Research has shown that a headache, backache, indigestion, fluid retention, cravings, depression, or fatigue can be alleviated through diet and exercise. In addition to that, while we have no control over getting older, we can slow down the aging process, with diet and exercise as well.
What should we eat?
- Women who eat a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids cut their risk for heart disease as well as reduce their risk for macular degeneration. During pregnancy, 3 servings/week may cut the risk for preterm birth.
- Safflower oil is high in omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (linoleic acid). It has a high smoke point and low saturated fat content. It has been found to improve blood sugar and lipids, decrease inflammation, lowers blood pressure as well as the risk for heart disease.
- Supplements…they can’t replace a healthy diet!
- Studies have suggested that eating a small handful of nuts a day, improves blood lipid levels, as well as glucose and insulin levels.
- A diet high in dietary antioxidants such as those found in blueberries, broccoli, and small amounts of dark chocolate and even coffee, lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. Eat your anthocyanins! Better known as the blue and red pigments in colorful fruits and vegetables.
What should we do for exercise?
- First and foremost, get your body moving! Find something that you love to do!
- Weight bearing/resistance exercises such as yoga and dumbbell exercises preserve bone density, improve your balance, and strength.
On your path to reach your wellness goals, remember that we are always our own worst enemies. Celebrate the fact that you are taking the necessary steps to improve your health and your life! Find the time to do things you enjoy and that bring you a sense of calm and serenity. Stress and lack of sleep will wreak havoc on your body as well as your soul.
|Lana Levy is a nutritionist specializing in taking a holistic approach towards healthy eating, not only to help her clients achieve their goals, but also help them maintain a healthy lifestyle. Lana has also incorporated her passion for yoga into her services for her clients, as a way to stay fit, and create a balance between the body and the mind. Lana received her degree from Columbia University, where she completed her Masters in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. In 2010, Ms. Levy became a Registered Yoga Teacher through an intensive training with YogaWorks here in New York City. In 2011 she completed a Prenatal Yoga Certification.With a background in nutrition and yoga, Lana works with her clients to create customized nutrition plans and yoga sequences that are specifically tailored to their needs. Whether the goal is weight loss, healthy weight gain, energy improvement, pre and post natal health, relief from various gastrointestinal ailments, Just For Today LLC (www.justfortodaynyc.com) can provide you with tools to make a change for life!|
Images Courtesy of www.dietsinreview.com
Over 3.3 billion people live in Urban areas (more than half the world’s population). It is increasingly evident that urban living has a distinctive negative impact of the health of women and girls. Women living in Urban areas are at greater risk for compromised health, despite being largely responsible for the health of their families. The ongoing urbanization of the world demands new strategies to address violence, disease, access to care, and many other issues that are affecting women.
I recently attended a conference that addressed these important issues regarding Urban Womens’ Health hosted by the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, the Penn Alumni Relations office, and Trustee’s Council of Penn Women. BlackRock Women’s Initiative Network sponsored the event which took place at the Grand Hyatt in NYC. There were approximately 400 people in attendance including Rosie Pope of Bravo’s Pregnant on Heels. Penn alum Andrea Mitchell, a lead political correspondent and veteran Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent for NBC made opening remarks.
The highlight of the event was when keynote luncheon speaker Nicholas Kristof, New York Times columnist and two-time Pulitzer Prize Author, addressed the heady crowd. He spoke about oppression of women worldwide and personal experiences during his travels throughout 150 countries. He told harrowing stories about the sex trafficking in Cambodia, among other emotionally striking stories relating to women’s health issues, including maternal mortality rates in developing nations. His latest best-selling book, “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide”
is a must-read– an eye-opener that puts things in perspective.
Some of the key takeaways from the conference included a discussion about the epidemic of obesity in Urban women due to over-feeding of processed food, that leads to heart disease and diabetes, among other medical conditions. Also, the extensive watching of television and general inactivity that characterizes so much of our society today negatively impacts the health not only of women but of us all.
And more women are raising children as single parents today where the poverty rate is the highest among this demographic. Employment skills and connectivity to the workforce is critical, just as access to care and coverage, which typically follows education and consistency of work. Health and academic education of our girls is one of the most important factors that will help to promote healthier and happier lives women.
One of the panels discussed what New York City is doing to help enhance the health of those living within its MSA. I learned that the addition of bike lanes has increased riding by 28%. Other healthy approaches include taking the stairs whenever feasible, especially at the Apple Store in Soho where this is encouraged by the store’s design, to the skip stop elevator in Cooper Union. Did you know that there is a public park within 10 minutes walking distance of every citizen of New York City?
The overarching message of the day was how important it is to get involved and empower women early on, and to establish their leadership skills during youth. In order to improve the health of women, it is imperative to develop partnerships in the schools and churches and to connect with the community.
