Eating Disorders in Women Over 50

Eating Disorders Over 50

64% of the women over 50 surveyed in a recent study by the International Journal of Eating Disorders admitted to thinking about their weight on a daily basis. It’s odd when you think of women in their 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s with weight issues like binging and anorexia/bulimia.  However frighteningly enough it’s there and the # is growing.  But why?

This study by the International Journal of Eating Disorders suggested that the concept of the “70’s is the new 50’s” is adding that unnecessary stress in appearance that wasn’t there before. We all can think of a family member in this age group who struggles with weight.  As the article below points out, how do you fix that?  How do you help them?

I can only imagine for a couple of reasons why it would be a tough challenge.  Some of these women could have grown up their whole lives with that mentality hence it’s hard to change something that engrained in someone’s mind.  Another chunk of the women have fallen into this trap with all the glamorized shows and news articles showing the all time favorite stars these women grew up with wearing tight dresses or bikinis at 75!  Yet another group may have been affected when bodily changes happened during menopause.  Whatever the case may be it’s an issue worth bringing up.  It shows at no age are you immune.

Whatever the reasons like any age group it’s a challenge.  Do you know someone who falls into this “overly weight” conscious group?  How would you or have you helped them?

Eating Disorders Hitting Women Over 50 – US News and World Report.

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Top 4 Healthy Lunch Spots in Chicago Loop

As someone who works in the loop I know for a fact that one of the biggest challenges is where do you go for lunch when you haven’t brought one from home.  There is fast food screaming at you from all over and every bad decision you don’t want to make is in walking distance from your office.  Well, after spending several years in the loop I have tried and tested tons of places in search of those favorite “go to I don’t want to sabotage my diet” places.

Here are my top three recommendations:

1. Protein Bar –  Stick with one of the bowls or a salad.  My personal recommendation is the Healthy Chicken Parm bowl.   But remember, just because they have every “health shake” under the sun does not mean it doesn’t still have a days worth of sugar in it. http://www.proteinbarchicago.com 

2. Pret a Manger – I love this place!  I think the main reason I love it is because they have their nutritional count right on the label.  There are a lot of good choices to be made here.  My pick?  Tuna Nicoisse Salad with Lemon Shallot dressing (use half) http://www.pret.com 

3. Whole Foods (gold coast) – Their salad bar is AMAZING plus they have a lot of other good choices, fresh sushi, fruit etc.  http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/ 

4. Specialty’s – Ok this is a recommendation for salads only.  Back away from the sandwiches they will do you know good (think awesome but 300-600 calories for the bread alone).  I like taking their basic mixed greens salad and adding a few more veggies, avocado, chicken and blue cheese. http://www.specialtys.com/ 

Have another restaurant in mind?  Or perhaps you know the top 3 healthy lunch spots in your city.  Let us know!

Healthy Lifestyle Step One: Internalize

We all want to live healthy lifestyles and be in better shape but the hardest decisions we battle are where or when to start.  Watching shows like the Biggest Loser or skimming through magazines like Fitness and Health we see the articles, some of us may even read them once or twice but what does that really mean other than words on paper?  How can this advice relate to me?  Over the next few blog posts I will help you identify the steps you need to take in putting those words into action and hold your hand along the way.

A lot of my blog posts are about healthy versions of foods but as I’ve mentioned before diet isn’t everything.  You need to physically move your body to change.  As Ghandi once said:  “We must be the change we want to see in the world”, well that world starts with you.  So I’m telling you to be the change you want to see in yourself and perhaps along the way you may inspire someone else to follow.

Step 1: Identify the starting point.  Here’s a great article I came across in the blog “Built Lean”.  Read through the article and enter your information into the automatic bmi calculators.  This will show you where you’re at and what you need to work with:   http://bit.ly/bkjs1V

Step 2: Pick a goal you want to reach and an end date.  I don’t want to be Debbie Downer and tell you your goal is unrealistic, but consider doing something simple to start like 10lbs in the next 8 weeks.

