I Must Love Me Too

If you have neglected yourself,
make a sincere apology to thee.
Gather the "love-me-not-petals" of your life
and start counting "I-must-love-me-too".
In no time at all you have
a beautiful flower blossom within you. ~ Dodinsky Writings

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Surviving Easter or Any Other Holiday Without Gaining Weight

Surviving Easter Without Gaining Weight: Six Tips

There's never going to be an easy time of year for dieters, and most of us have a love-hate relationship with popular holidays that are, it seems, an excuse to indulge. With Easter looming and chocolate eggs lining the shelves, dieting temptation seems to lie everywhere.

Here's your guide to surviving Easter without putting on unwanted pounds - but without feeling that you've missed out, either.

1. Don't Buy Early

There are often big discounts on Easter eggs well before Easter. This isn't because big chain stores want you to have a great deal in credit crunch times - it's because they want to maximise their profits. How? Well, if you buy all your eggs six weeks in advance, chances are that you'll have eaten some of them well before Easter ... and you'll need to buy more.

2. Bake Your Own Buns and Cakes

When it comes to traditional Easter treats like hot cross buns and simnel cake, why not bake your own? You'll have complete control over what goes in, and it's often possible to adapt recipes to make them lower-fat.

3. Think Of Alternative Gifts

Whether you're the giver or the receiver, brainstorm some Easter gifts that don't involve chocolate! A book (perhaps of poems, or if you're religious, prayers) might work well. You could also put together a dieter-friendly Easter basket of healthy and/or non-edible treats: fresh fruits and seasonal flowers work well. Holiday decorations, like blown and painted eggs, are another alternative.

4. If You Do Buy Chocolate Eggs, Go Small

Many of us struggle with portion control when foods don't come ready-portioned. A 100g milk chocolate Easter egg contains around 520 calories - and that's without the chocolate bars and candy that eggs typically come with.

Try buying or asking for small, wrapped eggs (like shelled nuts, unwrapping each individual piece of chocolate means you'll eat fewer). Then you can enjoy one or two as a treat, without breaking the calorie bank in a single sitting.

Dark chocolate is also a better choice than milk or white - less sugar, fewer calories, and more health benefits. With dark chocolate, you're also likely to be satisfied with less.

5. Children and Chocolate

You'd be hard-pressed to ban chocolate eggs from the house entirely, but it's a good idea to encourage children to focus on something other than just the chocolate. The Easter weekend is a great time for family activities - why not have an active Easter egg hunt in your yard or local park, to encourage kids to run around and burn off some of that chocolate?

Also - don't eat your kids' Easter eggs! If they get given too many by indulgent aunts and grandparents, keep back a few to use as cooking ingredients throughout the year.

6. Compensate Before and After

A bit more chocolate than usual isn't going to cause you any long-term problems, but make sure you're careful about eating healthily in the run-up to Easter - and afterwards. If you've been scoffing chocolate for day in the office, or if you go on a big chocolate binge all week after Easter, you'll end up feeling ill, sluggish and guilty. Stick to your usual healthy eating patterns, and you'll enjoy those Easter treats all the more.

Small Change, Big Weight-Loss Payoff

Small Change, Big Weight-Loss Payoff

SOURCE: Discovery Health

We are a fat nation obsessed with losing weight.

According to a 1999 Centers for Disease Control (CDC) study, 35 percent of America's adults (75 million) are slightly or moderately overweight, and 26 percent (56 million) are obese or grossly overweight. Anyone up to 30 pounds above the target weight for their body size is overweight, says the CDC, and another 30 pounds over target weight is considered obese.

The CDC notes that half of us are trying to lose weight, not only through diet and exercise but by using commercial weight-loss products and services worth $33—$50 billion a year.

There may be a better way: eating 100 less calories a day. We put on 1.8 to 2.0 pounds each year, calculated professor James Hill of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, in an article published in Science (February 7, 2003).

How can we prevent this weight gain? Since each pound is equivalent to 3,500 calories, creating a deficit of about 100 calories daily — the equivalent of 10 potato chips — should allow us to stop gaining at least 1 pound each year, contends Hill.

Eat Less Than You Need

But losing weight is different from not gaining weight, points out Katherine Tallmadge, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association in Washington, D.C. Assuming your body needs 2,000 calories a day to meet its energy requirements — the average for most women — and you consume 300 fewer calories than 2,000 daily, you could shed 30 pounds a year. That's because your body will take the extra 300 calories it needs for energy from stores of fat.

Now, that may sound extreme, but, Tallmadge, like Hill, believes "small changes can make a big difference." Consider this: By halving that 200- to 300-calorie nightly snack, you could drop 15 pounds a year. Step up your level of activity by walking around the office instead of shooting out emails nonstop and you could strip away another 100 calories daily, or 10 pounds a year.

