Encouraging Health and Happiness

Posts tagged “food pyramid

Anti-Aging Foods Cheat Sheet

By Dr. Oz

Consider these foods your anti-aging staples. As a rule, fruits and vegetables high in flavonoids and carotenoids, two powerful plant-based antioxidants, will remove the free radicals from your skin and body that cause you to age prematurely. A well-balanced diet can help you lose weight, live longer and feel fitter. But it can also help you look younger. Forget the fountain of youth. Load up a plate at the feel-better buffet and turn back the clock on a full (and happy) stomach.

Black garlic helps to repair age-damaged skin. Uniquely colored due to its fermentation process, black garlic contains double the antioxidants as regular garlic and can be eaten raw. It strengthens and restores skin cells damaged by the aging process. Use it in place of regular garlic in most recipes.

Jicama is a crisp root vegetable that can help fight crow’s feet by boosting collagen and fighting wrinkles. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin C. Try it either raw or cooked.

Jerusalem artichoke can help to fade the appearance of under-eye circles. Their beauty secret is iron – they contain five times more iron as potatoes. Eating them can help to correct an iron deficiency, a common cause of paleness that makes your under-eye bags more apparent. (more…)

The Best Foods for Thought, Literally


We’ve long known that the Mediterranean diet is good for the heart. Now, it may be good for the brain as well. (more…)

Food swaps that fight belly fat: Don’t eat less eat smarter

Try these ridiculously easy food trade-offs to banish your gut for good.

By Emily G.W. Chau

You can beat belly fat on a full stomach — as long as you choose the right foods. Making simple substitutions, such as the greens you use in your salads and the snacks you munch come midafternoon, can help blast away excess chub. Here are some simple swaps for a flat belly and strategies for cutting calories while keeping hunger at bay. Dropping weight has never been this satisfying.

Rolled Oats or Bran Cereal for Breadcrumbs

You traded Wonder Bread for wheat and nixed white rice in favor of brown, but there are plenty of other, less obvious, swaps you can make to increase your intake of whole grains. Try substituting rolled oats or crushed bran cereal for breadcrumbs in meatballs, or slip barley into your chicken noodle soup. A 2008 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who loaded their diets with whole grains were more likely to lose fat from their guts than those who noshed on the enriched kind. Whole grains are higher in fiber than refined starches, so you’ll feel fuller eating less.

Avocado for Butter

Dig Deeper…

Salt diet dangers may be influenced by potassium

ATLANTA (AP) — The debate about the dangers of eating too much salt has gained a new wrinkle: A federal study suggests that the people most at risk are those who also get too little potassium.

Potassium-rich foods, including fruits and vegetables, have long been recommended as a dietary defense against heart disease and other chronic illnesses. The new research is one of the first and largest U.S. studies to look at the relationship of salt, potassium and heart disease deaths.

“If you have too much sodium and too little potassium, it’s worse than either one on its own,” said Dr. Thomas Farley, New York City’s health commissioner, who has led efforts to get the public to eat less salt. He co-wrote a commentary published with the study in Monday’s Archives of Internal Medicine.

Potassium may neutralize the heart-damaging effects of salt, said Dr. Elena Kuklina, one of the study’s authors at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sodium increases the risk of high blood pressure, a major cause of heart disease and stroke. Salt — or sodium chloride — is the main source of sodium for most people.

The research found people who eat a lot of salt and very little potassium were more than twice as likely to die from a heart attack as those who ate about equal amounts of both nutrients. Such a dietary imbalance posed a greater risk than simply eating too much salt, according to the study.

…Dig Deeper…

Stick to your guns- New Year’s at the MAC-Part 2

Roughly 40% of you set New Year’s Resolutions related to weight loss and/or exercise.  As a Certified Personal Trainer at the MAC, this doesn’t surprise me as I see and read all the time of the lack of physical activity in the US and its direct relation to an increase in obesity, muscular dysfunction and injury in the general population.

A few concerning statistics (NASM CPT 3rd Edition):

  • 33% of adults are estimated to be obese (BMI of 30+ or 40+ lbs overweight) and 66% are overweight (BMI of 25+ or 10-30lbs overweight)
  • Nearly 80% of all adults experience low back pain.
  • 80,000-100,000 ACL tears/year, 70% of which are non-contact.
  • In 2003, approx. 31 million visits were made to the physicians’ office for back problems, 19 million for knee problems, 14 million for shoulder problems and 11 million for foot and ankle.

If you find yourself embedded in one of those statistics, ask yourself some hard questions.

  1. Do I value the benefits of a healthy lifestyle?
  2. Will daily exercise improve my quality of life?
  3. Do I have the resources to make my health a priority?
  4. Do I believe I have the self control, determination and willpower to improve my health and fitness?

If you answered yes to any of these questions and have set your resolutions but are still having trouble sticking to them, I’ve outlined a few tips below that may help your journey.


  • Take time and PLAN AHEAD: there will always be an excuse, an errand, a meeting or a happy hour- be sure to plan your workouts well in advance.  When you schedule an hour at the gym 3-4 days in advance you are less likely to get distracted and break your date with the treadmill.
  • Partner up: strength in numbers!  It is much easier to get to the gym when you are meeting a friend, trainer or joining a class.  If self-motivation is difficult, lean on a work out buddy or personal trainer for ­accountability or let your group fitness instructor know you will attend their next class- saying it out loud will make you more committed to the date.
  • Use your resources- if you can’t get to the gym, can you walk and/or bike your errands, do a core workout before bed (simply googling “abs” will bring up plenty) or walk the stairs in your house 50 times? 
  • Traveling for work- does your hotel have a gym?  Can you walk to your meetings?  Stretching your legs and pumping oxygen through your body will clear your head and make you a more efficient and productive employee.


  • Earn it: let the food pyramid be your guide when deciding what to buy at the grocery store- let discretion be your guide when deciding when and how often to indulge.  Earn your snacks or treat; let them be a reward for your hard work.  Start by limiting yourself to one snack/day and see if you can whittle it down to one indulgence a week.
  • Cook your meals: eliminate preservatives, added sugars, strange chemicals and unnecessary calories by cooking your own meals.  Look for substitutes for butter, mayonnaise and cream while minimizing cheese and eliminating fried foods.
  • Pack a lunch: packing your lunch will help with portion control as well as ensure you are eating intentionally.  A lunch bag with fruit, veggies, yogurt and a whole grain sandwich will help keep your waistline- and pocketbook- slim.
  • Just don’t buy it: don’t tempt yourself with fried chips, cookies, chocolates and ice cream on a daily basis, you will be testing your self-control a little too often.  Don’t keep these sugary and fried foods around- when you feel like treating yourself, go pick ONE up and enjoy a SINGLE serving.


  • Food for thought: feed your mind positive things, take time to read a good book, go on a walk, do something artsy- crave positivity. 
  • Sleep: with kids and work the art of sleeping can become a difficult one, but value the benefits of a regular rest schedule.  If you can’t sleep at least 6 hours/night, take a 20 minute afternoon nap.
  • Drink water, lots of it: in addition to the eight glasses of 8 oz’s of water a day, you should drink 16 to 20 oz of water 2 hours before exercise and 20 to 40 oz of water after exercise.  The goal is to replace water lost while exercising to maintain your daily weight (weight on waking up in the morning).

Hopefully with these little tips and tricks you can keep your resolve to maintain a healthy weight and active lifestyle.  Buckle down, stick to your guns, and in no time you’ll have something to show for it!

Maryann Boddy, CPT

Magnuson Athletic Club

“The only limitations we have are the ones we place on ourselves.”