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Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Eating Healthy During The Holidays

Posted by Catherine Morgan on December 2, 2010

Is it possible to eat healthy during the holidays?  Do you really want to?

For me, the answer is yes and no.

Yes, I know it’s possible to continue to eat healthy during the holidays.  But no, I really don’t want to.  So instead, I’ll try to find a happy medium.

Some say that most people only gain about a pound during the holidays, others say you can gain up to ten…I imagine it depends on the person.

Here are my 8 tips for avoiding holiday weight gain that I wrote last year around this time…

1.  Avoid empty calories – Instead of drinking high calorie beverages, try drinking water with lemon. And limit alcohol whenever possible.

2.   Try not to go to holiday parties hungry. When possible, eat a healthy meal before you attend the party. You will make much better food choices if you are not starving when you arrive to the party.

3.  If you must indulge in holiday treats, remember that portion control is key. Just have one cookie, rather than a handful. Or have a small piece of pie, rather than a large piece. It’s okay to indulge, just try not to over-indulge.

4.  Try making your favorite recipes healthier, just about every recipe has a healthy version.

5.   Burn a few extra calories by having fun and dancing to your favorite holiday music. Don’t just listen to those holiday tunes, burn calories by dancing to them too. Kids love it when mom dances with them.

6.   When possible, avoid stress. I know this is easier said then done, especially at this time of the year. But many of us are emotional eaters, and stress is an emotion that can really pack on the pounds. Do what ever possible to avoid stress.

7.  Dress for success. Try to wear snug fitting clothing, it will make you more conscious of your food intake. And we usually look thinner when we’re not wearing clothes that are too bagging.

8.  As always, avoid processed foods. Remember, you are what you eat.

Of course, I will be trying to stick to these tips as much as possible, but it’s easier to know the things we should be doing than it is to actually do them (at least for me).  Here’s an example of one of my many healthy holiday eating dilemmas…

For Thanksgiving my son wanted me to make the pumpkin cheesecake that I made last year (everybody loved it), so I did.  And since it’s a recipe lower in fat and calories, it seemed like it should be a healthy dessert choice — that was until I realized I couldn’t stop at just one serving (or even two for that matter).  I guess you could say, I over did it a bit.

I know the best thing for me to do is to get over it and get back to making healthier choices.  So instead of focusing on the negative, I’m going to follow my tips on the days I can, and not be too hard on myself on the days I can’t.  I think that’s a pretty good plan.

What about you?  Are you worried about holiday weight gain?  Will you be trying to eat healthy over the next few weeks, or are you going to indulge your cravings and worry about it after the new year?  I would love to know in comments.

Also See:

*cross posted at catherine-morgan.com

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Posted in BlogHer, body image, dieting, food, Health, life, nutrition, weight loss, Women, women's health | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Tips For Increasing Your Dieting & Weight Loss Willpower

Posted by Catherine Morgan on June 12, 2010

How important is willpower when it comes to our ability to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle?  Is it possible to change poor eating habits to healthy ones if you don’t have a lot of willpower?

My answer:  The more willpower you have the easier it will be, but perfection isn’t necessary.

No one wants to admit that they lack willpower or self-control, but the truth is, none of us has an unlimited supply.  Some days we may have less self control than others, but that makes us normal, not imperfect.

When it comes to healthy living, a healthy dose of willpower is helpful.  The good thing is, once you’ve had the willpower to resist certain unhealthy choices and adapt healthy ones, willpower is needed less and less because your new choices become habit.

If you have unhealthy habits, it is possible to change them into healthy habits.  They say it takes about three weeks for something to become a habit (or to unlearn a habit), so those first three weeks are when willpower is most needed.  And there are things we can do to help maintain are willpower during these critical times.  Here are a few tips…

1.  Have a plan for dealing with times of low willpower. Making the plan before you’ve lost your willpower is key.  Think of all the possible problems that could arise, and then come up with some ways to help you overcome them.

For example:  If eating healthy is your goal, make sure you have a lot of healthy alternatives available for the days you’re feeling you must eat something that you know you shouldn’t.  If you don’t think that will work, then go ahead and eat what you’re craving, just limit yourself to one serving of it (rather than the whole box).  If you think it will help, write down your solutions to the possible problems in a journal or on a post-it note, and review them frequently.

