Reading food labels is a really important part about knowing what is in our food and what we put in our bodies, but let’s face it – they can be a little hard to understand. Food labels have been around for the last 20 years, and just the other week the FDA announced proposed changes to update and make them more user-friendly.
Here are a few highlights of the proposed changes to the new food label:
- Updated serving size requirements: Food manufacturers will be required to change the serving size of a food based on the size of the package. For example, if a food is commonly eaten as the whole package (such as a bottle of soda), the label would reflect the whole bottle of soda instead of half of it, since most people consume the whole thing. The idea here is to give people a better understanding of what is in the whole portion they normally eat.
- Changing the serving size section to say “Amount per ______” which will be listed in common household measurements such as “Amount per ½ cup.”
- Calories and serving size will be in larger print to make them easier to see and read.
- “Added Sugars” will be a new required piece of information to be listed under the “Total Carbohydrate” section on the label. This will make it easier to identify if the sugars in an item are coming from a natural source like fruit or from another form of sugar (such as white sugar, corn syrup, or other sweeteners).
- Vitamins and minerals at the bottom of the label (such as Vitamin A, C, D, Iron, etc) will be listed in their exact amounts instead of just as a percent daily value.
Here’s what the proposed new food labels would look like:
I’m sure you are wondering when would these changes be in effect? If all of the proposed changes to food labels are accepted, food manufacturers will be required to comply within the next two years.
What does this mean for the consumer, you? Hopefully these changes will help people, including you, have a better understanding about what is in a certain food they eat, and the information will be clear enough to give an idea about how healthy (or not so healthy) that item actually is and how it does or does not fit into a healthy eating plan.
These past two weeks have been a bit of a struggle when it comes to my diet. I have eaten out WAY more than any one person probably ever should in a two week time span (not something I am proud to admit). However, I did do my best to stick with healthy options such as salad and lot of vegetables on the side of my entrees.
I’m sure you are wondering if I know I shouldn’t be eating out, then why did I? One reason was I had friends in town and it was just so much easier to go out to eat than make food for several people. The other reason is that with being so busy, I had not been to the grocery store in about a month. It got to the point where the only thing left in my pantry was beans and pasta!
I literally had to go to the grocery store at 6 am on Sunday because it was the only time I had free and would have enough time to go. I pride myself on being very organized but this semester has just been hectic. I would be pulling out my hair if I could just get one hand free.
On the plus side my workouts have been more than enough to keep my weight steady.
I was able to take a half hour this morning to prepare my food for the day and create a rough workout plan for the week.
I read a quote this past week from one of my favorite celebrity trainers, Chris Powell, he is the trainer for Extreme Makeover Weight loss Edition, and he said…
“You will never have success if you don’t prepare for it.”
That is so true! I cannot realistically expect myself to be successful in my nutrition or fitness goals if I do not prepare and plan for it. If anything, that is just setting myself up for failure. I need to make the effort, whether it’s every day in the morning or for a few hours on the weekend. I need to sit down and plan out my workouts and my meals.
“Exercise is your King and nutrition is your Queen. Together they create your fitness kingdom.”
- Jack Lalane
As much as I wish I could say that this week was perfect and that my diet was flawless, such deceit is not in my nature. I full heartedly believe there are two battle fields in which the war of physical health are fought on: exercise and nutrition.
As a personal trainer, group exercise instructor, and Shane, weight loss camp for adults, intern, most of my day is spent in the gym. Rarely do I have a problem finding the motivation to get in a good workout. My struggle lies on the other battle field, nutrition.
I work (at the gym) and work (at my internship) approximately 50 hours a week. On top of that I am finishing up classes at UTSA so I can graduate in the spring. My typical day begins at 4:45 am and ends around 10:30 pm. I would love to say I have an eating schedule and that my meals are perfectly timed out but that is not true in the slightest. I, unfortunately, have some eating habits that, to put it nicely, need some help.
There are days where I only get to eat maybe two meals because I am constantly training clients, teaching classes, or doing other things for work or my internship. On the other hand there are days when it seems like for the life of me I just can’t get enough to eat. I’m eating food like it is going out of style. I’ll be honest, I do eat healthy food. When I go to the grocery store, the majority of my grocery bill is spent on fruits, vegetables and low fat dairy products. I typically don’t buy candy, chocolate, pastries, ice cream, chips, etc, because having it in my house means I will eventually eat it.
