Welcome to The Lean Plate Club, hosted by Washington Post health and nutrition writer Sally Squires. On Tuesdays at 1 p.m. ET, Sally leads a discussion for people who want to eat healthier, move around more and otherwise get better but not bigger. We're not about fad diets or crash weight-loss plans; we're about eating wisely and living healthy for the long haul.
We want to hear from you -- your tips, strategies, meal plans, successes, warnings, setbacks and more. Of course Sally will be happy to answer questions, and turn others over to the Club. None of this, of course, is a substitute for medical advice.
Sally Squires has covered health and nutrition for The Post since 1984. She holds masters' degrees in nutrition and journalism (both from Columbia University), is co-author of "The Stoplight Diet for Children" and covers heart disease, cancer, psychology and many other health topics in addition to nutrition. She usually eats a salad for lunch, sits unluckily close to the Health section's legendary cookie depository and (for this phase of her ongoing battle of the bulge) swears by "The Firm" series of exercise tapes.
Health section editor Craig Stoltz will join Sally sometimes. Stoltz
has none of Sally's impressive credentials but labors under a decade-long medical directive to control his weight and eat wisely, takes a statin to lower his blood cholesterol and keeps track of everything he eats on a Palm handheld computer, a fact most of his acquaintances no longer find interesting.
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A transcript follows.
Editor's Note: Washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Live Online discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions.
Sally Squires: Welcome to the Lean Plate Club!
The sun is shining here in Washington. Finally! The farmers markets and grocery stores are filling up with great tasting fresh produce. And look for some important nutrition news later this week from the New England Journal of Medicine.
Okay, so with the change in weather, the beach is on the minds of many--the South Beach Diet, that is, now climbing best seller lists. Tell us your experience with this program, which several members have asked questions about in recent web chats. Or ask any question about nutrition or physical activity in today's chat.
Since the South Beach Diet focusses on the glycemic index--that's how much blood sugar rises after eating a certain food--you'll see a theme in this week's give aways. They are:
The Glucose Revolution: An Authoritative Guide to the Glycemic Index by Jennie Brand-Miller, PhD., Thomas MS Wolever, MD, PHD., Stephen Colagiuri, MD, Kaye Foster-Powell, M Nutrition (Marlowe and Company; $14.95)
Breaking the Food Seduction: The Hidden Reasons Behind Food Cravings--and 7 Steps to End Them Naturally by Neal Barnard, MD (St. Martin's Press; $24.95)
The New Sugar Busters by H. Leighton Steward, MS, Morrison Bethea, MD, Sam Andrews, MD, Luis Balart, MD, (Ballantine; $24.95)
The Ultimate Ride: Get Fit, Get Fast and Start Winning with the World's Top Cycling Coach by Chris Carmichael with Jim Rutberg (Putnam; $24.95)
Syndrome X: Managing Insulin Resitance by Deborah S. Romaine and Jennifer B. Marks, MD (Harpercollins; $5.99)
As always, here's the deal: Help out another Lean Plate Club member seeking information in this chat. Share a great tasting, healthy recipe with us. Tell us about a healthy new food find. Give us a tip about fitting in daily physical activity or getting back on track to healthy habits and one of these volumes could be yours.
Our offering does not endorse any particular volume, weight loss program or exercise regimen, but is merely meant to show you the wide range of resources and information available as you continue your quest to eat smart and move more.
If you'd like to subscribe to the Lean Plate Club electronic newsletter, you can sign up at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/email/front.htm. And yes, it's still free. Newsletters are sent out Tuesdays, generally at mid-day. If you are not receiving your newsletter, please e-mail email@example.com and please copy me at firstname.lastname@example.org and please put "trouble subscribing" or "not receiving newsletter" in the subject line. I'll take it from there.
Now on to the chat!
Thanks for the info on the South Beach Diet in today's paper. One war story: I've been on the diet for 2 weeks. So far, I've lost only 4 pounds (not the 8-12 promised). I still have cravings for sweets and have suffered serious constipation--in spite of taking lots of sugar-free Metamucil. I am going to stick with it, progressing to Stage II, as I need to lose 20-25 lbs. and lower my 360+ cholesterol (all bad LDL). I've continued to exercise 3-5 times per week. So, I'm discouraged but trying.
