Thursday, June 11, 2009

Measuring Portion Sizes is an important part of your Weight Loss Program

Measuring portions sizes is an important aspect to the success of a weight loss program. Even the best diet plans will fail if you regularly overestimate portion sizes.

We have become somewhat desensitized to consuming massive quantities of food as servings in restaurants have increased dramatically in the last 50 years. The meals we indulge in when dining out are anywhere from two to eight times the standard recommended serving sizes based on the Food Pyramid and the guidelines provided by the FDA. This has led to an exaggerated view of what a normal meal should look like and gigantic portion sizes have spilled over into what we serve in our homes.

Consequently our waistlines have expanded, Type 2 diabetes has become somewhat of an epidemic and we consume upwards of ten times the amount of sugar than we did 50 years ago.

In the 1950s a serving of French Fries was 2.4 ounces compared to 7.1 ounces today. Fountain soda was typically 7 ounces and today has increased to anywhere from 12 to 64 ounces! A serving of pasta used to be 1.5 cups (cooked) but now we consider almost 3 times that amount to be 1 portion size.

It's no wonder we are getting fatter every day! To see success in your weight loss program, re-evaluate what a serving size should be. Measure food and beverages in weight and/or volume with scales, measuring cups, tablespoons, etc. Don't rely on eyeballing your meals. You may be quite shocked by how many calories are in your 'guesstimation' of your meals.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Healthy Snack Recipes

For a lot of us, summertime means barbeques, and potluck get togethers, picnics and perhaps beachside refreshments or boating beverages. There really is no reason to let your weight loss programs take a backseat this time of year. I'll share with you some healthy recipes that can replace the typical summertime indulgences of ice cream cones, potato salad and hot dogs without replacing the fun of summertime nosh!

This Red Pepper dip makes an excellent low calorie and delicious appy! Try it at your next get together or for an afternoon snack!

**For those of you using the Soccer Mom Weight Loss Program, count one serving as 1 carbohydrate**

Roasted Red Pepper dip

1/4 Cup Fresh Basil, chopped
1 Tsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 Can (16 ounce) Chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 Bottle (7 ounce) Roasted Red Peppers, rinsed and drained
1 Large Garlic clove
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Ground Black Pepper

Place first 5 ingredients in food processor and process until smooth. While processor is running, slowly add oil. Stir in salt and black pepper. Serve with crisp fresh vegetables.

Per serving (1/4 cup)
Calories: 62
Fat: 3.5 g
Carb: 5.9
Protein: 1.5 g

Check back often for more healthy cooking recipes!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Are you at risk?

The connection between body fat distribution and health risk

Medical studies have shown that ‘weight management' through the reduction of excess body fat plays a fundamental role in fighting disease and maintaining superior health. The research also linked the stress of excess body fat to major physical conditions such as, cancer, stroke, hypertension, and heart disease.

Without a doubt, excess body fat is a health hazard and should be avoided. One of the best ways to find out if you are normal, overweight, or obese, is by determining your BMI, or Body Mass Index. To calculate your Body Mass Index, take your weight (in kilograms), and divide it by your height (in meters) squared. A score of:

• 25.0 - 30.0 means you are overweight,
• 30.0 - 40.0 points to obesity,
• 40 and above classifies you as morbidly obese.

Since BMI describes the body weight relative to height, it is strongly associates with the total body fat content in adults - children's calculations are more complicated, because they also have to take gender and age into account.

Body shape and body fat distribution is important in determining a number of health risks. How your body is shaped, and where the fat bulges are hiding, is indeed relevant to your health. For example, the fat cells around the abdomen will release their fat more eagerly into the bloodstream than other fat cells. This means that ‘pot-belly' victims are more likely at risk to get narrowing arteries, diabetes and cancer. Fat mainly deposited in the lower half of the body, such as the buttocks, thighs and hips does not appear to have the same risk factor. Also, weight deposits in the waist region are generally more characteristic for men than women.

Are you at risk for disease?

Unlike popular belief, not just a big person is at risk for disease. A small individual with large abdominal fat stores (i.e. a ‘pot belly') increases his/her chances to get sick as well. The association between health risks and body fat distribution is usually determined as follow:

• Least risk - slim built without pot belly
• Moderate risk - overweight without pot belly
• Moderate to high risk - slim built with pot belly
• High risk - overweight with pot belly.

Waist circumference health risk indicator by gender

Waist Circumference indicates medical problems by men and women differently.

In men:

• 94 cm to 101 cm - risk increases
• 102 cm or more - risk increases substantially.

In women:

• 80 cm to 87 cm - risk increases
• 88 cm or more - risk increases substantially.

