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Lean Plate Club
Talk About Nutrition and Health

Sally Squires
Washington Post Health and Nutrition Writer
Tuesday, August 1, 2006; 1:00 PM

Confused about nutrition? Wondering how to fit in more physical activity? Welcome to the Lean Plate Club. Ask Sally Squires , nationally syndicated Lean Plate Club columnist for the Washington Post, about eating smart and moving more every Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET . Sally draws upon her master's degree in nutrition from Columbia University to preside over the lively Lean Plate Club web chat. Whether you're trying to reach a healthier weight or simply maintain it, you'll find plenty of tips and strategies.

Submit your questions or comments before or during the discussion.

Share your own food finds, creative workouts and secrets for healthy, great tasting meals. We'll cheer your successes and help with your setbacks. (None of this, of course, is a substitute for medical advice.) E-mail Sally, author of the newly published Secrets of the Lean Plate Club (St. Martin's Press) at leanplateclub@washpost.com.

Or just sign up for the free Lean Plate Club e-mail newsletter . The Lean Plate Club column appears Tuesdays in the Washington Post Health section and is nationally syndicated by the Washington Post Writers Group. Find other Lean Plate Club members at www.frappr.com/leanplateclub .

The Archives:

Sally Squires's Recent Columns

Discussion Transcripts

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Sally Squires: Welcome to the Lean Plate Club. It's steamy here in DC--great time to stay indoors, snuggle up to the computer and chat with us about beef, workouts and more.

Today's LPC e-mail newsletter should be in your in-box now. If you have not yet subscribed to this free service, you can do that with one click at www.leanplateclub.com

Prizes today are:

Secrets of the Lean Plate Club (by yours truly with help from all of you LPC members.)

The Shangri-La Diet by Seth Roberts, PhD.

What to Eat by Marion Nestle

Eating for Lower Cholesterol by Catherine Jones with Elaine R. Trujillo, MS, RD

Assist someone on this web chat. Share a food find, a great way to workout, or an inspiring story and one of these volumes could be yours. In making this offering, we are not endorsing any volume, but simply are showing you the wide range of material available as you seek to reach a healthier weight. Now on to it!

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Boston, Mass: I used to buy Nirvana Burger's at Trader Joe's which are essentially veggie burgers with some Indian type spices. I eat these quite often and am unhappy about not being able to get them now. If anyone has recipes for homemade veggie burgers I would love hearing your suggestions. Thanks.

Sally Squires: Okay, Lean Plate Club members, can you offer some assistance? We'll also look for a recipe for bean burgers made by our very own Jackie Spinner when she covered the war in Iraq and could not get much in the way of food. So stay tuned...

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Largo, Md: Hi, Sally!

Thanks for the chat. I wanted to share one of my "aha!" moments regarding nutrition and a quick recipe. While I'm of normal weight and fitness, I have always had a terrible time with sugar. An "addiction" to it would probably not be too strong a term. I am also deathly afraid of flying, even quitting a job over my fear. Keep reading - I didn't think the two were related either! Last year, for Lent, I successfully gave up eating added sugar/corn syrup, etc. I also had to fly several times during that period for family-related reasons. As the date of one of my flights approached, I marveled to my husband that I could actually think of the flight and not feel trepidation! I didn't get the sweaty palms and sleeplessness I'd normally experience. After Lent, when my normal eating habits resumed, I once again got the plane terrors. I am convinced that the extra sugar I consume heightens my fears and anxiety. While I'm always better at giving things up during Lent, I'm trying to reduce my sugar intake again. My entire body (and mind!) felt so much better.

As a person who eats pasta daily, I made the best pasta sauce the other day without the corn syrup or sugar that's in EVERY canned/bottled brand.

In the food processor, grind up a handful of baby carrots (this makes it sweeter and helps add veggies to my diet). Add to it one large can of whole peeled tomatos with juice. I then added basil and oregano from my garden. We used this on pizza and it was scrumptious! I froze the rest for pasta.

Sally Squires: Very interesting observation. Not everyone may have the same reaction to high fructose corn syrup or to sugar. But you're not the first LPCer to tell me that they seem to be sensitve to sugar of various forms. Thanks very much for weighing in.

