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Archive for May, 2010

Not only is it delicious, but chocolate milk has been shown in studies to be an excellent recovery drink for endurance athletes like runners, cyclists, swimmers, and, of course, triathletes.  I have been known to drink it after a rough, 2-hour roller derby practice as well.  To get the most out of this, it is best to drink within 60 minutes of exercise.  One cup (8 oz) is really all most need, but more might be appropriate depending on the duration and intensity of the work out.

Let me explain a little about the reasons that chocolate milk is a perfect recovery drink.  It happens to have a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein, which is excellent to replete glycogen stores lost during training and to aid in muscle repair. One cup of milk provides 24 grams of carbohydrate and 8 grams of protein, again in the 3:1 ratio that has been found to be effective for recovery.  

It also contains important electrolytes like sodium and potassium, which are needed for energy converting in our body’s cells and need to be replaced due to losses through sweat during activity.  One cup of chocolate milk provides 480mg of potassium, which is actually more than a medium-sized banana.   There are about 250mg of sodium found in 1 cup of chocolate milk.  This might seem high, but the ratio of potassium to sodium is important.  Most commercial “recovery” drinks have more sodium than potassium. 

Some may scowl that it contains sugar, and it does, but that is also the reason it is a good recovery drink.  Athletes that have used most of their muscle’s glycogen stores from activity will need those replaced, and quickly, to prevent fatigue and alleviate some muscle soreness.  I started using chocolate milk as a recovery drink during my last marathon training.  I did not have as much fatigue and soreness as in previous years of training.  I can’t be 100% sure it was the chocolate milk, but that was really the only thing that I had changed. 

And, lastly, did I mention it was delicious?  It is like drinking a dessert and makes that 15-22 miles that I just ran so worth it.

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I Pee Green

Yep, I’ll admit it, sometimes I pee green.  No, this is not because I am really an alien being or have been infected with a bizarre virus.  A tinge of green urine is actually not uncommon for someone that eats as much asparagus as I might this time of year.  Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables, although there aren’t many vegetables that I don’t enjoy…radishes are probably my least favorite, but I will still eat them.   I do love me some asparagus, though…on the grill, roasted, sauteed, made into soup, or even blanched and tossed into salad or eaten with hummus.  I have even been known to eat asparagus raw.

The following recipe is one that I have adapted, and it incorporates other spring bounties like mint and snow peas….Eve’s Spring Medley, if you will.  I have used shrimp, but you could also substitute chicken, fish, or no meat if you so desire.  Goat cheese would also be a pleasant substitute for the feta cheese.  As the recipe suggests, you can make this to put over lettuce, but you could also put over pasta, rice, quinoa, or whatever is your stomach’s desire.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined    
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 8 oz snow peas, trimmed and halved on the diagonal     
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ cup fresh mint, chopped
  • Cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 head romaine or other lettuce, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large saute pan, add 1/2 cup water and asparagus; bring to boil and cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Add shrimp and snow peas; cook an additional 2 minutes.
  3. Drain water from pan.  Add lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and mint.  Toss to combine.
  4. Place vegetable and shrimp mixture over a bed of lettuce.
  5. Top with tomatoes and feta.  Serve hot or cold.  If serving cold, add feta right before serving.

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I watched Food, Inc this weekend.  I have read quite a lot on factory farms, and do make the choice to purchase organic meats, when available.  But, I have always been flexible when it came to eating out, dining at friends’, traveling, etc.  No More.  Food, Inc reaffirmed all that I was aware of regarding the origin of meat in the U.S. and gave me pictures that will be etched into my brain forever.  So, if I’ve known this for so long, why now, you ask?  Everyone has a moment when they are ready for change.  That is the most challenging part of my job, is to push people along the Stages of Change.  Well, Food, Inc pummeled me into the “action” stage as far as consuming factory farmed meats.

UGH!  And, I say “ugh” as I think back to all those corn-fed, hormone-injected, antibiotic-filled, factory farm animals I have eaten and of all the change that is ahead of me. I’ve known for awhile that eating this kind of meat can’t be good for me, but I made exceptions as to not be a pain to anyone or buy cheaper meats if money was tight.  No more.  I can no longer stand by and give money to an industry that does not care for its animals, its workers, nor the consumers that it serves.

Just like the movie said, everytime we purchase something, we our putting our “vote” in for that product.  No longer does franken-meat have my vote.

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The 16 food companies that encompass the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) are pledging to cut 1.5 trillion calories from the U.S. food supply by 2015, and 1 trillion by 2012.  Per their press release, the HWCF “manufacturing companies will pursue their calorie reduction goal by developing and introducing lower-calorie options, changing recipes where possible to lower the calorie content of current products, or reducing portion sizes of existing single-serve products.”  And, “is working to promote ways to help Americans achieve healthy weight by balancing the energy (calories) they consume with the energy they expend through physical activity.”

I just have a couple of points to make:

1. The names of the companies that make up the HWCF are listed below.  From the looks of these, I am pretty sure their only goal is more revenue, not reducing the incidence of obesity in the U.S.

  • Bumble Bee Foods, LLC
  • Campbell Soup Company
  • ConAgra Foods
  • General Mills, Inc.
  • Kellogg Company
  • Kraft Foods, inc.
  • Mars, Incorporated
  • McCormick & Company, Inc
  • Nestlé USA
  • PepsiCo, Inc.
  • Post Foods/Ralston Foods, LLC
  • Sara Lee Corporation
  • The Coca-Cola Company
  • The Hershey Company
  • The J.M. Smucker Company
  • Unilever

2. “Cutting” calories to these companies means creating more crappy, low-calorie foods full of chemicals, additives, and fillers.  Their goal is not to promote more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.  Do not be fooled by their shiny packages and fancy labels.  Their goal is for you to purchase more, more, more.

