You probably hire someone to do your taxes, so why don’t you hire someone to help you with your diet? Getting expert advice on nutrition may not be as expensive as you think. With all the scientific studies, many people find that figuring out their taxes is easier than finding a daily routine they can stick to and keeps them healthy and can help with weight loss. People with diabetes, digestive disorders, food allergies, heart disease, weight problems, and cancer may especially benefit. Your health insurance might cover referrals made for medical reasons. Women trying to get pregnant, breast feeding, trying to lose baby weight or going through menopause are also good candidates.
Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts recommends you find a registered dietitian to work with on developing a weekly meal plan, discuss recipes for healthy meals, learn how to understand food labels, and answer your nutrition related questions. Our weight loss resorts Dietitian, Julie Harrington has designed a very user-friendly cookbook loaded with easy, simple and nutritious meals created from the Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts Program. Using this cookbook can also give you lots of guidance and nutritional information. Working one-on-one with a dietitian will give you advice depending on your age, gender, weight, physical activity and medical history. They should also factor in your lifestyle, food preferences and nutrition concerns.
Beware of so-called nutritionists who might try to sell you unnecessary and costly vitamins, minerals and dietary supplements. You should strive to get all your nutrition from food, supplements are often delivered in high doses and the body is unable to process that much at one time. Also food is packaged naturally with other nutrients that enhance absorption of all the good stuff they have to offer.
Regardless of your goals, a registered dietitian will want to know what you usually eat and the times you eat. Try keeping a food journal for a week before your first visit and take pictures of your meals, too. That way the dietitian will know your portion sizes.
Your health insurance, including Medicare, might cover referrals made for medical reasons. This is particularly true for people with diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and digestive and obesity issues.
How well your body functions relies on the fuel you give it. You are important, so take the time and effort to be good to yourself. Lead by example and show your family and friends that you respect yourself by eating healthy not only for weight loss but for your overall health. Help is there for you, so take advantage. Not sure where to start? The Nutrition Staff at Shane are here to help you become the best you can be!
Every year exercise and weight loss are ranked as the top New Year resolutions that people make. Were you one of them? Whether you’re looking to drop a few pounds, tone up those muscles or improve your overall health, creating a gym in your house can give you the comforts of home while not having to worry that you don’t have time to get to the gym.
Here are some low cost items that are handy to have around the house as well as ideas on how to use items you may already have.
Pick up a good sturdy and fairly heavy jump rope at your local sports retailer. If you are planning on jumping rope indoors, make sure you have at least a nine foot ceiling, if not, head outside! Jumping rope burns approximately 110 calories in just 10 minutes. Change the speed at which you’re jumping to create interval training and to ramp up your cardio experience.
If you are looking for a lower impact cardio workout, head out doors. It is recommended that people walk 10,000 steps a day to maintain their weight. By clipping a pedometer to your belt will help you know how close you are to the 10,000 steps a day. Take the jump rope with you and try connecting with your inner child and skip down the street; trust me, it’s fun.
While you are out grabbing the jump rope you can pick up a few low cost free weights and they can be easily stored under your bed. For a change from weights, get a kettle bell. In just 20 minutes, you can burn up to 400 calories and get firm all over. There are plenty of online videos to assist you in creating a routine.
If weights just aren’t your thing, a rubber resistance band, which mimics machine moves, can help target back, hip and inner thigh muscles as well as biceps, triceps and shoulders. Most come with a door attachment or handles for you to change up your routine.
Many household items can easily be used for exercise too. Rather than purchasing hand weights, use gallon sized milk jugs filled with water and that can be used for any exercise that requires dumbbells. Adjust the amount of water in the bottles and you can change how heavy the weight is.
One of my all time favorite pieces of equipment is a stability ball. You can get creative and do many different exercises to flatten the belly, work out the back muscles, do pushups and much more. Of course, when all else fails, there are always the basic body-weight exercises, most of which only require a bit of empty space on the floor or wall. Squats, push-ups and jogging in place are all great ways to work up a sweat and burn calories and they don’t cost a penny to do.
Use these simple tips to help keep you on track with your exercising and weight loss resolutions. Have fun with your exercise routine, utilize free weight loss tools and there’s never any reason why you can’t succeed. If you have questions on how to make your home a gym and using things around your house, just ask! Our Fitness Coaches are always willing to help.