Other vital information

• Most people store their body fat in two distinct areas: around their hips (pear shape) and around their middle (apple shape).
• A person's genes will increase the tendency to develop fat around the waist.
• Being sufficiently physically active and not smoking will help decrease body fat.
• Eating unsaturated fat instead of saturated fat can decrease the risk of developing abdominal obesity.
• Age counts. Men older than 45, and postmenopausal women, all with too much body fat increase their chances to get severely sick.

So, if you are concerned about your health, why not take the time to determine your BMI?

Article Source:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Behave yourself at the gym

I found this article on MSNBC today and thought that a lot of you have probably experienced the same situation at your gym.

By Jacqueline Stenson
MSNBC contributor

Heading to the gym to blow off some steam? Good idea, as long as you don’t take out your stress on everyone around you.

It’s likely that anyone who’s spent time at a health club has seen some bad behavior, including the equipment hogs, the slobs who leave cardio machines dripping with sweat and the muscle men who grunt loudly as they lift oh-so-heavy weights that they have no intention of putting away.

But these are just a few of the ways that exercisers can be rude and obnoxious at the gym, fitness instructors say. Sometimes, things get downright nasty.

“I had to break up a cat fight,” says Peggy Gregor, group exercise director at Healthtrax Fitness and Wellness in Bethel Park, Pa.

It happened after a woman new to an ongoing fitness class took the spot on the floor that another attendee regularly claimed. A verbal argument ensued and quickly turned physical.

A yoga instructor in New York says a participant in her class let loose on the whole group — after she took a call on her cell phone.

She “rummaged for a good two minutes in her bag in the middle of class for her techno-blaring phone, then screamed into her cell phone at her boyfriend not to call her during yoga class, while we were all staring at her from our down dogs,” says Sadie Nardini, owner of the new Fierce Club yoga studio in Manhattan. When she got off the phone, the woman snarkily shouted back to the astonished group, “Sorry, I had to tell him not to call me during class!”

Nardini says that when she took her aside after class to talk about the diva behavior, the woman was offended, saying, “Well, I paid for this class. I can do whatever I want.”

The stress of the times could be one factor fueling this type of bad behavior, says Nancy Lerner, a psychologist in northern New Jersey. “What underlies anger is anxiety and fear,” she says. “There are a lot of angry people out there. The gym is another place for them to be pushy.” While exercise can be a great stress-reliever and mood-booster, some people’s behavior might be worse if sports or other forms of physical activity bring out aggressive tendencies, she says.

Lerner herself is currently involved in a dispute with another woman at her co-op gym who refuses to turn down the volume on the TV. The woman blasts “Frasier” reruns — refusing to let go of the remote control — while Lerner is trying to read on the treadmill.

“I asked her to lower the sound and she told me that I would have to get some noise-canceling earphones,” says Lerner. “I plan to attend the next board meeting and strongly suggest closed captioning on the TVs when others are working out.”

While stress may underlie some bad gym behavior, it’s a poor excuse nonetheless, says Diane Gottsman, an etiquette expert and the owner of the Protocol School of Texas in San Antonio, which specializes in corporate etiquette training. “Just because you’re more stressed doesn’t give you a free pass to be rude. We’re all stressed.”

Oftentimes, the way people behave at the gym is similar to their behavior outside of the gym, says Gottsman. So the person who’s rude at the gym is likely to be one of the people cutting in line at the coffee shop or screaming at a kid’s soccer coach.

As Nardini, the yoga instructor, puts it, many of the rude participants she sees seem to lack an “etiquette gene.” Others just want to be noticed. “They want the audience,” she says. “They don’t want to be a participant. They want to be the star.”

Monday, May 11, 2009

Cute idea. But is it worth $40?

Have you heard of this new diet plate? I just discovered this today on and although i think it could be a useful tool and a really cute idea I'm wondering if it's really worth the $40 plus shipping and handling? What do you think?

Can a plate help you lose weight?

By Diane Mapes, contributing writer

What it is: The Diet Plate (sale price $40, plus postage and handling)

What it claims to do: According to the Web site, the Diet Plate system is “the world’s first, original portion control method of weight management” – and with it, you’ll avoid all the guesswork of maintaining a healthy, balanced diet “whilst losing weight” (as you might have guessed by that “whilst,” the company is in England). The Diet Plate weight management system does this by providing you with “visual management of your daily intake of food.” In other words, the 11-inch plate and the accompanying Calibrated Breakfast Bowl are cluttered with visual clues (illustrations of food, tape measures, arrows, circles, etc.) that tell you how much you should eat of what. Diet Plates come in three “sizes” – male, female and child (this last has a wizard motif) – and are microwave and dishwasher safe.

