Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"What is the single best thing one can do for weight loss?"

This is a question on one of my homework assignments in a nutrition class. And do you know what the answer was?
Stop drinking sugar sweetened beverages.
This was shocking to me. There has to be a better answer than that, right? We can't possibly drink that much soda, do we?!
"For the average American sugary drinks are the #1 source of calories in the diet AND the only food directly linked to obesity."
Most of us know that sodas are bad for us and some of us even avoid them entirely. However, we are fooled into drinking other things because of their deceptively healthy image. Many of these drinks are sweetened with sugar. Most of them have just as much IF NOT MORE sugar than sodas!!
{{fructose, cane syrup, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose. Whatever they want to call it- it's sugar!}}
Don't be fooled by these guys:
sports drinks
vitamin waters
sweetened teas
*Now of course if you juice your own fruits or  make your own smoothies you can control the ingredients and sugar added. But even healthy sounding smoothies ordered at a chain or restaurant can be loaded with added sugars.*

Do we really think we can trust fast food companies when they say a product is healthy?

So if you shouldn't drink those, then what is left to drink? Great question!
*Tea. Tea is the most amazing drink if you can learn to leave the sugar out. I recently switched to unsweet tea. I was bored with the non-flavor but found that adding some lemon helped me make the switch. Now it doesn't bother me that it doesn't taste like something. I think of it as water with caffeine and antioxidants. There are also tons of fruit and herbal teas. These can have a range of flavors from mild to bright. There are also some pretty fancy designer teas. These can get pricey, but holy cow they are a delicious treat.
*Coffee. Everyone is always asking me if coffee is healthy. Coffee is not unhealthy, but if you have to drink a pot a day to funtion it becomes unhealthy. Just don't load it down with fat and sugar.

*Water. Our bodys are mostly water and many of us would feel so much better if we were drinking enough. Some of us don't realize that we are feeling run-down because we are not hydrated.
*How much water should you drink? About 1 milliliter for every calorie that you eat. For example if you consume around 2,000 calories a day, then you should drink around 2,000 ml a day or 2 Liters.*
There are lots of things to do to spice up water. With flavor packets, such as crystal light, you can make pink lemonade, sweet tea, fruit punch, or peach mango green tea,  and all of them are made with artificial sweeteners.
If you prefer to go natural you can make your own flavored water. Just slice up whatever you like and add it to a pitcher of water. Let it sit for a couple of hourse or overnight to absorb the flavors and get chilled.


Some combinations that I have heard are:
-sliced apples and a cinnamon stick
-sliced cumcumbers and melons
-oranges and lemons
-watermelon and blueberries
-peach and pineapple
-spearmint and peppermint
The options are truly limitless.
I'll leave you with this to consider:
8 oz of orange juice is 122 calories and 29.5 grams of sugar
1 medium sweet tea is 130 calories and 34 grams of sugar

if you started every morning off with an 8 oz glass of orange juice and had a medium glass of sweet tea every day, you would drink 252 calories and 63.5 g of sugar a day.
Assuming that you ate all your recommended daily calories from foods and these drinks were added calories...

you would gain a pound every 2 weeks OR 26.5 pounds in a year!!!
(Heaven forbid you started off every morning with a 400 calorie latte at starbucks!!!)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Giving Kids the Gift of Health

This is a picture of your daughter, your niece, or you grand-daughter's first trip to see the ocean. When you see a picture of her the first thoughts you have are:
Beautiful, fearless, kind, spunky
She may not even know how amazing she is, but we as the ((parent, family, or friend)) try to let her know every chance we get.
The thoughts that are furthest from our mind when we see our little love?
Diabetes, High cholesterol, Overweight, Obesity
We would never inflict these kinds of words on the young people we love...or would we?
In the 1970's only 5% of US children were overweight or obese. NOW over 30% of US children are overweight or obese
When it comes to a child that is heavy we tend to think, "they'll grow out of it." However, 77% of people who are obese as children remain obese. Whereas only 7% of children with a healthy weight go on to be obese. About half of obese teenage girls become SEVERELY OBESE by the age of 30.
Weight is a sensitive topic for all of us, but children are especially sensitive. They may have already been teased about their size or have low self-esteem about how they look. For many of us, the last thing that we want to do is open up a dialogue that we feel may hurt their feelings. After all we are trying to instill self-worth in them...
However, a child who is overweight or obese has significant increase in their risk factors for diseases such as Heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, and Cancer. As well as things like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and asthma. I don't mean their risk is just increased down the road when they are an adult. Their risk is also increased for developing a lifelong disease as a child.

