Thursday, April 30, 2009

Vitman B-12, Why Do I Need It, How Much Do I Need, Where Can I Get It?

What is vitamin B-12, how much do I need, and where can I find it?
The essential water-soluble vitamin B-12, is unique among vitamins because it contains a metal called cobalt. Therefore, the term, cobalamin is applied to denote substances possessing vitamin B-12 activity. The form of vitamin B-12 generally found in nutritional supplements is cyanocobalamin, which is converted to the active form of the vitamin (coenzyme) in the body. A vitamin b-12 deficiency results in anemia, nerve damage, low sperm counts, and reduced energy. Vitamin b-12 aids in maintaining healthy nerve and red blood cells. It facilitates the production of the protein, hemoglobin, which is the oxygen carrying pigment in red blood cells. the production of DNA in the body requires vitamin B-12. Vitamin B-12 in food is bound to proteins and is released from the proteins during the process of digestion by the action of hydrochloric acid present in the stomach. A deficiency of vitamin B-12 may occur due to low stomach acid.

In humans, a vitamin B12-dependent enzyme facilitates the metabolisms of certain amino acids and fatty acids and plays a role in the production of energy from dietary fats and proteins. Vitamin B-12 and folic acid are required to utilize L-methionine, and essential amino acid, in the body and convert it into an activated form, which modified fats, hormones, DNA, and proteins, thereby influencing body cell functions. Vitamin B-12 and folic acid are critical for the reconversion of homocysteine, a metabolite of L-methionine, into L-methionine. Inadequate functioning of the enzyme protein responsible for this transformation can lead to the accumulation of homocysteine, which possesses undesirable effects on heart health.

Most microorganisms, including bacteria and algae, synthesize vitamin B-12, and they constitute the only source of this vitamin. The vitamin B-12 synthesized in microorganisms enters the human food chain through incorporation into foods of animal origin such as fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products. Fortified breakfast cereals are good sources of vitamin B-12. It is not present in foods from plants, and therefore, supplementation is needed in strict vegetarians. The Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for vitamin B-12 for adults is 6 mcg. Aging and other factors concerned with intestinal function decrease vitamin B-12 absorption. Accordingly, 100-400 mcg of vitamin B-12/day had generally been recommended. Vitamin B-12 deficiency is not uncommon. Excessive levels of folic acid may result in the masking of vitamin B-12 deficiency in the elderly.

Still more information on B vitamins tomorrow.

Blessings for a Glorious Day!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

More B Vitamins, B-6, What Does It Do? How Much Do I Need & Where to Find It?

What is vitamin B-6? How much do I need? Where to find vitamin B-6?
Vitamin B-6, also known as Pyridoxine, is a water-soluble vitamin belonging to the B group of vitamins. This vitamin occurs in three different forms. which are further converted to three distinct active forms during metabolism in the human bodies cells. Humans cannot synthesize this vitamin in the body and must be derived from food or nutritional supplements. It is required for more than 100 enzyme proteins concerned with indispensable biochemical processes in the body and the metabolism of nutrients in different body cells.

Some bodily functions for which vitamin B-6 is essential include metabolism of amino acids and carbohydrates and energy production, red blood cell metabolism, production of the oxygen carrying pigment hemoglobin, nervous and immune systems functions, regulation of hormone functions and synthesis of nucleic acids (genetic material). Low vitamin B-6 levels have been linked with impaired immune function, especially in elderly persons. the amount of vitamin B-6 required to correct this defect is higher than the RDA for this vitamin. Vitamin B-6 helps in maintaining blood sugar levels in the normal range.

Vitamin B-6 is critical for the synthesis of hormones and neurotransmitters from dietary amino acids. Vitamin B-6 is necessary for the production of coenzyme Q-10, a key component in respiration and energy generation in body cells. Vitamin B-6 supplementation has been found to be effective in lowering homocysteine which is important in maintaining heart health. Studies have implicated vitamin B-2, vitamin B-6, and folic acid aid in cognitive function.

