Be Heart Healthy and Lose Weight!

Posts Tagged ‘health’

Heart Health – Take Control of Your Health

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on February 16, 2009

Special Report – Article Excerpt

Stop Wasting Money – Take Control of Your Health

Ensure your success with lowering
cholesterol, controlling high blood pressure,
and weight loss by knowing how to achieve change.

Did you come across a treadmill for a great discount price and decide – I need to exercise more; I’m not going to find a better price, why not? So, you now have this piece of equipment in a corner of your living room or bedroom collecting dust or acting as an expensive clothes rack.

Why is it that your good intentions led no where? Sure, that first week or two you hopped on several times, but then your progress came to a screeching halt. Well, you may not have had everything in place to be successful.  You need to make sure all your “ducks are in a row” to ensure your success.  If you jump from Contemplation into Action you are skipping the critical Preparation phase. Huh? You will begin to understand what I mean as you read on.

For the purpose of this article, I will focus on the critical action step.  The goal I use is increasing physical activity. You can use the Stages of Change model to work on any area you are trying to change, such as eating habits to lose weight, lowering cholesterol levels, and/or controlling high blood pressure.

The Stages of Change model was first developed by psychologists James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente in the late 1970’s. They focused on changing addictive behaviors, specifically smoking. The Stages of Change model identifies the phases we go through when we change our habits.  The five stages are called – 1. Pre-contemplation, 2. Contemplation, 3. Preparation, 4. Action and 5. Maintenance.  Tailoring your actions based on the stage you are in will propel you forward.

>No need to waste time dwelling on the science behind the method.  Just know it has been proven a useful tool.  Now, let’s dive into how you can use it to your benefit. 

In this stage you are performing the behavior regularly, but for less than 6 months.  This means you have established a plan of action and have implemented that plan.  You are actively modifying your behaviors, experiences, and environment to overcome obstacles and achieve success.  The action phase is the most difficult and requires a considerable commitment of time and energy.  Change does not happen overnight.  It will take persistence for a new behavior to become an established habit.

The following four strategies are used to move through this stage of change:


Substitute alternate positive behaviors for the negative behavior.  It can take up to 30 days for a new behavior to become a habit. Be aware of this and put safety guards in place.  Stick with your action plan and continue to replace old sedentary behaviors with new physically active ones. You may feel some loss.  You actually miss your old behaviors.  These behaviors are like old friends you felt comfortable with and change moves you out of your comfort zone.  Review your reasons for wanting to be physically active and the long-term benefits you will gain if you stick with your plan.

Reinforcement Management

Change the events that determine or sustain the problem behavior.  Reward yourself for achieving your goals, such as a new outfit, book, or running shoes.  Recognize your progress and reward yourself.  This will provide you with an incentive to stick with your new plan.


Helping Relationships

Turn to your support system.  Don’t get overconfident and think you do not need family and friends behind you.  Keep them in the loop with the progress you’ve made and identify new ways they can help you move towards your goals.  Now is a time to consider signing a “contract” with yourself to reinforce your commitment to change.  Have your family and friends be witnesses!


Stimulus Control

Be aware of triggers for reverting to your old habits.  What safety mechanisms can you put in place to negate these triggers?  Start replacing old behavior triggers with something positive.  For example, place your goals where you will see them daily – like the refrigerator.  Keep gym shoes by the front door.  Create reminders at work, such as tennis shoes under your desk for a lunch time walk.  Always be on the lookout for stumbling blocks and be prepared to brainstorm ways to overcome the hurdles.

You are doing great!  Maintenance is just around the corner.

Bottom Line:

During the action phase, you make your goals a reality.  Now is not a time to get cocky.  Hurdles will frequently pop up and you need to be ready with strategies to overcome them.  You will have some bad weeks.  Step back, evaluate what is keeping you from regular activity, and figure out a solution.  It may take some trial and error before you find the right solution for you.  Now about that treadmill – you have it and it is dust-free!

Tackling change is hard and determining exactly what steps you need to take can be confusing.  By recognizing that change has identifiable steps and strategies, you can use this knowledge to move forward and achieve your goals!