My experience: When I first opened the box containing my Diet Plate and Breakfast Bowl (they’re a set), I thought they were adorable. Rimmed by a band of light blue (inside of which were affirming messages like “You can do it. Exercise daily. Diet with a friend.”), the plate was cleverly divvied up into different sections. Protein, represented by illustrations of ham and fish, went here; starch, marked by bowls of rice and potatoes, went there. A circle around the outside showed how much pasta you could dish up; a smaller circle in the middle helped solve the sauce dilemma. The Breakfast Bowl was less ornate but still helpful. Colored bands indicated how many cups of cornflakes or shredded wheat you should eat each morning (the booklet offered a breakdown of what line to use for a 200-calorie serving of various cereals). The whole system seemed cute, colorful and ingenious, and I sort of regretted having to cover it all up with food.

Cover it up, I did, though, nearly every night for two weeks (I did not tote my Diet Plate with me while dining out). When I ate a traditional meal like salmon, green beans and baked potato, the plate was an easy way to figure out just how much meat and starch made up an appropriate serving (you’re allowed to eat as many “free vegetables” as you like). I didn’t have to worry about calories or points or weighing my food on an awkward little scale. Nor did I have to hold a sizzling chicken breast next to that woman’s magazine standard – a deck of cards – to figure out the size of a proper serving. There was no gambling with the Diet Plate; I just had to cut a piece the approximate size of the wedge on my plate and I was good to go.

Of course, I still had questions, usually with regard to all-in-one meals like stir-fry chicken-and-veggies or steak tacos. According to the booklet, I was supposed to use the protein section for “mixed” entrees like steak pie, pork pie, Beef Wellington, salmon encroute, and sausage rolls (none of which were on my menu – much less my continent) and the starch section to measure lasagna, cannelloni, cottage pie, moussaka or pizza. But where did tacos fit into the equation? Was one a proper serving? Was two too much? It was a small but niggling issue that baffled my inner systems analyst. The plate also tempted my inner rule-bender. Some evenings, I would diligently stay within its tape-measure boundaries, but pile the starch or protein high. I’m not sure who exactly I was trying to fool with this gambit, but I did notice the booklet addressed this issue, so it may be a common Diet Plate ploy.

What the experts say: In a 2007 study conducted at the University of Calgary, 130 people with type 2 diabetes used the Diet Plate for six months in an attempt to lose weight. At the end of six months, 17 percent of the participants using the plate lost 5 percent or more of their body weight as compared to 4.6 percent of the people in the plate-free control group who lost the same amount of weight. In an article published in the Archive of Internal Medicine, researchers concluded that “the portion control tool studied was effective in inducing weight loss.”

Rebecca Solomon, registered dietician with Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York, says portion control is critical for those seeking to lose weight, but other factors such as snacking habits, food choices, food preparation and support play a role, as well.

“Portion control works when people actually do it,” she says. “The problem is when people do things like portion control at their three meals a day and then endless grazing and snacking between meals.”

She also wondered if some people might be tempted to push the Diet Plate envelope: counting calorie-laden macaroni and cheese as if it were plain brown rice.

“In a society where our portion sizes have gotten out of control, I think a tool like this can be very effective, but I always think it’s critical to have a support and counseling component where you deal with the underlying eating issues,” she says. “Anyone can diet for a short period of time, but you need to keep these habits for life.”

Bottom line: All in all, I liked the autonomy of the Diet Plate system, which doesn’t preach at you to load up on Brussels sprouts or decry corn. The visual clues – like a 1-inch cube of Swiss cheese – were enough to let me know when I was overindulging. But while my Diet Plate worked fairly well at dinner (I’m a 200-calorie instant oatmeal fan so I didn’t need the Breakfast Bowl), I did fall victim to the late night snack habit so aptly illustrated by Solomon. I liked this product, but it did not help me lose the estimated one to four pounds a week mentioned on the Web site. Support seemed to be the missing ingredient on my plate. I looked for that support at but alas, that section of the site was under construction. Perhaps when it’s up and running, it will provide a portal to the kind of community (and accountability) a rule-bender like me clearly needs. If not, the folks at Diet Plate may want to develop a new component to their system: the Snack Sack.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Got the munchies again?

Looking for something to snack on? Warch this video I found on for some great tips!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Jonesing for cookies

I just came across this story on MSNBC. It's pretty interesting and I thought it was definitely worth sharing!

WASHINGTON - Food hijacked Dr. David Kessler's brain.

Not apples or carrots. The scientist who once led the government's attack on addictive cigarettes can't wander through part of San Francisco without craving a local shop's chocolate-covered pretzels. Stop at one cookie? Rarely.

