Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sports Medicine.Proper Hydration for Exercise - Water or Sports Drinks
What and when athletes drink depends upon exercise duration and intensity
By Elizabeth Quinn, About.com Guide
Updated: June 29, 2009

About.com Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by the Medical Review Board
.picturegarden / Getty ImagesWater is the most essential ingredient to a healthy life. Water has many important functions in the body including:
•Transportation of nutrients / elimination of waste products.
•Lubricating joints and tissues.
•Temperature regulation through sweating.
•Facilitating digestion.
Importance of Water During Exercise
Proper hydration is especially important during exercise. Adequate fluid intake for athletes is essential to comfort, performance and safety. The longer and more intensely you exercise, the more important it is to drink the right kind of fluids.

Dehydration1
Athletes need to stay hydrated for optimal performance. Studies have found that a loss of two or more percent of one's body weight due to sweating is linked to a drop in blood volume. When this occurs, the heart works harder to move blood through the bloodstream. This can also cause muscle cramps, dizziness and fatigue and even heat illness2 including:

•Heat Exhaustion3
•Heat Stroke4
Causes of Dehydration


•Inadequate fluid intake
•Excessive sweating
•Failure to replace fluid losses during and after exercise
•Exercising in dry, hot weather
•Drinking only when thirsty
Hyponatremia - Water Intoxication5
Although rare, recreational exercisers are also at risk of drinking too much water and suffering from hyponatremia or water intoxication. Clearly, drinking the right amount of the right fluids is critical for performance and safety while exercising.

Adequate Fluid Intake for for Athletes
Because there is wide variability in sweat rates, losses and hydration levels of individuals, it is nearly impossible to provide specific recommendations or guidelines about the type or amount of fluids athletes should consume.

Finding the right amount of fluid to drink depends upon a variety of individual factors including the length and intensity of exercise and other individual differences. There are, however, two simple methods of estimating adequate hydration:

1.Monitoring urine volume output and color. A large amount of light colored, diluted urine probably means you are hydrated; dark colored, concentrated urine probably means you are dehydrated.
2.Weighing yourself before and after exercise. Any weight lost is likely from fluid, so try to drink enough to replenish those losses. Any weight gain could mean you are drinking more than you need.
Things that Affect Fluid Loss in Athletes


•High altitude6. Exercising at altitude increases your fluid losses and therefore increases you fluid needs.
•Temperature. Exercising in the heat7 increases you fluid losses through sweating and exercise in the cold8 can impair you ability to recognize fluid losses and increase fluid lost through respiration. In both cases it is important to hydrate.
•Sweating. Some athletes sweat more than others. If you sweat a lot you are at greater risk for dehydration. Again, weigh yourself before and after exercise to judge sweat loss.
•Exercise Duration and Intensity. Exercising for hours (endurance sports) means you need to drink more and more frequently to avoid dehydration.
To find the correct balance of fluids for exercise, the American College Of Sports Medicine9 suggests that "individuals should develop customized fluid replacement programs that prevent excessive (greater than 2 percent body weight reductions from baseline body weight) dehydration. The routine measurement of pre- and post-exercise body weights is useful for determining sweat rates and customized fluid replacement programs. Consumption of beverages containing electrolytes10 and carbohydrates can help sustain fluid-electrolyte balance and exercise performance."

According to the Institute of Medicine the need for carbohydrate and electrolytes replacement during exercise depends on exercise intensity, duration, weather and individual differences in sweat rates. [They write, "fluid replacement beverages might contain ~20–30 meqILj1 sodium (chloride as the anion), ~2–5 meqILj1 potassium and ~5–10% carbohydrate."] Sodium and potassium are to help replace sweat electrolyte losses, and sodium also helps to stimulate thirst. Carbohydrate provides energy for exercise over 60-90 minutes. This can also be provided through energy gels, bars, and other foods.

What about Sports Drinks?
Sports drinks can be helpful to athletes who are exercising at a high intensity for 60 minutes or more. Fluids supplying 60 to 100 calories per 8 ounces helps to supply the needed calories required for continuous performance. It's really not necessary to replace losses of sodium, potassium and other electrolytes during exercise since you're unlikely to deplete your body's stores of these minerals during normal training. If, however, you find yourself exercising in extreme conditions over 3 or 5 hours (a marathon, Ironman or ultramarathon, for example) you may likely want to add a complex sports drink with electrolytes.

General Guidelines for Fluid Needs During Exercise
While specific fluid recommendations aren't possible due to individual variability, most athletes can use the following guidelines as a starting point, and modify their fluid needs accordingly.

