Wednesday, June 29, 2011

All Things New by Steven Curtis Chapman

Pray it Off 04/28/2011 The Healthiest Walking Workout


Prevention Magazine (Edited)

There's no question that walking is great for everyone: It dramatically boosts energy levels, fights fat, and protects your heart. But if you have high blood sugar, or if you have been diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes, walking can be a lifesaver.

"Walking is one of the best types of 'medicine' we have to help prevent diabetes, or reduce its severity and
potential complications--such as heart attack and stroke--if you already have it," says JoAnn Manson, MD. Women who did at least 30 minutes daily of moderate physical activity, such as brisk walking, slashed their risk of diabetes by 30%. Even a single 90-minute session of aerobic exercise improved blood sugar control in at-risk women.

Walking also shrinks dangerous abdominal fat that raises your risk of diabetes. Excess fat around your abdomen causes inflammation in cells, making them even more resistant to insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar; this increases your odds of developing the disease. Women who walked briskly for about an hour a day decreased their belly fat by 20% after 14 weeks--without changing their eating habits.

That's why walking is a key component of Prevention's Diabetes DTOUR Diet, a new eating and exercise plan designed to help you prevent and manage type 2 diabetes. The science-based DTOUR workout combines powerful cardio walks with toning workouts. "Together, the two build lean muscle and help reduce body fat--a combination that can dramatically improve blood sugar," says Francine R. Kaufman, MD.
No one knows that better than Debbie Bouldin, 48, who test-drove DTOUR's diet and exercise regimen. In only 6 weeks, she dropped nearly 11 pounds and lowered her blood sugar 23 points. "I haven't felt this good since I was in my 20s," she says.

Here's a modified version so you can get started today. In just 2 weeks, you could lose a few pounds, shrink your waistline, and improve your blood sugar levels.

What you'll need: Supportive athletic shoes, watch with timer, mat

What you'll do: 6 workouts a week, divided into:

Fat-Torch Walk (2 days a week), a steady-paced workout to burn flab. Calorie-Scorch Walk (2 days a week), short intervals of fast walking to rev up your metabolism so you burn more calories all day long. Belly Blast Routine (2 days a week), a 15-minute toning routine designed to firm your core--abs, lower back, and butt.

Get Started

Day Week 1
1 Fat-Torch Walk* (20 minutes)
2 Belly Blast Routine (15 minutes)
3 Calorie-Scorch Walk* (15 minutes)
4 Rest
5 Fat-Torch Walk (20 minutes)
6 Belly Blast Routine (15 minutes)
7 Calorie-Scorch Walk (15 minutes)

Fat-Torch Walk

Time Activity Speed Intensity
0:00 Warm-up 3--3.5 mph Light: You can sing
3:00 Cardio walk 3.5--4 mph Moderate: You can chat with a friend
18:00 Cool-down 3--3.5 mph
20:00 Finish

Each week, increase the cardio walk portion by 5 minutes; build up to a 60-minute workout.

Calorie-Scorch Walk
Time Activity Speed Intensity
0:00 Warm-up 3--3.5 mph Light: You can sing
3:00 Cardio walk 3.5--4 mph Moderate: You can chat with a friend
4:00 Speed walk 4+ mph Vigorous: You can barely talk
4:30 Repeat 1-minute cardio walk and 30-second speed walk intervals 5 more times
12:00 Cardio walk
13:00 Cool-down 3--3.5 mph
15:00 Finish

Lie on back with feet off floor, knees at 90 degrees, and hands behind head. Contract abs, press lower back toward floor, and curl head and neck off floor. Inhale and extend left leg while drawing right knee toward chest. At the same time, twist to bring left elbow toward right knee. Exhale and twist to left, switching legs. That's 1 rep; do 6.

Leg Circle
Lie on back with left foot flat on floor, right leg extended toward ceiling, toes pointed, and arms at sides. Hold for 10 to 60 seconds. Then, keeping abs tight, rotate right leg from hip in small circles. Inhale as you begin the circle; exhale as you finish. Do 6 circles; repeat in opposite direction. Switch legs. (For a challenge, straighten left leg.)

Leg Kick
Lie on right side propped on elbow and forearm, torso lifted off floor, legs stacked and in line with body, left hand in front for balance. Exhale and slowly swing left leg forward as far as it's comfortable. Hold and pulse, moving foot forward and back a few inches, for 2 counts. Inhale and swing leg back, past right one. Do 6 times without lowering leg. Switch sides. (For an easier option, extend right arm on floor and rest head on arm.)

In 4 weeks on the DTOUR plan, Kris Sumey dropped almost 3 dress sizes and lowered her blood sugar 17 points. "My energy levels skyrocketed," says Sumey, 42, of Havertown, PA--so much so that she took her walking workouts to a new level. She joined Team Prevention (at and finished the Philadelphia Half Marathon last November. "A year ago, I would have laughed at the idea," she says. "But crossing that finish line after 13-plus miles was amazing. I plan on doing two more this year."


Super Sunrise Start


1 1/4 cups Food You Feel Good About Organic Vanilla Super Yogurt
1 pkg (7 oz) Food You Feel Good About Sunrise Blend with Quinoa Flakes (Grocery Dept)
1 cup Wegmans Fat-Free Milk
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1 cup red grapes
1 Granny Smith Apple, chopped or grated
1 banana, sliced
2 Tbsp Wegmans Clover Honey (or to taste)
1 cup Wegmans Shelled Walnuts or Pecans

Evening before serving: Combine yogurt and Sunrise Blend in mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

To serve: Add milk, sliced or chopped fruit, and honey to grain mix. Combine well. Portion into bowls and sprinkle individual servings with nuts.

We chose to add bananas to this healthy, wholesome breakfast. You can add any combination of fruit to create a delicious breakfast treat any day of the week.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pray it Off 04/28/11 Embracing Change

10 Ways to Embrace Change*

by Katherine Russell Rich

When it came to change, my father had it licked. His motto was simply “Don’t let it happen to you.” He proudly wore the same tie he’d had since college. He moved just three times, ever. But his town and his life were epicenters of low upheaval. For most of us, change is an unavoidable fact, something I (re)discovered when, several years back, I lost my job in a shrinking industry.
Far from ruining my life, that seismic shift gave me the chance to do two things I had always hoped to do: live in India and learn a new language (Hindi). In the process, I discovered a lot about how to survive when head-rattling transformations are thrust upon you. Here are some of the tricks I picked up along the way.

1. Don't just do something; sit there. If you’re facing a massive rescaling of your life, your first impulse will be to go into a whirring spin of activity, which is exactly what I did right after I was fired. I later discovered there’s a lot of value to sitting quietly instead. In the realm of language learning, there’s a stage called the silent period: Adults may try to avoid going through it, but if you take a kid and plop her down in Paris for a spell, she’ll naturally clam up for a few months. When she opens her mouth, her French will have flowered. Making sense of a major change is a lot like that. You need to allow yourself a fallow period before you can blossom.

2. Mother yourself a little. When familiar routines suddenly dissolve, it can seem as if all your supports are gone. For a while after I lost my job, I had the sense that I was in free fall. It’s crucial, while absorbing the shock of the new, to make yourself feel well taken care of. Prepare nutritious meals for the week ahead. If you can spare the cash, have someone come in and clean the house. Yes, you need to take some time for yourself, but don’t let the pizza boxes pile up.

