Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What's your craving personality?

1. A friend gives you a small box of exquisite chocolates. You count them and think, I can make these last for two weeks if I have one a day. Then you:

* a. Set aside a few minutes every evening to sit in your favorite chair and enjoy one piece of  chocolate. It's a great two weeks.
* b. Eat one, then later in the day, another couple. The box lasts a week.
* c. Have one, then another...whoops, it's 10 minutes later and they're gone.

2. At the last big cookout, your hosts served all kinds of salty goodness in great big salad bowls. You:

* a. Scooped some guacamole onto a plate, counted out 15 chips, and really enjoyed them.
* b. Realized, after your third handful, that you'd put away so many calories you were already into the next day's allotment, so you got yourself a glass of diet soda.
* c. Were so engrossed in conversation, you're really not sure how many you ate.

3. You're at the mall, where the air is infused with the scent of baking cinnamon buns. You're finding it very hard to resist, so you:

* a. Enjoy the smell, but hurry on to the kitchenware store.
* b. Buy one, cut it in half, and share with your shopping companion (or, if you're alone, save it for breakfast the next morning).
* c. Buy one and try to eat half, but before you've reached the kids' clothing outlet, you've eaten the whole thing.

4. You ordered a salad with grilled chicken and your friends are splitting a pizza, which looks and smells delicious. You:

* a. Enjoy your salad but ask for a few more Parmesan shavings to feed your cheese craving.
* b. Pick at the half slice your friends left.
* c. Order a slice for yourself.

5. It's been a busy week. On Friday afternoon, you're exhausted, so you:

* a. Take a brisk walk or meditate for about 10 minutes.
* b. Head down to the kitchen, cafeteria, or vending machines for a cup of coffee and some crackers and cheese.
* c. Buy a chocolate bar and eat it.

6. There's a slab of coconut layer cake in the fridge from yesterday's birthday party. You are:

* a. So busy you've completely forgotten it's there.
* b. Aware you're thinking too much about it, so you get engrossed in mah-jongg on the computer.
* c. So totally obsessed with the thought of it, you cut yourself a slice.


If Your Answers Were Mostly A's: You have it under control. You can safely sample $60-a-pound chocolates and still lose weight. But if you occasionally need help resisting temptation, check out the "Give In" tips.

If Your Answers Were Mostly B's: You're clearly not a mindless eater (that's good), but you sometimes bite off more than you should be chewing. You can follow the "Give In" advice unless there are particular foods that call to you. If so, familiarize yourself with the "Give It Up" tips.

If Your Answers Were Mostly C's: You have a tendency to go one truffle over the line, so you need to stick with the "Give It Up" advice until you master the tricks for staying in control.

If You Can Safely Give In...

* Have a little bit of really good stuff. You're more likely to be satisfied with a small amount of the real thing. "Otherwise, what can happen is that you say to yourself, 'I want chocolate, but I don't want the calories,'" says Joan Salge Blake, R.D., associate professor of nutrition at Boston University. "So you start with some cocoa, then go on to other foods that don't satisfy your craving, and you end up having the chocolate anyway."

* Never eat a treat by itself. Feed your yen for chips, but have only a few with a low-fat dip (like hummus or a yogurt-dill mix). Include something healthy and low-calorie, too, like red pepper strips and celery, recommends Susan Roberts, Ph.D., director of the Energy Metabolism Laboratory at Tufts University. Filling out your snack will help you resist downing a bag of chips. And the veggies are full of fiber, which will make you feel full — all for a few calories.

* Go the distance. Don't keep treats in the house. "It's like living in a bakery," says Blake. "You won't be able to resist them." If you really want something special, go to the store and buy a snack-size amount — just one small pack of cookies or chips.

* Clear your palate. Once you've had your little taste, have a drink of water or brush your teeth, suggests weight-loss coach Janice Taylor. "If the taste of that food lingers in your mouth, it will trigger more eating."

