Friday, 5 October 2007

The Dailu Turn On! Do Carbs Make You Fat?

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Life is too short not to be fully "turned on." The Daily Turn On! energizes all aspects of "you." Everyday The Daily Turn On! with That's Fit Life Fit expert Laura Lewis will awaken your mind, your body and your life!

Did you know ... Carbohydrates are the best source for obtaining more life energy. Experts point out that if all carbohydrates were responsible for obesity, countries that consume the greatest amount of carbs as a percentage of calories in their diet, would suffer the most. Yet this is not the case. Residents of third world countries who tend to consume less protein and fat in their diet, are relatively unscathed by obesity, Also, in Japan, carbohydrates compose the majority of daily caloric intake. High carb foods like grains, rice and vegetables are daily staples of the Japanese diet, and intake of high-protein, high-fat animal products is minimal. In contrast to the "horrors" of carbohydrates as described by promoters of some of the almost no-carb diets, Japan has one of the lowest rates of obesity, heart disease, cancer and diabetes in the world. This indicates the types of carbs eaten can have a dramatic effect on health.

Action Tips:
  • Switch to whole grain breads, pasta, brown rice and tortillas, and pass up their refined cousins. Consume at least half of your carbohydrates from whole grain sources.
  • Be sure to obtain a minimum of six servings per day to eleven maximum.
  • Calculate your daily caloric intake, and figure 55 to 70percent of those carbohydrate calories.
  • Don't eat refined, sugary foods every day. Use them as treats for special occasions or in a weekly designated treat day.
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Life Fit Chat with Laura Lewis: Give carbs a chance!

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Life Fit Chat with That's Fit Life Fit Expert Laura Lewis brings conversation provoking tidbits to your table, served up with a touch of spice! Byte-sized information that pack some punch, brought to you every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday!

Did you know ... Carbohydrates have really gotten a bad rap in the past several years, but did you know they are the best source for quick energy? In an optimal longevity diet, your total daily calories should be divided among the three primary food sources: 10 to 15 percent protein, 30 percent fat (with 10 percent of those fat calories coming from or less from saturated fats), and 55 to 70 percent carbohydrates. Carbs pack a mean punch when it comes to providing energy to your cells. They provide 4 calories per gram and are generally loaded with valuable vitamins, mineral and fiber. Eating enough carbohydrates on a daily basis is essential in order to "spare" protein you have eaten so it can be used for muscle, tissue, and cellular repair and not burn up valuable protein if you are not getting enough carbs. If you have low energy and have avoided carbohydrates because you thought they would make you fat, chances are you need to eat more! Eating a generous amount of complex carbohydrates will not make you fat. Eating fatty, non-nutritious foods will.

A Chain Gang: Carbohydrates are basically short and long chains of energy-containing molecules called glucose, which are actually simple sugars. The name of each type of carbohydrate depends directly upon the organization of the energy molecules. Complex carbs typically are rather long, complex chains of glucose, usually combined with some type of fiber that slows the release of glucose into your blood stream. Complex carbs are found in whole grains like whole wheat or rye, spelt, quinoa, steel-cut oats and brown rice. They are also found in starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, potatoes, corn, peas and legumes. Simple carbohydrates are usually found in refined, highly processed foods such as white flour. The valuable bran and nutrients have been removed. White, or refined sugar, is a straight, simple carbohydrate. When you eat simple carbs, glucose blasts into your bloodstream briskly, due to the lack of fiber. Your bloods sugar will usually rise quickly. The glucose is then transported to all different parts of your body to be used as immediate energy, with some leftovers. Some are converted to glycogen--the stored carbohydrate in muscle. The rest gets converted to fluffy, greasy fat.

Don't Keep It Simple: If the majority of carbohydrates you consume come from highly processed sources such as those primarily comprised of white flour and/or white sugar, you will not be getting the vitamins, minerals and fiber that you need to keep healthy. The lack of fiber will predispose you to all sorts of problems, including obesity, constipation and other digestive disorders and might also lead to many forms of cancer, such as colon and rectal cancer!

So, give carbs a chance! You will be glad you did!
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Daily Fit Tip: How to breath normally when you're nervous

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Some people experience it more than others, but I think most of us have gone through it at some point in our lives: that frustrating inability to get a deep breath when you're really nervous or anxious about something. This article I came across was published awhile ago, but it's got a great set of tips (complete with stick man illustrations!) on how to "reboot" your lungs and get over that annoying shallow breathing pattern we sometimes get stuck in.

If nervous breathing happens to you often how do you deal with it?

Fit Factor: Are you on the ball? Some stability ball exercises to try

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Do you own a stability ball? Or do you use one regularly as part of your workout? If you answered no, then you're definitely in the minority. Those big bouncy stability balls are a staple of fitness these days -- in gyms, homes and even some offices. They're the focal point of many workouts and fitness classes, and if you've ever used one, you know why -- even doing a simple crunch seems to reveal muscles in your abs that you never knew you had the next day.

