So we just had a chili cook-off here at work. It was awesome...some made with beef, others with pork, a couple with chicken and one with ground turkey. So I was eating a scoop of this and a spoonful of that trying to decipher what I was tasting. Most of the time I was thinking...okay this is NOT healthy. But people love their chili recipes and it'd be close to impossible to get someone to change their recipe to a healthier alternative. So here's a challenge...take one thing and change it out. Take a look at a recipe or a dish that you always make and change out one ingredient to make it healthier. You could put Greek Yogurt in for sour cream or skim milk in for cream. Maybe try ground turkey or buffalo meat in place of beef, or applesauce instead of of oil. Sometimes you can even just leave something out...like rice or pasta. Could you put it on a bed of lettuce instead of rice? You have to want to, and it may take some time to think about it...but it's worth it...SO worth it!
Thank you FDA!!! They announced yesterday that artificial trans fats...a key ingredient in everything from pastries to pizzas to microwave popcorn for as long as most can remember...is going to be fazed out from American food. And it's directly because it's a risk to public health.
The Food and Drug Administration is saying that the change could prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths caused by heart disease every single year.
It's a word we hear all the time, but let's start by figuring out what the heck a trans fat is. From a manufacturers point of view, it's something that enhances flavor and texture and increases the shelf-life of products. Scientifically, it's a double Carbon bond. And because of that, to make a long story short...it's an artery-clogging substance that your body doesn't process, digest or absorb.
Lots of restaurants and manufacturers have already started getting rid of trans fats, but they're still in things like pancake mixes, ready-made frosting and packaged cookies. So read your labels. And it's not good enough to grab the packaging that touts '0 Trans Fats.' Because oddly enough...the FDA says anything that has .5 grams of trans fats or less per serving gets to say that. (We can rub our foreheads together on that one.) Look for the words 'partially hydrogenated' in the ingredients and if you see that...step away from the food. The good news is that hopefully soon, we won't have to worry about trans fats anymore thanks to the FDA. No word on the time frame on this...let's hope it's soon.
Here we are, rounding out the last few days of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The NFL is wearing pink socks and there are lots of businesses around town that are donating a portion of this month's proceeds to fight breast cancer. But beyond the pink...what is breast cancer? In its truest definition, it's rogue cells that invade one's body. It's sometimes fast. It's sometimes slow. It's sometimes beat. It's sometimes beat multiple times. It's sometimes lost to. But no matter what it's a fight. And only the most mentally, physically and spiritually strong can stand on the top of the mountain and declare victory. And sometimes even those who seemed invincible, who rolled up their sleeves and got dirty with this hideous thing called cancer...lose. Breast cancer invades moms, sisters, friends, coworkers, wives, aunts, grandmas...it doesn't really have a rhyme or reason to it and no one is exempt. But we do have one way to stand on even ground with it...Mammograms. If detected early, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer is over 96 percent. Getting a Mammogram is one of the best early detection methods. And if you're one of the 13 million U.S. women 40 years or older who has never had a Mammogram, I suggest you get your butt into the doctor. The National Cancer Institute and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommend that women in their forties and older have mammograms every one to two years. Plus, don't forget about monthly breast self-exams that take two seconds. And if you still need convincing to take an hour out of your year to get a Mammogram, I came across this insanely powerful photograph blog a husband put together of his wife and her fight against breast cancer. It's really not a choice. If you have questions or concerns Fort Healthcare is a great resource and has put together a fantastic blog to help you. How 'bout you make your appointment...today....
So you put a little yellow packet in your coffee and a pink packet in your plain yogurt. It adds a calorie-free sweetness that makes eating 'healthy' just a little bit easier. The good news is yes...your calorie intake is easier to maintain when you're not adding sugar into your daily diet...but those little packets of sweet, calorie-free goodness may be lipstick on a pig. Because if you take a look at the ingredients you'll see a whole bunch of things you can't even begin to pronounce. That's because they're essentially chemicals made in a lab. Some processes involve chlorine and others include acetone (yes the active ingredient in nail polish remover) just to name a couple. Splenda actually has more in common with a pesticide than a sugar...yikes! I'm sure you've heard that these artificial sweeteners are carcinogens, but let me be perfectly clear that there is no scientific evidence backing up that accusation. The other side of me says...that's because there just hasn't been enough long-term testing on them. So, I guess it comes down to what you want to put into your body. If you're looking for natural sweeteners that won't bust your healthy eating, try some cinnamon in your coffee and some local honey in your tea. You can always add some maple syrup to your plain yogurt, too. These aren't calorie-free but used in moderation, you'll be just fine.
...is Wednesday, September 25th. It's a day to focus attention on the importance of regular physical activity and health awareness for women. And I'm officially giving you permission to go to the spa and pamper yourself in honor of the day. :) Seriously, there are lots of different ways to be 'healthy' and a good massage or a facial are equally as important for your soul as a 10-mile run is good for your heart. So in honor of this day, I found a place that's doing something cool. Healthy Woman is having a speaker in to talk about happiness and they're offering some great services and deals that night, too. Click here to check it out. Here's to another week of trying to be healthy and making good choices!