Archive for » May 27th, 2012«

How to Plan, Prepare and Eat at Your Memorial Day Celebration


Memorial Day is right around the corner. Are you ready for the big event? If not, don’t fret because we have some last-minute tips on how to plan a party, navigate holiday eating, and even a round-up of healthy All-American recipes.

If you’re playing host this Memorial Day weekend,’s Registered Dietitian, Mary Hartley, RD, says planning early for a big party is key. In addition to cooking as many foods as you can ahead of time, some of her recommendations include:

  • Make a menu, shopping list, and list of equipment you’ll need – you might have to buy or borrow things like serving platters, a punch bowl, or a coffee urn.
  • Think about your oven and refrigerator capacity to make sure you can accommodate your menu items.
  • Don’t make a dish you have never tried before.
  • At the party, assign someone the task of keeping the food table refreshed and cleaning up as you go.

When it comes to actually eating at the party, navigating a big spread of food can be tricky. But Mary says a few simple tricks can help keep your waistline in check. Start by limiting alcoholic drinks as they can provide a lot of empty calories. Also, don’t show up starving and have a snack before you go so you aren’t tempted to devour everything in sight when you arrive. And lastly, be discriminating and don’t snack on everything just because it’s there. Instead, pick your favorites and pass on the rest.


Red, White and Blue Sangria. Enjoy this patriotic spin on a classic by using white wine in place of red, and adding berries instead of traditional orange and citrus slices. This bubbly refreshment packs tons of antioxidants and will only set you back 240 calories per glass.

Red, White and Blue Turkey Burger Sliders Before you wonder where we’re headed with this, we can personally attest to its goodness. Ground turkey, salty feta cheese, and home-roasted red peppers make a flavorful base for a juicy blueberry balsamic reduction. And at only 156 calories per slider without the bun, you can have two without an ounce of guilt!

All-American Potato Salad. Potato salad at its finest, but with a healthy spin. Reduced fat sour cream and mayonnaise help keep this cookout favorite figure-friendly.

Cool Six Fruit Salad. Who needs dessert when you have fruit? This colorful recipe includes all of my fruity favorites: Bananas, watermelon, strawberries, peaches and grapes. A simple ‘dressing’ of orange juice ties the whole dish together.

We hope these tips and healthy recipes help your Memorial Day go off without a hitch. And with that, have a happy holiday weekend!

Also Read:

Get Fit with Memorial Day Activities 

5 Ways to Recover Your Diet After a Holiday 

Pre-Game your Memorial Day Celebration



May 27th, 2012

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Kelly Clarkson Lost Weight for Her Boyfriend

If you noticed that is, let’s say, less fat now, it’s because she is. She says her boyfriend has inspired her to lose weight.

“I would love to say that it had something to do with my work, but it doesn’t,” Clarkson, 30, whose new singing competition Duets premieres Thursday, told reporters during a conference call. “I have a boyfriend, and if I’m being completely honest, no one likes to be not toned when you are dating someone.”

This is very true though I can’t help but feel Kelly is being a little disingenuous when she says she could have stopped being a fatty whenever she wanted.

“I tone whenever I want, and I chose to now because my boyfriend and I are both really into it,” she says. “But we don’t work out together.”

“We did that once and I didn’t like huffing and puffing,” she continues. “I didn’t like looking all red and gross, so I don’t do that.”

So is she saying she chose to be a fatty by choice? Because increasing your risk of heart disease and not being able to walk a mile without wheezing seems like really odd things to want to have.

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Our Health Depends on the Food We Eat

FOOD experts’ observation that we are what we eat is putting us on more pressure to people. But despite this observation, it is proving to be difficult for them to change their lifestyles with aim to live longer.

A clear example is what is seen in eateries and bars especially during weekends for those who know how to use their money, not knowing that they are killing themselves prematurely. World class research findings indicate that almost everything that we eat has a side effect, especially if taken over the recommended proportion.

Too much of anything is harmful, so the saying goes. But how much do Tanzanians know about these facts? For sure, even the mostly popularly used food such as maize can be harmful to our bodies. For example, Fumonisin is one of the toxic substances called mycotoxins produced by various fungi under moist conditions and in right temperature.

Humidity along the coastal areas is favourable to such toxins. More threaten, the fight against HIV/AIDS may be harder and trickier for the nation to deal with than previously assumed because of maize, a staple meal base of many people in the country.

“HIV, cancer of the liver and cancer of the throat, according to the researcher, Dr Martin Kimanya, Food Evaluation and Registration manager with Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA), are related to consumption of mycotoxin-prone foods in sub-Saharan Africa.

Tanzania, due to its tropical climatic conditions provides ground for contamination by these poisonous substances caused by fungi. The level of contamination of the crop varies in areas with notable high amount which is found in Tabora, Iringa, Kilimanjaro and Ruvuma regions.