I've been working out with a stability ball at the gym for a number of year now. I pretty much stick to working my abs when I'm using the ball, but there are other body parts to can work out with the help of your ball. And if gyms aren't your thing, get one for your home. They're relatively inexpensive and though they take up a bit of room when inflated, they have many uses -- try yours out as a chair.

Here are some great ways to put the stability ball to work for you:

Continue reading Fit Factor: Are you on the ball? Some stability ball exercises to try

That's Fit Weekly Podcast #30: October 5th, 2007

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We're always looking for fresh and innovative ways to blog about news and trends fit for helping you live a healthy life. Now, thanks to Saturn, we bring a new voice to our efforts with the launch of our That's Fit Weekly Podcast. Each Friday, we'll go from blogger to broadcaster as we discuss topics relevant to pursuing your health and fitness goals.

It's a continuation of our "Regenerate YOU!" series and this time we're talking about regenerating your heart! Tune in to listen to 9 heart health tips that could add years to your life! No kidding! Interested? Listen on....!

Have comments on our current shows or ideas for future podcasts? Or, do you have a burning health and fitness question you'd like answered on an upcoming installment? Comment right here and we'll do our best to provide the helpful information you're looking for!

There are several ways to receive the That's Fit Weekly podcast: Subscribe to our RSS feed, through iTunes, or just click on the MP3 file link directly below! -- your choice!

Receive That's Fit Weekly Podcast using one of these methods:
[RSS] Add The That's Fit Weekly Podcast feed to your RSS feedreader and have it delivered automatically
[MP3] Download the podcast directly
[iTunes] Subscribe to the podcast directly in Apple iTunes

Laura Lewis

File Format

07.26:00 length, 6.97MB size, MP3 format (128kbps)

October 12th , 2007 Program: Tune in next week to find out about the top regenerative nutrients your body really needs!

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Great News: Holiday toys will come up short

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There will be a shortage of toys this coming holiday season due to underestimated demand and the whole toy recall thing -- you know, because of the lead paint and toxic plastic used in the production of some children's play things. "Say it isn't so," you might be saying. Me? I say this is the best news I've heard in a while.

I'm always looking for excuses to not buy toys. We already have a house full and in my opinion, they are a grand waste of money. Most toys, with the exception of imagination-builders like blocks, puzzles, and games, have a shelf life of a few hours for my two guys. I can't begin to list off all the trinkets we've brought home that ended up swiftly stuffed into some toy bin without a second thought. So yes, I like that the toys shelves may be a little bare this year. "See kids, no toys, sorry."

Now don't think I'm a Grinchy old mom or anything. I love presenting my kids with gifts that make them happy, and Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. Learning about this trouble with toys just gives me more motivation to be creative, to purchase items for my kids that have a little more staying power and really matter in the long run. I'm thinking physical fitness here. Just imagine the possibilities.

Continue reading Great News: Holiday toys will come up short

Baker's Premium White Chocolate recalled by Kraft

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Kraft Foods said this past Wednesday that it is recalling Baker's Premium White Chocolate Baking Squares due to a possible salmonella contamination.

These products are generally used in baking recipes, and include 6-ounce packages with this UPC code:

0043000252200 (and printed with these "best when used by" dates: 31 MAR 2008 XCZ, 01 APR 2008 XCZ, 02 APR 2008 XCZ, 03 APR 2008 XCZ).

Although no illnesses have been reported yet, Kraft recalled over 24,000 cases of the product after FDA testing revealed the presence of salmonella in some of the six-ounce packages.

Skip the BMI -- pinch that fat instead

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The Body Mass Index (BMI) measurement is not all it's cracked up to be. It's a good guide and can offer a general view of your placement on the obesity continuum, but it's based on height and weight alone -- and herein lies the problem.

BMI doesn't take into account body frame or muscle mass and in one recent study cited in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports, 60 percent of women were heavier or thinner than their BMI calculations indicated.

Next time you're in the market for determining your true size, ask for a skin fold test at your doctors office or your local fitness club. Let someone actually pinch that fat. Then, you'll know more clearly where you stand.

Study says stress at work is keeping some from having kids

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Would you let work keep you from having kids? If you said yes, then you're not alone. According to a study in Canada, of the 33,000 people surveyed, 28% said that the stresses involved with their job and the difficulties that occur when trying to balance work with family life, have kept them from having more kids or prevented them from having children altogether.

According to this article on the study, various 'family-friendly' tactics in the workplace, such as job-sharing and unpaid leave, actually cause additional stress and prevent workers from getting ahead in their careers. A number of workers are weighing the pros and cons between work and family life, and many are choosing the benefits of a career over children.

While I completely understand why people would choose a career over kids, I do wonder if they'll end up missing out in the long run. What do you think about career vs children? Does it have to be one or the other?

Hey You: Listen to this advice

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It seems the very things that keep us healthy and prevent illness and disease also elevate our moods, minimize stress, and energize us. That's why we see so many of the same action items appearing on so many checklists -- because they are comprehensive and all-sweeping remedies for all of our maladies. It's no coincidence the same tasks keep presenting themselves before us. It's a sign, a sign that we need to heed such repetitive advice.

