Weight Loss Camp Discusses the Benefits of a Flexitarian Lifestyle

January 2, 2014 By: consultant 3 Comments

I’m sure you’re thinking what is Flexitarianism? Megan Ware, one of our weight loss camps RD’s explains. The newly coined term can be used to describe anyone following a plant-based diet that occasionally consumes meat. Any time you replace meat with vegetables, you are cutting back on calories and gaining valuable nutrients. If weight loss isn’t enough of reason, check this out:

  • It has been estimated that 8% of deaths in women and almost 10% of deaths in men could be prevented if people consumed less than half a serving per day of red meat, according to Adam Bernstein, research director at the renowned Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute.

  • The National Institute of Health-AARP conducted a study on half a million people and found that those who ate the most red meat had a 30% higher mortality rate than those who ate the least.

  • The risk of colon and rectal cancer rises by about 20% for every serving of red or processed meat you eat in a day, according to the National Cancer Institute.

This doesn’t mean you have to become a strict vegan. Start small:

  • The next time you’re ordering or preparing anything from an omelet to a burrito, replace the meat with tomato, spinach, mushrooms, peppers, onions or any other vegetable you enjoy. You can turn any mediocre meal into healthier one using this tip—pizza, spaghetti sauces, wraps, sandwiches, you name it.

  • Go meatless one day per week. Participate in meatless Monday, a campaign launched in 2003 in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The “cut out meat one day a week” program is active in 23 countries and growing! Start by trying this alternative to the classic burger: 

Black Bean Burgers

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 egg

  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped

  • 1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or granules

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Hot sauce to taste

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive or canola oil

  • 6 whole wheat hamburger buns

  • 6 green leaf lettuce leaves

  • 2 tomatoes, sliced

  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

Directions:

  1. Put beans in a large bowl and mash well with a fork. Add egg, yellow onion, bread crumbs, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Mix well to combine then shape into 6 patties.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Arrange patties in a single layer (working in batches, if needed) and cook, flipping once, until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to buns, top with lettuce, tomatoes and red onions and serve.

Nutrition and Cooking Tips:

  • Black beans are included in the family of dried beans and peas known as legumes. They are high in protein and fiber, low in fat, and rich in several essential vitamins and minerals. The nutrients in black beans aid in normal body processes, maintain good health and fight chronic disease.  They are great source of iron and 5 percent of the daily value for calcium. Black beans also provide significant amounts of the minerals magnesium, phosphorus and manganese, and the B vitamins -thiamin and folate, or folic acid.  www.Livestrong.com

  • Make your own whole wheat bread crumbs. Either use stale whole wheat bread or toast up some whole wheat bread and process in a food processor until there are crumbs. Season with herbs.

  • Scoop out the whole wheat bun if serving on a bun. Other options are eating it open faced or on a bed of lettuce.

  • Top your burger with a variety of vegetables.

Nutrition Facts: Calories: 290 kcal Total Fat: 7 g Total Carbohydrates: 47 g Dietary Fiber: 10 g Protein: 12 g

 

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants.” – Michael Pollan

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Shape Up Your Christmas List – From Your Adult Weight Loss Camp

December 12, 2013 By: consultant 15 Comments

Giving or receiving holiday gifts can be a terrific opportunity to bump up a fitness program. The below list of equipment complied by fitness trainers at our  adult weight loss camp supports a healthy lifestyle, well-being and of course weight loss. You can please your health conscious spouse, a faithful workout partner, and even an open minded couch potato.  Need a gift for office buddies?  Turn it into a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year by developing a time to use the fitness gift during the day on a 15 minute break or lunch hour. You can also use this list to drop hints for yourself.