We now know that overweight/obese children are already starting to develop the symptoms of heart disease as children. Kids as young as 5-10 can start developing fatty streaks on their aorta.
What used to be called "adult onset diabetes" was something we mostly saw in overweight, unhealthy adults. Now we are just referring to it as "type 2 diabetes," because it no longer has to do with age. We are seeing many, many overweight/obese children develop this PREVENTABLE disease because of their weight. Some health expert surmise that some of these children could be on dialysis as early as their 30's!!!
((checking her blood sugar))

I know it is hard to think of the "heavy" child we love as sick. They are so full of life and energy. To have them labeled "overweight" or "obese" doesn't seem right. But if the child you love is carrying too much weight, they are either sick or going to be sick.

Only 10% of parents seek medical help for their obese child.
We want the kids we love to be healthy, happy, and successful now and as adults. They depend on us. Their health is a product of the environment that we create for them.

If your child needs help achieving a healthy weight do it sooner rather than later. It would be very helpful to have the expertise of a registered dietitian to guide the efforts. It is easier to reach a goal when you know what it is and the most effective way to get there.

You can find these facts and more at this website:
 This is a super-interesting documentary. :)

**I really don't want for this to sound harsh or judgy. I have just been thinking about what I want for the sweet, marvelous, creative, adorable kids in my life. I want them to be healthy, and I know ya'll do too.**

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


So I recently had to do a paper on fiber and I realized how much I didn't know about it!! We all know that it helps regulate your bowels, but that is not all it does by a long shot!

((It's a happy colon!! I couldn't resist. lol))

Essentially fiber is complex carbohydrates that are indigestible by human digestive enzymes. The fact that it is indigestible almost sounds like a problem, but it is in fact what makes the magic happen.

Fiber can lower cholesterol. It does this by trapping and passing bile acids and cholesterol. When your body goes to reabsorb the extra bile and realizes that there is not quite enough to re-use, it pulls LDL (bad) cholesterol from your blood to make more bile. This means a healthier blood cholesterol level. GENIUS!!!

Fiber can help regulate blood sugar. Some of the broken down carbohydrate sugars get caught up in the fiber in the small intestine and don't absorb into the blood as fast!!! BRILLIANT!!!

Fiber makes you feel fuller and eat less. People who consume higher levels of fiber eat less and stay fuller for longer. Maybe this is why the Nurses Health Study showed that the women who consumed more fiber weighed less. Also, in a study comparing fiber and body weight it was found that an increase in dietary fiber by 14 grams resulted in a 10% decrease in the overall amount of calories eaten and therefore weight loss. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Fiber makes a happy gut. Some fibers ferment once they reach the gut. This makes prebiotics that feed the good bacterias that live in the gut. The result is more good bacterias, that serve to protect our intestines and give our immune system a little boost. The more good bacteria is in our intestine, the less room there is for the bad bacteria to populate and make us sick. AWESOME!!

Men should aim for 38 grams of fiber daily and ladies should get 25 grams of dietary fiber.
Luckily, it is easy to find!!! It resides in many fruits, veggies, grains, and beans. Beans are especially high in grams of fiber per serving. To get the highest amount of fiber in grains, go for whole wheat and/or foods that are as unprocessed as possible.


Here is my high fiber snack from earlier.
 Ants on a log grown up style.
1 cup of celery has 2.4 grams of fiber
2 tbsp of hummus has 1.6 grams of fiber
1oz of sunflower seeds have 2 oz fiber
                                 Total: 6 grams

Hello Friends!!!!
I am returning after a long, silent summer! So quick summer re-cap:

I worked at UAMS and at ACH...
I hung out with my honey...
I welcomed a new little cousin to the fams. He is the first brand new Schmid since I was born...
Here are my wittle cousins.
Don't you want to sprinkle them with chocolate and nuts and eat them up???
I also took a road trip to the beach with ry...
and he gave me this ring... ;)
Yup. ENGAGED. :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Love don't cost a thing..

