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Be Heart Healthy and Lose Weight!

Archive for August, 2008

Wear a pedometer for heart health and weight loss!

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on August 29, 2008

Wearing a pedometer is a simple way to track your activity.  

First, wear a pedometer everyday for a week and write your daily steps on a calendar.  By the weeks end, you’ll have a idea of how much you move each day. 

Next, find ways to increase your steps, such as an extra walk, taking the stairs versus the elevator, parking further from the store, etc.  

Make your final goal 10,000 steps (~5 miles) each day!

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN
The Heart of Health

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A Heart Friendly Starbucks?

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on August 27, 2008

I may have some good news for Starbucks lovers. 

 

Normally, the high sugar, high fat, high calorie beverage and menu items offered by Starbucks were reasons to steer clear if you struggle to lower triglycerides, lower cholesterol, or shed extra pounds.  Starbucks is typically not the best place to grab a quick breakfast with a Frappuccinno, while scanning the daily paper. 

 

Simply selecting a Grande Frappuccino and Cranberry Orange Muffin would start your day with a whopping 850 calories and 30 grams of fat!

 

In the past Starbucks has not embraced the idea of offering more nutritious items.  They did remove trans fats and started offering nonfat milk this past year, but there is still plenty of room for improvement.

 

The good news is Starbucks has decided to revamp their breakfast menu to offer six heart friendly breakfast options.  The goal was a menu with fewer calories, more protein, more fiber, and more fruit.

 

New menu selections include:

 

Apple bran muffin – 330 calories, 8 grams of fat, 7 grams fiber

Baked berry stella – 280 calories, 9 grams of fat, 6 grams fiber

Power Protein plate with peanut butter – 330 calories, 16 grams fat, 5 grams fiber

Chewy fruit and nut bar – 250 calories, 10 grams fat, 4 grams fiber

Perfect oatmeal – 140 calories, 2.5 grams fat, 4 grams fiber

 

These new options provide reduced calories and fat grams, while boosting dietary fiber content.  All good moves if you are looking to be heart friendly.

 

You still need to use your head when choosing a beverage.  Starbucks is not removing its’ high calorie, fat, and sugar beverage options.  One of the best choices is a simple Caffe Americano (15 calories, 0 grams fat). 

 

So, if you enjoy the Starbucks ambiance, you’ll now be able to enjoy a heart healthy breakfast, too.  Hopefully, the taste of the new menu items lives up to the flavor of their coffee!

 

To receive regular heart health and weight loss tips from dietitian Lisa Nelson, subscribe to The Heart of Health ezine.

Posted in food, heart health, high blood pressure, lose weight, lower cholesterol, nutrition | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Brown rice – New whole grain health claim.

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on August 26, 2008

I’ve always recommended clients make a switch from white rice to brown rice as a way to boost dietary fiber intake.  A diet high in dietary fiber (ideally 25-35 grams/day) is linked with reduced heart disease risk by lowering LDL and total cholesterol levels.

The FDA just approved a new ruling that will allow brown rice to use a health claim on its label.  So, when you’re shopping for groceries, be on the look out for the new whole-grain logo added to the brown rice packaging and don’t forget to reach for the brown rice over the white!  A 1/2 cup of cooked  brown rice contains two grams of fiber.

Brown rice takes extra time to prepare (~45 minutes).  I checked out the nutrition label on brown “minute” rice recently and it’s another option, still providing 2 grams of dietary fiber per 1/2 cup serving.  Best of all, only takes ~10 minutes to prepare.  Haven’t tried it yet, so can’t vouch for its flavor, but I have added it to my shopping list.

All the best,

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN
The Heart of Health

Posted in food, heart health, lower cholesterol | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Glacier National Park

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on August 21, 2008

Summer vacation’s have come to a closeL  The girls and I returned home from about 3 weeks in Kansas on August 11th and hit the road for 4 days in Glacier National Park August 13th.  It meant another 8 hours on the road. . .spending this much time on the road back to back wasn’t our original plan.  We had intended to visit Glacier in June, but after starting to plan to trip quickly learned June is not the best time to visit Glacier (trails are still snow packed).

 

Glacier is another beautiful park.  I learned something new.  I always thought it was named Glacier after the glacier’s present in the park today (down to 20), but it’s named Glacier after glaciers from millions of years ago that formed all the valleys and peak’s.  

 

The two main goals of our visit included driving the Going to the Sun Road and seeing Grinnell Glacier (only glacier accessible via a trail).  Beautiful views and features visible from the Going to the Sun Road (hard to believe it was constructed in the 20’s!). 

 

 

 

We took in a couple short hikes, also.  Here’s Katelyn getting a free ride. 

 

  

Also, took a boat tour on St. Mary Lake (average depth 289 feet!).