It's not an addiction but it's similar, and he's far from alone. Kessler's research suggests millions share what he calls "conditioned hypereating" — a willpower-sapping drive to eat high-fat, high-sugar foods even when they're not hungry.
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In a book being published next week, the former Food and Drug Administration chief brings to consumers the disturbing conclusion of numerous brain studies: Some people really do have a harder time resisting bad foods. It's a new way of looking at the obesity epidemic that could help spur fledgling movements to reveal calories on restaurant menus or rein in portion sizes.

"The food industry has figured out what works. They know what drives people to keep on eating," Kessler tells The Associated Press. "It's the next great public health campaign, of changing how we view food, and the food industry has to be part of it."

He calls the culprits foods "layered and loaded" with combinations of fat, sugar and salt — and often so processed that you don't even have to chew much.

Overeaters must take responsibility, too, and basically retrain their brains to resist the lure, he cautions.

"I have suits in every size," Kessler writes in "The End of Overeating." But, "once you know what's driving your behavior, you can put steps into place" to change it.

Jonesing for junk food
At issue is how the brain becomes primed by different stimuli. Neuroscientists increasingly report that fat-and-sugar combinations in particular light up the brain's dopamine pathway — its pleasure-sensing spot — the same pathway that conditions people to alcohol or drugs.

Where did you experience the yum factor? That's the cue, sparking the brain to say, "I want that again!" as you drive by a restaurant or plop before the TV.

"You're not even aware you've learned this," says Dr. Nora Volkow, chief of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and a dopamine authority who has long studied similarities between drug addiction and obesity.

Volkow is a confessed chocoholic who salivates just walking past her laboratory's vending machine. "You have to fight it and fight it," she said.

Conditioning isn't always to blame. Numerous factors, including physical activity, metabolism and hormones, play a role in obesity.

And the food industry points out that increasingly stores and restaurants are giving consumers healthier choices, from allowing substitutions of fruit for french fries to selling packaged foods with less fat and salt.

Why is it so hard to say no?
But Kessler, now at the University of California, San Francisco, gathered colleagues to help build on that science and learn why some people have such a hard time choosing healthier:

* First, the team found that even well-fed rats will work increasingly hard for sips of a vanilla milkshake with the right fat-sugar combo but that adding sugar steadily increases consumption. Many low-fat foods substitute sugar for the removed fat, doing nothing to help dieters eat less, Kessler and University of Washington researchers concluded.
* Then Kessler culled data from a major study on food habits and health. Conditioned hypereaters reported feeling loss of control over food, a lack of satiety, and were preoccupied by food. Some 42 percent of them were obese compared to 18 percent without those behaviors, says Kessler, who estimates that up to 70 million people have some degree of conditioned hypereating.
* Finally, Yale University neuroscientist Dana Small had hypereaters smell chocolate and taste a chocolate milkshake inside a brain-scanning MRI machine. Rather than getting used to the aroma, as is normal, hypereaters found the smell more tantalizing with time. And drinking the milkshake didn't satisfy. The reward-anticipating region of their brains stayed switched on, so that another brain area couldn't say, "Enough!"

People who aren't overweight can be conditioned hypereaters, too, Kessler found — so it's possible to control.

Take Volkow, the chocolate-loving neuroscientist. She's lean, and a self-described compulsive exerciser. Physical activity targets the dopamine pathway, too, a healthy distraction.

Smoking didn't start to drop until society's view of it as glamorous and sexy started changing, to view the habit as deadly, Kessler notes.

Unhealthy food has changed in the other direction. Foods high in fat, sugar and salt tend to be cheap; they're widely sold; and advertising links them to good friends and good times, even as social norms changed to make snacking anytime, anywhere acceptable.

Train your brain — and your body
Retrain the brain to think, "I'll hate myself if I eat that," Kessler advises. Lay down new neural reward circuits by substituting something else you enjoy, like a bike ride or a healthier food.

Make rules to resist temptation: "I'm going to the mall but bypassing the food court."

And avoid cues for bad eating whenever possible. Always go for the nachos at your friends' weekend gathering spot? Start fresh at another restaurant.

"I've learned to eat things I like but things I can control," Kessler says. But he knows the old circuitry dies hard: "You stress me enough and I'll go pick up that bagel."

Monday, May 4, 2009

Green eggs and ham anyone?

I wanted to share a recipe from my new book The Soccer Mom weight loss program! It's a fun and nutritious sandwich that even the fussiest of kids will eat! The added bonus is that it's fun and nutritious for Mom (and Dad) too! Loaded with protein and healthy Omega's, it will keep you going and feeling energized all through the afternoon.