Antioxidants have been popular in the world of weight loss lately and we have guests at our weight loss camps ask us if antioxidants are as beneficial as everyone is making them out to be. The answer is, it depends. Here are six myths and truths about antioxidants provided by ConsumerReports OnHealth to explain what we mean.
Myth: Antioxidants are all vitamins
Truth: There are thousands of antioxidants and only a limited number of them are vitamins. Antioxidants have the ability to block free radicals. Free radicals are unstable chemical fragments that cause damage throughout your body and can cause abnormal cell growth and reproduction.
Myth: All antioxidants are created equal
Truth: According to Jeffrey Blumberg, Ph.D. and director of the Antioxidant Research Lab at Tufts University says, “Different antioxidants fight different free radicals.” But what’s nice is that all antioxidants work together like a well oiled machine. For instance, vitamin C recycles vitamin E, meaning that when vitamin E blocks a free radical, vitamin C takes the remaining vitamin E and changes it back to its original antioxidant form.
Myth: Be sure to eat pomegranates, berries and other super fruits
Truth: There is no official definition of a ‘super fruit.’ It can mean whatever someone wants it to mean, therefore it does not hold any significance. All fruits and vegetables have a unique blend of healthy components and some of those include antioxidants. By only focusing on ‘super fruits,’ you are missing out on a variety of other beneficial fruits and vegetables.
Myth: You should amp up your intake with supplements
Truth: Don’t focus on supplements when you can get the nutrients you need from food. Clinical trials have shown that consuming nutrients in supplement form does not produce the same results that found when consuming them in foods. Why waste your money on a single supplement that may work when you can buy foods that can provide multiple nutritional benefits?
Myth: If some antioxidants are good, more is better
Truth: We’ve all heard the saying that “there is no such thing as too much of a good thing,” that saying does not apply to nutrients in supplement form. There has been some evidence to indicate that when taken in megadoses (which many supplements come in) it can cause antioxidants to become pre-oxidents which may actually increase the production of free radicals. The opposite result of what antioxidants are intended to perform.
Myth: Packaged food with labels that promise antioxidant benefits will boost your health
Truth: Just because a package advertises antioxidants, does not mean that they carry a health benefit as well. Since antioxidants are desired by consumers, manufacturers will add vitamin C or E and then advertise that their food contains antioxidants. They do this in hopes to drive up the sales and price of their product but in turn do not yield the benefits that consumers expect. Some products may already contain the antioxidant and the manufacturer is not even adding anything to the product.
We are still discovering more about how antioxidants work within our body so the best advice we can give you to promote a healthy diet and help you achieve your weight loss goals is to make sure that you eat a variety of fruits, veggies, whole grains and legumes every day. Sometimes staying true to eating a balanced diet of whole, natural foods is still the best way to go.
By: Kim Lomas
This summer, you’ll likely be invited to a picnic, barbeque, birthday or graduation party. As joyous as these occasions may be, they are always surrounded by tempting treats and not so healthy foods to choose from. Here are some simple tips, from the original weight loss camp, to follow and help you create a balanced and nutritious plate:
- Avoid macaroni and potato salads that are often loaded with mayonnaise and full fat sour cream. Instead go for leafy greens or a ½ cup of bean salad
- Skip the meats and proteins smothered in thick sauces that add extra calories and sugar to your meal. Reach for grilled chicken or steak with the fat and skin trimmed instead
- Fill up on fresh choices like raw veggies and spice up sandwiches with low calorie toppings such as pickles, mustard, lettuce, tomato, onion and peppers
- Brownies and cookies are full of butter and sugar. Grab some fruit salad with a spoon full of yogurt dip to curb your sweet tooth craving
- Don’t completely deprive yourself. Party foods are delicious and having a taste won’t spoil your day. If grandma’s homemade macaroni is your favorite, just take a small fork full or two. This way you can enjoy the taste without having a full serving and move on to the rest of your healthy plate
- Bring your own specialty! Whether it be a dip, dessert or a main dish, bringing your own creation allows you to control what ingredients go into the dish and you’ll feel good about what you’re eating without anyone having to know your being health conscience
- Keep busy. Don’t linger around the serving table and be tempted to pick at the foods sitting out. Make sure you catch up with all your loved ones, play with the kids or ask some guests to go for a walk and enjoy the summer weather
Follow these seven simple steps you’ll have more to celebrate this summer.