Hydration Before Exercise


•Drink about 15-20 fl oz, 2-3 hours before exercise
•Drink 8-10 fl oz 10-15 min before exercise
Hydration During Exercise

•Drink 8-10 fl oz every 10-15 min during exercise
•If exercising longer than 90 minutes, drink 8-10 fl oz of a sports drink (with no more than 8 percent carbohydrate) every 15 - 30 minutes.
Hydration After Exercise


•Weigh yourself before and after exercise and replace fluid losses.
•Drink 20-24 fl oz water for every 1 lb lost.
•Consume a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein11 within the 2 hours after exercise to replenish glycogen stores.
Source:

Consensus Statement of the 1st International Exercise-Associated Hyponatremia Consensus Development Conference, Cape Town, South Africa 2005. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine. 15(4):208-213, July 2005.

Exercise and Fluid Replacement12, ACSM Position Stand, American College Of Sports Medicine, Medicine and Science In Sports & Exercise, 2007.

Institute of Medicine. Water. In: Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Sodium, Cholride, Potassium and Sulfate, Washington, D.C: National Academy Press, pp. 73–185, 2005.
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strong>Drink about 15-20 fl oz, 2-3 hours before exercise
•Drink 8-10 fl oz 10-15 min before exercise

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

How to Start Running Today

By Dimity McDowell
Women's Health

According to Running USA, an organization that tracks national trends, the number of women who finished a running race soared from 791,000 in 1987 to 4.4 million in 2007. Why the attraction?

In a poll of 8,000 runners by the same organization, women said they run to sculpt a toned physique, stave off stress, and achieve personal goals. And those are just a few of running's many benefits.

But perhaps what draws people to the sport more than anything is that everyone can do it. You don't need special skills, pricey gear, athletic ability, or even good genes. All running requires is a pair of shoes and a little determination. Still, it can be intimidating, so we came up with this failproof plan to get you started and keep you on track.

The Perks of Pavement Pounding

Anyone who has hung out in the treadmill area of the gym or watched a road race knows that runners have hot bodies. It takes a ton of effort to move your body weight without assistance, "which is why running burns more calories per minute than pretty much any other exercise," says Lesley Mettler, a running coach in Seattle. Case in point: The average 140-pound woman who runs at a 10-minute mile pace for an hour burns 512 calories. Compare that to an hour spent doing Pilates (384 calories), walking (225 calories), or swimming (448 calories). Torching all those calories sheds body fat to reveal the lean muscle below. So not only do runners have enviable legs, but their entire bodies look trim and toned.


Lose 10 pounds (or more) in 6 weeks with Women's Health's Run to Lose plan.

Take up running and you'll get benefits beyond just looking amazing — you'll also live longer and stay healthier. Researchers at Stanford University discovered that regular runners have a 39 percent lower risk of dying an early death compared with healthy adults of the same age. "Virtually every system in your body benefits from running," says Christine Hinton, a running coach in Crofton, Maryland. Study after study shows that running can help prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, osteoporosis, and even cancer. Most recently, a 2009 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that running is as good a bone-builder as strength training.

In addition to giving you a physical edge, running improves your mental health too. A 2008 study found that areas in the brain associated with mood are flooded with endorphins — the feel-good hormones — after exercise. This is especially true with running. "When you run, it's just you, your body, and the environment," says Kristen Dieffenbach, Ph. D., a sports psychology consultant and assistant professor of athletic coaching at West Virginia University. Your arms, legs, and breathing fall into a rhythm that eventually lulls your brain into a meditative "no-stress zone" in which bills, boyfriends, and bosses fade away.

At Last: The Truth Behind Running's Bad Press


Despite its many advantages, running has its share of critics who say the relentless pounding ruins your knees, leads to chronic back pain, and causes wrinkles. But experts say the rewards of running far outweigh the risks. A recent review in the Journal of Anatomy found that running does not increase your risk of osteoarthritis, the cartilage decay that causes pain and inflammation in hip and knee joints. Nor does it wreck your back, according to a research review in the Southern Medical Journal. Researchers suggest that because running builds stronger muscles and ligaments, it actually has a protective effect on these areas.

As for whether all that pavement pounding causes gravity to take its toll, resulting in sagging, wrinkled skin, "it's a myth," says Tom Holland, an exercise physiologist in Darien, Connecticut. "The reason runners can sometimes appear weathered is that they're thinner — low body fat makes fine lines more visible — and they're out in the sun more." Slather on a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 half an hour before your run to avoid the leathery look.

