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  • 2015_7_27

The Happiness Dance of Success

car accident

Gary has always told me there is never a good time for a car accident, to be sick or have a baby. Boy is he right. All I said to Gary was “Look at the grass!” And seconds later we hit the car in front of us!

We had a rear end collision last week with our niece and two nephews in the back seat. Life knocks me down at least once a week. When it does, I feel sad for a bit and then remember my beliefs are not a fact, just a belief. I have a choice: respond or react. When I respond I take two steps forward and when I react I take two steps backwards. Just thinking about it for two seconds helps us respond. Which reminds me of dancing…let me explain.

Gary and I had a marriage contract; the kids would be Catholic, they would not go to Catholic school, Gary would take ballroom dancing lessons, and I would go camping without electricity. Yes, we honored them all. Since then, I have thought of my life as a dance.

The waltz is the smoothest ballroom dance of all! Almost effortlessly, we glide along the dance floor with flowing movements, continuous turns and “rise and fall.” Life happens and we are moving towards our goals and dreams with ease and grace.

The foxtrot is a smooth dance of flowing movements across the floor. Sometimes you can stop and just stay in one place and do little square movements. You are not gliding around the dance floor like the waltz. But, you are still moving.

Our favorite was the quickstep, which is a quicker version of the foxtrot. It is comprised of extremely quick stepping, syncopated feet rhythm and runs of quick steps. We made the most mistakes but felt the most accomplished and had the most fun.

“Doing life” is like dancing. Sometimes days and weeks fly by easily and quickly, like the waltz. We love the feeling of an accomplished satisfying week. Sometimes we may get stuck for a while and end up dancing in a little square for a bit like the foxtrot. We cover the same ground over and over. Just because we are in one place for a bit doesn’t mean we have failed as we are still MOVING! We just need to figure out what is not working and how to begin again.

Sometimes there are detours or distractions in our lives that take us away from our initial purpose. Maybe we step backwards. But that is ok because sometimes it is good to step back and look at the distractions as they create opportunities for us to adjust the dance as needed. But remember we are still MOVING!

family

This car accident was a big detour as we were on our way to a shopping extravaganza at the Mall of America with Zach, Tyler and Hannah. It was also great example to show my niece and nephews how fast an accident can happen. Hopefully this will attract attentive driving for them and throwing away their cell phones when driving.

 

I love it best when life is like a waltz and good things are happening…like Gary’s recent retirement and seeing him so worry free while I feel stressed out. But that doesn’t happen every day UNLESS I change my beliefs and focus on abundance. To protect myself from the negative, I pick my dance partners and if I have to have a dance partner in my life who brings me down I know I can only be in charge of my beliefs and my actions – not theirs. 

Even on my worst days when I am struggling to continue to foxtrot and feel like I am doing the same move over and over I have to remember I am still moving! Life is ok. My beliefs create my happiness, which create my success. Now that Gary is so worry free maybe I can convince him to take more dancing lessons again…or maybe not.

Remember successful people are not necessarily happy but happy people are successful. Better get busy deliberating creating your happiness dance of success!

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Lemon Tilapia with Red Wine Vinegar and Spinach Quinoa

By Drew Thomas

I am happy to share this recipe developed by Drew Thomas – a Nutritional Science major at the University of Minnesota who also enjoys cooking!

Tilapia_1

Looking for a simple and delicious meal that’s packed full of nutrients? Then look no further! Today I’ll be covering the recipe for one of my go-to meals: Tilapia with red wine vinegar and spinach quinoa. This meal is a nutritional powerhouse and is packed full of protein, whole grains, and a great way to get your daily dose of spinach! The recipe is extremely simple and can be prepared start to finish in about 20 minutes; great for those of us who are busy but are looking for a wholesome and delicious meal to prepare.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Cups Spinach
  • 2 Tilapia Fillets
  • ½ Cup Quinoa
  • 2 Tbsp, Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Large Lemon

Tilapia_2

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Place 1 cup of water and ½ cup quinoa in a pot and bring to a boil.

Tilapia_3

While water and quinoa are coming to a boil place the thawed fish fillets in a baking pan. Slice lemon and place on top of fish and squeeze extra lemon juice on both fillets. Add desired amount of salt for flavor.

