Thursday, September 27, 2007


You hear people talk about it and you often think, why is fiber so important? Well there are many reasons, but learning about fiber can be a little confusing, I will try to break it down so that we can all understand!

There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble and both are good for you. What do these mean? Well it's simple... is the fiber water soluble or not? Neither forms can be digested and both are full of benefits.

Soluble: lowers cholesterol and LDL cholesterol reducing the risk of heart disease, regulates blood sugar for people with diabetes

Insoluble: prevents constipation, removes toxic waste from colon, prevents colon cancer

Not to mention eating fiber is a good weight loss tip :) There are many high fiber foods that you eat everyday and they come in so many forms... fruits, veggies, grains, beans etc. For a more extensive list click on the link above.
The American Heart Association also promotes fiber! It's everywhere! It is recommended for women to get between 21-25 grams and men are recommended to get between 30-38 grams. So start the fiber search!!

Healthy Tip #6: EAT FIBER! The foods are delicious and easy to find. Try to get as much as you can! There is never too much when it comes to fiber!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Oh Portion Control...

I think the problem a lot of people have is that they eat until they are so full they just want to pass out for 5 days! And by people, I mean me. I find myself starving, then stuffing my face, and then repeating the process. This is NOT healthy or effective to get your body into gear. In order to ensure you stay full throughout the whole say you MUST eat breakfast. Not only does it start your metabolism but it also helps your body get ready for the day by supplying it with nutrients. When you have an empty stomach your brain is running on nothing. You should also eat 5-6 small meals a day. When discussing portion size a good rule of thumb is everything on your plate should be a "fist" portion. This simply means that your chicken, your green beans, and your potatoes should all be fist size (about one cup). Of course you can take less carbohydrate and more vegetable but you shouldn't do the other way around.

Another tip that we have already discussed is to drink plenty of water. Water actually gives you a full feeling, and most times when you think you are hungry... you're really thirsty... so DRINK UP!

Also, do not leave out snacks. When I say 5-6 small meals a day that could be interpreted as breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner. You will feel like you are always eating!! And if you want to lose some weight then this is perfect!

Healthy Tip #5: Your body is trained to eat the way it does now, it wasn't born craving sugar and salt. So if you start to train your body to crave healthy sugars like watermelon and other foods that are good for you, a healthy lifestyle won't be so hard!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Let's Refresh

I know that a lot of information has been thrown at you so I wanted to do a little refresher to get things in order.

By now we should have started eliminating soda and really sugary sports drinks and juices from our diets. Anybody experiencing withdrawals?? I hope not! If you are, it will get easier with time... and remember, you still have that cheat day! :)

We should have also cleaned out our pantry's, refrigerators, and freezers for some food evaluation. By now we should have gone to the grocery store and started buying some good healthy snacks like fruits, veggies, nuts, whole grains, and some dairy (like yogurt and cottage cheese). If you haven't done this yet, that's ok! Just try to get it done within the next few days so we can all start moving into the nitty gritty of our healthy eating.

The last thing I want to refresh on is the number one rule for healthy eating... READ THE FOOD LABELS AND THE INGREDIENTS!! It is so important to know what you are putting into your body and try to avoid as many un-natural things as possible. Remember eating healthy isn't only about losing weight, it's also about getting the nutrients your body needs for strong bones, a good heart, and an overall better lifestyle.

Healthy Tip #4: Start doing portion control, we will discuss it more in another blog, but start to think about cutting down your meals. Also don't skip ANY meal! And eat plenty of healthy snacks in between, you will find your not as hungry!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Low Fat, Fat Free, Low Carb... what?!

The outside labels can be deceiving. You see that it says "fat free" and you look at the nutrition label and it says "Total fat 0grams" and you think PERFECT! Well not so much. The problem with many products that have those labels is that companies may take out the fat but they increase other things, like sugars (which turns to fat) and carbohydrates. It's really a decision that you need to make. What is more important to you? Take Fat Free Sour Cream... you are reducing the amount of fat, there is no doubt about that, but sugars and carbs increase (like with most products). If you are trying to lose weight and you want to start eliminating some of the carbs you eat... then BE AWARE of these products. This all goes back to label reading. It is confusing because most people (like myself) say "what should I eliminate fat or sugar or carbs" and there is no right answer. It's all personal decisions. I like to try avoid food that has added chemical sugars... it's not easy, but if a food is adding chemicals and taking away fat, i usually don't buy it. But that is my PERSONAL preference, you will develop yours.