Stuff You Need

Shoes: Expect to shell out at least $75 for a good running shoe. Sneakers that don't meet the needs of your foot type and running style can lead to Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis (heel pain), knee pain, and shin splints, says Stephen M. Pribut, D. P. M., clinical assistant professor of surgery at the George Washington University Medical Center.

Smart running shoes? We tested these sneakers to see if the advanced technology is worth all the hype. See our results here!

Sports Bra: According to one study, running can cause your boobs to fly up and down as much as eight inches. (Ouch!) A bra that holds each breast in a separate cup will reduce bounce and support better than a shelf bra. When trying one on, run in place, do jumping jacks, and swing your arms in circles to test how supportive it will be.

Find the best sports bra for your body type.

Get Started

Attention, beginner runner: It's safe--and smart--to start out slow. Really slow. "Easing into it helps your muscles get used to the impact of running and helps your mind get used to the effort," Hinton says. She recommends following a run/walk program like the one here three times a week (not on consecutive days). Begin and end each session with a five-minute warmup walk. Repeat a week if you don't feel ready to move up. When you're able to run consistently for at least 30 minutes, you can start adding more distance.

Week 1: Run 2 min, walk 3 min; repeat 6 times

Week 2: Run 3 min, walk 3 min; repeat 5 times

Week 3: Run 5 min, walk 2 min; repeat 4 times

Week 4: Run 7 min, walk 3 min; repeat 3 times

Week 5: Run 8 min, walk 2 min; repeat 3 times

Week 6: Run 9 min, walk 1 min; repeat 3 times

Week 7: Run 30 minutes

After you've been running for at least six weeks, add intervals to continue building fitness and shedding pounds. Intervals are short bursts of speed that engage the muscle fibers that make you go fast. (Bonus: Research has shown that sprints trigger a fat-frying response in your muscles.) To do them, warm up for six minutes with an easy jog. Then run faster for 15 to 20 seconds. Slow down to an easy pace for three minutes. Repeat the cycle three to five times, then cool down with a six-minute jog. Do intervals once a week and increase your sprint length by 10 seconds each week until you can go all-out for 80 seconds.



Keep It Up!
Nothing bursts your bubble faster than an injury. Take a few simple precautions and you'll rarely — if ever — be sidelined.

Increase your runs gradually. Up your running time by no more than 10 percent a week, Holland says. That means if you run a total of 10 miles one week, aim for 11 the next.

Shore up the rest of your body. Weak muscles are prime targets for injury. Strengthen them with a biweekly 20-minute strength-training session that targets all your major muscle groups, Holland says. Try the total-body plan at womenshealthmag.com/fitness/total-body-workout-8.

Stay flexible. "Running makes muscles short and tight, which can compromise your form and cause injury," Holland says. Stretch after a warmup, then repeat after your run (stretching when your muscles are cold can lead to injury). Find great stretches at womenshealthmag.com/fitness/stretches.

Stuck Inside On A Treadmill?

Set it to a 1 percent incline to get the same caliber workout as running outside.

Source: Journal of Sports Science
Burn More Fat!
Supercharge your workout with these Web-exclusive tips only from womenshealthmag.com.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Eating healthy after the event

How do olympic athelete stay in shape after the events. Check this blog out.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

feeding the athlete inside you...

Many "sports" foods and drinks, like energy bars and gels, are marketed to athletes, but most don't need them to meet their energy needs. While these products don't have magic ingredients that will improve sports performance, they can be handy when kids don't have time for a healthy meal or snack.

Because athletic kids are particularly reliant on the nutrients that a balanced diet can provide, it's usually not wise for them to diet. In sports where weight is emphasized, such as wrestling, swimming, dance, or gymnastics, kids may feel pressure to lose weight. If a coach, gym teacher, or another teammate says that your child needs to go on a diet, talk to your doctor first. If your doctor thinks your child should diet, you'll work together or with a nutritionist to develop a plan that allows your child to lose weight in a safe and healthy way.

Kids who healthy, well-balanced meals and snacks are probably getting the nutrients needed to perform well in sports. The Food Guide Pyramid can provide guidance on what kinds of foods and drinks to include in your child's meals and snacks.

But kids and teens who are involved in all-day competitions or strenuous endurance sports (like rowing, cross-country running, or competitive swimming) that can involve 1½ to 2 hours or more of activity at a time, may need to consume more food to keep up with increased energy demands.

