Ocnutrition’s Blog


Too Much Exercise, Not Enough Time?
June 28, 2010, 10:49 pm
Filed under: Exercise

Do you find yourself saying that you need 25 hours in a day or 8 days in the week?  It does seem to be more difficult these days to not feel overwhelmed by the everyday duties that stand over each of us. Exercise may not be at the top of your priority list as many other things take precedence such as work, family and friends.  It may seem that the guidelines of a “healthy” exercise program are impossible to fit into your lifestyle.

You may be saying, “What are the guidelines of a solid exercise program?”  Of course there are many research groups trying to determine what is ideal.  The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends three to five days per week for 20-30 minutes each bout.  The National Academies’ Institute of Medicine states that it should be a minimum of 60 minutes every day for optimal benefits.  These are two highly conflicting guidelines.  So which do you go by?

If you are short on time, simply do what you can fit into your schedule.  If you can only fit in three times per week, you can increase the intensity more than if you were exercising each day.  You can run or jog for 20 minutes instead of walking for 60 minutes.  (Of course, you will need to start with walking and work up to a jog if you are just starting out.)  Also, if you are limited on time, there are many others ways to add activity and stay healthy without exercising each day.

The key is to move more in your daily activities.  Start to think of ways to bring more movement into your life, such as: park far away and walk (with safety in mind), take the stairs instead of the elevator, take only one bag of groceries in at a time, get off the couch to change the channel instead of using the remote, and many more.  If you can’t seem to fit in structured exercise each day, find other ways to stay more active.  A guideline is simply a guideline, not the end-all solution to a healthy body!

This information was brought to you by Just for the Health of It, a state-of-the-art personal training and yoga studio in the heart of Orange.  For more information please contact:

Diane McConahay, B.S.
Certified Personal Trainer and Yoga Instructor
(714) 639-0494
just4thehealthofit@sbcglobal.net
www.justforthehealthofit.info



Eating Right
June 22, 2010, 7:17 pm
Filed under: General Nutrition

Every year there is a new gimmick and another diet promising to solve your health woes. The fact of the matter is that there is no magic trick for eating right. There are no bad food categories, no good or bad times to eat. No one food guarantees good health, just as no single food is harmful to your health. However, there are fundamental scientifically based facts that are guaranteed to provide you a lifetime of better health. A lifestyle focused on eating a wide variety of foods consumed in moderation and coupled with regular physical activity is the key to good health.

Top Nutrition Facts for Healthful Eating

Think nutrient-rich rather than “good” or “bad” foods. Emphasize carbohydrate-rich foods such as fruits, veggies and whole grains. These items are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients that are all essential for your well-being. Shoot for at least half of your grains to be whole grain and at least one fruit or veggie each time you eat.

Choose fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products (i.e. yogurt, cheese) as opposed to full fat milk products. Your body requires their calcium and vitamin D content and studies have shown a link between dairy consumption and lower body weight. Additionally, with the increased use of sun screen our bodies aren’t making as much vitamin D from the sun, making it even more important to consume our vitamin D. Strive for 3 servings of milk or milk products daily.

Include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts. These are all excellent sources of protein. Proteins are crucial components of all body tissues. Your body requires 5 to 7 ounces of meat/protein sources per day. Beans are an excellent vegetarian source of protein and a top notch source of fiber.

Choose healthy fats. Your body requires approximately 20-30 percent of calories to come from fat. Choose monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats, these types of fat come from vegetable sources (i.e., olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds). Limit saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol.

Be physically active. Your body requires movement; regular physical activity helps reduce the risk of chronic disease and helps control your weight. It also improves your mood, gives you more energy and improves your ability to think and concentrate. Strive to exercise 30 to 60 minutes daily and every 5 to 10 minute period counts. Be more active naturally: take the stairs instead of the elevator, park farther from your destination, walk the dog more frequently or for a longer time. In addition, it is critical to stretch and strengthen your muscles.

Don’t forget to water yourself! Water is a vital component of your body. Be sure to drink at least 8 cups of water each day. What kind of water? Tap water is best, feel free to add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice to improve the taste.

