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Oct 6, 2010Americans aren’t eating their veggies

Although people are becoming more aware of the ever growing health benefits vegetables posses, that doesn’t help to convince Americans to eat more of them.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that only 26% of Americans eat three or more servings of vegetables a day – half the number they had hoped for.

 

National guidelines suggest that you eat at least four to five servings of veggies a day.  What’s a serving size? Either a half cup of cooked veggies or one cup of the fresh variety.

 

So here’s the down and dirty truth of why you need to eat what’s good for you:

  • Veggies are loaded with vital nutrients like potassium, beta-carotene, magnesium, calcium, iron, and vitamins C, E and K, antioxidants, and fiber
  • They help fill your stomach, so you can help fill yourself up without loading up on calories
  • Some have even been linked to help fighting cancer – like onion and garlic

 

So tell me, how do you like your veggies?

Sep 8, 2010Maintain muscles with Casein or Soy!

Basics before we get started:

  • Casein- protein found in cow milk and cheese
  • Soy- plant; a species of legume

Rumors have spread like wildfire that casein is a more effective way of giving your body protein than soy, but a new study has shown that that is not true!  Both soy and casein provide the same amount of protein levels in healthy people.

Both soy and casein help to decrease muscle breakdown (which is important in maintaining muscles). Protein is vital to gaining and maintaining muscle mass.  Main sources of protein? Whey from dairy and soy proteins.

Wanna know my favorite way to get some much needed protein? Soy Joy bars! They are easy to put in my bag and snack on the run.  Personally, I absolutely adore the blueberry bars, but of course all the flavors are delish!  What’s your favorite flavor?

Soy Joy is featured in my books Performance Nutrition for Football and The Reunion Diet.

Aug 17, 2010Doctor’s orders: Eat your veggies

Some Massachusetts doctors are replacing drugstore prescriptions with “medicines” from local farmers’ markets as a way to fight the battle of the bulge.  Doctors give out coupons to help those who cannot afford it get the variety of fruits and vegetables that they need to maintain a healthy diet.

 

Since childhood obesity in the United States costs $14.1 billion annually, this initiative is great!  These coupons help those in lower income levels to eat healthy foods instead of pulling through a drive-thru.  A con to this healthy project? Farmers’ markets are not open all year; this means that the participants have to go elsewhere to get their food.

 

Do you need ways to integrate more veggies into your diet?   Lisa Dorfman’s book, The Vegetarian Sports Nutrition Guide provides healthy and delicious meals like Hanner’s Tempeh Gumbo. Still want a little meat in your meals, fret not, because Lisa’s The Tropical Diet brings the tropics to your dinner table with meals like Caribbean Ginger Chicken and Miami-Style Black Bean Soup. Both books are available on Amazon.com.

Aug 9, 2010I’ll drink to that! Alcohol reduces arthritic pain.

People with achy joints, listen up.  A recent study by Dr. James Maxwell of the University of Sheffield in the UK found that consuming alcohol can have a beneficial effect on those with rheumatoid arthritis.  Based on his study with mice, the doc figured out that some of the properties in alcoholic beverages help to put a stop to the inflammatory process.  So go grab that cocktail, because alcohol reduces the severity of RA.

This sounds awesome, right? Well, there is a catch.  Although the study realized that alcohol helps to alleviate the symptoms of RA, it did not figure out the logistics of it all.  The study did not determine how much or how frequently someone needs to drink for the benefits to kick in.

So drink that extra margarita to help out with your RA pain, but keep in mind that this research hasn’t been fully explored.   Check out the article here.

Jul 29, 2010Parenting Magazine - Lose 5 Pounds in Just a Few Weeks

Know something more fabulous than losing five pounds? Losing that weight in just two week….and eating delicious food!

Parenting Magazine features tips from Lisa Dorfman’s book The Reunion Diet.  Want the gist?

  • Your 14 day diet should be 1,200 calories, consisting of 3 meals and 2 snacks
  • No snacking after dinner – if you must, make it no more than 150 calories
  • A consistent exercise regime helps you keep that weight off

Be sure to check out the whole article below. It just goes to show that even the busiest can lose those last five pounds, and fast!