* Schedule your delights. Plan your daily menu, and include a couple of 100- to 150-calorie treats. A group of dieters in Roberts's program not only gained more control over their trigger foods doing this, but also lost, on average, 22 pounds in 16 weeks on a 1,400-calorie diet. "Even people who thought they'd never be able to eat chocolate again lost 20 pounds while occasionally indulging," says Roberts.

If You Need to Give It Up...

* Tap your forehead. It may sound woo-woo, but there's science behind this five-second trick to displace your craving thoughts. Since the working memory is small, you can crowd out your food desires by placing the five fingers of one hand on your forehead, spaced slightly apart, and then, at intervals of a second, tapping each finger while looking upward and watching it. You may need to do some reps "until your thoughts go elsewhere," says Roberts.

* Walk for 15 minutes. That's how long it took for a group of 25 chocoholics to exercise off their desire for a chocolate bar. And their resistance was severely tested: In the University of Exeter study, the scientists had teased the subjects with mental challenges (stress triggers cravings) and an actual chocolate bar — which participants had to unwrap.

* Take a whiff of mint. A study at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia found that people who sniffed peppermint periodically throughout the day ate 2,800 fewer calories during the week. "When you focus on the scent, your attention is driven away from cravings," says psychologist Bryan Raudenbush, Ph.D. (Peppermint inhalers are available at sportsinhaler.com and in sporting-goods stores — mint also can improve athletic performance — for about $10.)

* Call a friend. Studies in rats suggest that eating comfort food reduces stress response, which may explain why turmoil sends you to the kitchen for your best friend, cookie. "It does help you temporarily," says diet expert Elizabeth Somer, R.D., "but better to vent with a girlfriend. That always works."

* Be at peace with your cravings. A study done at Drexel University found that people who'd been taught to use techniques similar to mindfulness meditation were better able to resist a treat — in this case, a package of Hershey's Kisses — than those who didn't have the training. Mindfulness teaches that thoughts are just thoughts and don't require any rush to judgment or to action. "If you try to make them go away, all your focus is on the food," says researcher Evan Forman, Ph.D. "But if you just exist with the thought, it loses its power." One way to make that easier: Think about what you want out of life that feeding your craving might deny you. To be fit enough to hike with your kids? Slim enough to wear a slinky red dress to your cousin's wedding? "Identifying what's ultimately important to you will allow that goal to direct your behavior, rather than a food craving," says Forman.

* Never be hungry. That's the other lesson from the Roberts program in which participants lost weight while still enjoying their favorite foods. And it's the one tip that will allow you to go from depriving to indulging yourself — even having chocolate every day if you like — without fear of bingeing. "If you eat the right foods, you won't be hungry," says Roberts. "The people in my program were eating three meals a day with two snacks, and almost 100 percent of them said their cravings weren't bothering them anymore." Won't it feel nice to finally get that Chunky Monkey off your back?

Article found at http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/conquer-your-food-cravings
Picture found at www.younglivin.org.uk/.../binge_eating.htm

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Perfect Beverage

*This may be a longer article, but it contains useful information

"Water Rules"
Elizabeth Somer, MA, RD

Water is the perfect beverage. It is fat-free, sugar-free, and calorie-free, and it works with, rather than against, our bodies’ natural thirst and hunger systems. Replace the typical 19 ounces of soft drinks, energy drinks, vitamin waters, or bottled teas guzzled daily by each American with plain water and you will quench your thirst and cut almost 250 calories from your daily diet, the equivalent of a one-pound weight loss every two weeks, or 26 pounds in a year. Water always has been and always will be the most important nutrient in our diets. Second only to oxygen, it is hands-down, absolutely critical for life. Everything in the body - from reproduction to mood and memory - depends on water. Water helps ward off fatigue (the number one health complaint in the United States), keeps tissues hydrated, helps prevent headaches, kidney stones, and urinary tract infections. It even helps make us smarter, wards off memory loss, and improves attention. The body just won’t work right without enough water. It can’t rid itself of waste products, so toxins accumulate. The cells can’t function properly when water balance is disrupted. Even mild dehydration, such as losing 1 to 2 percent of body weight or 1 ½ pounds for a 150 pound person, results in a variety of problems, from headaches and fatigue to lightheadedness and reasoning ability. Our bodies can’t store excess water. That means daily intakes are essential, preferably spread evenly throughout the day. Your body processes water slowly. Drink a quarter cup of water every 15 minutes and it has time to make it into tissues. Drink a quart in five minutes and most of the water will be flushed out in the urine.