Step 3:  Write down your reasons for change.  It’s more than just picking a number and jumping right into it.  You have to make sure to internalize this, make it sink in.  So the next step is to write down on a piece of paper or in a journal your goal number, why you want to/need to reach that goal, and why you are unhappy with where you are today.  

Body Fat: Good vs Bad

body fat percent

We all know that body fat is not good for us.  Those cute, little (or big) squeezable love handles can be both hurting or helping us.  However with all the information out there and with little time to research what are you going to do?

Take a deep breath, let’s dig in to body fat a little further.  Here’s what we know, body fat can be good or bad.  There are five main types of body fat: white, brown, subcutaneous, visceral and belly fat. Let’s look into them briefly:

White Body Fat – Stores energy and produces hormones into the bloodstream.  The larger we get the slower this production goes upping our chances of heart disease and diabetes.

Brown Body Fat – Recent studies show brown fat is now more related to muscle than it is to white fat (good thing).  In turn brown fat even burns white fat (Hooray!)

Subcutaneous Fat – This is the fat directly under your skin.  It’s what’s most often measured when getting the “pinch test” for body fat.  This fat in low doses is not great however it’s not as bad as visceral or belly fat.

Visceral Fat – This stuff is what covers your organs.  Not a good fat and having it severely ups your chances for health problems down the line.

Belly Fat – Is actually visceral and subcutaneous combined.  At this point doctors don’t have a 100% sure way to tell which is which, irregardless a big belly or hips (unless pregnant) is never a good sign!

I recently came across some stats in Marie Claire that diced up exercise and fat %’s in terms of fertility. To summarize, they said that women who spent five hours a week moderately exercising were 18% more likely to conceive than those who spent less than an hour a week exercising.  However on the opposite side, those who spent over five hours a week were decreasing their fertility chances by up to 42%!  So we know exercise is essential to helping rid the unhealthy body fat but there is an exercise sweet spot. Five hours a week is key. Even aside from fertility reasoning, over five hours a week, unless training for a marathon is still unnecessary and potentially harmful to your body by over conditioning.

So using the knowledge on body fat, how can you find out what yours is?  Here’s a great article I found in Shape Magazine online that discusses the normal to overboard ways you can try to determine your actual body fat %.  After all weighing in on a scale is great to get a ballpark figure and looking at your body in the mirror (without blindfolds) is great too, however it doesn’t differentiate how much of your weight is water, muscle, or body fat.

Body Fat Testing: What You Need to Know – Shape Magazine.

Other sources:  WebMD,Marie Claire

Healthy Eating – Top 8 Brands

Ever feel overwhelmed walking into the grocery store?   There are so many different brands and options for every product how on earth do you make the best choice?  Do you go with low sodium?  How about low-fat?  Both?  Wait, this one is enhanced with Omega’s!  Unfortunately I don’t have one working solution for you as these types of observations and questions are generally a personal preference and based on any health needs you may have (like low sodium).  However I can recommend a few healthy brands that by sticking with their products you can ensure you are getting the biggest nutritional bang for your buck just be sure to scope out the sugar content too… something it has a way of sneaking itself into even the most seemingly healthy foods.

Here are my top 8 picks:

1. Amy’s – LOVE this brand.  Amy’s offers breakfast foods, frozen meals, meatless burger patties, pizzas, soups, desserts and more.  It’s hard for me to narrow i down to my favorite Amy’s product so here are two suggestions:  Any of her frozen lasagna meals and the pesto tortellini bowl. (http://www.amys.com/)

2. Kashi – Providing us with whole grain goodness this brand also tops my charts.  They offer everything from frozen meals to cereals and granola bars.  Recommendations:  Cinnamon Harvest wheat cereal or Go Lean cereal and Mediterranean Pizza (http://www.kashi.com/)

3. Special K – We know this one’s good for us. I particularly am a fan of the Red Berries cereal and multi grain snack crackers. Snackers you can rejoice, a serving size is 24 crackers and a mere 120 calories! ( http://www.specialk.com/)