August2010 Parenting Mag Article

Feb 15, 2010Exercise Your Options

If you're afraid to start your Reunion Diet because you're afraid of failing, chances are, you've tried to lose weight in the past without success. But this time it's gonna be different. Here's are two success tips that can have a powerful influence on your motivation:

1. Start with sneakers: Everyone knows that it takes a combination of diet and exercise to lose body fat, but researchers now believe that it’s best to tackle exercise first. Once you invest time in a daily workout for a few weeks, you’ll be motivated and have the feeling of wellbeing necessary to make the more challenging dietary changes ahead, especially if you've got less than six months to lose before your reunion.

2. While you're at it, set ambitious exercise goals. Instead of saying “I will exercise three days a week,” plan to exercise every day, even if you know you won’t make it. Reality check: Most of us only accomplish 60 percent of our weekly fitness goals, according to research from the College of Public Health and Health Professions at the University of Florida in Gainesville. So if you plan to work out for an hour every day, you’ll probably make it to three or four workouts a week. That's fabulous.

Feb 15, 2010Get Your Fridge "Reunion Ready"

To help you eat healthier and help you stick to your Reunion Diet, reorganize your refrigerator so that the foods you want to entice yourself to eat are visible.

Move sealed bags of baby carrots, precut red and green pepper strips and broccoli florets, for example, to the top shelf instead of hiding them in the lowly crisper bin. Slide a container of hummus, baby ghanoush (pulverized eggplant) or nonfat salad dressing next to them (hint, hint). You’ll be enticed as soon as you open the refrigerator door. In fact, research shows that we're all on a see-food diet. The mere sight of food can stimulate your appetite. So make sure the foods you see often are healthy and Reunion-Diet friendly. Apply this principle to your pantry and cupboards, too.

Feb 15, 2010Reunion Diet Cooking Secret: Roasting!

Roasting is a way to add extra flavor to veggies without adding fat.

Roasting brings out the vegetable’s deep, rich flavor. Toss cut-up carrots, peppers, eggplant—almost any vegetable works well, though broccoli tends to shrivel—with a scant drizzling of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. Roast at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes, until lightly browned and fork tender. The high heat, which sets roasting apart from baking, converts vegetables’ starches to sugar, imparting a nutty sweetness that makes them perfect as a side dish, tossed into your favorite Reunion Diet entree or stuffed into an Ezekiel tortilla with 1 oz of fat-free Monterey jack for a Reunion-Diet-friendly snack. Yum!

Feb 15, 2010Psst! Tips for "Shy" Reunion Dieters

Studies show that social support is a key factor for weight-loss sucess. In The Reunion Diet, we talk about different dieting personalities in relation to the type of support you need. If you're the shy type, for example, you're not inclined to tell everyone you're trying to lose weight for your reunion. Telling friends, family and coworkers feels like added pressure to you. Plus, keeping your plans secret saves you from potential embarrassment if you fail to reach your goal. While such self-reliance provides a safe haven, going it alone isn't easy. Making weight loss public also tends to increase commitment. Here's more about the shy dieter and how to work with your personality to get the support you need.

Success Rx for The Shy Dieter:

Find the right support. Join an online dieting group, where you can hide behind a user name, or seek out a registered dietitian in your area for private one-on-one counseling to help you manage and stick to your Reunion Diet. If you've got a trusted friend who also wants to lose weight, form an alliance. Having a select group of supporters can keep you accountable and motivated without making you feel too exposed.

Implement self-reliant weight-loss techniques. Maintain a food/exercise diary, aka your Pocket Coach. In it, write down specific goals for each day, such as: "I will walk after lunch instead of just eat at my desk." Also, wear a pedometer and gradually increase your step requirement each day. These will help strengthen your sense of personal accountability in the absence of an extensive support system.

Set process-driven goals, such as eating according to your Reunion Diet food plan, instead of end-result goals (like just focusing on losing 20 pounds by your reunion date). Process-driven goals are easier to achieve because they focus on one step toward a result that can take months to achieve. Process goals give you many opportunities to celebrate personal achievement, which keeps you motivated.