Tilapia_4

Once the oven is at 350, place the fish in and set the timer for 13 minutes. At this point the Quinoa should be boiling. Reduce the heat of the quinoa and bring to a simmer for the next 15 or so minutes-until excess water is gone.

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In another saucepan add spinach, red wine vinegar, 1 tsp. salt, and any remaining lemon juice. Place on low heat and cover with a lid, stirring occasionally.

 

 

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Once the Quinoa finishes up, add it to the spinach mixture and stir over heat for 1-2 minutes. This will allow the quinoa to absorb the flavor of the spinach mixture while also picking up the water-soluble nutrients lost in the liquid upon cooking.

 

 

 

Finally, Take the tilapia out of the oven, bring everything together, and prepare yourself for a delicious meal. This recipe makes 2 servings but can easily be modified for more. Bon Appetit!

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Guest Post: Tricks to See Weight-Loss Results Fast

Thank you to  for the quote in this article on Everyday Health!

salad

Tim Robberts/Getty Images

“Another trick to encourage mindful eating is to focus on the taste of food instead of the activity you’re doing while eating (like staring at a TV screen or reading emails). “Cultivate [your] taste buds by focusing on the first three to six bites of food,” says Chere Bork, MS, RDN, a speaker and coach in Minneapolis. “Taste buds are chemical sensors that get tired very quickly, so unless you’re very hungry, the first few bites of a food will taste better than the next few bites. After a larger amount, you may actually have very little taste experience left.” By savoring the early bites, especially when it comes to rich foods like chocolate and cheese, you will satisfy hunger and cravings without eating large portions.”

See all 9 other tips and the original article here!

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Cranberry & Cucumber Potato Salad

strainer

Tired of the same old same old potato salad? Zest up your BBQ with the addition of dried cranberries and cucumbers in this delightfully light potato salad.

And what’s not to love about cranberries??

  • Cranberry products are naturally low in sugar and high in acidity (very similar to a lemon!) so they require sweetening to be palatable—but when it comes to dried cranberries, the total amount of sugar is equal to that of other dried fruits, like raisins and dried cherries.
  • Drinking 8–16 oz. of 27% original, low- or no-calorie cranberry juice cocktail each day is recommended to maintain urinary tract health and prevent urinary tract infections.
  • One-quarter cup of dried cranberries is equal to ½ cup of fruit, according to MyPlate.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. small red or yellow-skinned potatoes
  • ½ cup nonfat plain Greek-style yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. white balsamic or cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp. hot red pepper sauce
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup diced seedless cucumber
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced scallions

Directions

  1. Wash potatoes and boil with skin on for 15-20 minutes or until almost tender. Remove from heat and drain. Cool. Cut into cubes and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar and pepper sauce. Stir in cranberries and let stand 20 minutes to soften cranberries slightly.
  3. Stir potatoes, cucumber and scallions into yogurt-cranberry mixture and toss to coat. Adjust seasoning as needed. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. This makes 6 servings.

Mix it up! Switch out cucumber for diced apple or pear, or try it garnished with chopped, toasted pecans or walnuts.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 70, Calories from Fat 10, Saturated Fat 0g, Trans Fat 0g, Total Fat 1g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 70mg, Total Carbohydrate 14g, Sugars 6g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Protein 3g, Vitamin A 2%, Vitamin C 8%, Calcium 4%, Iron 2%


Hungry for more recipes? check out
uscranberries.com

*I was not paid to write this but was delighted to receive dried cranberries to test out this recipe and we loved it in our house! Hope you love it too!

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10 Tips and Tricks to Reduce Your Belly Fat

belly

Image courtesy of Marin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Bikinis and belly fat don’t seem to belong in the same sentence! Even if you don’t wear a bikini (I don’t anymore) summer is the perfect time to get out there and be the best you were born to be. Summer is meant for being outdoors and getting more fit!

Here are some tips and tricks from my esteemed Registered Dietitian Nutritionist colleagues to help you reduce your belly fat!

