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Say “No” to Diabetes in Kids

eating right

This is a guest post by Carolyn Fallon.

November was American Diabetes Month, a time where Americans recognize that the disease is still around. For me personally, I never paid much attention to diabetes, but that all changed this past November (ironic, I know) when my little cousin was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Sadly, diabetes is one of the fastest growing diseases; more children receive a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes every day than almost any other medical condition. In fact, according to St. Joseph’s Hospital Cardiac Center, 1 in 3 of today’s kids are diagnosed with diabetes, and that number continues to grow. Many parents wonder what they can do to prevent the condition from affecting their own children, and the simple truth is that there are many things that parents, educators and others can do to prevent diabetes.

The children most likely to suffer from diabetes are those that lead a sedentary lifestyle. Kids that spend a majority of their time playing on the computer, sitting on the couch and generally being couch potatoes are at risk for developing diabetes. Diabetes can also come about as the result of a poor diet. Sugary and fatty foods can put a child at risk of diabetes, and kids who are overweight or spend less time engaging in physical activities are also at risk.

Fighting Back with a Healthy Diet
Proper nutrition is a key component in fighting back against diabetes. The best foods for kids are those that are low in fats and white sugar, which include any processed food. Fresh vegetables, pretzels, fresh fruits and low fat meats are all suitable replacements. That doesn’t mean that kids need to eat boring or bland foods though – it just calls for some creativity!

Taking kids into the kitchen is a fun way to get them involved in the process of cooking foods that they will actually eat. Children can become their own Iron Chef or celebrity chef by mixing and matching foods that they love with foods that are good for them. It can be something as simple as swapping an after-school cupcake for fruit dipped in slightly sweetened yogurt or replacing fatty fried chicken with crispy baked chicken.

Fighting Back by Being Active
Diet alone won’t make much of a difference, which is why getting kids active is so important. The newest video game consoles have dozens of games that will get kids off their feet, including dancing games and even sci-fi games like Star Wars (my cousins love to have dance competitions using Just Dance!). Parents can also get involved in activities like yoga, Pilates, or simply taking a long walk around the block or hiking together. When parents get involved, it shows the children that they are not in this alone, and helps to sustain a healthy lifestyle for many years to come.

Carolyn is a 20-something year old with a passion for life, fitness and overall well-being. She is an avid cycler, golfer and has been known to bust some serious moves on the dance floor. Check out Carolyn’s blog, Fullonfit.

Shrugging Away the Blues

On Friday, April 13th, I was once again delivered a professional blow: As of May 31st I don’t have a job. After riding high the past year, winning President’s Club and ranking number one in the nation, the Universe decided that things were going a little too well and it was time to take me down a notch. I’ve been working contract for this pharmaceutical company and the contract was cancelled early. There’s a good chance I’ll have a permanent position but I won’t know for a few more weeks. Needless to say, I’m feeling a bit blue today.

While depression is a very real disease, I realize that I am just reeling from the effects of losing my job. It’s normal to feel blue in a situation like this but what is important is to not wallow in it. My Buddhist studies have taught me to acknowledge my feelings without judgement, feel them, then allow them to leave. Attachment and clinging, especially to such negative emotions, can only cause me more suffering.

It is also important for me to continue to eat healthy and exercise. Although I didn’t feel like it, I headed out to yoga this morning. Not only did the workout make me feel exponentially better but interacting with friends and chatting before and after class was very refreshing. This past weekend I did, of course, indulge with my little guy in a bowl of ice cream. It was a special treat to share it together but that was it. Indulgence should stop there; it doesn’t have to last the entire weekend and become a feeding frenzy. Keeping a healthy mind and body throughout this “grieving” process is important in order to help me shrug off those blues.

There’s one more thing I wanted to share with you from something I read this morning. It’s from an article about reaching your goals in yoga but it so easily translates into our everyday life.

Besides being excited to finally be able to get into this pose that had eluded my arm balance practice for so long, it taught me an invaluable lesson. There are so many things that seem impossible and out of reach in life, and way too many people give up on their goals prematurely because of lack of persistence. If there is something you want to achieve, keep at it with all of your heart. Get up early to work on it and stay late to perfect it. Don’t allow setbacks to discourage you, and definitely don’t let not getting it on your first try make it be your last attempt.

If you want something bad enough and do something to work closer towards your goal every day, you will get there. No matter what that something is – making your favorite hobby your career, becoming a millionaire, running a marathon, perfecting a hairstyle, or holding a handstand – like drips of water eventually making a hole in a rock, persistence and little improvements every day will eventually get you there.

Make sure to enjoy the journey, because once you get to the destination there is nowhere else to go. Savor the moment and realize that the sweetness of success is still ahead, and maybe a lot closer than you think. Have a sense of humor and laugh at yourself, and take pride in your continued efforts. I think it is very rare that people succeed at something big on their first try – instead, they keep going despite any odds that are stacked against them.