3. Ignore your inner reptile. There’s a part of the human mind that is often referred to as the “lizard brain,” because it existed in even the earliest land animals. The lizard brain is concerned with survival; it likes the tried and true, so it’s likely to pipe up right now, flooding you with adrenaline warnings of “Danger!” as you veer off course. This was a handy function to have when deviating from the familiar path to the watering hole may have led to an encounter with a saber-toothed tiger. But in the modern world it’s like a misfiring car alarm: pointless and annoying.

4. Silence your inner know-it-all, too. When I interviewed the eminent linguist Alton Becker, I asked what makes someone good at languages. It helps not to be too smart, he said, explaining, “Smart people don’t like having their minds changed, and to learn a language, you have to change your mind.” If you’re so smart that you can’t rethink your positions, all your IQ points won’t do you much good when your life is turned upside down. Becker’s advice applies across the board.

5. Seek out new perspectives. Zen practitioners cultivate the “don’t know” mind; they work to assume they don’t know anything and in that way see the world fresh. This is a great way to approach change―as an opportunity to start anew, to consider all possibilities. Ask naive, wide-eyed questions of anyone who is doing anything you might be interested in trying. Listen seriously to arguments you might once have dismissed.

6. Try something new and slightly scary. Why? Because now is the time to explore what it is that you really like. Catch yourself off-guard and see what happens. At a time when I was feeling most stuck, I spontaneously volunteered to get up onstage at an open-mic storytelling evening in New York City. The experience was elating and terrifying and showed me that I wanted to lead a more creative life.

7. Be skeptical of common wisdom. It’s dangerous to live in the aggregate, especially when you’re trying to figure out your next move. One year, everyone knows you need an M.B.A. to succeed at anything. The next, they’re saying that there are no jobs out there anyway, so don’t even try. In my case, everyone but I knew that you can’t learn a language at age 43. But since no one alerted me to that fact, that’s what I set my sights on.

8. Learn to live with uncertainty. When I began learning Hindi, my teacher encouraged me to get out and practice with native speakers in New York. I wound up asking a waiter for love (pyar) when I’d meant to request a cup (pyala). But in that way I inched into a new language. That anxious feeling does not signal that you’re doing something wrong, only that you’re trying something new.

9. Say "really?" a lot. When you start to turn this sudden shift in your life to your advantage, you might shake up a lot of people, especially the ones who aren’t happy with how they’re living. To them, your efforts to move forward may feel like a glaring searchlight that needs to be switched off and fast. To their descriptions of the terrible fates that will surely befall you if you dive headlong into a new life, respond with “Really?” Alternatively, “Oh, yeah?” works, too.

10. Shed your old skin. Discard physical clutter, tired ideas, old routines. Seeing things through another’s eyes can help. I had that chance when the Hindi school I enrolled in asked me to list my daily requirements. I could honestly have said, “For the past 62 days, I’ve eaten pineapple sandwiches for breakfast: toast, butter, canned pineapple (sliced, not crushed). Bedtime: white-noise machine (surf, not rain), four pillows (two hard, two soft).” Instead I wrote, “None.”

It’s only when you have cast off what has been weighing you down that you can finally move on.


Change Your Brain, Change Your Routine, Change Your Life

Learn how to coax your stubborn brain into accepting change to achieve the healthiest you. From The Program by Dr. Kelly Traver and Betty Kelly Sargent
Your Resistant Brain

Although your brain can change, it usually won’t do so without putting up a bit of a fight. That’s because it is set up to resist change, especially sudden change. Your brain operates under the same principle as your body: homeostasis. Just as your body’s physiology works to keep parameters such as calcium, blood sugar, and weight stable, so your brain works hard to continue whatever behavior has become the norm. It seems to say, “Okay, I got you here with this behavior and you’re still alive, so just keep on doing what you’ve been doing and everything will be fine.” Your hypothalamus, in the center of your brain, is the master controller of homeostasis. The hypothalamus controls things like hunger, thirst, and body temperature. It also determines whether your stress response fires and whether reproductive hormones are released. The list of duties performed by your hypothalamus is long. All of the other parts of the brain, especially your emotional limbic system, fight to influence the hypothalamus.

Too rapid a change is interpreted as a stressful event by most brains. Your brain will automatically resist a sudden change in your behavior or routine, and just knowing this can be a big help when you are trying to switch from a not-so-healthful behavior to a healthful one. Studies using functional MRI scans of the brain have evaluated patients who were asked to make a change. If a patient is asked to make a big change, the scan shows activation of the amygdala (a-MIG duh-luh), the seat of the stress response. But if the subject is asked to make a small change, the amygdala remains quiet. People who are ultimately successful in initiating and maintaining major behavioral change usually do it through gradual, step-by-step changes. That’s how The Program works and, actually, why it works so well. I know it isn’t always easy to wait for results that take place gradually. People usually want instant gratification, but for most of us this just isn’t realistic. We need to accept the fact that most people’s brains are not well set up to handle rapid change. For the majority of us, slow and steady change is actually the quickest road to long-lasting results.

If you feel your motivation beginning to slip, it is probably because your brain is saying “Oh no, you don’t! I sense a change here, and I’m not going to let that happen.” This can leave you feeling frustrated and confused. How, you ask yourself, can you so desperately want to make a change one day but then come up with a thousand reasons not to the next? When this happens, remind yourself that this is simply an example of your brain working against you — doing what it thinks it has to do to protect you. You can outsmart it, though. Your brain will start to feel more comfortable with your new actions once you have repeated the new behavior many times, so start repeating the new action over and over again.

Another way to help your brain accept change is to work within a structure. Your brain is very rule-based, so it generally feels more comfortable when the rules are clearly defined. It takes less energy for your brain when you have a clear set of rules to guide it than when you have to make new decisions all along the way. The trick with structure, though, is that if you want to create lasting behavior change, you need to learn how to perform a behavior in all sorts of situations that may be outside the structure you are following. I know this sounds a little complicated, but it’s really not. Let’s look at the example of a weight loss plan that tells you exactly what to eat.

You may be very successful while you are on the diet because you don’t need to make any decisions about what to eat, but after you have lost the weight you have no idea how to eat in a healthful way on your own. The diet didn’t teach you that. Certainly, structure can be very helpful in the beginning, but pay attention to the process within the structure. The process (in this case the original diet) should show you how to create your own rules — rules that you can live with forever.

As you can see, it is not always easy to change the way you behave, but the good news is that you can do it. We know that if you practice a new behavior over and over for a long enough period of time, your brain will eventually decide that this new behavior is the one that needs to be protected and continued. The key words here are “over and over.” You need to repeat the new behavior for long enough to cement it permanently into your brain and therefore into your life.

Conclusion: Although your brain can change, it is generally set up to resist change, especially sudden change. People who are ultimately successful in initiating and maintaining major behavioral changes usually make the changes gradually, one step at a time.

Kelly Traver, M.D., author of The Program: The Brain-Smart Approach to the Healthiest You: The Life-Changing 12-Week Method


Monday, June 27, 2011

Pray it Off 04/28/11 Advice from Walter Breuning

Seasoned Advice from Walter Breuning*

“My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.”
Proverbs 3:1-2

Earlier this week, Walter Breuning
died in Montana – he was 114 years old. He was apparently the world’s oldest living man, second oldest living person (one Bessie Cooper of Georgia is 26 days older). Mr. Breuning’s secrets of life in a – embrace change; eat two meals a day; work as long as you can; help others, and don’t fear death “because you’re born to die.”

I’d say that sounds like pretty good advice.