Follow the 8x8 rule: Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. That’s about how much fluid your body loses just staying alive. Of course, that’s just a guideline and some people will need more than the basic 8x8, including people who exercise, live or work in hot climates, or perspire heavily, and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. How can you make this a habit?

• Fill a 64-ounce pitcher with water. Place it, along with a glass, somewhere handy, like on the kitchen counter if you work from home or on your desk at work. Or, fill eight glasses with water and line them up on the dining room table.
• Take eight big gulps of water every time you pass a water fountain (1 slurp = approximately 1 ounce).
• Bring a water bottle with you, if you commute to work or when picking up the kids from daycare or school.
• Need a little incentive to drink water? Try dressing it up with a twist of lemon, lime,
or orange. (no citrus when you add ThinStick to it)  Or, mix a little fruit juice with sparkling water and ice.

You’ll know if you are getting enough fluid when your urine is pale yellow to clear
and you urinate every two to four hours. (One exception to this rule isif you take large doses of B vitamins, which can color the urine a bright yellow.)


Java Junk

"Java Junk"
Elizabeth Somer, MA, RD

A cup of black coffee is almost calorie-free. However, gourmet coffee drinks can pack more calories than a platter of deep-fat-fried onion rings, according to a study from New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. A survey of customers at 42 Starbucks and 73 Dunkin’ Donuts in New York City found that servings of coffee or tea averaged only about 63 calories, even with the addition of milk and sugar. However, blended drinks averaged 239 calories (approximately 90 more calories than found in a can of soda pop), a large ice-blended drink contained 750 calories, and large blended drinks topped out at up to 880 calories - which is more than two Quarter Pounders at McDonalds!

Huang C, Dumanvosky T, Silver L, et al: Calories from

beverages purchased at 2 major coffee chains in New
York City, 2007. Preventing Chronic Disease 2009;6(4),
on line.

Picture Found At: http://www.sipsearch.com/coffee/

Organic, Yea or Nay?

"Is Organic More Nutritious"
By: Elizabeth Somer, MA, RD

Many folks are not going to be pleased with the findings of a recent study from London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Consumers are demanding more foods be organic, but information is lacking on whether or not these foods are more nutritious. This study assessed the differences in reported nutrient contents between organic and conventional food products by conducting an in-depth review of the published literature. From a total of 52,471 articles, 162 studies were identified as well-designed and accurate. Results from those studies showed that conventional foods had a higher nitrogen content, while organic
crops had more phosphorus and were more acidic. There was no evidence that foods grown or raised organically, including both plants and animals, were any different nutritionally than similar crops and animals raised by conventional methods. The researchers conclude that “...there is no evidence of a difference in nutrient quality between organically and conventionally produced foodstuffs. The small differences in nutrient content detected are ...mostly related to differences in production methods.”

Dangour A, Dodhia S, Hayter A, et al: Nutritional
quality of organic foods: A systematic review. American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2009;90:680-685.

Picture Found at: joearay2.tripod.com/foodandtravel.htm

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ed's Simple Oatmeal

Metabolic Maintenance's CEO, Ed shared this recipe with me. After I tasted it, I thought "This taste healthy, but yummy." It is such a simple recipe too!