Green Eggs and Ham Sandwich

1 hard-boiled egg
1/2 peeled and pitted avocado
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 slices whole-grain bread
2 ounces extra lean baked ham
salt and pepper to taste

In bowl, mash together egg with avocado until well blended to desired consistency. Stir in lemon juice. On one of the slices of bread, arrange slice of ham. Top with "green egg" mixture; cover with remaining slice of bread. With serrated knife, slice into quarters and serve.

Makes 1 sandwich
Nutritional Information
230 calories
18 g protein
19 g total fat
3.3 g saturated fat
30 g carbohydrates
7 g fiber
220 mg cholesterol
520 mg sodium

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Soccer Mom weight loss program is here!

It's finally here!!!!!!

The Soccer Mom weight loss program has officially been launched!! This is so exciting! I truly feel that this is a life changing opportunity for women of all ages, lifestyles and sizes!

I have been working on this program for about a year and 330 pages later, it is finished! Finally, a realistic weight loss program for women that allows us to be healthy, happy, fit and lean while still be able to enjoy life!!

Please check out my new program at

Sunday, April 26, 2009

when in Rome....

Five years ago I was fortunate enough to spend 2 glorious weeks aboard a Mediterranean cruise with my brand new husband of 3 days! It was a fantastic honeymoon that allowed us to discover a number of iconic spots like Rome, Venice, Barcelona, Nice, Monaco and Florence. The trip we enjoyed so much was the epitome of romance for a couple of kids in love.

Kevin and I were both looking forward to tasting the food and wine and let me tell you, we certainly did a lot of that! However I was surprised to see that in countries known for the rich, high fat, high carbohydrate foods the only obese people we saw were the thousands of other North Americans on board. The majority of the Europeans we met were lean and athletic looking. We did see overweight Italians but they weren't from Venice or Sicily, they were from Jersey.

Common sense would imply that pastas smothered in rich sauces paired with copious amounts of wine, bread and cheese would pack on the pounds, but after we had spent some time there, the authentic European diet revealed itself as far more healthy than the American version. Our pizzas here are loaded with fatty meats and pounds of cheese atop thick crusts. The pizza I had in Venice was small with a thin crust, about an ounce of cheese and maybe an ounce of pepperoni. I would estimate it was about one fifth the calories of what I would be served on my side of the Atlantic.

We found this to be the norm in Europe. Yes the food is delicious and rich but the portions are very small and the dining experience is centered more on the social aspect with lively conversation, clinking glasses with good friends and enjoying the evening. Dinner is an event, not a chore and it is not uncommon for it to last for 3 hours or more. People take the time to enjoy the food taste by taste as opposed to wolfing it down as if it were a race.

We should take a few cues from the old world and learn to enjoy the culture of meals. Sit down to dinner with your family or friends and enjoy the conversation while also taking time to enjoy a meal. Not only is this practice good for your relationships, it's also good for your waistline.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Working out without the workout

Quote of the day

People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas. ~Author Unknown

Tip of the day

There are so many ways to burn a few extra calories without feeling like you are exercising. Incorporate more activity into your everyday routines like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, add an extra ten minutes onto your walk with the dogs or spend a little more time working in the garden.
Having a date night with the hubby? Go dancing or take a walk together in the park or on the beach. You could join a ladies soccer or softball team, take martial arts lessons, join a friend in her yoga class or take tennis lessons.
Play tag with your kids, learn to wakeboard in the summer or discover salsa dancing. Use your imagination and you’ll come up with so many new ways to be active and at the same time, have some fun, spend quality time with your family and make new friends! There are lots of options out there you just have to try them!

Joke of the day

Girl: I'd like a triple vanilla ice cream sundae with chocolate syrup, nuts, whipped cream, topped off with a slice of cucumber.
Waiter: Did I hear you right? Did you say top it off with a slice of cucumber?
Girl: Good heavens, you're right! Forget the cucumber – I'm on a diet.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Thin is the new Green

I came across an article this morning on that offers yet another reason to get in shape and stay that way. It seems being lean and healthy is not only good for you, it's good for the environment too!

Thinner is better to curb global warming, study says

By Elizabeth Landau

(CNN) -- Here's yet another reason to stay in shape: Thinner people contribute less to global warming, according to a new study.
More than 1 billion adults worldwide are overweight, and about 300 million are obese.

More than 1 billion adults worldwide are overweight, and about 300 million are obese.

Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine published a study showing that, because of food production and transportation factors, a population of heavier people contributes more harmful gases to the planet than a population of thin people.

Given that it takes more energy to move heavier people, transportation of heavier people requires more fuel, which creates more greenhouse gas emissions, the authors write.

