Incorporate Whole Foods Into Your Diet & Help With Weight Loss: Part Two

June 26, 2013 By: consultant 2 Comments
Food

Wheatberry Salad made by guests at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts New York location during a cooking demo.

By: Megan Ware, RDN, LD

We’ve all heard of all the studies done that describe the benefits of vitamins and antioxidants when consumed in a food, especially when consumed while working toward weight loss. But for some reason, whenever those same vitamins or minerals are isolated and studied in supplement form, they never seem to show the same positive results. Why is that?

Nutrition science is still in its early stage and we don’t know all of the components that are in a whole food that make it healthy. We are always discovering new components of foods that we didn’t know existed. When there is a health benefit or protection from various diseases that we get from eating certain foods, it could be due to the natural combination and interaction of all of the different and unique nutrients and proteins that each food naturally contains. Attempting to extract a single nutrient and consuming it by itself does not have the same effects. This is one of the best benefits eating whole foods has. By eating a whole food, you’re getting the natural synergy of all of these nutrients together.

Another benefit of whole foods: they’re cheaper! The more processed foods are, the higher the manufacturing cost, therefore making the food cost higher. For example, a whole potato is going to be cheaper than a bag of potato chips. Just remember, processed foods are made for shelf life, not human life! Food manufacturers spend abundant a lot of time, money and research on ways to lengthen the shelf life of their products, with little attention paid to how the processing will affect our bodies.

A lot of people have the misconception that eating healthier means they can only shop at expensive health food stores. But here’s a secret, you do not need to spend a fortune to get whole foods, and you certainly don’t need to shop at health food stores. Visit your local farmers market or buy produce in season from your local grocery. For instance, citrus fruits are cheaper in the winter months because that is their natural season.

You do not need to cut out all processed foods from your diet. The goal is just to decrease the number of processed foods you eat and increase the proportion of whole foods, always keeping in mind the 1st pillar of nutrition at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts weight loss camp is, balance.

Incorporate Whole Foods Into Your Diet & Help With Weight Loss: Part One

June 21, 2013 By: consultant 3 Comments

By: Megan Ware, RDN, LD

The terms “whole foods” and “clean eating” are big buzzwords these days, but what exactly are whole foods and why should you be eating more of them, especially if we are working toward weight loss?

A whole food is a food that has been processed or refined as little as possible and is free from additives or other artificial substances. A strawberry is a whole food. A potato is a whole food. Apart from being grown, dug up and shipped, a whole potato is as unprocessed as possible, available for consumption in its most natural state.

Whole foods like potatoes or strawberries may be organic or locally grown, but not necessarily. A whole food is simply a food in its most natural state, with all of its nutrients intact.

The opposite of whole foods are highly processed foods. Let’s take the potato chip for example. Once the potatoes are harvested, they are sent to a processing plant where they are inspected, placed on a conveyer belt, peeled, washed in cold water and impaled into paper-thin slices. The slices then fall into a second cold-water wash that removes the starch released when the potatoes are cut. The potato remnants are chemically treated to enhance their color and passed under air drying jets as they flow into troughs filled with hot oil for frying. Excess oil is drained and the chips begin to cool. Flavored chips are passed through a drum filled with powdered seasonings. Then the packaging process starts. I’m not going to bore you with those details, but I think you can see the difference between eating a whole food, a potato, that was simply grown and harvested, and a processed food, a potato chip, where many of the nutrients the original food had are lost in the refinement process.

Let’s put this in perspective of our normal every day lives. On one end of the spectrum you have someone who grows their own fruits and vegetables, has their own chickens that hatch their own eggs, and raises their own livestock that eats hay from their pasture and drinks the water from their creek. This person knows exactly where all of their food comes from, the components of each food, and any processing that their food endures takes place in their own kitchen.

At the other end of the spectrum is the person who grabs dinner from the fast food drive-through, as 25% of Americans do daily. They have no idea where their food came from, what kind of processing it went through, or how it was cooked or prepared.  The meat in a single fast food burger could come from dozens or even hundreds of cows from all different regions and processing plants. Chemicals, additives and preservatives are added to processed foods so that they will last for as long as possible without affecting the flavor of the food.

Not all of us have the ability to be self-sufficient and grow our own foods, but we all have the ability to get more involved in our meal preparation. We can set aside time at the beginning of each week to pick out a few recipes, buy locally available produce from our grocery or farmers market, plan our meals for the week and really take initiative to know where your food is coming from and how it was prepared. And what better way to do this then to buy and prepare it ourselves?

A cooking demo at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts New York teaching the guests of our weight loss camp how to make their own black bean salsa from a variety of whole foods: tomatoes, limes, beans, parsley, onion, cilantro and garlic.

A cooking demo at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts New York teaching the guests of our weight loss camp how to make their own black bean salsa from a variety of whole foods: tomatoes, limes, beans, parsley, onion, cilantro and garlic.

When you are dining out, don’t be afraid to ask questions. How was this fish prepared? Was it doused in oil or butter? Is it farmed or fresh-caught? The lesson here is that the more involved you are in your food, the healthier your meal will be, and your body will thank you for it, whether you’re working on weight loss or not.

