Avoiding peanuts may be causing more peanut allergies

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 2:19
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Mpj034190500001 In another of those annoying reversals (what? you mean butter’s actually better for me than this yucky margarine you made me switch to?!?), researchers now think that keeping our kids from eating peanuts early in life may actually be causing more peanut allergies, not less.

Even if you don’t have kids yourself, you’ve probably noticed that severe peanut allergies have gotten to be a much bigger deal lately.  The child care facility at my gym has large signs informing parents that no peanut-containing snacks may be brought in because so many kids have peanut allergies.

Last year, I was even on a flight where they couldn’t serve peanut snacks because there was a child on board with a peanut allergy so severe that having a packet of peanuts open on the plane would be enough to cause a grave reaction.

If you have kids, then you’ve probably been told not to give your children peanuts or peanut butter before the age of nine months. Your OB may even have warned you not to eat peanuts during your pregnancy. The idea is to prevent peanut allergies.  But now, researchers have found that kids (and mothers) who eat peanuts sooner actually have fewer peanut allergies.

Isn’t that ironic? Here’s a link to a summary of the study and to the study itself.

The experts feel that more research needs to be done before the guidelines are revised. So check with your pediatrician before you go off-road.

A little more inspiration…

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 1:01
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Today was a long one and I felt I needed a little “food inspiration” when I got home. I am very lucky to have some amazing grocery stores in my neighborhood, and yesterday I picked up some fresh spinach & cheese ravioli. I just love fresh pasta but I rarely have the time to make my own. Fortunately in NY you can find some fresh-made world class pasta right around the corner. I would love to take credit for at least making a fresh pasta sauce (usually I do), but today was pretty hectic so I settled for a jar brand (Rao’s… which I like a lot). To add some greens I had a simple side salad topped with pine nuts and a little bit of olive oil. Very simple but tasty.

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Discover the Best Weight Loss Program for You!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 0:46
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I often get asked what is the best workout I can do to lose weight?Discover_the_best_weight_loss_progr

Without hesitation I ask them what they’re currently doing in their exercise program. Then, no matter what they answer, 90% of the time I tell them they should change their repetitions, exercise selection, tempo, intensity, or all of the above.

Why?

Because most people do the same program month in and month out… it never varies. They don’t have any results to show for it and they wonder why they’re not getting anywhere. If you pushed on a door and it didn’t open, would you keep pushing on it, or would you step back and change your method and maybe try pulling it open?

Even if you’re just starting out, if you’ve been on the same program for more than 4-6 weeks it’s time to change it up. You need to give your body a reason to change and maintaining your weights, intensity, and exercise selection is not going to get you to your weight loss goals the fastest way possible.

So if you want to speed up your results and get the most out of your time exercising, then I highly recommend changing up your routine every 4 weeks.

To review, that means you must change one of these variables: (examples below)
1. Change your reps from 15 to 8, but increase your resistance
2. Keep the your reps the same, but change the exercises
3. Increase the intensity or shorten the rest periods during your workout
4. Lower the weight slower to change your repetition tempo
5. Change everything… the exercises, reps, tempo, and intensity

Good luck and with the right plan in place I have no doubt you will get your weight loss program results back on track!

American Diabetes Month

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 21:30
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November is American Diabetes Month. Statistics are high. But why does it keep going up? I have a few theories.

One reason is because blood sugar has to be at 100 mg /dl blood glucose or over (diabetes is 125 mg/dl) before it is even paid attention to.  As I check lab work with my clients I see these scores at 100 mg/dl and over. Yet a client’s doctor may not say this is an issue. So always ask and be vigilant of your numbers yourself. Doctors are busy so be a responsible patient and learn what your numbers really mean.

Another issue occurs because hypoglycemia, which frequently is a precursor to pre-diabetes, is not taken seriously enough. Hypoglycemia is much more challenging to detect by simple blood tests. Blood work reveals blood glucose at 50mg/dl to determine low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) but because there is so much variation with hypoglycemia it’s simply missed. Doctors are usually more alert to diabetes sometimes neglecting this serious condition which can lead to diabetes, even though it may take numerous years to develop.

Here is a good quiz to take to see if you think you might be experiencing hypoglycemia:  http://www.hypoglycemia.org/hypo_test.asp. If you score high it would be to your advantage to discuss this and any of the symptoms with your doctor. Catching blood sugar imbalances is a good way to nip diabetes in the bud real early on.

Be sure and check Monica’s blog regarding common myths around diabetes as well.

Another great on-the-go snack and answer to calcium question

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 21:22
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I had a busy afternoon filled with meetings and fortunately I packed a good snack.

I love the combo of grapes, cheese, and crackers and they travel really well. Today I brought 3 whole grain crackers, 2 mini baby bel light cheeses, and about 3/4 cup grapes. This was the perfect mid-afternoon snack. Speaking of cheese, someone asked about my dairy/calcium intake the other day. I am a big fan of yogurt, cheese, and occasionally I’ll have milk with my cereal. The current reco for women between the ages of 19 and 50 is 1000 mg/day. About 3 servings of calcium-rich dairy should help to meet this requirement. That means about 1 cup of milk, 8 oz. yogurt, and 1.5 oz. natural cheese, like cheddar. You can also get calcium from fortified foods like soy milk and even cereal. Although I try, I don’t always meet the requirement through food alone, so I take a 500mg calcium + vitamin D supplement every day. (Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium, and is also an important nutrient in its own right.) I know there are lots more questions on the blog… I will try to answer some of them very soon.
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Hunger here?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 21:09
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Since I have this wonderful forum to talk about food with thousands of people, I wanted to focus for a moment on the topic of hunger in America. Food is something that many of us in the US take for granted. Having too much food, as opposed to too little, is generally the buzz in the news media. But it is important to remember that increasing numbers of Americans are going hungry. With the economy in a slump, people around the country are losing jobs and running out of money. Food banks are feeling the strain of high demand.
I saw an article in today’s news and I have to admit I was stunned to learn the most recent statistics. According to a recent survey by the US Department of Agriculture, 35.5 million people sometimes lack enough food to eat, and 10.1 million adults and children (roughly the population of Michigan!) often go hungry. It’s hard to believe that that’s happening here! If you are interested in learning more about this issue, how you can take action, or experiencing a food shortage yourself, there are several good charitable organizations that you can contact. One of the largest is Feeding America, www.feedingamerica.org. You can also find regional food aid organizations by searching on charitynavigator.org. With the holidays just around the corner, a local food charity could be a great place to give time or money to help bring some good cheer to those in need.