"The main message is staying thin. It's good for you, and it's good for the planet," said Phil Edwards, senior lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The study offers this novel approach to the global warming problem as U.S. lawmakers discuss the future of climate change legislation. This week, the the House Energy and Commerce Committee is scheduled to begin on a comprehensive energy and climate bill. On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that six greenhouse gases pose potential health hazards, an announcement that could prompt the regulation of the gases.

More than 1 billion adults worldwide are overweight, and about 300 million are obese, the study said. Generally, the body mass index, a measure of obesity, is increasing in most countries worldwide, from China to European countries to the United States.

BMI is going up because of the availability of food and motorized transportation, Edwards said. People are less active now than they were 30 years ago, and the prevalence of fast food has given people less healthy, more energy-dense options.
Health Library

* Obesity

Using statistical models, the authors compared the distribution of BMI in the United Kingdom in the 1970s -- when 3.5 percent of the population was obese -- with a prediction for the country's BMI distribution in 2010, reflecting 40 percent obesity.

"In terms of environmental impact, the lean population has a much smaller carbon footprint," Edwards said.

The population with 40 percent obese people requires 19 percent more food energy for its total energy expenditure than the population with 3.5 percent obese people, the study showed.

This 19 percent increase in food consumption translates into an increase of 270 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the study said.

"The findings make sense and highlight an important global co-benefit of losing weight, along with the significant personal health benefits," said Patrick Kinney, associate professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, who was not involved in the study.

In terms of obesity rate, the U.S. population is not far off from the overweight population model in this study. The country has 33.3 percent obese people, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The study suggests that governments have a responsibility to encourage people to be more physically active, Edwards said. Active transportation, such as cycling and walking, helps maintain a healthy weight but requires safe streets, he said.

"If the government wants to promote active transport, which would be good for the environment and for individual health, it needs to make the environment safe to do that," he said.

Although climate change has come into the forefront as a major world problem recently, this is not the first time scholars have thought about the connection between fossil fuel and body fat.

In 1978, a year the United States experienced an oil shock, a study in the American Journal of Public Health showed that if all overweight people in the country aged 18 to 79 reached their optimal weight, the resulting energy savings would equal 1.3 billion gallons of gasoline.

After the dieting period, about 750 million gallons of gasoline would be saved every year, said the authors, Bruce Hannon, professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and Timothy Lohman, now professor emeritus at the University of Arizona.

Today, research has shown that the obesity epidemic costs the United States about $100 billion a year, said Dr. Martin Donohoe of Portland State University, who runs the Web site Public Health and Social Justice. In terms of energy expenditure, the average food product travels 1,500 miles to get to your table, he said.

Some measures to curb obesity include making healthier meals available in schools, putting nutritional information on food packages and menus, and banning trans fats, he said.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Almost here!!

Happy Friday everyone! So I'm pretty excited (and a little stressed) about my new program coming out. It's a big one! Kevin and I have started a new company called 'Live the Lean Life' hence the name of this blog, and we are about to launch a series of health, fitness and weight loss products over the next 6 months.

The first product is my baby and it's a complete digital weight loss program designed for the busy woman, career gal and/or soccer Mom! It's super user friendly and realistic with menu plans and recipes that your kids (and your man) will have no problem with! The workouts are designed to take as little time as possible as we are all so pressed for time! That's all I can say for now, you'll have to wait for May 1st to get here before you hear the rest! :) Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Quote of the day
Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.
- Doug Larson

Tip of the day

When it comes to choosing fruits and vegetables always choose fresh local produce or frozen as opposed to canned or imported.

Many people are under the assumption that frozen fruits and vegetables are not as nutritious as fresh, but that is not true. Frozen produce is harvested at the peak of ripeness when nutrients are the most abundant. It is often flash-frozen, locking in all those nutrients that can be lost during packaging and transport.

Canned produce usually has added sugar and/or sodium and isn’t as nutrient rich. Visit your local farmers market for local, in-season fruits and vegetables that have been picked that day or the day earlier.

Fresh local produce and frozen fruits and veggies are the most nutritious and offer the best flavor. Also, with frozen produce you can keep your freezer well stocked with a tasty variety of healthy food and you don’t have to worry about it going bad, making it a cost saving option.

Joke of the day
Pies and cakes should be cut neatly, in even wedges or slices. If not, the responsibility falls on the person putting them away to "straighten up the edges" by slicing away the offending irregularities, which have no calories when eaten. If pie or cake is neatly cut, but the remainder is not easily divisible into equal servings, it's also permissible to even things up ... without calorie consequence.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Five Phenomenal Foods

The superfoods that top the list for nutrition really don’t come as a surprise. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish have always been known to be good for us but as time goes by we are given more evidence to support that fact. We are constantly learning how essential it is to our well being to incorporate these powerhouse foods into our daily menu.