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Arlington, Va.: This might be a question for the moving crew but I missed their chat and thought you'd be able to help. After hearing all the reports about how high fructose corn syrup is contributing to the obesity problem I've tried really hard to cut it out of my diet and so far I've done really well. The problem is sports drinks. I'm training for a marathon and really need something like gatorade/powerade after my long runs but they all seem to have high fructose corn syrup in them. Are there any sports drinks out there that without it? Thanks so much.

Sally Squires: You've come to the right place. During this heat, you definitely do need to replenish those lost fluids particularly on runs that are one hour or greater. (That goes for anyone working out vigorously: experts say that one hour is generally the time when it's time to pull out extra electrolytes.)

In Four Months to a Four Hour Marathon, David Kuehls says water is fine for training and advises against drinking too many sports drinks.So be sure to drink plenty of water before you run, drink water with meals and snacks, which will help you retain the fluids better because there of the sodium. By the way, one quick way to tell if you are well hydrated is if your urine is clear. That's a good sign. The yellower it is, the less well hydrated you are likely to be. Also check out Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Handbook for more info.

Good luck with your training and race. Hope you'll let us know the outcome. Thanks.

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Washington, DC: Re: corn syrup. I haven't had the same reaction as the previous poster, but I recently decided not to eat anything with corn syrup in it. Having virtually cut out all processed foods a few years ago, there wasn't much left, but what was left was peanut butter, cereal (bran flakes!), and low-fat salad dressing. Does anyone out there have a good replacement for a non-corn syrup, good-tasting peanut or other nut butter or a good salad dressing that's not too heavy on the oil or fat?

Sally Squires: Sure do. Just get the natural peanut and other nut butter found at local groceries. It's simply ground nuts with and without salt. You can it creamy or cruncy. Find it at Giant, Safeway, Wegman's, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and more. Hope that helps. As for low-fat salad dressing, oil and vinegar can be made low-fat, low sodium and free of added sugar. Just make it yourself. No time? Simply measure and pour on your salad. Easy!

My salad today has a dressing made from white bean salad and vinegar. Also a great option.

As for the cereal, oatmeal has no added sugar. Neither does shredded wheat and host of other cereals.

Other suggestions LPCer's? Feel free to weigh in...

Thanks!

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White Plains, NY: My 20 year old daughter is a vegetarian who is interested in healthy eating, EXCEPT she loves to eat sweets made of artifical ingredients. Her current love is Tastee Delight ice cream; she also likes whipped cream that is fat free and has many artificial ingredients. What do you think of products like these?

Sally Squires: Everything in moderation is the philosophy of the Lean Plate Club. But I also hear your concern. The one thing you don't want to engage in is a power struggle over food with your daughter. So keep introducing her to good tasting stuff in easy ways. At 20, she is her own woman. You are still her mom, but your control over her is quickly becoming a thing of the past. You can, however, continue to provide a great example for eating. And by the way, there's a great piece on mother daughter food struggles in this month's Self magazine. Worth a read...

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Sports drinks: Gatorade is listed as having "Glucose-fructose syrup," which is not synonymous with HFCS. Sports drinks are essential to the marathoner, especially the super-4-hour marathoner, ESPECIALLY the female marathoner, as middle-pack, female marathoners are most at risk for hyponatremia. Dehydration is rarely fatal, but even moderate hyponatremia can cause organ failure immediately. If you really can't drink sports drinks, mix a little OJ with a pinch of salt, and water down to make about 50 cal./8oz. Weigh yourself au natural before and after a run and drink 16oz. of fluid with electrolytes for every pound lost.

Sally Squires: Thanks for chiming in. And yes, hydration is very important. Gatorade was developed for athletes at the University of Florida. And now of course, there are a number of other sports drinks. But humans have been very active for hundreds of years before the advent of these specialty drinks and did just fine. Water is key. The fruit juice, diluted and with some added salt is another good idea. Sounds like you do a bit of running yourself!