How to Knock Out Calories

Of course, if it were that easy, you wouldn't be reading this now. So how do you hunker down and continuously knock out those 200 to 300 calories a day? The often-repeated formula is to combine eating less calories with regular cardiovascular exercise. Do all three, and you're guaranteed to melt away fat. But be forewarned: Your body can only metabolize a certain amount of fat — 1 to 1.5 pound(s) a week — on a low-calorie diet, says Tallmadge. At some point, the fat will turn to muscle, which is why you want to build muscle when losing weight.

"You don't have to feel like you are on a diet or depriving yourself when eating fewer calories to lose weight," says Tallmadge, author of Diet Simple. She has rarely met a woman who cannot lose weight and keep it off on 1,800 calories a day, she says, especially if she eats a good breakfast.

It's All About Planning

Tallmadge's No. 1 weight-loss tip is to plan. You have to grocery shop with a list in hand so you can prepare the tasty breakfast above, or bring your 600-calorie lunch to work. Otherwise, you're going to grab Chinese takeout or a burger and mistakenly plough through a 1,000-calorie dinner and 1,800 calories a day.

Save food preparation time by buying frozen fruits and vegetables. Not only is frozen more convenient, but the food can actually be more nutritious than fresh produce, Tallmadge says. Frozen foods are picked when ripe and frozen immediately, whereas fresh produce is often picked early, so it can sit longer on grocers' shelves.

Storing prepared meals in one-serving-size plastic containers also aids in controlling portion size in the land that prizes super-sized, biggie everything!

Stick With It

A surefire way to stick with fewer calories each day, says New York City dietitian Julie Walsh, is to maintain a written record of what you eat and when you eat it. Nothing piles up the calories faster than "mindless eating," which is when you consume food — not because you are hungry, but because your body is fatigued or your mind is bored. Simply becoming conscious about your eating habits can jolt new eating behavior, says Walsh.

To reinforce new eating habits, Walsh suggests that you weigh yourself about once a week. Since so many women live in mortal fear of stepping on the scale, the knowledge that the dreaded event is approaching can help keep your eating in check.

Finally, stay happily engaged and busy with work, hobbies, friends and family, advise both Walsh and Tallmadge. The truth is, when you have a fairly wonderful life, you're not as interested in overeating.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Nutritional Healing With Fruits and Veggies

Apples Protects your heart prevents constipation Blocks diarrhea Improves lung capacity Cushions joints
Apricots Combats cancer Controls blood pressure Saves your eyesight Shields against Alzheimer's Slows aging process
Artichokes Aids digestion Lowers cholesterol Protects your heart Stabilizes blood sugar Guards against liver disease
Avocados Battles diabetes Lowers cholesterol Helps stops strokes Controls blood pressure Smoothes skin
Bananas Protects your heart Quiets a cough Strengthens bones Controls blood pressure Blocks diarrhea
Beans Prevents constipation Helps hemorrhoids Lowers cholesterol Combats cancer Stabilizes blood sugar
Beets Controls blood pressure Combats cancer Strengthens bones Protects your heart Aids weight loss
Blueberries Combats cancer Protects your heart Stabilizes blood sugar Boosts memory Prevents constipation
Broccoli Strengthens bones Saves eyesight Combats cancer Protects your heart Controls blood pressure
Cabbage Combats cancer Prevents constipation Promotes weight loss Protects your heart Helps hemorrhoids
Cantaloupe Saves eyesight Controls blood pressure Lowers cholesterol Combats cancer Supports immune system
Carrots Saves eyesight Protects your heart Prevents constipation Combats cancer Promotes weight loss
Cauliflower Protects against Prostate Cancer Combats Breast Cancer Strengthens bones Banishes bruises Guards against heart disease
Cherries Protects your heart Combats Cancer Ends insomnia Slows aging process Shields against Alzheimer's
Chestnuts Promotes weight loss Protects your heart Lowers cholesterol Combats Cancer Controls blood pressure
Chili peppers Aids digestion Soothes sore throat Clears sinuses Combats Cancer Boosts immune system
Figs Promotes weight loss Helps stops strokes Lowers cholesterol Combats Cancer Controls blood pressure
Fish Protects your heart Boosts memory Protects your heart Combats Cancer Supports immune system
Flax Aids digestion Battles diabetes Protects your heart Improves mental health Boosts immune system
Garlic Lowers cholesterol Controls blood pressure Combats cancer kills bacteria Fights fungus
Grapefruit Protects against heart attacks Promotes Weight loss Helps stops strokes Combats Prostate Cancer Lowers cholesterol
Grapes saves eyesight Conquers kidney stones Combats cancer Enhances blood flow Protects your heart
Green tea Combats cancer Protects your heart Helps stops strokes Promotes Weight loss Kills bacteria
Honey Heals wounds Aids digestion Guards against ulcers Increases energy Fights allergies
Lemons Combats cancer Protects your heart Controls blood pressure Smoothes skin Stops scurvy
Limes Combats cancer Protects your heart Controls blood pressure Smoothes skin Stops scurvy
Mangoes Combats cancer Boosts memory Regulates thyroid aids digestion Shields against Alzheimer's