Most athletes will naturally eat the right amount of food their bodies need. But if you're concerned that your child is getting too much or too little food, check in with your doctor.
In addition to getting the right amount of calories, it takes a variety of nutrients to keep young athletes performing at their best:

•Vitamins and minerals: Kids need a variety of vitamins and minerals. Calcium and iron are two important minerals for athletes. Calcium helps build strong bones to resist breaking and stress fractures. Calcium-rich foods include dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese, as well as leafy green vegetables such as broccoli. Iron helps carry oxygen to all the different body parts that need it. Iron-rich foods include red meat, chicken, tuna, salmon, eggs, dried fruits, leafy green vegetables, and whole grains.
•Protein: Protein is needed to build and repair muscles, but most kids get plenty of protein through a balanced diet. Strong muscles come from regular training and exercise and too much protein can lead to dehydration and calcium loss. Protein-rich foods include fish, lean red meat and poultry, dairy products, nuts, soy products, and peanut butter.
•Carbohydrates: Carbs provide energy for the body. Some diet plans have urged weight-conscious adults to steer clear of carbs, but for a young athlete they're an important source of fuel. There's no need for "carb loading" (eating a lot of carbs in advance of a big game), but without carbs in their diet, kids will be running on empty. When you're choosing carbs, look for whole-grain foods like whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, whole-grain bread and cereal, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Drink Up!
It's important for young athletes to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, which can zap strength, energy, and coordination and lead to heat-related illness. Even mild dehydration can affect athletic performance.

Thirst is not a reliable indicator of hydration status so experts recommend that kids drink water or other fluids every 15 to 20 minutes during physical activity. It's important to drink afterwards to restore fluid lost through sweat.

Although many sports drinks are available, plain water is usually enough to keep kids hydrated. Sports drinks are designed to provide energy and replace electrolytes — such as sodium and potassium — that athletes lose in sweat.

Sports drinks are a good choice if kids are active for more than 1 hour because after exercising for 60 to 90 minutes, the body has used up its readily available sources of energy. Sports drinks are also a good alternative if kids aren't drinking enough water.
Diluted juice is another option but avoid carbonated beverages that can upset the stomach.

The bottom line is that for most young athletes, water is the best choice for hydration. After the activity, carbohydrates and electrolytes can be replenished.

Pressures Facing Athletes
Some school-age athletes face unique pressures involving nutrition and body weight. In some sports, it's common for kids to feel they need to radically increase or reduce their weight to reach peak performance.

In sports where weight or appearance is emphasized, such as wrestling, swimming, dance, or gymnastics, kids may feel pressure to lose weight. Because athletic kids need extra fuel, it's usually not a good idea for them to diet.

Unhealthy eating habits, like crash dieting, can leave kids with less strength and endurance and poorer mental concentration. Similar performance issues can come up when kids try to increase their weight too fast for sports where size matters, such as football or hockey. When a person overeats, the food the body can't immediately use gets stored as fat. As a result, kids who overeat may gain weight, not muscle, and their physical fitness will be diminished.

If a coach, gym teacher, or teammate says that your child needs to lose or gain weight, or if you're concerned about your child's eating habits, talk to your doctor. The doctor can work with you and your child or refer you to a dietician to develop a plan that allows your child to work on the weight in a safe and healthy way.

Game Day
It's important for kids to eat well on game days. The meal itself should not be very different from what they've eaten throughout training.

A meal 3 hours or more before activity should have plenty of carbs and a moderate amount of protein but be low in fat because fat takes longer to digest, which can cause an upset stomach. High-fiber foods may also cause some stomach upset, so it's best to avoid these foods until after the game.

If kids eat less than 3 hours before game or practice, serve a lighter meal or snack that includes easy-to-digest carbohydrate-containing foods, such as fruit, fruit or vegetable juice, crackers, or bread.
After the game or event, experts recommend eating carbs (fruit, pretzels, a sports drink, etc.) within 30 minutes after intense activity and again 2 hours later. Your child's body will be rebuilding muscle tissue and replenishing energy stores and fluids for up to 24 hours after the competition. So it's important that the post-game meal be a balance of lean protein, carbs, and fat.

And remember, when packing your child's bag for the big day, add a water bottle or sports drink.

Meal and Snack Suggestions
A good breakfast for young athletes might include low-fat yogurt with some granola and a banana, or whole-grain cereal and milk with sliced strawberries. Try bean burritos with low-fat cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes or a turkey sandwich and fruit for lunch. For dinner, serve grilled chicken breasts with steamed rice and vegetables, or pasta with red sauce and lean ground beef, along with a salad. Good snacks include pretzels, raisins, crackers, string cheese, or fruit.