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Peanut butter: You specified "good-tasting" for your peanut butter needs, so if you need a sweeter nut-butter, add a teeny drizzle of honey. Bonus: darker honeys contain more antioxidants and local honeys may fight seasonal allergies.

Sally Squires: Thanks!

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Eating Better: I have turn my lunches into vegan meals. I am bad about eating my veggies so I pack them up for lunch where my cop-out will cost me $$$$. Giving up the white stuff has been hard. No white rice, white potatoes,....

What do you think about the newest blood type diet??

Sally Squires: Every diet works for someone. No diet works for everyone. The trick is finding what works best for you because you really are the best judge of your own personal tastes. Everyone just needs a little basic nutrition and exercise knowledge to know how to do it. So if you're intrigued by the blood type diet, check it out. But remember: diets don't last. Instilling healthy habits does. (Sorry for the brief delay, but my editor stopped by for a brief consult.)

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Watertown, Mass: Hi Sally! Just back from the gym on my lunch hour, and thought I'd check in. Several unrelated comments:

1. After 8 months of not going to the gym, I've rejoined, and am doing a couple of things to keep me going. First, I've put "dates" in my electronic calendar at work, to remind myself to go on those lunch hours. Second, I'm keeping a spreadsheet of my progress (# of cardio minutes, set of weight training, etc.).

2. Favorite summer pasta sauce: Fresh tomatoes from the farmers' market or the backyard, halved at the equator, and gently squeezed to take out some of the seeds and water. Thinly sliced onion and pressed garlic -- throw these in a bowl and microwave for a minute or two to take away harshness. Toss together with salt, pepper, fresh basil, oregano, and a splash of balsamic vinegar, then toss with hot pasta. YUM! And leftovers are a good start on the next day's salad...

3. Salad Dressing: I also squeeze my tomatoes that go into salad -- and use the juice and seeds as a substitute for most of the oil in my salad dressing. Adds taste and a sort of thick texture, without going overboard on the oil.

Sally Squires: Sounds like you're on quite a roll. And your post reminds me of the importance of keeping things fresh. I've just gone back to tennis and am loving learning a new tape by Cathe Freiderich in addition to new Firm Tapes. Your idea of also going for the fitness factor is another good one. It doesn't just have to be about the numbers on the scale, in fact, it's often better if it isn't just about the numbers on the scale!

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Dover, Ohio: We are fortunate to live in a rural area where beef still is raised the "old fashioned way" by individual farmers - grass-grazed and grain fed, minimal antibiotics and no growth hormones. More fortunate, still, to have found an outlet that butchers on premises and cuts to our order. Most fortunate, prices are LOWER than those in local grocery stores because there is no middle-man: it goes from hoof to cooler to meat case. We buy meat the day we eat it and there is such a difference from pre-packaged products. Did I mention they also process pork the same way?

Sally Squires: You are very lucky indeed. These niche butchers and meat producers can be a great way to eat well and for less. Plus, you help avoid adding to the growing cost of transporting food long distances. Thanks for weighing in.

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Re: salad dressing: Do you have a recipe for salad dressing that includes herbs, and is a little more interesting than just oil and vinegar? And what is the proportion of oil to vinegar? I have always relied on bottled dressing.

Sally Squires: Salad dressings--so many choices so little time. Start with a great tasting oil: virgin olive oil, walnut oil and many others are great. Ditto for the wonderful vinegars that are now available. Really delicious varieties include balsamic. I have a small sample to try on my desk from Cooper Mountain Vineyards. It's called Apicio. I have not yet tried it and don't know the price, but it's an example of the wide varieties that are out there. On my salad today is my very favorite: orange muscat champagne vinegar from Trader Joe's.

Kim O'Donnel, who is producing today's chat from San Francisco (land of good eating) says always start with acid --whether citrus or vinegar. For mild flavors she recommends rice wine and rice vinegar. I love 'em too. Kim says to salt the acid before adding the oil. Add oil gradually and taste along the way. As she says, this helps from piling on the oil. (And if you need to cut back on sodium, I advise using herbs first and add only a little--or no salt.) I often make really quick salad dressing in a jar which can be shaken. Whisks are also good.

