Posts tagged ‘nutrition’

My MD and Me

Well, folks,  yesterday’s post generated the most comments in C&C history!

Thank you SO much to all who took the time to say a few words. I am truly grateful…reading your comments is why I do this. It truly fills my soul

I was touched (and very surprised!) at the outpouring of people who told me to ditch my MD. In all honesty, I like him. He’s a good doctor, but I think this brings up an alltogether bigger point:

How is your MD talking to you about weight? It’s no secret that most doctors get NO nutrition education in school, and often their bedside manner can be…less than stellar.

Here’s how my conversation went:

MD: “Hmmm, you’ve gained 11 pounds in the past year”

Me: “Yeah, I know.”

MD: “Tsk Tsk (yes, he did that!) Not good. You just need to eat less. Stop snacking. De-stress.”

Me: “Um, OK. I know what I need to do.”

Seriously, it was as basic as that. He didn’t really probe any deeper. Had he done that, he would learn that I have a history of emotional/compulsive eating, and “eating less” is not as simple as he makes it out to be. I mean, when you eat your emotions, as I did for so long, “stopping snacking” seems almost impossible.

For the record, my MD was not telling me that I was fat. He was, in his own, special (wink wink) way, telling me that a weight gain of 11 pounds in a year is concerning to him. I mean, it’s not a real concern since I’m perfectly healthy, but whatever, I appreciate the feedback.

But this brings up a good point: Find someone you can talk to about your health and nutrition. There are so many health counselors and RDs out there who want to HELP YOU. They will really, truly, listen to you and will create  a plan to help you achieve your goals.

I can only imagine how desperate someone else in my position would feel after talking to my MD. Seek support! If you need any recommendations, you can always contact me at amanda@cakeandcarrots.com

What’s your relationship with your MD like?

September 22, 2010 at 2:20 pm 4 comments

A bad case of the Mondays

If you’re a fan of the movie “Office Space” like I am, you’ll know the phrase: “Does someone have a bad case of the Mondays?” pretty well.  In fact, as it’s Monday today, people around the world are uttering those words right now.

Do you have a bad case of the Mondays? Are you tired from the weekend or not wanting to be in your job? Yeah, I understand. Me too, sometimes.

But for me, Mondays take on a different hue: I’m “back on” my “good” eating.

Does this sound like you? You eat “well” all week, go to the gym, feel good about your diet. Then then weekend comes along (I like to call it the WEAK-end) and you’re more relaxed, eating and drinking more, perhaps skipping a workout. And then before you know it again it’s Monday!  “Oh crap!” you say to yourself, “I totally blew the weekend with my diet! I’ve gotta get back into healthy eating again.”  And around and around it goes, until you’re trapped in the Mondays hamster wheel.

I thought you might know a thing or two about this.

So, what to do? Unfortunately the answer is deceptively simple: Don’t engage in WEAK-ends.

Meaning:

1. Continue listening to what your body wants. Don’t use the excuse “Well, heck, it’s Friday so I should have 7 drinks and pizza” because that’s what your conditioned to do. Listen to your body. Do you really WANT that?

2. Schedule in your workouts. And I mean in your calendar. With pen. Perhaps try hitting the gym first thing when you wake up to get it out of the way. Or, instead of your usual routine try something else: a new exercise class, a hike, or a long walk exploring your neighborhood (that’s my fave weekend workout)

3. Stock up the fridge on Thursday night. This is one I need to remind myself of, too. If you’re like me, you buy lots of groceries on Sunday night for the upcoming week, and by Friday, most of your food is gone, leaving you to rely on take-out, restaurants, and foods you wouldn’t normally consume (read=not as healthy). Why not make a trip to the supermarket on Thursday night so your fridge is stocked with all your favorite, healthy foods for the weekend?

4. Indulge more during the week. What the heck, Amanda? Yes, it’s true! If you’re trying to be too “good” and “perfect” with your eating during the week, not allowing yourself any treats, it’s no wonder you’re splurging during the weekend. Friends, my blog is called CAKE and carrots for a reason: there is room for both in your diet. If this scares you, start by adding one small treat during the week and see if that feels good to you, and if it makes any difference in the way you eat during the weekend. Perhaps a little dark chocolate is all you really need.

Do you have a case of the “Mondays” today?

September 20, 2010 at 12:34 pm 6 comments

Oooh, a new book for my library!

A new book has come out that I’m dying to get my hands on.  It’s called Read It Before You Eat It: How to Decode Food Labels and Make the Healthiest Choice Every Time.

Ever realize how hard it is to decipher a food label. I’m sure you look at calories, perhaps fat, protein and sugar. But what does that all mean in terms of your body? Admittedly, I get confused as well. Ever try buying a loaf of bread? Man, that is hard!

And what about those flashy, catchy words on the front of packaged goods like “Lowers cholesterol” and “Heart healthy!” What does that even mean?

Well, I’m gonna read the book and give you some better answers. Until then, 2 things you can do:

1. Read this post from Fooducate, one of my most favorite blogs, and read an interview with the author.

2. When in doubt, stick to natural, wholesome foods. That means foods with super short ingredient lists, fruits, veggies, and whole grains. When in the supermarket, shop the perimeter…that’s where all the good stuff is. Skip those middle junky aisles.


August 31, 2010 at 1:13 pm 2 comments

What’s the deal with Soy

Happy Monday, my friends!

One of the questions I get asked most is about soy.

More specifically, is soy good/bad for me?

Personally, I believe it’s really difficult to be so black and white about a food such as soy. After all, it’s been a staple of Asian cuisine for thousands of years. But studies and the media have also shown that eating soy can lead to hormone and thyroid issues, breast cancer, and poor development in children.

So here’s the deal: there’s no right answer to this debate.