The Penn alumni, Penn Nursing, and the Trustees’ Council of Penn Women have spearheaded an effort to raise visibility of urban womens’ health and lifestyle needs. The organizations’ goal is to generate greater awareness of the issues that impact urban women, and to develop practical and innovative solutions to addressing their health and other challenges.
Penn Nursing Dean Afaf Meleis stated “Cities are our future and women’s health is at core of healthy cities. Urbanization compromises women who are the caregivers, nurturers, educators and decision-makers of families and communities. Women are uniquely affected by lack of access to care, violence, disease and many other urban issues. Improving the health of urban women is a unique and powerful opportunity to make our cities healthier and safer for all.”
For more information and how you can get involved:
1. Set Realistic Diet Goals
Write down where you would like to be with your weight in 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and then 1 year. You gained the weight over months or even years, so always remember that you’re in this for the long haul. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. With this mindset, you will be able to create healthy habits that ultimately turn your “diet” into a truly healthy lifestyle.
2. Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Eating breakfast every day is essential for jump-starting your metabolism and allowing you to burn calories more efficiently throughout the day. Breakfast eaters tend to lose weight and keep it off more effectively than people who skip breakfast. Tip: Start your day with foods rich in fiber and protein. Try a breakfast parfait with plain, fat-free Greek yogurt, berries, and high-fiber cereal (5 grams of fiber or more) sprinkled on top.
3. Fill up on Fiber and Protein
Fiber and protein are the two nutrients that take the longest to digest. They’re perfect to keep your serum glucose levels consistent, and you’ll have improved energy throughout the day. And since fiber has no calories, and protein has only 4 calories per gram, you are guaranteed the least caloric intake with the most food intake. Tip: Women should aim for 25–35 grams of fiber per day; men should aim for 35–38 grams of fiber per day. Bulk up your salad with fiber from nonstarchy vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, beets, peppers, and tomatoes.
4. Eat Small Meals Frequently
Eating small meals every 3–4 hours helps to stabilize blood sugar and keep energy levels consistent. And you won’t be ravenous at night, make poor food choices, or overeat. For lunch, have a big salad with vegetables and lean protein, and as a snack, have an apple with a piece of string cheese or peanut butter. These meals will keep you full throughout the day.
5. Dine Out the Smart Way!
The old adage, “Don’t spoil your appetite,” is wrong! Spoil your appetite before a party or dining out. Have a small pre-dinner snack rich in fiber and protein. Filling up before going out to eat is one of the best ways to help you lose or maintain your weight. Going out on a full belly will allow you to make smart choices and eat less.
6. Go Out Dressed for Success
When scouring your closet for the perfect dinner outfit, go for tailored, even a bit snug. It’s easier to overeat when wearing loose clothing such as sweats. Stick to fitted pants or a tight skirt to discourage you from eating too much. And when it comes to handbags, forgo any purse with a strap. Instead, grab a clutch. When you are holding a clutch in one hand and a cocktail in your other, there are no hands free to hold a plateful of pigs-in-a-blanket.
7. Stay Hydrated
As the weather cools down, we typically sweat less and tend to forget to keep drinking. This is detrimental not only to our health and energy levels but to our waistlines and appearance. Water helps to rid the body of toxins and chemicals that may slow down your metabolism, decrease your energy levels, and lead to dull, dry skin and hair. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to promote healthy digestion, increase your metabolism, boost energy levels, and add radiance to your overall appearance.
8. Snack on Pistachios
Pistachios help fight weight gain by slowing down rises in blood sugar levels and curbing hunger. Nut consumption in general is associated with a lower body mass index, but not with weight gain. Pistachios have a significant amount of protein and are among the highest-fiber nuts, so they slow digestion and keep you feeling fuller longer than low-protein, low-fiber snacks. You also get a lot of nuts in a 1-ounce serving, which helps psychologically: 49 pistachios, versus only 23 almonds or 18 cashews.
Exercise is one of the most important factors in determining physical and mental health. Exercise plus a proper diet are the perfect combination for maintaining your ideal body weight. Not only will you burn energy, which will make room for glycogen, you will also increase your metabolism by gaining muscle. Muscle is a metabolically active tissue; it burns energy all day long, even after you’ve stopped working out.
10. Eat Foods that Boost Metabolism
Many foods help increase metabolism, so make sure to incorporate them into your diet. The best metabolism-boosting foods include low-fat dairy, berries, high-fiber cereals, green tea, hot peppers, soy beans, citrus fruits, and cold-water fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines. Spicy foods are also a great way to add flavor to your foods without adding salt. They increase heart rate and body temperature, both of which raise the number of calories your body is burning. Also, cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar, which will prevent cravings. Add extra spice to your favorite homemade dishes!
Tanya Zuckerbrot, Health & Fitness Contributing Editor