Enjoy and let us know what you concoct. Thanks to Kim.

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Oklahoma: My body is always running low on iron. Are there different kinds of foods that will help me? I know things like liver and spinach are packed with iron, but who would want that all the time.

Sally Squires: Red meat is a very good source of iron too. But if you are always running low on iron, you also want to check with your doctor to help figure out why this is happening. Breakfast cereals and bread are also often fortified with iron. Spinach is good, but the iron is in a form that can be harder for your body to absorb. You might want to put a citrus dressing on which will help you absorb a little more...

By the way, women past childbearing ages and men generally do not need to take extra iron, unless there is a medical reason.

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Vegetarian with Sweet Tooth: Although, I am not a vegetarian, I do try to eat healthy...lots of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. However, I do love my sweets, especially ice cream.

I have found that by indulging my sweet tooth with a Blue Bunny Sweet Freedom¿ Fudge Lite bar (each one sweetened with Splenda only has 35 calories) I can control reaching out for cookies, cake, etc.

A Hershey's Dark Chocolate kiss (about 25 calories a kiss) also helps to tame the sweet monster.

(I have no ties to either company.)

Thanks again for your column and advice of everything can be ok in moderation.

Sally Squires: Thanks for those sweet tips (and for clarifying that you have no connection to the company.) Bing cherries are another great way to sooth a sweet tooth. So is very dark, bittersweet chocolate. It doesn't take much. I've also found tha Rios toffee candies (just 20 calories each) can help. So can a great cup of jasmine green tea flavored with a little lemon and honey. Other suggestions out there?

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Arlington, VA: This is for the poster missing her Nirvana burgers. I never tried them, but your post made me think about something I had frequently when I was living in India and that might be quite similar-- veggie "cutlets". Making 'em is a little trickier than heating up pre-made burgers, but it also means you can tailor them to your tastes- and they end up being cheaper.

Here's one recipe I love:

Vegetable cutlet recipe ingredients :

2 small potatoes, boiled , peeled & mashed

1/2 tsp amchoor (mango powder)

1/2 tsp garam masala powder

2 green chillies , finely chopped

1 tsp ginger -garlic paste

1 tsp chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves

1 tsp chopped cashewnuts

1 cup breadcrumbs

Salt to taste

1 tbsp oil

Oil or cooking spray for frying

3 cups vegetables, chopped finely, boiled and drained well

(You can use beets, carrots, peas, cabbage,etc)

1 tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp dhania (coriander) powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1/2 tsp saunf(fennel) powder

Heat t tbsp oil (nonstick spray doesn't really work here) and add the ginger-garlic paste and green chillies. Fry for about a minute.Now add the cashewnuts and all the powdered spices.Add the coriander leaves.Fry for 1/2 a minute.Now add all the drained vegetables and mix well.If there is any water, fry till all moisture is totally lost.Mix in the mashed potatoes and salt to taste. Heat through and take off the stovetop.Make flat rounds of the above. Shallow fry on both sides till golden brown.

--Note on Indian spices: there are TONS of Indian/Pakistani groceries in the northern VA area; many of these spices can also be found at Whole Foods for more money. And instead of amchoor (mango powder) you can use something else to give it a sour taste, like squeezing lemon juice in with the mashed potatoes. I also leave out the fennel powder often, because I find it harder to get.

Enjoy!

Sally Squires: Thanks very much. Sounds delish as Rachel Ray likes to say.

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Rockville, Md.: To beat the heat during our last BBQ a couple a weekends ago, I bought a big bag of frozen fruit from Costco (Just plain forzen Dole fruit). I poured it into a bowl and set it out at the begining. Some people has some right away, like a flavored ice cubes, other waited until it softened a little from he heat. It was sweet and very cold, it went faster than the popsicles.

Sally Squires: Sounds very nice and cold. I've been making cold soup. Add a cup of nonfat sour cream and one cup skim milk to a can of condensed potato soup (this is not low in sodium, sadly for those who need to count milligrams of that.) Place in food processor. Mix.Chill and top with fresh dill. Very nice. I also add some Sherry Peppers or Tabasco sauce for a spicier flavor. But you could also add white ground pepper or red pepper flakes. Thanks.