My question: Is there a place that lists the type of "whole grain" foods that this and other diets recommend?? Since my husband just purchased a load of San Giorgio's new wheat pastas, I'm curious whether it qualifies under South Beach or any other "whole grain" diet category?
washingtonpost.com: Lean Plate Club: Tepid on South Beach Diet (Post, June 24)
Sally Squires: Hey Bethesda:
Thanks for telling about your experience on South Beach. Let us know how it continues to go. Now as for that San Giorgio pasta...you can find some nutrition information on their web site: www.sangiorgio.com/Nutrition.htm.
But I couldn't find all that you requested so I just called the company and here's what they they told me: Their whole wheat pasta has about 3 grams of fiber per serving. (Serving sizes vary by product, you'll have to look at the label for that. The first ingredient in these products is semolina which is not a whole grain according to the company consumer products person I spoke to. But the next two ingredients are. From a quick check of South Beach, it sounds like this would qualify for as a whole grain food. You can find more on page. 73 and on p. 198. Hope that helps. Enjoy!
Sally, thanks for the interesting column
today on the South Beach diet. It made
me wonder, though -- WHY do people
continue to search for the easy way out?
Why is it better to follow one crazy diet
after another than to just eat properly and
exercise? Why is this such a hard
concept for people to follow? As
someone who has successfully lost
weight (30+ lbs. using a modified WW
program), I don't understand why people
want to spend so much time, effort and
money on one of these plans...when plain
ol' smart eating and EXERCISE is the
best thing going. Are people just lazy and
lacking discipline or is it society's fault
that we've become so out of shape
(driving cars, eating fast food, etc.)? I'm
starting to lose patience with the excuses
people give for why they're fat...
Thanks for letting me rant.
washingtonpost.com: Lean Plate Club: Tepid on South Beach Diet (Post, June 24)
Sally Squires: Dear Connecticut: We're always available here for ranting about nutrition and exercise. As for your more global question of looking for quick fixes, my guess is it's just part of human nature.
It also seems that it takes folks a while to figure out how much weight they have gained. Once they fully understand that, they quite reasonably, want it to change. Fast. But as is often said here on the Lean Plate Club, the weight doesn't go on overnight and it doesn't go off overnight either. Sounds like you have already learned that lesson yourself very nicely. Congratulations on your good success.
I'm not sure if this question is pertinent to today's discussion (i don't see a topic up yet) but i was hoping you or other healthy eaters might be able to help me. a few months ago i discoverd beef and turkey jerky as a healthful mid-morning snack. 1 ounce was only 90 calories, one gram of fat and had loads of protein. I had that every day at work and the trouble is that now i can't even look at another piece of jerky because i've jerkied myself out. Any tips for a substitute snack. something low cal and low fat that packs in the protein? other good protein snack suggestions? my other snacks during the day are all fruits and vegetables. Thanks for your help.
Sally Squires: Hi Rosslyn: Isn't it interesting how one can get really enamored with a food and then tire of it suddenly? The good thing about jerky is that it takes a while to chew, it's not a food that you can just eat mindlessly. You actually have to work at it. Sounds like you have had your fill of jerky, but there is salmon jerky to try it you're game for another. I've bought it at Whole Foods.
Other good high protein snacks: how about a hard boiled egg? The white itself has just 10 calories and is nearly all protein. The yolk has fat and cholesterol. I've found that a hard boiled egg white filled with a mixture of different things: pepper eggplant dip for example, guacamole, hummus. This can be really tasty. Nuts are high in protein--also relatively high in fat too, although it's generally healthy fat.
Low fat or non fat dairy products (unsweetened) could be another high protein choice. Peanut butter with some carrots would be another.
Other thoughts out there?
I just wanted to give some tips on the snacks I started eating when I decided it was time to start being healthy and active. I am in love with Luna bars by Clif-they have lots of soy protein and taste awesome. I also love Knudsen's cottage cheese/fruit combos-they taste like cheesecake, especially the strawberry. Also, instead of peanut butter, which I eat for the protein and the "good" fat, the whole-food store here sells macadamia butter, almond butter, cashew butter, and they're great on an apple or a pita!; I love these chats, I read them often!;
Sally Squires: Hey Laramie: These suggestions sound great. And the soy protein might also fit the bill for the LPCer above looking for a good high protein snack. I'd also add almond butter to the list of "other" nut butters. Thanks!
