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.