The most important thing is to be prepared.  Because it’s not a matter of  will you have a moment of weakened self-control, it’s a matter of when.

2.  Find ways to reduce the stress in your life.  Emotions definitely play a role in the amount of willpower we have on any given day.  If you’re an emotional eater, you know what I’m talking about.  Do what ever you can to reduce stress in your life.  Here are a few ideas…

Do what ever you can do to reduce the stress in your life.  This isn’t just a way to help your willpower, this is a necessary component of healthy living.

3.  Have a glass of orange juice. Studies show that glucose is a key ingredient that your brain needs to help maintain an effective level of self-control (willpower).

4.  Exercise the willpower muscle.  Don’t wait for something huge to come along and challenge your willpower.  Instead, make an effort to challenge your willpower on a smaller scale more frequently.  Doing this actually builds up your ability for having greater willpower at the times you really need it.

These are a few tips that can help you develop stronger willpower.  But it’s important to know that we will all have times we falter, there is no such thing as having complete self-control, and that is perfectly okay.

What are your willpower issues?  Do you have any tips you can share about ways to maintain willpower for healthy living and healthy eating?

Posted in BlogHer, body image, dieting, food, Health, life, lifestyle, nutrition, self-help, weight loss, Women, women's health | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

May Is Lupus Awareness Month

Posted by Catherine Morgan on May 30, 2010

May is Lupus Awareness Month, and even though it’s the end of the month, I wanted to do my part to bring more attention to this devastating disease and some of the brave women living and blogging with it.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects many more women than men.  In fact, ninety percent of people who develop Lupus are women.  The scary part about Lupus is that it can damage any organ in the body (including the heart, kidneys, lungs, blood, joints, and skin) causing life-threatening complications.

Here are a few Facts For Lupus Awareness Month

  • The most common symptoms of lupus are: extreme fatigue or exhaustion, headaches, painful or swollen joints, fever, a butterfly-shaped rash across cheeks and nose, sun- or light-sensitivity, and hair loss.
  • Approximately two-thirds of people with lupus will develop some type of skin complication. This often is in the form of a rash or sores, most of which will appear on sun-exposed areas, such as face, ears, neck, arms, and legs.
  • There is no single laboratory test that can determine whether a person does or does not have lupus. Diagnosing lupus involves analyzing the results of several lab tests that are used to monitor the immune system, along with a review of the person’s entire medical history.
  • Systemic lupus is the most common type of lupus. Systemic lupus can affect any organ system of the body, including the heart, kidneys, lungs, blood, joints, and skin.
  • In lupus, the immune system loses its ability to tell the difference between foreign substances, such as viruses or bacteria, and the body’s healthy tissue. The result is the production of auto-antibodies that attack healthy tissue.
  • Since many symptoms of lupus mimic those of other illnesses, lupus often can take three to five years to diagnose. Symptoms of lupus can come and go over time, which makes a definite diagnosis more difficult.

There are many courageous women living and blogging with Lupus, and May is the perfect time to check out their blogs and show them some love and support.  If you know a woman blogging with Lupus please share their link in comments.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in chronic illness, family, food, Health, life, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues, YouTube | 2 Comments »

Dieting, Weight Loss, and a Choose You Giveaway.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on May 26, 2010

An Update and a Giveaway…My very first give away.

I’m happy to report that even with additional temptations this weekend [It was my mother’s birthday and we got her an ice-cream cake, chocolate volcano cake, and cheese cake.] I was still successful in my goal to not eat sugar.  It actually wasn’t hard at all to resist, I think because it’s been over two weeks, I’m just not craving the sugar the way I normally do.  So that’s a plus!

Do you want to see the Birthday Dance of my mother that I made with the American Cancer Society’s new dance application?  Here’s the link – Frances Ellen Disco Dancing (Feel free to tease her about it in comments, she loves all the attention).

OK, back to my post.

Since I was so successful with my first (two week) commitment, I decided to make a longer and more difficult commitment next.  For the next six weeks I will be continuing to avoid sugar, but I will also eliminate high fat/calorie snacks and junk food, and lose 5 pounds.

That’s a lot…But you think I can do it, right?

So that’s my new commitment.  Now for the giveaway.