Black bean and corn salsa
1 15oz can of black beans
1 15oz can of corn
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
1 Medium red onion
1/4 c fresh cilantro chopped
1/4 c lime juice
1 tbsp chopped garlic
Salt to taste
Drain and combine the black beans, corn, and diced tomatoes. Finely chop the red onion and cilantro and add to mixture. Then add the garlic, salt, and lime juice. Mix thoroughly and let sit in the fridge for an hour for flavors to marinate. Serve and enjoy!
Most of us spend the vast majority of our time inside. According to one government estimate, the average American spends 90% of his or her life indoors, and as we get older we become even more inclined not to venture out. But is all this indoor time hurting our health and weight loss goals?
Spending time outdoors seems to have discernible benefits for physical and mental health. Granted, some are merely by association and can be achieved by other means, perhaps while indoors, but often only with a great deal more trouble and expense. Here are five potential benefits of spending more time outdoors:
1. Your vitamin D levels will go up
Exposing your skin to sunshine — actually, ultraviolet B (UVB) rays — enables the body to make vitamin D, which is why it’s also known as the “sunshine vitamin.” Research suggests vitamin D may have protective effects against everything from osteoporosis to cancer to depression to heart attacks and stroke.
Of course, it has to be sunny out, and there are some snags. Where you live, the season, and the time of day affect how much UVB reaches your skin. The farther you live from the equator, the less UVB radiation you receive. Vitamin D production is affected by age (people ages 65 and over generate about a fourth as much as people in their 20s) and skin color (African Americans have, on average, about half the levels of vitamin D in their blood as white Americans).
Another problem: sunscreens are most effective at blocking UVB light, the part of the spectrum that causes sunburn, but UVB also happens to be the kind of light that kick-starts the generation of vitamin D in the skin.
The either-or of sunscreen and sunshine vitamin has stirred up a lot of controversy and debate between pro-sunscreen dermatologists and the vitamin D camp. But there is plenty of middle ground here: some limited sun exposure on short walks, wearing a hat and sunglasses to protect sensitive areas and the like, supplemented with vitamin D pills if necessary, and liberal use of sunscreen when you are out for extended periods, particularly during the middle of the day.
2. You’ll get more exercise (especially if you’re a child)
Being outside isn’t a guarantee of being active. Still, there’s no question that being outdoors is associated with activity and indoor living is associated with being sedentary, particularly for children. According to some surveys, American children spend an average of 6½ hours a day with electronic media (video games, television, and so on), time that is spent mainly indoors and sitting down. British researchers found that children are more than doubly active when they are outside.
Adults can go to the gym. Many prefer the controlled environment there. But if you make getting outside a goal, that should mean less time in front of the television and computer and more time walking, biking, gardening, cleaning up the yard, and doing other things that put the body in motion. At the Shane Resorts we use the local playground for a fitness class. Give it a shot – do push-ups on a bench, pull-ups on the jungle gym, swing on the swing and really pump with your legs and abs, etc.
3. You’ll be happier (especially if your exercise is ‘green’)
Light tends to elevate people’s mood, and unless you live in a glass house or are using a light box to treat seasonal affective disorder, there’s usually more light available outside than inside. Physical activity has been shown to relax and cheer people up, so if being outside replaces inactive pursuits with active ones, it might also mean more smiles and laughter.
Researchers at the University of Essex in England are advancing the notion that exercising in the presence of nature has added benefit, particularly for mental health. Their investigations into “green exercise,” as they are calling it, dovetail with research showing benefits from living in proximity to green, open spaces. So pack a healthy picnic in your backpack and go for a hike.
4. Your concentration will improve
A study published in 2008 found that children with ADHD scored higher on a test of concentration after a walk through a park than after a walk through a residential neighborhood or downtown area. Other ADHD studies have also suggested that outdoor exercise could have positive effects on the condition. Truth be told, this research has been done in children, so it’s a stretch to say it applies to adults, even those who have an ADHD diagnosis. But if you have trouble concentrating — as many do — you might see if some outdoor activity, the greener the better, helps. Take a break from work in the afternoon and walk around the block. It only takes a few minutes and it works a lot better than another cup of coffee.