Vermont & L, Washington, D.C.:
Sally, I'm trying to lose about 22 pounds - I like the idea of the South Beach diet, but I always worry about not consuming enough calories and it being couterproductive to my efforts. I weigh about 167 right now - 5'5". How many calories should I be consuming?
Sally Squires: Hi Vermont: The amount of calories you need daily depends on how active you are and how much body fat you have. One rule of thumb that registered dietitian Nancy Clark recommends is to multiply your weight by 10. That gives you a rough baseline for calories. In your case, that would ba about 1,600 to 1,700. You then add more for activity levels. 20-40 percent if you're inactive; about 40-60 percent if you're moderately active; about 60-80 percent if you're really active (and we're talking seriously active.)
How much you need to trim to lose weight is also difficult to say precisely. But most experts advise producing about a 500 calorie deficit; about half (250 calories from exercise) about half (250 calories from eating less.) That will produce roughly a half pound to a pound weight loss per week, considered safe and reasonable.
If you really want to try South Beach (and you don't have any medical reason not to do it) try it. See how you do for a week. Or reduce your calories and exercise more and see how you do with your weight. If you hit a plateau, you'll know you need to make some kind of adjustment, either with food or physical actvity. Let us know how you do.
Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C.:
Today is a great day to have a berry smoothie!
RE: Connecticut's "rant"...well, some of us -have- tried "plain ol' smart eating and EXERCISE." Unfortunately, that means different things to different people. For example, in April I cut out dairy products and processed foods like bread and pasta. To date, I've lost 25 lbs. (Along with doing Pilates 6x a week.)
Losing weight is a tough battle and something you have to prepare for mentally as well as physically. Once that mental "click" happens, then your body will adapt to a healthier lifestyle.
Sally Squires: Hi Dupont:You're absolutely right. It's a great day to have a smoothie. And in today's Lean Plate Club newsletter, you can see how the Tropicana and Dannon smoothies stack up against each other and against a smoothie you make for yourself. Hey...very impressive results that you report. And it's a great example of finding the approach that works best for you!
I enjoyed your column on the South Beach Diet. It sounds more liveable than the Atkins, but I don't think it would be for me. It sounds like so much to remember. Heathly eating shouldn't be work.
washingtonpost.com: Lean Plate Club: Tepid on South Beach Diet (Post, June 24)
Sally Squires: Thanks Maryland. It was very interesting to me to read the book after hearing so many Lean Plate Club members ask questions about it in previous chats and to look at the calorie counts and the book's approach.I learned a lot too.
Product Recommendation: A wonderful line of zero or one carb salad dressings. Drew?s All Natural. I find them in natural food stores and in the organic section of Safeway. Nine or ten different flavors: Smoked Tomato, Shiittake Ginger, Romano Caesar, Garlic Vinaigrette, Ginger Lime Tahini, and more. All delicious, and I have no connection to the company. Thanks for a great chat!
Sally Squires: You're very welcome Frederick. These sound really delicious. And this is the perfect season to explore salads. Last night for dinner, everybody got a variety of lettuce and then stacked on whatever else they wanted for a very hearty, Lean Plate Club dinner salad. It was really delicious to savor those flavors--and it's only going to get better as the summer season continues.
My husband and I have been on the South Beach Diet since May 12 and have lost about 10 pounds each. I didn't lose as much as some folks (I read a lot of posts on the Prevention website about the SB diet) but I have lost around my waist and hips. I have about 25 more to lose. I have been an eternal dieter and have lost and gained two people on Weight Watchers. This way of eating is different in that it really addresses the need I had to handle the hunger pangs and wild sugar swings. Weight Watchers did not help me with this at all. My husband and I are happy with this way of eating so far and see no reason why we can't do this for a long time.
A typical menu for me is:
Breakfast: 1/2 cup oatmeal cooked in 1 cup skim milk with 2 Tbsps nuts
Snack: Sugar free low-fat Yogurt and berries
Lunch: salad with low-fat ham and cheese and regular dressing, sugar-free jello
Snack: 1/2 apple with natural peanut butter
Dinner: Protein with salad and veggie.