Since I know my Choose You Commitment is going to get more and more difficult to stick with, I wanted to do something to increase my online support.  It may sound silly, but I love getting comments of support and tips from my readers.  And the more feedback I get, the more encouraged I get.  So I asked the folks at the American Cancer Society if I could do a giveaway.  Not only did they say yes, but they agreed to donate a Choose You Stainless Water Bottle and a Choose You Lapel Pin.

All you have to do is go to MY CHOOSE YOU BLOG POST and leave a comment on the post and you will be entered to win (I’ll announce the winner when I post next Tuesday).  Any comment will do, but like I said in my first post I could use all the support I can get from you.

Also See:

Catherine is the mother of two teenagers, she writes about health & wellness at BlogHer and catherine-morgan.com.

*cross posted at Choose You

Posted in about me, blog, body image, cancer, dieting, family, food, Health, life, lifestyle, nutrition, self-help, weight loss, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Foods That Increase Your Energy

Posted by Catherine Morgan on April 22, 2010

Are you tired and sluggish all the time?  If so, it could be something you’re eating (or not eating).  Knowing what foods can help keep your energy up might be just what you need to get through your busy day.

Before we talk about what food are best, lets take a quick look at what you should try to avoid

Stay away from “quick-fix” foods that contain a lot of sugar or caffeine (like candy bars, soda, and coffee). Although these may give you a quick spike in your energy level, that energy will rapidly bottom out leaving you feeling even more lethargic.

Energy drinks are particularly bad because of their high levels of caffeine and sugar. Energy drinks may also cause…

  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Rapid Heart Rate
  • Increased Blood Pressure

Consuming high levels of salt may also contribute to a sluggish feeling.

Well, those are the things you should avoid, now let’s take a look at the foods with the most benefits.  Try to focus on low-glycemic foods, because they release energy slowly.  The best are foods high in complex carbohydrates and low in fat.

Whole Grains – These are high in fiber (which slow the breakdown and absorption of sugar) and complex carbohydrates, they also contain antioxidants similar to those in fruits and vegetables. In addition to increasing energy, whole grains are believed to reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. For the most benefit, try to eat 6 or more servings of whole grains per day.

Oatmeal is a whole grain that is also beneficial for its high source of soluble fiber.

Foods high in protein but low in fat will also help keep your energy up…

  • Salmon is high in protein, and is also high in omega-3 fats that can also boost your cardiovascular health.
  • Beans are packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Best fruits for increasing energy…

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Apricots
  • Watermelon
  • Berries

Top vegetable for increasing energy…

  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Yams

Great energy snacks…

  • Almonds
  • Peanut Butter
  • Soy Nuts
  • Trail Mix

Don’t forget to drink plenty of water.  Not only can dehydration lead to fatigue, but water also helps flush out toxins that can drain your energy.

Eating these high energy foods can have other benefits besides just reducing fatigue.  When you avoid foods that cause fatigue and instead eat healthy high energy foods, you reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and possibly cancer.  Eating these foods can also help you maintain a healthy weight.  And don’t forget that you are the role model for the children in your life, you can teach them by example how to make healthy food choices.

Also See:

Posted in BlogHer, dieting, family, food, Health, life, nutrition, self-help, weight loss, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Politics: How is the healthcare crisis related to the high cost of healthy foods?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on March 18, 2010

Are healthcare, politics, and the high cost of healthy foods related?

Yes.

Let me start by saying…I am so sick of politics I could throw-up. But that said, this is about much more than politics. It’s about the warped reality we are all living in, from the White House to our local supermarket and fast food joint.

About two weeks ago I read an article comparing the cost of health care to the cost of food. It suggests that the best way to solve the healthcare crisis, is for all consumers to be forced to pay more for healthcare – Because then people would think about the cost before “choosing” certain tests and treatments. What a shocking revelation…Who would have thought (other than the CATO Institute) that the people who can’t afford expensive health care services would “choose” not to have them? Although, I wouldn’t really consider that a choice.

*Read full post at catherine.morgan.com

Posted in family, food, Health, heart disease, life, lifestyle, news, nutrition, opinion, political, Politics, universal healthcare, Women, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Eat Healthy For Life, Not For Weight Loss

Posted by Catherine Morgan on March 5, 2010

Eat Healthy For Life Not Weight Loss

We know that the food we choose to put into our body can have a huge affect on our health and quality of life, but many of us still choose to eat unhealthy foods.  Let’s face it, the unhealthy stuff tastes really good, and we don’t usually have cravings for healthy food.  That’s exactly why obesity is such a large problem for both adults and children in our country…But is dieting the answer?  I don’t think so.  As we all know, dieting can often lead to a roller coaster of weight loss and weight gain, that leaves many weighing more in the long run.

