Monday, March 29, 2010

Weekly Goals for March 29th -- April 4th

So far, so good -- I didn't get to bed as early as I'd like every night last week, but otherwise, the goals I set down last week are doing me well. That makes this week's goals easy!

1) Take a deep, calming, cleansing breath before eating and between each bite.

2) Continue with at least 2 liters of water a day...and increasing gradually to 3 liters by the end of the week.

3) Exercise daily for at least 30 minutes, but aim for 60 minutes (dance, Wii tennis, run).

4) Aim for bed by 11:30 PM -- so, start bedtime routine at 11 PM.

How are things going for you? Feel free to post your goals! It's a great way to encourage you to formalize your goals, enjoy a little accountability, and get support and encouragement. Have a great week!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Corn Syrup, Rats, Research...and You?

I ran across the following article today, and as our focus this month is on good nutrition, I want to share its findings with you. To summarize, Princeton researchers fed rats a a diet high in high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) for six months. They observed that the rats fed the HFCS were far more likely to gain weight than other rats fed a similar-calorie diet that did not include HFCS.

Does HFCS lead to obesity? If you're a lab rat, I'd strongly suggest avoiding it. But what if you're not a lab rat? In that case, I'd have to say the answer isn't quite that simple. I've noticed that when I eat more or exercise less, I tend to gain a few pounds. When I turned 30, I found it much easier to gain weight, and much harder to lose it -- and my diet didn't change at all.

I'm not advocating for HFCS. One of the major sources in the American diet is regular soda, which I don't drink (and I limit the amount of diet soda I drink, too). And I'm a huge fan of eating, as the American Dietetic Association is promoting this year, "eating from the ground up." Corn grows in the ground, but HFCS, not so much.

So if you avoid foods with HFCS in them, more power to you. For the most part, you'll be avoiding foods that are high in calories and low in good nutrition. However, if you cut out foods that are high in HFCS and replace them with foods that are equally high in calories, or if you make other changes to your lifestyle that support weight gain, I'm willing to bet you won't suddenly lose weight.

I'm curious to hear what you think. Will this study change the way you eat? Do you think there's any validity to it? Let me know!

Here are two articles on the study:

Have a great weekend...I'll see you Monday!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Weekly Goals for March 22 - 28, 2010

It's taken me a few weeks to get on track, but I'm back! -- and, I hope, entirely free of the flu. Ugh! Here are my goals for the week:

1) Drink 2 liters of water every day

2) Plan ahead so I'm in bed no later than 11 PM

3) Take a deep, calming, cleansing breath between every bite

4) Exercise for an hour every day, but if I'm not able to get in an hour, then aim for a half-hour (Wii tennis, belly dance, run)

What about you? What are your weight management goals for the week? I encourage you to consider posting them here as a comment. Writing out your goals helps clarify them, and if you post them here you'll enjoy both accountability and support. Jump in -- the water's fine!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Happy National Nutrition Month!

Yes, I'm back! I'm sorry for my absence, but I've been thinking about how to improve "Eat Great." I want this blog to be effective, but I don't want to inundate you with near-daily posts.

If you're engaged in creative pursuits, you know that sometimes, it's necessary to sit tight and wait for that moment of revelation. Such has been the case for me. I've been turning over different ideas, to no avail. And then, out of the blue, a student posted a comment in one of my online classes, and it hit me. Duh! And here it is:

I'm going to return to posting on Monday with my own weight management goals, and I encourage you to do the same. I believe it's important for us to have a place where we can hold ourselves accountable, and receive support and encouragement.

I'll also post an article, quotation, or commentary on an aspect of weight management every Monday. Since there are 12 months in the year, and 12 lessons in my courses, we'll matching the month to the lesson. That means that next Monday, we'll be talking about the topics in Lesson 3. Coincidentally, that happens to be "Take Nutrition to the Next Level." Given that it's National Nutrition Month, that almost seems like a sign!

On Thursday, I'll post a recipe, article, quotation, or commentary that relates to the appropriate lesson from my cooking class. Lesson 3 happens to be all about sauce, so if you like smooth-and-creamy dishes as much as I do, stay tuned!

Thanks for hanging in there during this blogging drought...and a special thank you to those of you who have e-mailed me wondering when I'd be back. It's nice to be missed! I'll see you Monday!