Ever catch yourself wondering about snacking and ask - “Should I?” If so, you’re not alone and depending on where you look, the answer can be confusing, so let’s clear the air. A recent survey from the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service found that what American’s are snacking on, not snacking itself, may be what’s expanding your waistline. The survey of more than 5,000 adults over the age of 20 found that one-third of empty calorie intake comes from snacks.
Finding your best health isn’t always easy but it’s do-able and worth your time. Understanding your past and present influences, as well as cause and effect helps. We know that obesity and lifestyle choices are at the root of most chronic illness in the US. Yet having that knowledge is only the beginning. Although it seems illusive in our hectic lives, some simple insights and heightened awareness can help you make your best health a reality without the drama.
As a Registered Dietitian at the Friedman Diabetes Institute in New York City, I participate in many outreach events to raise awareness about diabetes. Without a doubt, the most common questions I get during these events are:
“What exactly is diabetes?” and
“Am I at risk for developing diabetes?”
These are important questions to a nation dealing with an explosion of prediabetes and diabetes. So let’s get started by covering the basics and you can follow-up by taking a quick, informative, online test from the American Diabetes Association’s website.
We all want to feel liked, loved, happy. And we should. The US Constitution guarantees the right to pursue happiness, yet most of us think the key to bliss is somewhere outside of ourselves where we’re richer, prettier, thinner, different. Advertisers know this and aim all manner of products, movies and even food packaging at us, implying that we can have happiness by trying the latest quick fix. Even reality shows taunt us with the possibility of overnight fame and fortune – happiness and bliss implied in the story-line. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines bliss as a state of complete happiness – even using words like “paradise” in the definition.
Sounds like quite a destination. So how can you find it?
Each new year brings people to well-intentioned resolutions to eat better, lose weight, get more active, cleanse and more. These resolutions can keep us motivated for weeks, but many are tossed by the wayside within days or even hours. How many of us have joined a gym in January and worked out regularly for a week or two, then don’t make it back for months? Or promise ourselves to stop eating our favorite junk foods only to gorge on them a few days later? Making these sorts of resolutions can be very motivating for a while, but they’re often too big or restrictive to be true goals for lasting change.
This year, how about resolving to eat more healthfully, so that you can nourish your body and life and not just feed it?
Life goes on for us day to day. We get caught up in work, family, friends and another year flows by like water. As time passes we assume our health will be there until one day – an emergency. At iBeamforLife we know the vast majority of chronic health issues are due to lifestyle choices – not genetics. A fair portion of our clients confront health that breaks down after years of neglect.
This is a complex form of self abuse that’s sadly synonymous with American culture and no-one is to blame, yet as adults we are all responsible for making choices about self care each day. If we don’t make the choices that embrace prevention in an effective way – someone else will, often at a hospital during a stressful emergency situation and at a cost much higher than simpler preventive methods. That’s why a periodic reality check-up is so important. The private client stories we regularly hear are poignant, frightening, filled with drama and sadly – preventable.
Can you see yourself or someone you love in what follows?
We all have different holiday traditions. I’ll bet that despite any differences your traditions, like mine growing up, were centered on cooking and eating. As a teen, after seeing my Grandmother’s challenges with Type 2 Diabetes, I became an MS, RD, CDN, CDE – ultimately specializing in patients with diabetes at the Friedman Diabetes Institute. That alphabet of acronyms that usually follows my name these days simply means that I know a lot about diabetes and can help you, with diabetes or not, to ride the holiday train and navigate those fast-approaching plates of food, healthfully.
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Improve your Memory!
Strengthen your Immune System!
All it takes is this… pill?
Did you know that supplements and multivitamins will cure whatever ails you? What, you don’t believe in magic pills? When I was a kid, my parents would periodically decide that I should be taking a multivitamin. The chewables were chalky, and the pills were humongous. I thought surely no one but my parents would ever consider taking one of those things!
I was wrong.
Scientists, she learned, observe, gather information (and specimens, which could account for the 20 different bugs she’s collected in her outside “workshop”), ask questions and then make decisions or come to conclusions.
For a mother continuously gearing up to shield her daughter from those forces that beckon her to develop poor eating habits, this proclamation was one key to my summer strategy for continuing to develop my daughter’s internal compass about food.
Eating out is very American, and in my case nicely linked to my family. As a kid I spent summers with my grandmother who believed in a three-hour lunch at a good restaurant. And to this day, my mother and I do our catching up at our favorite restaurants. Dietitian or not, in my family a restaurant table is equivalent to a kitchen table.