I know this is my journey and everything that it has to offer is a lesson in life that must be enjoyed. I find it curious that my last day of employment is right around the time that my book will be published. I love how the Universe works; so mysterious and beautiful in every way.

Namaste.
Scarlet Mom

Supercharging Our Bodies

Today was the day…I put on my bikini. It wasn’t too bad since I don’t hibernate throughout the winter and continue to eat right and exercise but I’m committed to doing better. I am adding two things to my regimen.

First, I read an article about how to get a body like a swimsuit model with just a few simple exercises at home. I’m down with that! I can easily add that into my routine between yoga workouts and since I don’t have to go to a gym to do it I really don’t have an excuse, do I?

Second, and most importantly, I watched the movie Fat Sick and Nearly Dead. If you haven’t heard of this movie then you’re one of the few. It is changing people’s lives and it’s about to change mine. This is an inspiring movie about a man, along with the people he helps along the way, who changes his diet and changes his life just by going on a 60-day juice fast. He loses close to 100 pounds, cures an incurable disease and gets a new lease on life. I was in tears by the end of it!! I also can’t stop telling people about his story and the countless others that he helped.

I already eat pretty healthy but I still eat processed foods and animals products. I also feed my son a lot of processed foods. I know I can do better. I am committing to a thirty-day juice cleanse for both me and my son (not a fast) and am excited about what it will do for our well-being. This, along with the above addition to my exercise regimen, should yield some serious results.

I encourage all of you to watch the movie and to join Joe Cook on his website for a juice Reboot. Let’s take charge of our lives and our bodies. And please, I want to hear about your journey. As you embark on your own personal journey, please feel free to share the details with me on my website.

Still Rockin’ It
Scarlet Mom

The Holidays are Coming…For Your Waistline

It starts with Halloween and doesn’t stop until New Year’s Eve. What is it? The evil onslaught of food. Holy crap!! This year the Christmas decorations were up in August. Let me tell you something marketing geniuses of Madison Avenue, here in Texas this summer it was 108 degrees in August. We were literally just trying to survive the summer; we really didn’t want to look at all those freaking decorations when it was so hot outside that we could barely make it to our cars without having a heat stroke. And now we’re all just trying to keep from gaining the customary holiday pounds. Happy freakin’ holidays.

Despite the common beliefs, most people only gain about 1-2 pounds during the holidays. Don’t eat your fruitcake just yet. A study from the National Institutes of Health states:

“Although an average holiday weight gain of less than a pound may seem unimportant, that weight was not lost over the remainder of the year….”

“This is a ‘good news/bad news’ story,” said Dr. Yanovski. “The good news is that people don’t gain as much weight as we thought during the holidays. The bad news is that weight gained over the winter holidays isn’t lost during the rest of the year.”

The knowledge that people actually accumulate a large proportion of their yearly weight gain over the winter holiday season, the researchers added, may prove useful in treating overweight and obesity.

“The cumulative effects of yearly weight gain during the fall and winter are likely to contribute to the substantial increase in body weight that frequently occurs during adulthood,” the researchers wrote. “Promotion of weight stability during the fall and winter months may prove useful as a strategy to prevent age-related weight gain in the United States.”

Think that two pounds isn’t so bad? If you gain 2 pounds over the holidays and 2 pounds during the rest of the year, that’s 20 pounds in just 5 years. That’s some serious weight gain!! So how can you avoid that cumulative weight gain? Here are some tips.

First, here is my blog You Are What You Eat to introduce you to making smarter food choices.

Second, here is last year’s blog on How To Avoid the Holiday Weight Gain. And here are some additional tips for avoiding that holiday weight gain, compliments of The Cleveland Clinic:

1. Get moving
One of the most effective ways to maintain or lose body weight is to engage in regular, sustained aerobic activity (*).To burn off those extra calories, kick up your exercise. If you exercise for 30 minutes a day, increase it to 45 minutes. If you exercise three times a week, move it up to five times a week.

2. Aim for seven-a-day
Making sure you eat seven or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day is a great way to help fill-up your stomach but not your calorie level. When compared to other snack foods like chips, crackers and cookies, gram for gram, fruits and vegetables contain fewer calories and tons more nutrients. What’s more – the fiber in fruits and vegetables fill you up faster than traditional snack foods. Pack your refrigerator with bags of cut-up vegetables and whole or cut-up fruits. Grab a bag while on the go or at work. Make a pact with yourself that you’ll eat your five-a-day before you snack on any cookies or other holiday treats. You’re sure to take in fewer calories overall.

