The dos and don’ts of Kidney Stones

Your kidneys are vitally important to your body.  They act as a filtration system sending good nutrients to your bloodstream and poor nutrients and waste to your bladder.  They can get mighty irritated and mad when you don’t drink enough water and cause all kinds of havoc.  This havoc is showing up in teenagers more frequently in an increased number of kidney stone reported.

So I wanted to review a few do’s and don’ts for kidney health:

 

DO drink lots of water EVERY DAY – aim for 10 eight ounce glasses a day.  Clear urine is the ideal, think Bud Light Color.

 

DO NOT cut back on dietary calcium intake.  Low Calcium increases the risk of kidney stones

 

DO limit sodium intake to 1500mg daily.  Watch the biggest sodium bombs in restaurant and take out food.

 

DO eat more fruits and vegetables.  These help create urine that is less conducive to kidney stones

 

DO loose weight and then maintain a healthy weight.  Obesity changes the acid levels in the urine, which causes stones not to dissolve or break down easily.

 

DO NOT overdue the soda, sodium or caffeine in your diet daily.  These are common culprits for kidney stone formation.

 

sources: Dr. Ledgerwood, South Carolina Kidney Study; Grow – Parker Adventist Hospital Magazine, Spring 2018

 

The Hard Truth About Weight Loss

I wanted to weigh in on the timing of weight loss the right way.  The honest truth is weight loss takes time.  How much time you ask, depends on your individual situation.  What works for one person, your friend perhaps, may not work for you.  You are your own unique being.  You have your own set of circumstances, challenges and talents.  Thus, your body has it’s own schedule for weight loss.

I will tell you that no matter the length of time, the effort you put into weight loss will come back to benefit you.  During the first few weeks, months for some of you, amazing transformations are happening inside your body that you cannot view with the naked eye.  Every cell in your body is leaning and preparing for change, mitochondria are gaining efficiency in energy production and your gut is building up healthy bacteria.  These are the first steps in preparing your body for weight loss.

“What we acquire without sweat, we give away without regret”

This little phrase has helped me remember that I have to “work” for results.  They are WAY more meaningful if I have worked to make them happen then if they came easily and without effort.  The self confidence gained from, “I did it,” is much more valuable and meaningful.

I agree with this recap on the time and effort it takes to achieve weight loss from several trainers at http://www.myfitnesspal.com article this month:

“You probably already know it can take a while to see the benefits of working out and eating healthy, but knowing something and accepting it are two different things. “Many clients will join a fitness program only to terminate too soon,” says Michael Piercy, MS, certified strength and conditioning specialist, owner of The LAB and IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year 2017. Think about it this way: “The weight that you might want to lose didn’t get there in one day, so we know that it won’t come off in a day.”
Plus, there’s the fact that losing weight really quickly isn’t a great idea. “The faster you lose weight, the more likely it is to come right back (plus some) when you stop dieting,” says Christel Oerum, a certified personal trainer and diabetes coach. “When you lose weight too quickly, you also decrease your body’s metabolism, meaning that you burn fewer calories. When you have reached your weight goal and go back to a normal, healthy diet, you may have decreased your metabolism so much that even a ‘normal’ diet will make you gain weight fast.” That’s why slow and steady is the best approach, which means 1–2 pounds of weight loss per week maximum.” – 8 Things Trainers Wished Everyone Knew About Weight Loss Article

 

 

New Way to Enjoy Vegetables

If you like pickles, then you have to try this new vegetable snack! I know many of you struggle to find a vegetable you like and one that will fit into your eating.  I just discovered these little bags of pickled vegetables at my store this week.  While I don’t recommend they be the only vegetable you eat, occasionally, they are a decent product to throw into the mix.

Oh Snap Snap Peas

Oh Snap Green Beans

They are perfectly portable and taste good too.  The sodium content is a little higher than ideal, but for a picky veggie eater, not bad.  They were in the refrigerated section at Super Target.  They are also for sale at Sprouts.  If those stores are not near you, check out this link for store locations:       https://www.glkfoods.com/store-locator/

Flat Tire Syndrome

How familiar does this scenario sound to you?