It's important to feed your child healthy meals and snacks consistently, even during the off-season. This will provide a solid foundation during times of competition.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: August 2008

kids Health website http://kidshealth.org/

Tell me what you think of this article

Friday, February 5, 2010

superbowl recipes


Can a mozzeralla stick be made healthy? Can you have any appetizers go from bad to good foods?

hot wings recipe

Southwestern Chicken PileUp

check out this website


The following are some tips for successful, healthy tailgating:

Have a nutritious snack before going to the game. Fuel up on fruit, veggies, half a sandwich, or a big glass of water or diet drink.
Prepare some light finger food to bring to the tailgate party. Try a new recipe and create something tasty and low fat.
Take a step back from the food offerings and look at everything before digging in. This may help you to decide what foods you truly want to have. Take only the foods you will enjoy the most.
Think through your strategy. Try a half portion, have the burger without cheese, and try munching on pretzels instead of chips.
Take a seat! Instead of standing while eating, take a plate, sit down, and enjoy.
Have a drink on hand, such as water or diet soda. Liquids fill you up at a low cost to your calorie budget for the day.
Keep your mouth busy! Have some breath mints, gum, or sugar-free candy to decrease your need to eat more.
Balance is the key. No food is good or bad. All foods fit into your nutrition plan if you make sensible choices.
Remember that the first priority for the party is the event and the fellowship -- not the food.
The No. 1 tailgate tip -- be happy with your choices and enjoy!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Favorite foods

Yesterday I went to Subway and on their cups they have the calories and fat grams for their subs and had a comparison to Big Mac and Whoppers. Wow is there a difference. Big mac is 540 calories and 29 grams fat (or 261 calories/49% fat) The Whopper is 680 calories and 40 grams of fat (or360 calories/53% fat) The subways roast beef was 310 calories 4.5 grams fat (or 41 calories/13 % fat) Look at that difference. Now if you add cheese (40 calories, 3.5 grams fat) you still don't come close to a big mac or whopper.


Go to your favorite restaurant and look to see what your calorie intake, fat intake, carbo intake is for each food. Post your findings.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Reading a nutrition label

Do you read the Nutrition Facts food labels when you shop? Since 1994, the FDA has required these labels to be placed on most food packaging. The Nutrition Facts food labels are easy to find on the back, side or bottom of the packaging.

The black and white Nutrition Facts labels may be formatted vertically or horizontally (the vertical version is more common). Small packages may have an abbreviated version of the label.

For example, this is a food label like one that you would see on a can of condensed chicken noodle soup. It looks like a lot of information to understand all at once, so let's look at the Nutrition Facts food label one section at a time.
You'll find the serving information listed right at the top of the Nutrition Facts label. This is important because everything you read on the rest of the label is based on one serving. There are two parts to the serving information on the Nutrition Facts label, the serving size and the number of servings.

The serving size tells you the size of each serving. It could be an number or a common measurement. For example, one serving of chicken noodle soup is 1/2 cup. Sometimes this information can be very misleading. If a package contains six cookies, but the serving size is two cookies, then the package contains three servings, not just one. So if you eat all six cookies, you are eating three servings.

On the chicken noodle soup example above, it is important to note that a serving is one-half cup of the condensed soup as it comes in the can and not one-half cup of the soup after it has been mixed with water. Always look to see if the serving size should be measured or counted before the product is prepared or after.

Sometimes the number of servings may be easier to understand than serving size. On the chicken noodle soup Nutrition Facts label, the number of servings is given as about 2.5. That means if you prepare the can of soup with any amount of water and eat the whole thing yourself, you have eaten two and one-half servings (and that doesn't include any crackers).

finish reading the article here

How often do you read the foods labels?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Question of the Day

Question: Does Caffeine hinder weight loss?