Embrace Change. As we drift along through this life, things are constantly in flux around us. People never really change that much in terms of their fundamental makeup – but the nature of the interactions, societies, and modes of operation are changing all the time. The Church in particular has struggled with this one over the years. We will find ourselves in a time of great revival, and come to the conclusion that this must finally be the pinnacle of Christian society in our world. Then, as the years go by, things start to change and we struggle mightily to adapt. It’s almost as if we’re saying “hey, we had it good back then – this is just a ‘falling away’ from sound doctrine; folks just don’t want to love Jesus anymore.” It’s by-and-large nonsense. As times change we are reminded of what Paul said in 1 Cor 9:22: “I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.”

Eat Two Meals a Day. Researchers have been on this one for some time. There is a negative correlation between caloric intake and longevity. Eat less, live longer. (Of course, my mode of operation would appear to be “I want to live longer someday … so I’ll eat less someday too.”)

Work as Long as You Can. I may be reading too much into this, I certainly have never talked to Mr. Breuning, but to my mind this speaks to consistency and perseverance in the work-life balance. A few weeks ago I was reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together and quite enjoyed his discussion of work in the lives of Christians. His description of the day consists of prayer and fellowship, followed by work with intermittent breaks for mealtime (which included celebration and joyfulness in thanksgiving to the Lord). There was clearly balance and rhythm to the whole thing. We are not lazy – nor are we beasts of burden. We work and rest, bear a burden and take time out to rejoice and celebrate.

Contrast this with the typical American approach to the problem: work as hard as you can so you can retire early and never work again. We miss out on so much early, and then wonder what to do with ourselves late.

Help Others. Amen. There are always folks who need help, legitimately need it and won’t get it anywhere else. This is a human bond. It is laying up treasure in heaven. “I don’t care nearly as much about my time or my stuff as I do about you.”

“You’re Born to Die.” Sadly true. The death rate is hovering right at 100% – and has been for some time. We can’t escape it. Don’t hide from it or live in denial. Things you want to do before you go – do ‘em – ’cause you will be going some day. Questions you have – get ‘em answered. Words you want to say – go ahead and say them. Something to get off your chest? No time like the present. Pressed upon by the weight of eternity? “And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” (Joel 2:32) – it’s just that simple.

* Posted on April 19, 2011 by nomasir

Pray It Off 4/28/11 "I Make All Things New"

"I Make All Things New"
By Deacon Keith A Fournier (Edited)

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, God's dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them (as their God). He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, (for) the old order has passed away." The one who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." Then he said, "Write these words down, for they are trustworthy and true.” He said to me, "They are accomplished. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give a gift from the spring of life-giving water.” Revelation 21:1-5

These wonderful words were revealed to the beloved disciple John, on the Island of Patmos, in a vision recorded for all at the very end of the Christian Bible. They are recorded in the last book, the Book of Revelation, or the “Apocalypse”. They also address the heart cry of the entire human race and answer our deepest longing. At this time of the year, when we end one year and begin a new one, we are all drawn to deep reflection and all seem compelled to make resolutions. How deeply we want to be able to begin again, to be made new.

There is Good News! We truly can!

There is a powerful scene in the Mel Gibson masterpiece “The Passion of the Christ”. In it, Mary, the Mother of the Lord, is runs to her wounded Son who has just fallen for the third time, from the weight of the Cross. There is a flash back to an earlier day when that same son, as a child, is seen playing in the dusty streets of Nazareth and is about to fall. With the tender love of a mother, Mary reaches out to her Son.

Then the viewer sees her hand touch the wounded face of the Savior who looks at her, and through words addressed to her speaks to every human person, from the beginning of time until the end: “Behold, I make all things new.”

Of all the scenes, that encounter between mother and Son was the one that grabbed me, at the core of my heart,
and shook me to tears. They were tears of sorrow and joy co-mingled. It was so human and yet so divine, so full of promise and hope. The wounds on the Saviors sacred head, that had in the earlier scenes seemed so brutal, painful and hard to view, seemed to, almost in an instant, become beautiful. It all became clear that they were wounds of love, freely and redemptively embraced by the Savior, to “make all things new” for the entire human race.

A very influential political figure in Republican politics, a man whom I have known for many years to be a dedicated evangelical Christian, made an intriguing comment to Mel Gibson at a pre-screening of the film: “Mel, that film was so faithful to the biblical text, except for one scene.” “Which one” asked Gibson? “When Jesus meets his mother and says “Behold, I make all things new”, he continued “that is not in the Gospel account”.

I was compelled to immediately disagree. “To the contrary”, I said “that scene summarizes the very meaning of the Gospel, and in fact is profoundly theological. It takes the words of Jesus from the Book of Revelation and positions them right within His redemptive offering of Himself in his suffering, Passion and death. It was one of the most powerful moments of the film!” I insisted. “Good” said Gibson “I wasn’t going to change it anyway.”

The comment was humorous and also revealed of the depth of sincerity and profound sense of calling that this film represents for Gibson. However, it says much more. It shows the instincts of a man of real, simple, yet profound faith. He keeps intact the message that all men and women so desperately need to hear “I make all things new.” That is the cry of the human race, to be made new!

As we repent for the failures of our past and reflect with gratitude on the great gifts God has given us and resolve to “be better” and “do more” that is good in the coming days, we are always confronted with the reality of our human condition. We all know that many of our resolutions to change often end in failure. That is, when fulfilling them relies on our own human efforts. We are prone; it seems, to making wrong choices in the stuff that is daily human life. We sin.

Classical theology speaks of the inclination to sin as “concupiscence”. The Apostle Paul hit the nail right on the proverbial head when he wrote about this universal experience to the early Christians in Rome in the seventh chapter of his letter:

“For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want. Now if (I) do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. So, then, I discover the principle that when I want to do right, evil is at hand. For I take delight in the law of God, in my inner self, but I see in my members another principle at war with the law of my mind, taking me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Miserable one that I am! Who will deliver me from this mortal body Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Let’s face it; resolutions can only go so far. There is a force at work in us that we simply cannot overcome on our own; an inclination. It is called sin. Only Jesus Christ can free us from that sin. That is why He alone can truly “make all things new!” - in our own lives and in the world and the universe.

So, as we all attempt to change, let us make our first resolution to behold His face, wounded by love, as his mother did. This encounter is so beautifully portrayed in the “Passion of the Christ”. See the movie yourself and hear those words of extraordinary hope and promise and invite Him to live within us.

Let us allow the Savior to take up residence in our hearts and in our homes, so that we can indeed begin again.

Deacon Keith Fournier is a married Roman Catholic Deacon, with five children and one grandchild. He also serves the Melkite Greek Catholic Church with approval. He is a human rights lawyer and a graduate of the John Paul II Institute of the Lateran University, Franciscan University of Steubenville and the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Law. He is a co-founder of the “Your Catholic Voice Movement” and the founder of “Common Good”.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pray It Off 04/21/2011 High Fiber and Weight Loss

High-fiber Diets and Weight LossWebMD Feature By Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario, MD

If you’re overweight and want some help losing weight, start eating foods high in fiber. Dietary fiber is not a magic weight loss weapon, but it has the power to help fill you up without filling you out.

Here’s why: One of the most effective ways to lose those extra pounds is to control hunger, the dieter’s Achilles heel. Hunger is affected by many things, including when you eat, and the composition of your meals -- the amount of fats, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, and water content.

Eating healthy high-fiber foods
makes you feel full, so you can resist eating more food than you need. Fibrous foods also can take longer to chew, giving your brain time to get the signal that you have had enough to eat.

