Welcome to Natalie's health tips! I started this blog specifically for my clients and Boot campers at the Sports Academy. I hope it will inspire and motivate anyone who visits to become an overall healthy individual. You can expect to find great nutrition tips, workouts, and MORE! Please feel free to leave comments and ask questions.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Diet crap...I mean Diet Coke!

I hope this post will be the final wake up call for those of you that include soda in your diet. And I am talking about regular and diet soda!!

I dont even feel it is necessary for me to get into why drinking regular soda is bad for you, but I wanted to gear this post more towards the diet drinks. What a mixed signal this sends. If it has the word "diet" in the name and it is zero calories then whats the big deal!? The big deal is this...YOU ARE POISONING YOUR BODY. Did you know that the aspartame in those diet drinks turns into formaldehyde at the temperature your body is at! That cant be good!

I found this fascinating article – Artificially Sweetened Beverages Cause for Concern – recently published by David S. Ludwig, MD, PhD, a Harvard professor and Founding Director of the Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) clinic at Children’s Hospital. He makes three important points, especially in the context of artificially sweetened drinks:

1. Our body gets confused by artificial sweeteners – the dissociation between sweet taste and calorie intake may put the regulatory system that controls hunger and body weight out of sync, thus sabotaging weight loss plans. A study on rodents showed that those fed saccharin actually gained weight compared to rodents fed sucrose.

2. We’re “Infantilizing” our taste sense – Artificial sweeteners are a hundredfold sweeter than sucrose (table sugar). By getting ourselves used to so much sweet, normal sweet flavors, of fruit for example, become bland and so do other healthful foods such as grains and vegetables, thus reducing our willingness to consume them and ultimately the quality of our diet.

3. Long term effects unclear – while there have been many studies on artificial sweeteners and disease such cancer, very few focused on long term weight gain. A seven year study, (San Antonio Heart Study), showed a relationship between diet drink consumption and obesity, but the causation is not clear. Consumption of artificial sweeteners is growing yearly. According to Ludwig,
If trends in consumption continue, the nation will, in effect, have embarked on a massive, uncontrolled, and inadvertent public health experiment. Although many synthetic chemicals have been added to the food supply in recent years, artificial sweeteners in beverages stand out in their ability to interact with evolutionarily ancient sensorineural pathways at remarkably high affinity.

Make the commitment and decision right now to cut this stuff out of your diet. I have a Boot camper who I gave this challenge to. He, in fact, was consuming over eight cans of diet soda a day. He cut it down to 1 a day and he will tell you that not only did he lose weight, but he feels like a new person. Here is a video clip which explains the dangers of aspertame a little further.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Great Recipies!

There were a few dietetic students from USU at the Sports Academy the other day handing out these recipies with samples. Both were excellent! I wanted to share them with you:

Double-Chocolate Nutrient-Rick Oil-Free Bran Muffins
(A tasty combination of long lasting energy, protein, vitamins, omega 3's and more!)

Ingredients: 3 Cups wheat bran, 1 cup boiling water, 2 cups buttermilk, 2 eggs, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 cup canned pumpkin, 2 1/2 CUps flour, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 2 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt, 1 Cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

*Recommended stir-ins: dried fruit, 1-2 TBS Flax seed, walnuts.

Measure 1 Cup bran and 1 Cup boiling water into large bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes. Add buttermilk, eggs, sugar, and pumpking. Whisk until smooth.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, remaining 2 Cup bran, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until combined.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients gradually while mixing gently with large spoon or rubber spatula. Add chocolate chips and any other stir-ins of your choice.

Spray mini muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray. Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes. Cool in pan for five minutes.

Enjoy warm or at room temp. Freeze well too!. Yield 28 mini muffins.

I was told that four mini muffins amount to 150 calories.

Spicy Black Bean Salad

1. Combine in large bowl:2-15 oz cans black beans(drained and rinsed), 2 Cups frozen corn(thawed), 1 cup celery(chopped), 3/4 cup green onion(chopped), 2 cups tomatoes(chopped), 1 grean pepper(chopped), 1/4 cup fresh cilantro(chopped).

2. Whisk together: 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 tsp tabasco sauce, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper

3. Pour dressing mixture over beans and veggies. Stir in 6 cups cooked brown rice. Serve chilled.

This is an excellent filling for pita bread or rolled up in a wheat tortilla. Add cooked chicken if more protein is desired.

Happy cooking! :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Do you realize that if you eat 100 more calories then you burn a day, you will gain 10 pounds by the end of the year. YIKES! The best way to make sure this does not happen is to keep a food log.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

smart snacking...

Dont forget smart snacking! Snacks will save you! Some of your food logs showed me that you are either making bad snack choices, incomplete snack choices, or you are not snacking at all. It is important for you to have snacks. In fact, I want you to eat every three hours. This is really going to keep you from over eating, and it will keep your metabolism reved up throughout the day. Smaller meals more often is the best way to go. Here is an example of a great eating schedule..rework it to fit you.

6Am Breakfast
9AM Snack
12Pm Lunch
3Pm Snack
6Pm Dinner
9Pm Snack

The best snacks will consist of both a carb and a protein. Both of these macro nutrients will keep you feeling full of energy! Lets face it, we could all use a little more energy. You always want to pay close attention to portion sizes and calorie content if your goal is weight loss.

Pick one food from the protein list and one food from the carb list to create a complete snack. Try to keep your snacks around 200cals.

cottage cheese
string cheese
Turkey, ham, chicken
protein shake
peanut butter
protein bars

Carb snacks
whole wheat crackers
fruit: banana, apple, grapefruit, strawberry, oranges....
pickles(high is sodium)
baked chips
whole wheat pita
whole wheat toast
high fiber cereal
popcorn(not the movie kind)
sugar free jello
granola bars(watch the calories)
unsweetened apple sauce
rice cake

Good Luck! Happy Snacking!