Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Get a day's worth of veggies in a single meal

Filed under: , ,

How many servings of vegetables do you eat in a day? For most people it is way less than the suggested five-to-10 servings a day that are necessary for a healthy and balanced diet. Even five servings, which is the bare minimum as far as roughage goes, can be tough to achieve.

But as leafy greens, crunchy carrots and other tasty veggies can be helpful with very important things like lowering your risk of various cancers as well as heart disease, needless to say, it's important to try to get in those 10 servings. If you're having trouble finding ways to incorporate the necessary amount of vegetables into your diet, try one of these five delicious-looking salad recipes.

According to the article, each boasts at least half of the required daily veggie intake and if you also prepare the accompanying side dish, you'll have the maximum amount of servings munched up in a single meal.

Feeling full: here's how to stop the hunger

Filed under: ,

One of the problems I struggle with is eating too much and too often. I have a busy, active lifestyle and it sometimes seems like I'm hungry all the time. I like food but when I'm embedded in a big project, I'd like to be able to turn off my hunger -- eating is more of a chore than an indulgence.

So I think for most of us, warding off hunger would do wonders for our figures. But how do we do this? This WebMD article suggests choosing foods based on their energy density. Foods with low energy densities can be consumed at will. These include fruits, veggies and soup broths. Foods with high energy densities have more calories but will keep you full longer--these include meats and cheeses. And foods with the highest energy density are those things that are bad for you--chocolate, chips and so on--but paradoxically, the highest density foods will probably give a sugar rush and crash, leaving you looking for more food within a few hours.

What's your secret for warding off hunger?

Ask Fitz! Your Fitness Questions Answered

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Have fitness questions? Fitz has your answer. Our fitness expert -- and now your own virtual personal trainer -- will help you get fit, increase your overall health and do it in a fun way. Drop your questions here in the Comments section below and we'll choose two per week to publish on That's Fit! Learn more about Fitz here.

Q.Hey Fitz. I'm trying hard to lose some weight, but I go out with my work friends and it's difficult for me to pass on the chicken wings (which I love) when my friends order them all the time. Help! Max

A. Max, chicken wings sure are tasty. There are a few ways to look at this situation, and you can choose the outlook that works best for you. First of all, restricting anything 100% is rarely a great idea. Why? It leaves you feeling deprived, which often leads to major revolts. If you're in love with chicken wings, have a few. Just make sure 90% of the rest of the food you consume throughout the week is of high quality and low in calories and you'll see progress.

You can also create a healthier wing ding. It's the wing sauce you love right? Most folks don't truly crave the task of chewing teeny bits of meat out of teeny little bones. That's not the desired bit. It's the sauce. So to create a healthier option that will satisfy your craving, order a grilled chicken breast and then just dip it in some wing sauce. You'll save tons of calories and fat, as wings are usually deep-fried.

The other thing to consider is that chicken wings aren't going away. If you want to avoid them completely for now, have faith that when you reach your ideal weight you will be able to enjoy a chicken wing again. They're always going to make more. Good luck Max. Be particular about what you put in your mouth, exercise often and you'll get where you want to go. Fitz

Q. Fitz. I'd like to help my 67 year old mother stay strong. Where should I start? Shes obviously not super old...but she's not incredibly fit and I think her age adds an element of concern. Where should I focus? Milena

Continue reading Ask Fitz! Your Fitness Questions Answered

Daily Fit Tip: Satisfy your sweet tooth with a low-calorie slushee

Filed under: , , , ,

Not all convenience stores carry them, but if you like slushees check out the Crystal Light variety. Most slushees are full of sugary syrup and are extraordinarily high in calories. Not a great choice! But the Crystal Light slushees found at random convenience stores around the country are a sweet treat with only a few calories per serving. Check em out!

Permalink | Email this | Comments

How many calories... in a Red Lobster cheese biscuit?

Filed under:

Confession: whenever I'm at Red Lobster, my favorite part of the meal is the cheese biscuits! I'm not the only one who loves them, either. According to Red Lobster's website, they serve about 1.1 million biscuits every day. But whenever you're crazy about the appetizer or bread being served before a meal, you can quickly get a total calorie count that's out of control after the main dish arrives.

How many calories are in each Cheddar Bay Biscuit at Red Lobster?

A) 80 calories
B) 160 calories
C) 225 calories
D) 310 calories

Continue reading How many calories... in a Red Lobster cheese biscuit?

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Workplace Fitness: Employers ARE getting the point (but oh so slowly)

Filed under:

The CDC says that as many as 66% of Americans are overweight or obese, and although that may be no big surprise (yes, we know it's a problem!) this may come as a shock: that number of unhealthy people translates to a cost of $117 billion dollars a year to the economy, or more! Obviously the connection between health and economics is becoming hard to ignore, which is prompting more and more employers to take a look at just what they're doing to help combat this problem.

