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Posts Tagged ‘healthy’

How to Lower Cholesterol: Step 2

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on March 28, 2009

In the last post I gave you the first step towards lowering cholesterol. Here is the second. Remember, by implementing these basic steps, you’re establishing a solid foundation that will support heart health and increase the effectiveness of medications and supplements.

Step 2: Adopt a heart healthy lifestyle.

This means eating a diet that support heart health and including physical activity as part of your daily routine.

Here are some basic guidelines for a heart healthy diet to lower cholesterol:

  • Saturated fat intake should be limited to less than 7% of your total daily calories.
  • Daily trans fat intake should be less than 1% of your total calorie intake.
  • Cholesterol should be limited to less than 300 mg/day.
  • Eat 25-35 grams of dietary fiber. The needs to include an adequate intake of soluble fiber, which will promote lower LDL levels.
  • Include sources rich in omega 3 fatty acids to your diet. Some benefits of omega 3 fatty acids include lower triglycerides, increased HDL cholesterol, and slower build-up of arterial plaque.

Here are basic guidelines for physical activity to lower cholesterol.

  • Include at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week.

This is the latest recommendation of The Health and Human Services Department. In order to see substantial health benefits, include at least 150 minutes, 2 ½ hours, of moderate-intensity activity each week. If times a factor, you can see the same benefits by bumping up the intensity and being vigorously active 75 minutes (1 hr. 15 min.) each week.

By include regular physical activity you will raise HDL cholesterol and lower triglycerides.

Stay tuned for step 3.

All the best,
Lisa Nelson RD

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How to Lower Cholesterol: Step 1

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on March 26, 2009

It’s often easier to turn to supplements or medications to lower cholesterol. However, the effectiveness of these treatments will not be as great if you do not have a solid foundation in place that supports heart health. Over the next few posts I’ll give you three basic steps you can implement now to promote lower cholesterol levels and reduce heart disease.

Step 1: Know and understand your cholesterol lab results.

A simple blood test will check your cholesterol levels. This test is also known as a lipid profile. You will learn your total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. By knowing the “breakdown” of your lipid panel you (or your MD/dietitian) will be able to determine the best steps to take for results.

The American Heart Association Recommends that everyone over the age of 20 know their cholesterol levels.

Stay tuned for step 2.

All the best,
Lisa Nelson RD

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Lose Weight: Best Way to Lose Weight

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on March 18, 2009

If you are overweight and dealing with heart health concerns, you know weight loss with significantly improve your heart health. So, you need to find a way to successfully lose the weight and keep it off.

Here are tips for success:

Adequate Calories

Don’t cut your calories too low. Never go below 1200 calories and for some people the minimum is higher. Consuming too few calories drops you right into “starvation” (as far as your body is concerned), your metabolism drops, and weight loss grinds to halt. Also, drastic calorie cuts not only result in fat loss, but you lose muscle as well.

Realistic Goals

Set realistic goals. You may have a dream goal of shedding 40 pounds, but start with a smaller, achievable goal. Many studies show significant health benefits from shedding just 10% of your body weight.

Healthy Rate of Weight Loss

Plan for a healthy rate of weight loss. Aim to lose 1-2 pounds per week. Gradual, steady weight loss ensures you lose fat, not muscle.

Long-term Plan

Think long-term. Going on a diet is not the best way to lose weight. This is because the term diet generally implies a beginning and an end. If you want to successfully lose weight it requires permanent lifestyle and food choice changes. Changes you can and will stick with for life.

Steady Support

Surround yourself with a steady support system. By this I don’t only mean a spouse that supports you spending an hour at the gym after work or planning active family events. I also mean surrounding yourself with friends who are living the healthy life you want. I’m not implying you need to kick friends and family who are a negative influence to the curb, but look for ways you can gain friends that are living a healthy lifestyle. This will dramatically increase your success.