Read on to learn about losing weight by eating a high-fiber diet.

How Dietary Fiber Helps Weight Loss

Studies show that most people eat about the same weight of food each day, says Barbara Rolls, PhD, author of The Volumetrics Eating Plan. If you choose high-fiber, water-rich foods -- such as broth-based vegetable soups, salads, fruits, and vegetables -- instead of foods without fiber and water, you can eat the same weight of food but feel full on fewer calories.

A 2009 study in the journal Appetite compared the satiety or fullness factor of apples, applesauce, and apple juice with added fiber before lunch. People who ate an apple before lunch ate 15% fewer calories than those who ate the applesauce or drank apple juice. This suggests that the fiber in the whole apple was more filling even when compared to the juice that had added fiber.

Beyond the fiber content, crunching and chewing a whole piece of fruit stimulates your senses and takes longer to eat. So psychologically, it may also be more satisfying than beverages or soft foods. Chewing also promotes saliva and the production of stomach juices that help fill the stomach.

Fiber at Breakfast Is a Healthy Weight Loss Habit

In its tracking of the eating habits of successful dieters -- those big losers who have kept weight off for years -- the National Weight Control Registry has found that most eat breakfast regularly. And cereal is one of their morning rituals.
In general, eating cereal -- especially high-fiber cereals -- is beneficial for weight loss, says fiber expert Joanne Slavin, PhD, RD, a professor at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul and member of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. “Studies that look at what people eat show those who eat more (complex) carbs, more fiber, and cereal in general weigh less than those who eat less fiber, carbs, and cereal.”

How Much Dietary Fiber Do You Need?

Most women should get at least 25 grams and most men 38 grams each day to gain all the health benefits of fiber, according to the Institute of Medicine’s Dietary Reference Intake. The problem is that most Americans get only about half that when not on a diet and even less when dieting, especially on low-carb diets.

Tufts University researcher and professor of nutrition Susan Roberts, PhD, has shown that people who eat 35 to 45 grams of fiber a day are less hungry when losing weight and lose more weight than people who eat less fiber. (But beware of consuming fiber as a bulk laxative; it can sap your body of needed nutrients and vitamins.)
“There is no downside to eating a diet rich in fiber,” Slavin says. “And the potential health gains are significant.”

Does Type of Fiber Affect Weight Loss?

Fibers come in a variety of forms:

• Fiber is either soluble or insoluble: Soluble dissolves in water, insoluble does not. Both of these types are fiber are found naturally in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts.
• “Dietary” fiber refers to the fiber found naturally in the foods that we eat.
• “Functional” fibers such as inulin are added to packaged foods to boost their fiber content. These fibers are isolated or extracted from a plant or animal source, or they are manufactured.

Although all fiber is healthy, research indicates that fiber from whole foods may aid weight loss the most – likely because those high-fiber foods are also low in calories.

“As a registered dietitian, I always say ‘food first,’” Slavin tells WebMD.
“No one fiber is perfect, so eating a wide variety of fibers is the perfect solution to gain all the health benefits of fiber,” Slavin says. “Not only will you trim your waistline with a high-fiber diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts, but also reduce the risk for heart disease, diabetes, obesity, diverticulitis, and constipation."

Add Fiber Calories Wisely and Slowly

Slowly adding more fiber to your diet can avoid bloating and gas by giving your body time to adapt. It is also important to drink plenty of liquids while increasing fiber.

Try these tips for adding more low-calorie foods to your meal plan to boost fiber while keeping calories in check:

• Eat whole fruits instead of fruit juice.
• Snack on veggies.
• Make vegetables a main course.
• Add a filling vegetable salad instead of a starchy salad as a side dish with meals.
• Enjoy a bowl of vegetable-based broth soup before meals.
• Start the day with a high-fiber cereal topped with fruit and low-fat dairy.
• Eat more beans.
• Make all your grains whole and limit them to a few servings each day.
• Add nuts and seeds to your weight loss plan, but keep the portions small because they are high in fiber and calories.

Experts are quick to point out that fiber alone won’t peel off the pounds. You still need to eat a healthy, calorie-controlled diet and get regular physical activity. But controlling or maintaining your weight is easier with a diet rich in fiber.

High Fiber Foods List for a High Fiber Diet*

Our high fiber foods list for a high fiber diet is vitally important to your health and well being. The healthy foods high in fiber on this list of high fiber foods makes it easy for you to increase the high fiber foods in your diet. Most Americans eat a low fiber diet instead of a high fiber diet. The average is not nearly enough – only about 10 to 13 grams of fiber a day.

For great health, you need 30 to 40 daily grams from fiber rich foods. The high fiber foods list with fiber content below can help reduce your risk of constipation, diverticulosis, hemorrhoids, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, obesity, colon cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Wow!

List of High Fiber Foods with High Fiber Content

To look and feel your very best, choose wisely from our healthy high fiber foods list and eat a high fiber diet of the healthiest fiber rich foods.


Fresh & Dried Fruit Serving Size Fiber (g)
Apples with skin 1 medium 5.0
Apricot 3 medium 1.0
Apricots, dried 4 pieces 2.9
Banana 1 medium 3.9
Blueberries 1 cup 4.2
Cantaloupe, cubes 1 cup 1.3
Figs, dried 2 medium 3.7
Grapefruit 1/2 medium 3.1
Orange, navel 1 medium 3.4
Peach 1 medium 2.0
Peaches, dried 3 pieces 3.2
Pear 1 medium 5.1
Plum 1 medium 1.1
Raisins 1.5 oz box 1.6
Raspberries 1 cup 6.4
Strawberries 1 cup 4.4

Grains, Beans, Nuts & Seeds Serving Size Fiber (g)
Almonds 1 oz 4.2
Black beans, cooked 1 cup 13.9
Bran cereal 1 cup 19.9
Bread, whole wheat 1 slice 2.0
Brown rice, dry 1 cup 7.9
Cashews 1 oz 1.0
Flax seeds 3 Tbsp. 6.9
Garbanzo beans, cooked 1 cup 5.8
Kidney beans, cooked 1 cup 11.6
Lentils, red cooked 1 cup 13.6
Lima beans, cooked 1 cup 8.6
Oats, rolled dry 1 cup 12.0
Quinoa (seeds) dry 1/4 cup 6.2
Quinoa, cooked 1 cup 8.4
Pasta, whole wheat 1 cup 6.3
Peanuts 1 oz 2.3
Pistachio nuts 1 oz 3.1
Pumpkin seeds 1/4 cup 4.1
Soybeans, cooked 1 cup 8.6
Sunflower seeds 1/4 cup 3.0
Walnuts 1 oz 3.1

Vegetables Serving Size Fiber (g)
Avocado (fruit) 1 medium 11.8
Beets, cooked 1 cup 2.8
Beet greens 1 cup 4.2
Bok choy, cooked 1 cup 2.8
Broccoli, cooked 1 cup 4.5
Brussels sprouts, cooked 1 cup 3.6
Cabbage, cooked 1 cup 4.2
Carrot 1 medium 2.6
Carrot, cooked 1 cup 5.2
Cauliflower, cooked 1 cup 3.4
Cole slaw 1 cup 4.0
Collard greens, cooked 1 cup 2.6
Corn, sweet 1 cup 4.6
Green beans 1 cup 4.0
Celery 1 stalk 1.1
Kale, cooked 1 cup 7.2
Onions, raw 1 cup 2.9
Peas, cooked 1 cup 8.8
Peppers, sweet 1 cup 2.6
Pop corn, air-popped 3 cups 3.6
Potato, baked w/ skin 1 medium 4.8
Spinach, cooked 1 cup 4.3
Summer squash, cooked 1 cup 2.5
Sweet potato, cooked 1 medium 4.9
Swiss chard, cooked 1 cup 3.7
Tomato 1 medium 1.0
Winter squash, cooked 1 cup 6.2
Zucchini, cooked 1 cup 2.6