You woke up this morning with great intentions, new day, new start.  You downed a glass of water as you cooked breakfast.   You ate a healthy breakfast of eggs, oatmeal and fruit.  At lunch , you erred on the side of grilled chicken with a huge plate of salad (even though I wanted to add in the sugar laden cranberries and opt for the fried chicken).  Dinner was a quick meal of steak and vegetables before running out the door for an evening packed with carpool, and activities or errands.  When you arrive home, tired and hungry later that evening, you open the bag of Oreos and finished off the whole first row.

Can you relate?  You are not alone. The average person makes over 200 decisions about food everyday?  It is really a lot!   Each one of those choices can support or hinder your weight goals.  Some days you get all the choices right 100%, and others you veer off course.  Mindfulness is a BIG part of a healthy diet.  Remembering that life is about balance and not perfection.  Being honest with yourself is also key.  Being aware of all the food choices you make each day and how they impact your total caloric intake is important.  Merely consuming an extra 100 calories a day, each day, can add up to 10 lbs. of weight gain each year to your body*.  Reminding yourself of this may be motivation enough to keep you focused on your goals of staying healthy and feeling your best.  Rather than beating yourself up about one slip up, realize that tomorrow is another chance to start fresh and make better choices.

Have you heard of the Flat Tire Syndrome?  Picture this, you are leaving work for the day and arrive at your car only to discover one of the tires is flat.  Since one tire is flat, would you go around the car and slash all the other tires to make them all flat?  Of course not, that would only make your situation much worse than it already is currently.  The same it true for a healthy diet.  When you make a poor choice (eating the entire sleeve of cookies), it doesn’t help to give into an inner voice telling you that you already blew it, so you might as well eat the rest of the package.  NO!  A better approach is to write off the one sleeve of cookies, put away whatever is tempting you, and choose another activity.  Making a mindful choice to stop what you are doing and make a change, is a step in a direction that will build your confidence and make you proud of yourself.  Each day is a fresh start.

*source Brian Wansink, Cornell Food and Brand Lab in Ithica, NY

Caribbean Tuna Cakes

I have to confess, I am not a big fan of canned tuna.  I enjoy fresh tuna, but the canned variety has never really caught on for me.  Perhaps it was because I was using the canned variety that looked more like cat food.  Recently, I found albacore tuna packed in water that has a milder taste.  When I rediscovered this recipe, with the jerk flavor, I had to retry it.  This is my new favorite lunch, because eaten cold or rewarmed, these are wonderful for several days.  Pair with a Napa cabbage slaw (thinly sliced Napa cabbage, drizzled with lime juice, jerk seasoning and vinegar) and you have a meal!!

Caribbean Tuna Cakes

1 small red onion

1 small green pepper, diced

1/4 cup mayo (olive oil based)

1 1/3 cups whole wheat panko bread crumbs

2 tbsp. Jamaican Jerk Rub

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 cans chunk light tuna (albacore in water), drained

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided

fresh lime or lime juice

 

Finely chop onion and bell pepper.  Combine mayonnaise, 1 cup of bread crumbs and jerk rub in small bowl.  Add onion, bell pepper, beans, and tuna to same bowl.  Mix to combine.  Place remaining bread crumbs on plate.  Using hands, form small patties, approx. 1/2 inch thick, with tuna mixture and pack firmly.  Press gently in to bread crumbs to lightly coat outside of each patty.  Mixture will fall apart very easily if pressed or pushed into crumbs, so use caution.  Turn cake over to lightly coat other side.  Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in pan on stove over medium heat.  Add 1/2 tuna cakes ; cook 2-3 minutes until golden brown, turning once.  Heat remaining oil in pan and repeat with remaining cakes.  Serve warm with lime slices and a extra dash of jerk seasoning on top.

Yield: Approx. 12 cakes

recipe by: Pampered Chef 29 Minutes to Dinner, modified by eatlivefit.net

 

Helpful Hints To Encourage Your Kids To Eat Well All Year

We’ve all seen the trends in our world lately, all of us are struggling to eat healthy and move more, especially our youth.  In my effort to encourage others to do just that, I am always on the hunt for quality information about nutrition.  Sometimes these articles show up in the strangest of places, this one from Consumer Reports.  I love how this author, Karyn Repinski, “keeps it real” with her helpful hints.  I remind clients that one goal should always be to have a healthy relationship with food.  Some of these ideas may sound familiar, but a few may give you a new perspective on your approach as a parent or even in your own eating all year long.

