Fight Fatigue With Energy Foods

The Smart Way to Snack - Custom-fit your snacks to your needs and schedule.

When you start fishing in your pocket for change for the evil vending machine, stop! Most people feel the need of a "little something" now and then during a busy day, but taking a second to "snack smart" will save you time, calories, and even money.

"Food is so available," Laurie A. Higgins, MS, RD, a pediatric nutrition educator at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, tells WebMD, "people don't take any with them and end up grabbing the fast, easy thing." This may be the worst, greasiest, sugariest, empty-calorie abomination on the face of the earth (OK, doughnut).

You know yourself, Higgins says, you know your age, weight, disease status (diabetes, low blood sugar), food allergies, whether you are pregnant or not. It's up to you to select the snack that fits both your individual needs and the occasion at hand. One size (and gooshy or crunchy mouth feel) does not fit all.

Snack With a Purpose

If you are a between-meals eater, look at your eating pattern, Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, author of the American Dietetic Association's Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, tells WebMD. "It may be a snack -- for you -- is a fourth meal or a good way to get a nutrient you missed. Think of it that way."

What are some common snacking moments, and what might you use to fill them (and yourself)?

When you need a wake-up or energy jolt. It's smart to eat a small breakfast of carbs and protein (cereal, egg, milk), says Duyff. It's even OK for most people to have a sensible amount of coffee, she says. "Have a latte with milk; that way you get a protein hit," she says (a candy bar will not give you the boost you want, she notes). Higgins also advises having milk or protein foods such as peanuts or cottage cheese.

Before leaving the office for a meeting. If you don't know when lunch is coming and need to be on top of your game, a piece of fruit or chunk of cheese is good. "Some people, especially young people, eat lunch early, so morning snacks may not even be needed, Higgins says.

Before working out. "The term 'carbo loading' refers to hours before an athletic event," Audrey T. Cross, PhD, professor of nutrition at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health, tells WebMD. "But right before -- especially after a day of work -- you might want to prime the pump with a piece of fruit and a big glass of water."

After school or work. Depending on when dinner is scheduled, many people need a little nourishment when they get at home. Pediatric nutrition specialist Higgins recommends adolescents who are eating dinner late or running back out to athletic events eat a small meal consisting of a sandwich and a glass of milk -- regardless of whether they are diabetic or not. "Otherwise, young people come home and eat all the way until dinner, a cookie, a cracker, a soda; they are never satisfied. A sandwich is better."

Smart Snacks on a Diet

When you are cutting calories. Even adolescents can read labels, Higgins says. Popcorn, pretzels, or baked chips can be a good snack -- in moderation. Put the rest away on a high shelf. Cut-up veggies also make you work hard to chew and are satisfying. Cross recommends rice cakes with a little wake-up of peanut butter or cheese. "You are less likely to be hungry an hour later," she says.

During TV time. "I am not in favor of eating while watching TV," Cross says. "Have you ever watched someone eat while the TV is on? They are not tasting anything. They just need an activity to do while staring, and eating has become popular."

When out with friends. Sometimes it's also popular to "go for dessert" or grab a snack with your buddies. Cross recommends splitting a dessert. "If you get ice cream or To Die for Chocolate Torte, get one scoop or divide it," she says. "The real reason for going out is to be with your date or friends -- not the food."

At the movies. The movies are an example of an activity tied to food rather than time of day. "Why is this?" Duyff asks. "When we sit at the computer, we need a beverage. When we go to the movies, we need popcorn. We need to change our mindset."

Before partying. "It's an urban myth that you can coat your stomach with milk before drinking," laughs Duyff. "If there is going to be a lot of food, she adds, you may concentrate on eating rather than being with your friends and socializing. In that case, it might be better to have a snack beforehand to take the edge off. A cracker and cheese or those little carrots are good choices." (Remember, Duyff says, half a bottle of wine can contain up to 500 calories. In fact, Cross recommends drinking an equal amount of water after every drink.)

On the airplane. Call ahead and see if food is being provided, Cross advises. If not, bring a sandwich on board. Nothing salty or your feet might swell. "Coffee or another diuretic may mean more trips to the bathroom," Cross adds. "Water is good. And make it a juicy sandwich, with tomatoes."