Taking positive action in one area of your life can lead to surprising improvements in many other areas of your life. For you are one whole person, and anything you do makes a difference in everything you are.

It all matters and it all affects you. The life you experience is the sum of every thought, every word spoken, every gesture and every effort.

If you find it difficult to be positive about one particular area of your life, then be extraordinarily positive about other areas of your life. That additional positive energy will spill over into all of your world.

All the parts of your life are interconnected in ways that it's difficult to even imagine. The result is that there are always plenty of opportunities for taking positive steps.

For even when you feel completely blocked in one area, there are many other areas of your life in which you can quickly and easily make improvements. Success and achievement feel great in whatever venue they occur.

Feel genuinely positive, even if it's just about one little thing. And the energy radiates through the entirety of your world.

-- Ralph Marston

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Happy Sunday

Good morning everyone,

It's looking to be quite the rainy day so it looks like my walking and exercising will be inside. Hmmmmmm maybe I'll break out one of my bellydance practice videos and work with my zils which I haven't done since I injured my knee. I've been thinking about taking dance classes again so it would be good to test the knee's tolerance level 1st.

Not much else going on here. I picked up a copy of Holly Clegg's Trim and Terrific Freezer Friendly Meals book Friday and will be making a menu using some of the recipes so we can start stocking that new deep freezer and save ourselves some time with cooking during the week when both of us are running in opposite directions.

My algebra is still kicking my butt; I had to retake the test I took Monday because I missed too many problems. Pass/fail classes are so tough because if I retest and don't bring the grade up, I will have to retake the class altogether and I'm feeling soooooooo much stress. Trying not to eat my way through the stress though. It's frustrating because my grad date changed when I decided to take my math by itself, I've done everything I can think of to get it including doing extra problems besides the homework, using the tutorial CD-rom, going to the math center for help, reading Cliffs notes, getting a tutor, and having my hubby the math major help me. It is not clicking. It's like I do the problems here and things are fine and I understand. I get to the test and I overthink EVERYTHING and therefore, make mistakes. I don't know how to get past that mental block.

Ok I've written a book and sorry for the whine but I had to get that off my chest.

What Triggers Your Unhealthy Eating

"What Triggers Your Unhealthy Eating?" Blog Post by Cinderrelic, Char

"There are several factors which people list most often as triggers to an eating binge. As we learn more and more about healthy eating here on SP, we also come to realize that if we don't learn what these factors are they will always be hanging around out there to give us grief. Until now it is as if we have been playing Russian Roulette only not with a gun but with fully loaded "activators" which can set off a trigger reaction to propel us on a course of self destruction at any time. Our safety mechanism lies in know what they are, and how to second guess them.

Some of the most common activators are stress, boredom, cravings, emotions, eating out, pot lucks and parties, having to be around sweets or high calorie/ low nutrition foods, and even weather or physical illness can activate bad eating responses. Every one of us is likely to have a different combination of triggers. For example:

Stress: For me stress is not so much of a problem in itself. I seem to deal with stress fairly well. However, I have a friend who will get stressed and run for the ice cream.

Boredom: I know boredom is a problem for me, because I get up and check the refrigrigerator too often. I usually stop myself or just get one bite of something, when I catch myself, but how many times have you caught yourself getting up, wandering into the kitchen, and opening the refrigerator door only to find yourself wondering, "What am I looking for?" , or "What am I doing here?" A lot of the time I am not even hungry, but my feet have just carry there out of habit, because I am bored.

Cravings: Cravings and emotional eating seem to go hand in hand for me. It is the cravings themselves that are triggered by something else. For me it can be a suggestion. For example, someone might say they would like to have a certain food, and then I can't get it off my mind; or I may see a TV commercial about a food I used to not be able to put down once I started eating it, and then I am not satisfied until I have some. Sometimes emotions which create negativism triggers the cravings for "comfort" food, and their is no peace until we get that "comfort." What I do to combat this is plan my snacks for the evening. If I get to a place where I just can't get my mind of it and the food is available, I will eat just a little, very slowly, just a few bites, and then have lots of water or no calorie drink.

