It's important to have an open mind, just not so open that your brains fall out." Nutrition is a science not an opinion. A Registered Dietitian is the credentialed professional for nutrition information. Keep running, hydrate with water and sports drinks, refuel with a portable protein bar or peanut butter and jelly sandwich and eat an apple or any fruit whenever and as often as you like!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The 3 Musketeers: Sodium, Potassium and Chloride

Sodium is a vital electrolyte, especially for runners with high sweat losses. Many endurance athletes require more than the Tolerable Upper Level for sodium (2.3 gm/day) and chloride (3.6 gm/day). Beverages containing carbohydrate are recommended in sports lasting >1 hour, and sports drinks are recommended in events lasting > 2 hours. Sports drinks provide .5-.7 gm/liter sodium and .8-2.0 gm/liter of potassium as well as carbohydrate. This combination replace sweat electrolyte losses, sodium encourages thirst and fluid retention and the carbohydrates provide energy. Sweat contains an average concentration of 1 gm sodium/liter, modest amounts of potassium and small amounts of other minerals such as magnesium and chloride. Errors in proper hydration can result in dehydration, hypohydration, or hyponatremia. Nancy Clark MS, RD provides the following recipe for a homemade sports drink: mix 4 Tbsp sugar, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ cup orange juice and 3.5 cups cold water. Some people substitute lemon juice or unsweetened Koolaide mix for the orange juice for a variety in flavor.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Get Your Antioxidants

Many people know that antioxidants help prevent cell damage, but what impact does this have for an athlete? Since exercise increases oxygen consumption by 10-15 fold, it is hypothesized that exercise produces a constant oxidative stress on an athlete's muscles and cells. However current research suggests that individuals who engage in regular exercise combat this by developing more advanced antioxidant systems than their TV, couch junky counterparts. There is little information to date that shows antioxidants improve physical performance if we are already eating enough of them through our diet. New research is being conducted on how Vitamin E might reduce inflammation and muscle soreness during recovery from intense exercise, yet athletes are advised not to exceed the upper tolerable limit of 1000 mg for individuals >18 years of age due to increase risk of bleeding. Rich sources of vitamin E include: oils (wheat, sunflower, safflower, soybean and corn), almonds, peanut butter, peanuts, spinach, broccoli, kiwi and mango. Vitamin C research shows that physical performance is compromised when intake is borderline or inadequate. Athletes who participate in habitual, prolonged, strenuous exercise should consume 100-1000mg of Vitamin C daily. Rich sources of Vitamin C include: papaya, red pepper, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, cantaloupe, kiwi, broccoli, sweet and white potatoes.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Iron, You Won't Endure Without It!

Exercise in the absence of oxygen is anaerobic. Exercise in the absence of adequate iron intake is just plain foolishness. However iron poor blood is the most prevalent deficiency found in athletes, especially women and endurance runners. Iron is a must have for hemoglobin and myoglobin, the two proteins responsible for carrying oxygen throughout our circulatory system. Without it, muscles do not function correctly and their capacity for work is poor. In other words endurance is caput! Signs of iron deficiency include: feeling tired and weak, decreased attention at work and school, difficulty maintaining body temperature (chills) and increased susceptibility to infection. If your exercise performance has declined, ask your physician to test your serum ferritin and hemoglobin levels at your next physical. I've counseled many student athletes who have returned from their first year at college with anemia. Dorm foods are notoriously low in iron and are further compromised by poor eating habits. Iron rich foods include fortified whole grain breads and cereals, lean red meats and poultry, dark green vegetables (think Popeye and spinach), beans, nuts and legumes. Vitamin C helps iron get absorbed so have a side of orange juice with your cereal in the morning. For more on iron go to:

B Vitamins, Very Energizing

Many of you may be familiar with the link between B vitamins and energy because of their renewed rise in status due to designer waters and energy drinks. While I'm not an advocate of either of these beverages there is a connection. Thiamine, riboflavin, pyridoxine (B6), and biotin are involved in the creation of energy during exercise. Folate and B12 are needed to build red blood cells, make protein and repair tissue. Severe deficiency of B12 and folate may result in anemia causing poor endurance and easily fatigued muscles. The research to date has been limited but does indicate that exercise may increase your needs for these vitamins by as much as twice the recommended amount. However, B vitamins should be plentiful in your athletic carbohydrate rich diet that includes breads, whole grains and cereals, green leafy vegetables, fortified orange juice and red meat. There's no need to reach for the drinks with hyped up names. Sorry Red Bull, Monster and Vitaminwater, no plugs for you!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Calcium and Vitamin D