 Diane Rishikof MS RDN LDN

Diane Rishikof MS RDN LN

Belly fat is often caused by too much sugar. Glucose and fructose. Glucose causes insulin to spike and drive all that sugar into your fat cells, and fructose gets processed by the liver into fat and often shipped to your belly. So foods that have lots of table sugar (candy, cakes), processed starches (that get broken down easily into tons of glucose, like bread, pasta and muffins), and sugary drinks and candy (with high fructose corn syrup) are all good to avoid. You aren’t missing anything valuable by doing this either!

 

Joanne Arena MS RD

Joanne Arena, MS, RD

We are all genetically different when it comes to where our bodies carry fat, and 100 crunches a day may strengthen abdominal muscles but does not “burn” the fat in your tummy. Some people tend to be overly focused on their tummies and notice subtle changes, so I also recommend getting adequate protein in your diet as well as fluids (water) which may help prevent bloating (lots of vegans and vegetarians who are not educated tend to consume inadequate protein which can contribute to water retention….not a great feeling to someone obsessed with their tummy!). If a person is clearly healthy and fit, but appears to be overly focused on changing their body, it could be a sign they are trying to avoid dealing with some REAL problems in their life, and I often recommend consulting with a therapist who specializes in treating people with body image issues.

 

Katie Serbinski MS RD

Katie Serbinski, MS RD

Watch your alcohol intake– along with the foods you eat while enjoying that beer or glass of wine. Calories from alcohol not only add up quickly, they are often accompanied by high-caloric and fat foods such as pizza, wings, and other friend foods.

 

Joey Gochnour, MEd, RD, CPT

Either lose weight if overweight by eating fewer calories, or build up your total body lean mass by progressively lifting heavier weights over time–i.e. get fit and strong.  Both can result in a lower body fat percentage.  Don’t do both at the same time.  You could just go have it liposuctioned at the doctor, but it will grow back if you didn’t make any permanent lifestyle changes–so I don’t recommend that.  The fat is there as a physiological response of your current lifestyle.

 

ErinPalinski RD CDE LDN CPT

Erin Palinski Wade RD CDE LDN CPT

AVOID:

  • Inflammatory foods trigger the insulin response, which means your body stores belly fat instead of burning it. The biggest trigger – refined carbs. So avoid the white flour and choose whole grain instead.
  • Runner up: inflammatory fats, specifically trans fats – and food with partially hydrogenated oil should be left on the shelf.

ADD:

  • Wild blueberries – these are packed full of antioxidants and animal studies have found they can not only boost heart health, but improve insulin sensitivity and reduce belly fat.
  • Monounsaturated fats like avocado. Diets rich in these healthy fats are associated with smaller waistlines and improved heart health. In addition, the healthy fats keep you satisfied allowing you to eat less calories throughout the day.
  • And get moving – the combination of cardio and resistance exercise is the best at lowering belly fat.

 

Dana Magee RD LD CLT

Dana Magee RD LD CLT

1. STRESS! – increases belly fat and then we can often work on managing stress.

2. Lack of SLEEP and 3. if they are having any insulin resistance and if that is a possibility have them get their A1C checked and compared to last testing to see if increasing, as well as checking insulin levels if they are increasing even with normal a1c.  If this is the case then take a look at components of meal intake carbohydrates, fat and protein proportions.  

3. Another interesting factor especially for women is the progression of aging.  Studies are showing we need to stop the aging process and give validation that it is ok to gain weight. Studies are showing it is normal to gain 20# from age 20 to 60 just as it is normal to gain weight during puberty. Stay tuned.

 

Danielle Heuseveldt RD LDN CHWC

Danielle Heuseveldt, RD LDN CHWC

When we’re staying up late, we’re more apt to eat low nutrient, energy dense foods and eat them mindlessly. Some research also suggests that sleep deprivation can shift our hunger and fullness hormones (and not in a good way). Sleep deprivation limits our ability to adequately manage our stress as well which is also linked with an increase in belly fat. 