Vitamin B-6 occurs in a variety of foods such as fortified cereals, beans, fruits such as bananas, vegetables such as spinach, chicken, turkey, and fish. The Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for vitamin B-6 for adults is 2 mg.

More to come again on even more vitamin B's tomorrow.

Blessings for a Glorious Day!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

More B Vitamins, Thiamine (vitamin B-1)!

What is Thiamine? How much thiamine do you need? Where to get it?
Thiamine, also known as vitamin B-1, is a water-soluble (flushed out of body daily) B vitamin essential for human health. Thiamine exists in the body as free thiamine or thiamine bound to phosphorus (as phosphates). These phosphorus-bound forms, known as coenzymes, are needed for the metabolic conversion of carbohydrates and branch-chain amino acids. Thiamine, as a coenzyme, facilitates energy utilization from food and also mediates energy release from dietary constituents. These processes generate biochemicals such as acetylcholine, a substance necessary for transmission of nerve impulses. Thiamine is essential for the metabolism of sugars which generates high-energy substances (such as ATP and GTP). It also is important in the formation of nucleic acids, DNA (genetic material) and RNA, in body cells and a coenzyme from the B vitamin niacin, essential for generating biochemicals during a process known as biosynthesis. Thiamine is necessary for the normal functioning of the nervous system and muscles, including heart muscle. Thiamine is also important for eye health, particularly lens health.

Yeast, lean pork and legumes are foods rich in thiamine. Other sources of thiamine include long grain brown rice, white enriched rice, rice bran, wheat germ breakfast cereal and fortified breakfast cereals. The Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for adults of thiamine is 1.5 mg. Conditions such as strenuous physical exercise, adolescent growth, pregnancy and breast-feeding require an increased requirement of thiamine.

More on vitamin B's to come.

Blessings for a Glorious Day!

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Importance of B Vitamins, Starting With Riboflavin!

What is riboflavin? How much riboflavin do you need? Where to get it?
Riboflavin, know as vitamin B-2, is a type of B vitamin with a key role in maintaining human health. It is a water-soluble (meaning it is flushed out of the body with water) vitamin that is stored in the body and must be replenished daily. Vitamin B-2 exists as a functional constituent of distinct coenzymes which are required by enzyme proteins for body cell functions. Vitamin B-2 participates in numerous pathways of carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism and in energy production in body cells through the processes of respiration (breathing). Substances such as pyruvic acid, alpha-ketoglutarate and branch-chain amino acids require B-2 to metabolize them to derivatives that play critical roles in generating energy from the diet.

Vitamin B-2 also participates in the metabolism and disposition of chemicals foreign to the body. Vitamin B-2 works with other B vitamins and is important for body growth and red blood cell production. Vitamin B-2 plays an important role in protecting against oxidative stress. Increased oxidative stress is associated with riboflavin deficiency. Vitamin B-2 is essential in maintaining the levels of the cellular protective agent glutathione (GSH).

Dietary sources of vitamin B-2 include milk, eggs, almonds, spinach, asparagus, broccoli and enriched breads and cereals. The Reference Daily Intake (RDI) of vitamin B-2 for adults is 1.7 mg.

More on B vitamins tomorrow.

Blessings for a Glorious Day!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Have Fun In The Sun, But In Moderation!

Get out and enjoy the sunshine this weekend, but in moderation. We don't want any sunburns. Let's see if everybody can increase their vitamin D levels the natural way!

Blessings for a Glorious weekend!

Healthy Informed Choices

Thursday, April 23, 2009

How Much Physical Acitivity do Children Need?

How much physical activity do children need?

Children & adolescents should do 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of physical activity daily.
This may sound like a lot, but don't worry! Your child may already be meeting the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. You'll soon discover may easy and enjoyable ways to help your child meet the recommendations. Encourage your child to participate in activities that are age-appropriate, fun, and offer variety. Just make sure your child is doing three types of physical activity:
  1. Aerobic Activity - should make up most of your child's 60 or more minutes of physical activity daily. This can include either moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, or vigorous-intensity activity, such as running. Be sure to include vigorous-intensity aerobic activity on at least 3 days each week.
  2. Muscle Strengthening - such as gymnastics or push-ups, should be included at least 3 days each week as part of your child's 60 or more minutes.
  3. Bone Strengthening - such as jumping rope or running, should be included at least 3 days each week as part of your child's 60 or minutes.