So if dieting isn’t the answer…What is?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in body image, chronic illness, dieting, food, Health, life, nutrition, self-help, teens, thoughts, weight loss, Women, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

You May Not Want To Know What’s In That Burger

Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 16, 2010

Would you like a little dog food and ammonia with your burger? –

Question.  Would you eat dog food?

No?

What if it was mixed in with your hamburger meat?  Would you eat it then?

What if I told you it wasn’t your choice?  What if it was already in the burgers you are eating?

Don’t shoot the messenger.  Anyway, it’s not like they are just putting dog food into your burger, they are adding ammonia first to kill off the E. coli.  Well that’s a relief.  And if the USDA says it’s safe, it shouldn’t matter whether you know about it or not.  Right?

I don’t know how I missed this – It was in the New York Times back in December…

Eight years ago, federal officials were struggling to remove potentially deadly E. coli from hamburgers when an entrepreneurial company from South Dakota came up with a novel idea: injecting beef with ammonia.

No worries though…The USDA says it’s a perfectly safe way to turn fatty slaughterhouse trimmings (once sold as dog food) into burgers from your favorite fast food joint, grocery chains, and even school lunches.

Yes, you heard right.  Rather than make dog food out of this otherwise trash, it’s now being processed into food for you and me (and our kids).  What are the poor dogs going to eat?  And how long will it be before we are all eating that too?

And get this…The USDA has exempted this new beef product from its mandatory E. coli testing, based on studies done by the same company making millions selling this disgusting stuff.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in cooking, dieting, food, Health, heart disease, life, news, nutrition, Women, women's health, women's issues, YouTube | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Secret To Good Health: Red Wine & Dark Chocolate

Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 14, 2010

By now most of us have heard that there are many health benefits to red wine and dark chocolate.  But what is it about these two (seemingly not so healthy) foods that make them good for us?  And…Is it possible to get too much of a good thing?

In this post we’ll take a look at these two foods and their surprising health benefits.

Let’s start with my personal favorite – dark chocolate.

Today you can buy just about every type of chocolate candy (from M&Ms to Kit-Kats) in dark chocolate.  But, it’s not just any chocolate that’s good for you…It must be dark chocolate with a high percentage (70%) of cocoa, to get more of the health-enhancing antioxidants.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in chronic illness, dark chocolate, food, Health, heart disease, life, lifestyle, nutrition, Women, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Carnie Wilson Talks About Her Food & Alcohol Addiction on Dr. Oz

Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 11, 2010

carniedrozEarlier this week I was part of a conference call with Carnie Wilson, who was recently featured on the Dr. Oz Show to talk about her food and alcohol addiction.

Carnie Wilson has always struggled with her weight.  She even had gastric bypass surgery in 1999.  Then after going through two pregnancies, and gaining 50 pounds each time, she found herself battling the extra weight all over again.

Carnie told us that the show was “very dramatic,” and “the fact that he had labeled me morbidly obese really shocked me.” But, she also says, “Dr. Oz was one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met.”   Carnie was confused when Dr. Oz told her that she was pre-diabetic – “I was actually in shock because I just had blood work done.  All that blood work came back normal.  To this day I am not pre-diabetic,” she said in the press call. “If he wants to call me that, it’s fine, but my glucose levels are at a normal range.”

After watching the show, I can understand how Carnie may have been shocked by some of the things Dr. Oz was saying to her.  It’s funny to me how Dr. Oz seems to try so hard to make medical issues more understandable to the average person, but he didn’t clarify many of the comments he was making about Carnie.  For instance, doctors refer to patients as “morbidly obese” strictly based on their weight and BMI.   But clearly, although Carnie may fit the medical definition of morbidly obese, she is obviously in a much healthier place than she was in the past.   And when Dr. Oz checks her glucose level, he does so by using a method diabetics use to keep track of their blood sugar throughout the day. Carnie’s doctor would be using a much more accurate method that involves fasting blood work, and that’s why she is so certain she is not pre-diabetic…she probably isn’t.