Pray it Off 04/21/2011 The Last Supper

The Last Supper - The Eucharist
The Continuation Of The Last Supper With Jesus*

The Catholic Church traces the origins of the Eucharist to the very actions and words of Jesus Christ Himself as recorded in the three synoptic Gospels, the gospel of Saint John and as described by Saint Paul in the New Testament. The use of bread and wine as an offering begins under the Old Covenant as described in the Book of Genesis:

"And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was priest of God Most High." (Genesis 14:18)

As they began their exodus from Egypt, the Jews ate unleavened bread (Exodus 12:15), made necessary because of their haste to flee, and they continue to this day to honor this occasion with unleavened bread when they celebrate Passover. The last "cup of blessing" at the end of the Passover meal was a cup of wine used to celebrate the fact that God had blessed His chosen people and would bless them again someday in Jerusalem. They ate manna - bread sent from Heaven - as they wandered the desert in search of the Promised Land, finally settling there as God had promised them. After they lost their land because of their continued failure to keep the Commandments of God, they were sent prophets who predicted that a Messiah would be sent by God who would bring them back to their original place of honor before God. He arrived about 2,000 years ago.

Jesus' life began in Beth-Lechem...the House of Bread (Matthew 2:1). His first public miracle was at a wedding party in Cana (John 2:2-5), where He turned water into wine in response to a request by His mother. With the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves (Matthew 14:14-20), as Jesus blessed the loaves of bread and distributed them, He prefigured the superabundance of the unique bread that was to be His Eucharist. After teaching and healing the sick and working other wonders in the hills of the Galilee, Jesus had developed a wide following with many disciples. It was at the synagogue of Capernaum, at the time of the feast of Passover, that Jesus began to unfold the nature of His Eucharist to those who were following Him:

"Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you; for on Him has God the Father set His seal." John 6:27

When His followers asked about the nature of this eternal food, Jesus replied:

"I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst." John 6:35

When they heard this remark, some of His followers began to murmur among themselves since they knew He was just a carpenter, the son of Joseph. How could this man be the bread of life? Yet Jesus persisted as He explained Himself to them:

"I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh." John 6:51

This comment brought outright consternation to a number of those who had followed Him. He was actually telling them that they had to eat His flesh, an unthinkable act. If His words were confusing or misleading them in any way, then He would have corrected their misunderstanding...but He didn't. Instead, He emphasized yet again His meaning when He said:

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him." John 6:53-56

Many of those who heard Jesus say this couldn't accept it despite the fact that He explained and further clarified His statements three times in attempting to address their lack of understanding and their unwillingness to accept His words. He tried again a fourth time to help them comprehend what He was saying:

"It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life." John 6:63

After saying this, many of those who had been following Him chose to stay away. He tried four times to teach them and in the end only a few accepted His teachings. Why didn't they comprehend Jesus, as many still don't comprehend Him after 2,000 years? Probably because they didn't understand that Jesus was the completion of the Passover begun in Egypt over a thousand years earlier. He was the New Covenant, the Promised One - the Messiah - but He didn't fit into the contemporary concept of what the Messiah should be. Passover was commemorated by a meal - a sharing of unleavened bread, lamb and wine - and Jesus had come to give them Himself as the ultimate Bread and Lamb, a meal to be consumed by all who wished to escape from the angel of Death.

During the ritual of the Passover meal, there were four different cups of blessing consumed along with unleavened bread and lamb. The lamb was chosen after it was slain without breaking any of its bones and then cooked and eaten to renew the bond of communion between God and His chosen people. The blood of this lamb, spread across the lintel of each household, was placed there as a sign to the angel of Death to pass over the house so marked and protect each of the first-born who were members of the household. Jesus came to complete the Passover so that all could pass over from death into eternal life. And just as the Jews at the time of Moses had to eat the unleavened bread and the sacrificial lamb to renew their communion with God, so all were being asked to eat the body and drink the blood of God's new lamb (Jesus) to renew their communion with Him and be marked with the sign of eternal life.

Jesus instituted His Eucharist at the Passover meal that was to mark His passing through death into Resurrection and everlasting life. It was in these words that Jesus inaugurated His Eucharist:

"Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is my body."
And He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, saying, "Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."
Matthew 26:26-28


Clearly Jesus said that He was giving His followers His body and blood. It wasn't meant as a symbol as many of His followers at Capernaum would have liked to believe - it was totally Him. But did His disciples really believe that it was Jesus' body and blood? Saint Paul clearly states the beliefs of Jesus' first disciples:

"Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself." 1 Corinthians 11:27-29

Saint Paul was not the only early follower of Jesus who wrote of this belief and practice. Dozens wrote about it in the first few hundred years of the Church's existence. This belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist continues to this day in Catholic worship and mainstream theology. Catholic understanding of Jesus' presence in the Eucharist is different than most other Christian denominations which tend to see the Eucharistic meal as a symbolic remembrance rather than a real and substantial transformation.

I could attempt to explain The Eucharist with cute analogies, but the only way I can explain it is that this is the way Jesus established it, intended it, and gave it to us a gift. At some point you have to stop trying to explain God within the confines of the human mind. Don't you realize that it will drive you crazy trying to figure all of this out? If you require physical evidence or an explanation that would hold up in court, then you cannot say you have faith.

In the Eucharist that Jesus gave us we have a more profound change that takes place. The bread and wine is REALLY changed into Jesus' body and blood. Can we ordinarily tell this with our senses? No. We need something that extends beyond our senses to determine the actual state that exists. That extender of our senses is Faith, a faith and trust in Jesus that believes that if He says it, then even ordinary bread and wine can be changed into His body and blood...and by His words recorded in the Gospels, He clearly says it four different times.

Another misconception is that Catholics repeat the sacrifice of the crucifixion of Jesus by repeating the last supper using his flesh and blood. Jesus was crucified once. The event cannot be repeated. To truly understand it, one must understand that we are participating in a continuation of the Last Supper, not a different event. We believe that Christ is there with us, we are around his table, and he offers us his flesh and blood.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pray it Off 04/21/2011 Right-Sizing by Dr. Ran Anbar

In my experience: Right-sizing works better than losing weight

John Berry / The Post-Standard Dr. Ran Anbar has lost 70 pounds by modifying his diet and working out with Wii Fit in the basement of his Fayetteville home.

By Dr. Ran D. Anbar Guest columnist

How do we react when told we need to lose weight? "I know, but it's too hard," "I should do that sometime," or "I'm not that fat, and it won't hurt me."

And how do we react when our obesity leads to diabetes, hypertension, or heart disease? "I guess my luck ran out," or "Doctor, what can you do to fix the problem?"

All of these reactions have run through my mind at different times of my life. Finally, because of some wisdom gained through my work as a pediatrician, the time came when I learned to react differently, and to accomplish major weight reduction. Here's how:

My personal physician of nearly 15 years held a small green leaf in his hand. "Do you know what this means?"

I stared, bewildered. I looked at my wife sitting next to me. She shrugged. "It's time for you to turn over a new leaf," he announced, flipping the leaf.