Snack: SF Popsicle or fudgsicle or jello or 1 ounce of nuts.
Pretty healthy, all in all.
Thanks for listening.
Sally Squires: Hey Laurel: Congratulations on that very good progress. What terrific is how you have found an regimen that works for you. Are you enjoying it? Do you have more energy? And what are you doing for physical activity?
My boyfriend and I have rediscovered the blender and frozen fruit. We attempted to make a smoothie last night, but perhaps we just had it all wrong. Was wondering if readers had some suggestions for yummy, healthy, low fat smoothies? Thanks!
Sally Squires: Boy have you come to the right place, DC. I first learned how to make smoothies from Barbara Roll's Volumetrics and have now toyed with my own versions. Basically, take about a cup of yogurt per serving. Place in blender. Add about 1 cup of ice and a couple of drops of vanilla flavoring. Then toss in whatever fruit your heart desires. I've used frozen bananas as well as really ripe bananas. Fresh strawberries, raspberries, peaches (fresh or frozen.) You can also toss in a little wheat germ if you want. Then mix the whole thing. The more you blend it the frothier and more air-filled it becomes, which is great for satiety or feeling full. You can also add a dab of honey if you want, but generally I find the fruit is quite sweet enough.
Hey there, Sally,
I need some help from you and the LPCers on breaking through a plateau. I've lost 25 pounds and have about 10-15 pounds to go. Trouble is the scale has come to a screeching halt. I've tried to make my workouts more intense, and experiment with low carb, high protein. Could I be building too much muscle perhaps, which is registering on the scale? Thanks in advance for any helpful guidance/tips.
Sally Squires: Hey DC: We've all been there and know how frustrating this can become. A couple of questions to ask yourself: is your weight goal realistic? In other words, who set this next 10 to 15 pounds? If it is realistic, then spend this week tracking your food very carefully. Really examine what and how you're eating as well as how much. Also really look closely at your exercise. A couple of hundred calories either way can make a big difference. If you don't already lift weights, consider doing that as it can rev up metabolism. Also try eating small meals rather than three large meals. Each time you eat, metabolism also boosts a little.
Finally, consider avoiding the scale for a week or two and concentrate on how you feel, how your clothes fit, what you're doing, etc. See if that also helps. Other suggestions out there?
Hi Sally, Just wanted to share my
experience with the South Beach Diet. I'm
a vegetarian and found this diet too
limiting. I lasted a week and didn't lose
any weight. Maybe other vegetarians
tryied and were successful? I would be
curious as to how. Thanks for the great
chats - they always get me back on the
Sally Squires: Thanks for the input Boston. Other vegetarians out there care to comment?
I just got a new job after working out of my home for the past year. I have had the luxury in the past year of having a flexible schedule and exercising in the afternoon for an hour or so. Now, my daily routine will include a 1.5 hour commute each way, which means leaving the house at 6:30am to make it to work by 8am. I would work out in the morning, but the gym doesn't open until 6. then I would be leaving work at 5 or 5:30 to make it home around 7 or so. Then there's dinner to prepare and about an hour of time with my husband before going to bed. How can I fit my exercise routine into this hectic day? I have been really good the past year about working out 4-5 days a week, and i really don't want it to stop.
Sally Squires: First, congratulations on the job! That's wonderful. A couple of thoughts: Any chance that you could get off your commute a stop early and hike part of the way to/from the office or to/from home? What can you do during the day? Obviously, you don't want to take off large amounts of time from a new job, but does your new office have a gym or a gym nearby? Can you stow a pair of walking shoes in your desk and take a 15 minute brisk walk at lunch? Or maybe even a little longer? Maybe you could fit in other lifestyle exercises in your new daily office routine, such as taking the stairs.
Finally, plan now to boost your workouts on weekends and even Friday night. That time could be used to get in at least two, maybe more, really great, long workouts. And stay tuned for the next fitness makeover which will be coming up in the next week or two. (By the way, many, many thanks to all of you who have responded.)
Somewhere, USA -- Smoothieland:
Other great things to put in smoothies -
silken tofu or protein powder!
Sally Squires: Great idea! You're absolutely right. Both would be a wonderful addition. Thanks!