Before bed. People who eat dinner early may get hungry at bed time. Milk contains tryptophan, which makes some people sleepy. On the flip side, Duyff says, chocolate ice cream may be a little buzzy and keep you awake. Chai tea can be soothing, Cross says. Eating too much and lying down causes heartburn in some people, so beware.

When traveling. Wise travelers bring packaged peanut butter crackers or other familiar little noshes, such as self-opening cans of tuna, in case restaurants are closed (forget those mini-bars).

If you want to plan ahead and remove temptation, Higgins says, check out some regular snack options online. You can go to the McDonald's web site (search on "nutrition"), for instance, and scope out the calorie and carb counts on the new offerings. She does this with her diabetic clients.

Although it's hard to "snackify," it's relaxing and softens stress.

But what about snacking against boredom? "Boredom or stress," Duyff says, "should not signal 'time to eat.' How about walking the dog or dancing around to a CD? Today it might be a celery stick, but tomorrow a whole bowl of something.

"A bowl of ice cream or a juicy peach should be enjoyed," Duyff adds. "That means every bite."

By: Star Lawrence, a medical journalist based in the Phoenix area.

Original Article: http://www.webmd.com/diet/fight-fatigue-energy-foods-6/smart-snacking

 

 

More Emotional Health...

The Smart Way to Snack - Custom-fit your snacks to your needs and schedule.

When you start fishing in your pocket for change for the evil vending machine, stop! Most people feel the need of a "little something" now and then during a busy day, but taking a second to "snack smart" will save you time, calories, and even money.

"Food is so available," Laurie A. Higgins, MS, RD, a pediatric nutrition educator at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, tells WebMD, "people don't take any with them and end up grabbing the fast, easy thing." This may be the worst, greasiest, sugariest, empty-calorie abomination on the face of the earth (OK, doughnut).

You know yourself, Higgins says, you know your age, weight, disease status (diabetes, low blood sugar), food allergies, whether you are pregnant or not. It's up to you to select the snack that fits both your individual needs and the occasion at hand. One size (and gooshy or crunchy mouth feel) does not fit all.

Snack With a Purpose

If you are a between-meals eater, look at your eating pattern, Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, author of the American Dietetic Association's Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, tells WebMD. "It may be a snack -- for you -- is a fourth meal or a good way to get a nutrient you missed. Think of it that way."

What are some common snacking moments, and what might you use to fill them (and yourself)?

When you need a wake-up or energy jolt. It's smart to eat a small breakfast of carbs and protein (cereal, egg, milk), says Duyff. It's even OK for most people to have a sensible amount of coffee, she says. "Have a latte with milk; that way you get a protein hit," she says (a candy bar will not give you the boost you want, she notes). Higgins also advises having milk or protein foods such as peanuts or cottage cheese.

Before leaving the office for a meeting. If you don't know when lunch is coming and need to be on top of your game, a piece of fruit or chunk of cheese is good. "Some people, especially young people, eat lunch early, so morning snacks may not even be needed, Higgins says.

Before working out. "The term 'carbo loading' refers to hours before an athletic event," Audrey T. Cross, PhD, professor of nutrition at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health, tells WebMD. "But right before -- especially after a day of work -- you might want to prime the pump with a piece of fruit and a big glass of water."

After school or work. Depending on when dinner is scheduled, many people need a little nourishment when they get at home. Pediatric nutrition specialist Higgins recommends adolescents who are eating dinner late or running back out to athletic events eat a small meal consisting of a sandwich and a glass of milk -- regardless of whether they are diabetic or not. "Otherwise, young people come home and eat all the way until dinner, a cookie, a cracker, a soda; they are never satisfied. A sandwich is better."

Smart Snacks on a Diet

When you are cutting calories. Even adolescents can read labels, Higgins says. Popcorn, pretzels, or baked chips can be a good snack -- in moderation. Put the rest away on a high shelf. Cut-up veggies also make you work hard to chew and are satisfying. Cross recommends rice cakes with a little wake-up of peanut butter or cheese. "You are less likely to be hungry an hour later," she says.