  • Exercise Tubing and Bands are portable and versatile, perfect for toning muscles. A recent study shows, with proper form, tubes and bands are as effective on muscle development as dumbbells and machines. Great for hiding in a desk drawer.
  • Foam Roller uses self-massage and acupressure techniques to get rid of knots, drive out lactic acid, and relax your muscles after a vigorous workout. Using a foam roller increases circulation to soft tissue.
  • Gift Certificate to Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts will be the best gift of all!  You and your buddies and/or loved ones can come together to one of the wonderful adult weight loss camps to recharge your battery, learn better eating habits, and get inspired with fun creative classes to teach you how to use all these exercise gadgets.
  • Heart Rate Monitor comes with a chest strap you wear during your exercise program. It helps you stay within your target heart rate zone for a safe and more effective workout.
  • Kettlebells are a terrific workout tool.  Studies show that you burn around 20 calories per minute, since it combines strength training and cardio at the same time. Great for adding functional fitness to your existing program. Women should start at 8 lbs, men at 10 lbs.
  • Medicine Balls are fun and functional.  Terrific for abdominal work and come in a variety of sizes and weights to add unlimited variety.
  • Pedometers, perfect for your office buddies.  Wear them during the day at the office and see who accumulates the most steps. They also keep you mindful of achieving your weight loss and fitness goals.
  • Running Shoes are a great idea since we tend to keep our sneakers long after they are worn out. Get a gift certificate so they can be properly-fitted and are happy with the styling.
  • Stability Balls are great to use at home and at the office to sit on as well as exercise and stretch with. They come in a variety of sizes to suit your height. Short – 55cc, Medium – 65 cc, Tall – 75cc.
  • Stretch/Yoga Mats can get worn out with lots of use.  It is always a nice thought to find one that is made from recycled or eco-friendly ingredients. Keep in mind the mats thickness – some people appreciate the extra padding.
  • Stretching Strap/Yoga Tie will come in handy to assist with all types of flexibility exercises for a more effective routine. You relax and let the strap do the work.
  • Yoga Blocks are wonderful for someone beginning a yoga class or who does not have a lot of flexibility.  They help you perform certain standing and seated positions intended to improve strength, stamina, and flexibility.

Remember, you can be a positive influence in the lives of the people you care about. Your gift can enhance some ones quality of life and give you another exercise partner to support you as well.  It is a win-win!

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Has Your Weight Loss Diet Gone Stale?

December 2, 2013 By: Guest 7 Comments

Tips To Help Make Weight Loss Successful

Here is a post from Tara Heath, a freelance writer on health and wellness, offers a fun personal take on some common tips and knowledge that she’s found useful in her own weight loss journey.

About three months ago, having indulged in a delightful—albeit, not especially healthy—summer of margaritas, barbecues and yes, I’ll admit it, the occasional GIGANTIC ice cream cone, I found myself standing on the scale in my bathroom and staring at a truly disturbing number. My mind flashed forward to the pending holiday season and I shuddered. I could just imagine all my well-meaning-but-judgmental relatives whispering behind their hands about my new . . . uh. . .voluptuousness.

It was time to go on a diet.

 Weight Loss Diet Tips

I confess I was not especially optimistic. After all, I’ve done the dieting thing once or twice (or seventy billion times). Who amongst us hasn’t? And, while I could usually drum up some impressive motivation at first, after a few weeks I’d decide that I didn’t really need to get all the way to my goal weight. Sometimes I’d manage to keep off the weight that I’d lost up to that point– more often I did not. So, this time, I decided to do a little research and find some changes I could actually stick with.

And you know what? I learned a lot.

For one thing, losing weight doesn’t necessarily mean immediately dropping all the foods I love and replacing them with nothing but salads and skinless chicken breast, nor does it mean hours in the gym every day. Gradual changes in diet and exercise can actually be much more effective, because they’re easier and don’t make you feel deprived and discouraged.  Healthy weight loss takes time.

Here are a few other things I’ve learned:

1. Focus on what you’re adding to your diet, rather than what you’re taking away.

For me, this was really important. In the past, I’ve often struggled because I’ve felt frustrated at having to give up the things I loved and replace them with things I really didn’t love, and I hated always feeling hungry. When I started putting my attention on simply adding more good stuff –like fruit, spinach and healthy smoothies—rather than sacrificing all things yummy, I immediately felt better about the whole concept of dieting.

 

2. Eat when you’re hungry

There are actually two parts to this little gem. One of them, of course, is the need to really stop and examine your motivations for eating. Am I actually feeling hunger, or am I just giving in to that craving for some salty potato chips? However, the second part of this equation was more surprising for me. “Eat when you’re hungry,” means just that: eat. when. you’re. hungry.

When you feel those pangs, stop what you’re doing and take the time to eat. So often we wait until we’re ravenous. And what do you do when you’re starving and faced with a whole refrigerator full of food? If you’re anything like me, you pretty much eat everything in sight– not good for the weight loss thing.