3. Control the risk for temptation
Controlling even the slightest chance of coming in contact with “tempting” foods is one way to effectively reduce your intake. While you won’t be able to control all situations, focus on the many ones you can. For example, do you keep candy or cookies at your desk or workspace? Do you frequent the dining room table or pantry where you store all your holiday goodies? Make a mental note of tempting places and try to control them. For example, make a pact with co-workers that goodies will be kept solely in the break room, not at the front desk or in various offices. Mentally plan out how you will avoid tempting situations. If you can’t avoid them entirely, see number 4.

4. Limit to one-a-day
While you can’t control every situation, you can control how much food goes into your mouth. If you are constantly bombarded with holiday parties and displays of desserts or candies you can still effectively help prevent overeating and weight gain. One way is the one-a-day method. Allow yourself one small serving of a cookie or piece of candy each day during the holiday season. Remember that you may have to compensate for it later in the day by reducing your total caloric intake or by burning a few extra calories while exercising. If you aren’t confronted with holiday foods that day, just skip your one-a-day – but don’t compensate and double-up on your serving the next day.

5. Always plan ahead – Never go to a party hungry
Before you go to a holiday party, eat a healthy snack such as a serving of your favorite fruit, fat-free yogurt or a low-fat, whole grain granola bar. When you arrive at the party, you won’t be craving hors d’oeuvres.

“If you’re going to a potluck dinner, bring a healthy dish to share such as a salad, veggie or fruit tray, or a low-fat pudding, Jell-O or fruit dessert,” says Zumpano. “That way, you’ll know you have at least one healthy item on the table spread.”

6. Be in charge of your party choices:
Small plate, please
Be wise when choosing appetizers – a small portion of some appetizers may help you from overeating at dinner.
“Pick up a small plate, and stick with vegetables, but limit or avoid the creamy dips,” advises Zumpano. “Restrict your intake of butter crackers, chips, cheese and meats. If you must have a deep-fried appetizer, eat only one small serving. Never go back for seconds. For dinner, fill half of your plate with salad and vegetables, one quarter with meat, and the final quarter with starch,” Zumpano says.
Avoid the sauce
Avoid sauces made from cream, half-and-half or meat drippings. For salads, use oil and vinegar, vinaigrette or low-fat dressings. Broth -based or vegetable sauces are fine.
What about desserts?
The best low-calorie choices are fruit, Jell-O, pudding, an unfrosted mini muffin, shortbread cookies, ginger snaps or angel food cake. If you must have a dessert with frosting, butter cream, cream cheese, or chocolate chips, limit yourself to one small cookie or one thin slice of cake.
Watch the drinks
“Besides restricting your alcohol to one or two servings, you also need to restrict the type of alcohol,” says Zumpano. “For example, instead of high-fat eggnog, have a light beer or wine. After that, stick with calorie-free drinks such as water, unsweetened ice tea, hot tea or coffee.”

7. Say No Politely

Many times you feel forced to eat foods because people keep putting it in front of you. Learn to say no politely, such as “No thank you, I’ve had enough. Everything was delicious”, or “I couldn’t eat another bite. Everything tasted wonderful”. You’ll find saying no isn’t so hard to do after all.

8. Focus on socializing
Don’t stand around the food table when you are at a party – focus your energies on making conversation with others instead of focusing on foods. Conversation is calorie-free.

Be smart and remember, NOTHING TASTES AS GOOD AS THIN FEELS.

Still Rockin’ It
Scarlet Mom

Are You Bathing Suit Ready?

Oh yes. Warm weather is fast approaching. If you live in the South like me, it’s already here. Once daylight savings time arrives, which is this weekend, spring clothes can be broken out and pasty white skin exposed. Please, please, please don’t forget your sunscreen. Sunscreen in your moisturizer is not enough. You must use a separate sunblock, at least SPF 30 that protects against skin-aging UVA rays and the burning UVB rays. I recommend Neutragena Ultra Sheer SPF 55. You can pick it up anywhere or on-line at The Skin Store. Take it from someone who has no brown spots on her face or hands…taking the time to apply sunscreen every morning before stepping out that door is worth your time.

Now for the body. The most important part of coming out of winter hibernation is being completely honest with yourself. First and foremost, how do you want YOUR body to look? And whatever you do DO NOT compare yourself to fashion models. They do not represent reality or an ideal self. And don’t be married to an ideal weight that you think you should be. Use weight as a guide to reaching your goal. Everyone’s weight is different and some people really do weigh heavier. One person’s 130 can look just like another’s 150. I recommend taking a baseline weight then deciding what your goal is going to be. This is your own weight, not your best friend’s (remember that weight should be taken first thing in the morning before you eat and after you have used the bathroom).