But, as I am sure we all know, it is possible to over-eat on healthy foods too. What I really need is to do my grocery shopping on Sunday morning and then meal prep for the week and write out meal plans. My schedule is not going to change so I need find a routine that will work and make that work to my advantage.
I hope y’all had an awesome week and that you were healthy and productive. Just remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint.
Until next week,
1/29/14- Hey y’all my name is Alyssa and I am one of the two fitness interns at the weight loss resort, Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts in San Antonio! This internship is required to finish up my bachelors degree in Sports and Exercise Science at the University of Northern Colorado. Previously I have worked in the medical field as and EMT and as a volunteer firefighter, all while finishing up school and trying to have a social life. My social life in my last semester of college consisted of working with a football team in Kersey, Colorado where they took the 2A Championship and I earned the title of coach medic. Not only did those boys teach me a lot about fitness but they taught me what working hard can really get you.
Finding an internship was no small task, I sent out over 100 resumes and heard back from the one that I was most interested in first, Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts. I was stoked to get the email back. My now boss Debbie and I set up a Skype call that lasted for about two hours in total, I was thrilled! Then I set up two more calls with the owner of Shane and Jackie who runs the New York weight loss resort. After some fantastic conversations and many questions exchanged I was told I had received my internship at Shane. I am blessed with the opportunity to come to Shane and work with clients who are ready to change their lives.
So now on to the hard stuff, after an injury and extensive rehab I am still not back to the weight I want to be, fitness and being healthy is huge in my life yet my body does not show it. Carrie (the other intern on a journey) and I were both tasked to come up with blog topics, so with the help of some previous clients and the idea of motivating clients, both previous and potential, we decided on taking the Shane journey ourselves, all while going home every night to temptations and trails to inhibit both of our goals.
So as Carrie would say, Challenge ACCEPTED!
These are my starting measurements
Abdomen (U): 36.5
Abdomen (L): 39
Long term goal: To get to a figure athlete’s body figure
Short term goal: To gain back healthy habits all while trimming inches off of those unmentionable places!
1/31/14- Shane Challenge Explained
Unlike most of the guests at Shane I will not being jumping into the program with full force, instead I will get to go home every night to the temptations, have days off and be running around getting intern duties done and classes prepped. I will be following the 1,500 calorie diet, as closely as I possibly can, and working out as often as work allows me. Sounds familiar right?!? The Shane experience I will be putting myself through is one that has been expressed by many clients as the hardest one of all, GOING HOME! Duhn Duhn Duhn.
Doesn’t sound all that daunting right? Well I am here to give you the details of my journey, what I do while I am at work, what my pedometer says, what meals were my favorite, the different temptations during the day and how I chose to overcome them, if I was able to overcome all of the temptations etc.
Today is one, so far I work out, got some work done, dealt with the dogs, they will be explained in further blog topics, and got to work on time, at 12 pm, with my hair still wet! Great start to the first day!! Oh I had coffee and a bowl of cereal for breakfast, sorry Amber!
2/3/14- First day of Nutrition Logging
So this morning I woke up, after a fun night of football (not so much) and a crazy dog incident (gotta love those guys) I decided to take the day while the sun was still in bed and so were the birds. Got the dogs all taken care of with a few tangled leashes, a few curse words and some tripping we all managed to get back into the house safely. Bowls were filled and jowls getting in the way of teeth is the way their typical morning goes, mine on the other hand took a twist. I decided to make breakfast. Looking into what I had normally had for breakfast I thought this would be easy! Until I opened that black abyss, the one that shines so bright and sends false hope to those looking inside, also known as the refrigerator. Daunting task sat ahead, what to make?!? I settled for 3 large eggs, 4 pieces of turkey bacon and a chiobani yogurt for a total of 420 calories go me!
Hi everyone! My name is Carrie and I am one of the two fitness interns at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts weight loss camp for adults in Texas. I am currently in my last semester at the University of Texas in San Antonio (UTSA), planning to graduate in May with a degree in Kinesiology with a specialization in Exercise Since. I am also a certified personal trainer and group exercise instructor. Fitness is my biggest passion, I love it and wouldn’t give it up for the world. Well, that’s enough about me. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty!
Liz, our supervisor, challenged Alyssa (the other intern) and I to use our internship not only as an amazing learning experience but also to set goals for ourselves physically and nutritionally. She asked us to also write a blog about it and see all of the changes that can happen in 13 weeks. As you can see, challenge accepted!