Emotions: We all have them, good or bad, happy or sad, glad or mad, joyful or sorrowful, up or down, win or lose, positive or negative. Maybe an incident during the day causes the emotion. We might have a disagreement with our best friend, be insulted by someone, be misunderstood, have someone do something that makes us feel unloved or unimportant, do or say something to someone else that hurts them and unless they accept our apology we feel helpless to right the perceived wrong. All of these and other strong negative image emotions for most of us tend to trigger our need to be comforted by food.

Unless I stay on my toes I can be blind sided by these, but if I am aware of them I can recognize them, call them what they are, and change my response to them from a food comfort reward to a different kind of comfort reward, such as a book, a favorite passed time, soothing music, bubble bath, a massage, etc.

Dining Out: I used to have a problem with eating out, but for the moment it seems to be under control. I used to think that I should clean my plate. Perhaps no matter what generation you belong to your mom told you that you had to clean your plate because children were starving in "fill in the blank." Hopefully, we will learn to stop saying this to our children and grandchildren. How many times did your Mom or Dad tell you, "I paid good money for that and you better not waste it or spill it!"

All of these phrases when applied to food that our bodies don't want to eat can come back to haunt us as adults just at the time we don't need them. I finally, got wise and figured out an answer which satisfies both statements! Bag it up and take it home. (Yeah, I know there used to be taboos about letting anybody know you were going to eat it at home, because someone might think you're poor so you invented a dog and if you had a dog it never ever saw the food!) Well, now days you can relax and get people cartons so you can eat it later. Hey I am poor, and aren't a lot of us these days? Who cares anyway, it should be a compliment to the chef that we didn't dislike it so much we threw perfectly good food in the garbage. So now we can take the food home and eat the food and not disrespect anyone who is starving, plus we can show our waste not want not values by not wasting any thing. Its the best of both worlds.

Having to Be Around Sweets: Sometimes this is unavoidable. A worker might bring in some cookies, doughnuts, or a birthday cake to share at the office. You might have someone in your house who is not cooperating with you on your diet. Maybe they insist that it is you on the diet, not them, and they want to eat what they want eat.

For me the solution depends on the sweets and also whether they are where I can see them or not. Having to look at them for a long time can sometimes get to me if the conditions are right. :) If it is a family member doing it, you might suggest that they keep their sweets out of sight. If it is a coworker, you're on your own. Try to sit where you can't see them. Get a large thermos of coffee, tea, or water so you don't have to walk past them as often. Suggest they keep the food in the cabinet so the mice don't get them...you don't have to mention that you might be the mouse, LOL.

Pot Lucks: Anyone who has read my blogs knows that pot lucks are my nemesis!!! If I go to several I handle them well, but the first one I attend in a long time has a tendency to throw me. I am like a kid left to play in a toy shop. I have to try everything I see, and often. If I don't reel myself in it can be really hard to see food and not eat it.

For these situations I made up the 4-5 item rule. I can look over everything there and choose 4 or 5 items that look good and are healthy to eat. I load them on my plate in moderation. I get one item that has been a no-no if I want it, like a high calorie, high octane, dessert. I must eat it only after I have finished my 4-5 healthy items and then in moderation. I follow this small indulgence with water (never go anywhere without your water), and I drink a whole 16 ounces of water. After that I usually can't even think about getting anything else down me.

Other: I have included a place for "other" because we all have that one quirk that is different from most other people. It is the one thing that is not listed anywhere and you have to figure out what to do about that alone. For me, it is a fact that I eat more in the winter than in the summer. Looking at my calorie intake I see that in the summer it has stayed down around 1200, but in the winter it goes up to between 1350-1500. I have also noticed that I eat more when my body is cold or I have been cold for an extended period of time.

My solution has been to dress in layers to solve the problem, exercise more, and do all I can to keep from getting cold. Maybe my body thinks I need fuel to warm it up. Maybe it is something I do to forget that I'm cold. I don't know. I guess I may not ever know why, but I can do something about it and did do something about it this winter. I think that finding a solution allowed me to actually lose weight in the winter, when I normally put on 5 pounds in the winter time.

So now I am looking at Spring and I am glad I took the time to identify those triggers that have activated bad eating habits all these years. I am not immune to them by far. I have good days and bad days like everyone else. Its just that now those bad days aren't terrible days anymore, all because I have practiced identifying the triggers that activate my unhealthy eating, and I have taken action to disarm them with a "safety" mechanism.

SOURCE: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=ci

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Cooking For Diabetic Needs

Balsamic, fruit-infused, herb-infused, red wine, white wine, sherry, malt, rice wine, cider
Cooking Sprays
Now available in aerosol and refrigerated pumps. Purchase butter-flavored, olive oil, vegetable, etc.