Bottomline: Even if you're shy about weightloss, getting some support is necessary. So don't try to go it alone on The Reunion Diet, no matter how self-reliant you are.

Feb 10, 2010Do you keep a food/exercise diary?

Lisa and I had a wonderful time on Friday, February 5 discussing The Reunion Diet as the guests of Samantha Heller, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., the host of The Doctors on Sirius radio, which airs from the lobby of NYU Medical Center in New York City. So many listeners called in with terrific questions! One was about keeping a food diary and how to do it online, which will be the topic of today's blog entry.

Food for thought about food diaries

Studies show that keeping a food and exercise diary is an important weight-loss tool. But here's the catch: You shouldn't wait to write or record. A recent University of Pittsburgh meta-analysis study found that the most successful dieters recorded what they ate within 15 minutes of consuming their meal or snack. From that ongoing tally, they then were able to make diet changes as the day progresses, if needed, as in eating less or making lower-calorie food choices. Keeping an ongoing calorie tally is much more effective than trying to remember what you ate at the end of the day, then adding up calorie counts, the researchers determined. Fortunately, keeping track of it all as you go has never been more convenient. With the Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker at Myfitnesspal.com, for example, which is a free journaling site with a database of over 316,000 foods, you can use your computer to count calories and track how many you burned by exercising. Even better, Myfitnesspal.com has a free Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker app for the iPhone, which syncs with Myfitnesspal.com. The foods you record as you consume them on your iPhone will automatically appear on Myfitnesspal.com and vice versa, so your food log can easily travel with you, making updated food tracking a cinch. Myfitnesspal.com is just one of many food journaling options, though. Others we like include fitday.com, sparkpeople.com and livestrong.com, which also has an iPhone app.

Reunion Diet tip: Writing down or recording your meals and snacks makes your calories real. However you decide to do it, you'll up your success factor if you make it a habit to record what you ate right after every meal or snack rather than waiting until later to deal with it.

--Sandra Gordon

Feb 2, 2010Attn August Reunion Goers

August is a popular month for school and family reunions so if you anticipate one coming up this August, now's the time to get ready. "The Reunion Diet" six-month diet plan (see chapter four in the book) is designed for reunion dieters who've got at least six months to go before their big day. The beauty about starting your diet now is that you'll have time to make small and gradual nutrition changes that can add up big--and stick with you long after your reunion is over because these changes can weedle their way into your lifestyle and become habit. If you like a diet that's basically a prescription (eat this and how much), see page 51. Otherwise, follow our tips throughout chapter four for creating a DIY plan. Either way, you'll want to keep a food diary (your pocket coach) so you know exactly what's doing. Remember, weight loss boils down to calories in versus calories out, so you'll need to burn or take in fewer calories than you burn consistently to get to your goal. Good luck!  

Dec 1, 2009The Reunion Diet in the News--ABC NEWS to be exact

For an insightful perspective on reunions--why we go to them, what we gain from aspiring to look our best--log onto http:://abcnews.go.com/print?id=9267968. That's where you'll find "The Best Reunion Looks Focus on the Now" by Samantha Critchell of the Associated Press, which features quotes from Lisa and me among others.

Here's a snapshot of what we said about why reunions motivate us to lose weight, get some highlights, and become gym regulars to prepare for the event:

Lisa Dorfman, co-author of "The Reunion Diet," says the idea of a little healthy competition among peers can steer you toward an improved version of yourself. "There's no better control group for comparison than your former classmates because everyone started from essentially the same place," says Dorfman, who recently attended her 30th high school reunion. "They're the benchmark of who we were and how far we've come."

High school seems to be "the big one," agrees co-author Sandra Gordon. "Those were the formative years, that's who you were before life got so layered. When you're with your high school friends, you go back to yourself."  

In our research, we found that even those who went back to their reunion with a little revenge in mind often fell into old routines with old friends--and were happy to do it. Of course, it didn't hurt if there was acknowledgment from the captain of the football team, especially if he never talked to you back then.

Reunions mean so many things, often different things to different people. E-mail us about what the last reunion you attended meant for you.