Second, take a look in the mirror…naked. What do you like? What don’t you like? You have to find two things you like about yourself. Write down the things you like about yourself FIRST then two things you are committed to improving upon through diet and exercise. If you have none then, sister, you rock!! Go out and strut your stuff. For those of us who need a little diet and exercise, here are some tips to get ready for warm weather:

It probably comes as no surprise that my biggest endorsement for quick, healthy weight loss is Tim Ferriss’ Four Hour Body. His program melts off pounds, takes care of cravings by allowing a “binge” day once a week, and incorporates loads of healthy foods. I’ve seen friends melt off 30 pounds in two months. One friend in particular had failed at every diet he ever tried. He has thank me profusely for changing his life with this new way of eating. You can just read Tim’s blog or buy his book, The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman“>. I recommend buying the book because he has some great tips in there as well as some simple exercises to target trouble spots. And don’t forget…it is called the Four Hour Body – only four hours of exercise a month. I was sold immediately!!

Here are some other general tips for healthy living:

When you wake up do 2 minutes of jumping jacks, high knee skips, pushups, or crunches. This wakes up your metabolism with a bang!

Have two scrambled eggs and a slice of Canadian bacon. Breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day. If you’re rushed in the morning, you can have hard-boiled eggs ready to go. Your Canadian bacon can be pre-made and just reheated in the microwave.

When you hit the gym, lower your weights slowly. Taking 3 seconds to lower weights during full-body resistance training can rev your metabolism for up to 3 days, according to a Wayne State University study. (Study participants used a challenging weight for 5 sets of 6 reps for each exercise.)

Walk briskly around the office for a while. A recent Mayo Clinic study found that lean people walk an average of 3.5 miles per day more than obese people do. It will also wake you up.

For lunch, eat a spinach salad with grilled halibut and almond slices. All contain magnesium, a metabolism-friendly mineral.

If your meeting is with just one or two people, do it West Wing style, walking the halls as you talk.

Switch from regular iced tea to green tea. According to a study in the Journal of Nutrition, the catechins in green tea decrease body fat.

Take a short walk before and/or after dinner.

Always eat dinner, but make sure it is high protein and low carb. Starving yourself makes your body start storing fat because it literally thinks it is starving to death.

Grab a good book (or magazine!), pop in some tunes, and relax at night. Stress jacks up your levels of cortisol, a chemical that boosts abdominal fat.

Draw your shades so the sun won’t rouse you early. According to a 2008 review, losing sleep affects the hormones that turn your appetite on and off, making you feel less satiated by food and hungrier overall.

EXERCISE

There are many exercises you can do at home without the cost of joining a gym. Yoga is a great way to shed pounds and sculpt muscles. However, if you have never done yoga, I do recommend starting out with a very basic DVD or investing in some yoga classes. There is a plethora of exercise DVDs out there so you can easily find one for you. You can also invest in some free weights and some kettle bells. The Four Hour Body introduced me to Kettle Bell Swings and they are an amazing workout. Tim’s book as well as this video give a great description of how to do them. They tone and sculpt your glutes, arms, legs, and core and they take very little time. What more could you ask for??

What do you do to get bathing suit ready? I would love to hear some of your post-hibernation routines.

Always remember that people love to give advice, tell you you’re doing it wrong, and that their way is better. Do what works for you and remember that YOUR BODY ROCKS. Look good for you.

Still Rockin’ It
Scarlet Mom

The 4-Hour Body, by Timothy Ferriss

Tim Ferriss’ new book, The 4-Hour Body, is now available for pre-order.

I have blogged about Tim Ferris and how he talks about by doing simple things like eating the same diet consistently and working out only four hours a week, and how you can drop twenty pounds in a month or add muscle mass. My brother did his program for a month…well he did the diet about 75% and worked out a total of four hours for the entire month. He added muscle and definition and gained quite a bit of strength. Not bad for half-assing it.

Scarlet Mom likes this book because it covers the entire body, not just the stomach and working out.

Thousands of tests later, this book contains the answers for both men and women.

From the gym to the bedroom, it’s all here, and it all works.

YOU WILL LEARN (in less than 30 minutes each):

- How to lose those last 5-10 pounds (or 100+ pounds) with odd combinations of food and safe chemical cocktails.
- How to prevent fat gain while bingeing (X-mas, holidays, weekends)
- How to increase fat-loss 300% using temperature manipulation
- How Tim gained 34 pounds of muscle in 28 days, without steroids, and in four hours of total gym time
- How to sleep 2 hours per day and feel fully rested
- How to produce 15-minute female orgasms
- How to triple testosterone and double sperm count
- How to go from running 5 kilometers to 50 kilometers in 12 weeks
- How to reverse permanent injuries
- How to add 150+ pounds to your lifts in 6 months
- How to pay for a beach vacation with one hospital visit

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are more than 50 topics covered, all with real-world experiments, many including more than 200 test subjects.

You don’t need better genetics or more discipline. You need immediate results that compel you to continue.

That’s exactly what The 4-Hour Body delivers.

Fifteen minute female orgasms? Sign me up.

Still Rockin’ It.
Scarlet Mom.

Here is Tim’s full post.