It’s more important to be educated about soy and then develop your own opinion based on your experiences.

Personally, I eat soy in limited amounts. ALWAYS organic. I tend to eat less processed forms of soy, such as tempeh, and tofu on occasion. I limit the amount of fake soy (ie soy protein) because even though it’s soy, it’s definitely not natural. And I don’t over-indulge.

I urge you to read this fantastic blog post by Dr Mark Hyman, one of my most favorite and well-respected integrative nutrition experts. He summarizes the research out there and does a great job of telling you what’s what. If you read the comments on the end of the post, you’ll see that everyone has an opinion about soy (and some pretty strong ones, too!).

So, once again….what makes your body feel good???

August 16, 2010 at 1:22 pm 1 comment

Go Wild on your salmon!

So, you all know you should eating WILD salmon, and NOT farmed Atlantic salmon. Right?

Right?

I’m not going to delve into the full story on this post, but if you want more information check out here.

And according to Seafood Watch,

One of the biggest concerns is the amount of food required to raise farmed salmon. It generally takes three pounds of wild fish to grow one pound of farmed salmon. The environmental impact of salmon farming is still increasing as global production continues to rise.

Most salmon are farmed in open pens and cages in coastal waters. Waste from these farms is released directly into the ocean. Parasites and diseases from farmed salmon can spread to wild fish swimming near the farms and escaping farmed salmon can harm wild populations. As a result, all salmon farmed in ocean net pens get an “Avoid” ranking.

Farmed salmon also has higher levels of the toxin PCB, and get their pinkish hue from food with pink food dye. They are also fed grains (um, who ever heard of a fish who ate GRAINS?) and also disgusting leftovers from slaughterhouses. Now, this isn’t every salmon farm, but there is just no way of telling. That’s why I don’t order Atlantic salmon at  restaurants anymore.

But here’s the issue: you know you should be eating your fish (up to 12 ounces a week of low-mercury fish) and getting your healthy omega-3s!

Enter wild salmon. If you like salmon, your best bet is to eat WILD salmon.

And it just so happens that I had the most kick ass salmon last night from the company Henry & Lisa’s. You can check out the website for their story and their other products, but last night I (ok, Matt) made the Wild Alaskan Salmon with Asian Ginger Marinade.

Oh my god, amazing! Super easy to prepare, cook, and NO fishy flavor. Truly superior.

If you live in NYC, you can find their products in smaller retailers pretty much all over. You can type in your zip code and see where their products are carried near you. I bought mine at the Park Slope Food Co-op.

This is definitely going to be a staple in my freezer!

August 11, 2010 at 1:21 pm 4 comments

Roadtrippin’

An

I apologize in advance if this post makes little to no sense, as it’s Monday and I have a whopping 3 hours of sleep behind me. I just got back from the most fun and ridiculous (in all ways) roadtrip to Hershey, PA to see a Phish show. The title of our trip is now known as Biker Bars and Candy Bars. ‘Nuff said.  Believe me, the lack of sleep is WELL worth it (and you know that I’m a big proponant of adequate sleep. Sometimes having fun just trumps being responsible).

So, I’m on a roadtrip to the middle of Philadelphia, destination: an amusement park where funnel cakes are the healthiest food on the menu. What’s a health nut to do?

Pack your own food. Your friends might stare at you, laugh at you, call you funny names, but you’ll be getting the last laugh when the rest of your friends have indigestion and are running to the bathroom from eating a deep fried twinkie.

Before I left on the roadtrip, I went to the store and stocked up on healthy eats like whole grain chips, apples, dried mangos, organic popcorn, dark chocolate, etc.  I also had mini bags of granola that I threw in my purse to snack on inside the concert venue.  I didn’t eat all of it, but it made me feel better knowing it was there. And when I did eat out, I just found the healthiest option available to me. For example, lunch one day was an american grilled cheese sandwich on white bread. I would never eat that at home, but it was the best I could do. And then I moved on.

So my advice to you when you’re travelling, whether in a car or on a plane: prepare. My friends have dubbed me the “responsible” one of the group, and it’s because I don’t like to leave many things to chance. I’m the one that has 17 ponchos for my friends just in case it rains, and the keeper of the sunscreen.  If you care about your health and not falling victim to concert/amusement park/airplane food offerings, do yourself a favor and bring your own food.

This is not to say that I didn’t indulge in an ice cream sundae every day and eat lots of chocolate. I was in Hershey, after all (when in Rome). OK, and a bean burrito and PBJ sandwich in the lots at the Phish show.  But I did so because I wanted to, not because it was the only thing to eat.

What do you like to bring on road trips? Any tips or tricks to offer?

June 14, 2010 at 1:46 pm 3 comments

Nutrition is…

Happy Sunday!

I just had a thought I wanted to share. And yes, I am procrastinating.

I just had a lovely walk on a hot evening around my Brooklyn ‘nabe. People were out and about, happy in the warm evening weather. I was with my dog and my husband and all was good. Really good. We made a stop at an ice cream joint where  I got a delicious cappuccino chunk ice cream (kiddie size) in a sugar cone. We sat on a bench licking our cones (my goodness, that sounds naughty), people watching, and just relaxing.

And then this thought popped into my head: This is what nutrition is to me.

It’s not about the 200 calories that was in my ice cream. The fat grams and the sugar that by any nutritonal standards is deemed as “bad.” I’ve spent 15 years of my life thinking nutrition was all about fats, calories, protein, good vs bad foods. And the guilt. OH, the guilt.

But now, to me, nutrition is….enjoying a blissful night, surrounded by everything I love, eating a f$*cking ice cream cone. I’m completely satisfied, and my body is thanking me.

‘Nuff said.

May 3, 2010 at 12:19 am 2 comments

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