Celebrity Night

You guys. Last night was the greatest night! I got to meet my long time hero!! This dude.

photo(5)If you don’t know who this is, you should get to know who this is. It’s

Michael Pollan!

Michael Pollan is an author of several amazing books including: Food Rules, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and In Defense of Food. He is in documentaries including: Killer at Large and King Corn. Plus he writes regularly for the New York Times. I love love LOVE all of his books and articles. A couple weeks ago I had a job interview and they asked me who my hero was and I said Michael Pollan- no joke. He is my hero because he knows what’s up when it comes to food and nutrition. He is so versed and his research is pretty ground breaking. But not only that, I idolize him because of his ability to connect with the average Joe. He has this really easy-going yet highly motivating way about him. He was completely captivating to listen to, and he reinforces my passion for nutrition and explains why I do what I do. (I didn’t get the job by the way, maybe I should have said my mom or Mother Theresa)?

But that’s enough of my public display of affection. I was able to hear him speak last night on his new book Cooked. To sum it up, Michael Pollan has discovered and decided that the way to attain good health is to spend more time in the kitchen. There’s so much confusion in regards to nutrition and diet and so much all muddled in between. But maybe the answer to good health is really as simple as cooking more. And not the type when you nuke something in the microwave for 2 minutes and call it good. In fact, he made this interesting point: His research has found that the average amount of time people spend cooking each day has decreased over the past 2 decades to a mere 37 minutes. Total. With 4 minutes a day for cleaning up. So what can you assume about that type of cooking? Ahem, Fridays potatoes skins and Stouffers lasagne… And look whats happened to our obesity rates over the same time period…

I can’t give a thorough review of the book because I am not quit finished. I just have about 415 pages left. BUT I am already captivated. There are recipes, humor, nutrition facts, etc. You will laugh and cry and mostly want to get off your butt and spend more time in the kitchen!

photo(4)Did I mention in 2010, Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world?

photo(1)I was so giddy when I met him! I wanted to tell him I used his research to complete a policy analysis on school nutrition, and that I used his articles to debate the reorganization of government agriculture subsidies, or at least tell him that he is my hero, but instead all I got out was: “Thank you, thank you so much, really thank you.” I didn’t even take a breath in between those three identical phrases. Gah!

photo(2)We love each other already.

Also, I cannot fail to mention that during the question/answer portion I was selected to ask my question. ME. Out of 15 people raising their hands. And it was like magic because as he was answering my question, he stared right at me. He literally granted me 5 minutes of uninterrupted eye contact. It was like no one else was in the room. Just he and I. Now would also be a good time to mention that I am happily married to my #1. MP comes next though!

P.S. I titled this celebrity night because Ty Burrell was also there. Local celeb night.

Advertisements

Prudent Healthy Diet

I came across 12 tips to prudent healthy living in a nutrition book of mine. It sounds so pioneer right, prudent healthy diet? But anyway, the tips are great so I thought I would share with you today:

1. Balance the food you eat with physical activity to maintain or improve your weight. Consume only moderate food portions. Be physically active every day.

2. Eat a nutritionally adequate diet consisting of a wide variety of nutrient-rich foods. Let the MyPlate Food Guide guide your food choices.

3. Choose a diet moderate in total fat, but low in saturated and trans fats and cholesterol.

4. Choose a diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grain products, and legumes, which are rich in complex carbohydrates, phytochemicals, and fiber.

5. Choose beverages and foods that moderate your intake of sugars.

6. Choose and prepare foods with less salt and sodium.

7. If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation. Pregnant women should not drink any alcohol.

8. Maintain protein intake at a moderate, yet adequate level, obtaining much of your daily protein from plant sources, complemented with smaller amount of fish, skinless poultry, and lean meat.

9. Choose a diet adequate in calcium and iron. Individuals susceptible to tooth decay should obtain adequate fluoride.

10. Practice food safety, including proper food storage, preservation, and preparation.

11. Avoid excess intake of questionable food additives and dietary supplements.

12. Enjoy your food. Eat what you like, but balance it within your overall healthful diet.

I love this stuff. It’s basically what I have been trying to express in my past 25 blog posts. So much for all that, this is everything you need to know! Especially the last tip. Best advice I could ever offer. So please print this out, hang it on your fridge, and let this be your nutritional mantra til death do us part.