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Posted in body image, dieting, food, Health, heart disease, life, nutrition, thoughts, weight loss, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

What is your eating style? Do you follow one of the popular diet plans?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on January 21, 2010

What is your eating style?  Do you follow one of the popular diet plans?

If you’re looking to eat healthy or lose weight in the new year, there are a lot of diet plans out there to choose from.  But how do you know which plan is best for you?  I’m not a fan of fad diets – Even when they work, they are often an unhealthy choice and any weight lost is usually quickly gained back.  But there are diet plans geared towards healthy eating and healthy weight loss.  Maybe you’re already following one.

In this post I thought we could take a look at some of the diet plans that also focus on healthy eating.  Because, in the long run, changing unhealthy eating habits to healthy ones is the only way to lose weight and keep it off.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BlogHer, body image, cooking, dieting, food, Health, life, lifestyle, nutrition, weight loss, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

8 Tips For Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

Posted by Catherine Morgan on November 29, 2009

8 Tips For Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

Will you be trying to avoid gaining weight this holiday season?  If so, you’re not alone.  But this is a tough time of year to be watching your weight.

So…What can you do to avoid the dreaded holiday weight gain?

Well, its NOT diet (save that for your New Year’s resolution).

Until then, here are my top 8 tips for avoiding weight gain this holiday season…

Read full post at catherine-morgan.com

Posted in about me, BlogHer, dieting, family, food, Health, life, nutrition, self-help, weight loss, Women, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Holiday Food Safety

Posted by Catherine Morgan on November 25, 2009

The CDC estimates that there are 76 million cases of food-borne illnesses each year, and of that number more than 300,000 will be hospitalized and 5,000 will die.  Those are high numbers, especially considering these types of illnesses are very preventable.

On Thursday we will all be sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner, and some of us will even contract one of these food-borne illnesses.  But there are things we can do to reduce our risk of of food-borne illness.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BlogHer, family, food, Health, links, nutrition, Women, YouTube | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Cookie Diet: Can you really lose weight?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 31, 2009

cookie dietIs it possible to eat cookies and lose weight?  Well, Dr. Sanford Siegal would certainly like you to think so.  After all, at $56 for a week’s supply, Dr. Siegal is going to make an estimated $18 million this year selling his weight-loss cookies.   It’s called The Cookie Diet, and if you like cookies it may sound like a great way to lose weight.  But is it?

Usually, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.  And apparently the first deception about this diet is calling it a cookie.  The word “cookie” implies that it’s a yummy treat, but it seems everyone agrees they don’t taste very good.  Also, the meal-plan for the cookie diet restricts the dieter to only one meal a day, and less than 1000 calories.  Anytime you restrict calories that low, weight-loss is inevitable (with or without the cookie).

A friend of mine tried these cookies because someone she worked with seemed to have lost quite a bit of weight using them.  But she told me the cookies were very dry and not tasty at all.  She also said she would never buy them again, because they didn’t work.  When I asked her about the co-worker that had lost so much weight using the cookies, she mentioned that she saw the guy recently, and he had gained all the weight back.

Here is more about The Cookie Diet…

READ FULL POST AT catherine-morgan.com

Posted in body image, dieting, food, Health, life, nutrition, opinion, self-help, weight loss, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Diet: Tips For Avoiding Sugar During Halloween

Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 15, 2009

Avoiding Candy Cravings During Halloween and Sticking To A Healthy Diet

halloween candyI have been successfully off of sugar since my post Conquering Sugar Addiction:  The First Step Towards A Healthy Diet (and the toughest), but I know I am always just one bite of a brownie away from falling off the wagon.  And now there is another huge temptation – Halloween.  It seems like everywhere I go I am faced with those giant bags of Halloween candy.  The next few weeks are going to be a real test of my new-found willpower.

It’s nice to know I’m not the only one struggling with Halloween candy temptations.

*Read full post at catherine-morgan.com

Posted in about me, body image, dieting, food, Health, kids, life, motherhood, my life, nutrition, parenting, personal, self-help, weight loss, Women, women blogging, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Lose Weight, Boost Immune System, and Increase Energy with Isagenix

Posted by Catherine Morgan on September 24, 2009

I recently posted this on my Living With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome blog, but I thought it would be good here too.