3. In 2008, according to the USDA, 38 million Americans, 13.9 million being children, live in households that suffer from hunger or live on the edge of hunger.  Yes, that is correct, 38 million fat Americans do not have enough food to prevent hunger for them and their children.  Do we see something wrong with this?  These companies have enough food and resources to wipe out hunger in the U.S.  But, why isn’t this happening?

I have one question for the HWCF:

If you are truly concerned about the health of U.S. citizens, have you ever thought to use those huge profits you make off of us fat Americans to create subsidies for healthy foods like produce so that more Americans can have access to these foods and less of our population has to suffer from hunger?

You may think you have fooled the majority, but you have not fooled me.

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Dear Scale,

I am sure this letter is a complete surprise to you considering our long relationship, but this tryst must come to an end.  The only thing you have ever given me is a number, no more, no less.  A number that tells me what I weigh at one given moment on this Earth, which, by the way, would be totally different if I lived on the moon.  You don’t take into account the amount of muscle I have, how much I’ve ate or drank in the last day, or that I might be a little bloated this time of the month.  Nope, you just give me a number.  And, this number is the reason we must part ways.

Sure, we’ve had some good times.  I remember the times when you gave me a low number, you made me feel great enough to wear a tight shirt and my “skinny” jeans.  I especially remember getting down to less than 100 pounds and being so proud of myself.  The thing is you weren’t really much of a friend.  You provided me with this number, but you were never concerned that I might have achieved this number by doing unhealthy things, like binging, purging, and excessive exercise.  Nope, you only reinforced these behaviors.  I suppose these weren’t really the good times that I had envisioned.  You were all I cared about for so long, it is sad to let you go, although we have been growing apart for some time.

And, there have always been the bad times.  You never failed to make me feel like a whale on many an occasion, with numbers spanning from 110 to 130 pounds. Sure, whales weigh in the range of 33-85 tons, but that’s how you made me feel.  I was sure I heard you let out a little scream from the pain of my body on you.  Some of these days, I didn’t go to school or want to meet with friends; you made me feel that bad about myself.  No longer will I allow you to make me feel this way, don’t even try.

It is amazing to me that you have had such a hold on me and so many others for so long. I know most still won’t let go of you, and they will take their own journey, but we are through.  Interestingly enough, since we have grown apart, my weight has remained stable. I have realized, and I hope someday others do as well, that you are no good for our psyche.  You only give us a number.  That number does not dictate the type of person we are, if we are pretty or ugly, if we should smile or cry, nor should it dictate what we might eat that day, or who we shall visit.  You will only ever provide a number, that’s it, nothing more, nothing less.

So, Scale, I can’t control you, but I do control my behaviors.  So, I choose to focus on my behaviors that promote my health…eating mostly whole foods, eating mindfully, exercising, practicing yoga, getting enough sleep, etc.  Please, do not try to contact me ever again.  My mind is no longer yours to tamper with.

Goodbye,

Eve

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My husband and I watch the show called “Fringe;” it is a bit like “X-files.”  This clip is from last week’s Fringe episode.  Walter Bishop is a scientist and has to grocery shop for himself, he usually has his son do this for him.  Oh, and did I mention he’s a little crazy?

Potassium Bromate.  Potassium bromate is an ingredient found in many processed foods, and it happens to be legal here in the United States, most other countries have banned its use in food.  It has been found to be carcinogenic, just as Walter points out.  California actually requires a cancer warning on the product label if potassium bromate is an ingredient.  Is this something you want in your food?  Likely not.

Potassium bromate is just one of many ingredients that are found in processed foods.  Processed foods have long lists of ingredients that I am sure our grandmothers did not have on their kitchen shelves.  It’s pretty scary, it’s almost like we are some sort of experiment…I understand the reason these foods are often referred to as “frankenfoods.”  Luckily, there is a sure way to avoid potassium bromate and other ingredients you can’t pronounce.  If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ve heard it before.  Eat food.  Not too much.  Mostly plants.

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Yep, that’s right, Shape-Ups.  I was only familiar with these through advertisements that claim the shoes are designed to “tone the calves and firm the glutes.”  When my niece pointed out that “grandpa” was wearing Shape-Ups, I laughed so hard I almost cried.  I had no idea my dad was into firming his glutes or calves, maybe he had a modeling contract that I hadn’t heard about yet. 

So, I decided to ask my dad about these crazy, dutch-looking shoes.  He said that the shoes make his back and joints feel better when walking….nice cover dad, just tell the truth, that you really want shapely legs and buns.  BTW, I am still laughing.  And, then, I see a commercial for these shoes that very same night.  And, low and behold, Joe Montana is the spokesperson for the “Shape-Ups.”  It all comes together now.  You see, my dad loves Joe and would probably buy pink tutus or a ticket to the moon from him, if he were selling those.  At this point, I am still chuckling to myself. 

Okay, I will stop making fun of my father and his Shape-Ups, that was not the intention of this post.  The Shape-Ups are just a segue into my father’s walking.  He walks 2-4 miles per day.  He goes outside when the weather is nice, and goes to Menard’s to walk the perimeter in inclimate weather.  I use him as an example to my patients, whether they are in their 20’s or 80’s.  And, mostly, whenever I hear them say that their activity is weather-dependent, which is quite often.  Indiana…its either too hot, too cold, too rainy, too icy, etc….the weather is never going to be consistently nice, its not an excuse anymore.  If my 76 year old father can do it, so can they, so can I, and so can you, with or without Shape-Ups.

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