Ah food, glorious food! You’ve heard of the jingle, and you’ve also heard of the book by now, “Eat This Not That” by David Zinczenko. He’s a great guy and it’s a good read but I want to give you a quick serving of what you may know, should know or simply choose to ignore. Yes, I’m pretty fed up with how unhealthy food is still king, drive-throughs are killing us,  and that we simply choose not to choose the right food. Okay, I’m breathing and I’ll calm down here, but please for your own health or someone else you know, pass this along. I want you healthy, I want your family healthy and I even the dog and cat. Like the Jerry McGuire movie and Cuba Gooding Jr., “help me help you.”

You can enjoy food but food is for feeding your organs, skin muscles and everything else to function at high levels. Eating for pleasure is okay, but tone it down a bit and think of my 90/10 rule.  Eat 90% for staying alive and 10% for pleasure. I may sound a bit sarcastic in this portion of information I’m sharing , but I’m very serious and very concerned about our nation’s health. Frankly, I’m embarrassed. I train people from all over the world and I constantly hear about how we ( Americans ) eat too much and eat terribly.  I wish I was from Australia, or New Zealand or even Iceland,  then I’d be too cold to eat, or to busy chasing kangaroos.

Soft Drinks

OMG or Oh my gosh. Help us all! I’m surprised anyone still has any teeth left and everyone is not one big, walking pimple. Sorry to be so graphic, but hello, is this America or what? Adult acne is a real problem caused by sugar. I’m happy to see more reaching for other drinks, but still be careful, soda is one of the leading sources of empty calories in America. Instead, have plain or flavored water, herbal iced tea or skim milk. If you crave a sweet drink, limit yourself to one glass of fruit juice a day—better yet, cut it with seltzer water. If you feel diet sodas help you lose weight, drink them—but try to get down to one a day or you’ll never lose your taste for super-sweet foods.  Heck the chemicals alone in diet soda should scare you to death and the sodium content alone causes bloating and water retention. People drink more because of the “0” calorie factor, but keep in mind the sodium from the carbonated water will cause fluid retention and bloating which is very attractive. Chemicals alone don’t cause the harm, it’s the behaviors behind those who drink the “diet” sodas.

Alcohol

If I could show you all my abs right now I would. You want to see your abs again, put a cork in it. Want to lean out now? I suggest  change your party friends, change your scene and lifestyle and if you must, maybe once in a while, but drink less. I challenge my clients to stop cold turkey for 2-3 weeks and watch what happens. They come running in and lift up their shirts and say, “Suzie, you were right!”  Maybe it’s only a 4 pack for now but the 12 pack is coming! What a difference.

More people are drinking to soothe and comfort some of our most challenging days in this new world. Besides adding to depression, and being a depressant to slow down your metabolism, alcohol and weight loss don’t mix. It’s hard to make good eating habits  when the fog or buzz starts making decisions for you.

There’s lots of sugar in a chardonnay say vs a red cabernet. And that delicious margarita, look out and say adios. My point is obviously, alcohol can add a lot of extra calories to your diet, and it’s more caloric than other foods. Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram (carbohydrates and fat contain only 4 calories per gram; fat contains 9 calories per gram). But there are reasons besides the calories to skip sipping.

Hop on the wagon and hold your wheels tight. Do your best and recognize how great you’ll feel.

Foods Containing Trans Fat

Love the tasty tortillas, butter cookies and everything with trans fat is simply yummy. The biggest offenders are margarine and vegetable shortenings—although, there are trans fat-free versions of both now—and processed food such as frozen meals, crackers, ramen soups, cake mixes, chips and candy. To see if a product has trans fat, check the ingredients list for partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Don’t go by the nutrition facts panel: By law, a product can contain up to 0.49 (nearly half a gram) of trans fat per serving but still read “0 g” on the label   My favorite replacements are heart-healthy olive and canola oils.

Fried Foods

June 23, 2011 USA Today just published this article: “Potato Chip Worst Culprit for Weight Gain”   They open with, “Blame the potato chip. It’s the biggest demon behind that pound-a-year weight creep that plagues many of us, a major diet study found. Bigger than soda, candy and ice cream.”

You’ll notice that more chips are being bought these days  for they are not as expensive as other snacky food and it’s a comfort food conesuir first choice. Their glossy bags and bright colors yell, “eat me, you’ll feel better and I taste wonderful.”  That is no marketing mishap. 

The down and dirty: Don’t confuse foods made with trans fat with simple fried foods. There is a difference, but you should do your best to avoid both. Even when they don’t have trans fat, fried foods in restaurants are often cooked in oil that is reused. This can create by-products that have been linked to a variety of diseases. And fried foods are highly caloric. Frying causes a food to absorb more fat and calories.

One alternative you can try is oven-frying. Cut potatoes into strips, toss or spray with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, and cook in a 400° oven until brown. And if you can’t live without potato chips, choose baked varieties made without trans fat. Crunch sparinglly please.

 White Bread

As a kid I used to love the Old Wonder Bread. I can see the color wrapper with the rainbow and what’s wrong with a good old fashion p & j sandwhich? Nothing, as long as you reach for a little more than just starch.

Don’t panic—you can still have your carbs,  ( you need carbs as fuel ) they just have to be whole grain. Compared with refined white flour, whole grains are not only more nutritious, they also have lots of fiber that will keep you fuller longer. To help you, “refined,” when referring to processed carbohydrates, means they have been stripped of their fiber and the many nutrients now known to be cancer-fighters, critical for heart health, helping to stabilize blood sugar and even enhance bone health.

To get truly “whole wheat” or “whole grain” bread, you need to be on your toes. Packaging can be misleading. Some brown “wheat” breads, for example, don’t even contain whole wheat! To make sure you’re getting a meaningful amount of whole grains, check that they show up at the beginning of the ingredients list. Bread should have at least two grams of fiber per slice.

This also goes for rice which we love in Hawaii. Brown rice is better. Although it takes longer to cook, it’s worth it in every bite. One scoop not two.

High-Fat Milk and Yogurt

Although milk and yogurt are excellent sources of calcium and protein, there is no reason to have the full-fat version when so many lower-fat versions are available. Again, be careful, look at the sugar content also.

More and more people are drinking alternatives to milk, such as almond milk and soy milk.  Keep in mind, a cup of whole milk has 7.9 grams of fat—4.5 grams of it saturated—and 24 milligrams of cholesterol. Compare that to a cup of nonfat skim milk’s 83 calories, 0.2 grams of fat, 0.125 grams of saturated fat and 5 milligrams of cholesterol. People complain of the taste but you’ll get used to it.

I recommends fat-free or one percent milk. As for cheese, opt for reduced-fat versions with no more than 5 grams of fat per ounce.  I’d really prefer you to avoid cheese if possible.

Keep it real, and keep it real food. I really love what I do and it’s important that you know I’m looking out for you. I’m not the kind of trainer or lifestyle coach that preaches, I live it, breathe it and eat well. I know it’s hard to be disciplined sometimes, but you have the power and the knowledge to make better choices. Everytime you eat, think of how your organs will feel, your muscles and your everything else if you feed it well. You’ll not only feel more energized you’ll notice that the world around you will be different. You’ll also be more aware of maybe some habits that need to go away for good.

Please do your best, walk tall and make each bite count.

See you on the water or maybe on the beach here in Maui one day.

Aloha, Suzie Cooney, CPT of Suzie Trains Maui

To learn more about Suzie go to:http://www.suzietrainsmaui.com/    Follow SuzieTrainsMaui on Twitter

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