I don’t normally recommend products on my blogs, but as a person suffering with chronic illness I know how important it is to share information that could benefit others. I started using these products about a year ago, in the hope of boosting my immune system, and increasing my energy. I believe it has done both of these things and more, I just feel so much better on the days that I use this product than on the days I don’t.

This product has the potential of benefiting your health in so many ways…And for anyone looking to generate an income, the company also offers a very simple way to do that too.

These products have really increased my quality of life.

It’s by a company called Isagenix. They have many products but I’ve been using three.

The first one is a nutritional shake. They come in Vanilla and Chocolate (and they actually taste good). Even though it is “technically” a meal replacement, I often use it as a supplement between healthy meals.

isagenix-isalean-shake

The shake contains 23 grams of the highest quality New Zealand whey and casein protein from grass-fed cows with no added hormones or antibiotics, as well as filling fiber, calcium and vitamins to support the body’s vital functions.

This perfectly balanced shake also contains Ionic Alfalfa™, our proprietary blend of 70 super-charged minerals, trace minerals and alfalfa juice. Active enzymes in each serving helps maximize the absorption of key nutrients.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in about me, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic illness, dieting, food, Health, life, lifestyle, my life, nutrition, personal, self-help, weight loss, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Health Benefits of an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Posted by Catherine Morgan on September 7, 2009

Eating healthy and trying to maintain a healthy weight are important for our overall well being.  But there is now growing evidence that eating anti-inflammatory foods can reduce symptoms of chronic illness and even prevent heart disease.

This is a diet plan that just about everyone can benefit from.  And although this is not a weight loss diet, many people do lose weight simply because they are replacing unhealthy foods with healthier anti-inflammatory foods.  The best part is…Many people begin to see benefits (such as reduced pain) within just a few weeks.

READ FULL POST at catherine-morgan.com

Posted in blood pressure, chronic illness, cooking, dieting, food, Health, life, nutrition, weight loss, Women, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The High Cost of Cheap Food

Posted by Catherine Morgan on September 1, 2009

There was an interesting article this week in TIME magazine – Getting Real About The High Cost of Cheap Food.  The article goes into detail about the harmful effects of cheap food on our environment, our finances, and ourselves.

Have you read the article?

From Choosing Raw – Nutrition in the News:  The High Price of Cheap Food

Hope you’re enjoying your start to the week. I just wanted to draw everyone’s attention to Time Magazine’s very excellent cover article this week. It details the true cost–economic, medical, cultural, environmental–of mass-produced and processed food, and it’s worth reading and sending to your loved ones A.S.A.P. The article probably won’t tell you anything you didn’t learn from Food, Inc. or The Omnivore’s Dilemma, but it’s powerful, succinct, and uncompromising. Most importantly, it’s a huge sign of progress that major newsweeklies are spreading word about the true cost of cheaply produced, high-protein diets.

*Read full post at catherine-morgan.com

Posted in cooking, food, Health, life, lifestyle, news, nutrition, opinion, political | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Is It Possible To Eat Healthy on a Budget?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on June 6, 2009

Could The Recession Be Making More Americans Fat?  Is it possible to eat healthy on a budget?

There seems to be evidence that the poor economy is taking its toll on American families and their ability to make healthy food choices.  For some it may be that stress is contributing to an increase in emotional eating, and for others it may be the cost of eating healthy.  For what ever reason, the recession appears to be having a negative affect on obesity in America.  And since there is no sign of economic recovery in the near future, we need to all find ways to get ourselves (and our families) through these hard times without forfeiting our health.

Back in October I wrote a post on saving money while still eating healthy, and now more than ever, I think we need to take another look at how we can do that.

Today Newsweek had an article about how the recession is contributing to an increase of overweight Americans.

Is The Recession Making Americans Fatter?

Could the plummeting economy be contributing to expanding waistlines? Something is: new data released exclusively to NEWSWEEK from Gallup-Healthways shows that in the past year, the number of Americans considered obese has jumped by 1.7 percent—or almost 5.5 million people—and that the obese report a much lower quality of life than those who are at healthier weights.

. . .