Are you tired of throwing away hard earned dollars on fitness equipment you don’t use?  Get your FREE copy of Stop Wasting Money – Take Control of Your Health now!  


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

Self-Improvement Gift Giveaway!

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on November 7, 2008

I’m participating in a joint venture with hundreds of other businesses. We’ve teamed up to put all our free gifts in one location – Self Improvement Gifts. I wanted to share this site with you, because the gifts cover a wide variety of topics – inspirational, motivational, health, self-esteem, financial, success, law of attraction. . .the list goes on.

You have to “sign-up” to enter the website for the free gifts, but it’s a free to be a member.

If this interests you, check it out!

Self Improvement Gifts

All the best,
Lisa Nelson, RD, LN

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Lower Blood Pressure – Chicken Soup for The Heart

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on October 24, 2008

I read some interesting research lately that I want to share related to chicken and blood pressure.

We know that blood pressure is a significant risk fact for heart disease and stroke. It’s estimated that around 1 billion people worldwide live with high blood pressure. Being able to control high blood pressure through food selection is very important.

The collagen in chicken is being researched for use as a blood pressure medication, with actions similar to ACE inhibitors (i.e. lisinopril). Japanese studies have found 4 proteins in the chicken that contain collagen with actions similar to the blood pressure medication when tested in rats.

Chicken legs and feet contain more collagen that chicken breast meat. FYI – The legs and feet are the yellow part of a chicken with a nail on the end. A “chicken collagen hydrolysate” was prepared in the study and fed to rats and the effects on blood pressure where examined. The rates showed a drop in blood pressure 4 hours after receive the mixture orally, with the lowest blood pressure reading after 8 hours. Long term studies showed improved blood pressure after one week of treatment, with a significant reduction after 2 weeks.

The study states that the “chicken collagen hydrolysate” mixture used in the study is composed of foods that can be easily added to a typical daily diet. For individuals with high blood pressure, increasing intake of these foods will promote a normal blood pressure. What I want to know – who is going to eat a chicken leg/foot? How do the researchers think that will become a normal part of the diet? My question wasn’t answered in the study results! I’m thinking it’ll be made into a food additive that will allow certain foods to be marketed as “functional” for blood pressure reduction, but we’ll have to wait and see.

The title of this post was just to catch your attention, I’m not recommending you eat more chicken soup to lower your blood pressure. Way too much sodium added to soup for it to be beneficial!
I’d love to have you as a reader for The Heart of Health ezine where I share regular heart health and weight loss tips.

All the best,
Lisa Nelson
Lower Blood Pressure Naturally

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Achieve a work-life balance for your health!

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on October 3, 2008

I have teamed up this month with Joy on the Job expert Doris Helge, Ph.D.  Part of living a healthy life is maintaining a balance between your work and your life.  When you don’t meet your needs, your work quality, your relationships and your health deteriorate.  Everyone loses when you fail to set healthy boundaries and practice the art of compassionate assertiveness so you can enjoy the work-life balance you deserve.

In this guest post from Doris, you’ll learn how to say “no thank you” to what you don’t want and “YES!” to what you do want.  Enjoy!  Lisa Nelson, RD, LN

Say “YES” to Work-Life Balance

by Doris Helge, Ph.D. © 2008

A client I’ll call Jenny called me in tears. “I have no work-life balance. The people I work with want everything instantly. My husband wants credit when he helps out with the kids . . . as if he isn’t also 50 percent responsible for them! To me, work-life balance isn’t a luxury. It’s essential. If I can’t get some quality time for myself, I’ll be no good to anyone at work or at home.”


Do you sometimes feel like a puppet whose strings are pulled up, down, right, and left at the same time?  Ouch!


It’s time to set boundaries and practice the art of compassionate assertiveness. Then you can enjoy the work-life balance you deserve.




No matter what you’ve been told, you are in charge of your own life. You are the only person who can say with conviction, “Wait a minute please. I’m busy right now. As soon as I finish doing ______, I will give you my full attention.”