5. You may heal faster
University of Pittsburgh researchers reported in 2005 that spinal surgery patients experienced less pain and stress and took fewer pain medications during their recoveries if they were exposed to natural light. An older study showed that the view out the window (trees vs. a brick wall) had an effect on patient recovery. Of course, windows and views are different than actually being outside, but we’re betting that adding a little fresh air to the equation couldn’t hurt and might help.
Take it from us, at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts we often try to find different fitness routines and activities that can be done outside. So take advantage of the warm weather and take your work and play outside. It will do you a world of good with your health and weight loss goals.
By: Maggie Pinque – A guest blogger for Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts
It’s not a huge mystery why so many of us gain weight and have trouble with weight loss. It usually isn’t because we ate too much broccoli. Nah. It could very well have something to do with portion size though, and maybe chocolate. And these are just a few reasons why we search out weight loss camps.
There is an industry newsletter, Nutrition Action, which we subscribe to. Amazingly, it is not dull and it is jam packed with terrific articles. The article that REALLY caught my attention in the April 2013 edition is called, “Fooled by Food” by Brian Wansink. It’s a question and answer article relating to portion size, the types of food we are instinctively drawn to, food on your desk at work or at the dinner table and a myriad of other examples.
Did you know our brains prefer tall to wide. We are unintentionally tricked into thinking that if something is tall, it contains more. So, if I have an eight ounce glass of water in a short, wide glass versus the same exact amount of water in a tall, thin glass, my brain believes I am having more in the tall glass.
When I plate my food, if I use a standard dinner plate versus a salad plate, the same phenomenon happens. In addition, if I put the food on the table, I am more likely to eat more than if I left the food in the kitchen after I served it.
I began a weight loss and fitness journey in January 2012 working with a nutritionist and a fitness trainer. It was most certainly not my first attempt at such an endeavor. As a yoyo dieter I have a few tools in my arsenal, such as the Weight Watchers serving utensils that are a half cup and a full cup serving size and a mandatory food scale. They have made sporadic appearances throughout the years, but now I was all in. I “know” the tricks for guessing portion sizes while out and about. But, I confess; I will give myself an extra teensy bit if I can.
I began to really pay attention to what I was eating, how much of it, and most importantly, why I was eating it. This worked extremely well for months and months. In November, after hurricane Sandy, I found myself off the wagon. Wansick writes about the stress students are under in college and during the holidays.
“We usually assume that people gain weight over the holidays because there is so much food available, so many parties, so many varieties, and all your favorite foods are out. But I’m, increasingly convinced that some of the weight gain is due to the stress of having family visit, having to buy presents, having to finish up projects.
So, we should all be aware that we may be coming under the influence of stress eating, not just having a jolly old holiday time.”
Eureka! An answer to why I was behaving the way I did…which kept up until literally this past Monday. Stress…it makes us crazy in so many ways.
So, how do I make this all stop? Weigh and measure my food. Put cut up veggies in the line of sight in the fridge. Put fruit front and center on counters and the fridge. If I am buying in bulk, portion it out and then put whatever I am not eating out of sight – like in the basement. Use smaller plates. Create ambiance, dimming the lights and listening to soft music actually makes you eat slower and less. “…french fries taste great when they’re hot, but not so great when they’re cold.” You will be satisfied with what you ate because it tasted so much better when it was hot. Low-fat does not mean, “eat more.” Going for a walk after dinner is not an invitation to have an indulgent dessert.
What are we eating? Why are we eating it? Are we really hungry? Being mindful of all of this is probably the single most important hurdle we all have to clear.
For more information you can read Brain Wansink’s book, Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life. Seriously though, you can only be mindless if you are being mindful. And if you feel like you need a push in the right direction, Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts is the right weight loss camp for you. We focus on helping you recognize underlying issues of overeating and how to make changes to help you lose weight and keep the weight off.