Bone density is maximized by age 30. Building strong, healthy bones is of primary importance in children and young adults, and maintaining those stores is important throughout adulthood. Athletes often meet key characteristics for keeping bones strong which include regular weight bearing activities, not smoking and the use of alcohol in moderation. However, 55% of males and 78% of females > age 20 do not consume enough calcium. Even if they do consume calcium rich foods, many Michigan athletes train indoors 2/3rds of the year limiting their sun exposure which in addition to dairy is a good source of Vitamin D, a requirement for calcium absorption. Calcium rich sources include: low fat milk, yogurt and ice cream, calcium fortified orange juice (good source of Vitamin C & Potassium), salmon (omega 6) soybeans and baked beans (iron and fiber). Vitamin D rich sources beyond dairy include: salmon, mackerel, tuna, shrimp and some margarines. Inadequate intake of calcium and vitamin D increases your risk for low bone-mineral density and stress fractures which will take you off the running circuit for the season. To determine your specific calcium and vitamin D requirements and learn more about these nutrients visit:

If you take a multivitamin don’t assume your calcium and Vitamin D needs are covered. Iron interferes with calcium absorption; so many brands don’t include it. The above sites discuss dosage, timing and selection tips in addition to current research.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Schools Out, Now What?

Summer vacation starts with high expectations for fun, relaxation and more together time. In addition, many of the families I counsel want to shed any bad eating or lack of exercise habits that were ingrained over the long, cold Michigan winter. My best advice to them is to hold a family conference and have each family member brainstorm all of the activities they want to do this summer and any personal goals they want to achieve. Break down everyone’s ideas into a list of one time, weekly and daily events. For example:

Daily activities are a good area to address overall health improvements and it can be interactive. For example, younger kids can pick out new fruits and vegetables from the Farmer’s Markets and older ones can source new recipes for the family to try using the fresh ingredients. Next, ask each family member to choose one or two new activities that they have never done before. This is a memory maker and also builds self esteem and character. The new activity might range from running a 5K race, kayaking or entering a sand castle building contest at the annual Grand Haven competition.

Finally, when everyone’s brain is stormed out plug all of your events onto a calendar. Try to space out all of the events so that the last few weeks before school starts are downtimes. This last and final step is an important one because in the absence of a plan you’ll be celebrating the Fourth of July before you know it. You will be watching the fireworks explode wondering how on earth you’re going to fit everything in before Labor Day and still feel rested!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Hydroxycut or Short Cut: Its Over No Matter How You Slice It

The FDA issued a warning on Friday for consumers to "immediately stop" using Hydroxycut weight-loss products as they may result in jaundice and liver failure. This falls on the heels of spring breakers who made last minute attempts to quickly lose weight, and in advance of summer swim suit season. The FDA received 23 serious reports of health problems with Hydroxycut products and one death in a 19-year-old male who had used the weight-loss products, said Linda Katz, interim chief medical officer in the FDA's food safety and nutrition division.

While the company has agreed to recall 14 of its Hydroxycut products, some products such as Hydroxycut Cleanse and Hoodia are not being recalled due to their different ingredient mix. At this point, director for the FDA's dietary supplement program, Vasilios Frankos has said that it is unclear what ingredients in the products are harmful. The FDA is trying to get a better understanding of what ingredients or combination of ingredients is causing the liver damage. There is cause for additional concern as other dietary supplements may contain similar ingredients. People are encouraged to call their physicians if they are worried about any damage caused by the products.

There are no magic bullets for weight loss. Safe and effective weight loss results from a permanent change in eating and exercise habits. Make time to exercise 30-60 minutes most days of the week. Practice patience when it comes to weight loss. Permanent changes to body dimension change occur slowly with time, training and commitment to nourishing your body and mind with healthy food selections.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Society's Expectations Based on Body Image?

By now many of you may have already seen the video clip attached below on you tube.

Every day I deal with clients who are constantly trying to improve their appearance, perform better athletically, and eat more nutritiously so that they live a long healthy life. Some are overweight while others have eating disorders. Each feels imperfect, in his or her own way, trying to gain control over some aspect of their life. This video reminds me how much of an emphasis society places on physical appearance. You noticed that the audience members, the judges and admittedly I smirk at this woman's appearance and demeanor. Each one of us has a preconceived notion regarding this woman's level of talent. Reality decided in this instance that Susan Boyle was not a book that should be judged by her cover. She also serves as a reminder to each of us to listen whole heartedly to individuals so we don't miss the special gifts they have to share

Friday, March 27, 2009

Toss the Salt Grinder?