I am so excited to get to have my own Shane experience and share it all with you.
My Goal: I have to admit that I have never been much of a goal setter. Yes, I have a goal weight that I would like to be at and I want to one day run a half marathon, cycle 100 miles in a day, back squat 200lbs, bench press 135lbs and be able to do body weight pull ups. But when it comes to individual weekly goals, those kind of just go out the window.
So my goal for this first week will be to keep doing what I am doing physically but to sit down and come up with a game plan for the next 13 weeks.
Neck — 12.5 inches
Chest — 37.25 inches
Under Bust — 30.25 inches
Navel — 33 inches
Hip (Gluteal) — 44.5 inches
R. Thigh — 27.5 inches
R. Arm — 12 inches
Eat more fruits and vegetables for a healthy heart!
While Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S., many of the risk factors are largely preventable through healthy eating and lifestyle patterns. One of the most important dietary factors often overlooked is our intake of fruit and vegetables. We all hear that eating more fruit and veggies is important, but most people aren’t getting nearly enough of these amazing disease-fighting foods. While the USDA recommends adults consume at least 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables each day, the Produce for Better Health Foundation published findings that the average person consumes only 1.8 cups combined of fruit and vegetables each day, which is less than half of the recommended amounts. In terms of heart health, fruit and vegetable intake is closely correlated with healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, along with reduced risk of heart attacks.
A very important study (The Nurses’ Healthy Study and Healthy Professionals follow-up study) concluded that people who consumed larger amounts of fruit and vegetables had a reduced risk of developing heart disease. In fact, those who had 8 or more servings of fruit and vegetables each day were 30% less likely to have a heart attack than those who ate the fewest servings. Those who ate 5 servings of fruits and veggies still had a 20% reduced risk of having heart attacks.
Not only are fruits and veggies great sources of fiber, vitamins and minerals, but they also contain antioxidants, which are compounds in fruits and vegetables (especially deeply colored ones) that may help reverse cellular damage and may play a role in the prevention of illnesses like cancer and heart disease.
If all of this isn’t enough to get you running to the nearest farmer’s market or produce section of your grocery store, here’s another great benefit of getting in those fruits and veggies: these are some of the best “diet-friendly” foods because they are what we call “nutrient dense” meaning they have very high nutritional value for minimal calories. They’re the foods that are always great to eat more of if you’re still feeling hungry but trying to watch your calorie intake, which is something we tell our guests of our adult weight loss camp. So make a point to add more fruits and veggies to your day to improve your health!
Here’s a fresh, delicious, and heart healthy recipe. It’s a delicious green smoothie we make at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts for a healthy snack or dessert. Our guests love it, and this is the perfect way to sneak extra veggies into your day!
Berry Spinach Smoothie
Makes 4 servings (about 10 ounces each)
- 2 Bananas
- 2 cups ice (preferably crushed)
- 1 cups Blueberries
- 1 cup Strawberries, chopped
- 2 cups spinach (packed)
- ½ cup plain Soymilk
- Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. If needed, ingredients can be added individually if the blender is too full.
Nutrition Info Per serving (about 10 ounces): 115 calories, 24g carbohydrate, 1g fat, 4 g protein, 41mg sodium, 14 g sugar
- Hung HC, Joshipura KJ, Jiang R, et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and risk of major chronic disease. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2004; 96:1577–84.
- State of the Plate: 2010 Study on America’s Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables, 2010.
- Produce for Better Health Foundation. Web. http://www.pbhfoundation.org
There are studies that show that music can fuel your workout. Music is an amazing distraction and can even motivate us to push out an extra 100 calories or dig deep within and log an extra mile or two. Research is also showing that music can change heart rate, impact blood pressure, change metabolic rate, reduce physical fatigue and mental stress. And we keep these things in mind when we are playing music in any of our fitness classes at our weight loss camp. Here is a list of some of my favorite workout music! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! – Fitness Intern Carrie
- Awake & Alive — Skillet
- Monster — Skillet
- The Hardest Ever — Will.I.Am
- Rolling in the Deep — Adele
- Countdown — Beyonce
- Evacuate the Dance Floor — Cascade
- Smooth Criminal — Glee
- Trouble Maker — Olly Murs
- My Heart Skips a Beat — Olly Murs
- Let’s Go — Calvin Harris & Ne-Yo
- Werk Me — Hyper Crush
- Right on Time — Skrillex
- Pyromania — Cascade
- Dinosaur — Glee
- Misery Business — Paramore
- Untouched — Paramore
- Drop it Low – Ester Dean & Chris Brown
- Let it Rock — Kevin Roudolf & Lil Wayne
- Payphone — Maroon 5 & Wiz Khalifa
- Move, Shake, Drop — Dynamic Music
- Thrift Shop — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
What is your favorite music to listen to when you’re working out. Tell us what the song is and why it’s a favorite to work out to.