Farragut North, Washington, D.C.:
Have you ever looked into the whole Equal vs. Splenda debate? I know Atkins espouses the wonders of Splenda, and discourages the use of Equal (Nutrasweet), arguing that the possible adverse health effects are still in question. BTW, I have switched to Diet Rite soft drinks and cola (and Diet V8 Splash fruit drinks), which are all Splenda products; and am perfectly happy. I was just wondering if there is any real difference from a health perspective.
Sally Squires: In fact, there was a Lean Plate Club column last summer on sugar substitutes. I'll bet that our wonderful producer Eleanor can find the link and post it. As I recall, there was not a huge difference healthwise, but perhaps we should take another look.
Thanks for posting my results.
Our energy levels are up. During the first two weeks (Phase 1), we were tired but that only lasted a few days.
We exercise by playing golf (we walk for 9 holes but ride for 18 - still a lot of walking on the golf course these days with the rain!) and walking. I am starting the "8 minutes a day" program this week and hope to see more toning.
I noticed some other posters say what hard work this diet seems to be. It's really rather simple to implement. Don't eat anything white! No potatoes, no white rice, no pasta, no white flour. Eat carbs with acids or protein to slow the digestion. I've found it so much easier NOT to count points and NOT to measure everything. I make whole grain flaxseed bread and it's delicious! One slice a day is enough for me. I used to eat so many carbs and was always hungry. I'm just not hungry on this plan.
Thanks again for letting me share.
Sally Squires: You bet, Laurel. Thanks for giving us more information on your experience with South Beach.
Just wanted to add another suggestion on making smoothies. I use soft tofu (about 1/3 a carton), orange juice, and frozen berries (Trader Joe's has a nice variety). Once blended up, you can't even tell it's tofu - great for extra protein and for those of us who can't/don't eat daity.
Sally Squires: Thanks, DC. I haven't tried orange juice, but that's a great idea,reminds me a bit of Orange Julius, a popular drink in New York that used to be sold in stands. And if you choose OJ with calcium, you could get as much calcium as using yogurt.
I've been having them a couple times a week for breakfast - I use 1 cup skim milk, half a scoop of soy protein powder, and 1-2 cups fruit (sliced bananas, strawberries) that I put in the freezer for about an hour, or I use bagged frozen fruit. I can use my stick blender, which is a lot easier to clean up then my stand blender.
Sally Squires: There's a great theme developing here. This sounds really great. And I have found that using a couple of types of fruit really adds flavor rather than using just one.
Just wanted to fill you in on a great idea for a gift set - for Father's Day, I bought my dad (who is 61, has high cholesterol and is pre-diabetic) a pedometer and a set of 1 pound (each) walking gloves - sold in a sporting goods store. I am hoping this will increase the intensity of his daily walks, help him maintain the muscle tone in his arms, and also satisfy his fascination with gadgets. And, I'm going to go buy myself some of those gloves this weekend!;
As for myself, I was starting to see my results slow down despite consistent efforts on the recumbent bike - I have now added in VARIETY to try to get my body to respond. I've been doing more walking, hiking, kickboxing, the Firm tapes, and step aerobics. Hopefully this non-routine activity will do the trick!;
Thanks for all your great advice!;
Sally Squires: Hi DC: Sounds like your father is getting some great support in his efforts. These are really thoughtful gifts. I happen to be a big fan of pedometers. But for another viewpoint, take a look at today's Healths section, page 3, for a report from a new mom who did not like her pedometer at all. It's good to hear another side. And I must say that my favorite pedometer just lost its plastic attachment yet again so I bought a cheapie and it made a sound every time I took a step. There are differences in products...
wholegrain flaxseed bread:
do share the recipe!;
Sally Squires: Okay, I'm posting this hoping the LPCer will do just that. If not, I'll ask the Food section to help us find a good flaxseed recipe.
For Washington who was worried about plateaus: I've decided that for me, plateaus are just part of the losing weight process. I've lost 56 pounds over the last 2 1/2 years and it seems as if sometimes my body has just needed time to adjust to this weight loss. For example last summer, I plateaued for almost 3 months and then went right back to losing weight. I'm trying to focus on the big picture: I have a graph showing how much weight I've lost over time and in the grand scheme, 3 months of not losing weight is obviously a blip in the big process of getting rid of all the extra weight. (Just 10 more pounds until I'm normal weight!)
