Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Hilton Head Health’s Restaurant Survival Guide

HiltonHeadHealth Food  3 300x200 Hilton Head Healths Restaurant Survival Guide

For many, the holidays provide a variety of challenging food situations, one of which is that we tend to go out for dinner more often than usual. So I thought it would be a good time to review Hilton Head Health’s Restaurant Survival Guidelines. Reviewing and implementing these guidelines will help you stay on track to make good choices thoughout the holiday season.

Managing difficult situations starts with having a good plan, so here are a few things you can do even before you leave the house:  If given the opportunity, you choose the restaurant. If you are like me, there are a few of my favorite restaurants where it’s easier to make better choices than others. Here in Hilton Head, I can eat well at Bonefish and not so well at Jim and Nick’s Barbeque. If you end up going to a restaurant you are not familiar with, see if their menu is available online. If it is a national chain, chances are the nutritional info will be available as well. Review the menu and decide what you are going to order, you won’t even have to look at the menu. Have a fit bite (formerly known as a metabo meal) a couple of hours before you go out. A growling stomach is the enemy of healthy choices and mindful eating. Finally, leave a couple of minutes early. If you feel rushed or stressed when you get to the restaurant, you’ll eat that way.

When you get to the restaurant, take a couple deep breaths, review your goals and how making healthy choices will help you reach them. If you must check out the menu, this is the perfect time to put the “Unwise, Better, Best” phrase into practice. Scan the menu, mentally categorize the options, ask the server for help if need be. You don’t necessarily have to make one of the best choices, but there is probably one of the ‘better options’ that you could be happy with. Speaking of making better choices, that is harder to do after a glass or wine or two. Keep in mind that “resolve dissolves in alcohol”. If you want an alcoholic beverage, enjoy it after you have placed your order.

Don’t hesitate to personalize your selections, requests like sauce and salad dressing on the side or veggies steamed plain are common and reasonable. Most restaurants are happy to accommodate them. Since restaurants tend to serve such large portions, go in with a strategy to manage them.  Perhaps you could split an entrée, ask for half to go (server brings you half the meal for you to enjoy at the restaurant and brings the other half boxed for you to take home when you are leaving) or order the 6-8 oz. steak instead of the 12 oz. portion. Once the food is served apply the mindful eating techniques you have practiced with Lisette. (if you’re a past Guest) concentrate on eating slowly and savoring every bite, including dessert if you choose to indulge. Finally, during  holidays you might be going out with family and friends you may not often see, make the main goal of the dinner to enjoy their company.

The point of all of this is NOT to order miniscule portions of something you don’t like; you don’t want to leave a restaurant hungry and feeling deprived. That will only set you up to make poor choices later on. The goal is to leave the restaurant feeling satisfied after enjoying a flavorful, portion managed meal that will keep you moving toward achieving your important health goals, even during the challenging holiday season.

 

Good Calories vs. Bad Calories

Time to discuss one of the most feared words in diet history… CALORIES.

DSC 32431 300x300 Good Calories vs. Bad Calories

If calories had two descriptive words attached the most common I hear are the following: Good or Bad. Why have we done this to ourselves? We have demonized calories in such a way that we have overthought the idea behind calorie counting. We punish ourselves when we go over our calories or we find ourselves paralyzed at the thought of trying to track our food. It’s time to take the fear away from the word calorie. Let’s focus on prioritizing the foods that provide nutritious calories, vitamins, and essential minerals.

Vegetables: Packed with vitamins and minerals like Iron, Potassium, Vitamin C, and more.

  • Asparagus, artichoke, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, cucumber, leafy greens, leeks, onion, fennel, zucchini, butternut squash, pumpkin, peppers, eggplant, fennel, mushrooms

Fruits: An excellent source for antioxidants, Vitamin C and Vitamin B.

  • berries, bananas, apples, citrus, figs, cherries, pomegranate, watermelon, cantaloupe, mango, pineapple, papaya, avocado, tomatoes, peaches, plums, apricots, etc.

Animal Protein: Protein is required to strengthen and develop muscles, partnered with Omega Fatty Acids make Animal Protein essential.

