What’s BMI?

BMI stands for body mass index. It’s a height-to-weight ratio and is one indicator used to determine healthy weight. The equation is your weight in pounds divided by your height in inches squared. You then take this number and times it by 703. A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. But BMI doesn’t work for everyone. For example body builders and others who are very muscular may not be good candidates. So speak with your doctor about his or her thoughts on your...

Is caffeine bad for you?

If you’re not pregnant or been told by your doctor not to have caffeine, moderate intake should be okay. Aim for no more than 250 mg a day, which equates to about two eight-ounce cups of coffee.

Lisa’s Take (January 2016)

Calorie and Quality…They Both Matter I recently spoke with someone who said that with regard to weight gain, it doesn’t matter where the calories come from. She suggested that eating a donut is no different than consuming a more nutritious food with the same calorie count. Her argument was it doesn’t matter what food they come from, “calories-in-versus-calories-out” is all that matters. From a pure weight-gain, -loss or -maintenance perspective she’s right. If we take in more calories needed and we don’t burn the excess off, we’ll gain weight. So it’s certainly important that we don’t overeat anything. Too much of even nutritious foods isn’t good. Portion control matters. But my partner in conversation’s position that calories can come from whatever foods we want doesn’t pass muster. She believes if we want to only eat donuts, that’s okay as long as we don’t eat so many that we gain weight. I don’t agree. Where’s the nutrition in a donut or a similar type food? It’s really not there. For example, the saturated fat in donuts isn’t heart-friendly and the high-carb content isn’t good for those with diabetes. And vitamins, minerals, fiber and more aren’t abundant in items like this. And that’s not good because we benefit from them. They can contribute to good health. And where’s the balance of all the food groups? These make up a healthy plate. And let’s face it, donuts are higher in calories than fresh fruit, veggies and other nutritious fare. This can affect our weight. Carrying too much weight on our frames can put us at risk for heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, high...

The Huffington Post lauds STOP THE DIET, I WANT TO GET OFF!

From The Huffington Post January 6, 2015 6 Books to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions On-Track By Joe Sutton for IndieReader For many of us, the start of a new year inspires us to better ourselves. We set (sometimes unobtainable) goals for the months ahead, hoping to improve and take control of our lives. Unfortunately, sticking to those goals can be difficult after the first few weeks, and by March, the majority of us have gone to back to our old (sloth) ways. If you have a resolution for this year — or if you could use an idea for making one — check out the books below to steer you in the right direction and help keep on track. Stop the Diet, I Want to Get Off! by Lisa Tillinger Johansen If you want to lose weight this year, let dietitian Lisa Johansen help. Her book is a no-nonsense guide to healthy eating, which means you can worry less about keeping up on the latest fad diets and instead focus on the tried and true method of maintaining health: eating a good, balanced diet. Johansen keeps a lighthearted tone throughout the book to make the whole process fun, so you won’t feel as though you’re suffering through a strict program. Wife for Life by Ramona Zabriskie You already know that maybe half of all marriages end in divorce these days. Marriage isn’t easy, so if you find that your relationship is rocky or volatile, you might be desperate to get back on good footing with your partner this year. Ramona Zabriskie’s guide to a good marriage focuses on...

Brain Power

I’ve been teaching a nutrition class for senior adults for over seven years. We meet once a week. The majority of attendees have come to the class since it began. It’s awesome. We cover a lot of topics from diabetes to hypertension to stress management and kidney disease. But of late, a big topic of conversation has been memory loss and dementia. As we age, normal memory lapses can occur. Many of us have gone through it. Episodes of forgetting where we put our car keys, or an item on your mental “to do” list are normal. I’ve even from time to time called one of my dogs by the other one’s name, and even called my husband by one of my two dog’s names. They’re Murray and Phil, so they’re human male names. So it’s not as bad as it sounds. It’s not like I’ve called him Rover or Spot! What I tell my clients is that it’s always important to stimulate our brains. This is true at any age. So what can we do to help keep us sharp? Here are some tips: • Exercise regularly. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. In addition to aerobic activities, add in strength and flexibility exercises several days a week as well. • Eat a healthy balanced diet. Enjoy fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, lean protein (limit red meat) and appropriate low fat or nonfat dairy servings. • Eat your colors and make sure to add in blueberries or other dark berries in your diet. • Include fish in your diet at...