Now I understood. My blood sugar was elevated, at 145 milligrams per deciliter. Many experts recommend it be less than 100 mg/dL. My cholesterol was elevated, at 273 mg/dL -- a normal range is below 200 mg/dL -- and I could not tolerate cholesterol-lowering drugs. At 237 pounds, I knew I was obese. My physician, a bright and caring professional, had previously talked to me about the high cholesterol that runs in my family, my weight and my risk of heart disease. Today he provided a diagnosis.

"You have type 2 diabetes," he explained. "In the old days we would tell you to go lose weight, and when you had your first heart attack 10 years later, we would begin treatment. But now we can take care of you immediately with medication.

"If you had surgery to staple your stomach and make it small, you would lose a significant amount of weight, and your diabetes would resolve. But you're not overweight enough to need such an operation. We can give you a sugar-lowering pill, but most of those have the side-effect of causing weight gain. That's why I'll probably prescribe injections."

Wait a minute, I thought. If weight loss can resolve my condition, why would I want to take a medication that would cause me to gain weight? Is that how medical "care" can lock patients into their diagnoses, by implying there is no alternative? Certainly, I did not want injections. So I decided that if weight loss would solve my issue, then I would lose weight. I would turn over a new leaf.

As part of my medical practice, I instruct patients in self-hypnosis. Through this work I have learned about the power of words and suggestions. Thus, rather than working to lose weight, I chose to "right-size." After all, we tend to miss something that has been lost. Instead, I focused on imagining my appearance after right-sizing.

My wife and I became hungrier by restricting our caloric intake, so we made hunger our friend. Since hunger starts with the letter "h," whenever we felt it, we told ourselves we were "happy" or "healthy." Many times, we discussed how we were very, very happy.

I guessed I would need to eat 1,000 fewer calories per day than I had been eating in order to become 60 pounds lighter. Then I came across a calorie calculator from the Mayo Clinic that showed me I needed to eat just 100 fewer calories per day, and I became convinced that right-sizing would be manageable. One hundred calories is found in a couple of cookies, a quarter of a piece of cake, or an 8-ounce soft drink. I felt I could make that kind of change easily.

I set a goal of eating approximately 400 calories per meal, and three snacks of approximately 100 calories each. In order to achieve rapid right-sizing, I chose a total of 1,500 calories per day, significantly below the 2,400 calories per day that I would need to maintain my target weight.

Over a number of weeks I learned to make smarter food choices:

1. I began eating more vegetables instead of bread and pasta when I realized, for example, that ¾ pound of cauliflower contains only 80 calories, which is the same as contained in one slice of bread.

2. I found that pickles curbed my appetite and contain almost no calories.

3. I learned that a "healthy" sandwich wrap (without the other ingredients) contained 150 to 250 calories, so I began to avoid them.

4 I began eating a lot of broiled or baked fish, because a serving typically contains fewer than 200 calories.

5. I discovered that most restaurants will make the caloric value of their foods available on request, which made it easier to pick healthy selections.

6. I learned that a chicken Caesar salad can contain 1,200 calories because of the dressing, and therefore I started asking that the dressing be served on the side.

7. It turned out that even Chinese restaurants would serve many of their dishes with gravy on the side. This allowed me to drizzle dressing or gravy on my food rather than it being soaked in calories. I found that food still tasted good even with a small amount of dressing.

Exercise, also an important part of right-sizing, is not sufficient on its own. During 10 years when I used a treadmill for 30 minutes a day, I remained overweight because I continued to eat too much.

I decided to purchase a Wii,
a gaming console that offers an exercise program called Wii Fit that would weigh me and graph my results. Thus, I was able to track my progress, which was very reinforcing. Also, it was helpful that my wife and I took monthly photographs of ourselves in order to track our progress visually.

Finally, I told several colleagues, friends, and family members that I was on a right-sizing mission, so they were able to encourage me.

My return appointment with my physician took place four weeks later -- and 25 pounds lighter. As I sat in the waiting room, I read a pamphlet from a pharmaceutical company full of good ideas regarding how to control type 2 diabetes. Nowhere did it suggest that diabetes can resolve with a concerted right-sizing effort.

My physician was impressed and asked how I had made such progress. I replied that I decided to take care of myself. He asked why I hadn't decided to lose weight when he had suggested it in the past. I replied I had not previously felt that my weight was responsible for my health problems. I was in a state of denial.

He said, "Well, if you keep this up you will be quite healthy."

"What do you mean 'if'?" I retorted. "I will be healthy 'when' I keep this up."

"That's hypnosis talk, isn't it?" he asked.

"Yes," I replied. "Instead of expressing doubt with an 'if,' you can express confidence and support with a 'when.'"

As my right-sizing continued, I felt energized and had more stamina. I received many compliments and was told that I appeared younger. Some people did not recognize me. People wanted to know what special diet I was using.

I was disheartened by some negative responses. "Are you sick?" was a common question. "Don't lose weight too quickly," and, "Don't become anorexic," were common reactions as well. I wish people realized how harmful such comments can be, because they implicitly suggest something might go very wrong.

After three months I had lost 35 pounds and was still in the "overweight" range, according to medical charts. Nonetheless, I started hearing comments such as, "Stop losing," or "You're too thin." I wondered whether the people making such comments were reflecting discomfort with their own weight. I thought, perhaps in America we are so used to obesity that we may view someone in the normal weight range as too thin. When I verbalized this idea, some people responded emphatically that the normal range was unrealistic. I recognized this as another example of denial.

After four months, at minus 45 pounds, my physician removed the diagnosis of diabetes from my records, since my fasting blood sugar had dropped to below 100 mg/dL. Amazingly, my total cholesterol also had dropped to160 mg/dL.

My physician was pleased and confessed, "I didn't believe you could lose so much weight. You must have amazing willpower." I thought to myself, is it possible that your patients don't right-size, in part, because you don't have an expectation that they can succeed?

When I reached my target weight after six months, some people asked if I was worried about maintaining it. "Of course not," I replied. "I have chosen to weigh this much, and I choose to remain this way."

I had the pleasure of replacing my wardrobe. My waist size decreased from 42 to 33 inches. I shrank into my 20-year-old wedding suit, and then shrank further out of it. My wife had never known me to be as thin as I had become. Much to my consternation I found I needed to replace my shirts as well, since they had become too big around my neck. Even my wedding ring became loose.

Looking at my most recent photographs I decided that I really liked this new leaf. In the past, I never cared about my appearance, which probably was another example of denial. Now I cared and was happy with what I saw.

--Dr. Ran Anbar is an associate professor of pediatrics and director of pediatric pulmonary medicine at Upstate Medical University and president of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis.

PHOTO: John Berry The Post Standard Syracuse NY

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Be Not Afraid by John Michael Talbot

Be Not Afraid by John Michael Talbot

You shall cross the barren desert, but you shall not die of thirst.
You shall wander far in safety though you do not know the way.
You shall speak your words in foreign lands and all will understand.
You shall see the face of God and live.

Be not afraid.
I go before you always.
Come follow me, and
I will give you rest.

Blessed are your poor, for the kingdom shall be theirs.
Blest are you that weep and mourn, for one day you shall laugh.
And if wicked tongues insult and hate you all because of me, blessed, blessed are you!

Be not afraid.
I go before you always.
Come follow me, and
I will give you rest.

Be not afraid.
I go before you always.
Come follow me, and
I will give you rest.

Be not afraid.
I go before you always.
Come follow me, and
I will give you rest.