Canola, olive, safflower, sesame. For added flavor you may wish to try almond, avocado, grapeseed, hazelnut, peanut, and walnut
Stone-ground yellow and white cornmeal, couscous, kasha, millet, rolled oats, instant polenta, rice-white, basmati, brown, quick-cooking and wild, quinoa.
Beans and Legumes

Dried beans-black, cannelini, chick peas, navy, pinto and white, black-eyed peas, lentils-brown and red.

Angel hair, bow ties (farfalle), lasagna, linguine, penne, Oriental rice sticks, rotelle, spaghetti, ziti
Baking Needs

Unbleached all-purpose flour, nonfat pancake mix, graham cracker crumbs, cornstarch, dry bread crumbs (unseasoned), baking powder, baking soda, cream of tarter, cocoa powder, salt and kosher salt, vanilla extract, sugar substitutes (capable of retaining sweetness during extended heat), sugar, brown sugar, honey, baker's spray (combined with flour).
Canned and Packaged Goods

No-salt-added tomato paste, no-salt-added canned tomatoes, canned pumpkin, unsweetened fruit juices, fat-free no-salt-added chicken and vegetable broth, cannelini, garbanzo (chick peas), navy, pinto, white and black beans, beans, reduced-sodium soy sauce, no-sugar-added fruit spread, dry roasted peanuts, natural peanut butter, no-sugar added dried fruits, evaporated skim milk, powdered buttermilk, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauces, regular and coarse ground Dijon mustard, dry red and white wine for cooking, cognac for cooking, dry sherry for cooking, rum for cooking, tequila for cooking, hoisin sauce, sun-dried tomatoes (dry-packed), black bean sauce, Asian chili sauce, capers, garlic sauce, dried Chiles, dried mushrooms
Dried Herbs and Spices

Ground allspice, basil, bay leaves, dill, caraway seed, celery seed, chili powder, ground cinnamon, cloves, coriander, ground cumin, curry powder, fennel seed, fine herbs, ground ginger, marjoram, dry mustard, paprika, peppercorns, poppy seeds, crushed red pepper flakes, rosemary, sage, saffron, savory, sesame seeds, thyme
In the Freezer

Frozen no-sugar-added fruits and berries, puff pastry dough, phyllo dough, bread dough, unsalted butter, reduced-calorie margarine, nuts, vegetables in bags, multi-grain breads and rolls, pita
In the Refrigerator

Part-skim Parmesan cheese, fat-free mozzarella cheese, fat-free ricotta cheese, fat-free cream cheese, reduced-fat tub margarine, fat-free sour cream, fresh ginger, lemons, limes, oranges, other fresh fruit in season, scallions, fresh herbs and parsley, salad ingredients, fresh vegetables in season, dill pickles, tomato paste in a tube, anchovy paste in a tube, egg substitute, eggs, skim milk

Garlic; shallots; onions-white, yellow, sweet (seasonal), and red; potatoes-red, Russet, and Yukon Gold; sweet potatoes

Healthy Guidelines

6 glasses of water

2 servings of milk

5 servings fruit & veggies

1 multivitamin

2 t healthy oils

1 daily activity

20 Tips For Getting Your 8 Glasses of Water Daily

20 Tips For Getting Your 8 Glasses of Water Daily

Sometimes drinking our eight glasses of water a day can be a real challenge Here are 20 tips to help you accomplish that feat! It is said by many beauty experts that drinking your water is the cheapest, quickest way to look better! That should motivate us!

1. Make a bet with a co-worker to see who can drink more water in the course of a day.

2. Have a big glass of water at every transitional point of the day: when you first get up, just before leaving the house, when you sit down to work, etc.

3. Make it convenient - keep a big, plastic, insulated water bottle full on your desk and reach for it all day.

4. When you have juice (apple, grape, or orange) fill half the glass with water.

5. When you have a junk-food craving, down a glass of water immediately. You feel full quickly and avoid the calories, and it lets time pass till the craving fades.

6. Have one glass every hour on the hour while at work. When the work day is done your water quota is met.

7. Substitute a cup of hot water with a drop of honey for tea or coffee.

8. While at work, get a 20 ounce cup of ice and keep filling it up from the office water cooler. The key is drinking with a straw - you take bigger gulps and drink much more.

9. Freeze little bits of peeled lemons, limes, and oranges and use them in place of ice cubes - it's refreshing and helps get in a serving or two of fruit.

10. After each trip to the restroom, guzzle an eight-ounce glass to replenish your system.

11. Don't allow yourself a diet soda until you've had two to four glasses of water. You will find that you won't want the soda anymore or that just half a can is enough.