We’re always looking for ways to eat better and save money. At Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts, our weight loss camp for adults, did a fun little experiment for a quick snack bar that that tastes just like the real thing you’d find at the grocery store. Take a look at the recipe we used for a homemade version of a “KIND” bar.
This recipe is great! It really tastes just like a KIND Bar, and instead of paying $1.50 per bar, Monica Matheny, the author of the post, estimates the cost around $0.44 per bar, which is a huge savings!
This recipe makes 20 bars, so you can wrap them individually in parchment paper and pop them in the freezer for later use. These make a tasty snack or quick breakfast on the go. They are also a great source of heart-healthy fat found in nuts, they contain protein, fiber, and less sugar than many other bars out there. Can it get any better than that? Take some time to have a little fun in the kitchen – find recipes for some of your favorite healthy snacks, try them at home and tell us how they turned out!
According to research, only 20% of jobs in the work force require moderate physical activity. That leaves 80% of jobs that are sedentary or require very little physical activity. Research is also showing that 1 in 3 Americans are obese. Coincidence? I don’t think so! But instead of blaming your job, use it to your advantage. A trainer at our weight loss camp came up with the below tips and exercises to do around the office and get you moving!
1. Make the most out of your commute to work. Walk, run or bike.
2. Walk around the office every chance you get. Instead of emailing the person four doors down, get up and walk to deliver the message
3. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
4. Trade your office chair in for a stability ball. Or stand at your desk instead of sitting.
5. Treadmill Desk – In fact, Mayo Clinic researchers estimate that overweight office workers who replace sitting computer time with walking computer time by two to three hours a day could lose 44 to 66 pounds (20 to 30 kilograms) in a year.
1. Desk Push-up
2. Desk Moutain climbers
3. Chair sit to stand or Squat
4. Knee lifts or jogging in place
Want a workout out of it? Try making the exercises a Circuit!
Grab your phone stopwatch, or a clock. Try completing as many reps as you can of each exercise for 1 full minute. Take a 15 second break in between, and then move to the next exercise. Repeat the circuit 2-4 times and you can get in a quick 10-20 minute office workout!
These days, living without a job is almost impossible, and with that job taking up so many of our waking hours it seems like our personal workout time is always the first thing to go, but now it doesn’t have to. Have fun working out around the office! And if you really want to make it interesting, start a friendly competition with some of your coworkers to see who can get the best workout done around the office.
Do you already work out at the office? If so, tell us what your favorite office exercises are! Or if you’re going to start, tell us how it’s going! We want to know how everyone is doing!
At our weight loss camps, we get a lot of questions about additives in our food. Additives are used to maintain freshness, add flavor, and enhance color. One of the additives very commonly found in processed meats are nitrates.
What is it?
Sodium nitrate is a chemical compound composed of sodium, nitrogen and oxygen. When added to meats it helps preserve the color of the meat, which is important since the meat may not sell right away.
What is it found in?
We typically see this additive in processed meats, such as pepperoni, spam, hot dogs, luncheon meats (like ham and turkey), sausages, and pastrami. It is also in many canned meats. Sodium Nitrates do exist naturally in soil so vegetables and fruits can have trace amounts but not much compared to processed meats.
What are the possible effects?
When consumed, nitrates react in our body to for nitrosamines, which may have a carcinogenic effect (meaning cancer-causing). There are still studies being done on how much it takes to be detrimental to our health.
What are the recommendations?
The general recommendation is to limit processed meats as much as possible. If you still choose to eat processed meats it is recommended not to overcook them especially when grilling because the compounds released in charring may also have a carcinogenic effect. Also pregnant women, elderly, young children and those with a compromised immune system should avoid processed meats.
Cooking fresh meat such as chicken breast, lean beef, or fish is a great way to consume healthy protein sources without having to worry about harmful preservatives or additives.
Not sure where to start? We have created a cookbook to help individuals having the same issue. Meal Simple, the Camp Shane Cookbook offers a variety of recipes for anyone who is wanted to cook and eat healthier food.