7 ways to use less salt

January 28, 2013 By: consultant 11 Comments

Sodium chloride (salt) is essential to the body. The sodium in salt helps transmit nerve impulses and contract muscle fibers. Working with potassium, it balances fluid levels in in the body. But you only need a tiny amount of salt to do this, less than one-tenth of a teaspoon. The average American gets nearly 20 times that much.

The body can generally rid itself of excess sodium. In some people, though, consuming extra sodium makes the body hold onto water. This increases the amount of fluid flowing through blood vessels, which can increase blood pressure. 28% of Americans don’t know they have high blood pressure which can lead to thicker muscle in the chambers of the heart which is connected to heart failure.

If you have fluid retention, high blood pressure, and/or kidney problems, the Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts Nutritionist will help you prepare to reduce your salt intake at home.

Most of the salt that Americans consume comes from restaurants and processed foods. The leading culprits include snack foods, sandwich meats, smoked and cured meat, canned juices, canned and dry soups, pizza and other fast foods, and many condiments, relishes, and sauces — for starters. But enough comes from the salt shaker that it’s worth finding alternatives.

Here are five ways to cut back on sodium when cooking or at the table:

  1. Flavor without the shaker. Add flavor to your favorite dishes with spices, dried and fresh herbs, roots (such as garlic and ginger), citrus, vinegars, and wine. From black pepper, cinnamon, and turmeric to fresh basil, chili peppers, and lemon juice, these flavor enhancers create excitement for the palate — and with less sodium.
  2. Rinse canned food like beans, tuna, and canned veggies.  You can reduce the salt by 1/3 or look for “Low –Sodium” or “No Salt” brands.
  3. Go nuts for healthy fats in the kitchen. Using the right healthy fats — from roasted nuts and avocados to olive, canola, soybean, and other oils — can add a rich flavor to foods, minus the salt.
  4. Check the Nutrition Facts panel. It lists then amount of sodium in mg. per serving and gives the “percent daily value” (set at 2400 mg.) that contributes to the total daily limit. Since serving sizes are small, you may end up with consuming 2-3 times more than listed.
  5. Sear, sauté, and roast. Searing and sautéing foods in a pan builds flavor. Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of many vegetables and the taste of fish and chicken. If you do steam or microwave food, perk up these dishes with a finishing drizzle of flavorful oil and a squeeze of citrus.
  6. Avoid processed and packaged foods. Ten pretzels are 815 mg. One medium kosher dill pickle is 1,181mg. Try a Mediterranean-inspired whole-grain salad with chopped vegetables, nuts, and legumes, perhaps a small amount of cheese, herbs and spices, and healthy oils and vinegar or citrus. For breakfast, cook up steel-cut oats, farro, or other intact whole grains with fresh or dried fruit, and you can skip the toast (and the extra sodium).
  7. Pick the right poultry. Many manufactures inject chicken with saline to make them juicer and weigh more. The result – a three oz. serving has 400mg. sodium before you season it. Choose an additive free organic brand or buy from your local farmers market. Untreated birds are only 50 to 70 mg. of sodium. Shop for peak-of-season produce from farmers’ markets and your local supermarket for a delicious fresh dinner.

Take these steps to lower your sodium intake and reduce the stress on your organs. Remember – if you don’t take the time for exercise and good eating habits, you will have to take time later for illness.  Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts can help you understand the “How” behind the “What”. This will lead to permanent change and improved quality of life and let’s face it, who doesn’t want that!?

 

Test Your Caloric Savvy

January 22, 2013 By: consultant 1 Comment

Just when you think you have it all figured out, a test comes along to slip you up!  How wise are you to how many calories you’re consuming? If you have been keeping a food journal, you will probably do well. Take this quiz to see how smart you are at choosing what foods are best for reducing your waistline. Write down the food you think is higher in calories then find the correct answers below.