Reliable studies on the magnitude of the above mentioned diseases as a result of maize consumption are not available, and this calls for further studies to be followed by public education on preventive measures. Food Technology researchers with Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre (TFNC), on the other hand, reveal that most Tanzanians are not sensitive with what they eat.

The increased cases of obese children and adults, people with high blood pressure are on the increase. The situation is worse among executives and urban dwellers. Lack of physical exercise, obesity and nonobservance of balanced diet are identified as main causes for the situation. In some traditions in several parts of the country people believe that certain foods are meant for specific people, and they tend to shy away from them.

There are those fruits and green vegetable which are for women and children and there is no way this can be part of the food intake. In several occasions, experts have advised on the need to go for balanced diet, participate in frequent physical exercises and avoid situations that will put them into more health problems.

We must all listen to such expert advice if we are to live healthy lives which are prerequisite for healthy living and make us better able to participate in the social and economic development of the country. It is only possible if we adopt healthy life styles.

52 ways to lose weight: Tip No. 3

Simple steps can add up to big weight loss when taken over a year.

Let us count the ways. Whether you’ve vowed to lose five pounds or 50, the following advice will help make achieving your weight loss resolution a little easier.

We scoured research journals and spoke with diet and fitness experts to find a year’s worth of practical and effective methods to rev your metabolism, torch fat and flatten your belly.

“When you successfully implement one change, you’re more likely to do another. The more you’re able to stick to your goal, the greater your confidence, and the more chance you’ll have to start and accomplish new goals. These small changes can add up to a lifestyle change,� says Jessica Cassity, author of Better Each Day: 365 Expert Tips for a Healthier, Happier You.

During the next 52 weeks, use these strategies in your daily life to help you reach your goal by year’s end.


Hit the gas early during your workout.

College of New Jersey researchers found that men who started a 30-minute running workout at high speed, working at 70 per cent of their VO2 max (or aerobic capacity), and then eased up to 50 per cent of VO2 max burned five to 10 per cent more fat than those who started slow and then revved up the pace. The after-burn of the high-intensity workout seems to carry over into the lower-intensity period, increasing overall fat burn


Leave the car at home.

Use public transportation. Turns out taking the bus or train is as good for your body as it is for your wallet and the environment. In one recent study from two Pennsylvania universities, researchers found that people who switched from driving everywhere to using a light-rail system lost an average of about six pounds in a year. “By walking the extra blocks it takes to get to and from bus stops and train stations — instead of pulling up right in front of a destination — you naturally increase your activity level enough to result in weight loss,� says Cassity.


Drink two cups of coffee, black.

A study in the journal Physiology and Behaviour found that drinking two cups of caffeinated coffee can boost your metabolism by 16 per cent compared with the decaf kind. Make sure to drink it black, though. The 67 calories in a spoonful of sugar and a tablespoon of cream can negate caffeine’s calorie-burning benefits.

Friend’s petal-power diet may be overrated

Q: I have a friend who’s really gotten into eating flowers. She says the petals are all edible on plants, and that as long as it wasn’t sprayed recently with pesticide, they’re safe to eat. She puts them in her food, and recently has started picking flowers along the street and eating them as we walk. How much truth is there to all this?

A: As with many food fads, there is a bit of truth, but it’s not nearly as much as what she seems to believe. Some flowers are edible, such as nasturtium, marigolds, daylilies and snapdragons. Some are commonly eaten in some areas, such as dandelions. Others, such as roses, lavender and lilac, we know more for their scents than their flavors.

But some flowers can be deadly, too. Foxglove, the whole plant including flowers, contains the basic ingredient for heart medications, and eating the plant can stop your heart. Delphinium is another flower with potentially fatal compounds.

Of course, she should only use flowers that have not been treated with pesticides, but just saying “not recently” is not enough. Some pesticides are within the system of the plants and can be present for much longer than a day or two. Even wild flowers could be problematic depending on the health of the animals in the area. Manure is good fertilizer but also can carry lots of bacteria.

Call your local Extension office; it should have a copy of the “Guide to Toxic and Irritant Plants of Florida.” Or use the “AMA Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants,” from the American Medical Association.

And it’s a good idea to check what you do pick for insects unless you want some wild protein as well.

Q: I recently started on a high-protein diet. I am using soy protein as well as meat and poultry. I seemed to lose a lot of weight fairly quickly, within a week. But then the weight loss stopped and I hit a plateau. Usually I don’t plateau on a diet until after a month or two. So that’s puzzling me. I happened to mention the diet to my doctor and he was really insistent that I stop it! Why?

A: The person you need to ask is your doctor. I don’t know your medical history or what particular risks you might have. What I can say is that the quick early weight loss on a high protein diet is simply because you lost water.