Until tomorrow, get outside and get active!

Blessing for a Glorious Day!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Getting The Most From Vitamin D From Good Absorption and Good Sources.

Getting the most from vitamin D from good absorption and good sources.

Making it Work Better
You'll absorb vitamin D a lot better if you take it with dietary fat. Take vitamin D supplements with food. Several studies have shown that the relationship between estrogen, magnesium, and boron may be essential in the conversion of vitamin D to its active form. Be sure your daily multivitamin has the amounts you need.

Good Sources
Many people remember the awful tasting cod liver oil but it wasn't given as a punishment, it is a good source of vitamin D. Fish oil contains a lot of vitamin D. You can get it from eating fish liver, mackerel, herring, sardines, salmon, tuna, and other oily fish. There aren't many other foods that naturally have vitamin D. Vitamin D is added to a lot of cereals and most people get their vitamin D from fortified milk.

Rickets (bones don't grow and harden properly) is caused by a crippling shortage of vitamin D. Without enough vitamin D, bones can't absorb calcium to grow straight and strong. Rickets is by far mot as common as it was over a hundred years ago, but babies who are breast fed and never get any sunshine are at risk.
If you are an older adult, your are only making about half as much vitamin D in your skin as you did when you were younger.
People who are housebound or live in nursing homes are at risk of vitamin D deficiency. If you have kidney disease or liver disease you can't convert vitamin D3 into its more active form.
Some drugs block the absorption of vitamin D and other fat-soluble vitamins. Drugs such as cholestyramine (Cholybar or Questran) block your absorption. Some drugs can deplete your vitamin D level, such as, corticosteroids like cortisone, prednisome or dexamthasone for allergies, asthma, or some other health problems. Other anticonvulsant drugs such as Dilantin or Phenobarbital will interfere with how you use vitamin D.
If you are a strict vegetarian or vegan, there is little vitamin D in plant foods so you may not be getting enough vitamin D.
Alcohol blocks your ability to absorb vitamin D in your intestines and store it in your liver. If you abuse alcohol, you may be deficient.

I hope this helps everyone better understand the importance of vitamin D and good health. Until tomorrow, have a great night.
Remember to Make Healthy Informed Choices!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Are You Getting Enough, Vitamin D That Is?

Are you getting enough, vitamin D that is?
As was posted last night, to get your vitamin D all you have to do is go outside and soak up some ultraviolet light (aka sunshine). Vitamin D is naturally produced in the outer layer of the skin when exposed to sunlight.

RDA of Vitamin D
0 - 18 200IU
19 - 50 200 IU
51-70 400 IU
70+ 600 IU
Pregnant & lactating women 200 IU

Safe dosage
Many doctors & nutritionists feel that you need more vitamin D as you get older. Men & women over the age of 65 should take 700 IU daily.
Do not take more than 1,oo IU of vitamin D supplements daily, it is dangerous. If you spend a lot of time outdoors in the sun your body automatically stops making Vitamin D after you've stored enough, so you can't overdose on yourself. However, the same in not true with supplements. Of all the vitamins this one is the one you need to be most careful with. Large doses can make calcium build up in your blood, which can have serious consequences. Too much vitamin D might increase your risk of heart attack or kidney stones.
Talk to a pediatrician before giving vitamin D supplements to babies or children.

More on Vitamin D to come.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Soakin' Up Some Rays For Vitamin D

Soakin' Up Some Rays For Vitamin D
Vitamin D is know as the sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D is naturally synthesized when the skin is exposed to ultraviolet rays from the sun. Vitamin D is a vital nutrient for the brain, bone, and a healthy immune system. Recent studies prove that many Americans don't get enough Vitamin D.