  1. McDonalds medium French fries OR McDonalds Quarter Pounder with cheese
  2. Two-egg cheese omelet OR two slices of plain French toast
  3. Medium scoop low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt OR one medium, low-fat blueberry muffin
  4. Half cup of granola cereal OR one regular cereal bar
  5. Slice of cheese pizza OR two mozzarella sticks
  6. One cup of cobb salad OR one cup of Caesar salad
  7. One can of regular soda OR one cup of Minute Maid fruit punch
  8. Peanut butter sandwich OR tuna salad sandwich
  9. One ounce of almonds OR one and a half ounces of raisins
  10. One medium brownie OR one Hershey milk chocolate bar

If you got one or two wrong, you have paid attention to the Shane Nutritionist.  If you missed four or more, plan a trip to a Shane Diet and Fitness Resort to brush up on your nutritional education. Shane will give you a personalized nutrition and physical activity plan, and provide more tips on making healthier choices. Contact Shane at 888-732-9034

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Answers:

  1. Quarter Pounder = 520 kcal     French fries = 380 kcal
  2. French toast = 312 kcal     Omelet = 271 kcal
  3. Muffin = 288 kcal       Yogurt = 112 kcal
  4. Cereal = 257 kcal         Cereal bar = 140 kcal
  5. Mozzarella sticks = 302kcal      Pizza = 231 kcal
  6. Caesar = 184 kcal       Cobb = 262 kcal
  7. Soda = 189 kcal      Fruit punch = 90 kcal
  8. Peanut Butter sandwich = 342 kcal      Tuna Salad Sandwich = 267 kcal
  9. Almonds = 172 kcal      Raisins = 129 kcal
  10. Chocolate bar = 210 kcal         Brownie = 129 kcal

Yoga – A Man’s Workout

January 14, 2013 By: consultant 17 Comments

Hundreds of scientific studies on yoga show that it aids in overcoming sleep problems, sinusitis, stress, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, even schizophrenia. Here are some reasons why men should find out what all the Om is about…

• A study published in The Journal Of Urology found that men with Prostate Cancer who practiced 60 minutes of gentle yoga (stretching, breathing, meditation, guided imagery, and relaxation) for one year had eight times less growth of cancer cells than the men who did not do yoga.

• Men experience a lot of stress in their lives. This stress creates cortisol, which stimulates appetite and over eating. This hormone also helps turn those extra calories into belly fat, which releases disease-causing inflammatory chemicals (more prevalent in men than in women). Yoga reduces the production of Cortisol which in turn, controls abdominal fat.

• The majority of Americans who suffer heart attacks each year are men. New research shows that yoga can reduce many heart attack risk factors like high blood pressure, elevated total and LDL (bad) cholesterol and high triglycerides.

• A study reported in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that men who practiced yoga for one hour each day for three months improved every dimension of sexual functioning – libido, erections, satisfaction with performance, and sexual confidence.

At Shane Diet and Fitness Resorts we know that it is much safer to learn by taking a class from a certified instructor.  We don’t recommend that you try to learn from a DVD or book.  The Instructor can look at your flexibility and form to guide you and show you how to use different props to protect you making the experience more ease-ful. To find a good class in your community, ask another man first.  If you don’t know any men studying yoga, ask a woman or visit the website of the International Association of Yoga Therapists.

Remember guys, this is not competitive so don’t rush the results. It is about the poses and breathing exercises helping your mind and your body.  Don’t worry about what the person on the mat next to you is doing. Yoga is a good complement to cardio and strength training. Simply doing a yoga routine 15 to 20 minutes a day everyday will give you discipline, balance and overall fitness while reducing stress and increasing mental focus.Time to find out what you have been missing!

 

Feel Better in a Flash!

January 10, 2013 By: consultant 8 Comments

Is spending time indoors hurting your health?  If you are like most Americans, and I confess that I am, you spend 90% of your life indoors. And the older we get, the less likely we venture outside. Exploring the great outdoors has numerous benefits to our mental/ physical health and our overall ability to stay healthy.  Just think of the trapped miners in Chili when they finally got up to the surface in October of 2010.  Their experience really hit me and I made a pledge to take a walk outside every day no matter what the weather!  It is all glorious and wonderful doing “green exercise”. Just think of the benefits for your health, and weight loss goals!