Different companies are taking different approaches, and like you'd expect some are better than others. Some places, like Merrill Lynch for example, are seemingly going in exactly the wrong direction. They're reducing the number of sick days available to their employees, thinking that less days available means less days taken and therefore less money spent. But that really does nothing to fix the underlying problem of why the employees are missing so many days to begin with, and if anything it may have people who are still sick coming back to work early and infecting others.

Continue reading Workplace Fitness: Employers ARE getting the point (but oh so slowly)

Everything you want to know about cellulite but are afraid to ask

Filed under:

Nobody is thrilled about cellulite or, as Martha so hilariously referred to it here, cottage cheese butt. I know many women who can remember the exact day that they stood staring at themselves and realized that the dimples on their thighs weren't a terrible trick of the light, but actual cellulite. The horror!

Cellulite is so prevalent. There are dozens of supposed cures out there including moderately-to extremely-expensive creams, plastic surgery procedures, and ideas about how to mask the problem and views on who is doomed to a life of cellulite and who is safe. In a word, those dimples on your butt are misunderstood.

To learn a little bit more, check out this article on that discusses seven truths and myths about cellulite. The bad news is that cellulite is genetic so if your mom has it, chances are you will too. In addition, according to the article, there's no magic cure so you can work out for hours every day and it still won't go away. I suppose the only really encouraging news is that anybody can get it -- super skinny girls aren't any more immune than those of us with a few extra pounds on our frames. So rather than obsess about it, just reassure yourself with the fact that you're not alone.

Vets see inadequate mental health care

Filed under:

In a country kept free by the bravest people on the planet -- soldiers -- should the U.S. not be indebted to these brave souls as much as possible?

Physical health care is one thing, but how about adequate mental health care? The ravages of war can leave much deeper marks mentally than it can physically. Yet, those mental health needs are not being tended to in the best fashion, according to veterans' groups and families who are directly affected.

Mental health issues like depression, suicide attempts and other life-threatening mental health maladies should be attended to as quickly as possible in the military population, right? What do you think about this?

Lethal fish virus enters Lake Michigan

Filed under: , ,

Though fish caught in certain parts of the Great Lakes often come with warning labels practically tattooed on their scales, a new virus in the waterways is no danger to humans. For the fish, however, it's devastating. Known as VHS, the virus kills fish in exactly the same manner that the Ebola virus kills humans. It was found in some of the eastern Great Lakes during the last two summers, and recently its presence in Lake Michigan was confirmed as well.

It's unknown right now what impact this virus will have on the fish population and the overall health of the Great Lakes, but DNR officials are putting emergency rules into action to prevent the spread of the fatal disease. If you're out boating for fun or doing some fishing this summer, be sure to check out the guidelines so that you can spot an unhealthy fish or do your part to keep the lakes as healthy as possible.

Prevent post-workout pains

Filed under:

Exercise feels great while you're doing it, but what about afterwards? For some that's when the sore muscles, stiff joints, and fatigue set in. It really shouldn't be like that, but thankfully if it is there are some things you can do to overcome negative post-workout after-effects. For example, caffeine can help reduce muscle soreness, wearing bright colors can give you more energy, and drinking cherry juice can cut back inflammation. Interested in more details? There's three pages of suggestions in the article, with something for every fitness ailment.

Contact lens solution maker defends itself

Filed under:

If you have paid attention to the voluntary recall of contact lens solution, what have you been doing to ensure those contacts are properly lubricated?

Advanced Medical Optics said yesterday that improper handling of contact lenses was actually the cause of many eye infections that resulted in its products being pulled from store shelves recently.

The contact lens solution was connected last week with Acanthamoeba keratitis, which is a painful eye infection that can lead to blindness. Advanced Medical Optics stated that improper handling can cause the infection rather than the issue being caused solely by a manufacturing or related contamination issue.

What is a baby carrot?

Filed under: , , ,

baby carrotsI bet you thought baby carrots were miniature versions of the real deal. Maybe they are just picked earlier, or perhaps are a different, smaller variety.

Nope. None of the above.

Baby carrots are just plain old carrots. The funny-looking, lumpy-bumpy carrots that grow but don't get sold are simply cut down and run through a machine that peels and smooths them. There is nothing special about them, other than their convenient size.

So why does this information help you? It can save you money if you just want to buy carrots and cut and peel them yourself. Better yet, just wash them and leave on the valuable nutrients in the peel. I for one am thinking about leaving my days of baby carrot purchasing behind, as any kind of processed food, no matter how slightly, leaves me suspicious.

Feel great naked

Filed under: ,

Most of us have trouble feeling good in a bathing suit let alone completely buck naked. Myself included. But feeling great naked is a key aspect to developing a healthy sense of body image and body satisfaction. The problem with this is--well, duh--we usually don't like our bodies. Often, there's some extra weight to contend with and if that's not the problem, there's almost always cellulite. Um, ick.