So we have all heard the rumor about the "negative" calorie food celery! The idea of celery being "negative calorie" comes from the fact that the body burns more calories metabolizing the celery than the celery possessed in the first place.
Here are a few other foods I love that in their raw form could be considered "negative calorie":
grapefruit, lemon, lime, apple, lettuce, broccoli and cabbage

**It is important to remember that there is nothing wrong with calories, we just shouldn't consume too many. Also, once you prepare these foods (adding stuff to make them taste even better!), you will probably add some calories to it. BUT what is important is that you are eating a delicious meal that is full of vitamins and minerals and relatively low in calories and fat.**

Here is a recipe that combines 2 of our neg-cal foods, broccoli and apples.
Broccoli Apple Salad

  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 large red apple, chopped
  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 2/3 cup and 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Chop 'em up and toss together!

Another Combo of neg-cals is cabbage and lettuce:
Chinese Chicken Salad

  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 3 (3 ounce) packages chicken flavored ramen noodles
  • 1 large head cabbage, shredded
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce - rinsed, dried, and shredded
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 12 ounces canned chicken, drained
  • 1 cup toasted and sliced almonds
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the vegetable oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce and ramen noodle flavor packets. Bring dressing to the point of boiling, remove from heat and refrigerate until chilled.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, lettuce, green onions, broken noodles, chicken and almonds.
  3. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and serve.               



2 more weeks of school. I am holding my breath and charging through.

I was in Little Rock this weekend working and I had that opportunity to see Regina Spektor in concert with my two friends, Jana and Sandee. Regina is SO talented!!!!

Please, revel in her awesomeness!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Vitamin Sunshine

We are finally starting to enjoy some Spring sunshine!!
That means it it time to get our vitamin D on!

We know that Vitamin D works with Calcium and Phosphorus to help build bone mineral density. So it is key in preventing osteoporosis and establishing/maintaining bone health.

Bones are growing and establishing density until about the age of 30. This is the time to really focus on building strong bones with nutrition and exercise.

AFTER 30, the decline in bone density begins gradually and picks up speed as age increases. The important thing in this phase is to maintain your current bone health. Your bones are "remodeling", but they are not building like they once were. Maintaining healthy bones can be achieved through exercise and proper nutrition in regards to calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D.


The most common symptoms of vitamin D deficiency in adults include:

Pains and aches
● Weakness
● Osteomalacia
● Bone pains (in the hips, ribs, feet, pelvis and tights)

 You can eat your vitamin D from:
-soy milk
-orange juice

You can also synthesize your vitamin D from sunlight. ((Aren't you clever?!))
They body uses UV light from the sun which acts with cholesterol and transforms it into your own personalized brand of Vitamin D.

 HOWEVER: This takes minutes a day, not hours! I can get my daily vitamin D walking to classes on a sunny day. If you are out in the sun long enough to burn you are causing a great amount of cellular harm to your skin and negating any benefit you would have gained from a little extra vitamin D.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Reasons to stay healthy...

Many people would rather "live for now" instead of worrying about investing in their future health. For many of us it is hard to imagine being "old." For some of us is it because we are young, and that seems like so many years from now. For others of us, it is just scary to imagine being slow, sick, or couped up. Many of us have negative associations with aging. However, we should know that we control our own health in aging.

I would like to introduce you to a few lovely ladies who make me daydream about getting old. I just know that I will be a sassy lady like them in 50 years. See ya there?

This is Rita Marcus:
She is an 80-something blogger and grandmother. You should check out her darling blog very old grandmother.

Meet Miyano Haraki:
Isn't she just elegant? She is an 80 year old designer. She designs hats. Charming!!!!

Meet Ilona Royce Smithkin:

She is a 91 year old artist and performer. She is too precious. She loves color, makes her own false eyelashes, and is quite a fire cracker!! She has the most refreshing viewpoint on aging!! You must watch this video just to hear her amazing accent.


How do they do it? How can one be 80, but seem to have the body and mind of someone in there 60's? Here is some insight...

