But I’m so hungry….
Do you struggle with controlling your hunger? Do you feel like no matter what you eat you’re always starving 30 minutes later? Do you feel like some days you could literally eat an entire cow? I know I have felt like this, more than just once or twice! So how do you combat the urge to eat? Do you just give in and “listen to your body”? Before you dive into that snack 30 minutes after lunch or that second helping at dinner try some of these techniques.
Fill up on liquids. More often than not when we feel hungry we are actually thirsty. Our bodies are remarkable and very smart, but they can get a little confused sometimes. Our brains can mistake the signal for thirst with hunger. So before you reach for that food have a full glass of water (8 oz) or more. Wait about 20 minutes and if you’re still hungry have a snack. During that 20 minute time span don’t lust over the food you are thinking about eating, preoccupy your mind with something else: do dishes, talk with a friend, or read a book. If you concentrate on food, you’ll end up eating it, hungry or not!
Bulk first. When you feel like eating the kitchen sink, start with a huge plate of vegetables. Make a large salad (watch that dressing!) or steam up some vegetables and dive in! The sheer volume of the vegetables will fill you up before you get into the calorically dense foods. Not to mention the water content of vegetables and fiber.  So go ahead, eat a huge bowl of spinach, I dare you!
Walk it out. I think DJ UNK said it best “now walk it out”. Not only will walking create a distraction from your “hunger pain” but exercise also decreases your appetite. Weird, right? We often think that exercising will increase our appetite but it doesn’t. After you finish an intense session at the gym or with one of our amazing personal trainers do you feel the sudden urge to stuff your face? Nope, you’re probably trying to catch your breath, maybe even fighting back the urge to throw up since you pushed yourself so hard. Eating is the last thing on your mind! While a brisk walk is no comparison to a hard workout it will still decrease the urge to eat. Not to mention once you’re done you’ll need to rehydrate with a tall glass of the good stuff (water).
So what if you’ve done all of these things and you’re still hungry? Well then, eat! Your body may just be telling you that you truly are hungry. Just remember, even though you feel like you could eat an entire cow, it certainly doesn’t mean you should! Stick to a well balanced meal with tons of vegetables, complex carbs, and lean protein!

I make a lot of educational handouts for patients to take home with them after we have consults. Around the New Year, people are always super motivated to lose weight. Now that we are 1 month into the New Year, some of you may be losing that initial spark you had, that burst of enthusiasm to get back on track. Don't worry, this happens to a lot of people, but rather than give up and revert back to old habits, try to follow these guidelines I've put together. 

Instead of staring another dead end resolution of weight loss, how about you start the year with a different approach? Start this year with the intent of being HEALTHY this year. For many of us, weight loss may be part of a healthier lifestyle but so is a healthier/happier state of mind and healthy lifestyle choices. Try putting these tips into practice this year to help you reach optimal health in 2012!
A.      Eat vegetables at least 2 times per day. This doesn’t mean you have to eat salad or steamed vegetables for lunch and dinner, get creative! Try adding lettuce and tomato to a sandwich. Blend carrots, onions, and broccoli into your favorite tomato sauce or add fresh spinach to your morning egg sandwich.
B.      Eat fruit at least 2 times per day. Apples, bananas, and oranges are shelf stable fruits that make great mid day snacks to help curb hunger between meals. Frozen berries make a great breakfast smoothie or addition to instant oatmeal for a warm breakfast.
C.      Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. The average American doesn’t drink enough water on a daily basis. Not only does water help curb hunger and prevent dehydration but it also helps keep skin looking young and wrinkle free.
D.     Get 30 minutes of physical activity a day. This doesn’t mean you have to hit the gym or go for a run in the cold. Take a walk during you lunch break or after work at a mall or supermarket, play a wii fit game with your kids, or do a dance video at home. If 30 minutes it just too much time at once, break it up into 10 minute spurts throughout the day.
E.      Get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Sleep deprivation leads to decreased mental clarity and feeling sluggish which means you’re not as efficient at work. A lack of sleep also leads to increased cortisol levels which can result in weight gain.
F.       Take 10 minutes a day to relax and unwind. Between work and kids it seems like we never get time to ourselves. Whether it’s during your shower or before you fall asleep, take 10 minutes to relax, clear your mind, and de-stress!
G.     Smile at last once a day. Smiling is contagious and puts everyone, including yourself in a better mood. We all have things in our life we cannot control, but one thing we can is our attitude! So smile and have a positive outlook at least once a day, it makes all the difference.
H.     Try something new every week. New things are fun and exciting and what’s life without a little excitement? So get out there and try something new like: a new recipe, a new workout, download a new song, say hi to a neighbor on the elevator, read a magazine article, etc.