The average American consumes between 4000-5000 mg sodium per day, far exceeding the <2300 mg sodium recommendation. Many healthcare practitioners and self help articles recommend that people cut out the table salt to help remedy this excess.
However, this might not be the best approach and here's why.

The sources of sodium in the US diet are: 77% processed foods, 12% naturally occurring in fresh foods, 6% salt added at the table, and just 5% salt added in cooking. When people stop adding salt at the table or in home cooking they are really affecting their sodium intake only a small degree or ~10%. By focusing on the salt grinder it also lets the processed food makers off the hook. Look at the sodium content of any convenience food label and the facts will become glaringly clear. Tyson, Kraft, Campbell's, Stouffers, Nabisco, Frito Lay and even some of the cereal manufacturers make hefty contributions in the sodium arena. While I always advocate that a person tries a food before automatically reaching for the salt shaker, lightly adding a little salt at the table is a great way to add a little flavor. When the salt sits on top of the food it hits the taste buds first so you hopefully consume less in the end. As people cut back on their grocery bills and do more scratch cooking, less convenience foods they may actually cut their sodium and improve their health and save a few bucks along the way.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Pick a Good Nutrition Book

You can't go more than 24 hours without reading or hearing about the latest nutrition tip. Whether its on the Internet, in a blog (ironic it is!), in the Newspaper, on the news or in a magazine, everyone has a recommendation on what to eat more of and what to eat less of. Like vitamins and supplements, not all nutrition books are created equal, so how do you pick one that's worthy of the $15 and trip to the bookstore? Check out the American Dietetic Association’s Good Nutrition Reading list. It identifies and describes nutrition books on a range of topics from general nutrition to food sensitivities, diabetes, sports nutrition, child and teen nutrition and more. You’ll also be directed to valuable newsletters and websites. ADA’s Good Nutrition Reading List

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Know Your Sweat Rate

Knowing your sweat rate should not be dismissed by athletes as being over rated since even a minor level of dehydration causes a measurable decline in performance and endurance. Injury rates increase and your training doesn't yield the biggest bang for the buck. Calculating your sweat rate is fast and easy. All you need to do is:
1. Write down what time it is just before you begin exercising.
2. Write down your body weight in pounds (preferably unclothed).
3. Perform your activity and track the total amount of fluid consumed.
4. Write down what time you ended.
5. Write down your body weight in pounds after the activity (preferably unclothed and sweat towel dried)
6. Calculate the total minutes you spent in the activity.
7. Calculate your weight change.
8. Calculate the additional amount of fluid that must be consumed to prevent weight loss. Know that 1 pound of weight loss = 2 cups of fluid. You should be drinking every 10-20 minutes for activities lasting >1 hour.

Remember sweating is a good sign that the body is effectively cooling itself during an activity.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Children and Juice Abuse

How much juice should your child really be drinking each day? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends limiting juice to:

Infants < 6 months should not be given any juice
Children 1- 6 years old: 4-6 ounces/day (1/2-3/4 cup)
Children 7-18 years old: 8-12 ounces/day (1- 1 ½ cups)
Juices should be 100% real fruit juice, no ades, drinks or beverage mix substitutes. Juice in excess of these amounts can fill a child up leading to poorer intake of other nutritious foods and cause your child to gain too much weight. Instead of juice, children should be encouraged to eat whole fruits which are naturally rich in fiber, phytochemicals, and vitamins and minerals. A love of fresh fruit is a great habit to instill at a young age.

Other great beverage options include:

1-3 years old: 2 servings of milk (low fat milk after age 2 years)
4-8 years old: 3 servings of low fat milk
9-18 years old: 4 servings of low fat milk

A tall refreshing glass of ice water. Keep a pitcher of ice water in the refrigerator and you may find that your children and teens will reach for it to quench their thirst more often that you might have guessed.

E2 Eating & Exercise for Optimal Fitness

E2 Eating and Exercise for Optimal Fitness

"Good nutrition can add years to your life and life to your years."

Welcome to my E2 column! E2 stands for both “Eating and Exercise” as you need a healthy dose of both everyday to become and maintain your optimal level of fitness for good health and athletic performance. Topics will range from growing a healthy baby to making sure that grandma and grandpa have good nutritional intakes, from the grocery store shelves to the athletic fields. There is sure to be something that interests you, so check back regularly and nourish both your mind and body!