A study from the Univ. of Essex in England studied the effects of exercising in the presence of nature and its benefits to mental health, so by being outside, your mood will lift as your exposure to light increases. The outside group was more relaxed and cheerful. They breathed a little deeper and their brain was stimulated more.  Removing yourself from the controlled environment of a gym, heighten your senses, improves concentration, challenges your balance, and peps you up.  Another study from Univ. of Pittsburgh showed that you might heal faster and experience less pain when you are exposed to natural light.

By exercising outside, your Vitamin D levels will go up as well.  Research suggests that “D” protects you from osteoporosis, cancer, depression and heart disease. Keep in mind – the lighter your skin tone, the quicker you produce vitamin D, so wear a hat if you are out for a long time, and wear sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide on areas you don’t want to wrinkle.

Take advantage of your lunch hour and take a walk around the block.  Instead of taking a “smoke break”, take a “walk break.”  You will burn more calories keeping warm and being active!  It will get your muscles and blood moving, fill your body with oxygen and clear your head. This will re-charge you to be more productive in the afternoon.  It sure beats a cup of coffee.

I am taking advantage of the snowfall outside my door!  My friends and I are making plans to head to the ski slopes, do some cross country skiing and snowshoeing hikes in the Catskills. Talk about a fat-burning activity – you can burn up to 700 calories per hour snowshoeing and anyone can do it – just walk.

Stop hibernating and get outside! Pull on your boots and take an uplifting walk. Drink in the fresh air, explore the beauty of nature, burn some calories, feel better stay healthy and stay with your weight loss goals.  It only takes a few minutes each day and the benefits are invigorating!

 

Motivation to Reach Your Goals Through 2013

January 7, 2013 By: consultant 9 Comments

For the first time in human history, overeating is now more of a global health threat than hunger.  According to medical journal, The Lancet, more than 3 million deaths in 2010 were attributable to excess body weight, three times the death toll due to malnutrition.

We live in a world of an over-abundant amount of cheap food.  Where gorging at the buffet is a practiced on a regular basis and heart disease and type 2 Diabetes is on the rise among young people. With all of the options out there, why do we make the choices that lead us to illness?  If we just knew how to change our bad habits and move toward healthy lifestyle changes. Shane Diet and Fitness Resorts can help you do just that!  We have lectures and workshops that help you understand how, why and what to do every day to keep you on track. Our counselors help you discover what obstacles are getting in the way of achieving your personal fitness and weight loss goals.

Millions of Americans will try to achieve their New Year’s resolution, pledging to lose weight, spend less money, quit smoking, exercise more…making overnight changes require enormous amounts of self-discipline and support, which can be hard to find. Studies have shown that willpower is a depletable resource. Setting challenging goals can quickly use up your stores of willpower and all your best intentions will fall by the wayside. Here are some tips to staying motivated to creating solid positive changes for 2013.

  • Make tiny goals that can sneak under the radar of you mind. Exercising for five minutes instead of an hour might seem worthless, but you are much less likely to resist it.  Studies show that five minutes here and there throughout the day still adds up. Five minutes today, will lead to 6 minutes tomorrow, to a half hour by the weekend. Motivation is fleeting and the largest barrier to reaching your goals. By taking small steps you will build up your willpower, create new habits and reach success.
  • Search for a deep reason – something compelling – that is the reason for making the changes in your life.  Is it because you want to look good in an outfit or is it a matter of life and death!  Make it long term, like dancing with your child at their wedding, or being able to really play with your grandchildren.
  • Test yourself every week.  Time yourself in a plank on your elbows, or hold a squat hovering above a chair. See if you can increase the time you can hold it every week. How about your balance? Stand on one foot. Too easy? Try to balance on the ball of your foot like a dancer.
  • Drop the “All or Nothing” mentality. You have to discover what is manageable for you. Be honest with yourself and figure out how you can fit movement into your life.  Perform Squats while washing the dishes, raise up on your toes while brushing your teeth, walk the stairs for five minutes during your lunch break, stand while talking on the phone. Don’t overthink it, just find something you can do on a regular basis and don’t get discouraged if you stop – start up again as soon as you can.

Need more help? The Shane Staff is here to provide you with a Success Map to help you reach your diet and fitness goals. We will help get you where you want to go and will give you the tools you need to continue to reach those goals once you leave.

 

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