You are the sole individual who can identify your needs and establish healthy boundaries. You are also the only person on this planet who can maintain your personal boundaries without feeling guilty.


That’s personal power! We’re all very powerful people with a vast array of capabilities. Some of us have forgotten how to be assertive about our own needs. You may think that only harms the person who doesn’t stand up for themselves. Unfortunately, that’s not true. When you don’t say “No” to what you know isn’t right for you, you set a powerful negative ripple effect in motion.




If you don’t set and maintain personal boundaries, everyone around you suffers. In fact, a nasty chain effect rumbles forward like a runaway train. Because you resent the fact that your needs aren’t met, you radiate an energy of, “I’m a victim.”  The people around you react in a variety of ways. Here are some examples.


  • Some people will become defensive about their behavior. They may even feel manipulated. Neither reaction will help you resolve the core issue.
  • When you play the role of victim, other people rush forward to play the role of bully. They act like wild animals stalking a wounded prey.
  • Some people become angry or frustrated when you don’t feel strong enough to say “No thank you” regarding what you don’t want, in a kind assertive manner. They develop a negative opinion about your ability to perform well in the future.
  • Some people gather around you and commiserate about your sad situation. You may temporarily feel validated when surrounded by supporters. However, these are dangerous cheerleaders because your circumstances don’t improve when you reinforce the belief, “I’m a victim.”
  • If you play the role of martyr, other people will follow your example. Whether you like it or not, you are always a role model for someone.


This brings us back to your personal power. Look at your impact on the lives of other people in the above examples. Since you can affect the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors of the above people in such a significant way, how can you possibly feel like a victim of life? 





Another choice is to set the intention of walking beyond your fear of change so you can become the confident, capable person you are destined to become. What’s the worst that can happen if you take a small step toward your true self? 


Make a decision to enjoy the work-life balance you need and deserve today. Each time you say “No thank you” to what you don’t want, you send a clear signal to the universe saying, “YES!” to what you do want.


Visit http://www.FreeJoyOnTheJobEbooks.com and GET YOUR FREE EBOOKS: “Secrets of Happiness at Work,” “Employee Engagement Made Easy,” and “Get the Respect & Appreciation You Deserve Now.” Doris Helge, Ph.D., is 100% dedicated to empowering you to create more meaning, fun, and fulfillment at work. Dr. Doris is an executive coach & a corporate trainer for companies as large as Microsoft. Download sample chapters from Dr. Helge’s latest books, “Joy on the Job” & “Transforming Pain Into Power” at http://www.MoreJoyOnTheJob.com.

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Use local events for fun and health!

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on June 13, 2008

On Saturday, May 31st, a girlfriend and myself participated in a 10K run in Livingston, MT.  Fortunately, the rain forecast held off until afternoon and it was a great morning to be outside.  This is the second organized event I have recently participated in and I can’t say enough about the experience.  I use to be hesitant to sign-up for these events thinking there is no way I can keep up with everyone else.  Well, let me tell you, there are a wide variety of athletes participating.  Some sprint to the finish, others walk.  There is room for everyone!  We jogged pushing a stroller.  Nothing like a crying baby to get you moving a little faster.

I encourage you to find out what events are in your area and sign up.  Gives you a break from your normal workout routine!

Enjoy the upcoming weekend, Lisa

P.S.  Don’t forget to go to http://www.eNutritionServices.com and sign-up for The Heart of Health.  I have put together a great bonus for new subscribers:  Stop Wasting Money – Take Control of Your Health!

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Do I need to take omega 3 and omega 6 together?

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on May 31, 2008


A reader from The Heart of Health, Jessica, sent in a question about omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.  If you are struggling with weight loss, you should visit Jessica’s blog allabouthabits.com, for some weight loss motivation.  She openly shares her weight loss struggles.


The question:


About omega 3’s and 6’s, I heard that they should be taken together, and not just having one omega 3 or omega 6 alone. It has something to do with digestion and breakdown process. Is that right?


The answer:


There are two types of fatty acids – essential and non-essential.  The body can synthesize non-essential fatty acids, while the only way we get essential fatty acids is from what we eat.  Omega 3 and Omega 6 are both essential fatty acids – we must get them from foods and/or supplements.