But once you feel good about yourself naked, you're on your way to feeling good about your body fully clothed too, curves and all. You need to learn how to embrace you body, even with all its imperfections, and eDiets tells you how in this article. You don't need to fully embrace nudism -- just learn to love the skin you're in. After all, it's the only body you've got.

How do you feel about your body, naked or otherwise?

Stay fit on the road

Filed under: , ,

So you've been planning your next big trip for weeks or even months and you've worked your butt off -- literally -- to get into shape before you go. You've got a new bathing suit ready and can't wait to do some serious shopping for the latest hip trends at your chosen vacation destination.

Now the only thing left to do is NOT gain a bunch of weight while on this dream holiday. It is really tough not to go overboard while on vacation. Whether you're at an all inclusive resort in Mexico where the Corona flows like water, on an all-you-can-eat-extravaganza buffet cruise or trying an on-the-cheap backpacker's getaway where all you can afford is local fast food, it is tough not to go way overboard on excess calories. That, combined with the fact that you're on holiday and you want to relax (and why not? you've earned it!), equals extras pounds quick!

There's nothing wrong with gaining five or ten while on vacation but for those who really want to minimize the damage there are definitely ways to ensure you'll still fit that hot new bikini at the end of your holiday. For example, if you're staying somewhere where you can cook your own meals, whip up something for breakfast and lunch and then treat yourself to a tasty dinner of local favorites. If you are able, walk as much as possible as this is a great way to see the sites while burning off a drink or two. Want a few more tips? Take a look here and see what else you can work into your holiday. And remember, your main goal is to relax and have a good time rather than stress about an extra pound or two.

Many humans are indeed lab rats

Filed under: ,

Are you a lab rat? That is not meant to be a demeaning statement, but it may be the unwitting truth whether you realize it or not. Medical experiments given to patients with little or inadequate consent has happened in the past and constitutes what I would consider a heavy crime. But is it?

It's true that physicians need to try newer and experimental procedures on human patients, but giving full and clear disclosure is mandatory. Or is it? What about patients that are severely injured (many are unconscious), near death and unable to give their consent? Should they be automatically included in experiments?

Doctors say that there are newer methods needed to save more lives after decades of the "same old" techniques used to treat emergency room patients and the like. In other words, the status quo needs to go, but at a pretty high cost. What do your ethics tell you?

Need a tanning fix? You might be addicted

Filed under: ,

While I'll admit that I used a tanning bed once or twice when I was young and not-so-wise, I can't say I ever enjoyed the experience: Get naked in a cubicle, sweat inside a box while wearing those funny glasses, and leave with that unpleasant "tanner" smell following you everywhere you go -- not my idea of fun.

But did you know that it's possible to be addicted to tanning? Recent research found that when people were given a drug that blocked endorphins in the brain, they had withdrawal symptoms after their next tanning sessions. Not only that, when people were asked to tan in UVA or non-UVA beds without knowing which was which, they eventually and unconsciously were drawn to the UVA beds.

Experts say there are three signs that you're addicted to tanning:

1. You just can't stop tanning.
2. When you get up in the morning, you can't wait to tan.
3. People tell you that you have a problem and it ticks you off.

I think I'd add #4: You have tough, leathery, sun-damaged skin, and if you don't, you will soon. Get your rays the natural way -- outdoors and with plenty of sunscreen.

Oral hygiene leads to successful living

Filed under:

If you want to be successful in life, make sure you have white teeth.

That's the news according to a new study that finds people with whiter teeth are seen as more attractive, confident, trustworthy and wealthy -- which all translates into more success in work and romance.

Granted, the study -- while conducted by independent researchers -- was commissioned by Crest Whitestrips, so it's not exactly from an unbiased source. However, it is in keeping with previous studies showing that people with stereotypically attractive features are more successful in the workplace.

Plus, the research contains some interesting statistics. For instance, 65 percent of participants were viewed as more professional, and 59 percent were viewed as more "outgoing" -- both qualities that, presumably, would have nothing to do with the color of your teeth.

Sounds like it might be time to schedule an appointment with your dentist.

Fit pets: food that virtually eliminates dog poop

Filed under: ,

One of the major drawbacks to having a dog (especially a large dog) is undoubtedly the clean-up. There's nothing I hated more than roaming through my parents' yard, trying to find all the deposits -- it's one of the main reasons I'm currently not a dog owner.

But those days may be over. A Dutch company claims to have created pet food that leaves almost no waste -- as 90% of it is apparently absorbed into the dog's body. The remaining 10% still comes out the other end, but it's a smell-free dry pellet that you can pick up with a tissue. Plus, the new food makes it possible for dogs to eat only once a week.

The food is called Energique, and the developers are making and selling it as fast as they can -- but is it safe? Could it possibly be giving your pet all the nutrition it needs to stay healthy?

Apparently the food is made entirely from meat -- unlike normal dog food which is only 15% meat (the rest is comprised of cereal crops and water). Because, if they weren't domesticated, dogs would only eat meat, and the makers of Energique claim that this is actually a more-natural alternative.

Would you give it to your dog?