Ed's Simple Oatmeal

Steel Cut Oats (100% Whole Grain Irish Oats)
Chopped Walnuts
Sliced Almonds
Dried or Fresh Blueberries
Organic California Raisins
Vanilla Soy Milk
1-2 ThinStick

Directions: Add 1/4 Cup Steel Cut Oats, Add Hot Water, Stir, Add Chopped Walnuts, Sliced Almonds, and Dried or Fresh Blueberries, Heat in Microwave for 10 seconds, Stir in Vanilla Soy Milk, and ThinStick


Picture of oats found at: www.divavillage.com/article/id/45938

Stick Together This Holiday Season

If you are one to celebrate the holidays, you know they are just around the corner. You also are aware, more treats then you know what to do with, are heading your way quickly. This holiday season get together with your friends and challenge one another to get fit. We all know how to eat right and exercise but doing it in a group can be motivating and fun! Exchange health tips, recipes, etc. Receive a BMI test, calculate your weight and inches from the start. Keep track through out the challenge to see if you've lost weight, inches, or your BMI changed.

      Challenge Sample:
  • Exercise 4x a week/ 1 hr a day  
  • 2 days/Cardio 2 days/Strength Training
  • Eat a healthy breakfast within 60-90 minutes of waking up each day (ThinStick Shake)
  • Eat small dessert only 2x/week (eat one small slice of pie on holiday)
  • Consume serving amounts suggested on mypyramid.gov

The Pros to Cardio and Strength Training

Challenge your friends to be healthy! Add ThinStick to the challenge to help conrol your dessert cravings around the holidays!

Citrus Alert

It is very important that those of you who are currently taking ThinStick, know that it will not work properly if you add ThinStick to any food or drink containing citrus.
Do not add the sticks or the shake to: Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, Orange, Tangerines, etc.

Citrus picture found at: http://drinkwiththewench.com/?p=1216

Friday, November 13, 2009

Evening Snacking

If you are like me at all, you've heard that you shouldn't eat passed a certain time, say 8 p.m. or you will gain more weight. Then you've also heard it doesn't matter what time of day you eat, but what matters is the amount of calories you consume through out your entire day. What is the truth???

"When and What you Eat"
By: Elizabeth Somer, M.A., R.D.

We all know that our weights are a direct reflection of calories in versus calories out. However, researchers at Northwestern University’s Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology report that calories
consumed at night are more fattening than those eaten at other times of the day. In this study, mice fed high-fat diets during their normal sleeping time gained 48% more weight, while mice eating the same high-fat diet during their typical waking hours gained less than half as much, or 20% more weight. The researchers speculate that circadian rhythm has something to do with the weight gain. This internal clock regulates energy use, which implies that the timing of meals might make a difference when balancing calories in with calories out. In addition, the animals fed during their normal waking hours also moved more, thus burned off more
calories, compared to the ones fed closer to “bedtime.” The researchers emphasize that total calorie intake is still the most important determinant of body weight.

Arble D, Bass J, Laposky A, et al: Circadian timing of
food intake contributes to weight gain. Obesity 2009;September
3rd, on line.

Let ThinStick break your evening snacking habits and help control calorie intake!

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Fresh Morning

Kick off your weekend morning with a mouth-watering smoothie for breakfast! Then take a jog, hike, walk, run, or if the weather isn't permitting you to do so, head off to the gym or do indoor exercises at home!

        Sunny Start Smoothie
             2 bananas - cut
             2 Tbsp. honey
             1 Mango 
             1-2 sticks of ThinStick



            Blueberry Blast
            1/2 cup of fresh blueberries
            1/2 banana
            1/2 cup ice
            1 scoop vanilla ThinStick Shake

                                           Be Healthy and You'll Be Happy. 

Free Friday

I recently put together 3,000 samples of ThinStick for JJ Virgin. So please take advantage of these FREE samples and JJ Virgin's ThinStick challenge www.jjvirgin.com/thinstickchallenge
What have you got lose by testing ThinStick out?