12. Let ounces of water double grams of fat: When eating something containing 10 grams of fat, I drink 20 ounces of water.

13. Drink two full glasses at each meal, one before and one after. Also, drink one glass before each snack so you don't eat as much.

14. Carry a small refillable water bottle at all times and drink during downtime; while waiting in a bank line, sitting on the train, etc.

15. Use a beautiful gold-rimmed glass and fill it with cold water from the tap.

16. Drink two glasses of water immediately after waking up.

17. Bring a two-liter bottle of water to work and try to drink it all before you leave work. If you don't finish, drink it in traffic on the way home - it's like a race.

18. Always keep a 24-ounce bottle of water handy while watching TV, doing laundry, making dinner, etc.

19. Add drinking two glasses of water to your daily skincare regimen. Drink, cleanse, moisturize, etc., then drink again.

20. Drink your water out of a big Pyrex measuring cup - it's a good way to keep track of how much water you are drinking.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Could You Have Pre Diabetes?

Could You Have Pre-Diabetes?

by Elizabeth Smoots, MD

Just as pre-cancer may be detected and removed before turning
into cancer, discovery of diabetes in its earliest stages can
help prevent the development of full-blown diabetes.

That, in a nutshell, is the idea behind the new term “pre-diabetes.”

Blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not high
enough to be called diabetes are now classified as pre-diabetes.

This name replaces older terminology such as impaired glucose
tolerance and impaired fasting glucose—a change I applaud.

I think the concept of pre-diabetes will make it easier for those
at risk to thwart progression to frank diabetes.

Exciting evidence indicates that people with pre-diabetes can use
simple, readily available means to return their blood glucose
levels to the normal range.

This can help prevent or delay complications that
research has linked to both diabetes and the
pre-diabetic state.

Here, I've summarized the prominent features of pre-diabetes I
think you need to know.

How Serious a Problem?

Research shows that people with pre-diabetes are at risk for
the same complications that are seen with diabetes.

These include impaired vision or blindness, heart disease, stroke,
kidney failure, nerve damage, and infections leading to leg

If you have pre-diabetes you may already be experiencing the
adverse health effects of this serious condition.
People with pre-diabetes have a 1.5-times increased risk of
cardiovascular disease—including heart attack, stroke and arterial
disease—compared to people with normal blood glucose.
In contrast, people with diabetes have a 2- to 4- times increased
risk of cardiovascular disease. Both diabetics and pre-diabetics
are more likely to develop additional cardiac risk factors such
as elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity.

An Epidemic of Diabetes

Lack of exercise and super-sized portions are fueling twin
epidemics of obesity and diabetes in this country.
In the past 10 years the incidence of obesity has increased
61 percent and new cases of diabetes have gone up 49 percent.
The majority of Americans are now overweight and at risk for
developing pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Both of these conditions make your body cells less sensitive
to the effects of insulin, a hormone that regulates blood
glucose levels. This allows blood sugar levels to rise over
time and can result in long-term damage to your body.

Detection of Pre-Diabetes

Millions of Americans are currently considered candidates
for pre-diabetes and diabetes screening. Both conditions
can be diagnosed with a simple blood test. During a routine
office visit your doctor can order one of two tests:

Fasting plasma glucose test – you will fast overnight and have
your blood glucose measured in the morning before eating.
Your results may be read as follows:

Normal: below 100
Pre-diabetes: 100-125
Diabetes: 126 or above

Oral glucose tolerance test – you will fast overnight and have
your blood glucose measured after the fast. Then you'll drink
a sugary drink and have your blood glucose measured two hours later.
Results two hours after the drink are usually read as follows:

Normal: below 140
Pre-diabetes: 140-199
Diabetes: 200 or above

Who Should Get Screened?

Experts from the American Diabetes Association and the National
Institutes of Health recently developed screening guidelines for
pre-diabetes. They recommend glucose testing every three years for
people aged 45 or older who are overweight (BMI above 24).
If you’re over age 45 but not overweight ask your doctor if testing
is appropriate.

For those under age 45 and overweight, testing may be advisable
if you have another risk factor for pre-diabetes.
Risk factors include:

High blood pressure
Low HDL (good) cholesterol level
High triglyceride level
Family history of diabetes
History of diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes)
Giving birth to a baby weighing more than nine pounds
Belonging to an ethnic group other than Caucasian

Care of Pre-Diabetes

If your glucose test indicates pre-diabetes you should have it
repeated for accuracy. People with a diagnosis of pre-diabetes
also need retesting every one to two years. Without intervention,
studies show that most people with pre-diabetes go on to develop
type 2 diabetes within 10 years.