“Ways to Get Kids to Eat Better in 2018: The healthiest foods for toddlers, teens, and all ages in between”

“It’s the rare kid who resolves to eat healthier foods in the New Year, but helping children consume a more nutritious diet is no doubt a goal you strive for year-round.
And for good reason. “Kids are literally built out of the foods they consume, and making sure they get the right nutrients in their diet helps them grow and develop optimally, both physically and psychologically,” says Maxine Siegel, R.D., a CR dietitian. Indeed, new research published in the journal BMC Public Health shows that healthy eating can boost self-esteem and even lessen peer problems, such as being picked on or bullied.
As beneficial as eating right can be for kids, it’s often a struggle for parents. One tip to make it easier—and to help kids develop a healthy relationship with food—is to pick your battles.
“Encourage your children to eat well day-to-day, and don’t worry if they have a cookie now and then,” says Amy Keating, R.D., another CR dietitian.
Here are 11 more tips to try for kids of all ages:

Expose Kids to Healthy Foods
When it comes to getting kids to accept and like a healthy food, repeated exposure is key, according to a December 2017 review of 40 studies on how infants and young children develop food preferences, especially for vegetables and fruits.
“There’s a robust evidence base behind this method, so don’t give up,” advises the lead author, Stephanie Anzman-Frasca, Ph.D., a researcher in the department of pediatrics behavioral medicine at the University of Buffalo.
Kids’ eating preferences often change, so even if your children initially refuse to take a bite, they may become more receptive after a few months of seeing these foods on the table. Continue exposing them to a variety of healthy foods even when they’re older. To be effective, healthy eating behavior needs to be reinforced throughout childhood and adolescence.

Avoid Being a Pushy Parent
Your job is to provide a balanced meal; half the plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables, a quarter with healthy carbohydrates, such as whole grains, and another quarter with protein. Your kids’ job is to decide what and how much to eat, says Deborah Salvatore, R.D., a nutritionist at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital in Stony Brook, N.Y.
But parents often push their children to eat all of the food on their plate at a meal, even if they say they’re full. In a University of Minnesota study that investigated the practice, up to 60 percent of parents required their adolescents to clean their plates and restricted eating when they didn’t.
“Force-feeding really messes with a child’s hunger cues, interrupting their ability to listen to their body and know if they’re hungry or full,” Salvatore says.
Plus, studies show that kids react negatively to pressure and often end up disliking the food they feel coerced into eating.

Let Little Kids Play With Their Food
Touching, smelling, and playing with food is a desensitizing technique that allows kids to become comfortable enough to try—and accept—new foods.
“It’s especially effective with picky eaters,” Salvatore says. She also suggests considering a reward jar. Follow the one-bite-and-swallow rule, then provide a nonfood reward when the jar is both halfway and all the way full.

Put Healthy Foods Within Reach
Most kids will reach for the chips if the grapes haven’t been washed or the red peppers need slicing, which is why Keating suggests going the extra mile and preparing fruit and vegetables so they’re ready to be eaten.
“Store them in glass containers that are placed front and center in the refrigerator, so they’re easily accessible,” she says.
Piggyback Vegetables With Other Healthy Foods
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, kids are eating more fruit but 90 percent still aren’t eating the recommended three daily servings—that’s 2 to 3 cups—of vegetables.
It’s no secret that kids’ preferences for veggies are generally low compared with other foods. So try combining them with healthy fats, protein, and grains—for instance, loading pizza with peppers and broccoli, adding greens to smoothies, and preparing sandwiches with lettuce and tomato. This makes them more palatable and challenges the notion that healthy foods aren’t tasty or satisfying.

Get Kids Busy in the Kitchen
Kids who cook tend to eat more healthfully, according to a University of Alberta study involving fifth-graders. Researchers found that children who helped prepare meals chose fruits and vegetables more often than their noncooking counterparts. (Vegetable preference, specifically, was 10 percent higher among kids who cooked.)
Kids who cooked also showed more confidence in their ability to choose (and eat) healthy foods at home and at school.