Sally Squires: Very awesome, Harrisonburg. Congratulations! And what a great idea to keep your eye on that very big picture. Thanks and continued success to you. Sounds like you've really changed your habits.
Washington, D.C. Stair climber:
Hi, I'm the stair climber who's been writing in every week. I was doing really well with the stairs for a while, and then last weekend, I got sick. So I haven't done them at all this week. How do you manage the energy fluctuations that come in a typical month? Just do it, but go slowly? Or skip it when you're feeling tired?
Advice is always appreciated...
Sally Squires: Hey DC: Hope you are feeling better. Take a look at the Harrisonburg poster just above this posting. Part of the trick is in seeing a slip as just a small detour, rather than failing. I've been traveling this week, so couldn't do all the tapes that I wanted. Instead, I made sure that I got on the treadmill and the Stairmaster at the hotel where I stayed. When you're sick, consider that you've had a couple of "rest days" and start back, slowly if necessary. You'll get there. It's the slow and steady that does really make it. Hang in there and let us know how you do.
I am hoping to recruit more suggestions from you all for finding snacks/meals that are both low in sugar AND low in fat. I have only recently understood that many of the low-fat items at the store are high in carbs!!
I don't have alot of time to make complicated meals. Do any of you out there have suggestions for low fat-low carb/sugar quick meals and snacks? Or suggested resources?
Sally Squires: You've come to the right place, DC. Vegetables are a great way to snack. Dip them into low-fat dips (already prepared) or measure out hummus, baba ghanouj (hope I've spelled that right!) Bean dip is another good choice (use veggies to dip into it.) Soup is a great snack (try gazpacho for summer.) Make your own "trail mix" with high protein, high fiber cereals and nuts. Laughing cow cheese, lite has just 35 calories per wedge and an apple or pear is delicious.
Those are just a few quick suggestions...
Just wanted to comment on the column that appeared next to LPC in today's paper. Give up my pedometer - heaven forbid! I feel naked when I go out without it. Admittedly, 10,000 steps a day may be too ambitious for those that commute to and from work by car, but I find it a perfect incentive. I commute by Metro and would typically get 7,000-8,000 steps a day. My pedometer motivates me to take the stairs, walk to meetings, and go out for a 15 minute walk over lunch. Perhaps the author of that column should forget 10,000 a day and just shoot for 2,000 a day more than they would normally get. Buying a pedometer was one of the best pieces of advice I ever got from the LPC!
Sally Squires: Hey Franconia. I must say I am very wedded to mine too. But clearly, they are not for everyone, as today's article notes. Thanks!
re: south beach, atkins, etc.:
It really all comes down to what works for each person. I love fruits and vegetables, and whole grain bread and brown rice, and I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't be able to stick to any kind of diet that ruled out or severely limited those types of foods, even if only for a week or so. I mean, one of the best things about summer is good fresh corn on the cob!;!; For me, balance and moderation works best. I've lost 15 pounds that way and hope to lose about 50 more.
Sally Squires: Way to go! And you're absolutely right. That's in fact what the Lean Plate Club is all about: giving you the best nutrition and exercise information possible so that you can make the healthy choices that appeal to you and work with your schedule and life. That way you don't have to be beholden to the next diet fad. Thanks!
I would love to get an idea of what one eats during one day in Phase One of the South Beach Diet. Can anyone jot down a sample menue for one day?
Sally Squires: There are two weeks of menus in phase one, but day one is the following: breakfast has 6 ounces of vegetable juice, 2 vegetable quiche cups (recipes included in book), decaf coffee or tea with nonfat milk and sugar substitute
Mid morning snack of 1 part skim mozarella cheese sitck
Lunch is a slice grilled chicken breast on lettuce with 2 twps. balsamic vinaigrette (recipe included in book) or low sugar prepared dressing and sugar free gelatine
mid afternoon snack is celery stuffed with Laughing Cow cheese (lite)
Dinner is grilled salmon with rosemary (recipe included in book) steamed asparagus, tossed salad, olive oil and vinegar or prepared low sugar dressing. Desser is vanilla ricotta creme (recipe included in book.)
Thanks for the great advice, Sally!;
You know, I used to ignore the LPC part of the Health section since I figured, being thin, it didn't apply to me. THEN I decided I wanted to lose some weight...And discovered this chat. Well, now I read it religiously every week.
