Saturday, November 12, 2011

How to Have a Healthier Thanksgiving!

With Thanksgiving Day right around the corner, you may have begun considering how you’re going to maintain a sense of self-control while surrounded by all that delicious food!  As we all know, the day is famous for its indulgences; overeating and then lounging lazily for the rest of the day watching football, napping, and spending time with family and friends.

For highly health conscious individuals, this holiday can prove to be a bit challenging. Well don’t worry, relax. I mean honestly, a once-per-year day of overeating most likely isn’t going to sabotage your diet plans. They key is to avoid destructive eating behaviors throughout the holiday season to avoid gaining unwanted pounds that will end up on your list of New Year’s resolutions!
The good news is that there are some simple changes you can make to your Thanksgiving plans this year that will save you some calories (without sacrificing taste) and add some fun to your holiday.
1. Fit it all on one plate. Prevent over-stuffing yourself by fitting your Thanksgiving feast all on one plate (This works best if you don't use an oversized plate filled to the brim). Sample small portions and avoid going back for seconds. If you're tempted to return for more, give yourself 20 minutes (about how long it takes to feel full) first.
2. Eat slowly. Thanksgiving foods are likely to be richer and more filling than your everyday fare, so eat slowly and savor every bite.

3. Enjoy the company of family and friends. Socialize during your meal and festivities. You can't eat and talk at the same time -- so the more conversation you enjoy, the less you’ll eat.

4. Get moving. Sign up for a local Turkey Trot 5K or 10K and spend your Thanksgiving morning getting some exercise. Not only will you burn some calories, but you'll also enjoy some holiday fun!
5. Make your own cranberry sauce rather than the jellied stuff and save 120 calories.
  • Cranberries (boiled in sugar) (1/2 cup): 100 calories, <1g fat
  • Jellied cranberry sauce (1/2 cup): 220 calories, <1g fat
6. Choose pumpkin pie over the pecan pie for dessert and decrease your caloric intake by 160 calories.
  • Pumpkin pie (1/8 pie): 340 calories, 15g fat
  • Pecan pie (1/8 pie): 500 calories, 25g fat
Enjoy your holiday and, as always, Bon Appetit!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Essential Fatty Acids Really Are Essential

Fat. For so many diet conscious individuals, it's the ultimate dirty word! Yet, despite its bad reputation, the body needs the right fats; especially essential fatty acids to function properly. Fats from animal and vegetable sources provide a concentrated source of energy in the diet and they also provide the building blocks for cell membranes. One of the reasons that you’re always hungry on fat-free diets is that fats as part of a meal allow you to go longer without feeling hungry. IN addition, they act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Dietary fats are also needed for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A, for mineral absorption and for a host of other processes. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are polyunsaturated fats that are considered essential because your body can’t make them. What this means is that you must get then from the foods you eat.

Striving to consume more omega-3s can bring you closer to the ratio our ancestors ate. One way to accomplish this is with a fish oil supplement. There are many delicious foods that offer omega-3. The list below is a nice mix of plant and animal fats.

Flaxseed oil and flaxseeds, walnuts, soybeans, winter squash, Brussels sprouts, scallops, salmon, rainbow trout, crab (Dungeness), and tuna.