During TV time. "I am not in favor of eating while watching TV," Cross says. "Have you ever watched someone eat while the TV is on? They are not tasting anything. They just need an activity to do while staring, and eating has become popular."

When out with friends. Sometimes it's also popular to "go for dessert" or grab a snack with your buddies. Cross recommends splitting a dessert. "If you get ice cream or To Die for Chocolate Torte, get one scoop or divide it," she says. "The real reason for going out is to be with your date or friends -- not the food."

At the movies. The movies are an example of an activity tied to food rather than time of day. "Why is this?" Duyff asks. "When we sit at the computer, we need a beverage. When we go to the movies, we need popcorn. We need to change our mindset."

Before partying. "It's an urban myth that you can coat your stomach with milk before drinking," laughs Duyff. "If there is going to be a lot of food, she adds, you may concentrate on eating rather than being with your friends and socializing. In that case, it might be better to have a snack beforehand to take the edge off. A cracker and cheese or those little carrots are good choices." (Remember, Duyff says, half a bottle of wine can contain up to 500 calories. In fact, Cross recommends drinking an equal amount of water after every drink.)

On the airplane. Call ahead and see if food is being provided, Cross advises. If not, bring a sandwich on board. Nothing salty or your feet might swell. "Coffee or another diuretic may mean more trips to the bathroom," Cross adds. "Water is good. And make it a juicy sandwich, with tomatoes."

Before bed. People who eat dinner early may get hungry at bed time. Milk contains tryptophan, which makes some people sleepy. On the flip side, Duyff says, chocolate ice cream may be a little buzzy and keep you awake. Chai tea can be soothing, Cross says. Eating too much and lying down causes heartburn in some people, so beware.

When traveling. Wise travelers bring packaged peanut butter crackers or other familiar little noshes, such as self-opening cans of tuna, in case restaurants are closed (forget those mini-bars).

If you want to plan ahead and remove temptation, Higgins says, check out some regular snack options online. You can go to the McDonald's web site (search on "nutrition"), for instance, and scope out the calorie and carb counts on the new offerings. She does this with her diabetic clients.

Although it's hard to "snackify," it's relaxing and softens stress.

But what about snacking against boredom? "Boredom or stress," Duyff says, "should not signal 'time to eat.' How about walking the dog or dancing around to a CD? Today it might be a celery stick, but tomorrow a whole bowl of something.

"A bowl of ice cream or a juicy peach should be enjoyed," Duyff adds. "That means every bite."

By: Star Lawrence, a medical journalist based in the Phoenix area.

Original Article: http://www.webmd.com/diet/fight-fatigue-energy-foods-6/smart-snacking

 

 

Mark Twain once wrote, “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

I like that. But get real. In a culture preoccupied with youth and beauty, why has there been a 114 percent increase in the number of cosmetic surgeries performed since 1997?

How do women escape the judgment conferred on them every time they open a magazine, get online, or turns on the tube? How does she silence the menacing messages she sends herself when a new gray hair is found, or her crow’s feet grow an inch longer?

Very deliberately and carefully say Vivian Diller, Ph.D and Jill Muir-Sukenick, Ph.D, both professional models turned psychologists, in their new book, “Face It: What Women Really Feel as Their Looks Change.” The authors propose a six-step process to deal with this kind of anxiety that is prevalent but not often discussed among middle-aged women.

Step one: Confront our changing looks.

Diller and Muir-Sukenick call them “uh oh” moments: when you notice your first wrinkles, smile lines, graying and thinning hair, darkening circles below the eyes, varicose veins, brown spots on hands and face, loss of muscle tone, hanging skin on arms or neck, and hot flashes. I’ve experienced many “uh oh” moments recently, but the one that comes to mind is last summer, when a friend of mine said to me about another friend, “She’s our age … you know, late 40s.” I was, at that time, late 30s and stopped by the drug store to pick up some moisturizing cream, which I have used a total of two times.

Step two: Identify our masks.