  • Salmon, chicken breast, lean cuts of meat, turkey breast, cod, grouper, sea bass, shrimp, crab, oysters, rainbow trout, eggs, dairy, etc.

Healthy Fats: Don’t be scared off by the term “fat.” Healthy fats increase satiation and contribute to a healthy, balanced diet.

  • Olive oil, grape seed oil, nut oils, salmon, nuts, seeds, grass-fed meats, sustainably raised seafood, avocado, etc.

Whole Grains: Whole grains burn slower, unleashing more energy over time without leaving you hungry in a couple hours.

  • Brown rice, farro, millet, amaranth, wheat berries, quinoa, teff, spelt, barley, etc.

Beans & Legumes: All the protein without unnecessary calories.

  • Black beans, white beans, red kidney beans, lentils (all colors), chickpeas, edamame, etc.

Nuts and Seeds: Healthy fats and slowly digestible fibers make these perfect for snacks.

  • Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, cashews, flaxseed, pumpkin seed, chia seed, sunflower seeds, nut butters

Starchy Vegetables: Part of a balanced diet, especially when prepared properly to increase flavor but limit excess calories.

  • Sweet potatoes, red potatoes, rutabaga, winter squash, corn, peas, beets, etc.

Dairy & Dairy Substitute: Protein packed, but also potentially calorie packed. Focus on using dairy as an addition to a well-balanced meal, not the centerpiece.

  • Prioritize yogurt, kefir, organic dairy, soy milk, almond milk, quinoa milk, cheese as a flavor enhancer, etc.

Water: Helps your joints, muscle function, brain function, and energy levels.

  • All day, every day.

Other:

  • Red wine in moderation, dark chocolate (85% and above), herbs, vinegars, spices, seasonings, tea, coffee, etc.

All of these healthy foods are flavor and vitamin rich. Let’s reframe our mind on the food versus looking at the calories. At Hilton Head Health, we aren’t afraid of the calories, we don’t try to create a meal that is 300 calories. Instead, we focus on the types of food we want to deliver then make sure we make it happen with proper portions and tons of flavor—while maintaining an appropriate calorie range. Now that is what I call a different mentality that I would recommend all to have at home.

 

H3 Top 10 Must-Have Healthy Ingredients

HiltonHeadHealth Lecture  2 640x427 300x200 H3 Top 10 Must Have Healthy Ingredients

Common scenario: A mother with a family of four has chosen 4 to 5 healthy recipes that make up a healthy meal plan for the upcoming week. She purchases everything from the grocery store, returns home and starts meal prep. By mid-week, she starts to notice certain foods are going bad; but, she has plenty of leftovers and limited time to use everything before it hits the trash can. Another trip to the grocery store is needed and it just adds another item on the “To-Do List.”

At Hilton Head Health, we value nutrition and a healthy meal plan as a the key to a healthy lifestyle.  What may be missing in one’s healthy lifestyle is practicing the concept of cross-utilization. Similar to the scenario above, one can make every intention to prepare great recipes, but it can get overwhelming at times and certain foods can be wasted. Cross-utilization is taking one ingredient and/or segment of a meal and using it in another way throughout the rest of the week. Awesome, right? The 10 ingredients below are not only healthy ingredients, but are easily used in multiple ways to be incorporated to any healthy meal plan..