 

Tara Gidus MS RD CSSD LDN

Tara Gidus, MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Of course there is no magical “cure” that will melt belly fat away, but there are certain foods that research has shown may help reduce fat around the midsection.  First, monounsaturated fats like nuts and seeds, olives, and avocados should be the primary source of fat.  Second, calcium-rich foods like lowfat Greek yogurt, milk, and cheese can be beneficial.  And finally, fiber-rich foods such as legumes, fruits, veggies, and whole grains can help to keep you full longer and keep things moving in the digestive tract.  Flat Belly Cookbook for Dummies has over 100 recipes with Flat Belly friendly ingredients—and they are all delicious!

 

Andrea Chernus MS RD CDE CSSD

Andrea Chernus, MS, RD, CDE, CSSD

I found a research article with the answer – though people don’t like this answer – a good amount of hard exercise! Aerobic conditioning and full body strength training. 

 

Gita Patel MS RDN CDE CLT LD

Gita Patel MS RDN CDE CLT LD

One of the causes of belly fat is circulating cortisol. Circulating cortisol can be reduced through stress management, exercising and using the abdominal muscles, pulling them in with awareness, being aware of how you do not use them especially when sitting, walking, standing. Medications also help reduce cortisol levels.

Eating more plant foods such as vegetables, beans, lentils and legumes, nuts and seeds, fruits and herbs and cutting back on overeating high fat and sugar foods can also help reduce the belly fat.

Pick one baby step today! Good Luck! We can’t wait to hear what has worked for you.

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Taste Life Guest Post: Alcohol and Alcoholic Beverages are Not Calorie Free!

By Nina Rocca, RD

Alcohol blog post

More information on alcohol from NIH can be found here.

Check out Nina’s Facebook page for more blog posts!

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Taste Life Guest Post: Plan for Summertime Happiness & Health

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By Monica J McCorkle, MS, RDN, CDE – Healthstat’s Corporate Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist

Summer has officially started with Memorial Day weekend behind us (Yes I know it really started on June 21st with the Summer Solstice, but traditionally Memorial Day kicks off the start of fun summer activities!). Remember that feeling when you were a kid? Memorial Day came and the whole summer lay ahead, filled with picnics, outings, beach and lake activities, and overnights with friends. The arrival of summer brings with it feelings of happiness and joy, but did you know that being happy is an important element of a healthy life?

In a  review of more than 160 studies of human and animal subjects, Dr. Ed Diener, Senior Scientist for the Gallup Organization,  found that there is “clear and compelling evidence” that – all else being equal – happy people tend to live longer and experience better health than their unhappy peers.  And that “the overwhelming majority of studies support the conclusion that happiness is associated with health and longevity.” So why not make this your happiest, most healthy summer ever?

With focused intention and planning you will be able to create the most enjoyable and healthy summer experience.  “Intention is a mental state that represents a commitment to carrying out an action or actions in the future. Intention involves mental activities such as planning and forethought”.

And believe me, you can be healthy AND have fun!  A recent review of the literature on the research of intention indicates a strong correlation between forming specific if-then plans (or ‘implementation intentions’) and goal attainment.  This means, with intention and a specific, well-developed plan you can achieve your goal of making this the best summer for yourself and your loved ones! PLAN with Purpose and it will happen!

5 Steps to having the healthiest and most fun summer ever:

  1. Decide that this WILL be the happiest and healthiest summer ever. Life moves forward whether your car is washed, your home is not perfect, or the laundry needs tending.  You have the power and the choice to decide to create this magical summer. Make that decision.  Human studies have found that positive moods reduce stress-related hormones, increase immune function and promote the speedy recovery of the heart after exertion.  Creating positive, happy events creates positive moods!
  2. Write out your summer wish list of activities, places, and people you would like to experience this summer. Think of activities that move and feed the body. Some of my personal favorites are:• Swimming in the ocean, lake, or pool (Can’t swim? No worries – just get in the water and PLAY!)

    • Kayaking, paddle boarding, or simply going for a walk. Regular physical activity is effective in the primary and secondary prevention of several chronic diseases (ie: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, obesity, depression and osteoporosis3) – Putting movement into your summer plans will increase your happiness AND your health!

    • Creating dishes that burst with color and flavor of the summer harvest of fruits and vegetables. People who eat lots of fruits and vegetables are healthier and live longer, more vital lives than those who avoid these nutrient dense delicacies.  (Check out this delicious Pasta Salad Recipe that will guarantee compliments and requests for seconds!)