Omega 3 – ALA, EPA, and DHA are all acronyms that represent omega 3 fatty acids.  If we consume ALA, our body will convert it to EPA and DHA.


Omega 6 – Omega 6 is also known as linoleic acid.  Linoleic acid is converted to GLA, another omega 6 fatty acid, in the body.  GLA and EPA (an omega 3 fatty acid) work together to promote bone and heart health. 


So, yes, omega 3 and omega 6 work together and both are needed for bodily functions.


But, omega 6 does not require supplementation.  The typical American diet is very high is omega 6 fatty acids.  A main source of omega 6 fatty acids is corn oil, which is very prevalent in our society.  Other sources include sunflower oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, pistachio nuts, and pumpkin seeds.


The ideal ratio between omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids should be 1:1 or 4:1.  A typical diet in the U.S. is 11:1 to 30:1.  This poor ratio is linked with heart disease, among several other health issues. 


Certain conditions can interfere with the conversion of linoleic acid to GLA, such as advanced age, excess alcohol consumption, viral infections, and various other factors.  In these situations a GLA deficiency would be present and supplementing the GLA omega 6 fatty acid would be beneficial.  However, this is not the case for the majority.


To reduce heart disease risk you want to increase the amount of omega 3 fatty acids in your diet and decrease omega 6’s.  Omega 3 is a common deficiency in the U.S.



Bottom line:


Omega 3 and omega 6 are both essential fatty acids and work together to promote health.  However, if you follow a typical U.S. diet, you want to increase your omega 3 intake and decrease your omega 6 intake.  Therefore, supplementing omega 3 AND omega 6 is not beneficial.   


I hope my answer has not confused you more!  I will be publishing at least two more articles this summer related to fatty acids.  If you have a question, send it to me at RD@eNutritionServices.com.

Posted in food, heart health, high blood pressure, lower cholesterol, nutrition | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Happy Easter!

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

Holidays are especially tricky when it comes to sticking to healthy eating.  All that candy. . . .I had a challenge this year trying to figure out how to do a fun Easter egg hunt for my two year-old that didn’t include candy in every egg.  I liked the idea I came up with so much I decided to share it.  We (my husband and I) got her a Dr. Seuss book.  I scanned the cover and printed it off on cardstock.  We then cut the picture into 9 large puzzle pieces.  Put a piece in each egg and after she found all the eggs containing pieces she put the puzzle together and received the actual book!  She had fun and I was happy she didn’t receive a ton of candy (we still included candy in a few eggs).

Hope you enjoyed your holiday:)

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN

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Flaxseed – Whole Seed vs. Ground

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

Let’s start with what you should know about flaxseed to make sure you are getting the most from this supplement.

Flaxseed is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.  Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to decreased risk of developing heart disease.  Most American’s consume a diet high in omega 6 fatty acids (corn oil, beef, and chicken).  The goal is not to switch completely to omega 3’s only, but to improve the ratio by increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids.  One option to do so is by adding flaxseeds to your diet.

You can buy flaxseed two different ways – whole seed or ground.  In order for the body to utilize the omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseed must be ground.  If the flaxseed is not ground it passes straight through the body without being absorbed.  Flaxseed is high in fiber, so by ingesting whole flaxseed you have increased your fiber intake, which is beneficial, but if you grind your flaxseed you will have the added benefit of increasing your omega-3 fatty acid intake.  Using a coffee grinder is a simple way to grind your flaxseeds.  Another option is to purchase flaxseed already ground.  Flaxseed has a tendency to go rancid, for this reason keep ground seeds refrigerated.  You can increase your intake by adding flaxseed to foods during preparation, such as spaghetti sauce, meatloaf, chili, hot cereal, muffins, pancakes, and yogurt.

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eNutritionServices blog begins. . .

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

Well, this is my first attempt at blogging so we will see what direction I end up going.  I am a registered dietitian with a private practice.  I am hoping to use this blog to share quick nutrition tips to help you improve your health.

Diet & Nutrtition Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

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