 

3. Choose healthier nighttime snacks

I know. Some people swear that in order to succeed, you can’t eat anything after 6:00. Unfortunately, I’ve just never been able to make that happen. However, I have found that I can choose healthier snacks. Rather than buttery popcorn or a cookie, I’ll have a low-fat yogurt or a fruit smoothie.

 

4. Don’t eat your stress away

Sigh. I am a stress eater. There’s no two ways about it.  Things get crazy in my life and I immediately head for the freezer.  A pint of Ben and Jerry’s has gotten me through more hard times than I care to admit. So, I had to find new ways to deal with my stress. Long walks have proven to be a surprisingly enjoyable substitution for me.

In the end, for me, it’s worth it. Judgmental relatives aside, I want to live a long, full life. According the National Institutes of Health, obesity can cause high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer and perhaps most alarmingly, heart disease, which is the #1 cause of death in America. Simply ignoring heart disease won’t lower your risk. Maintaining a healthy weight, eating well and exercising regularly can dramatically reduce the risk of these problems and so many others. and I like my life– love it, in fact– and I’m not planning on going anywhere, anytime soon.

 

 

Tara Heath is a health enthusiast and freelance writer living in Southern California, and her writing covers everything on personal wellness and lifestyle. While she may indulge in the occasional treat now and then, she makes sure to remember that moderation is everything!

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4 Fad Weight Loss Diets to Skip

November 7, 2013 By: consultant 1 Comment

These days it seems that we are constantly bombarded with new ideas on how we should be eating to lose weight as fast as possible.  Usually fad diets promote rapid weight loss and involve over-restricting certain foods and eating large amounts of other foods.  It’s important to remember that we need an overall balance of the right foods in the right amounts to get all of the nutrients our body needs.  Depriving the body of key nutrients can be very harmful in the long run.  Keep in mind that like most things in life, if a diet sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  The best way to lose weight and become healthier is to eat a well balanced diet along with regular physical activity.

Here are some examples of four popular fad diets that may sound like a good idea for shedding those extra pounds, but are really not good for your body and may even be harmful over time.

1. Baby Food Diet:

Main Principle:  Replace 2 meals and all snacks each day with about 14 jars of baby food, and eat an adult-sized dinner.  The idea is to reduce calorie intake during the day to jumpstart weight loss.

Why it’s not a good idea:  Babies and adults have different nutritional needs, especially in terms of calories, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.  Eating baby food for most meals will not meet the needs of an adult, nor has this diet been proven sustainable, as most adults can only eat baby food for a certain amount of time before tiring of it.

2. The 5-Bite Diet:

Main Principle: Skip breakfast and eat only 5 bites of any food of your choice for lunch and dinner.  No snacks.  The idea is to train your body to be satisfied on fewer calories.

Why it’s not a good idea: This promotes a very low calorie diet, likely below the nutritional needs for the average adult.  This promotes weight loss from water and lean stores (muscle), not from fat.  Also, 10 bites of food each day is likely not anywhere near enough to get enough nutrition for the body each day.  Even the creator of this diet recommends taking a multivitamin and including protein each day to address this issue.  Healthy eating plans allow you to get enough nutrition through food.

3.  Feeding Tube Diet: 

Main Principle: Participants pay to have a feeding tube inserted through their nose and into the stomach, through which they are fed only 800 calories per day and monitored daily for complications.  The tube is worn for 10 days at a time and is heavily promoted for use of brides-to-be.

Why it’s not a good idea: 800 calories through a feeding tube isn’t metabolically different than eating 800 calories of food.  That amount of calories is also very low and can be considered unsafe, especially with long-term use.  There are also many side effects to using feeding tubes, including discomfort, infection, dizziness, headache, dehydration, and more.  Feeding tubes are meant for use in hospitals for patients who cannot eat food orally, and not designed for this type of use.

4.  The 8-Hour Diet:

Main Principle:  Eat whatever you want for 8 hours each day then stop eating for the next 16 hours.  The idea is that extended periods of fasting on a regular basis will promote weight loss.

Why it’s not a good idea: Putting your body in a fasting state 16 hours each day puts the body in a state of stress, which may actually increase fat retention.  Weight loss tends to be from water, meaning it will likely come right back.  Also, what you eat is so important, and eating poor food choices instead of healthful ones during those 8 hours will not have beneficial health impacts on the body, and may cause harm long-term.

 

It is important to remember that there are no miracle diets. Even if one of these fad diets help you lose weight, chances are it’s going to be temporary and could cause other issues. At Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts we focus on the most proven way to lose weight and that is with physical activity and eating healthy, well balanced, nutritional meals. We also provide each of our guests with a personalized At Home Plan to help them reach their weight loss goals even after they leave.

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Weight Loss Camps Talk Fiber

October 28, 2013 By: consultant Comments Off

Fiber Facts: Understanding Food Labels and Isolated Fibers

Did you know that there’s fiber in my ice cream? Or did you know that there’s 3.6 g of fiber in one cup of blueberries? Have you noticed that recently the rise in foods (possibly some you eat on a regular basis) have much more fiber in them than they used to? Here are some of the eye-catching labels that you run into while grocery shopping:

  • ⅓ of Your Daily Needs for Fiber
  • An Excellent Source of Fiber
  • Now With Twice as Much Fiber

Is it true? Did food manufacturers suddenly find a magical way to make all of our favorite foods healthier?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. What happened is that food manufacturers stumbled upon something called “isolated fibers.”  Isolated fibers are insoluble fibers that help with our digestive system. Examples of these isolated fibers are inulin, maltodextrin, oat fiber, soy fiber, modified wheat starch, sugarcane fiber, and polydextrose.

Food labels count these isolated fibers when communicating how much fiber is in a serving of any given food. However, buyer beware, because these fibers absolutely do not lower blood cholesterol levels or reduce the risk of diabetes, like their natural counterparts do. Some of these fibers do help to promote regularity, but not all of them—for instance, inulin does not, but polydextrose might, and oat fiber, sugarcane fiber, and soy fiber almost certainly do. However, any of these isolated fibers can lead to gas and other gastrointestinal issues when eaten in large doses. In fact, any food that contains more than 15 grams of polydextrose must have a warning label stating that “sensitive individuals may experience a laxative effect from excessive consumption of this product.

It looks like if you eat five high-fiber ice cream sandwiches, you have met your goal for the day, but that is absolutely not true. These fibers do not give you the same health benefits, and depending on them to meet your daily fiber needs is not nearly as healthful as eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The trouble is that some people might pick up a package of high-fiber toaster pastry, and decide that this is just as good as whole-grain cereal.  In addition, many of these new high-fiber foods are very high in sugar and Trans fats.

 

Understanding food labels with help from weight loss camps: 

100% whole grain or 100% whole wheat - This means the product contains no refined white flour.

Whole grain - Most of these products contain little or no refined white flour. Look at the label’s ingredient list to see how far down on the list the enriched wheat flour, unbleached white flour, or wheat flour appears—the lower the better.

Whole-grain white - This label usually appears on bread, but it does not necessarily mean anything specific. In the best case scenario, the bread was made with an albino variety of wheat. Most breads with this label contain a mix of whole and refined flour from red wheat. Look for the brands that contain more whole flour, and less refined flour.

12-grain or multigrain - It does not matter how many grains are in a product. It matters how many of those grains are whole grains.

May prevent heart disease - This claim is approved for use on almost any food that is made from at least 51% whole grains, and is low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium.

 

Replacing isolated fibers

Instead of relying on highly processed food products with questionable marketing, you should rely on the following foods to meet your fiber quota, and rest easy knowing that you are certainly helping your health:

  • Oats
  • Oat bran
  • Breakfast cereals, including:
    • All-Bran® Bran Buds®
    • All-Bran®
    • Grape-Nuts
    • Shredded wheat
    • Cheerios®
    • Raisin bran
  • Grains including:
    • Barley
    • Bulgur
    • Kasha
    • Amaranth
    • Quinoa
    • Couscous
  • Polenta
  • Brown rice
  • Whole-wheat breads and pastas
  • All fresh fruits, especially:
    • Dried figs
    • Apples
    • Berries
    • Pears
    • Oranges
    • Dried and fresh plums
    • Raisins
    • Pineapple
    • Bananas
  • All fresh vegetables, especially:
    • Greens
    • Eggplant
    • Green beans
    • Beets
    • Winter squash
    • Broad beans
    • Cabbage
    • Broccoli
    • Carrots
    • Okra
    • Artichoke hearts
    • Peas
    • Corn
  • Potatoes and sweet potatoes
  • Dried beans
  • Popcorn
  • Nuts

 

Difference between whole grain and high fiber

Different grains naturally contain different amounts of fiber. Bran products, for instance, are not whole grain. Bran is an excellent source of fiber, but is not technically a whole grain, because whole grains must contain the bran, endosperm, and germ of the grain.

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Portion Distortion Lesson from Weight Loss Camps for Adults

October 9, 2013 By: consultant 1,600 Comments

Did you know that portion sizes have grown significantly since the 1960’s?  At that time, the average American plate was about 9” in diameter.  Since then it has increased to 11-12”, sometimes even larger! Portion Distortion is one of the big lessons we teach at our weight loss camps for adults. Because most people don’t realize that along with the plate itself, the portions that we put on that plate have grown as well, this is one of the contributing factors of the rise of obese and overweight Americans. Did you know that the correct size of a bagel should be similar to a hockey puck, and a serving of meat should be comparable to a deck of cards?  These portion sizes are significantly different than what we are served in a restaurant, or buy in a grocery store.

 Portion Distorition

Knowing proper portion sizes is crucial to staying within your appropriate caloric range and is key in helping with weight loss.  Be sure to familiarize yourself with what is accurate! Use measuring cups at home when you can, and when packing food for work.  Try picking one meal a day where you always measure out your food. Another option is to measure food one week a month- you’ll notice your portion sizes tend to grow a little during that off time.

When eating out, try to use comparisons; such as a pancake should be the size of a DVD or a potato being similar to the size of a computer mouse.  Portions you receive will almost always be oversized when eating out, so boxing up half of what is on your plate will also help to avoid over eating and then you have an already portioned meal for later!

Knowing the proper portions is important for everyone whether you’re trying to lose weight or not. And being aware of how much you’re eating is helpful to keep track of your caloric intake. At our weight loss camps for adults, we know this is the biggest hurdle for anyone to overcome because most adults are used to the portion distortion that surrounds us all. For more tips and tricks to help out with nutrition and portion distortion take a look at one of the many government funded sites or check out our nutrition page.

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Renewing Your Fitness Goals After Weight Loss Camp

September 13, 2013 By: consultant 11 Comments

IMG_2364I am writing this blog to all past guests. Whether you were with us at one of our weight loss camps this season, last season or any prior seasons, I’d like to re-emphasize your journey.

 
Those of you who have been home for some time, know it can be hard to translate an exercise routine from a structured program like ours to your home life. But I would like to remind you that it is never to late to start fresh. If things didn’t work out quite as you had planned when you returned home, ask yourself, why? What was it that made it hard? What can you take away as a learning experience from previous attempts at weight loss? Is there anything that could help alleviate some of the stress?

 
There is one thing I know about this situation, and that is that there’s no such thing as failure if something can be learned from the experience. Let’s face it, we can always learn something from our mistakes of the past, sometimes, we just have to look a little deeper than the surface. For those of you who have fallen off the fitness wagon, I challenge you to think about the steps that lead you there and take what you can out of them to make you a happier and healthier person moving forward. Then, I would like you to use this information, dust yourself off, get back up and get back in the game.

 
When you joined us, you made a promise to yourself to meet a goal, to get from point A to point B. We want to help you keep that promise to yourself.
So here I am asking you, have you been staying true to that promise? It’s okay to be honest with yourself. If you’re one that has been successful at home or that has not been home long enough to know, use these thoughts to prepare yourself for possible hard times in the future. However, if the transition has not gone as planned, let’s address this. Even if you started the transition smoothly but fell off the wagon recently, how can you change direction and start moving forward again? To better help you at home, we would like to provide you with some tools.

 
The Shane Team and I will be posting regular fitness and nutrition blogs with topics relevant to fitness, nutrition, healthy living and motivation to help you get back on the weight loss and wellness journey. Just like we were there for you at the resorts guiding you, we are going to again be here for you and help you stay on track. We will also be posting fitness challenges, exercises, inspirational thoughts and quotes on our social media pages, like Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest. If you were with us before, it is not too late to dust off the old exercise program, and get started again. Tomorrow is a good day to also start that healthy eating plan, to start incorporating more movement in your day and to build positive thinking into your life. For those who have not been with us before, visit our website.

 
Think you need a refresher? Check out our Weekend Jumpstart Program at our Texas weight loss camp, a great way to help you get back on the road to success.

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

June 26, 2013 By: consultant 43 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.

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

June 21, 2013 By: consultant 10 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.

 

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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

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