  3. Narrow down your list to 12 activities (1 per week until Labor Day weekend). These do not have to be extravagant activities or events.  My list for this summer includes grabbing a cup of my favorite coffee from my favorite coffee shops, heading to the beach for a sunset walk, kayaking in the bay for a couple of hours with friends, climbing Cowles Mountain with my favorite hiking pal, trying at least 3 new recipes to share with family and friends.
  4. Print out your list and post somewhere you will see every day. This visual reminder will keep your intention present in your mind and help with planning.
  5. Share your list with your friends, spouse, or partner. Tell them you are intentionally living the healthiest fun summer of your life! Remember: intention plus a good plan = goal achievement.

How lucky we are to be adults and have choices to be healthy and to have fun all at the same time!  As I get older I realize that the connections I make in my life are more important than the garage that needs to be cleaned, or the papers that need to be organized. Life is meant to be lived as vibrantly as possible and sometimes that comes from taking the time to stop what we are doing and smell the roses.

You have 12 weeks left of your summer.  Will you make it the happiest and most fun summer yet?

See original post here!

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Dietitians Dish on Their Favorite Apps

By Melinda Johnson, MS, RDN

App article

If you’re like me, you have mixed emotions about the world of apps. I frequently find myself downloading interesting apps, sometimes even paying for the enhanced version, only to be disappointed. My iPad andsmartphone are littered with the remnants of downloaded, barely used apps. But among the debris, there are always one or two apps that I simply love and return to over and over.

For example, on days when I’m facing hours of sitting and grading, I use SworkitPro to add in five minutes of exercise, once an hour. I make a game of it: Sometime during every hour, I choose from one of the many categories offered (such as Core Strength, Rump Roaster or Boot Camp), get up out of my seat and get in five minutes. I find that it makes my grading much more productive, helping my mind clear the fogginess from too much sitting and thinking, and at the end of the day I’ve accumulated about 40 minutes of exercise! (Sworkit Lite is a free app; Sworkit Pro is $2.99.)

I decided to reach out to some of my fellow dietitian colleagues, curious what their “go-to” app is.

Chere Bork, a dietitian and nutrition coach in Minnesota, loves the motivation she gets from an app called Charity Miles. It helps you turn your mundane daily workout into a sponsored event – earning money for charity for every mile you run, walk, or bike. There are many charities to choose from, such as Feeding America, the Wounded Warrior Project and Habitat for Humanity. (Charity Miles is a free app, with donations supported through corporate sponsors.)

 

To keep her eating choices on track, dietitian Kayle Skorupski in Arizona uses the app Lose It!, which she connects to her fitness device. She uses it as a food diary, helping her stay more accountable, and she notices that when she slacks off on using this particular app, her food choices tend to suffer. She loves that it has a barcode scanner for packaged foods, as well as information for many restaurant foods and a way to input recipes she makes at home. While Skorupski uses the app to coach herself, it’s worth noting that there’s an addition to the app which permits a health professional to log in and view your progress, allowing them to coach you as you go. (Lose It! is free to download, but features are unlocked with various annual subscription packages.)

To help keep her mood and stress levels in check, dietitian Lauren Maddahi uses the Pacifica app. This unique app is designed to be used as a daily tool, where you monitor your well-being with daily check-ins. Maddahl loves that the app also offers experiments and small projects that help manage anxiety and push the user just a bit out of their comfort zone. (Pacifica app is free, with upgrade subscriptions available.)  

Sometimes, dietitians are involved in creating their favorite app. The Meal Makeovers app was created by a dietitian duo who call themselves the Meal Makeover Moms. This straightforward recipe app is aimed at busy families, who want to prepare healthy meals without sifting through tons of recipes that simply don’t work for picky kids. The app includes more than 80 made-over versions of popular family meals, such as spaghetti, tacos and chocolate pudding. (Meal Makeovers app is $1.99.)

Dietitian Lisa Dorfman in Florida was involved in creating the new CThru Nutrition app, which fills a unique niche of offering personalized nutrition advice straight from registered dietitians. The app uses a QR/barcode scanning technique to help the user navigate the grocery store, restaurants and even farmer’s markets and make the best choices. (CThru Nutrition app is free).