5 Healthy Ingredients to Keep in your Pantry:
Sweet Potatoes: Rich in cancer preventative carotenoids as well as dietary fiber, vitamin C and potassium. Use these within 3-5 weeks in the following ways: baked sweet potato fries, mashed sweet potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, sweet potato soufflé with tofu, or a simple baked sweet potato with a touch of ground cinnamon and a pinch of salt.
Oats: This whole grain can be used to make oatmeal, homemade apple and oats granola bars, pumpkin oatmeal pancakes or mixed into a healthy smoothie to help bulk it up. Oats are packed with soluble fiber (think intestinal and heart health) and beta-glucans (shown to inhibit tumor growth).
• Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Use this oil to sauté vegetables, sear salmon and other protein sources, incorporate into a vinaigrette dressing, roast Brussels sprouts or as a light sauce to a pasta dish. One tablespoon of EVOO is 120 calories so one can’t be too heavy handed; however, olive oil has been ingrained into the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet for years and seems to be working just fine.
• Quinoa: This whole grain is actually more like a seed. Uniquely, it is a complete protein as it contains all of the amino acids essential to get from food. There is red quinoa, black quinoa, quinoa flakes and even more varieties that one can incorporate as a breakfast cereal, pilaf with dried cranberries and toasted pecans or combined with black beans and vegetables to make a vegetarian burger.
• Spices: As most people have busy lives, cooking can sometimes go out the door. Using different seasonings and spices such as salt-free Mrs. Dash blends, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, saffron, Italian blends, cinnamon and nutmeg can transform bland but easy dishes into something special. Try roasted potatoes with garlic/onion powder, baked Italian seasoned chicken breast or turkey meatballs incorporating garlic powder, paprika and a touch of salt.

5 Healthy Ingredients to Keep in your Refrigerator:
• Eggs:  The incredible edible egg is great for omelets, frittatas, scrambles, poaching and more. As most of the protein is found in the egg white, the yolk is a source of Vitamin B12, choline, Vitamin D and more. Added bonus—eggs are quick to cook and stay fresh all week long.
• Yogurt (Regular & Greek): Greek yogurt tends to have more protein per ounce, but traditional yogurt is still a great way to consume high quality protein as well as calcium and Vitamin D. Use non-flavored yogurts for breakfast parfaits, blended and seasoned for dressings or smoothies, incorporated into traditional baked goods or as a simple snack between meals.
• Cruciferous Vegetables: Ideally, you would want to use these within 3-5 days, but make sure to stock your refrigerator with broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbages. These are nutrient powerhouses as they are high in fiber, vitamin C, glucosinolates, and folate (great for our body’s cellular regularity). Prepare broccoli cabbage slaw, roasted paprika seasoned cauliflower, sautéed Brussels and onions and more.
• Spinach & Mixed Greens: Spinach is so versatile– it cooks down for omelets, side dishes or into a stuffed chicken breast. Use this green in salads along with other mixed greens to get a variety of textures and nutrients—one can’t go wrong with something so low in calories but high in fiber, folate, carotenoids, vitamin K and more.
• Mixed Berries: These may go bad relatively fast in the refrigerator, but one can easily individually quick freeze berries and keep them around for months. Blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries are the ones most commonly seen, but try using them in different ways: spinach and berry salad, strawberry smoothie, blueberry chipotle sauce or baked berry ricotta strata.

We hope that you found this list of healthy ingredients to keep in your fridge helpful! Which of these ingredients do you use in your meal planning?

 

Health and Fitness Apps Worth Downloading

I don’t know about you, but I am starting to get a little overwhelmed with the amount of apps we can download for our smart phones. From games to healthy recipe apps to fitness apps, there are just so many to chose from! With that being said, there are few mentioned below that I find very helpful for those looking to better their health, wellness and fitness.

  1. Figwee Portion Explorer ($1.99)
    • You name any food and this app will show you the realistic and ideal portion for that particular food.  For example, if you were to type in apricots you’d have the choice of various apricot items (e.g., dried, fresh, in syrup).  From there, simply click and an actual picture of the food will show up.  Talk about managing portions through actual visuals!  Amazing! Great healthy recipe app!
  2. MyFitnessPal (Free)
    • This app has a huge database of foods as well as making it easy to log physical activity.  Keeping track of your meals, snacks, beverages and exercise can be extremely helpful for those that want extra accountability, as well as recognizing certain daily or weekly patterns. This is hands down my favorite fitness app.
  3. TED (Free)
    • Need a motivational talk? Trying to find what to listen to on a thermal walk?  Download the TED app so you can listen to wonderful TED talks.  If you haven’t heard of a TED talk then I would highly recommend watching Hilton Head Health’s TED talk—check it out:  Hilton Head Health TED Event.