All the best,

Lisa Nelson RD
Be Heart Healthy and Lose Weight

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5 Heart Healthy Foods to Add to Your Diet Today

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on March 17, 2009

Here are five foods to include in your diet to promote heart health.

1. Banana – Good source of potassium to promote a lower blood pressure.
2. Fish – Contains omega 3’s to prevent arterial plaque rupture.
3. Olive oil – Contains heart healthy monounsaturated fat to reduce the risk or coronary heart disease.
4. Garlic – Contains allicin to raise HDL, lower LDL, lower homocysteine, and lower blood pressure.
5. Walnuts – Rich is essential fatty acids, healthy protein, fiber, and phytosterols (compounds to decrease absorption of dietary cholesterol).

All the best,

Lisa Nelson RD
Be Heart Healthy and Lose Weight

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Weight Loss: What Causes Weight Cycling?

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on March 15, 2009

Do you find you find your weight frequently yo-yoing up and down? Do you tend to go through repeat periods of experiencing exciting weight loss followed by discouraging weight regain?

According to the Federal Weight Control Information Network, the cycle may be small, say 5-10 pounds up and down, or large, more than 50 pounds lost and regained repeatedly.

Weight Cycling Causes

The reasons for the weight cycle are often linked to the following four causes:

  • Selecting a diet that is too extreme or unrealistic for the long term. This would include “fad” or “crash” diets. They tend to be hard to stick with because you start to feel deprived.
  • Using poor techniques that cause you to overeat, such as skipping meals or doing well with your diet during the week but “taking a break” on weekends.
  • Unrealistic goals – Yes it’d be great to say you can fit into your old high school jeans, but is that really realistic?
  • Not surrounding yourself with a support system. Are the people around you health conscious and supportive of your new healthy actions or do they tempt you to stray?

Difficulty Stopping the Cycle

Oftentimes, your body finds a weight it likes and doesn’t want to change. So, you have biology working against you.

Your body uses hormones, such as leptin, to monitor your calorie needs and body fat. When you start to lose weight hormone levels change and your body reacts. Usually your body thinks “I’m starving” and switches to conservation mode by decreasing your metabolism (the rate your burn calories) to conserve energy and protect fat stores. In other words, you body is preparing for a famine. When this occurs you’ll typically begin to feel the urge to eat more.

So, let’s say your calorie intake gradually goes back up to your pre-diet level. At this level you should maintain your previous weight, but since your body has dropped your metabolism, your caloric needs are lower. That means your typical calorie intake which in the past maintained your weight, now leads to weight gain.

A cycle that is very difficult to overcome, but I don’t know many who say losing weight is easy.

All the best,

Lisa Nelson RD
Be Heart Healthy and Lose Weight

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Heart Health – Are you on the right path?

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on March 14, 2009

Did you know that every March since the 1970’s we have been celebrating National Nutrition Month? For those in a healthcare profession this is a time extra emphasize is placed on nutrition education and getting the message out to you. How can you get the most out of this time focused on nutrition? Every March provides you an opportunity to take an annual inventory of your nutrition habits. Are you “fueling” your body the way you want to ensure weight loss and heart health?

If this is the first time you have taken “inventory” focus on just a few areas. I will help you narrow it down by starting with beverages, snacks, and dining out. Do you select the healthiest choices in these areas? 

Beverages

What is sitting on the corner of your desk or in the cup holder in your car? Soda, coffee, water? If you are a soda drinker, consider what you can do to cut back. A 12 oz. can of regular soda contains about 150 calories. If you drink one can everyday you consume 4200 soda calories each month and 50,400 calories each year. This is equal to an extra 14 ½ pounds of body weight. What are you adding to your coffee? Frequent Starbucks consumption, or adding cream and sugar to your coffee means extra calories expanding your waistline. Positive steps towards being healthier – Switch to diet soda to drastically decrease sugar and calorie intake. Try nonfat dairy creamers, less sugar and cream, or adding sugar substitutes to your coffee. Save dollars and calories by brewing coffee at home and have Starbucks for the occasional treat. If you are toting around a bottle of water you are doing great. Everyone should be consuming six to eight 8-oz. glasses of water daily. Water is the beverage our bodies need and crave to keep us replenished and feeling our best.
 