A lot of us assume that if we go to the gym and workout at least 30 minutes a day, everything will be okay, but what about the other 23 and a half hours of the day? Studies have shown that as a whole Americans have all become more desk bound meaning that many of us spend the majority of the day sitting down. This is neither helpful with weight loss, nor living a healthy lifestyle.
A study published in 2012 by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that watching several hours of TV and YouTube videos, even if participants engaged in seven or more hours of rigorous exercise, was connected to a higher risk of death, including cardiovascular disease.
We need to do more than just workout 30 minutes a day. One beneficial habit to take up is to walk or use the stairs throughout your day in conjunction with your 30 minute workout. According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, an increasing number of people have started tracking their movement with pedometers (tracking steps) or accelerometers (rate a person moves and the calories used). And according to the Director of the Center for Behavior and Health at Northwestern University, Bonnie Spring, there has been so much focus on making sure we have our 30 minute workout, that we are not focused on how most of us spend the rest of our day.
According to the American Heart Association, a goal for everyone should be to take 10,000 steps a day, a 2010 study conducted by the Journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise; Americans take 5,117 steps a day on average. By increasing our steps, it can help in modest weight loss and better glucose tolerance for individuals at risk of diabetes.
How many steps is 10,000 steps? Dr. David Basset Jr. from the University of Tennessee compares 2,000 steps to walking approximately one mile and climbing 10 stairs is approximately taking 40 steps on level ground.
It has been shown that states with a higher step count have lower rates of obesity, although there is no proof of cause and effect. The map below show the states color coordinated with their obesity level. For example, Colorado is yellow and their average step count is 6,500. Arkansas is orange and has an average step count of 4,500.
Getting started is easy. Get yourself a pedometer or install a pedometer app on your phone like Pedometer FREE GPS + for iPhone. Go through your day like you would any other day and track your steps for a week. Then challenge yourself. If you’re under 10,000 steps a day, work towards hitting that every day. If you are over 10,000 steps, challenge yourself to do more. It’s easy to do; take the stairs rather than the elevator, when going somewhere park as far away from the door as you can, and instead of trying to get everything done in one trip, take multiple. Doing so will not only help you reach the recommended number of steps, but it will help you reach your weight loss goals and achieve an overall healthier lifestyle.
Here at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts, we know that being “healthy” doesn’t always have to refer to what you put in your body, but what you use in your home. You might be thinking “What does a weight loss resort know about green cleaning?” But we care as much about keeping our environment healthy just as much as we care about getting you healthy.
Try these homemade recipes to make your home sparkle by using products you may already have on hand and give the harsh cleaners to someone else.
- Drain Openers/Cleaners: Pour boiling water directly down the drain, not into the basin, twice a week to prevent clogs. Use a drain trap/strainer to catch food and hair. To clean clogged drains, use a metal snake or plunger.
- Floors: Mop with 1 cup of white vinegar mixed with 2 gallons of water to remove dull greasy film. Polish floor with club soda.
- Whitening Laundry: Use dry bleach, borax, or washing soda to whiten. Borax is a good grease cutter is a good grease cutter. Never mix with ammonia!
- Microwave: Mask odors and clean quickly by placing a small bowl with a ¼ cup of lemon juice in the microwave and run it on high for one minute. Remove the bowl and wipe down the interior with a cloth or sponge using the condensation that formed. Repeat if necessary, use some extra warm water or scrape to get any baked on residue that might be stubborn. Don’t scrape the window because it might damage it.
- Oven: Clean often with baking soda or washing soda. Mix 3 tbls. Soda with 1 cup warm water. Wear rubber gloves – washing soda can irritate skin. Rub gently with steel wool. Use oven liners (like tin foil) to catch spills. A small dish of ammonia left in the oven overnight will soften burned spills and can be reused!
- Shower: If you have hard water ; squeegee the doors after each shower and wipe the rest of the stall with a shammy. If you have build-up, use baking soda dissolved in water. If your shower head with rubber nozzles that gets clogged, soak it in equal parts of vinegar and water. If you have a metal one, place the head in a pot with 1 part vinegar to 8 parts water and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Windows: Use 1 cup white vinegar to 1 cup water. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Spray and wipe with a lint free rag, squeegee, or newspaper. It will minimize streaks because it does not leave anything behind.