Answer: Studies have shown that caffeine (as in coffee and some sodas) contributes to insulin resistance (thus making it harder to lose weight), increases appetite (again making it harder to lose weight) and contributes to food cravings (making it difficult to adhere to a weight loss diet or exercise program). In those studies, even decaffeinated coffee is shown to be detrimental to weight loss.
Caffeine also interferes with GABA and prevents it from performing its calming duties in the human body. This then increases physiological and psychological stress (often associated with both overeating and difficulty adhering to a weight loss diet). Those who are trying to lose body fat (weight) would do well to avoid caffeine.
Many overweight people, particularly those who have frequently 'dieted' and lost weight only to regain it later, are insulin resistance. Unfortunately, the majority of people who have insulin resistance are unaware of it. If you have insulin resistance, using caffeine will further affect your metabolism.
It will have the opposite outcome of what you want. In the long term, avoiding caffeine will help to boost your metabolism. Naturally increasing your metabolism by combining correct eating (replacing or strictly limiting refined/processed carbohydrates with natural 'fat burning' foods) and (unless unable to exercise) cardio exercise, plus, if possible, weight training, will lead to fat loss and increased lean muscle. Lean muscle is your metabolic furnace that will burn extra calories/energy 24 hours daily and not just when you are exercising.

Now the question for you is: Do you have caffeine in your day? Where does it come from ? (ie: coffee, power drinks, etc...) How much do you get in a day? What ways can you reduce the intake?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bacon, egg, and Hash brown stasks


4 frozen hash brown potato patty, prepared without fat
2 large eggs
3 large egg whites
3 oz Canadian style bacon, finely chopped
1 T scallions, minced, (green part)
1/8 tsp hot pepper sauce, optional
1/8 tsp salt & pepper or to taste
2 T ketchup, hot and spicy variety (optional)

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Place hash brown patties in skillet cook over medium heat on first side until golden brown about 7 to 9 mins. Flip patties; cook until golden brown on second side about 5 mins more.

Meanwhile, coat a second large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium low heat. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, whites, bacon, scallion, hot pepper sauce, and seasonings. Pour into prepared skillet and then increase heat to medium. Let eggs partially set and then scramble using a spatula. When eggs are set, but slightly glossy, remove from heat; cover to keep warm until hash browns are finished cooking.

To assemble stasks, place 1 hash brown patty on each of the 4 plates. Top each with 1/4 of egg mixture and serve with 2 tsp ketchup. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if desired.

* Weigh Watcher recipe.

SO would you try this recipe at home? What could you replace to make it healthier? Can this recipe get healthier?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Question of the day

Leave a post with your answers.... If you found the answer also leave the site you found it on.


Are can foods as nutritious as fresh?

Will eating after 8 pm cause weight gain?

Do I need to eat meat to get in enough protein in my diet?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Healthier eating habits tips

1. Fill the plate with colorful vegetables. There are many more vegetables to try than just lettuce and tomatoes! Bright-colored and dark green leafy vegetables are especially loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. They are also high in fiber, which makes them very filling. In addition, they are low in calories – good to help trim waistline. When you fill up your stomach with veggies, they will be less likely to feel the urge to binge on other high-fat or processed foods.
2. Snack on fruits - fresh or dried. When feel like snacking, grap a fruit instead of chips or cookies. Like vegetables, fruits are high in antioxidants and fiber and low in calories. To make it fun, use low-fat yogurt as a dip. This way your'll get some calcium as well as protein – which helps feel full longer. And don’t forget about dried fruits. Mixing them with whole-wheat breakfast cereal and nuts makes a nutritious school snack.
3. Look for alternatives to processed meat. Instead of always packing sodium-loaded processed ham sandwiches, try using leftover high-quality protein from the night before. How does a grilled fish burger, chicken breast sandwich, or soy-based vegetarian hot dog sound to you? These protein alternatives are usually nitrate-free, low in saturated fat and more heart health friendly.
4. Choose whole grains. The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend eating at least 3 servings of whole grains every day. Not only are they high in fiber, whole grains also contain an array of antioxidants not found in fruits and vegetables. The easiest way to increase whole grain intake is to replace some of your refined-grain products. For instance, use whole-grain bread instead of white bread when making lunch sandwiches. Substitute half the white flour with whole wheat flour in your regular recipes for cookies, muffins, and pancakes. Toss brown rice, wild rice, or barley in your vegetable soup. Or snack on popcorn instead of chips on family movie nights. (Yes, popcorn is a whole grain!) Don’t forget, you don’t need to completely wipe out all refined grains. You can always try serving half whole wheat/half refined as a starting point.
5. Eat breakfast. Many people often skip breakfast. Some skip it because they are too rushed in the morning and have little time to prepare. Some skip it as a measure to control weight. But studies have shown that people who eat breakfast regularly are more likely to control their weight than those who skip breakfast. An ideal breakfast contains at least 3 food groups. For instance, a bowl of whole wheat breakfast cereal with milk and blueberries can start your day the healthy way.

So How many of these habits did you do today?

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