If you pass through raging waters in the sea, you shall not drown.
If you walk amid the burning flames, you shall not be harmed.
If you stand before the pow'r of hell and death is at your side, know that
I am with you through it all.

Pray it Off 04/14/2011 10 Tips for Starting a Exercise Program

Spring into Shape: 10 Tips for Starting a Fitness/Exercise Program and Keeping Up With It*

By Kristi Patrice Carter

Every single year, people vow to lose those extra pounds and get in shape. For whatever reason, they have high goals and aspirations about starting a fitness/exercise program. Perhaps they want to get in shape for a wedding, or want to look good in a swim suit so that they can hang out at the beach. Whatever reason, they vow to lose those extra pounds or tone up so that they can look and feel better.

The problem however is that by the 4th or 5th week, these same people who have signed up for a new health club membership or bought a new piece of equipment,
will lose motivation and will cease their newfound exercise regimen. In this article, we will teach you 10 tips for starting a fitness/exercise program and keeping up with it.

Set realistic goals.

First of all, you must set realistic goals. Don't try to do too much too soon. If you're someone that absolutely hates exercise then it makes no sense to commit yourself to exercising 2 hours a day. Instead, stick to goals that you can do. For instance, you can set a goal to walk on the treadmill for 15 minutes a day, increasing the time by adding 10 more minutes until you reach 30 minutes a day. Then, when you've maintained that goal for one week then move on to the next goal.

Don't overdo your regimen.

Just like it is important to set realistic goals, it is also important to not overdo it. Do enough to prove that you're capable but not enough to wear yourself out.

Become more active.

Pick three ways that you can become more active. Write them down and visualize yourself accomplishing them. Then, go out and do them. Track your progress and repeat.

Try it for 21 days.

Develop an exercise regimen and give yourself 21 days of wholehearted commitment. According to most researchers, it takes 21 days to form a habit so if you commit yourself to 21 days of a healthier life then it is more likely that you will stick to it. After all, anyone can do something for 21 days. Right? Most certainly.

Don't waste your money.

Don't go out and buy a ton of exercise equipment or join an expensive health club until you've proven that you are committed to your new regimen. Instead, do free or low cost activities and once you're mastered those, you can move on to other paid activities or purchase a club membership.

Enlist a workout partner.

Find someone that shares your workout/fitness goals and enlist their help. Make a plan to get together every few days and work out together. The two of you will motivate one another and help each other succeed.

Choose a fitness program that you enjoy and stay away from those that you don't.

For example, if you hate Yoga but love swimming then join an aquatic class. Research indicates that people are more likely to engage in exercise that they like than those they don't like.

Don't wane.

If you fall off the exercise train then get right back on. Many times people will have one slip up and then say, "Oh well, I slipped up might as well forget it."
Schedule time for your exercise.

Make your fitness/exercise program a part of your everyday life. Don't make failure an option. Instead commit yourself to accomplishing your goal and don't let anything stand in your way of ultimate success.

Enjoy your health journey.

Just like you didn't learn to walk in a day, it will take some time and effort to make your exercise regimen a part of your daily life. Just remember to not give up and to keep at it. In no time at all, you'll be a workout machine. In conclusion, you can start and succeed at a fitness/exercise program. You simply have to set realistic goals, don't overdo your regimen, become more active, try it for 20 days, save your money, list a workout partner, hire a personal trainer, don't give up, schedule time for your exercise, and enjoy your health journey.


The Eight Most Fattening Easter Candies*

Here's exactly what all those Peeps, bunnies and eggs will cost you calorie-wise.

by Sarah Kliff*

You can add Easter to the list of holidays on which Americans are willing to abandon their low-sugar and low-carb diets. In fact, spending on Easter candy increased 5.6 percent between 2006 and 2007. Easter typically ranks as the holiday with the second-highest spending on candy, right behind Halloween. If these trends continue, an excess of bunnies and eggs is likely right around the corner. But not all of these treats are equal when it comes to nutrition. Here's where eight of the most popular Easter candies land on the calorie scale. They range from a demure 130 to a whopping 1,050 calories. (For the scary truth about Halloween treats, check out the 8 Most Fattening Foods of Fall.)

1. Peeps. A few of these fluffy, sugar-filled treats can add up quickly. Go through a row of four bunnies
and you're at 130 calories. Peeps are fat-free but do weigh in heavy on the carb count--each little rabbit has 8 grams of sugar alone, adding up to 32 grams in a serving of four.

2. Jelly Beans. These can be your worst foe or your best friend in the Easter basket, depending on how many you eat. Each individual bean is pretty low in calorie count, with usually around 5 or 6 calories, but munching through a handful or worse, an entire bagful, of Jelly Bellys adds up quickly. The recommended 35-bean serving comes in at 140 calories from 37 grams of sugar. To avoid jelly-bean overdose, it's probably best to grab a handful and then keep the Easter basket out of reach.

3. Cadbury Chocolate Eggs. These eggs may look tiny, but their calorie count is anything but. A handful of 12 eggs comes with 190 calories and 8 grams of fat. You might want to skip over these high-cal eggs if you come across them on the hunt.

4. Cadbury Creme Egg. It's possibly the quintessential Easter treat, but most people won't be surprised to find out that the creamy egg packs in the calories. The 1.2-ounce egg comes with 150 calories, 5 grams of fat and 25 grams of carbs. If you're looking for an excuse to indulge, there is a slight silver lining: the tasty milk chocolate comes with 40mg of calcium, which is about 5 percent of the recommended daily value.

5. Reese's Peanut Butter Egg. This egg slightly edges out its creme-filled rival in the unhealthy Easter-egg competition. All three varieties of the Reese's egg--milk chocolate, fudge and white chocolate--have a calorie count of 180. The fat content weighs in around 10 grams, double that of the Cadbury Creme Egg, with the white-chocolate egg the worst, at 11 grams. Stick to the traditional Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, which, though it lacks the festive Easter element, has nearly half the calories of its egg-shaped relatives.

6. Lindt Chocolate Carrots. In a sea of eggs and bunnies, chocolate carrots are one of the more unusual Easter candy options--Lindt only started offering them seven years ago. Sadly, they have little nutritional value in common with their vegetable counterparts: a box of four carrot-shaped chocolates has 210 calories.

7. Hershey's Hollow Milk Chocolate Egg. This might come as the biggest surprise: one hollow Hershey's egg (4.65 ounces) has more than three times as many calories as the Cadbury Creme Egg. The shell alone has 570 calories. Start munching on the four Hershey's kisses included inside and you're up to a whooping 660 calories and 41 grams of fat. This may be one of the few Easter offerings that makes a Reese's Peanut Butter Egg look like health food.

8. Large Chocolate Bunny. Not surprisingly, the bunny reigns as king when it comes to Easter calories. But the calorie count may still raise a few eyebrows: the average seven-ounce rabbit clocks an impressive 1,050 calories. Smaller bunnies are better--rabbits of the one-ounce variety only rack up 140 calories.



Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pray It Off 04/14/2011 10 Fears That Sap Your Motivation to Lose Weight

10 Fears That Sap Your Motivation To Lose Weight*

Why is it so hard to motivate yourself to lose weight? I’ve been thinking about the reasons why this can be so hard after going through my own times of strong motivation where nothing could veer me from my path (even during those times of slow weight loss after you’ve been at it for a few months), as well as times of low motivation.