4. Laughing Cow – This brand stocks up on cheese spread wedges in multiple flavors like blue cheese, garlic & herb, and swiss for just 35 calories a wedge!  Great as a mixed in cheese to pasta, served as a dip with crackers/veggies, or even as a spread on your sandwich.  They also have other cheese products like cheese wheels packing only 70 calories a wheel.  (http://www.thelaughingcow.com/)

5. Jennie O – Great meat line, from the ground turkey to the turkey burgers or flavored rolls you can’t go wrong here.  Much better option than red meat and hardly noticeable swap in taste.  (http://www.jennieo.com/)

6. Nature’s Path – Great hearty oatmeal offering you a nice sized serving to keep your body full all day long.  I like the Oatmeal with Flax packet as it tastes a tad sweeter than the original.  Slice strawberries or blueberries with almond milk and you’ve got your own version of Berries and Cream oatmeal.  This brand also offers a line of granola and cereals too.  (http://www.naturespath.com/ )

7. Fage USA – Excellent greek yogurt serving up 12 plus grams of protein per container.  Stick with the plain and add your own fruit/cereal for the biggest nutritional bang.  (http://www.fageusa.com/)

8. Quorn – Tasty meat-free alternative – try the turkey burgers they are excellent. (http://www.quorn.us/)

Zesty Ceviche: Cool Off With Something Refreshing

There is always room for good Mexican food and since it’s summer the days are so hot that we want nothing more than something light yet refreshing.  Here’s my take on a great dish that’s practically guilt-free!

TIP: Most restaurants have ceviche in the appetizer section.  If you are looking for a sure way not to completely sabotage your diet at the restaurant swap for this

one and a Mojito or Margarita on the rocks.

Yum!  I have been craving Shrimp Ceviche for the last year since I was in Mexico.  I was sitting poolside with potent rays beating down on my skin and my stomach grumbling loudly in hunger desperately seeking something light and refreshing yet filling to eat.  It was then I stumbled on the best tasting Ceviche I have ever had… and probably ever will have.  I washed it down with a relaxing Mojito and kicked back to enjoy the beautiful view.

I tell you this story not to make you jealous but simply to share with you a version I created in time for the upcoming holiday to mimic the one I enjoyed in Mexico.  I hope you enjoy it and if you do let us know or send us your pictures or recipe deviations.  Knowledge is power so share the wealth!

Ceviche (serves 1-2)

1/2-1lb peeled, cooked shrimp

1 lemon

1 lime

1 Serrano pepper

1/2-1 Avocado

1/2-1 cucumber

Red onion

Cilantro

Salt

Pepper

Directions:

1. After cooking and washing your shrimp, peel off the tails and dice each shrimp 2-3 times

2. Toss in a container with lemon and lime (to your liking)

3. Cut open a Serrano pepper and remove the seeds.  Mince the pepper and mix in with the shrimp/juices

4.  Mix in diced cucumber, cilantro (to taste), red onion, and season with pepper

5. Add some salt/pepper and set in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes

When ready to eat:

1. Mix in avocado and squeeze additional lime/lemon

2. Grab a handful of tortilla chips and voila your done!

Extras:

In the picture I enclosed I added some washed sweet corn and black beans for fiber.  You can do this as well as it is tasty, but unnecessary.

Is Subway Real Food?

A friend of mine recently posted an article on FaceBook the other day from a blog called “100 Days of Real Food”.  The article is based on of an investigation into Subway and the validity of the “fresh food” claims the chain makes.  Whether are not her discovery is based on assumptions or not, it’s definitely disturbing to think about.  I mean it’s true processed food sucks and unfortunately it’s everywhere and in toxic doses.

It takes articles like these to uncover these blatantly true facts which our mind has pushed to the side or swept  under the carpet to ignore.  But the fact of the matter is we need to watch what we are putting in our bodies and it’s never too late to start.  It doesn’t haven’t to be for weight loss reasons or because your passionate about organic farming it’s because it’s just not healthy for you and the important parts/functions of your body.

So I ask that you keep an open mind as you read the article below.  Let me know your thoughts, do you agree ?  Will you be going to Subway again soon?

Food Babe Investigates: Is Subway Real Food? « 100 Days of Real Food.