  4. Paprika Recipe Manager ($4.99)
    • This app is great for creating weekly meal plans and managing recipes found on the internet.  Yes, it is almost too good to be true.  For example, I found a smoothie that I really wanted to try on a particular website.  I downloaded the recipe (using the app) then added it to my “Sunday- Breakfast.”  Simple to use and the added bonus is that it helps you create a grocery list! Awesome!
  5. Helium Video Booth Lite (Free)
    • At Hilton Head Health, we stress the importance of relieving stress and a having a  mind/body connection. This app is perfect for stress relief! It will completely feed your soul with laughter. Download this app and you will understand.  Once downloaded, practice on an employee that has a good sense of humor. icon wink Health and Fitness Apps Worth Downloading

We hope that you enjoy these great healthy recipe apps, fitness apps and health apps! Which one of these is your favorite?

 

10 Back-to-School Grab & Go Healthy Breakfast Tips

You know the summer is over when your alarm shrieks two hours earlier than it did last week and you’re standing by the coffee-maker nodding off while it brews, seemingly at a snail’s pace. Once the coffee is eagerly ingested, you start the perilous process of waking your kids for their first day back at school. The relaxed summer mornings are replaced with waking the dead, followed by chaotic bursts of panic, bickering, wishing you could get everyone fed and a final rush out the front door in order to avoid hearing the school bell ring. Leisurely fixing a healthy breakfast is unceremoniously canned.

When back to school sneaks up on you, breakfast is the first healthy habit to go. We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it’s crucial for those little minds focusing on both good behavior and learning throughout the day. Kids who skip breakfast have trouble concentrating, under-perform in memory tests and have low energy. In contrast, kids who eat breakfast tend to keep their weight under control, have lower blood cholesterol levels and fewer absences from school, as well as make fewer trips to the school nurse with stomach complaints related to hunger.

At Hilton Head Health,we capitalize on nutrition as an essential component for wellness and weight loss for our adult Guests. However, health and wellness are just as important for our kids! Here are 10 tips for fitting in a healthy breakfast among the back-to-school bedlam:

1. Trail Blazers: Make your own healthy breakfast trail mix and portion in baggies. Slip the baggies in your kid’s backpack, keep a few in your car’s glove box and throw one in your purse. Voila! Hidden trail mix, ready to eat, everywhere! Let your kids help pick out the nuts, raisins and dried fruits so they’re invested in the choice. (P.S. You can also do this with granola.)
2. Nice Catch Kid!: Cut up mixed fruit and portion in baggies then sprinkle with fresh lemon juice to keep it from browning. Keep the bag in the fridge overnight for a great kids breakfast when you’re in a rush.
3. Smooth Move: Remember the fruit from tip #2? Use one of these bags for a smoothie. Throw the fruit from one baggie in the blender with some ice and Greek yogurt or a bit of peanut butter for some added flavor and protein. No child is going to refuse a smoothie! Nope, not gonna’ happen. Keep some disposable cups on hand so that you don’t have to buy a new set of glasses every month. If you want to take this one step further, you can actually put all the ingredients for your smoothie in the blender pitcher the night before and keep it in the fridge. Pull it out in the morning and blend it while you hover over the coffee-maker as it’s brewing.
4. Sandwiched for Time?: Purchase a loaf of zucchini or banana bread from your local healthy grocery store. Slice it thinly and make sandwiches using cream cheese or peanut butter. Portion into baggies and keep in the fridge. A yummy grab and go kid’s breakfast that they’ll love!
5. Unleash the Quiche!: Make muffin-tin frittatas or quiches early in the week and store in the fridge or freezer. Wrap one in a paper towel, warm it in the microwave, and stick it in your kid’s hands — as you’re signing that last minute permission slip. Garnish with a kiss on the cheek. (P.S. Leftovers are great for making frittatas). Here’s a video from Mom.me to get you started:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Speaking of leftovers: There’s nothing wrong with a non-traditional breakfast. Don’t be shy about microwaving some leftovers, especially if it’s a family favorite.
7. The Incredible, Edible Egg: The boiled egg is the original fast food. Always keep a few in the fridge for a shot of morning protein.
8. A Good-Day Parfait. Assemble a few yogurt, fruit and granola parfaits in disposable cups and store in the fridge. It looks, tastes and feels like a decadent morning treat that will send any kid off to school with a smile.
9. Stowaway Fruit. Stick an extra piece of fruit in your child’s lunchbox so they can eat it on the way to school. In the unlikely event that they actually ate breakfast before leaving the house, the fruit will make a great snack for later in the day.
10. Mamma Mia, Breakfast Pizza: Using a pre-made crust, scrambled eggs, bacon and cheese (you are welcome to add marinara sauce as well as veggies), make a breakfast pizza and portion slices into baggies. Heat a slice in the microwave, give it to junior and then ask for a tip.