Check out the original article here!

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10 Things Your Doctor Won’t Tell You About Metabolic Syndrome

Get the facts about what you can do to control, prevent, or reverse this group of health risk factors. 

By

metabolic syndrome post

Do you have Syndrome X? Although it sounds mysterious, or perhaps experimental, Syndrome X is very common. Better known as metabolic syndrome, it is a disorder characterized by central obesity (also known as a spare tire), insulin resistance or glucose intolerance, blood fat disorders, and high blood pressure. Having any one of these factors can boost your chances of developing additional medical problems.

The good news is that with changes in diet and exercise habits, you can prevent, control, or even reverse metabolic syndrome. If you don’t, you could develop significant health risks related to diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

The percentage of people who have metabolic syndrome increases with age, so it’s important to start adjusting faulty health habits early on. Don’t wait for the signs and symptoms, which may not even appear until damage has already been done. And don’t wait for a diagnosis from your doctor; some doctors may not even tell you about simple, subtle modifications you can start making today. Here are 10 things you should know about metabolic syndrome.

1. Metabolic syndrome is closely linked to your family history, so ask your family members about their medical histories. Your family’s medical history is yours, too. If one of your close relatives has diabetes or heart disease, you could be a candidate for having metabolic syndrome.

According to Genetics Home Reference, a complete family health record includes information from three generations of relatives, including children, brothers and sisters, parents, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, grandparents, and cousins.

It may sound like a daunting task to collect this info, but questioning your family can evoke some interesting and heartfelt conversation. It could also protect your children and their children for generations to come.

 
2. It matters where you wear your fat. If you look more like an apple than a pear, your risk of developing metabolic syndrome is greater. Your doctor may criticize you for being overweight, but not mention how fat that settles in your belly boosts health risks more than weight that sits in your butt.

Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, author of Belly Fat Diet For Dummies says, “Reducing your waist circumference could have more of an impact on preventing and managing disease than medication.” Carrying weight around your middle, Palinski-Wade underscores, “is an indication of excess visceral fat, a key risk factor for the development of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even certain cancers.” Focus on reducing waist size even more than the numbers on the scale, she advises.

3. A plant-based diet will help curb metabolic syndrome. Even the proposed Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourage a diet that is plant-focused. Julie Upton, MS, RD, of San Francisco and co-founder of Appetite for Health, encourages a Mediterranean style of eating. The Mediterranean diet showcases fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, and seafood but has less meat, cheese, sugars, and sweets. Upton says, “Not only is this plan helpful for your heart, but it also lowers risks for metabolic syndrome.”

Although some would think this diet is a strict plan, people who live around the Mediterranean didn’t get together and say, “Let’s create a diet.” Instead, they sat together at the table and shared meals, conversations, and a healthy lifestyle that keeps families close and disease risks at bay.

4. Dietary fiber will help lower your risk of metabolic syndrome by lowering your cholesterol. Your doctor may have handed you a sheet of the foods you should be avoiding, but you might be more successful by taking a more positive approach: Focus on adding foods rich in soluble fiber, like oats and beans. Insoluble fibers like whole grains can provide a “moving experience” by transporting foods through your gastrointestinal tract while keeping you feeling satisfied. Fill at least half your plate with veggies and fruits, and choose whole-grain carbs to make less room on your plate (and in your stomach) for less beneficial choices.

5. What you drink can affect your risk for metabolic syndrome. If you’re lucky, your doctor will ask you about your diet, provide with you some guidance, and refer you to a registered dietitian or nutritionist who can tailor a plan to your particular needs. But it’s rare that a doc will discuss what you’re drinking.

Fruit juices and sugary beverages can make your blood sugar and triglyceride levels soar. Alcoholic beverages may cause hypoglycemia and an initial drop in blood sugar, but those numbers will then climb – especially if you’re consuming mixed cocktails. Water is the best beverage for healthy hydration. But it’s good to know that tea, coffee, skim or low-fat milk, and watery fruits and vegetables provide fluid credit, too.