And here is a picture of a kitchen that I very much do like.

Werk it

That’s right put in werk, move your bum, go wizzerk,

Eat your salad, no dessert, get that man you deserve.

-Kanye West

Well, despite what judgement I may have cast here, I know a lot of people really are interested in getting into shape for summer. The weather is nice, and people are out running, biking, hiking, climbing, and all that good stuff. So I have decided to do a little segment highlighting physical activity, weight loss, and sports nutrition! Hurray! Everyone’s favorite topic! I am mostly excited to include lyrics from The Black Eyed Peas, Pink, and the Ying Yang twins that are relevant and inspirational.

Today I thought I would start out by discussing fitness and it’s health implications. As we all know a calorie is a form or expression of energy. We need to consume calories daily to maintain a balance for the calories our bodies expend each day. Our bodies expend calories in 3 areas: basal metabolism, thermic effect of food, and physical activity.

Here is a helpful pie chart to help you understand what percent of energy is used where. Basal metabolism or resting metabolic rate is the amount of energy our body needs to function. Ya know, like to allow your heart to beat, kidneys to flush, lungs to expand, liver to detox, and eyelids to blink. Typically this takes about 800-1200 calories. Thermic effect of food is the amount of calories needed to digest and break down your meals. Did you know you technically burn calories (aka use energy) to digest what you eat? Nifty! And then there is physical activity, no brainer here, you burn calories when you work out. So can you guess which area is variable? If you guessed physical activity you are correct and please message me your address to redeem your prize! This folks, is why physical activity is important when it comes to weight maintenance. If you are in the market to loose weight, or eat more delicious foods because you love it and don’t want to gain weight, then learn to expend more calories through physical activity!

Some other benefits of physical activity include:

  • More restful sleep. I think more than half of people have sleep problems, so check you PA levels! (physical activity)
  • Nutritional health. Obviously
  • Optimal bone density and body composition
  • Resistance to colds and infectious diseases
  • Strong circulation and lung function
  • Lower risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some cancers
  • Lower incidence and severity of depression and anxiety
  • Stronger self-image
  • A longer quality life!

And if that list isn’t convincing enough, do it for the endorphins. Hormones are the real drugs, let’s get high on life! But seriously, it’s amazing how many people recognize that a good work out is the cure for unhappiness, stress, and anxiety, every single time.

Please visit my favorite website that I have linked to at least 3 times on this blog : choosemyplate.gov/physical-activity to learn more and find out different types of activities from moderate to heavy. The old MyPyramid program also gave these great tips to help you achieve fitness:

EVERY DAY – Be as active as possible

  • Use the stairs
  • Mow grass, rake leaves, garden, shovel snow
  • Walk or bike to class, work, or shops
  • Scrub floors, wash windows (yeah guys, you really should be doing this everyday..)
  • Walk your dog, cat, rabbit, or snake
  • Wash and wax your car (again, this should be a daily routine anyway)
  • Play with children

4-6 DAYS/WEEK- Engage in moderate activity

  • Aerobic actives such as: running, biking, swimming, cross-country skiing, dancing, power walking, jump roping, roller-blading, rowing, curling, rigorous canoeing, fencing, Insanity©
  • Sports activities such as: soccer, basketball, baseball, volleyball, tennis, football, racquetball, softball, etc.

2-3 DAYS/WEEK- Engage in strength and flexibility activities

  • Sit-ups, push-ups, curl-ups, pull-ups
  • Weight lifting
  • Stretching and yoga
  • Leisure activities such as golfing, bowling, table tennis, horseback riding, dancing in your bedroom, and leisure canoeing

DO SELDOM- Limit sedentary activities

  • Watch TV or movies
  • Leisure computer time
  • (Reading was not on this list, so I guess do that as often as you want…)

Good luck getting started on your fitness ventures! Consider making a SMART goal for yourself and check back often for more sports nutrition tips!

I’m so glad I am an army wife, cuz this is exactly what I look look like…

Ima Babe!

Today I have more of a personal thing to share. Something that has been bothering me lately. And that is body image.

It is rough to be a girl sometimes, and not to say that guys don’t worry about their bodies too, but I think it’s extra hard for us ladies. It breaks my heart a little bit when I hear my friends, sisters, or randoms at the park complaining about how they wish their stomachs were flatter, their butts firmer, or their jeans a size or two smaller.