Eat Together as a Family
Children and adolescents who share family meals three or more times a week are more likely to eat healthier and be in a normal weight range than those who eat with their families fewer than three times a week. That’s what a review of 17 studies published in the journal Pediatrics found.
The benefits of breaking bread together last for years, reports a new Canadian study that followed kids from 5 months old to age 10. Researchers found that those who ate with their families at age 6 were more physically fit and drank less soda when they were 10.

Tune Into Teens’ Ideals
Aligning healthy eating with important and widely shared adolescent values like freedom from adult control and the pursuit of social justice may motivate teenagers to clean up their nutritional act.
Researchers from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business suggested healthy eating as a way to take a stand against manipulative and unfair practices of the food industry—such as engineering junk food to make it addictive, and marketing it to young children. As a result, they saw a 7 percent increase in the rate at which eighth-graders opted to forgo sugary drinks in favor of water, and a 11 percent increase in the rate at which they opted to forgo at least one unhealthy snack in favor of fruit, carrots, or nuts.
From a nutritional perspective, that’s a 7 percent reduction in total carbohydrate consumption and a 9 percent reduction in sugar.

Hold the Soda
A recent review of 30 studies published in December in the journal Obesity Facts found a significant link between drinking sugar-sweetened beverages (soda and juice) and weight gain in children.
That’s not surprising considering that a typical 20-ounce soda contains 15 to 18 teaspoons of added sugars and upward of 240 calories—and that 30 percent of kids drink two or more sugary beverages a day, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
A better alternative to soda and juice is carbonated water or plain still water with a splash of a favorite juice or a squeeze of lemon or lime to make it more appealing.
Tell Them the Downsides of a Bad Diet
If the health dangers of a poor diet—obesity, diabetes, and heart disease—don’t keep older kids on the nutritional straight and narrow, appeal to their immediate self-interest.
For instance, school is tough enough; kids don’t need to be undermined by a bad diet. A new review from RMIT University in Australia of the impact of junk food on teenagers found that a diet high in fat or sugar could have pronounced and enduring detrimental effects on cognition, behavior, and learning—including the mental skills that help them manage time, pay attention, and generally get things done (like a book report or science project).

Get Kids Off the Couch
Exercise improves the cognitive control that helps initiate and maintain behavior like choosing to pass on junk food, explains Megan Herting, Ph.D., a behavioral scientist at the University of Southern California and an expert on exercise and the teenage brain.
If your kids don’t enjoy exercise, encourage them to buddy up with a friend who does. A study at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center found that when kids palled around with physically active friends, they were nearly twice as likely to be active themselves.”

Karyn Repinski
Karyn Repinski is an award-winning freelance writer who contributes to Consumer Reports on a range of health-related topics. Based in Brooklyn, N.Y., she has covered health, beauty, and nutrition for the past 25 years and has held senior positions at several national magazines.

Simple Apple Pancakes

I discuss balancing each meal with clients frequently.  Here is another example of how to do this quickly in the morning rush.  Healthy does not have to be time consuming.

 

SIMPLE APPLE PANCAKES
Pancakes are one of those recipes that seems like it takes a long time, but actually comes together quickly. Try these tasty, no-sugar-added flapjacks from Cassey Ho, creator of POP Pilates and POPFLEX. “I love this breakfast because it’s not only delicious, it’s packed with protein and complex carbs to keep me full and energized throughout the morning,” she says.

Ingredients
2 eggs
3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons almond flour
2 tablespoons coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon nut butter
1/2 small apple, spiraled or chopped
1 pinch of cinnamon, optional
Directions
In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, applesauce, almond flour, coconut flour and baking powder. Heat a griddle or pan over medium-low heat and coat with cooking spray. Reduce to low heat. Using a small measuring cup, scoop batter to make two pancakes. Cook for 2–3 minutes per side, or until firm and cooked through. Top one pancake with nut butter and cinnamon, if using. Place the other pancake on top and add apples and more cinnamon. Recipe makes 1 serving.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 356; Total Fat: 19g; Saturated Fat: 6g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 370mg; Sodium: 226mg; Carbohydrate: 26g; Dietary Fiber: 9g; Sugar: 11g; Protein: 20g