There is also a mounting body of research that suggest Vitamin D may also have antibiotic properties and play a role in reducing the risk of hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, and certain types of cancers - stalling tumor growth - treating skin disorders, and promoting mental health.

Are you getting enough vitamin D? How much is too much? Come back tomorrow for more on this topic.

God Bless and have a good night.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

10 Healthy Foods To Keep On Hand

10 Healthy Foods To Keep On Hand

Here are some great foods to keep on hand for healthier eating. These foods are some of the healthiest because they have at least three of the following
  • Are good or excellent sources of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
  • Are high in antioxidants and phytonutrients, vitamins A & E, and beta carotene.
  • May help reduce the risk of heart disease and other health conditions.
  • Are low in calorie density, meaning you get a larger portion size with fewer calories.
  • Are readily available.

Almonds - are packed with nutrients such as fiber, riboflavin, magnesium, iron, and calcium. Almonds have more calcium per serving than any other nut, about 75mg a serving (23 almonds). One serving of almonds provides half the daily requirements for Vitamin E. They provide one of the best sources of protein. They are also good for your heart because the have monounsaturated fat, which is a healthier type of fat that helps to lower cholesterol.

Apples - are a excellent source of pectin, a soluble fiber that can lower glucose levels and cholesterol. Fresh apples are good sources of antioxidants and vitamin C. Vitamin C helps form the connective tissue collagen, keeps the capillaries and blood vessels healthy, and aids in iron absorption.

Blueberries - are rich in plant compounds (phytonutrients). Phytonutrients may help prevent urinary tract infections. They may also improve short-term memory and promote healthy aging. They are a good source of fiber and vitamin C and are low-calorie.

Broccoli - is a good source of calcium, potassium, folate, fiber, and phytonutrients. It also is a good source of vitamins A & C, and antioxidants.

Red Beans - includes small red beans and dark red kidney beans. They are good sources of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and thiamin. They are a low-fat, low-calorie source of protein and dietary fiber. They also contain phytonutrients that may help prevent chronic diseases.

Salmon - is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids - a type of fat that makes your blood less likely to form clots that may cause heart attacks. Omega-3's may also help lower triglyceride levels, lower blood pressure and risk of stroke, and protect against irregular heartbeats. Salmon is also low in saturated fat and cholesterol and a great source of protein.

Spinach - is high in vitamins A, C, vitamin B-6, riboflavin, and folate. It is also a good source of calcium, iron, and magnesium. It also has plant compounds to help with healthy skin and hair.

Sweet Potatoes - are a great source of beta carotene, and Vitamin A, that may help slow down the aging process and reduce some cancers. They are also good sources of fiber, vitamins B-6, C and E, folate and potassium. They are fat-free and relatively low in calories.

Vegetable Juice - has most of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients found in the original vegetables and is an easy way to get your vegetables in your diet. Be sure to get the low-sodium varieties.

Wheat Germ - is the center of a grain of wheat, that part the seed that's responsible for the development and growth of the new plant sprout. Wheat germ is a highly concentrated source of nutrients including niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, magnesium, Vitamin E, phosphates, potassium, iron, and zinc. It also contains protein, fiber, and some fat.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Take Some Time To Relax!

Take some time to relax!

Spend this evening with someone you love relaxing and enjoying each others company. Remember to always tell the one's around you what they mean to you, have a great night!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Burnin' Calories - What Does It Take?

Ever wonder how many calories you’re burning while you’re out jogging - or participating in sports activities? Scientists have calculated the energy expended by people of standardized weights in carefully measured activites and published volumes of this data. Unfortunately, it’s often tedious to page through the tiny tables to get at the information.
Courtesy of the CDC we would like to provide you with a short table of common activities and the calorie expenditure of each.
Calories/Hour Expended in Common Physical Activities
Moderate Physical Activity
Approximate Calories/Hr for a 154 lb Person
Light gardening/yard work
Golf (walking and carrying clubs)
Bicycling (<10 mph)
Walking (3.5 mph)
Weight lifting (general light workout)
Vigorous Physical Activity
Approximate Calories/Hrfor a 154 lb Person1
Running/jogging (5 mph)
Bicycling (>10 mph)
Swimming (slow freestyle laps)
Walking (4.5 mph)
Heavy yard work (chopping wood)
Weight lifting (vigorous effort)
Basketball (vigorous)
1Calories burned per hour will be higher for persons who weigh more than 154 lbs (70 kg) and lower for persons who weigh less.