6. Even a little weight loss could have a big impact. “Too often, doctors don’t set reasonable expectations,” says Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, of New York City, owner of NutritionStarringYOU.com. A blanket statement like “Lose weight and go exercise” is not as motivating as “if you lose a modest 5 percent of your body weight you can make a significant impact on the important numbers like blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol/triglycerides,” Harris-Pincus says.

As an example, if you weigh 160 pounds but your ideal weight is 120, even a drop of 8 to 10 pounds could improve your laboratory test results. It could also even decrease or eliminate your need for medication. Setting smaller and more specific goals could make them seem more attainable.

7. Exercise is just as important as a balanced diet in combating metabolic syndrome. “Your doctor is probably not trained about the types of exercises and their related recommended intensities for improving specific parameters of this syndrome,” says Joey Gochnour, RDN, exercise physiologist and owner of Nutrition and Fitness Professional, LLC, in Austin, Texas. Gochnour points out that even moderate aerobic exercise can improve HDL (good) cholesterol levels just as much as intense aerobic exercise. He recommends exercising regularly, preferably at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week to help ward off metabolic syndrome.

According to Gochnour, “Strength training and intense aerobic exercise may improve your blood glucose sensitivity and reduce elevated insulin levels.” Exercise is a key component in boosting metabolism and burning calories, both of which help you keep your weight down.

8. Sitting too much puts you at risk. “It may sound odd,” says Jo-Ann Heslin, MA, RD, CDN, author of The Diabetes Counter, “but sitting or sedentary activities such as watching TV, using the computer, sitting at work or sitting while commuting have been identified as risks for metabolic syndrome even when you incorporate modest amounts of regular activity into your day.” A recent study published in the British Medical Journal connected sitting time with a positive risk for diabetes, speculating that for every hour of daily TV viewing, a person’s risk for diabetes increased by more than 3 percent.

9. You should get your fasting insulin level tested. When it comes to laboratory values, numbers like blood glucose and hemoglobin A1C levels are commonly checked. It is less often that doctors order a test for your fasting insulin level, yet this test can help predict your risk of developing prediabetes and metabolic syndrome. Insulin plays a key role in metabolism, and high insulin levels can promote obesity, stimulate hunger, and increase the storage of fat.

“When you eat sugary foods, your blood sugar levels rise and your pancreas releases insulin to move the sugar from your blood into your cells to be used or stored,” explains Chere Bork, MS, RDN, Owner of Savor Your Life Today Seminars and Coaching in Minneapolis-St. Paul. But if your body is continuously exposed to high levels of insulin, Bork says, “The receptor cells become inefficient and resistant to the effects of insulin,” and this leaves blood glucose levels elevated. It is insulin resistance that promotes the high cholesterol, high glucose, and high blood pressure of metabolic syndrome — also known as insulin resistance syndrome.

10. You should keep an up-to-date copy of your laboratory values. Your current healthcare provider may not end up being your future provider, but your current body is yours forever. If you undergo any blood tests or exams, ask for copies of the results so that you can keep them filed away at home. It’s essential that you know your baseline numbers and keep track of the evolution of your health throughout the course of your life.

Check out the original article published here!

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Protein Power Eggs for Two

2015-06-07 13.28.41

Celebrate June Dairy Month with this fabulous breakfast. The addition of the cottage cheese makes these eggs extra creamy while adding protein and calcium. I guarantee once you try cottage cheese in your eggs you will never go back to regular eggs. Every taste test I have done in my house, the cottage cheese eggs always win.

  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup cottage cheese
  • 2 ounces ham, chopped
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper

Whisk eggs and add cottage cheese. Whisk until eggs and cheese are blended. Stir in chopped ham. Pour into a small frying pan that has been coated with non-stick spray. Stir until eggs are done and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Stir in the cheese. And sprinkle with salt and pepper.

You can always toss in your favorite veggies and seasonings. I also enjoy Penzeys Fox Point Seasoning on my egg dishes. Makes two servings.

Nutrition per serving: Calories 304; Protein 30.1 grams; Fat 19.3 grams; Carbohydrate 2.4 grams; Sodium 792.5 grams

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