In the spirit of redundancy, here's another basic to-do list for you health-seekers out there.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast full of fiber-rich complex carbohydrates, like whole grains, vegetables, and fruit. Add some protein with eggs, meat, low-fat dairy, and a tad bit of healthy fat too. Olive oil or nut oil satisfy this category.

Continue reading Hey You: Listen to this advice

FDA wants pharmacists to dole out more prescriptions without doctor's orders

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Now this is something that boggles the mind. The FDA said this week that it may want to increase the number of medicines available to customers that will no longer require a doctor's prescription. All that will be required will be a pharmacist's recommendation.

Although pharmacists most likely know quite a bit more than a GP about the interactions of drugs and the specific conditions of each drug, are we to trust ourselves to try and explain what ails us in order to get that 'no doctor required' prescription-level drug directly from that local pharmacy?

The standard thinking by the FDA references ease of access for the uninsured, but this will surely benefit drugmakers in selling more products since the physician will be out as middleman in many cases if this proposal reaches fruition. Note, though, that the drugs in question will be "behind the counter" drugs (hidden from view unless asked for), not 'over the counter' drugs, which anyone can buy off the shelf.

What do you think -- is this a good idea or a bad one?

Can the Cardiac Cubs stop your heart?

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The Chicago Cubs have not won a World Series in 99 years. Watching them lose a berth to the 2003 World Series triggered a sharp pain in my heart. What about fans with a history of heart disease? Could watching a Cubs game put them at risk for a heart attack?

A couple of Chicago cardiologists weighed in the matter. Dr. Gary L. Schaer, from Rush University Medical Center, explained situations of high emotion set off the fight or flight response, which raises your heart rate and blood pressure. Schaer would give his patients recovering from a heart problem a green light to watch the Cubbies if they are clinically stable. But an unstable patient is not allowed TV or any emotionally stressful activities. No Cubs for them.

Dr. Matthew Sorrentino, from University of Chicago Medical Center, stated the only patients he'd worry about are those diagnosed with advanced heart disease who experience symptoms from the stress of everyday living or exercise. I assume no Cubs for them, either.

The Cubs have a history of stressing out hearts. For all you healthy fans out there, your ticker will likely keep on ticking, no matter how broken your heart. Hey, maybe this is the year of The Chicago Cubs! But frankly, it's not looking good.

Invest in your marriage, manage your money

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Working on a marriage is like working on a team of committed, long-term players. That is what it takes these days, as the emotional and financial responsibilities can take a pair that knows obstacles well and can be prepared to work as a team to overcome them.

This example is a great one for modeling a marriage when it comes to shared fiscal responsibility. One of the highest reasons for divorce is for financial reasons, and from what I have seen, it's the communication part of that which fails. Why aren't some married couples talking about their finances on a daily basis? Beats me.

It's not easy, with housing market issues, credit card balances off the charts and other preventable nonsense. But, communicating in an honest way is what will see many couples through. You are, after all, a team -- right? On a football team, don't the players communicate before every single play?

Do you short order cook for your kids?

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Kids these days, especially teenagers, often have varying dietary desires. Mary Elson's thought-provoking Chicago Tribune article about a la carte family dinners shows impromptu burgers on the grill do not work anymore with many teens.

Take Mary's recent experience. On a whim, her son and two friends came over for dinner after skateboarding. Her husband had been preparing hamburgers on the grill. Suddenly, mom was staring at three boys with markedly different dietary preferences. Her semi-vegetarian son (eats fish), a lacto-vegetarian friend (no meat/fish/eggs) and a third buddy from Istanbul who adores American cuisine.

This simple dinner metamorphosed into hamburgers, tilapia burgers and pasta with marinara. Interestingly, Mary claims soda is also out of style, so her family serves milk, herbal teas, vitamin waters (the mid-calorie beverage rage) and other healthy drinks. Cool trend.

I've always taken Dr. Phil's advice and do not short order cook for my kids. But they are still little. Sounds like I may need to have pasta, salad and fish on hand once the teen years arrive. What's your take?

Bush vetos children's health care bill

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In just the fourth veto of his presidential career, President Bush vetoed legislation this week geared at increasing a popular children's health care program. No surprise there, as Bush's record on social programs for health is pretty well known by most Americans.

But this has to do with children, and by vetoing the bill, Bush risks alienating himself from fellow Republicans, some of whom fear damage to next year's elections as a result.

I'm not sure I would characterize the bill as "cruel and heartless" like many Democrats are calling it, but when it comes to the health care of children, should we leave that up solely to strapped parents across the nation and leave it at that? What do you think here? I do support the idea that cigarettes taxes would have been used to fund the increase, but is that the right thing to do?

Teen tobacco laws seeing more enforcement at retailers

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Retailers who sell tobacco are finally getting with the program in terms of selling those products to underage teenagers, according to a U.S. government report this week.

According to the report, less retailers were found selling tobacco products to teens when unannounced inspections occurred. The percentage? About 10.9 percent of all retailers that were monitored.

This news is encouraging since that is the lowest rate of illegal tobacco sales to minors in the decade since individual states began performing activities to monitor compliance with tobacco sale legality practices.
dropped to 10.9 percent last year, the government reports.