Snacks
 
Are you heading for the vending machine for your afternoon snack? Most vending machines contain high fat and high sodium products. Forgo the Swiss cakes by bringing snacks to work with you. You know you are going to have an afternoon craving, so plan ahead.  Some good snack choices include fruit, yogurt, crackers and cheese, or a handful of nuts.
 
Dining Out
 
Is the drive in lane your destination several evenings after a long day of work? Most fast food is deep fat fried and includes significant fat, calories, and sodium. If you are tired and do not want to deal with cooking a meal at home you can select healthier options at the drive through. Opt for products that are not breaded, such as a grilled chicken sandwich. Forgo the fries and get a yogurt, side salad, or fruit to go with your sandwich. Your heart will thank you.
 
Just remember when March rolls around next year to take another inventory. Expand to other areas, such as fruit and veggie intake, omega 3’s, whole grains, etc. If you evaluate how you are doing every year and make modifications you are taking positive steps towards a healthy long life.
 
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9 Tips for Living Well Before You Lose the Weight

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on January 9, 2009

I’ve been corresponding with a subscriber to The Heart of Health email. She shared an article with me related to her struggles with weight loss that I’d like to share with you. I agree with just about all her suggestions. It’s vital to love yourself before you lose the weight if you’re ever going to be successful and happy. The only point I disagree with is number 3. Yes, your weight loss struggle is personal; however, I think a show like “The Biggest Loser” can be very motivational for some individuals. Read on to learn more!

NINE TIPS FOR LIVING WELL BEFORE YOU LOSE THE WEIGHT
Niama Leslie Williams, Ph.D.
Copyright December 2008

for oprah

You may wonder why I dedicate this article to Oprah. I watched her show today, something I haven’t done since my days of daily addiction to her hour of power way back in 2000 when graduate school, warring faculty and a history of family trauma sent me back home–three thousand miles–with my tail between my legs.

I dedicate this article to Oprah because weight loss is never a permanent fix; addictions, however, are permanent fixtures waiting eagerly for any and every opportunity to spring from the shadows and once again seize control of your life, health, wealth, psyche and spirit. They literally lie in wait to destroy everything you love.

I feel Oprah’s struggle because I know that weight loss is not a battle, just as recovery from addiction is never permanent. Only a strong and relentless, tenacious even, belief in and dependence upon Your Creator, a force greater than one’s self, can relieve addiction.

We are not perfect, it will never be perfect, and we aren’t supposed to do it perfectly: that’s for angels, Oprah, not for humans.

Success and excellence, nevertheless, are always possible, and it is in that direction, helping us to live healthily and well in all areas of our lives, that I give this article to every man, woman, or child who has struggled with the weight loss demon. He really is a small, egotistical little imp who lives to make us believe we will never win. Think Napoleon on steroids and you have some conception of the Weight Loss Demon.

You can whip his narrow little self into submission with the following Nine Tips For Living Well BEFORE You Lose the Weight:

1. Self-care is essential.

If you’re too tired after showering or bathing to put lotion on every day, begin by doing it when you have a special event and take the time to FEEL your skin expand and relax as you moisturize it. At 413 plus, I was often exhausted after showering, and the idea of then slathering lotion all over my body? Yeah, right.
What changed? I began to feel, focus on and FEEL, my skin’s reaction to the lotion. Once I began to tune in and understand how much my skin appreciated that oh so necessary extra step, I became willing to take care of myself in that significant way. And boy, did my legs ever look fine at the end of the day, all nice and brown and NOT ashy!