When you force your body to burn fat and protein for calories instead of carbohydrates, two things happen. One: The fat produces ketones. Two: The protein puts extra nitrogen into your system. Both of these have to be excreted through your kidneys. More urine loss means more water loss, which you see as weight loss.

But your body can only sustain a certain amount of dehydration, so you start drinking more to maintain your fluid levels. And the weight loss stops. The extra load on your kidneys from the extra excretion needs might be part of your doctor’s concern. In persons susceptible to kidney problems, either from family history or other medical conditions, high-protein diets can push a person into serious kidney failure or damage. They can also increase your chances or risks of gout. So talk to your doctor before you continue for much longer on the diet. Make another appointment with him or her if necessary to discuss your risks.


OMG book author makes millions from cold bath and coffee regime

Skip breakfast, go easy on the broccoli and take cold baths: the advice from a unorthodox and controversial new diet book has just made a north London gym instructor a millionaire.

  1. Six Weeks to OMG: Get skinnier than all your friends

  2. by

    Venice A. Fulton

  3. Buy it from the Guardian bookshop
  1. Tell us what you think: Star-rate and review this book

After self-publishing his book under the straight-talking title Six Weeks to OMG: Get Skinnier Than All Your Friends, the 39-year-old Venice A Fulton has now signed two lucrative publishing deals on either side of the Atlantic after a bidding war lasting several days.

Fulton (his pen name) is revealing little about himself except that he wrote the book in a Finchley library, has a degree in sports science from the University of Bedfordshire, and came up with his theories after trawling through scientific papers on metabolism and weight.

Literary agent Richard Pine, who represented Fulton, said in a statement that the US deal with Grand Central was worth seven figures and that terms with the UK’s Michael Joseph, an imprint of Penguin, were “equally spectacular”.

The diet, said to be followed by unnamed celebrities, recommends avoiding fruit juice, starch and carbohydrates, and drinking black coffee and dousing oneself in chilled water for 15 minutes in the morning to kickstart the metabolism rather than having breakfast. It promises readers they can lose 20lb of fat in six weeks.

Fulton says plunging into cold water will cause the “metabolic rate to shift to overdrive” and if you’re not brave enough to immerse your whole body you can just expose your legs. He adds: “Most of us have a hard-wired fear of all things unusual. It takes a few brave humans to stand up and try something new. Eventually, the truth spreads from these explorers, and makes all our lives better.”

Six Weeks claims that fruit juices and smoothies cause overeating and that the carbohydrates in broccoli can be worse than those in Coca-Cola.

While the majority of reviews have been positive, some remain unconvinced by Fulton’s unconventional techniques, although he has responded to critics in his blog by saying no one should trust doctors when it comes to diet.

“Doctors are the mechanics who patch things up when they go wrong,” he said. “I’m extremely grateful for the job they do, and have fond memories of doctors visiting me as a child, and making me better again. But in terms of preventative advice, they can’t be trusted. In terms of cutting-edge advice, they’re even more behind the times.”

Six Weeks to OMG – a title Fulton says was inspired by watching the reality TV show The Only Way Is Essex, became a word-of-mouth e-hit in the UK.

It is rivalling the bestselling Dukan Diet, whose equally controversial author, Dr Pierre Dukan, faces an ethics hearing in his native France after suggesting children could pass a new exam by staying thin.

Weight and body image are becoming increasingly explosive topics. Last week there was outrage when the coach of former world heptathlon champion, Jessica Ennis, revealed a senior figure at UK Athletics had described her as fat.

Ennis’s coach Toni Minichiello claimed that an unnamed “high-ranking person” within the governing body said the 26-year-old was “fat and she’s got too much weight”.

The message to young people, especially girls, that an athlete like Ennis was overweight was enormously damaging, he said.

For Six Weeks Fulton claims to use a mix of nutrition, biochemistry and psychology to help people lose weight, and given the huge market for diet and nutrition books, which has seen bestsellers The Atkins Diet and The South Beach Diet make millions and create their own spin-off industries, we can expect a lot of people drinking black coffee in a cold bath this summer.

One UK book agent said: “I read it the day it came in because I liked the idea. I just didn’t think it was publishable. It lacked professional credentials for a diet and fitness book. Normally with these kinds of books you’d need a doctorate. If you look at Arthur Agatston, who did The South Beach Diet, or Dukan or Atkins, they’re all doctors. This just seemed so not based in the going medical wisdom that I couldn’t see how it could be seen to work commercially. But I was massively wrong.

“The qualities of this book were not apparent to a lot of people who saw it, but good on him. You can’t underestimate the power of a strong concept in publishing. Diet and fitness is historically a strong area of the market. I suspect it will be huge.”