 

Surprise Dad With A Healthy Fathers Day Meal By Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts

June 10, 2013 By: consultant 1 Comment

Father’s day is fast approaching, and what better way to celebrate his day than with a healthy take on an all American favorite, a steak! Here at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts, we all know how much we enjoy grilling and especially in the summertime, but it’s important to keep in mind a healthy balanced diet should also be incorporated. Balance the meal by including steamed vegetables that can be prepared in foil on the grill as well, or make a rainbow cherry tomato salad topped with a little balsamic vinegar. Let’s not forget about dessert; think of including something cool and refreshing such as fresh watermelon, fruit salad, or Greek yogurt parfaits. Even on holidays you should be able to include all your fruits and veggies!

This recipe makes four so it’s perfect for a nice family lunch or dinner that the whole family can enjoy and take part in preparing together.  If you use spinach as the leafy green you are sure to get one iron packed meal. And don’t forget that if you have leftovers you can simply slice the steak and prepare a lunch sandwich for the following day or include it with a fresh salad.

Recipe adapted from EatingWell.com

Recipe adapted from EatingWell.com

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon whipped or regular butter, slightly softened
  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives, or shallot
  • 3 teaspoons minced fresh oregano, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest, divided
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic, (1 minced, 1 peeled and halved)
  • 1 pound filet mignon, about 1 1/2 inches thick, trimmed and cut into 4 portions of about 3 oz.
  • 4 slices whole-grain bread
  • 4 cups spinach or other leafy green of Dad’s choice

 

Preparation

  1. Preheat grill to high.
  2. Mash butter in a small bowl with the back of a spoon until soft and creamy. Stir in 2 teaspoons oil until combined. Add chives (or shallot), 1 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover and place in the freezer to chill.
  3. Combine the remaining 1 teaspoon oil, 2 teaspoons oregano, 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper, rosemary and minced garlic in a small bowl. Rub on both sides of steak. Rub both sides of bread with the halved garlic clove; discard the garlic.
  4. Grill the steak 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Grill the bread until toasted, 30 seconds to 1 minute per side.
  5. To plate: Divide leafy among 4 plates. Place 1 toast on each serving of leafy green and top with steak. Spread the herb butter on top of the steaks and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

 

Nutrition

Per serving: 303 calories; 14 g fat ( 5 g sat , 6 g mono ); 80 mg cholesterol; 15 g carbohydrates; 29 g protein; 5 g fiber; 438 mg sodium; 462 mg potassium. Nutrition Bonus: Zinc (46% daily value), Selenium (44% dv), Vitamin C (28% dv), Iron (17% dv). Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2 Exchanges: 1 starch, 3 1/2 lean meat, 1 fat

How to Ride Out Dangerous Heat Waves While At Weight Loss Camp or Working Out

June 5, 2013 By: office 2 Comments

Expert Offers Tips on Using The Body’s Own Cooling Mechanisms To Stay Safe During Hot Weather

How-to-Avoid-Summer-Heat(HealthDay News) — Extreme summer heat can be more than uncomfortable, it can be deadly, especially when you are working out or attending a weight loss camp.

Since 1979, about 8,000 Americans have died from heat exposure, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those most susceptible to extreme heat include the elderly and the very young, people with chronic diseases or mental illness, and those taking diuretics or blood pressure medications.

But young and healthy people are also at risk if they do physically strenuous activities in hot weather, according to researchers.

There are a number of ways to prevent overheating and protecting yourself and others from heat exhaustion and heat stroke, said Dr. Larry Mellick of the emergency department at MCGHealth, an academic medical center of the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta:

 

  • Schedule outdoor activities for early morning or early evening.
  • Take regular breaks in shady areas or indoors so that your body’s thermostat has a chance to recover.
  • Avoid direct sunlight whenever possible. Always use sunscreen to reduce the heat your body absorbs and to limit moisture loss. Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and a wide-brimmed hat. People who work in the sun should take frequent breaks and not push themselves too hard.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. If you’re doing heavy exercise in the heat, drink two to four glasses of cool fluids each hour. Even when you’re swimming, you need to drink plenty of water.
  • Don’t eat a heavy or hot meal before going outside in hot weather. Doing so will heat your body faster.
  • Avoid liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar — they may cause you to lose more body fluids.
  • If you’re not used to exercising in hot weather, begin slowly and gradually increase your pace. If your heart starts to pound and you’re gasping for breath, stop your activity; find a cool or shady area and rest.
  • During hot weather, monitor the condition of family, friends and co-workers, and have someone do the same for you. During a heat wave, relatives and friends should call elderly people twice a day to ask how they’re doing.
  • If you have air conditioning, try to stay inside. If you don’t have air conditioning, go to a public place that does have it. If you don’t have air conditioning and can’t leave your home, a cool shower or bath can help keep your body temperature cool.
  • If you don’t have air conditioning, avoid running the stove or oven on hot days.
  • Call 911 immediately if you suspect that you or someone else has had a heat stroke, marked by a high body temperature, a rapid pulse, dizziness, confusion, fatigue, headache, seizure and/or hot, dry skin that is flushed but not sweaty.

 

For more information visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about preventing heat-related illnesses. As Shane’s weight loss camp we make sure that the safety of our guests comes first. Have other fitness safety tips? Find us on Facebook and ask us, we’d be happy to answer.

 

SOURCE: MCGHealth, June 2010, news release

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