Fortunately, we know that people with pre-diabetes can delay or prevent
the onset of diabetes with lifestyle changes. Experts recommend that
people with pre-diabetes reduce their weight by 5-10% and engage in
modest physical activity for 30 minutes most days of the week.
A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine followed a
large group of pre-diabetics who made these changes. After an average
follow-up of three years, they achieved nearly a 60% reduction in
diabetes risk compared to only about a 30% reduction for those
on medication.

I’d say it’s a powerful reason for anyone at risk for diabetes
to control weight and exercise regularly—with your doctor’s
okay of course.

American Diabetes Association
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Diabetes Education Program
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Taking Another Plunge!!

After a great deal of consideration, I have decided to shut down my yahoogroup, Slimexchanges for lack of traffic and move the files to a blog. Hopefully, the blog will get better traffic, the searchability is a big plus for me and the files will still be available.

Ask questions, read, and let's lose this weight together.

ABC's of Weight Loss

Weight Loss
The ABCs of Weight Loss
We've got 26 tips to help you succeed.

By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD/LD
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Expert Column

A is for attitude. A can-do attitude will help you get over the
inevitable hurdles of weight loss. Anticipate slip-ups -- they
happen. But instead of letting them derail your weight loss efforts,
learn from them and get right back on track. You don't have to be
perfect to lose weight and be healthy. Just keep your eye on the
target and keep moving forward, one step at a time.

B is for breakfast. It really is the most important meal of the day.
Don't leave home without eating something nutritious to get your
metabolism perking and give you energy for the day ahead. It can be
a banana, low-fat yogurt, cereal, last night's leftovers, etc. A
small meal that contains both fiber and protein can keep you feeling
satisfied until lunchtime.

C is for calories. They do count. Get into the habit of reading food
labels to help you make healthy choices. And keep in mind that all
the information listed there is based on the portion size the label
specifies (which may not be the size of the portion you usually
eat). Monitoring your portions and learning more about the calories
in the foods you enjoy will help you meet your goals.

Diets don't work. There are hundreds of diets that will help you
lose weight, but what good is losing weight if you gain it right
back? Eating crazy food combinations or eliminating food groups is
not the way to keep weight off. Instead, choose a nutritionally
balanced plan with enough calories to keep you from feeling famished
(like the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic eating plans).

Eating regular meals is essential. Experts agree that you should go
no longer than 4 to 5 hours between meals. Otherwise, intense hunger
can trigger a binge. Some experts believe dieters have better
control if they eat several mini-meals throughout the day. Choose
the meal pattern that works best in your lifestyle, but make sure to
eat at least three meals per day.

Fiber is nature's weight loss aid. It comes in two forms, soluble
(the gummy type found in oatmeal and beans) and insoluble (the type
found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains). Both are important
to good health. Soluble fiber can help to lower cholesterol;
insoluble contains indigestible fibers that add bulk to our diets.
Both forms of fiber swell in the stomach and help to create a
feeling of fullness. Most high-fiber foods are also high in water
and low in calories, making them must-have diet foods.

Gum chewing may be just what the dentist ordered. Chewing on a piece
of sugarless gum can help cleanse the mouth of bacteria, satisfy a
sweet tooth, and reduce the urge to eat. Keep a pack of sugarless
gum handy. The next time you have the urge to reach into the cookie
jar, try a piece of gum instead for a zero-calorie treat.

Heart-healthy foods should fill your pantry, refrigerator, and
freezer. Choose foods that are low in saturated and trans fats.
Enjoy plenty of naturally fat-free, low-sodium fruits and
vegetables. Choose healthy fats such as canola, olive, and vegetable
oils. Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like walnuts, flaxseed,
and salmon and other fatty fish. Choose low- and non-fat dairy
products, as well as the leanest cuts of meat (round and loin) and
skinless poultry. Beans, nuts, and whole grains round out the list
of heart-healthy foods.

Invest in a pedometer and track your steps each day. The goal is to
walk at least 10,000 steps -- the equivalent of 5 miles -- daily to
thwart weight gain (and promote weight loss). Challenge yourself to
increase your steps each day, even if you can't get up to 10,000.
Every step counts; remember that your goal is simply to improve your
fitness level.

Just do it! Get into a routine that includes regular physical
activity. Not only does exercise energize you, it burns calories,
improves balance and coordination, and relieves stress. When you
don't have time for a formal workout, try to squeeze in at least
three 10-minute chunks of physical activity. (Be sure to check with
your doctor before starting any exercise routine.)

Key to an effective exercise plan is variety. Try something new --
maybe Pilates, yoga, or water aerobics. Having fun and trying new
things will keep you interested and enhance your commitment to
exercise. Another key: starting your day with activity is one of the
best ways to make sure it does not get squeezed out of your schedule.

