A recent piece on MSNBC.com highlighted an issue that often comes up between BFBs and the ones that love them this time of year: What do you do when the person you care about most is eating lots of high-calorie, not-good-for-them foods over the holidays, especially if they have a health issue like heart disease or diabetes or are already tipping the scales toward an unhealthy weight? Do you say anything? Do you give them “the look” when they reach for a third serving of mashed potatoes or a fourth cookie or slice of pie?
No, no you do not. Bethany Thayer, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, made a few great points in the article and I agree with them all, especially this one:
“It’s really hard to watch the people you love do things you know may cause them discomfort, hurt them or even shorten their lives. Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try, we cannot control other people’s behavior, only our own.”
In chapter 9, Health-ify That Boy, I talk all about this issue and the very, very fine line that exists between nudging because you care and very destructive nagging. Whether it comes in the form of eye rolling, words, or the before-mentioned look, the only thing it’s going to do is cause fights and resentment between you both.
Especially during the holidays, if the man you love loves holiday goodies enough to pile on holiday pounds, plan a few active dates (ice skating, skiing, power shop the biggest mall in your area, cut down your own Christmas tree!), and then forget about it and focus on yourself. Try bringing a healthier option to the table (for instance, I always make mashed cauliflower at Thanksgiving so I can have mostly that and just enough mashed potatoes to feel satisfied), up your own activity to give yourself a burst of mood-upping endorphins, and remember that the best thing you can do is be a good example and take care of yourself. Then, focus on all the reasons why you love him and enjoy the holiday!
I love Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite holiday, the Big Holiday for my family, where everyone converges under one roof for a day or two of quality catch up time and lots of good food. But, of course, staying active enough to offset all the tasty T-Day treats is no small feat. So while I do my best to always get in a good sweat session the morning before the big feast, I also try to stay busy around the house cooking, helping keep things clean or whatever else might need done. (Check out our festive table from last year, courtesy of moi. ;) )
Whether you’re spending Thanksgiving with your family, traveling to his, hosting for the first time, or are close enough to both groups of loved ones that you’ll be bombarded with two entire T-Day dinners, every little bit of activity counts. (Especially if your gym time is crowded out by traffic jams and and airports, last-minute pie baking, and a little family face time.)
Here, the average calories a 135-pound woman burns doing common Turkey Day activities. Continue Reading →
Hey, guys. Check out the piece I did for Women’s Health November 2009 issue, on newsstands now.
END PMS MISERY
Feel beastly when you’re pre-period? Pinpoint your symptoms, then follow our advice for fast relief.
BY Jenna Bergen
Go with the flow? For many of us, that’s a lot easier said than done. Roughly 80 percent of women report dealing with at least mild premenstrual symptoms. But killer cramps, belly bloat, and mood swings straight out of a Lifetime movie don’t have to rule your cycle. Whether PMS is a mild nuisance or a monthly torment, here’s how to get your life back.
Whether you’re planning a party, handing out goodies, or trying to resist the candy-filled bucket that your BFB’s mom so sweetly mailed him, Halloween treats are everywhere. Check out the list of usual suspects below and rate them from the best to worst. (It’s harder than you think!)
A. A handful of candy corn
B. A packet of Fun-Sized M&M’s
C. A packet of Fun-Sized Skittles
D. A packed of Fun-Sized Reese’s Pieces
E. A Tootsie Pop
F. A Fun-Sized Milky Way
G. A Fun-Sized Butterfinger
In what may be the grossest, strangest, and totally terrible-for-you marketing scheme yet, Burger King and Microsoft teamed up to create a seven-patty Whopper to mark the release of Windows 7. The mammoth burger contains more than 2,500 calories and went on sale in Japan outlets today.
“I need to shower after holding it in my hands,” said one customer, Kyoko Yamamoto, after merely trying to get a grip on the sandwich. “Grease is running down my arms,” she added. “There is no way you could eat that.”
I’m with her, but somehow I’m afraid many BFBs would disagree! Let’s hope BK isn’t crazy enough to bring it here.
Before you whip up your next Italian masterpiece, make sure to read the nutrition label on that marinara. Sauces can be filled with un-touched tomatoes and fresh basil, or they can filled with not-so-good-for-you things like corn syrup and added sugar—some pack as much sugar as a half-can of Coke. Of course, sauces labeled “low carb” or “no sugar added” are often sweetened with artificial sweeteners like sucralose (Splenda), which have been shown to up your chance of weight gain.
So before you twist the top off another bottle, flip it around and check out the ingredient list. In general, a good store-bought tomato sauce should only have ingredients you can recognize and pronounce—i.e., tomatoes, basil, olive oil, etc., the shorter the laundry list of ingredients, the better—and should never, ever say “corn syrup or sugar” or start with an ingredient other than tomatoes. In general, reach for sauces that are no more than 70 calories per half cup.
Want to make your red-sauce dishes healthier? Check out this quick roundup. Continue Reading →
It’s a beautiful, cool fall night. You and your sweetie have just ended another fun dinner date and in preparation to stay awake for the late-night movie, trod down to Starbucks. As you stand before the bubbly, over-caffeinated barista, you know the best thing for you is the basic coffee of the week, but the sweet smell of lattes quickly erases the memory of your pasta dinner. Your mind is made up. You’re gonna order one … but which is your best bet?
THE CHALLENGE: List these delicious coffee drinks in order from best to worst by calorie count—no cheating!— and see who does better, you or your BFB! (Note: All calorie counts are for 16 ounce-coffees, made with 2% milk, and include whipped cream if offered.)
THE PRIZE: Superior knowledge and, of course, bragging rights—it’s harder than it seems!
A. Caffè Mocha
C. Pumpkin Spice Latte
D. Cinnamon Dolce Latte
E. Caramel Macchiato
F. Cafe Latte
See how you did! Continue Reading →
Pumpkins and weather cool enough for layering might be what you look forward to each fall, but for many BFBs, it’s football and the return of their favorite beer—Oktoberfest. Not only are these varieties popping up on bar menus, but there are also the parties and fests themselves.
If you can’t help but swap out your regular lite order for a sweet, fall-filled glass, you’re not alone. Just keep in mind that, on average, Oktoberfests run about 80 to 100+ calories more per bottle than calorie-conscious beers like Miller Lite (96 calories per 12-ounce bottle).
To keep calories in check, tip back half the number of glasses that you usually would when you’re drinking. Luckily, thanks to the full-bodied nature of these autumn beers, sipping is the best way to enjoy them anyway.
Check out the calories of some of the most popular Oktoberfest brews below. Continue Reading →
On most weekday mornings, I’m up by 5 a.m. so I can squeeze my workout into my way-too-full workday (okay, sometimes I hit the snooze until 5:05 a.m., and then sometimes, if I feel really, really tired, I’ll hit it a second time until 5:08 a.m.— I’ll take any extra minute of pillow time I can get). I know, I picture all of you anti-morning people grimacing at the mere thought of such an early gym call—I get the same face from about three-quarters of the people who find out I’m up before the sun rises most months out of the year —and I understand their thoughts on why it sounds crazy.
It’s not easy to get up. I never, ever (very rarely, anyway), hop out of bed ready to go. I usually pad, bleary-eyed to the bathroom, brush my teeth, blindly search for some form of a t-shirt and workout pants, and usually waste a good five minutes trying to find a sports bra that’s not in my laundry basket already. Continue Reading →