Be Heart Healthy and Lose Weight!

Archive for December, 2008

Lose Weight – Eat Breakfast

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on December 30, 2008

I cannot stress the importance of breakfast enough. Yes, breakfast is an easy meal to skip. Serotonin levels are high, which means your appetite is low. However, if you think skipping breakfast is a great way to cut calories, you’re wrong. Research shows that individuals who skip breakfast tend to consume more calories throughout the day versus those who eat a well-balanced breakfast. Also, don’t forget the corresponding low metabolism from not jump starting your day with a healthy breakfast. All of which add up to higher unhealthy body mass index (BMI).

Keep it simple: Whole grain cereal topped with berries and low fat milk.

All the best,

Lisa Nelson, RD

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Do you peel your fruits and vegetables?

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

When you peel fruits and vegetables you throw away a large chunk of its nutritional value. Such as a large dietary fiber loss when you throw out an apple skin, along with vitamin C, and various other minerals.

You may be tempted to throw out produce skins due to pesticides. Instead opt to thoroughly wash your produce to remove potential contaminants. If you are especially concerned, consider buying organic produce.

All the best,
Lisa Nelson, RD

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Mediterranean Diet to Reduce Heart Disease

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on December 23, 2008

I’m sure you’ve heard of the Mediterranean Diet and it’s link to heart health. The Mediterranean Diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and monounsaturated fats (olive oil).

Those that follow a Mediterranean Diet have a reduced there risk of developing heart disease and dying from a heart attack. Even those that have survived a heart attack and lived to adopt the Mediterranean Diet significantly reduced their risk of a second heart attack and other complications.

In an interesting twist, the native Mediterranean population has gradually adopted a more Western diet leading to negative results. The Mediterranean area has seen an income rise that’s resulted in extra dollars being spent on meat and saturated fat food sources. Over the past 4 decades the average calorie intake in the Mediterranean countries has increased ~30%. So, the once healthy Mediterranean countries are now seeing the weight epidemics the US is familiar with – 75% of the population overweight or obese in Greece, with over half of the population in Italy, Spain, and Portugal following suit. These countries are now supporting the “Mediterranean Diet” as a part of their cultural heritage they can not let die.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the characteristics common to a Mediterranean Diet:

  • High intake of fruits and vegetables
  • Select whole grains
  • Consume healthy fats (canola and olive oil)
  • Eat nuts in moderation
  • Low red wine consumption
  • Limit eggs to less than 4 times per week
  • Consume little red meat
  • Eat fish regularly

All the best,

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN

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Are you dieting?

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

Believe it or not, most people are not on a diet these days. Instead the focus has switched to healthy eating. A new market study shows most people are turning away from “extreme” diets and focusing on long-term weight management. Here are the percents:

Today 10 years ago
29% of women are on a diet 35%
19% of men are on a diet 23%

I am also surprised to see how the definition of a “healthy weight” has shifted. Sixty-two percent say a healthy weight is when you physically feel good, while 27% say a healthy weight means staying within a small ideal weight range.

This is a great opportunity for me to plug my weight loss programs which focusing on healthy eating for the long term, not a short term diet for results. If this is your type of thinking, I welcome you to check out the Balance Program and Mini Diet Makeover I offer to help you lose weight the healthy way. Also, subscribers to The Heart of Health ezine will be receiving a discount coupon code to start the new year off right.

So, where do you fall? Are you sticking with the “diet” mentality? If so, why? Or, have you moved into healthy eating for the long-term?

All the best,

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN

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Reduce Heart Disease with Glucomannan

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on December 16, 2008

Have you heard of glucomannan? Glucomannan is a type of soluble fiber. Research has shown that for every 1-2 grams of daily soluble fiber intake, LDL (bad) cholesterol is lowered 1%. Check out this post from Janie Ellington to learn more about glucomannan and how it reduces heart disease risk:

Benefits of Glucomannan Against Risk Factors for Heart Disease

All the best,

Lisa Nelson, RD

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I Say Yes!

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

I recently stumbled across a great campaign titled “I Say Yes!” I like the concept and want to share it with you. Here a quick summary and link to where you can learn more if you want to participate.