Wishing you all a wonderful school year with healthy and happy kids! What’s your favorite healthy breakfast recipe?

 

Prediabetes Affects 1 out of every 3 Americans

At Hilton Head Health, we want our Guests to stay educated with the most up-to-date information regarding nutrition, health and wellness. The proper knowledge is a key tool to help Guests with not only weight loss management but healthy living and disease prevention.

With 29 million Americans with diabetes, according to Edward Gregg, chief of the Epidemiology and Statistics Branch of the Division of Diabetes Translation at the CDC, “We already have a diabetes epidemic on our hands.”  Unfortunately things will likely get worse before they get better. Eighty-six million (1 out of every 3) people in the U.S. have pre-diabetes and 90% of them are unaware of that fact. Pre-diabetes means that blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. Within 5 years, 15 – 30% of those with pre-diabetes will develop diabetes. Leigh Perreault, Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado predicts that up to 70% will develop diabetes in their lifetime. The good news is that a study called the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP)  proved that with moderate lifestyle changes, those with pre-diabetes can dramatically lower their risk of progressing to full-fledged diabetes.

prediabetes8 19 272x1024 Prediabetes Affects 1 out of every 3 Americans

Though the numbers may seem daunting, and changes can often be difficult, pre-diabetes doesn’t have to lead to full-fledged diabetes. Healthy lifestyle changes can include something as simple as switching from drinking soda’s to water, cutting out sugar in your morning coffee, or walking an extra 30 minutes a day. What healthy lifestyle changes do you practice to help keep your health in check?

 

Diet Drinks: Yes or No?

Here at Hilton Head Health, we love to educate our Guests on the best options for their dietary needs to help them navigate their own weight loss paths and wellness journeys and form a healthy diet plan.

This video may be a little on the crazy/goofy side. That is just my personality coming through.  On a different note, I would like to share some information in regards to diet drinks including diet sodas, non-caloric sweetened beverages and those carbonated drinks that always sound “oh-so refreshing.” Are diet drinks and diet soda healthy?  I think most people have a few concerns or questions regarding diet drinks and if they are indeed a healthy choice or not:

  1.  Will diet drinks cause me to gain weight?
  2.  Will diet drinks assist me in my weight loss journey?
  3.  If I drink non-caloric sweetened beverages, will I start to crave certain foods?
  4.  How much is too much?

Various studies have researched the influence diet sodas have among those who regularly consume them.  Instead of giving you lengthy descriptions of these particular studies, I will do my best to sum things up:

  • Those that regularly consume sugar sweetened soda and/or diet sodas on a regular basis are at greater risk for weight gain.  There is not a direct cause and effect.
  • Diet drinks typically provide 10 calories or less per serving.  If you consume 2-3 regular sodas per day then it may be beneficial to switch to diet if you know it could help you shed a few pounds.  However, the long term effects on food choices is something to consider—are diet sodas the best option?  Not for some.
  • Look at the big picture.  If you rarely consume regular or diet sodas/beverages then maybe there are other things in your diet that could use some tweaking.
  • Treat diet sodas like a nicotine patch (especially if you are used to regular sodas or sugar-rich foods). Non-caloric sweeteners are hundreds of times sweeter than table sugar. Your taste buds love this. Based on professional experience, those that limit and/or eliminate artificial sweeteners or diet beverages don’t regret the commitment.  In fact, most say they feel cravings for sweets have decreased and they are making better food decisions throughout the day.

At the end of the day, avoid being the food police.  It can be very easy to view certain foods or items as “good” or “bad”—if we continue to have this mentality then what happens when we choose something “bad”?  Have you blown the rest of the day?  NO! Are diet drinks the best, healthy choice?  Probably not and for multiple reasons.  However, evaluate your meal plan as a whole and decide where you can make the most realistic and sustainable modifications.