Certain foods have been shown to aid in the prevention of some cancers, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and many others. They can also benefit our appearance adding shine to our hair, strength to our nails and a glow to our skin. A balanced, nutritious diet paired with regular physical exercise is the key to promoting a long, healthy, energetic life.

Make the following foods a part of your regular diet and experiment with new flavorful recipes to add some variety to you plate!

1) Berries

Berries are loaded with health protecting antioxidants. Blueberries top the nutrition list but are closely followed by cranberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries. All of them are rich in an antioxidant that has been shown to neutralize free radicals which may help ward off illnesses such as cancer and heat disease.

Berries of all kinds are delicious in a smoothie or mixed with cottage cheese, added to oatmeal, atop a salad or on toast with a little bit of almond butter. Take advantage of the summer months and the abundance of fresh in season berries. During the other seasons, stock the freezer with mixed berries. Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutrient rich as fresh and are super convenient.

2) Fatty fish

Seafood like salmon, tuna, sardines and oysters are rich in Omega 3s. Omega 3 fats may help to lower blood fats and prevent blood clots associated with heart disease. A diet consisting of at least 2 servings of fatty fish per week can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Salmon and tuna are great when grilled on the BBQ with a little lemon, garlic, salt and pepper. Use a variety of herbs, spices and cooking methods. Serve fish along with wild rice, mixed greens grilled veggies or add to pasta. Enjoy a few oysters or smoked salmon as appetizers. Order some salmon or tuna sashimi at your favorite sushi restaurant or mix tuna with fat free mayo for a nutritious, delicious sandwich filling.

3) Dark leafy greens

Popeye wasn’t kidding! Spinach, kale, bok choy, Swiss chard and other dark lettuces are packed with a plethora of nutrients. Vitamins, minerals, beta-carotene, folate, iron, magnesium, phytochemicals and antioxidants abound in these versatile veggies.

Toss together a fresh crisp salad and top it with grilled salmon or tuna for a highly nutritious meal. Sautee dark leafy greens with olive oil and garlic for a tasty side dish. Include a variety of these greens in omelets, sandwiches, stir frys, frittatas, pasta or quiche or simply serve with balsamic vinaigrette dressing as an accompaniment to any of the above.

4) Whole grains

When I was a kid, I was told “Eat your oatmeal, it’s good for you. It’ll grow hair on your chest”. Thankfully since I was a little girl, it did not but it may have lowered my blood cholesterol levels. Whole grains are high in soluble fiber, contain folic acid, selenium, B vitamins and support heart health, weight control and reduce the risk of diabetes. The high fiber content helps keep you regular and promotes digestive health.

Choose a variety of whole grains and include 2 to 3 servings a day of brown rice, whole grain pasta, breads, cereals, quinoa or barley. The options for preparation of these heart healthy foods are limitless and they can easily be paired with fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and low fat dairy products.

5) Beans and Legumes

These little morsels of inexpensive protein pack a wallop of nutritional advantages. Beans and legumes are dense with phytochemicals, folic acid, fiber, iron, magnesium and some calcium. Adding these to your menu plan can help reduce the risk of certain cancers, lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels and keep blood sugar levels stable.

Serve homemade Hummus with fresh raw veggies or spicy black bean dip with salsa and whole wheat crackers as an appetizer. Add your favorites to soups, stews and salads. Kick your omelet up a notch with tomato, onion, chili powder and mixed beans or experiment with Tex Mex style recipes and vegetarian dishes.

Keeping your body well fed with nutritious meals doesn’t have to be boring or bland. Use your imagination and venture out to try new things, ethnic cuisine, different spices, flavors and seasonings. Have fun with your food and try to think outside the box. Incorporating a vast variety of whole foods will keep you feeling and looking your absolute best and extend an energized life!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Change your brain to change your body

Believe it or not, the first step to successful fat loss has nothing to do with food, exercise, calorie counting or gym memberships. It’s actually all in your head. That’s right; it’s a matter of perception and changing your way of thinking. The attitudes and opinions we hold towards healthy eating and fat loss need to adjust to certain realistic terms before anything else is even considered.

The way to reach and maintain a healthy body weight is through a long term (forever) commitment to healthy choices, exercise, balance and positive thought. Eating well does not have to be a negative or boring experience as long as you change your outlook towards it. Instead of feeling as if you are missing out on your favorite things, focus on how fantastic you’ll feel and look while consistently fueling your body with nutritious, wholesome, healthy foods.

Every part of your life will benefit by reaching a healthy weight. Your heart will pump more efficiently. Your bones and muscles will get stronger. You’ll be filled with more than enough energy to participate in the things you love. Last but not least, you’ll look amazing and feel great about yourself.