Most importantly, be sensible. A committed common sense approach to eating will transform your body, improve your health, and boost your energy level.

For more specific information check out www.mypyramid.gov.

This information was brought to you by Robyn Gaines-Moss, MS, RD and OC Nutrition, Your Trusted Source for Health & Nutrition Advice. OC Nutrition offers nutrition counseling services over the phone or in person in Newport Beach, Irvine, Orange, Anaheim Hills, Chino, Glendora and Long Beach. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact:

Kristy L. Richardson, MS, MPH, RD, CSSD, CHES
Registered Dietitian & Exercise Physiologist
kristy@ocnutrition.com
www.ocnutrition.com
(949) 933-6788



Herbed Potato Salad
June 11, 2010, 7:38 pm
Filed under: Recipes

Fresh vegetables and light vinaigrette give this salad a lively flavor.

Ingredients:

1-1/2 pounds red potatoes, about 8, cubed
½ cup light Italian dressing
½ tablespoon spicy Italian mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon garlic salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ chopped red bell pepper
½ chopped green bell pepper
½ cup chopped green onions

Preparation 20 minutes

  1. In a large pot, cook potatoes in boiling water until tender, about ten minutes, do not overcook.
  2. Drain well and let cool.
  3. Cut potatoes into bite size pieces and place in medium bowl.
  4. In a small bowl, combine dressing, mustard, parsley, and seasonings; pour over potatoes and toss well
  5. Carefully stir in bell peppers and green onions.
  6. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Makes 6 servings: ½ cup per serving

*This recipe was adapted from Champions for Change Network for a Healthy California, Soulful Recipes 2009



What is Portion Distortion and Why Should You Be Concerned?
June 8, 2010, 9:38 pm
Filed under: General Nutrition, Weight Management

If you eat on the run or out at restaurants I’m sure you’ve noticed the ever increasing portion sizes. This is what the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute calls “Portion Distortion”. Over the past 20 years the average portion size served in America has drastically increased. The following table shows average portion sizes from 20 years ago compared to today. 

Food Item 20 years ago Today
Coffee 8 ounces with milk & sugar (45 Calories) 16 ounces with milk & mocha syrup (350 Calories)
Bagel 3-inch diameter (140 Calories) 6-inch diameter (350 Calories)
Soda 6.5 ounces (85 Calories) 20 ounces (250 Calories)
French Fries 2.4 ounces (210 Calories) 6.9 ounces (610 Calories)
Chicken Caesar Salad 1.5 cups (390 Calories) 3.5 cups (790 Calories)
Chicken Stir Fry 2 cups (435 Calories) 4.5 cups (865 Calories)
Movie Popcorn 5 cups (270 Calories) 11 cups (630 Calories)

 

Researchers have shown that the larger the portion size served, the more we eat so it isn’t surprising that as portion sizes have increased, so have our waist lines.  According to the National Center for Health Statistics, over the past 20 years the rate of overweight and obesity in the U.S. has increased from 45% to 66%.

With food, as with other commodities, we like to feel like we’re getting more for our money so we will pay 25 cents extra to “super-size” our meal. What we’re really paying for is unnecessary fat and calories that can ultimately cause us to pack on extra pounds and increase our health risk. The health conditions associated with overweight and obesity include type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hypertension (high blood pressure), and certain types of cancer, just to name a few.    

Use the following tips to help you avoid overeating:

  • Eat every 2-4 hours; don’t let yourself get too hungry
  • Fill-up on nutrient-dense foods including fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • Listen to your body (eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full)
  • Serve yourself smaller portion sizes
  • Share a meal or take half of the meal home for leftovers
  • Don’t eat from the container
  • Separate food into smaller containers (sandwich bags, plastic containers, etc.)