It’s the time of year I guess when the days get longer, allergies start buggin, and the only thing that gets passed around quicker than mini Cadburry Eggs is the phrase “swim suit ready,” which is a little ironic. It is great to get into shape and have good realistic goals, but please people let’s not obsess and let the littlest flaws overtake us.

Maybe I am so paranoid because eating disorders are too common and too real for me. I don’t want to take the time to get into the dangers of extreme under-eating now, but there have been two things that have helped avoid that tragic trap that I would like to share. This book right here. It’s awesome. It’s (very) slightly on the crude side and has a different sort of humor, BUT it is fantastic about getting real about being a girl. Kaz Cook address eating disorders and the rough world we live in trying to live up to celebrities and models who’s “perfect” image we can’t seem to avoid. But also she talks anything from hair styles to feminine hygiene products. I know this will be my go-to book for my future daughters. I recommend it to everyone I know who struggles with loving themselves and embracing the joy of being a woman. Girl Power!

The second thing is learn to love yourself, even if you have to “fake it before you make it” or whatever that phrase is. At the risk of seeming hypocritical, I will gladly admit that I have moments where I get down on my body or image, but I have learned to combat it and over all appreciate all the great things my body can do for me. When I was completing my first semester of college I started looking at myself in the  mirror every morning and telling myself loudly “IMA BABE!” It was mostly a confidence booster that I needed to help me get through my chemistry class, I kind of copied the Cool Runnings idea… but it stuck. And the concept passed around room 208 and through the years and soon we had a bunch of arrogant shewolves… just kidding. Inside joke. But anyway, I love to always tell people to try it. Seriously. Look in the mirror and tell yourself you’re a babe, or you are beautiful, or you are sexy, or you are lovely, or whatever phrase will do it for ya.

Sorry this is so personal and so cheesy. But I felt inclined to share. YOU’RE A BABE!

90:10

On my first day of Nutrition 1010 I learned about the 90:10 rule. Have you heard of it?

This rule says that 90% of the time we should eat healthy, meet our daily vitamin recommendations, and get all our servings of fruits and vegetables, etc. But then 10% of the time we can slack a little. Ya know, have a piece of cake or a whole bag of potato chips (although I hope it wouldn’t be the whole bag…) I love this rule because food is delicious and social and to be enjoyed, and sometimes that means indulging ourselves a little. We shouldn’t have to feel guilty for this or punish ourselves with hours on the treadmill the next day. Bleh.

Yesterday, I will admit, I had a “10” day. I was in a bit of a mood and the only thing to console me was a chocolate doughnut. Oh and some Cadburry eggs. Oh and a Popsicle. You can judge me all you want, but it felt so good this morning to wake up and start fresh. I went for a run and had a green smoothie, and I’ve just been consumed with these thoughts that it’s so great that what we eat is a choice we make every meal and we have the power alone to choose to be healthy or not.

So the point of my little personal story today is that normal and healthy eating means moderation, variety, and occasional spoils. I think the best advice I could give someone as a nutritionist is to eat what makes you feel good. I get excited about eating healthy because I feel better and can cope with my days more easily. It’s nice to have choices and agency. And a magic bullet.

Happy National Nutrition Month!

Here it is folks, an entire month dedicated to nutrition! Did you even know March is National Nutrition month? I’m waiting for Martha Stewart to come up with crafts, meals, and decorations for this holiday, because it’s epic!

This years theme is “Get Your Plate in Shape!” Remember this? The FDA came up with the new plate method just last year, so this March to celebrate, the theme is based around adapting the plate method into every meal. Let’s get our plates together people! (I said that in a very Tina Fey from 30 Rock style).

Check out what the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has to say about this month: National Nutrition Month Press Release

And some tips to help you get your plate in shape: Simple tips from Registered Dietitians

For those of you who hate following links (it’s ok, I am one of them), I will give you a run down. There are 4 areas of emphasis when it comes to your plate.

  1. Making half your plate fruits and veggies
  2. Incorporating more whole grains (1/2 of your choices ideally)
  3. Including a variety of lean proteins
  4. Adding more low-fat diary foods to your diet

I thought I would dedicate a blog each week to one of these categories, followed by a personal goal I am working on to shape up my plate. So you better stay tuned ya’ll!