It's not just about weight loss, its about health. Which, of course, is your point every week.
It sure was easier, though, when I could eat whatever and not worry about gaining any weight...cause I was underweight and figured I could stand to gain a few. Easier, not necessarily better, though.
But I am going to nip this flab thing in the bud before it gets out of hand!; I've got flab. Never had it before. Don't want it. It will go.
Sally Squires: What a great message. And you're absolutely right, the Lean Plate Club is not about dieting. It's about eating smart and getting more physical activity every day. The idea is to help you feel great. Good luck with your efforts. Let us know how you do.
Following the blender theme, another good fruity treat is fruit-based salsas. I throwing in a jalepeno, mango, pineapple, cilantro, and lime juice. It's great on baked chips as an afterwork snack.
Sally Squires: Yum. This is a new one and sounds really delicious. Plus, it's filled with really healthy stuff. If you have more details on a recipe, we'd love to have it. Thanks!
I used to make these every day -- wonderful!
one cup of plain or flavored yogurt
3/4 cup of non fat milk
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup of whatever fruit happens to be in season (peaches, more berries, apples, oranges, pineapple, whatever)
1/8 cup of wheat bran (optional)
ice to taste (I'm not a big ice person)
Blend until smooth.
The bran gives it a really nice texture, but isn't necessary. It's also easy to throw in a protein supplement before you blend.
Sally Squires: Wow. We've really got a smoothie theme going today. Thanks very much. This sounds great.
New Bern, NC:
Despite eating only about 1200 calories a day, I am losing very slowly. I usually eat oatmeal for breakfast. I've been told that all those carbs are the reason my diet isn't more successful. What do you think?
Sally Squires: Hey New Bern: Oatmeal is a great food to eat for breakfast. It's a whole grain, is very filling and is a good food choice. I don't know your exact weight, but it could be that you're eating too few calories--and no, I'm not suggesting that you eat tons more. Weight loss often--in fact, usually--happens slowly. Question is how slowly? Could be half a pound to 1 pound per week and you may still hit weeks where you lose nothing and weeks where you lose two or three pounds at once. It's a long term process. But as we often say here at LPC, the weight didn't go on overnight, it probably won't come off that way either. Goodluck with your efforts. Hang in there and e-mail me at email@example.com, if you need more information.
Sally & crew: Just read an article at e-diets by Dr. Merrill Elias (Boston U) who's studied hypertension (high blood pressure) for 35 years. He states that high blood pressure is not inevitable with age. It can be kept in check by keeping cholesterol LOW, NOT SMOKING and limiting salt (only 1/3 of HBP patients are salt sensitive). But perhaps the most important factor is keeping OBESITY at bay, a struggle most American are not winning. "Weight is a biggie," says Elias. "The more you weigh, the more pressure there is."
How can we exert pressure on food manufacturers to greatly reduce the sodium in processed foods?
Sally Squires: Hi Alexandria: I'd add to this list important data from the DASH Diet which also found that eating enough calcium and potassium from low fat or non fat dairy products and plenty of fruit and vegetables helps too. Vote with your food choices--make more of your own foods where you can and buy lower sodium products. The food companies pay attention to our lead. If you buy the products, they'll continue to make them.
I want to better understand about high fructose corn syrup and the fact that it is in everything we eat or drink. I have heard that it creates more fat in the body than regular sugar and that it is responsible for the drastic increase in fat Americans since it was first introduced as a cheap sweetner additive in the 1960s - coincidentally the same year that the American population began to "expand" in size.
Sally Squires: Hey Philly: I wrote about this very topic in the Health section earlier this year. We'll post a link in next week's chat to the article, which I don't believe is still archived on the web site. But you might look back at the Lean Plate Club archives, it may be available there.
Sally Squires: We are way out of time folks with many questions/comments yet to post. So I'll answer them in future chats, columns and newsletters.
The winners this week are Laramie, Wyoming; Harrisonburg, Connecticut, DuPont for the smoothie recipe; Somewhere for the silken tofu suggestion. Thanks to all for great suggestions. If you're a winner, please send me your snail mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next week, Eat Smart, Get More Physical Activity ith the Lean Plate Club! Cheers!