In order to estimate how much you should be eating from each of the 5 food groups, go to the My Pyramid website (www.mypyramid.gov).  By entering your age, gender, height, weight and physical activity level the website can determine approximately how much you should be taking in from each of the food groups.  Once you know how much you need, you can use the following references to estimate your portion sizes:

  • Grain Group (1 ounce) = 1 slice of bread; 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal (1 cup); ½ cup cooked cereal, rice or pasta (ice cream scoop); 5 whole wheat crackers
  • Vegetable Group (1 cup) = 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables or vegetable juice (baseball); 2 cups of raw leafy greens (8 whole lettuce leaves or 2 baseballs)
  • Fruit Group (1 cup) = 1 cup of fruit or 100% fruit juice (baseball); ½ cup dried fruit (ice cream scoop)
  • Milk Group (1 cup) = 1 cup of milk or yogurt (baseball); 1.5 ounces natural cheese (3 dominoes); 2 ounces processed cheese (2 thumbs)
  • Meat & Bean Group (1 ounce) = 1 ounce of meat, poultry or fish (3 ounces = a deck of cards); ¼ cup cooked, dried beans; 1 egg; 2 egg whites; 1 tablespoon peanut butter (1/2 golf ball); ½ ounce of nuts or seeds (½ handful)

This information was brought to you by OC Nutrition, Your Trusted Source for Health & Nutrition Advice.  OC Nutrition offers nutrition counseling services over the phone or in person in Newport Beach, Irvine, Orange, Anaheim Hills, Chino, Glendora and Long Beach.  If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact:

Kristy L. Richardson, MS, MPH, RD, CSSD, CHES
Registered Dietitian & Exercise Physiologist
kristy@ocnutrition.com
www.ocnutrition.com
(949) 933-6788



Delicious Decisions
June 2, 2010, 7:04 pm
Filed under: General Nutrition, Weight Management

Did you know we make over 200 food decisions a day? Those decisions according to Dr. Wansink, Director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, influence whether or not we are able to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.  Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently passed a law that will require restaurant chains with more than 20 locations to post nutrition information on menus or “brochures”. The law goes into effect January 1, 2011.  What is the premise of this law?  Californians will make smarter decisions and therefore healthier choices if the nutritional value of the menu items is available.

Dining out and attending summer celebrations present a plethora of food choices that influence our health and weight.  Below are a few guidelines to help you enjoy all the celebrations in life while still promoting a healthy weight.

At Restaurants
Keep an eye on portion size and food preparation.
Eat a half portion and take the other half home.
Eat smaller quantities of foods high in fat and added sugar.
Select baked, braised, broiled, grilled, poached, stewed or stir-fried items. 
Request no oil be added when cooking.
Trim away visible fat.
Review the nutritional information presented by many restaurants and choose wisely. The information is provided for you to make informed decisions, so take advantage of that.

At Parties
Consider eating a snack before so you’re not starving when you arrive.
Choose from the buffet tables wisely.
When possible, choose lower fat foods.
Select white meat turkey or chicken without skin instead of steak.
Choose fresh fruit based sauces over gravy.
Select the baked potato instead of French fries.
Select steamed veggies or salad with a touch of salad dressing.
Drink champagne, wine, light beer rather than fruity blended drinks.
Drink in moderation. Alcohol contains empty calories. It also reduces your ability to make good decisions.

At Home
Choose ingredients that result in less fat calories without sacrificing taste:

  • sauté with cooking spray and broth.
  • use 2 egg whites in place of one whole egg.
  • don’t add oil to the water when cooking rice or pasta.
  • use plain non fat yogurt instead of sour cream.
  • for whipped cream, use evaporated skim milk instead of cream.
  • choose low-fat cheese products.
  • make pie crust with graham crackers instead of pastry shells.
  • choose lean cuts of meat, poultry without the skin and fish and use oil-free marinades to enhance flavors.
  • choose Canadian bacon or ham instead of bacon or sausage for breakfast.

There is no reason to feel deprived and by making informed decisions that shift your focus from quantity to quality, you won’t have to. Being more mindful of food choices will help you keep your health and weight in check.

This information was brought to you by Robyn Gaines-Moss, MS, RD and OC Nutrition, Your Trusted Source for Health & Nutrition Advice.  OC Nutrition offers nutrition counseling services over the phone or in person in Newport Beach, Irvine, Orange, Anaheim Hills, Chino, Glendora and Long Beach.  If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact:

Kristy L. Richardson, MS, MPH, RD, CSSD, CHES
Registered Dietitian & Exercise Physiologist
kristy@ocnutrition.com
www.ocnutrition.com
(949) 933-6788