Hope this helps.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Make It a Family Affair!

Make it a Family Affair!

Making getting healthy and losing weight a family affair is one way to help not only yourself, but those around healthier as well. As humans we crave companionship and support. By working together as a group, whether it be those who live in your household or sister, mother, friend, or co-worker, we tend to get better results and stick to a healthier lifestyle. When you have someone that you can lean on for support to get through those rough spots it is much easier than going it alone.

Here are some tips for setting yourself up for success:

  • Let your family, friends, and so-worker know that you have decided to make some changes in your eating habits. Be sure that you present it as a lifestyle change, not a "diet", because they will want to help more than if it were just another diet. Explain that you want to start getting healthy now so you can enjoy your life more now and in the future. Ask them to help will also add accountability.

  • Buddy up. Since the fact is that 2/3 of Americans are overweight, chances are you can find someone who is interested in healthier eating habits as well. Research shows that if one person loses weight those around them are going to want to know what they did to lose it. Pairing up will again add accountability and support.

  • Start small at first so that the changes are less noticeable. It helps to ease into weight loss to avoid unwanted attention. For example, use a salad plate instead of a dinner plate. If you set the whole table with smaller plates chances are your family won't even notice and they will all be consuming less food without even realizing it. You can tell them when they start noticing their clothes are fitting better.

  • Suggest going for a walk or a bike ride as a family or group activity, you could even give your group a name. Some other fun activities as a group are bowling, Frisbee, swimming, horseback riding, planting a garden or flowers, or even interactive video games.

So call a family meeting today and get everybody on the healthy track just in time for summer.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

10 Reasons To Get Your Sleep

10 Reasons to get your sleep:

  • Less may mean more. People who don't get at least seven hours of sleep a night the more obese they tend to be. Insufficient sleep may trigger hunger hormones. Leptin, which suppresses the appetite is lowered and ghrelin, which stimulates the appetite increases.

  • You're more apt to make bad food choices. A study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that people with obstructive sleep apnea and other severe breathing difficulties while sleeping, ate a diet higher in cholesterol, protein, and fat. Women were especially affected.

  • Diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance may become more likely.

  • A heart's health is put at risk. A study found that heart attacks were 45% more likely in women who slept for five or less hours a night than those who got more sleep.

  • Blood pressure may increase.

  • Auto accidents rise. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine states that nearly 20% of serious car crashes involve a sleepy driver that hasn't been drinking alcohol.

  • Balance is off. Older adults who have trouble sleeping at night or who are drowsy during the day could be 2.4 - 4.5 times more likely to sustain a fall per the Journal of Gerontology.

  • You may be more prone to depression. Adults who are chronically sleep deprived report more mental distress, depression, and alcohol use. Children/adolescents often suffer too and as a result they report more symptoms of depression and lower self-esteem.

  • Kids may suffer more behavior problems. These problems include disordered breathing with obesity, and ADHD.

As you can see not getting enough sleep can have many severe consequences at any age, so if you are having trouble getting to sleep on a regular basis consult your physician. It could help lengthen your life as well as improve your quality of life.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Eat Breakfast & Lose Weight!

Eating Breakfast can help lose weight!

Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast have lower BMI's than those who skip breakfast. Studies have proven that by eating breakfast, especially if eaten within the first hour you are awake, that you kick-start your metabolism. That means you turn your body into a calorie burning machine because you have fueled your engine so to speak. If you skip breakfast your body goes into what is known as starvation mode, meaning your body thinks it has to store calories thinking it might not get any "fuel" for a long time.