Not the ones we are supposed to be wearing at night to stay wrinkled-free and pretty. Diller and Muir-Sukenick mean the ways we hide from or avoid our fears by layers of protection that, in reality, make us look ridiculous. Like, for example, deciding to wear our daughters’ clothes to work–in order to prove to ourselves that we, too, can wear a size six, and that our body looks like an 18-year-old’s. That kind of denial covers up the shame, embarrassment, and anxiety we feel as we age. But the problem with wearing masks? Say Diller and Muir-Sukenick: “Clinging to an illusion of physical youth often leads to reliance on the approval of others to validate that illusion. Women’s sense of beauty is then too dependent on external sources, rather than an internal experience.”

Step three: Listen to our inner dialogues.

We give ourselves so many memos throughout the day that it is difficult to keep track. One day I did, and realize I had delivered over 5,000 nasty grams to myself in one 24-hour period. Just as a mask covers up our insecurity, our internal dialogue exposes it. It’s an ongoing conversation within us that we are, most of the time, oblivious to. But the rest of the body hears the dialog and registers the message: You’re old, fat, ugly, and useless. So we have to pay attention to these blabbers and catch them after they hurl a bunch of toxic stuff into our nervous system. One way that I like to turn out the toxic talk is by envisioning that I am having a conversation with a friend instead. I would never insult her that way. So I should honor the same manners with myself.

Step four: Go back in time.

Here comes the part where you get to blame your mother. Not really. But it helpful to know where your self-image is coming from, because only then can we redesign it based on what we know about ourselves. Write Diller and Muir-Sukenick: “As adults, our psychological reservoirs are ours to fill….Instead of feeling a loss of control as we get older, we in fact have increased opportunities to fill our reservoir with responses that can now come from our own selves and from people we choose to have in our lives.”

Step five: Consider our adolescence.

No! You might say. I buried those scars long ago. For Pete’s sake, leave them alone! At least that’s how I feel. Because I was an ugly 8th-grader with bad acne and a popular twin sister invited to all the parties. But I do think this is an important step, because, as the authors suggest, there are parallels between gray-hair anxiety and the awkwardness we went through as adolescents. In addition to my unpopular, acne-ridden self, I forgot that it was at this point that my dad left my mom, who was about 40 then, and married a woman who was 17 years his junior. No wonder why I’m a tad shaky about turning 40.

Step six: Get a face lift.

Kidding! It’s actually to let go. To mourn the youthful part of ourselves that is embedded into our memories. Viewing the aging process this way is helpful for me–because instead panicking and coloring every gray hair, I can look at the silver dandruff as an invitation to a new wiser, mature, but just as fun self.

Several of the women quoted by Diller and Muir-Sukenick said that they associated beauty with the time that they were most happiest–and that wasn’t necessarily their younger years. I can relate to that because I am much more gentle with myself now, know myself much better, and can be a friend to myself in ways that wouldn’t have made sense in my 20s.

In her book, “Motherless Daughters,” Hope Edelman writes, “Loss is our legacy. Insight is our gift. Memory is our guide.” It’s a bout coming up with a new meaning of beauty, a new definition of “youthful,” one that, perhaps, doesn’t require a plastic surgeon, but just a lot of raw and candid self-exploration and acceptance.

By: Therese J. Borchard

Original Article: http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2010/05/16/face-it-6-steps-to-help-women-deal-with-aging/

Find out how emotional eating can sabotage your weight-loss efforts, and get tips to get control of your eating habits.

Sometimes the strongest cravings for food happen when you're at your weakest point emotionally. You may turn to food for comfort — consciously or unconsciously — when you're facing a difficult problem, stress or just looking to keep yourself occupied.

But emotional eating can sabotage your weight-loss efforts. Emotional eating often leads to eating too much, especially too much of high-calorie, sweet, fatty foods. But the good news is that if you're prone to emotional eating, you can take steps to regain control of your eating habits and get back on track with your weight-loss goals.

The connection between mood, food and weight loss

Emotional eating is eating as a way to suppress or soothe negative emotions, such as stress, anger, fear, boredom, sadness and loneliness. Both major life events and the hassles of daily life can trigger negative emotions that lead to emotional eating and disrupt your weight-loss efforts. These triggers may include:

  • Unemployment
  • Financial pressure
  • Health problems
  • Relationship conflicts
  • Work stress
  • Fatigue

Although some people actually eat less in the face of strong emotions, if you're in emotional distress you may turn to impulsive or binge eating — you may rapidly eat whatever's convenient, without even enjoying it.