Low blood sugar is often the cause of between-meal cravings,
especially for sweets. Eating meals and small snacks that contain
lean protein and fiber every few hours helps keep blood sugar levels
steady. When sweets cravings strike, try to satisfy them with
naturally sweet foods such as fruit (accompany it with a little low-
fat yogurt for protein).

Mindful eating means taking time to savor every bite. Turn off the
distractions, and concentrate on the aroma, texture, and flavor of
food. Becoming more mindful when you eat will give you more pleasure
from your meals. The bonus: You'll also be more in tuned with your
body's signals of fullness, and you'll be less likely to overeat.

"Water is your body's preferred form of fluid."

Nighttime snacking, for most of us, is a habit that can undermine
weight loss success. That's because the calories we eat after dinner
tend to be empty ones, from chips, cookies, etc. Brushing your teeth
after supper will help you make dinner the last meal of the day. If
you need a little something at night, try to satisfy the urge with
few calories -- have a stick of gum, one piece of hard candy, or a
cup of hot tea).

One more scoop, one more cookie, one more glass of wine -- "just one
more" can add lots of extra calories. Controlling portions is
fundamental to weight loss success. You don't need to give up your
favorite foods, but you do need to keep track of your portions. At
home, use smaller plates and keep food at the stove instead of on
the table at mealtime. When you go out to eat, order a soup and a
salad instead of an entrée, or take home half your meal in a doggie

Protein is the "secret sauce" to weight control. Include a source of
protein -- lean meats, low-fat dairy, beans, or nuts -- in all meals
and snacks to help keep you feeling full for hours.

Quit those old habits that caused you to gain weight, and replace
them with healthier ones. Simple changes -- like lightening your
coffee with low-fat milk instead of cream, switching to light
mayonnaise, avoiding fried foods -- can help create healthier eating
patterns that foster long-term weight loss.

Rely on friends, family, and/or an online community to help you in
your weight loss efforts. Your motivation is at an all-time high
when you start a weight loss program, but after a few weeks, it
often starts to wane. Let your supporters help you get through the
rough times.

Supplement your healthy eating plan with a once-daily multivitamin
for nutritional insurance. Despite your best efforts, it can be hard
to get all the nutrients you need every day. Taking a multivitamin
will help fill in the gaps.

Track your eating patterns and physical activity every day. One of
the tips of the "successful losers" tracked in the National Weight
Control Registry is the importance of journaling food intake and
activity. Entering this information into your online journal or in a
notebook is a powerful motivator to help keep you working toward
your goals.

Uncle Sam's latest dietary guidelines promise to make us happier,
healthier and thinner. Tips from the government's recommendations
(the 2005 Dietary Guidelines and MyPyramid) include:

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Eat more whole grains. At least half of your servings of grain foods
should come from whole grains.
Enjoy three servings of low-fat dairy each day (yogurt, milk, or
Limit saturated and trans fats, sugar, and alcohol.
Watch the sodium content of your diet. Eat less processed food to
reduce sodium.
Get plenty of exercise -- at least 30 minutes a day.
Volumetrics is the art of eating foods high in volume, or high-water
foods. Fruits, vegetables, and soups are all examples of high-volume
foods that are super-nutritious, satisfying, and low in calories.
Dieters should make sure their plans are full of these healthy foods
so they can feel full while still losing weight.

Water is your body's preferred form of fluid. It is thirst-quenching
and naturally delicious without one single calorie. You need some 6-
8 glasses of water or fluids each day. Recent studies suggest that
we should let thirst determine how much we drink each day. Foods
that are high in water (soups, Jell-O, produce) also count toward
our fluid requirements. Many dieters find drinking water helps keep
them from overeating.

EXcuses should be excised. Do you really want to lose weight and
improve your health once and for all? Then stop making excuses and
just do it! Sure, that's easier said than done. But you need to stop
finding reasons why you can't start moving a healthier lifestyle,
and start listing all the reasons why you should. Don't put it off
until tomorrow. Start today, by doing something positive -- just one
small thing -- toward your health and weight loss.

Yogurt used to be thought of as health food. Now it lines the
grocery shelves in a variety of forms. It's portable, convenient,
full of nutrients like calcium and protein, and it makes an
excellent snack or mini-meal. The French swear by it, and so should
you. Low-fat yogurt is filling and nutritious, but keep in mind that
it can be loaded with sugar. So read labels to make the best choice.

Zip in your step is what you'll get once you start eating more
healthfully and getting regular exercise. Losing as little as 5% to
10% of your body weight can help you feel better and improve your
health. Just think of the weight you'll lose as bricks in a
backpack. Lightening your load a few pounds at a time can be
invigorating and energizing.