We may be a weight loss resort but we have tools and tips for more than just to help with your weight loss. So follow these simple tips and you will have a sparkling home cleaned the green way.
Have you ever wondered what product works best for weight loss, pain, an itchy bug bite or non-toxic cleaner? Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts has come up with a list of six must have items that are easy to find and inexpensive. These items will be as valuable as a box of bandages, and ice packs and we’ll explain why.
- Aspirin: Why? It can be a lifesaver in the event of a heart attack. It thins your blood and impedes blood-clot formation. Chew one if you are having a toothache to help you survive the drive to your dentist. It is also still a terrific pain reliever, just be sure to take it as directed and with food.
- Baking Soda: When you forget to buy toothpaste, which we’ve all done, wet your tooth brush and press a small amount into it. Baking Soda is a mild abrasive, and whitens like mild bleach. Brush your tongue too and you will have fresh breath. Baking soda and a sponge can also be used to clean your basin, tub, toilet and tile.
- Banana Peel: You know the banana itself is good for you, but did you ever think of what you can do with the peel? Use the inside of the peel to shine shoes, then buff. Add the peel to a roasting pan to help tenderize meat.
- Cigarette Rolling Paper: You can buy a package of 100 for $1.00. Use them to help stop bleeding cuts from shaving accidents and keep a package in your purse to blot your skin when it gets oily or blot your lipstick.
- Measuring Tape: Working toward weight loss? Take your measurements every six weeks. Measure your upper right arm, your waist at belly button height, your hips and your right thigh. Sometimes the scale doesn’t budge, but your size does. This could be the motivational push you need to keep you heading toward your weight loss goals.
- Witch Hazel: Pour some onto a wash cloth to cool and tone skin. It can take the red out of rosacea flair-ups, and help reduce the size of your pours. A cloth with witch hazel will also relieve discomfort from hemorrhoids and reduce the sting and swelling from bug bites, too.
We have all found ourselves in one of these six binds and having these must have items will help ensure that you are never caught in that situation again. Here at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts, we think that it’s key to always be prepared. And by making sure that you have these six items on hand at all times will help ensure that you’re always preparedSix for any situation from helping with weight loss to brushing your teeth.
Did you know that regular exercise not only makes your body fit, but your mind and spirit too? It can help ease anxiety, stress, and depression; as well, as boost your self-esteem and energy levels. People who exercise more also tend to eat more nutritiously. In a study of 278 adults ages 60 and older, those with depression had a lower intake of fruits and vegetables (the main sources of antioxidants) and a lower intake of dietary antioxidants overall compared with those who weren’t depressed. Studies have also shown that individuals who are stressed tend to not only consume lower amounts of antioxidants. But individuals also tend to consume more food overall, which can make it very difficult for weight loss, which can in turn cause more stress.
You only need to exercise for a minimum of 20 to 40 minutes, this amount of time is better for reducing anxiety and increasing energy than shorter bouts of exercise. Choose any exercise you enjoy and you’ll be more likely to make it a habit. It’s easy, just taking a brisk walk outside clears your head, helps you absorb vitamin D (another depression fighter) and relieves tension. Studies have shown that if you incorporate walking into your fitness routine, you are more likely to stick to it.
These strategies can help you incorporate exercise a part of your routine:
- Enjoy exercise by keeping it at a level that is comfortable for you
- Maintain a regular schedule – exercise before work or at lunch. Try joining a class, basketball league, cycling club, or other group
- Change your outlook. Focus on the positives, like how it gives you more energy and can help reduce stress in addition to helping with weight loss
In addition to reducing stress and helping with weight loss, staying physically active as you age may also prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and other memory disorders. In one study, older adults who spent a decent amount of time on mentally challenging activities had about half the risk of developing Alzheimer’s as those who rarely engage in physical activities. This test also included brain-saving activities like playing cards, or checkers, reading, working crosswords, or other puzzles and visiting museums. Just remember if you are doing anything seated for long periods of time, get up and move around every hour or so to keep your blood flowing.
Another mental and physical challenge to explore is orienteering – a race in wilderness navigation using a map and campus. Visit their website for information, events and resources. Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts Instructors have a lot of mental and physical challenges to keep you motivated and moving.