Soy You, Soy Me

Tuesday, August 16, 2005; 9:19 AM

Soy milk, soy burgers and hot dogs, soy cereal, soy energy bars, soy cheese, soy bacon. These days you can pretty much get soy anything. It even shows up in some foods you might not expect, such as canned tuna packed in water as a Lean Plate Club pointed out in last week's Web chat.

So is all this soy a good thing? Find the answer in today's Lean Plate Club column, then tell us your take on soy during today's Lean Plate Club Web chat from 1 to 2 p.m. EDT today. Can't join live? No problem. Simply send in your thoughts or questions ahead of time. Or email me anytime at

Joy of Motion

Those old sneakers that you used to lace up and just forget about are now going high tech. Learn how athletic shoes are getting motorized and air conditioned, as the Financial section reports.

A recent Lean Plate Club column on strength training generated so much discussion on the Web chat that we ran out of time before all the comments could be posted. Please know that I read all your postings and messages and answer as many personally as time permits.

Columbia, Mo.: Strength training is reputed to build bone density. I am a 48-year-old woman who has been doing strength training in one-hour sessions two to three times per week since 2000, along with other fitness activities such as cycling. Our company sponsors a health fair given by a local hospital. At a bone density screening my "T score" was almost two standard deviations above average. I was pleased to have such quality bones entering middle age. A further comment on weight training: proper form and instruction are necessities. You can injure your joints and spine if you don't use proper lifting techniques. Take the trouble to seek out quality instruction.

Sally Squires: Congratulations Columbia! That score must make you feel wonderful. And you're absolutely right about the importance of proper form. In fact, to assist with that effort, you can find some videos to help see the correct way to do squats, shoulder presses, French curls, bicep curls and wall push-ups at the Lean Plate Club homepage.

St. Louis: Hi Sally--as to whether strength training/muscle building helps burn calories, the answer for me is: absolutely. Several years ago, I began working out with Kathy Smith's "Lift Weights to Lose Weight" video and toned up as well as lost weight. It was a conscious effort to do both. Later on, I took a weight training class through our local community college. I lost that roll of back flab women get and developed some good definition. Once I quit (and for some reason, I did quit), the definition lessened and I went back to battling my weight.

Sally Squires: Why do I think, St. Louis, that you're poised to go back to those healthy, weight training habits? Let us know how it goes.

Philadelphia: From my experience, muscle built by weight training has not noticeably increased my metabolic rate so that I can eat more calories. However, weight training in combination with calorie cutting allowed me to drop two clothing sizes while losing only 13 pounds. Since it's more important to me to be toned and fit than just to weigh less, I'm happy with what weight training has done for me.

Sally Squires: A great example of the power--and toning--of strength training, Philly. And those 13 pounds aren't bad either! Thanks for letting us know about your experience.

Okay LPCers--what about your weight training efforts? Free weights or machines? Anybody out there using resistance bands? And don't forget that step aerobics is a strength training activity for the lower body. Share your weight training tales in today's Web chat from 1 to 2 p.m. EDT. Or leave your comments ahead of time. You can also e-mail me any time at

What's for Dinner Tonight?

At the White House, a new chef will be cooking President and Mrs. Bush's dinner when they return from vacation. By the way, Chef Cristeta Comerford is the first woman to hold this prestigious position.

Why not use a slow cooker as your sous chef? Slow-Cooker Beef Madras from Woman's Day magazine has only three ingredients. Start it in the morning, and it can be ready when you come home from work.

This Antipasto Salad is something that you can make in just about five minutes. Also from Woman's Day, it needs some protein to take it from an appetizer or side salad to a full meal. You could add hardboiled eggs, grated cheese, beans, chopped chicken, salmon or lean meat. And while it's billed as a three ingredients to start, note that it actually has a fourth--olives.

Shrimp is a great, quick choice for those of us who be serving as our own chefs tonight. It's low in calories, and need I mention that it's also a source of healthy fat, which is good for your heart, your brain and your joints? Consider Chinese Salt Shrimp, Sue's Korean Shrimp Pancakes (300 calories per serving) or Shaku's Indian Fried Shrimp or Caramel Shrimp. Serve any of these with brown rice for a whole grain boost and either a salad or stir-fried veggies of your choosing.

By the way, you may not know it, but the government offers hundreds of free recipes--your tax dollars at work. In tomorrow's Food section, see the results of food testers who tried these government recipes.

Have you ever tried any of the recipes from the DASH diet, the Five to Nine A Day Program or other government Web sites? If so, we'd love to hear about your experiences with these recipes. Share them in today's Web chat, live from 1 to 2 p.m. EDT. Leave your comments ahead of time, or e-mail me anytime at

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