What do you like to drink instead of diet soda? Water? Tea?

 

Nutrition: The Dangers of Caffeine Powder

Here at Hilton Head Health weight loss camp and health spa, we know there are dozens of  fad dietary products out there being advertised to the general public daily. With the promise of quick weight loss, it’s easy to be persuaded to use these ineffective or even unsafe products. However, we advocate food and nutritional education for all our Guests while they are reaching their personalized weight loss and wellness goals at our weight loss camp and health spa. With the proper education and gained confidence, our Guests can make the best decisions to maintain their newly founded or improved fitness level, healthy lifestyle and maintained weight loss.

Though we focus heavily on weight loss and wellness achieved through healthy habits rather than quick fixes, not all weight loss advocates can say that they do the same. Legend has it that tea was discovered by Chinese Emperor Shennong  in 3000 B.C. when tea leaves accidentally fell into some boiling water, and so began our love affair with caffeine. According to Wikipedia, 90% of North Americans consume caffeine daily. In small amounts caffeine is not toxic and can even be beneficial. At the very least, for many, caffeine can increase alertness and provide an energy boost. Mounting evidence suggests that small amounts of caffeine (not more than 400 mg, the amount in 4-8 oz cups of regular coffee or 8 cups of tea) might even lower the risk of some chronic diseases.  Unfortunately, we were recently reminded that if a little of something is good,  more is not necessarily better.

Until the recent overdose death of an Ohio teenager, I had never heard of powdered caffeine. Legally and easily available, powdered caffeine is so potent that as little as a teaspoon can be fatal. Logan Stiner, a healthy 18-year-old athlete and prom king died on May 27, 2014. The official cause of death was listed as seizures and cardiac arrhythmia brought on by caffeine overdose. The medical examiner determined that Logan had taken more than a teaspoon of the powder. The recommended dose is 1/16 of a teaspoon. A 23-year-old British man also died of caffeine overdose in 2010 after ingesting 2 spoonfuls of the  powder.

Caffeine powder has caught to attention of the FDA and it released this statement on July 18, 2014 regarding the matter.

The FDA advises consumers to avoid pure, powdered caffeine.  Powdered caffeine is a powerful stimulant and very small amounts may cause accidental overdose – just one teaspoon of pure caffeine is roughly equivalent to the amount in 25 cups of coffee. Because it is very difficult to accurately measure powdered pure caffeine with common kitchen  measuring tools one be easily consume a lethal amount. Symptoms of caffeine toxicity or overdose can include rapid or dangerously erratic heartbeat, vomiting, diarrhea, stupor and disorientation, seizures and death.

It is marketed as a performance enhancer for weight loss and muscle development. The FDA recommends that parents of teenagers be on the lookout as they are most likely to be drawn to these products because of their perceived benefits.

If you are wondering why the FDA would allow such a potentially dangerous substance to be available, the fact is that they have no control over what dietary supplements are brought to the market. The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) states that the manufacturer of a dietary supplement or dietary ingredient is responsible for evaluating the safety of the product before it is marketed. (sounds like the fox guarding the hen house) The FDA is responsible for taking action against any unsafe dietary supplement product after it reaches the market. According to  Daniel Fabricant  of the FDA, “with dietary supplements, there is no pre-market approval, once a product is on the market, the burden is on the FDA to prove the a product is unsafe”. That proof comes a little late for the family of Logan Stiner.

The video below, provided by ABC News, gives more information about caffeine powder, the FDA and safety measures.


ABC News | More ABC News Videos

We hope that you continue to avoid quick, unhealthy fixes like caffeine powder, and continue to lose weight and achieve wellness the healthy way as taught at our weight loss camp and health spa. Why do you think it’s important to avoid quick fixes?