2. LOOK at your body naked.

If you don’t begin to look at your body naked NOW, you won’t be able to see or trust what you see when you notice your body becoming slimmer. Look at yourself; get to know your image without clothes on. You will find body parts and areas that you come to love, and when they start shrinking, your smile will get wider and wider and wider. The pride you feel will be genuine.

3. Weight loss is neither a competition nor a spectator sport. I am not in this for humiliation.

I have yet to watch The Biggest Loser, and I am proud to say so. My journey is not spectacle nor is it cheap, vicarious entertainment. I’m serious and weight loss is serious. Respect me and respect my story.

4. I am not here for your approval.

Weight loss is TOUGH, so doing it for someone else’s approval is the road to disaster. DO IT FOR YOU. Do it because you want to be healthy and live longer, not for those skinny jeans. Think about it: once you achieve that first pair of skinny jeans, then what?

5. Recognize that weight loss is an INSIDE job that will touch on my deepest fears and know what those fears are.

My number one fear is of being thinner! Yes, I have moments of looking in the mirror, seeing my body shrinking AND BEING AFRAID. It’s tough, but I talk to myself and remind myself that THERE IS NOTHING TO FEAR. I’m just afraid of the unknown, and thin, for me, is the unknown.

6. Before, during and after losing weight, associate with those who support you; drop those who don’t.

This one couldn’t be simpler, and yet many of us tank because we don’t follow such sage advice. My mother tried to lose weight thousands of times during her marriage, and finally noticed that when she was doing well on her diet, my father would suddenly bring home ice cream. I’m sure that had nothing to do with their divorce when I turned seven. You know who your saboteurs are, and it won’t take much introspection to determine their motivations. If you can’t get them out of your life, talk with friends or a therapist about removing the power from their actions. Your life, and your weight loss, are with it.

7. Move. Move in ways and doing things that give you pleasure.

a. I love to shop. I feel true delight in going up and down each aisle, surveying the goods and their respective prices, determining what strikes my fancy as well as what is an exceptional bargain. I love beautiful things and quality products and finding them at the best price is a heady experience. And the walking!!!! I have accomplished more miles up and down the aisles in Genuardis and Wal-Mart, Target and Impact Thrift than any stressed out woman on a treadmill in L.A. Fitness! And I enjoyed myself at the same time! Can’t wait to do it again.

b. Then there is yoga. When I lived in L.A. from 2000-2003, my budget could stretch to afford private yoga instruction. Please buy my books so that I can return to that particular heaven. Until private yoga, I forgot that my body LIKED movement, liked standing while I did the dishes, liked standing while I cooked and chopped and steamed dinner, liked the FEELING of experiencing and reacting to physical stressors.

c. The most important part of this tip? Be IN your body when it’s moving. Be psychically present as your body experiences movement. Be conscious, emotionally, physically, and spiritually when your body is moving. You will be surprised by what it communicates.

8. Practice being IN your body.

a. I love doing this when I am being hugged. There is nothing like feeling every sensation when someone—and not just a lover—is embracing you. Be fully aware the next time you are hugged. If you are comfortable and the person really means it, the smiles will not be able to stay away from your face.

b. Practice healthy sensuality; it is the first step toward getting carnal satisfaction from activities other than food/eating, but you must be IN your body when you practice. Consciousness when in the body really is quite a cool thing. That’s why the angels sometimes envy us.

9. Practice NOW.

Living NOW. Being NOW. Rewards NOW, not after you lose the weight. If you can do it NOW, you will do it consistently, and consistency and regularity are the hidden keys to successful weight loss.

Live now, and love yourself in the process!


Niama Williams, Ph.D.

Niama Williams, Ph.D.


If you’d like to learn more about Dr. Williams and the programs she offers, visit either of the following links:
http://www.blowingupbarriers.com/howtoliwebey.html
http://www.blowingupbarriers.com/workshops.html

All the best,
Lisa Nelson, RD, LN
eNutritionServices

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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
eNutritionServices

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