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A healthier and happier you in 2005

by Saida Oliver, editor


Trendy media-frenzied diets are driving more women to obsess about their body’s perfection rather than healthy habits to live prosperously. Reading labels on every food consumed is a draining and perplexing task. Trying to fight the temptation of overindulgence has become a fixation, rather than a health tool, but what else are women to do?

 

Now that the holiday season has come and gone, start arming yourself with three enlightening steps to a healthier body, mind, and soul developed by women physicians from around the nation. These easy steps start with loving youself, your body, and understanding what foods are really good for you.

The first step to a healthier body is, “ to be good to yourself,” said Hollywood fitness trainer, Ashely Borden. Borden advises her celebrity clientele to acknowledge the progress they’ve made, rather than beat you up because of goals they have not yet achieved. She has designed a “love your body plan”. The four points have been created to help slim down using “a pain-free approach.”

1.Make micro-mini goals. “Mini successes keep you motivated like nothing else I’ve tried,” Borden said. She explained that there is rectitude in knowing that you have accomplished your daily goals instead of stressing over the one goal that has not yet been achieved. One goal may be that you need to drink five glasses of water and eat two pieces of fruit by noon. Later, the objective could be for you to eat vegetables and a source of protein. “Saying ‘I need to lose 10 pounds in six weeks’ could be paralyzing.”

2. Splurge a little. Borden explained that not being able to fit into the old pair of jeans in the closet is ok. “It’s just too self-punishing and too self-defeating.” Her advice is to throw away those old jeans and buy yourself a new pair as a reward once you’ve hit a healthy milestone.

3. Befriend a tape measure. Stop stepping on the scale everyday. Throw it out! Borden explained that measuring the inches that you’ve lost is much more accurate in measuring your progress than weighing yourself on a scale. “And it’s 10 times more motivating than stepping on the scale everyday,” said Borden.

4. Gripe no more. Most the way of your success and self-esteem. Pretend you’re a bulletproof bombshell, even on your worst days, and you will be surprised at how quickly your mind and your body will follow.”

The second step to a healthier body is to respect your mouth and body by only eating the things that you like and need. Dr. Goldberg, chief of Women’s Cardiac Care at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, advises that always eating what is “right” won’t make you any healthier than if you eat some french fries or pizza occasionally. If faced with a situation where you want food that you know is not the healthiest, enjoy it and move on. Don’t beat yourself up with guilt. This negative emotion can lead to a binge-eating cycle of salt and sugar. The bottom line is to enjoy the foods that you like. Don’t bother wasting eating experiences with unnecessary guilt.

The third step to making healthy changes this year is to eat more and less of certain foods. The more variety in the foods you consume, the better possibility you have of receiving all the nutrients needed for a healthy diet. But there are some foods that have a profound link to disease prevention and abundance of nutrients. It makes a tremendous amount of sense to eat more of them. Furthermore, there are foods that we think are helping us, but in turn are just hindering our wellness, explained Professor of nutrition and internal medicine at the University of California, Davis, Judith Stern. She recommended six foods that every woman should eat more of.

· Dark chocolate. For chocolate lovers, this could be the gift you’ve been waiting for. Small amounts of dark chocolate as daily treats have proved to be good for you. Dark chocolate, more than milk chocolate, has a high concentration of flavonoids and phytosterols. These compounds help lower cholesterol and stave off heart disease.

· Flank steak. This lean cut of meat is loaded with a type of iron that a woman’s body readily absorbs. A deficiency of iron limits oxygen delivery to cells, which results in fatigue, poor work performance, and a decreased immunity.

· Onions. In addition to providing a lot of extra flavor to a food without having to slab on the butter, onions provide an awesome source of vitamin C and fiber. Vitamin C is vital to the production of collagen. Fiber helps with removing waste from the body and also helps with obesity.

·Red grapes. Not only are grapes yummy to eat, but they are a great source of polyphenois found in wine. Stern especially likes red grapes because they provide nutrients without the bitter taste of alcohol or the hangover.

· Spaghetti sauce. Eating raw tomatoes does not provide the body with the same amount of lycopene that is produced once the tomato is cooked. Lycopene is an antioxidant that lowers the risk of certain diseases including heart disease and cancer. Stern recommends a healthy weekly dose of a cup of sauce.

· Walnuts. “They’re a terrific source of heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids and fiber,” explained Stern, “I like to toast a quarter cup and toss them on salads. Stern also recommends three foods that are somewhat misleading in their nutrients facts, that woman should eat less of.

·Crackers. Many of these tasty snacks contain trans fats. These fats have been linked to heart disease and diabetes.

·Fruit juices and smoothies. They are fruit filled and taste amazing, but they are usually very high in calories and added sugar. Smoothies have up to 1,000 calories from added sugar.

· Low-carb products.

This trendy dieting phenomenon can be found everywhere. They claim to be the healthiest thing since a glass of water, but they can have just as many calories as the real food that it is substituting. They also taste awful. “Just eat a little less of the real thing if you want to lose weight,” suggested Stern.

These are three easy steps to obtain a healthier mind, body, and soul. Be good to yourself and love your body. Respect your mouth and body by only eating things that you like and your body needs. The healthiest way is to enjoy what you are eating, guilt free. Lastly, trendy diets are not always the healthiest. Really understand what you are ingesting, enjoy it, and move on. So, cheer up and begin to love your body! Life is worth living and food is there to help us, not hinder us.

 

2004, Kalamalama, the HPU Student Newspaper. All rights reserved.
 
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