"European Symposium on Healthy Ageing:Diet and Physical Activity Promote Fitness and Well-Being also in the Elderly
P. Haber- Medical University of Vienna, Clinic for Internal Medicine II, Vienna, Austria

The biological age, in contrast to the chronological age, can be defined by the status of eight selected biomarkers of aging:

1.daily energy expenditure; physical activity

2.maximal aerobic capacity, endurance
3.muscle mass; strength

4.proportion of body fat

5.bone density

6.insulin sensitivity

7.relation of LDL to HDL-Cholesterol

8.blood pressure

Based on the assessment of these eight biomarkers, a person may be regarded as biologically “old” no matter how old he/she is chronologically."

Basically, you can keep your body and mind young and healthy if you want to. Take ownership of what is yours. All of the 8 factors mentioned above are things that WE can control/effect through diet and exercise.

You can find more of these amazing ladies and their gentlemen friends at the blog ADVANCED STYLE.
Stay active. Eat more plants. Age Gracefully. Be fabulous.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Antioxidants and red pepper soup!

 Vitamins A, C, & E are antioxidants
 to get antioxidants you have got to eat your fruits and vegetables!!

Vitamin C – berries, kiwi fruit (higher concentration than oranges), citrus fruit, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, green leafy vegetables and bell peppers
Vitamin E – nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cereals, oats, grains, eggs and olive oil
Vitamin A – carrots, apricots, cantaloupe, parsley, spinach, kale and sweet potatoes


Antioxidants help your body handle free radicals. Free radicals are wandering molecules looking for trouble.

They are molecules that are one atom short to being "complete" or whole.  So they go around the body looking for the atom they need and stealing it from other molecules. When they steal an atom from another healthy molecule, they leave it damaged.

What an antioxidant does is "donate" atoms to these free radicals. This means that the free radical is now a rehabilitated citizen of the body. And the antioxidant is none that worse for wear.

A free radical left unchecked causes cellular damage that can lead to anything from pre-mature skin aging to cancer.
Congratulations, you are now a scientist!! :)
Bell Peppers are loaded in Vitamin C! So here is a recipe for some delicious Vitamin C soup!
Creamy Red Bell Pepper Soup

  • 4 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 24 fluid ounces chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • ground black pepper to taste
1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Place the red bell pepper, onion and garlic in the saucepan and saute for 5 to 10 minutes, or until tender.                
 2. Pour in the chicken broth, stirring well, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree
til smooth,
3. Run the soup through a strainer and return the liquid to the saucepan over medium low heat. Stir in the heavy cream and the ground black pepper and allow to heat through, about 5 to 10 minutes.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Although I love fall and winter, they seemed to last forever!! So to celebrate spring I wanted to share this recipe for delicious SPRINGROLLS!! (Corny segue, I know.) They serve these in the student center at school. :) They are a great way to get some fresh veggies in.

So you will need: (for 6 servings)

  • 6 spring roll wrappers made from Rice flour (available in Asian markets)

  • 12 medium shrimp, cooked and shelled (optional)

  • 1 cup shredded leaf lettuce

  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro

  • 1/2 cup peeled, seeded, chopped cucumber

  • 1 medium carrot, julienned

  •  1 avocado sliced thinly longways

  • Directions
    1. In a bowl of cool water, soak a wrapper until limp. Lay wrapper out flat. Place 1/6 of each ingredient down middle of wrapper, starting with lettuce. Fold over each end and tightly roll the wrapper around the contents, as if making a burrito. Moisten at seam; press to close.         
    2.  Lay on plate, cover with moist paper towel and refrigerate until ready to serve.
    The most important step now is to slather it in Sweet Chili dipping sauce!!!

    • 1 cup rice vinegar
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger root, minced
    • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
    • 2 teaspoons hot chile pepper, minced
    • 2 teaspoons ketchup
    • 2 teaspoons cornstarch


    1. Pour water and vinegar into a saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in sugar, ginger, garlic, chile pepper, and ketchup; simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in cornstarch. Remove saucepan from stove to cool. Then transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until needed.

    **If you don't feel like making the chili sauce another great dip is Newman's Own low-fat Sesame ginger dressing**

    Garvan Gardens, Hot Springs, AR
    P.S. Due to a very tragic technololgy explosion, I lost most of my old blog posts from last year. So if you are having trouble finding them, that is why...I AM DEVISTATED!!!!