Food Is Not Your Enemy

Pizza Sauce To Count as a Veggie?

Echoing the days when President Reagan declared that ketchup counted as a vegetable on school lunch trays, now it’s looking like the sauce on frozen pizza may be headed for the same distinction. Thanks, lawmakers. At a time when our nation’s childhood obesity rate is skyrocketing, should we really be looking to cut corners like this, and find ways to ensure that our kids are served no extra veggies and fruits with their school lunch? Do we really want to pat ourselves on the back for serving our kids frozen pizza, justifying that this is a healthy option?

UPDATE: And…. yes, the House of Representatives has in fact now voted to protect pizza as a vegetable.

How to Boost Your Immunity
November 10, 2011, 2:25 pm
Filed under: Chronic Disease, Healthy Lifestyle | Tags: ,

When it comes to cold and flu season, there’s a lot you can do to protect yourself from getting sick. Two of the most important and simple preventative steps you can take are to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and to wash your hands frequently. It works for doctors, and it can work for you.

But it will also benefit you greatly to make sure that your immune system is in tip-top shape. If it is, it can potentially destroy any invading pathogens before they set up shop in your body and cause illness.

Here are some tips on how to build your immunity:

  • Get stress under control. Studies have shown that stress is the cause of at least 80 percent of all disease, and there is no question that stress suppresses the immune system.
  • Get enough sleep. In a 2009 study, people who slept fewer than seven hours per night had triple the risk of getting sick compared to those who averaged eight hours or more.
  • Get regular exercise. Couch potato behavior promotes atrophy as well as impaired circulation, both of which result in a compromised immune system.
  • Eat whole grains. The outer covering of whole grains–the part that is removed to make white rice, white flour, etc.–contains many vitamins and minerals, including selenium, that help support immunity.
  • Eat leafy greens and other vegetables. Vegetables provide the vitamins, minerals, and fiber that are key to overall good health–a plant-centric diet will boost your immune system and protect you against everything from the latest cold making its way through your office to more serious illnesses like cancer.

Why It’s So Hard to Keep the Weight Off
November 1, 2011, 11:34 am
Filed under: Food/Health Blogs, Healthy Lifestyle, weight loss | Tags: , ,

Time Healthland ran an interesting and somewhat frustrating piece about what happens to dieters’ bodies once they lose weight. In a nutshell:

“When obese people lose body fat, levels of the hormone leptin, which is produced by fat cells, drop. That signals to the brain that the body’s energy stores are low, slowing metabolism and triggering hunger.”

Anyone who’s ever lost weight may have experienced that sense of surprise and dismay at how easy it is to put the weight back on–if you eat the same things as your friends who were never fat you might put weight on, while your friends would not. This hormone issue is the reason why.

I believe it helps matters if you didn’t lose the weight via a crash diet in the first place. Taking a slow, gradual approach that involves using foods that naturally regulate your appetite resets your “normal” habits and allows your body and mind time to adjust. This is the way I go about working with my clients. If you’d like to find out more about my approach and how I can help you, visit my Web site.