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Rockville, Md.: Salad dressing: I like to make riatas (an indian type of dressing). Just take some non fat yogurt and whip it to the consistency you want (I don't add an extra water). You can add salt and pepper to that, or I like to add some Chat Masala (spice found in Inidan stores or acutally inaternational aisle in supermarkets). Traditionally this is poured over sliced cucumbers or tomatoes, but i pour it over homemade house salad (liberally). Its a good source of calcium and great as a side to spicey foods.

Sally Squires: I'm so glad you mentioned this. I've been taking a yogurt cilantro dip--yes, it's from Trader Joe's--and mixing it with vinegar and sometimes a little guacamole for a "creamy" salad dressing. I've wanted to try it myself with Total yogurt. You'll inspire to do just that.Thanks.

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Washington DC: I'm really interested in buying grass-fed, humanely-raised chicken in this area. I've heard that some people drive up to Amish country for their meat, but don't know any of the places to go. Suggestions?

Sally Squires: First, chickens eat feed not grass. You can find certified organic chicken at nearly all local groceries. And in today's Lean Plate Club e-mail newsletter, there's a link to the Organic Trade Association which will likely give you more. Hope that helps.

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re: sports drinks: If you try to run a marathon on nothing but water, you will bonk. You need the sports drinks and/or gels to replenish the carbs your body is burning while you run. Otherwise you run out, and your brain is not getting enough glucose so it tells you to stop what you're doing. That's the bonk. It's self-preservation.

Read anything by Chris Carmichael (Lance Armstrong's coach) to learn more. His "Food for Fitness" is a great book.

Sally Squires: Actually, my uncle has run those mega marathons without the benefit of either. But agreed, both the sports drinks and gels can be really helpful. The Chris Carmichael books sounds interesting. Thanks for suggesting it.

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Greensboro, NC: Re: salad dressing

I love making my own dressing. The italian dressing packets are a great starter, and just get creative with vinegars. I like to mix rice vinegar, red wine vinegar, and balsamic, or add a little lemon juice! Just don't pay attention to the oil to vinegar ratio on the package. I always add a fraction of what the directions say and it tastes great!

Also, if you're too busy to make your own dressing, or don't want to, the new salad dressing spritzers are GREAT (But I can't remember who makes them)! No more globs of dressing in the bottom of your bowl.

Sally Squires: The packets can be a real help, just remember that they may be high in sodium, so if you are trying to control that be sure to read labels. Hey, read 'em even if you're not trying to control sodium, it's just a good idea to know what's in your food. I've seen those salad sprays but have not tried them yet. You can also buy your spritzer bottles and make these dressings yourself. Thanks for the tips.

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Ewa Beach, Hawaii: Re Home-made Salad Dressings: My Mom often used mustard or catsup in her salad dressings (just one at a time). I never add salt but use lots of herbs and freshly-ground pepper. I often add Old Bay Seasoning, which I love in almost everything. I use about one-fifth oil to four-fifths other ingredients and never miss the extra oil.

Sally Squires: Ah, we have many salad lovers on this chat today. Aloha Hawaii!

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grass fed chickens? : Whoops! Of course I knew that. But I'm wondering more about locally raised chicken and beef and meats, not necessarily certified organic products. Organic doesn't always mean that the animals lived outside all of the time, just that they have "access." I'm aware of the Polyface Farm that's mentioned in the "Omnivore's Dilemma" but I'm interested in learning about more. Thanks!

Sally Squires: You're right. Certified organic does not mean that the animals lived free-range, but it does guarantee that the food they consumed was also certified organic.

I'll look for some local sources and try to update the transcript later this week or will post in the upcoming newsletter because we are running out of time in today's chat...

Got a suggestion to help? Send me an e-mail at leanplateclub@washpost.com

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Salad Dressing Alternative: I often sqeeze fresh lemon juice over my salad. No oil, just the lemon juice. It adds a great flavor and of course no fat. Other times I will also squeeze the juice out of Pepperocini (sp?) peppers or use both the juice of the lemon and the pepper. The important thing to me with a salad is adding a flavor that ties all of the veggies together.