It is time for people to start saying YES to life. The “I say YES” campaign is on a mission to inspire people to think, act, and feel differently in their daily lives. If you have ever wanted to leap out of bed in the morning, than you need to join us today and participate in this movement. Let’s move away from hurt, struggling and negativity and move into empowerment, courage and gratitude.

The “I say YES to the Universe” campaign is for many types of people. It is for anyone who has ever questioned why they were here, what they were really supposed to do with their life, and who have often wondered if working a 9-5 job is all that there is to life.

Saying YES to life will open your heart up to receive inspiration on the things you should be doing, will encourage you to start serving others and giving back to the world.

“I am on a mission to change the way we think, act, and feel in our daily lives. Many people are so unhappy with their life and they do not know what to do about it. I am here to get people to start saying YES to life, to get them inspired and empowered, and have them start living a life that is juicy, delicious and rich in all ways” says Andrea Costantine.

The official campaign will end on December 31st, but the mission will continue. This is just the beginning of a shift that people are craving and starving for. If you are wondering if there is more to life, there is. People can participate in the campaign by visiting www.i-say-yes.com and purchasing a reminder button and receiving over $1000 in free bonuses to help them start saying YES immediately.

Together we can make a difference. Learn more by visiting www.i-say-yes.com.

All the best,
Lisa Nelson, RD

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Lower Blood Pressure for Mother’s

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on December 9, 2008

A recent study examined the long-term effects of pregnancy on blood pressure. Over 2300 women between the ages of 18-30 years-old were tested pre-pregnancy and then periodically between 2-20 years post-pregnancy.

The study found systolic blood pressure to be reduced 2.06 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure 1.50 mm Hg lower after one birth versus women that did not have a child.

Factors such as smoking, medications, birth control, and weight gain were taken into account, but some key factors were not (such as salt intake). So, while the study was not ideal, it does show a promising link between pregnancy and altered endothelial (blood vessel lining) function. I’m sure we’ll learn more about the relationship between pregnancy and long-term blood pressure effects as more studies are completed. Until then it’s good to know there are some potential benefits to help counteract the negatives – increased waist line and reduced HDL good cholesterol.

All the best,
Lisa Nelson, RD

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Combat Holiday Weight Gain with a Battle Plan

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on December 8, 2008

The holidays can be a big hurdle in a weight loss/health plan. Holidays don’t mean you can’t enjoy the good food and desserts.

A Few Tips for a Healthier Holiday:

  1. Plan Ahead – It will help if you have a plan in place ahead of time. Decide if you are going to have seconds in advance and what you are going to have seconds of. For example, mashed potatoes and gravy can be loaded with calories and fat, so opt for seconds of a healthier salad or other side dish. Be sure to plan out the desserts, too. If pecan pie is a weakness, put in place a realistic plan. One slice and a cookie. . .?
  2. Low Calorie Snacks – While you are visiting and waiting for the main meal to be served, snack wisely. Select low calorie veggies to much on versus fatty appetizers. “Save” your calories for the meal.
  3. Socialize – Take the time during your holiday meal to catch up with family and friends. This will slow down how quickly you eat and are running back for seconds. You may find that you’re full and not need that second helping!
  4. Watch the Liquid Calories – A glass of wine can add 120 calories and egg nog 340! Do you really need a second glass?
  5. Prepare a Healthier Dish – Is your holiday gathering a potluck? If so, prepare a healthy alternative you like. Subscribers to The Heart of Health will be receiving a Holiday Recipe and Tip Guide developed by dietitians in the next few issues.

Don’t forget to counteract all the holiday treats with extra time at the gym!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Lisa Nelson, RD

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Technology to Reduce Childhood Obesity

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on December 2, 2008

The Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior published a study last month (Nov. 2008) to determine the effectiveness of text messaging versus traditional paper diaries in children 5-13 years-old. The study found greater compliance (28% attrition) with follow-up when children used text messaging versus paper diaries (61% attrition).

I am all for using the cell phones and other “gadgets” young children run around with these days as a tool to reduce the growing childhood obesity epidemic!

All the best,
Lisa Nelson, RD

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