Eat Right Around Chicago

Wellness Archives

10 Reasons to Go OM

I have sporadically done Baptiste Vinyasa or Ashtanga yoga over the years.  Both of these types of yoga (sometimes called Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga) are considered a type of "flow" yoga.  They are physically demanding, push strength and balance, and make you sweat like cold glass of iced tea on a hot summer day.  Although I struggle through each class, I need it and I keep going back.  There were many reasons why I started back to yoga at Om on the Range in Chicago.  If you're like me (rather clean out your closet than leave the house on a cold day to exercise) my 10 reasons for yoga may help you see the need to go OM.   

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Is your snack making you fat?

I've always questioned the notion of grazing, snacking or eating 5-6 small meals a day.  It seems like a recipe for diet disaster to me...eating every 2 hours, dreading the idea of getting hungry and proactively munching on something to avoid overindulging.  Not only do I find snacks unnecessary (unless I'm training everyday), I don't trust myself to modify my calories at a subsequent meal.  For example, if I enjoy an afternoon snack that has 250 calories, realistically, I know that I won't modify my dinner to compensate for these additional calories. 

I also wonder how many snacks are prompted by hunger and how many are grabbed due to boredom.  Ever notice that around 3pm you experience a lull or mental fatigue?  If I asked you at that moment, "want to get up and grab a snack?"  It's likely that you'd appreciate the relief.  Is that really hunger though?  Are we really short on nutrients 2-3 hours after lunch?  What if I said, "let's blow this pop stand and go shopping."  First you'd mock me for saying "pop stand", but then you'd probably agree, even if it doesn't fill your belly. 

I'm pretty sure that we've been tricked into snacking. 

Snack Attacked.   

What really concerns me and prompted this post was a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, "How Lunchtime is Turning into Snack Time".  

First, apparently, we are frequent snackers.  The piece noted that 56% of Americans eat a snack.  With 25% of the US reporting NO PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, I'm thinking that most of these folks aren't snacking because they are training for a big race. 

The second concern is the fast food trend discussed in the WSJ article.  You've seen the food establishments are shrinking their supersized meals ever so slightly and calling them snacks.  Eeek!  So I was concerned about a 250 calorie snack and now we're grabbing a 410 calorie snack wrap?!?!

Its time to stand up against outrageous, gut busting snack attacks!  Consider thinking twice on a few of these typical snacks, while trying some others...  

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Eat Right During a Workout

Madison ride.jpg

Dave from VQ tells us the plan

I spent my Wednesday bathed in sunblock, pockets full of fuel and with bottles of warm water riding 80 miles of the Ironman Wisconsin race course with a group from Vision Quest in Chicago.  It was a beautiful day, especially if you were having a picnic or taking a midday walk.  But if you were on a bicycle, it was gusty and relentless (for the 2nd 40 mile loop).  Like your annual pap (sorry, guys), it was humiliating and even a little small talk couldn't make it more pleasant. While I can't control the weather on a long ride, I can control my nutrition.  I'll stop griping about a day of biking and use this as a clumsy segue into eating during exercise - did I mention that my bike shorts ripped and I'm pretty sure that I have a diaper rash? 
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10 Things You Should Know about Omega 3s

I am frequently asked nutrition and health questions about omega 3.  Stuff like:  What is it?  Where do I find it?  Why is it good for me?  What if I don't want to have fish?  Given that my clients' FAQs are usually similar to everyone's FAQs, I thought it would be helpful to develop a top 10 things you should know about omega 3s.  I hope this will answer some of your questions about the big Os.  

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Guilty Food Pleasures

Sure, all foods can fit in your diet.  You're right, you shouldn't feel emotional guilt about what you put in your mouth.  Feel guilty if you purposely run over your neighbor's cat, but don't waste those feelings on food and nutrition.  We should eat until we are satiated...balance our calories with our activity...consume a variety of foods...all in moderation.  That said, sometimes we must stray.  We must go wild.  We adore some foods that provide us very little nutritional value, are dense in calories and fat (rather than vitamins and minerals), are just too salty and fried, or even processed in a way that make us question whether they deserve to be called "real food".  Sometimes we're embarrassed about our adoration because of the food's lack of sophistication or culinary prowess.  Whatever the case, we know that we shouldn't have these foods everyday because they are just not that good for us.

Recently, I was enjoying one of my favorite not-so-foodie and not-so-healthy food favors and it got me thinking - maybe that's part of the problem - Americans have forgotten to save these "occasional" foods for a rare occasion.  We don't "go wild".  We just eat our splurges daily, rather than rarely, and not only have they lost their allure, they are contributing to our national nutritional breakdown.  When I was growing up we put a can of soda in the fridge every Friday morning so that it would be cold for Friday night.  It was special.  It was a treat.  If you celebrated your birthday everyday, what would be your "special day"?  We need to push the reset button and put these foods back into their "occasional" category and make them special again. 

To help me convey this point, I asked a boatload of dietitians to tell me their favorite "cheat" food.  What do they just love, even though they know it's not the most nutritious choice, creative creation and that may be a little embarrassing, but they cherish it here and there because it's their splurge.  Take a gander at these nutrition experts' responses and use them to remind yourself of two things:  1.  it's A-OK to have a food that you covet for reasons other than nourishment, even dietitians do it, and 2. if you're eating these foods daily, you may be missing out on something special - you've forgotten to save some foods as treats - if they are part of your daily intake, what's the allure?  Push the reset button, don't let these foods be commonplace and habitual, make them special again.  Here's what's eaten when dietitian go wild: 

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