Crave Less, Naturally.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

JJ Virgin's Five Favorite Fool-Proof Tips!!

My Five Favorite Fool-Proof Tips for Staying Fit on the Road

Written by JJ Virgin PhD, CNS, Celebrity Nutrition & Fitness Authority

1) Repeat after me: “No Red-Eyes.” Unless you are flying in your own private jet for more than 9 hours you will have a bad nights’ sleep and start your vacation or work week off on a bad note. It always sounds like a great idea until you are actually living it. Instead, I turn the plane into my own personal office and bring all of my writing and reading that I need to catch up on (I take extra batteries and plugs too) and fly during my most productive hours. I use my iPOD to create my office “walls.” This way once I land I can immediately shift into “escape” mode now that I have gotten my work done.

2) If your travel includes a time zone change, start shifting the day or two before by altering your bedtime, wake time, and meal times by an hour. Use Thin Sticks (my favorite fool-proof all natural appetite suppressant and cravings crusher) to help your appetite cooperate with you.

3) Pack the Bullet. I travel with my Magic Bullet Blender and carry sandwich baggies prepared with a blend of my Olympian Labs Prescribed Nutrition shake stirred with some added fiber. I’ve learned to include a few extra baggies in case I end up missing a meal somewhere in transit or if I show up late at my hotel and want to have a shake instead of a whole meal. I also carry EmergenC™ Packets with me to kick up my immune system and keep my stress at bay as well as some of my favorite protein energy bars so that I never get stranded and fall victim to the airline “snack pack” out of desperation.

4) Plan your workouts. Whenever possible I workout prior to getting on the plane, especially on long flights. If the flight is too early I schedule in a workout when I arrive. I always make sure that the hotel where I am staying has a fitness center (as opposed to the dreaded fitness room containing a lone treadmill and a broken tv) or access to a nearby gym. If all else fails you will find me in the stairwell doing my bursts. If I am driving I bring my Xiser along. It weighs under 20 pounds so some of my male clients actually pack it; I unfortunately have far too many shoes that I MUST pack to be able to squeeze it in….

5) Carry your safe filtered water bottle along but remember to empty it BEFORE you go through the security line! Security will confiscate it… I’ve learned this one personally. I have also found that most hotel gyms have a water cooler so you can always locate a great source of clean filtered water for bottle refills, and hence yet another reason to make a visit there!

© 2009 JJ Virgin & Associates, Inc. JJ Virgin PhD, CNS is a celebrity nutrition and fitness expert, author, public speaker and media personality. She is internationally recognized as the authority in overcoming weight loss resistance and trains other health care professionals in her program. She is the president of the National Association of Nutrition Professionals, www.nanp.org.

If you are frustrated with your body and feel like nothing you are doing is working, take her free quiz “Are You Weight Loss Resistant?” at JJVirgin.com and receive her monthly LEANzine loaded with insider information on fighting fat and getting lean for life!
Read more: http://smartwomentravelers.com/index.php?view=article&catid=48%3Abody&id=90%3A5-fool-proof-tips-for-staying-fit-on-the-road&option=com_content&Itemid=57#ixzz0VvBQo1DX

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Appetite Thermostat

All of us at one point or another, have been told that if we overeat, we stretch our stomach out. So then what's our next step? We consume less, thinking the opposite effect will take place, that is, our stomach will shrink. Well guess what, neither one of these ideas are true! Take a look at your fist, what you are seeing is about the size of your stomach.

"Your stomach is only the size of your fist, so it takes just a handful of food to fill it comfortably," -Michelle May, MD.

"Once you are an adult, your stomach pretty much remains the same size -- unless you have surgery to intentionally make it smaller. Eating less won't shrink your stomach, but it can help to reset your "appetite thermostat" so you won't feel as hungry, and it may be easier to stick with your eating plan. - Mark Moyad, MD

Let ThinStick help you reset your "appetite thermostat" and stick with a reasonable, healthy eating plan!