The stress of worrying about keeping or finding a job, paying bills and keeping a stable home does take a negative toll on one’s health, including weight. “There’s a clear link between stress and weight gain,” says Leslie Heinberg, director of behavioral services for the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute at Cleveland Clinic. “People may be more likely to eat comfort foods or eat things that are higher in fat and calories,” she explains. And, this kind of weight gain can be especially unhealthy: “There’s good evidence that stress hormones may play important role in holding onto fat, especially the much more deleterious visceral fat.”  And a tight budget doesn’t just mean stress eating, it also means we’re more likely to choose foods that are cheaper, which are typically foods that are higher in fat and calories.

Let’s take a look at what other women are blogging about eating healthy on a budget.

Read full post on Eating Healthy on a Budget at catherine-morgan.com

Posted in dieting, family, food, Health, heart disease, life, lifestyle, news, nutrition, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

What You Need To Know Before You Fill Out An Online Questionnaire

Posted by Catherine Morgan on June 1, 2009

How private do you think your personal medical information is?  You may be surprised (or angry) to find out the truth.

Could you be unknowingly giving away your private information to unscrupulous marketers?  Well, if you’re one of the 27 million people that have taken an online questionnaire to determine your real age, that may be exactly what has already happened.

From Stephanie Clifford at The New York Times

While few people would fill out a detailed questionnaire about their health and hand it over to a drug company looking for suggestions for new medications, that is essentially what RealAge is doing.

RealAge allows drug companies to send e-mail messages based on those test results. It acts as a clearinghouse for drug companies, including Pfizer, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline, allowing them to use almost any combination of answers from the test to find people to market to, including whether someone is taking antidepressants, how sexually active they are and even if their marriage is happy.

From The Great Fitness Experiment — Is Your Real Age Accurate?

At first I will admit I was thrilled with my results. See? That healthy living obsession is paying off in the form of high-kicking organs and a mind that could battle wits against a Sicillian and win (although not in a land war in Asia.) But then the doubt started to creep in. I fussed around with my results and discovered something interesting: the test puts an immense, some might say disproportionate, emphasis on certain supplements. Especially confusing to me was the pro vitamin E stance, considering all the recent research about its harmful effects. A supplement that reportedly causes a 15% increase in early death actually added years to my life according to the quiz. Are they just operating off of old research? After all, Vitamin E used to be the wonder supplement before Vitamin D threw it off the bridge with cement shoes. Or, is something more nefarious going on?

. . .

In addition, The Real Age test, backed by Oprah’s Dr. Mehmet Oz, has branched out into a full online community with mailing lists, chat rooms and even recipes. Boasting a membership of over 27 million, they’ve got a lot of eyeballs. So not only is the test assigning an arbitrary number based on dubious health principles but they’re also creating one of the largest online drug marketing databases in the world.

This is from Cranky Fitness — Find Your “Real” Real Age

Have you taken the “Real Age” test? It’s that site where you sign up and answer a bunch of family history and lifestyle questions. Then the site figures your health risks and tells you how old you “really” are.

Twenty seven million people have taken it so far. And it’s energetically pushed by Oprah’s pal, Dr. Mehmet Oz.

Jodie Andrefski wrote Those Fun Online Quizzes May Be More Than You Bargained For

Then, you have sites like RealAge. Oh, this one is nifty. This one is popular for telling you what your biological age is based on your answers to a detailed quiz about health habits and family history. Are you depressed? How often do you have sex? Now, the answers to these rather personal questions aren’t just to figure out your “Real Age” by the way. Ahhhh….no. Your information is then used to market you based on your answers. Depressed? Having problems in that area and Viagra is starting to look good? Well, let us (RealAge) help. We will allow partners to sponsor messages that we will then send to you. Aren’t we ever so helpful? *cough, cough*

“These [types of sites] are data-mining havens where users willingly opt in from the very beginning,” says Ryan Jacobson, an attorney and co-chairman of the Entertainment Media and Privacy Law Group at the law firm SmithAmundsen in Chicago. “I’m afraid that the average user fails to recognize or take the time to understand what privacy rights he or she is actually giving up by responding.”

What do you think about the way this RealAge site is using our basic desire to stay young and healthy, just to turn around and sell us out to pharmaceutical companies?  Is it dishonest?  Or a shrude business plan?  Have you taken the questionair?  Is so…How does it make you feel knowing your personal information  is being used to send you pharmaceutical spam?  Let us know in comments.

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