 

Nutrition: Top 10 Reasons To Follow the Mediterranean Diet

MediterraneanDiet7 81 300x209 Nutrition: Top 10 Reasons To Follow the Mediterranean DietA healthy, balanced diet is vital to achieving longterm weight loss and living a healthy lifestyle. Though there are a lot of moving parts and factors to finding the perfect healthy diet for you, following the basics of the Mediterranean diet is a great place to start. The Mediterranean diet is a heart-healthy diet plan that focuses on eating fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, nuts and legumes. It also advocates replacing fats such as butter with olive oil, using herbs and spices to flavor food in lieu of salt, limiting red meat, and enjoying wine in moderation. This diet is enjoyed by those in the Mediterranean region such as Italy, and Greece and is often associated with a longer life, and a healthier heart. Here are the top 10 reasons to follow the Mediterranean diet:

10.  You have fun during your meals.  The Mediterranean diet is not a diet—it is a lifestyle.  Eat your meals at a table, spend time finishing your meal, and eat among others.  I promise you end up having a more enjoyable dining experience.

9.  Your cardiovascular risk decreases.  This diet is the perfect formula for helping your blood pressure and cholesterol numbers improve significantly.

8.  You wake up feeling 10 years younger.  A diet rich in plant foods (vegetables, fruit, herbs, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds) can decrease inflammation as well providing constant energy.

7.   Your loved ones are impressed by your cooking skills.  Following the Mediterranean diet results in spending more time in the kitchen preparing composed meals.  You’ll have the ability to create some awesome dishes—including intimidating recipes you’ve always kept off your meal plan.  Use www.h3daily.com and skills that you may have learned as a guest in the H3 Healthy Kitchen as a valuable resource.

6.  You suddenly feel like an athlete every time you work out or train.  A diet focused on plants, lean proteins, fatty fish, healthy oils (olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, nut oils), low fat dairy, beans, legumes, wine in moderation, herbs, spices and a lot of water will fuel your muscles and body necessary for prime performance.

5.  Fad diets are no longer an option.  No major food group is discounted.  You are focused on getting a variety of foods, going local, choosing seasonal produce and the diet monkey chatter can slowly dissipate.

4.  Healthy food tastes awesome!  Using herbs, spices, vinegars, oils, nuts, seeds and more adds amazing texture as well as giving you a huge flavor boost without excessive sodium or added sugars.

3.  Your friends come to you for nutrition advice.  Your lifestyle is now admirable among your peers and they are asking what you’ve been doing with your diet and exercise.  Here is the great thing—it is easy to encourage those around you because you truly believe in the lifestyle you are living.

2.  You get to buy a new wardrobe.  Due to a significant improvement in your food choices, your weight loss goals will be easy to achieve.  Hello, shopping mall!

1.  You are finally living in diet freedom.  You can finally let go of every fad diet you’ve followed and hold onto something that is realistic, healthy and enjoyable.  Key word—enjoyable.

We certainly hope that you try out the Mediterranean diet and it helps you get closer to reaching your weight loss and wellness goals.

 

Nutrition: Identifying Weight Loss Scams

Here at Hilton Head Health, we take a natural and personalized approach to weight loss and wellness. No short cuts, no diet pills, just hard work and results. However, we understand the that there have always been myths about nutrition and weight loss. The recent concerns about TV host and physician, Dr. Oz promoting “miracle” and “magic” weight loss products that had no scientific proof of actually working begs the question, how do we decipher the true from the false? We’ve created a list of 3 questions to ask yourself before you start a workout or weight loss program that will help you bust the myths and see right through the scams.

1. Does it seem too good to be true? If a pill or program is guaranteeing that you’ll lose weight at an alarming rate without really exerting any effort what-so-ever, beware. This may just not bear any truth or produce any results.

2. Is it natural and healthy? Many diet pills are filled with unnatural chemicals, and unhealthy substances. When on the road to a healthier you, why be counterproductive by consuming an unnatural, unhealthy diet product?

3. Does it require me to eat well and exercise? We believe in taking a natural and healthy approach to weight loss and wellness by teaching our guests proper nutrition and exercising. At the end of the day, healthy eating and exercise is where real and long lasting results lie. Any other short term fix that doesn’t require a healthy diet and moderate exercise is just that… short term.

We hope that you take these questions into consideration, and that they help you get one step closer to achieving your goals!

 

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