Sally Squires: Flavoring is absolutely key. If you don't like it, you likely won't want to eat it either. But it's okay to put a little fat on that salad (or in it.) Here's why: having a little fat helps you absorb the fat soluble vitamins in the veggies and that's a good thing too. Thanks.

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Herndon, Va: My favorite salad dressing is grapefruit juice. I peel and section a pink or red grapefruit over my salad - any juice that escapes becomes the dressing, and I add the sections to my salad.

Sally Squires: I'm with you about grapefruit. It's one of my favorite foods, probably because it's also one of my father's favorite foods so I learned to eat it at a young age. (Living in Florida for a couple of years sealed the deal too.) But I also know people who would rather not eat salad than eat it with fruit--another example of finding what you really like to eat that is also healthy. Thanks!

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Shangri-La: I'm coming a little late, but I see you're giving away the Shangri-La diet. I"ve been meaning to ask you what you think about it? I started on it and it was very effective at appetite suppresion, but then I got rather bored on it and haven't been able to stay on it. I can do it during the week but on the weekends I get off it, and that doesn't give you the long-term benefits you can get, I think. Any thoughtts?

Sally Squires: You've said it best. You've tried it, it worked for a while and now you're having trouble sticking with it. So take what works from it for you and keep trying other things. No diet works for everyone. Every diet works for someone. But the most important thing is to find what works for you. You need to find the healthy foods that keep you feeling full and a regular regimen that you can stick with and make your own. It will be a bit different for everybody.

There's good evidence that foods high in fiber and volume can help with feeling full. So you might also take a look at Volumetrics by Barbara Rolls, at Penn State. Each plan will help teach you something that you can then tailor to what works for you. And don't forget the exercise side of hte equation. That can be a huge appetite controller for some people. Let us know how it goes...

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Piscataway, NJ: I wanted to share some things I learned recently by participating in a study connected to the Weight Control Registry; for about a week I wore an accelerometer and reported in my food intake. I just got my analysis from them. Basically I found out I was less active than I thought I was. I jog 4 times a week, -- 17 miles total; I weight train twice a week, about 30 minutes each time; and I walk about 30 min at lunchtime 3 - 4 times a week. My job is partly on my feet in a lab, partly at a desk. I thought I would be described as "active", but actually it turns out I am barely in the "moderate" category as far as activity is concerned. And I burn ~1800 - 1900 calories a day. Which is OK, I am keeping a good weight lately and feel healthy and fit. (I am a woman in my 50s) But most of my friends consider me "very active" compared to them. I guess what I am trying to say is that possibly many people who add activity to their lives and can't understand why they are not losing weight, are overestimating just how active they are. And that while my regular vigorous exercise makes me "fit" in that I have a good heart rate and low cholesterol etc, my relatively sedentary job balances that out so that I really can't eat a lot without gaining weight. I think it is easy both to overestimate your activity level and underestimate your food intake, because all around us people are very sedentary and eat a LOT.

Sally Squires: Fascinating, Piscataway. And for those who don't know about the Natioal Weight Control Registry, it's a group of successful losers who have shed at least 30 pounds and kept it off for at least a year. Many in the registry have lost at least 50 pounds and kept it off for at least five years.

This is a great reminder of looking for ways to build in more physical activity throughout the day. Your lab job would have led me to think that you are much more active. But the results show differently. Just think how inactive the rest of us desk jockeys are!

Thanks much. And for those who want to try this themselves, you could wear a pedometer just to see how many--or few!--steps you're getting daily. It can be pretty sobering.

Parting words: Move more!!!

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Sterling, Va: I have a friend who is really getting into the "nuts and berries" aspect of eating healthy. More specifically, she's started eating a variety of grains that I have never even heard of. Usually, I check the fiber content on my packaged foods, and thats the end of it. Do different types of grains offer different types of benefits? Should I be varying my grains? Thanks for giving me a reason to look forward to Tuesdays!