Studies have also shown that children who eat breakfast tend to pay better attention and get better grades in school. It also showed that adults who eat breakfast are more productive and less irritable. By fueling your body you're not just fueling your metabolism, you fuel your brain as well. The brain needs protein and carbs to function at it's best.

You can chose a bowl of cereal with low fat milk and fruit, a healthy breakfast bar, or a high protein shake, all of which are easy to grab in a hurry. If you want to know which cereal, breakfast bars, or shakes I would recommend just contact me for a list.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Have a Happy & Blessed Easter! Will bring more health tips Monday, enjoy the time with your family today.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Confused by Portions? (Part 2)

Here are some tips to help you visually estimate serving size:

The Bread, Cereal, Rice & Pasta Group:

  • 1/2 cup cooked pasta is about the size of an ice cream scoop.

  • 1 ounce (1 cup) of cereal is about the size of a solled up pair of thick socks.

  • 1/2 bagel is about the size of a hockey puck.

The serving size for the Vegetable Group:

  • 1 cup raw leafy vegetables (about the size of a woman's fist), 1/2 cup of other vegetables, cooked or chopped raw, 3/4 cup (6 ounces) of vegetable juice.

  • 1 medium potato is about the size of a computer mouse.

The serving size for the Fruit Group:

  • One medium piece of fruit is about the size of a tennis ball.

  • One bunch of grapes equal to the size of a light bulb, about 1/2 cup.

The serving size for the Milk, Yogurt and Cheese Group:

  • 1-1/2 ounces of cheese is about the size of your pointer finger.

  • 1 cup of milk or yogurt is a serving size.

The serving size for the Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs & Nuts Group:

  • 3 ounces of cooked meat, poultry or fish is about the size of a woman's palm or a deck of cards.

  • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter is about the size of a walnut.

Hints of the fats, oils & sweets group:

  • 1 tablespoon of salad dressing is about the size of your thumb.

  • 1 teaspoon of butter or margarine is about the size of the tip of your thumb, from the top of your thumb to the first joint.

Just remember to that you don't have to give up the foods you love just eat smaller servings and to chose the low fat, low calorie version if possible. With the Holiday this weekend it makes it a challange sometimes, but eat slowly, and chew food thoroughly. If someone notices tell them it's not a "diet", it's a lifestyle change. You can invite them to do the same. It is much easier to make lifestyle changes when there is a group that works together to help each other stay on track.

Happy Easter to those who will be away from the computer over the weekend!

"Power Foods"

What are "Power Foods"?

In the ideal world we'd always have to choose, find, and prepare healthful balanced meals. As a result we would all be lean and mean, full of energy, and stocked with all the vitamins and minerals we need to live well longer. But here in the land of reality eating properly takes a back seat to work, family, friends, and play. With everybodies fast paced lives nutrion is the last thing on our minds. We eat whatever is quick and easy, which generally is high in fat and and simple carbs.

The next time you're in a hurry at mealtime, instead of fries and a fatty burger, look for a power food - one that will get you going and keep you going.


  • Baked Potatoes - potatoes are nonfat and loaded with complex carbohydrates, potassium, vitamin C, and copper. If you most put a topping on it stick to salsa or a little margarine.

  • Bannanas - are packed with fiber and potassium. Along with dried fruit, they make a great portable snack.

  • Beans - have fiber, protein, complex carbohydrates, and folate (B vitamin) all in one package. Whole beans tend to be better than refried, which usually add fattening oil.

  • Broccoli - all green vegetables are winners, but this one is tops. It has fiber, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, and iron.

  • Corn - is an excellent source of fiber and complex carbohydrates for sustained energy.

  • Fruit - has fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, almost everything except fat. Dried fruits are a particularly intense source of energy.

  • Fish - is usually a lower-fat source of quality protein than msot main dishes. Stick to baked, broiled, or poached though, since fish plays send to fat when fried.

  • Pasta - is a great source of complex carbohydrates and offers iron and B vitamins when enriched. Stick with tomato or marinara sauce to keep the fat down.