  

 

 

 

We really enjoyed the hike to Grinnell Glacier.  It was 12 miles round-trip (yes, we hiked it with a 2 year-old and 8 month-old!).  We did shorten it 2 miles by catching a boat ferry back across a lake, so 10 mile hike for us. 

 

Both girls did very well.  Katelyn could hike up to a half-mile before needing back in the back-pack carrier.  Keira was a trooper.  I had to do some jogging on the way back down to make sure we caught the ferry across the lake (Eric and Katelyn were way ahead of us) and Keira just giggled while bouncing along.  Here she is taking an afternoon nap while mom hiked.

 

 

We had lunch on the trail, saw wildlife (big horn sheep was perched directly over the trail), and had to hike through a small waterfall (which felt very good on the way back down!).

 

 

 

 

Here are a couple pictures about a half mile from our destination – Grinnell Glacier.

 

Eric decided he needed to cool off (don’t blame him, Katelyn is pushing 40 pounds!).  Keira’s all smiles at our pit stop and Katelyn shows off her hiking skillsJ

 

  

 

 

 

We made it!  Here’s Grinnell Glacier.  It covers 300 acres.  Not sure its depth, but we learned in order to be classified a glacier it must be at least 100-150 feet thick.  The pictures don’t do it justice, but you can pick out some of the large rocks stuck in the ice.  I believe the rangers said Grinnell Glacier is the fastest melting glacier in the park.

 

 

We’ll have to add a new entry to the baby books – “Baby’s First Glacier”!

 

 

That’s our last road trip for awhile!  A great place to visit, but it’s good to be home and get everything back in order.

 

As incentive to kick off a healthy fall season, I have planned a September bonus.  Be sure to sign up for The Heart of Health to receive details on the September bonus, as well as, regular heart health and weight loss tips!

 

All the best,

 

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN

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Control High Blood Pressure – Switch from canned veggies to frozen.

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on August 19, 2008

Canned vegetables are high in sodium, while frozen vegetables (without added sauces) usually have no added sodium. Buy the large economy size bags, pour out the amount you need for your meal, close the bag with zip closure or twist tie and stick back in the freezer until next time!

Making this change will significantly reduce your sodium intake, promote blood pressure control and heart health!

Be sure to sign up for regular heart health and weight loss tips through The Heart of Health ezine!

Posted in food, heart health, high blood pressure, nutrition | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Start "slimming down" your recipes to cut calories and lose weight!

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on August 12, 2008

Here are a few simple substitutions:

Replace whole eggs with egg substitutes or egg whites.
Replace butter, oil, and margarine in sweet baked goods with fruit puree or applesauce.
Replace ground beef with ground turkey.
Substitute plain, low-fat yogurt in place of sour cream.
Instead of pastry dough, go with a graham cracker crust.

With a couple substitutions you can enjoy the foods you love without sacrificing your waist!

Receive regular heart health and weight loss tips when you subscribe to The Heart of Health.

All the best,

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN

Posted in heart health, high blood pressure, lose weight, lower cholesterol | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Start “slimming down” your recipes to cut calories and lose weight!

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on August 12, 2008

Here are a few simple substitutions:

Replace whole eggs with egg substitutes or egg whites.
Replace butter, oil, and margarine in sweet baked goods with fruit puree or applesauce.
Replace ground beef with ground turkey.
Substitute plain, low-fat yogurt in place of sour cream.
Instead of pastry dough, go with a graham cracker crust.

With a couple substitutions you can enjoy the foods you love without sacrificing your waist!

Receive regular heart health and weight loss tips when you subscribe to The Heart of Health.

All the best,

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN

Posted in heart health, high blood pressure, lose weight, lower cholesterol, nutrition | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Use the "talk test" to monitor fitness.

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on August 1, 2008

Have you been working out regularly, but not seeing the results you want?  Are you working hard enough?
 
A quick and simple way to check your workout intensity is the “talk test”. 
 
If you can talk with no trouble, pick up the pace.
If you can talk, but need to take a breath every 4-5 words, you’re right on track.
If you’re gasping for breath after every word, slow down!
 
Check yourself the next time you workout. . .you may need to find a higher gear!

All the best,
Lisa Nelson, RD, LN

P.S. Don’t forget to get your subscription to The Heart of Health!

Posted in heart health, lose weight | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Use the “talk test” to monitor fitness.

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on August 1, 2008

Have you been working out regularly, but not seeing the results you want?  Are you working hard enough?
 
A quick and simple way to check your workout intensity is the “talk test”. 
 
If you can talk with no trouble, pick up the pace.
If you can talk, but need to take a breath every 4-5 words, you’re right on track.
If you’re gasping for breath after every word, slow down!
 
Check yourself the next time you workout. . .you may need to find a higher gear!

All the best,
Lisa Nelson, RD, LN

P.S. Don’t forget to get your subscription to The Heart of Health!

Posted in fitness, heart health, lose weight | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »