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

June 5, 2013 By: office 6 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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Are You Succeeding With Your Exercise and Weight Loss Resolutions?

May 8, 2013 By: consultant 72 Comments

gymEvery 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.

Cardio
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.

Building Strength
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.

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Do Antioxidants Work For Or Against Your Weight Loss Goals?

May 6, 2013 By: amiller 2,515 Comments

AntioxidantsAntioxidants 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.

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Summer Celebrations: Smart Choices From A Weight Loss Camp

May 1, 2013 By: Guest 18 Comments

By: Kim Lomas

summer-picnic-signupThis 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.


Here’s an original recipe from the original weight loss camps and resorts that’s great as a dip with baked tortilla chips, a topping for your fish or just as a side dish:

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!

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A Prescription for Better Health & Weight Loss

April 29, 2013 By: office Post a Comment

aaronyoga_page4outof16Most 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.

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Get Stepping Toward Weight Loss

April 17, 2013 By: amiller 19 Comments

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.

obesity by state map

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.

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A Weight Loss Resort That Knows Green Spring Cleaning Recipes

April 8, 2013 By: consultant 1 Comment

eco-friendly

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.

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Six Must Have Items From Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts

March 28, 2013 By: consultant Post a Comment

apple-weight image

 

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.

 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

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Can Physical Activity Help With More Than Just Weight Loss?

March 21, 2013 By: amiller Post a Comment

YogaFIXEDDid 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.

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Is The Mediterranean Diet A Weight Loss Diet?

March 14, 2013 By: amiller 20 Comments

Mediterranean Diet PyramidWe’ve all heard of and maybe have tried the fad diets like SlimFast, South Beach and Atkins to lose weight. But they all seem to have some major nutritional holes in them that aren’t good for you in the long run. Recently, here at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts, we have received a lot of questions about whether or not the Mediterranean diet is good for weight loss and the answer is, no. But, the Mediterranean diet is good for heart health.

According to an article from the Mayo Clinic, the Mediterranean diet focuses on getting plenty of exercise; eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts; replacing butter with healthy fats like olive and canola oil; using herbs and spices to flavor foods rather than salt; limiting red meat consumption to a few times a month; eating fish and poultry a minimum of two times a week; and drinking red wine, in moderation of course. They found that following this way of eating wasn’t necessarily correlated to weight loss but helped lower heart disease and other heart related problems.

How to get started:

  • Eat your fruits and veggies and switch to whole grains: Your meals should consist of a variety of plant based foods that are minimally processed and bought in season. The goal is nine to ten servings of fruits and veggies a day. Start eating whole grain bread, cereal, rice and pasta products.
  • Get nutty: Almonds, cashews, pistachios and walnuts are great to have on hand for quick snacks, plus they are filling. Instead of buying peanut butter that has hydrogenated fat, buy a natural peanut butter.
  • Leave butter behind: Use olive and canola oils for cooking instead of butter or margarine.
  • Spice up your life: Instead of using salt to season your food, use herbs and spices. Not only will they help make your food taste good, they contain health enhancing substances.
  • Go fishing: Eat fresh fish a couple times a week. Stay away from fried fish, unless it has been sautéed in canola oil.
  • Replace red meat: Switch red meat for fish or poultry. When you do have red meat make sure the portions are small and that they are lean cuts. Avoid high fat meats like sausage and bacon.
  • Focus on low-fat dairy: Consume more skim milk, fat-free yogurt and low fat cheese.
  • Raise your glass: Having a glass of red wine at dinner has been shown to help lower heart disease. As long as it’s okay with your doctor, it’s okay with the Mediterranean diet.

Approximately 30 percent of heart attacks, strokes and fatalities from heart disease could have been prevented in high risk patents if the individuals had changed their diet to follow more closely with the Mediterranean diet.

The New England Journal of Medicine conducted a clinical trial to see its effects on various heart risks. They ended the study early, due to the startling results. They found that the Mediterranean diet did indeed improve the heart health of the individuals participating and that it was not necessary to continue the trial.

The important thing to remember when changing your eating habits, whether if it’s to improve heart health, lose weight or both, make sure you are getting the nutrients you need. Do some research and find some recipes before you start and you’ll have all the tools you need to be on your way to a healthier heart and life.

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