Make that commitment to yourself to let go of negative thoughts and embrace all the positive aspects of adopting a healthier lifestyle. Stay on course by being realistic and understand that healthy fat loss is achieved over time and takes patience. Accept that there will be bumps in the road. Reminding yourself to stay positive will make it much easier to get back on the right path when you take a wrong turn.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Your day is almost here!

So, the big Bodybuilding, Figure and Fitness show happens here tomorrow in Kelowna.

I will be backstage helping with tans, adjusting suits and probably trying to calm nerves.

It's always an exciting day for the competitors to finally see the day they have been working so hard for for so long! Not to mention they get to eat pizza and chocolate until their heart's content when it's over!

I just want to say Good luck and have fun to everyone participating and congratulations on all your efforts!

Scott Abel's 5-Day Ultimate Figure Program

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Warp Speed Fat Loss

First off, Warp Speed Fat Loss is a very cool concept. The idea that you have in your hands the exact step by step rapid weight loss blueprint that can help you lose 8lbs in the first week and up to 21lbs in just 28 days is very exciting.
Warp Speed Fat Loss is broken up into two main parts - diet and training. The good thing is you can be a complete idiot in both areas and still lose as boatload of weight since everything is laid out for you.

Get Warp Speed Fat Loss Now... Click Here!

In regards to the diet. It is put together by nutritionist and fat loss master Mike Roussell. Mike has created a ton of different “diet levels” so all you need to do is 1. Know your body weight and 2. Print out the 28 day diet plan for that body weight. If you don’t like the foods Mike picked out that is okay as he made some really easy to follow videos that show you how to add your favorite foods to his diets.
The training part of Warp Speed Fat Loss isn’t a walk in the park; but if anyone told you that you could lose 20lbs of fat in just 4 weeks without a solid exercise program they’d be telling you lies. It isn’t like you have to spend your whole day in the gym either as each of the workouts are over in less than 57 minutes.
The Warp Speed Fat Loss program has already given hundreds of people results were nothing short of phenomenal. If you are looking for a brain dead simple guaranteed way to lose weight fast then definitely check out Warp Speed Fat Loss. You can pick up your copy at Get Warp Speed Fat Loss Now!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Going the extra mile!

Do you think that just because you spent 30 minutes on the stairclimber this morning you’ve been given a ticket to ride the elevator? Not so if you’re serious about wearing a smaller dress size.
Recent studies have shown that some people move less after they begin an exercise regimen, probably without even realizing it. According to research done in the Netherlands, when women and men, started to work out twice a week, their everyday activity decreased by 22 percent. The reason for the slowdown, experts speculate, may be postworkout fatigue or assuming that if you exercise, you don’t need to bother with taking the stairs or parking further from the grocery store door. Wrong! Little activities such as standing instead of sitting, fidgeting, and taking extra steps throughout the day can add up to an extra 350 calories burned, according to studies done by the Mayo Clinic. Other research shows that a decrease in these everyday actions may shut down an enzyme that controls fat metabolism, making weight loss more difficult.

There are numerous ways to keep the calories burning and your metabolism charged up! Aside from consistent workouts, take the stairs instead of the escalator, add an extra 5 minutes on to your walk with the dogs, park the car way at the back of the parking lot or go for a leisurely bike ride with friends or family. Every little bit of effort counts when it comes to health and wellness even things that seem insignificant. Remember this:

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu
Chinese philosopher (604 BC - 531 BC)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Welcome to Live the Lean Life!

Thanks for checking out our brand new blog!

Live the Lean was created by Kevin and Shauna Weiss in order to provide high quality health, fitness and weight loss programs and resources for many different populations.

Scheduled to be released May 1 2009

"Live the Lean Life - for Today's Woman".

As a woman living in the 21st century you probably place the importance of your health and weight loss goals way down on the bottom of your to-do list or maybe not at all. Perhaps you have a demanding full time job or two, a husband, a dog to walk, household chores, a lawn to mow, grocery shopping to do and meals to prepare. And then there are the kids! Play dates, after school activities, swimming lessons, baseball games on the weekend, noses to wipe, wounds to heal, cookies to bake, homework to help with and birthday parties that need planning! Whew! That’s tiring, so who has time to workout and prepare nutritious meals? Sorry to tell you but the consequence of being so selfless could mean a bigger waistline!

Live the Lean Life for Today's Woman will give you all the information you need to stay lean and healthy, achieve your goals weight and feel energized! Menu plans, 20 minute workout routines, recipes, motivation and time management tips are all offered in this complete 21 day program.

In 3 weeks you could be living a leaner life, looking great and feeling even better.