White flour turns to sugar in your body and then turns to fat... so you may be eating a "low fat" or "fat free" product, but you may actually be getting the same amount of fat as in the regular product. I know you are probably thinking... my gosh there are so many things I need to look out for when I am trying to eat healthy. While that might be true REMEMBER we are not cutting out everything we love. It's just about being aware and making some decisions. Also look out for the "sugar free" or "no sugar added" products. Refer back to the list of hidden names for sugar. Believe me, even with sugar free products some of those nasty names are in there!

Also compare products. If a soup says "low sodium", look at the regular version for more then just sodium content. You don't want a company taking out one bad thing but increasing all the others. There are healthier alternatives to foods out there, you just need to look for them! The "low fat" version might be better for you, but I am just informing you to again read the labels, you will be surprised. You want to get the most NATURAL nutrition into your body, so if the fat free version is packed with chemicals but lower in fat, I don't think it's worth it.

Healthy Tip #3: Take a little extra time at the grocery store to look at labels and decide what foods you want to buy. Not only will you be more aware of what is going into your body, but you might actually find that some of the things you love aren't that bad for you! Easy enough?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Dreaded Food Label

Let me start with a little technical information. Reading food labels can be REALLY confusing, especially if you have never done it before. If you want to know the in’s and out’s of the food label then check out the FDA’s website about it. It can be really helpful. For now I am just going to talk about some other important things you should look for when you are reading food labels. I believe it is common knowledge that you want to eat food that is low in fat, high in protein and fiber. But if you didn’t know that, now you do! But that is too simple. There are other things you need to look out for like sugar and sodium. Sugar hides in your food with many different names, here are some you may not have heard before.

1) High Fructose Corn Syrup
2) Maltodextrin
3) Dextrose
4) Xylol
5) Maltose
6) Malt
7) Isomalt
8) Hydolyzed (rice) starch
9) Syrups
10) Honey
11) Sorbitol
12) Maltotal

Also be aware of sodium content. A lot of canned goods, soups, crackers etc are packed with salt. If you buy your vegetables in a can, try them fresh or frozen then they don’t include salt! Also when buying frozen vegetables you want to make sure the ONLY ingredient is the vegetable. Some companies add all sorts of chemicals you don’t know. The Rule of thumb is, if you can’t pronounce it you don’t want to eat it. I know that can be hard to avoid, but when it comes to fruits and veggies it is a must!

When reading the ingredient list for foods try and have the first five ingredients things that you know and that you would cook with at home. Be aware of enriched or bleached flour (even whole wheat) it is losing all its nutritional value when it has those words in front of it. Lastly... NO TRANS FATS!!!

This was a breif overview of some of the things I try and avoid, but through my other posts we will discuss the benefits of fiber, how to tell if whole wheat products are really whole wheat, and how to know if the "low fat" or "low carb" versions are actually better for you.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Let's Clean House

It's time to clean out our houses of the foods that we CAN live without! It may be hard to see now, but there are things that we only eat because they are there. Well let's stock our homes with things that are good for us! Listen to this three minute audio piece below for some tips on cleaning out your food supply!!

Gabcast! All Things Healthy #2

Healthy Tip #2: RELAX!! Getting rid of food may be stressful, but there are healthy alternatives out there. Cleaning out our homes will really make us evaluate the food we eat and without knowing our problems, we can't fix them!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Let's Start Here...

For most people changing their eating habits is usually to lose weight, that's not what this is about. This is NOT about fad dieting or depriving yourself, it's about learning the benefits of different foods and how to incorporate them into the busy lives we all lead. Yes, we will discuss weight loss, but there are thousands of other reasons to switch to a healthy diet. There is always an excuse not to start "The weekend's coming up" "I'm going out of town" "It's Wednesday" and so on. You just have to take it one step at a time. And we start NOW. Do NOT go cold turkey on everything you love, just gradually change some things.

Today let's start with soda. If you drink soda let's start to remove that from your diet. Most people crave it so I am not saying get rid of it all together, save it for one day a week. Pick a special day or a "cheat day" where you don't think about eating healthy... after a while we will eliminate it because you will find yourself not wanting it anymore, but for now it's ok! The effects of soda are HUGE, and I always say "I would rather eat my calories then drink them!"

Healthy Tip #1: Replace all your sugary sports drinks and soda's with water. Not only is it naturally GREAT for your body but it also fills you up. Drink as much as you can! Easy enough?