Sally Squires: Different grains do indeed offer different benefits. And variety in grains, fruit, vegetables, beans, oils, nuts, meat, poultry and fish is indeed the spice of life. The more variety the better. If you'd like to learn more about whole grains, one source is the Whole Grains Council. When I visited Arizona in the spring, I also learned about a lot of native grains to the Southwest that are being rediscovered, because when they are incorporated into flours they are much gentler on blood sugar levels and on insulin produciton. So everything old is new again!

Thanks.

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Seattle, Wash: For the person low on iron, there's a liquid product called FloraDix "Iron with Herbs" (no affiliation) that contains all the B vitamins too. = Not sure if this is connected but since I started taking it my nails are thick and strong ... hair too. As a fairly new vegetarian, I was having woozy spells and restless leg syndrome at night, and since iron pill supplements are often incredibly constipating, this has been the ticket for me.

Sally Squires: Thanks Seattle. Vitamin B12 can also be important. By the way, people 50 and older are advised to take a supplement of B12 or to eat fortified food with B12. That's because after age 50, stomach acid production declines and one is less able to absorb B12 found naturally in food. Thanks.

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food find: recently found this yummy snack/meal in the freezer section of the grocery store:

Black Bean Chipotle Wrap by Garden Burger

240 calories, 8 grams of fat (no trans)

6 grams fiber and 13 grams of protein.

really quick and delicious with some lettuce and salsa! enjoy!

Sally Squires: And that reminds me of another food find: red pepper black bean soup from Campbell's. Good taste, although not quite as good as red pepper tomato at least to my palate.

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Rehoboth Beach, Del: No more Nirvana Burgers at Trader Joes??? I love those, and still have a couple boxes in the freezer. What does TJ say about the situation? Is this a temporary thing? They are truly delicious! Since I have to travel 2-3 hours to the nearest TJs, I have to stock up when I can.

Sally Squires: Okay, I'll see what I can scope out. Look for more in the updates or in the next LPC newsletter. Stay tuned...

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Minnesota: We buy our meat from Earth Be Glad Farms near Lewiston MN. We talk to the farmers at the farmer's market. We trust the farmers. We know they use safe and careful farming practices. We pay more for meat, but we eat less meat than before we switched

to organic. We love knowing that we support

small family farms. (We buy local organic milk, eggs, veg, etc. as well.) Yes, the price is usually higher, but we feel the true "cost" is less, when you consider transportation, pesicide runoff, human chemical exposure, etc. We believe that organic tastes better and is better for you.

Sally Squires: The idea of buying locally is gaining momentum and may continue to do so as gas prices continue to rise. I've even heard proponents of organic food say that if it comes to a choice between conventional local food and bringing in organic from across the country, they are choosing conventional. Maybe we should make that a question for next week's chat.

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washingtonpost.com: Bean Burgers from the Post's Jackie Spinner while on assignment in Iraq , (Post, Feb. 1, 2006)

Sally Squires: Here's the recipe as promised from Jackie Spinner. Thanks to Kim O'Donnel for digging it up.

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Burger: Dr.Praeger's Veggie Burgers available at TJs is pretty good. They have Indian spices too.

Sally Squires: Thanks!

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Sally Squires: Thanks to all. Gotta run. Will post winners after a quick staff meeting.

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Sally Squires: Winners today are: Piscataway, food find, Largo and Sports Drinks. Please send me your snail mail address to leanplateclub@washpost.com and please put winner in the subject line for faster turnaround. It also speed processing if you write your name and address in the message as a label.

Look for updates to the web chat transcript this week. I'll be on the radio at WTWP 1500 AM and 107.7 FM Monday with Mike Moss at 6:20 a.m. and Monday with Hillary Howard at 11 to 11:30. Hope to talk to some of you then in person. For those of you outside the Washington Metro region you can listen on-line at www.washingtonpost.com.

Let's learn from Piscataway's sobering account and find ways to move more--and of course eat smart!--with the Lean Plate Club. Thanks to all. Stay cool in this heat.

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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. washingtonpost.com is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.

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