Happy Wednesday EVERYONE! Remember how I mentioned the importance of phytochemicals before, well here's a handout that talks about phytochemiclas and one that outlines foods you can find them in and how to include the Rainbow in your daily diet! :)

Eat The Rainbow!

Apples, Strawberries, Red peppers, beets, watermelon, raspberries, grapefruit, tomatoes, cherries, guava, cranberries

Oranges, Orange Peppers, Carrots, pumpkin, acorn squash, papaya, mango, orange tomatoes, cantelope, peaches, nectarines, tangerines, mandarin orange

Bananas, squash, pineapple, lemon, plantains, yellow peppers, yellow carrots, yellow tomatoes

spinach, green peppers, broccoli, cucmbers, green grapes, green apples, pears, lettuce, zucchini, celery, cabbage, green beans, avocado, green tomatoes, kiwi, honeydue, limes, okra, snap peas

Blueberries, Blackberries

Figs, eggplant, grapes, plums, purple asparagus, purple carrots, prunes

It’s easy to eat the rainbow every week. If you don’t like the fruits or vegetables plain add them to yogurt, low fat dips, sauces, and soups! Here are some examples:
  1. Fruit with yogurt
  2. Vegetable sticks dipped in low fat ranch dressing
  3. Pizza topped with peppers and mushrooms
  4. Chicken soup with carrots and celery
  5. Pasta with tomato sauce, spinach, and turkey meatballs
  6. Carrots dipped with hummus
  7. Peanut butter and banana sandwich
  8. Ants on a log (raisins and cream cheese/peanut butter on celery)
  9. Baked potato topped with broccoli and cheese
  10. Berry smoothie (yogurt, 100% apple juice, and frozen berries)

The Benefit of Phytochemicals

What are phytochemicals?
            “Phytochemical” is a term used to describe a group of compounds that come from plants. Phytochemicals act as the immune system for plants, they also provide flavor and color to the plant. There are many different types of phytochemicals including: flavanoids, antioxidants, carotenoids, etc.

Why are phytochemicals beneficial?
            Research suggests that phytochemicals help build up the body’s immune system, prevent cancer, lower cholesterol, and prevent cardiovascular disease.

Where can I find phytochemicals?
            Phytochemicals are found in fruits and vegetables. Below is a list of the types of phytochemicals found in various fruits/vegetables and the benefits they are associated with.

Type of phytochemical:
Fruits/Vegetables that contain it:
Benefit to your Health
Dark yellow and dark orange fruits and vegetables. Etc: Squash, pumpkin, oranges, carrots, yams, apricots, cantaloupe, etc.
Helps fight cancer
Diallyl sulfide
Onions, garlic, leeks, chives
Helps fight cancer
Parsley, broccoli, cabbage, radishes, cucumbers, eggplant, potatoes, peas, apples, etc.
Help prevent chronic disease and fight free radicals.
Cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, broccoli, brussel sprouts
Decreases risk of colon, lung, stomach, and rectum cancer.
Soy products
Reduces risk of heart disease. Helps lower cholesterol
Tomatoes, guava, red grapefruit, red peppers
Helps reduce free radicals in the body. Reduces risk of prostate, stomach, and lung cancer
Citrus fruits, mint, peppers, basil, celery
Helps fight cancer

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