  • Peppers - jalapenos and the hundreds of other types of chiles are great sources of vitamin C, and the spiciness may raise matabolism, enhancing weight loss.

  • Soup - broth-based soups help you to get your vegetables in a tasty mixture. It is dependably low in fat unless meat or dairy is added.

These are some simple ways to make healthier choices.

Water A Nutrient? What You Might Like to Know.

Here are some facts about water & why it is so important:

  • The human body is made up of 55-75% water - water is the basis of blood, digestive juices, urine and sweat.

  • Water is continuously lost every second from the lungs, skin, urine and feces. The amount of water you need each days depends on your metabolism, the weather, the foods you eat, and amount of physical activity.

  • Men have more water in their bodies than women. Adults lose aprox. 2-3 quarts of water per day. Hot weather, exercise, and air travel increase water loss.

  • Food provides 1/3 of water we need and the rest needs to be provided by drinking fluids, preferably water.

  • Water in the body helps maintain the health & integrity of cells; keeps the blood flowing freely, eliminate waste from the body, regulate body temperature, keeps the mucous membranes moist, helps lubricate the joints, and improve skin texture, just to name a few.

  • Loss of too much water causes dehydration which results in symptoms including headaches, lethargy, mood changes, slow responses, dry nasal passages, dark urine, weakness, tiredness, and confusion.

  • Dehydration can be caused by increased sweating, not drinking enough water, increased urination, vomiting, diarrhea, and burns.

  • More water is needed in people who are eating diets high in fiber or protein, children, those who are physically active, those exposed to hot weather, people with vomiting or diarrhea.

  • Drinking too much water (several quarts a day) can cause a condition know as water intoxication or hyponatremia. This happens when too much sodium is lost from the body. This condition causes headaches, blurred vision, cramps, swelling of the brain, coma and possibly death.

The general recommendation is 6-8 glasses of a variety of fluids be consumed daily. Some people may need more, particularly those who are physically active.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Confused by Portions? (Part 1)

Many people think that if they are eating foods that are low in fat, low in sugar, or "healthy" that they can eat all they want. Eating too much of any food, even healthy foods, adds extra calories. Extra calories can add up and sabotage your weight goals.

Since foods are sold in increasingly larger portions and since carrying a scale or measuring cup with you here some tips to make it a little easier to estimate portion sizes.

Recommended Daily Servings

The USDA's guidelines on the number of portions we should eat daily are:

  • Bread, Cereal, Rice, & Pasta Group: 6-11 servings daily. What counts as a serving? One slice of bread, 1/2 cup cooked rice, pasta, or cereal, 1-ounce ready to eat cereal, 1/2 hamburger roll or English muffin, 1/2 of a small 2-ounce bagel, 3-4 plain crackers.

  • Vegetable Group: 3-5 servings daily. What counts as a serving? 1-cup raw leafy vegetables, 1/2 cup of other vegetables, cooked, or chopped raw, 3/4 cup vegetable juice.

  • Fruit Group: 2-4 servings daily. What counts as a serving? 1 medium apple, bannana, or orange, 1/2 cup of chopped , cooked or canned fruit, 3/4 cup (6 ounces) of fruit juice.

  • Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese Group: 2-3 servings daily. What counts as a serving? 1cup of milk or yogurt, 1 and 1/2 ounces of natural cheese, 2 ounces of process cheese.

  • Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, & Nuts Group: 2-3 servings daily. What is a serving? 2-3 ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry, or fish. NOTE: 1/2 cup of cooked dry beans, 1 egg, or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter count as a 1 ounce meat.

  • Fats, Oils, & Sweets Group: Be Careful! There is no serving size for this group so jsut be conscious and use these items in moderation.