In fact, your emotions may become so tied to your eating habits that you automatically reach for a treat whenever you're angry or stressed without stopping to think about what you're doing.

Food also serves as a distraction. If you're worried about an upcoming event or stewing over a conflict, for instance, you may focus on eating comfort food instead of dealing with the painful situation.

Whatever emotions drive you to overeat, the end result is often the same. The emotions return, and you may also now bear the additional burden of guilt about setting back your weight-loss goal. This can also lead to an unhealthy cycle — your emotions trigger you to overeat, you beat yourself up for getting off your weight-loss track, you feel bad, and you overeat again.

Tips to get your weight-loss efforts back on track

Although negative emotions can trigger emotional eating, you can take steps to control cravings and renew your effort at weight loss. To help stop emotional eating, try these tips:

  • Tame your stress. If stress contributes to your emotional eating, try a stress management technique, such as yoga, meditation or relaxation.
  • Have a hunger reality check. Is your hunger physical or emotional? If you ate just a few hours ago and don't have a rumbling stomach, you're probably not really hungry. Give the craving a little time to pass.
  • Keep a food diary. Write down what you eat, how much you eat, when you eat, how you're feeling when you eat and how hungry you are. Over time, you may see patterns emerge that reveal the connection between mood and food.
  • Get support. You're more likely to give in to emotional eating if you lack a good support network. Lean on family and friends or consider joining a support group.
  • Fight boredom. Instead of snacking when you're not truly hungry, distract yourself. Take a walk, watch a movie, play with your cat, listen to music, read, surf the Internet or call a friend.
  • Take away temptation. Don't keep supplies of comfort foods in your home if they're hard for you to resist. And if you feel angry or blue, postpone your trip to the grocery store until you're sure that you have your emotions in check.
  • Don't deprive yourself. When you're trying to achieve a weight-loss goal, you may limit your calories too much, eat the same foods frequently and banish the treats you enjoy. This may just serve to increase your food cravings, especially in response to emotions. Let yourself enjoy an occasional treat and get plenty of variety to help curb cravings.
  • Snack healthy. If you feel the urge to eat between meals, choose a low-fat, low-calorie snack, such as fresh fruit, vegetables with low-fat dip or unbuttered popcorn. Or try low-fat, lower calorie versions of your favorite foods to see if they satisfy your craving.
  • Learn from setbacks. If you have an episode of emotional eating, forgive yourself and start fresh the next day. Try to learn from the experience and make a plan for how you can prevent it in the future. Focus on the positive changes you're making in your eating habits and give yourself credit for making changes that'll lead to better health.

When to seek professional help

If you've tried self-help options but you still can't get control of your emotional eating, consider therapy with a professional mental health provider. Therapy can help you understand the motivations behind your emotional eating and help you learn new coping skills. Therapy can also help you discover whether you may have an eating disorder, which is sometimes connected to emotional eating.

By: Mayo Clinic Staff

Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/weight-loss/MH00025

 

Need to find some calm in your chaotic life? Learn how to manage stress in easy, quick ways. Learn 4 easy tips to make this possible

  1. Get Active! Any form of physical activity can be a great stress reliever. Exercising releases feel-good endorphins and can help to enhance your sense of well-being. Try adding in a quick walk, jog, bike, swim, or anything else into your daily routine.
  2. Laugh More! Laughing can cause positive physical changes in your body. Laughing fires up and then cools your stress response.
  3.  Connect with others! To get over stress don’t got it alone! Reach out to friends and family to get through the hard times. Having social contact can give you a distraction, provide support, and help overcome ups and downs. Get lunch with a friend, call a family member, or go volunteer!
  4. Assert Yourself! Don’t try to do it all…. All that will do is cause more stress! Learn to say “no” or to manage all your tasks by delegating and making lists.

To learn more on how to manage stress, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-relievers/art-20047257