Come back tomorrow for Part 2!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Ways to Control Your Portions

It's a fact that the typical American diet consists of portion sizes that are way too big. Here are some tips for cutting back and not feeling deprived.
These tips are easy to follow whether eating at home or dining out:
  • Put one serving of food on your plate before sitting down at the table instead of serving family-style. Immediately refrigerate or freeze the extras.
  • Cook smaller amounts if you don't like leftovers.
  • Put your snack foods in a small bowl or snack size bag. Limit yourself to this amount as opposed to eating out of the large bag or box.
  • Use smaller plates, you are still seeing a plate full of food which helps you to not feel like your are cutting back. If you see a full plate, you'll feel a full stomach.
  • Don't get overly hungry. Eat at regular times. It is recommended to eat smaller meals 4-5 times a day instead of 3 larger meals. It's like putting firewood on a fire, putting smaller amounts of food in your body more frequently fuels your metabolism and helps to speed up the weight loss.
  • When eating out, use the guide to smaller portions. Have the rest placed in a doggie bag for another meal.
  • Fill up on low-calorie beverage, soup or salad before the main course.
  • Limit your or eliminate bread or chips before your meal.

Just remember that the number of calories you consume will affect your weight and your health. Eating a variety of nutritious foods in sensible portion sizes will help you reach and maintain a healthy wealth.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

How many years will obesity take from you?

I just an article about obesity and how many years it can take off your life, what an eye opener! I know it made me stop and think what my life would be like if I hadn't made so drastic changes and I hope will make some of you stop, think, and change the direction you might be headed. A new study recently published in the The Lancet that details the negative effects obesity can have, especially when you talk about shortening your life. For some people it could shorten their lives by as much as 10 years. Around 1/3 of the people in America are obese, which means they have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater. BMI is a measure based on height and weight.

A normal BMI is 18.5 to 24.9, overweight is 25 to 29.9, and obese is 30 or greater. You can calculate your BMI by going to I encourage all of you to do this today today to see what your BMI is. One of the findings of the study was that for every 5 points over what is considered a healthy BMI (18.5-29.9) the risk of early death increases. It also showed that those who were overweight but not yet obese could shorten their life span by one year. It also showed the people with the lowest risk of dying early were those in the higher end of the healthy weight range with a BMI of about 22.5-25.

Monday, April 6, 2009

One step at a time to healthy weight lose and better health!

Do you want to lose weight or gain your health back? Becoming more fit is the answer and a pedometer is a great way to start. Here's some facts to get your attention. The average adult gains two pounds a year starting at about age 30. By age 60 many would have gained 60 pounds. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 2/3 of the adults in the U. S. are overweight or obese.

The CDC refprts that only 45% of Americans get enough physical exercise (at least 30 min. of moderate exercise daily).

Experts say that approx. 90% of Americans could prevent weight gain just by balanacing the number of calories consumed and calories burned by 100 calories a day. One hundred calories is a reasonable and acheivable goal for most everyone to do. Simply decrease your food servings by 4-5 % or walk and extra 15-20 min. a day. A recent analysis done by the AMA concluded that people who use pedometers increase their physical activity by about 2,00 steps a day, which is about a mile. These people also seemed to lower their blood pressure more and lost more weight. Using a pedometer seems to increase motivation for more physical activity.

For those who don't know what a pedometer does, it digitally counts each step you take. There are a variety of models and price ranges. Depending on what you want, you can get one that simply counts the steps you take to the high tech models that calculate calories burned and count your heart rate. They are carried at most pharmacies, fitness shops, and discount stores. It is worn on your waistband, over the midline of one leg. Be sure you wear it on the same side each day and that you record the number of steps taken each day and reset it to zero each day.

In the beginning it is a good idea to assess your current activity level by counting your steps for several days and calulate teh average, making it easier to calculate your average. This also makes it easier to measure your progress. A great goal to have is 10,00 steps daily, and to try to add 500-1,000 steps to your total every day or two until you hit 10,000 steps a day.

So let's lace up those walking shoes, grab that pedometer and start walking! For those of you who say you don't have time or don't have a good place to walk, you can walk in the hallway, take the stairs, or make a quick trip or two across your parking lot. Remember that you are the only true obstacle standing your way, believe that you deserve a healtier, more fit body. Better health not only affects your physically, it makes you start to yourself in a more vibrant light.