So why is it so darned hard to get yourself motivated to lose weight? It’s not like we’re talking about doing a short-term diet to lose weight but instead want to take action to make some healthy lifestyle changes. This simply means that you live daily life in a healthy manner, which is likely different from how you live now if you are overweight.

Since we aren’t dieting, we’re in it for the long haul. You don’t have to make a lot of changes up front if you don’t want to, but could instead make gradual lifestyle changes, incorporating a new change each week or each month. If you don’t exercise currently, you could start out by walking every day for 15 minutes. Or if you drink soda all day, a lifestyle change would be to cut back to one a day replacing the rest with water until you have replaced all sodas with water every day.

Therefore, if we aren’t making huge lifestyle changes up front (unless that’s what you want to do and you can stick with it), why is it so hard to find that motivation to get moving and change?

I think the main reason is fear. Fear, fear, fear. Fear of what you ask? How can you be afraid of losing weight when that’s all you ever think about and say that you want? Well, I think that there are many fears that can get in the way of your motivation to lose weight, fears that you might not even realize are there.

Here’s a list of 10 fears that could be holding you back from losing weight:

• Fear of Change:

Right now if you are overweight you are living an unhealthy lifestyle. If you are going to lose weight and keep it off, this will take changing how you currently live. Many people are afraid of change, afraid of the unknown. The thing is though that change is always happening, we can’t stop it, and it’s all around us. Change is a part of life. Also, if you don’t change your lifestyle to a healthy one, your body will change anyway; unfortunately, these changes will most likely be negative and could limit your life greatly.

Fear of change holds many people back from growing and evolving in their lives. If a fear of change is keeping you stuck and unmotivated to lose weight, here’s a solution: Get out a piece of paper and list all of the changes that you see yourself making to your lifestyle followed by the positive gains those changes will bring you. Here’s a couple of examples:

• Changing to whole foods instead of processed – more energy, clearer skin, weight loss.

• Changing your portion sizes – weight loss, taking control of your eating habits.

• Changing clothing sizes – trying out new clothing styles, looking better in what you

• Changing how you move and exercise – having greater mobility and flexibility.

• Changing your schedule to accommodate cooking and exercise – feeling good about making yourself a priority.

List as many gains as you can think of and when you think you’re done, write one more. Change makes life exciting and if you want to lose weight, that unhealthy lifestyle that you’re currently leading will need to change! When you focus on all of the gains that you will receive by making healthy lifestyle changes, you will really ramp up your weight loss motivation!

• Fear of Not Being Able to Follow Through

If you don’t have experience in what you’re about to undertake you might fear if you’re going to be able to handle it. If you’ve never had a regular exercise schedule you might fear how that is going to fit into your busy, daily schedule.
If you’ve never eaten a diet consisting of healthy, whole foods you might fear how you’re going to manage that. How will you shop for these foods? How will you cook them? Where will you find the time?

If you fear that you won’t be able to follow through with the actions needed to reach your weight loss goals, break it down into baby steps. After you write down your long term goals break them down into monthly, weekly, and daily goals. Focus on what you need to do to prepare yourself for the week ahead (plan out all of your meals and portions), do what you need to do (cook up some healthy, whole food recipes), and then just focus on each day, one at a time. If you just stick to your meal plans each day the weight will take care of itself, providing you are following a healthy eating plan.

You can go through the same process and take baby steps with your exercise goals. After all, it’s been all of those days of, “I’ll start eating better and exercising tomorrow” that have added up and gotten you where you are today, so let’s make a change now!

• Fear of The Good Life, a.k.a. Fear of Success

Yes, there is such a thing as fear of having a better life. If you’ve been living a particularly unhealthy lifestyle for years and years, you at least know what to expect. You know how people react to you, and even if you aren’t happy with that or how you feel, you know (or think you know) what each day will bring. What if you lost weight, had a lot of energy, and began to feel better about yourself? How would you act, how would other people act towards you? Will you get a lot of attention? Even if it’s positive attention, what will you say? If you’re not use to compliments, what if someone compliments you?

If you fear success, you’ll want to get to the bottom of why you don’t feel you deserve to be thin, fit, and healthy. Affirmations and mirror work can help you increase your belief that you do deserve to succeed in your goals of weight loss and fitness, and you could start with the simple affirmation, “I deserve all good”. When you believe that you do deserve optimum health and fitness, the lid on your motivation will be lifted and you will be able to surge ahead and go for your goals.

• Fear of Failure

Whenever you undertake something new it’s common to be afraid that you might fail. Maybe you’ve tried to lose weight before but never learned how to eat healthy and exercise productively, but instead were trying crash diets that never lasted, and therefore failed. Maybe you’re afraid that you won’t be able to keep it up, that you’ll change for a while but end up going back to how you used to be. You could be afraid to try for the first time, or afraid to try again.

Here’s a question you can ask yourself if you’re afraid to fail: what does it mean to fail at weight loss? Does it mean that you don’t lose weight every week, or that you give up on yourself? I think that the only way you can truly fail is if you give up and say, “to heck with it, I’m going to eat anything I want, who cares about exercise, and I’m not even going to weigh myself ever again. I’ll just buy bigger and bigger clothes!”

If you don’t give up on yourself you cannot fail. You might need to revise your game plan if you’re not getting good results and you might even backslide sometimes, but as long as you don’t throw in the towel, you cannot fail. So ask yourself this: “What happens if I fail?” Here’s the answer: You get right back up, re-commit yourself, evaluate what is working for you and what isn’t, and forge ahead. Just don’t ever quit on yourself!

• Fear of Giving Up your Best Friend

If using food is your lifestyle and you’ve made it your best friend, lover, and your confidant, then you’re very likely afraid to give that up. The fear could be intensified if you are also addicted to sugar, salt, fat, fried foods, certain textures of foods, or even dairy. You eat these foods because they make your feel better, so the thought of giving up your best friend can be scary. How will you feel? Won’t you feel just awful if you can’t get your high, if you can’t turn to food for comfort? You might even fear that your life will be boring if food is where you’ve been getting your excitement, love, happiness, or joy.

I believe that this fear in one form or another is at the core of many overeating issues. What I propose is replacing the food with productive tools to replace the behavior of using food for fun, entertainment, emotions, and as a crutch. Journaling is the best tool I can suggest: journaling your emotions, those same emotions that you would ignore before and eat over instead. Another behavior change is to replace food with other activities; sounds simple but it takes action.

Now I don’t mean that you shouldn’t eat when you’re hungry, but instead of reaching for the cookie because you’re upset, go for a walk or call a friend. Professional therapy can also be a huge benefit in helping your through sort through these issues.

Moving away from abusing food needs to become a part of your life if you want to not only lose weight, but also keep it off. I know that this is not an easy task; it’s something that I’ve struggled with for most of my life, too. Also, you cannot expect that you will heal your issues with food overnight, but given time, you can let that “best friend” go and see food as what it really is: fuel for the body.

• Fear of Being Different

Part of your unhealthy lifestyle might involve regular social activities that are focused around eating. Maybe you have a group of friends who meet every Friday at Chili’s, or maybe you get together every Sunday for a family barbecue or a down-home cooked meal. If your lifestyle includes many other people who are also living unhealthy lifestyles, you might fear being singled out for the changes that you’re making. How will you fit in if the social focus has always been on food? How will you be able to resist those fried creations offered at each gathering and be different, resisting those sugary sweet desserts, all of that food that saps your energy and has helped you become overweight?

If you’re afraid of being different from your family and friends, I hope that a heart to heart talk with them will take care of that fear. Hopefully they will be supportive of you and your goals, and you might even find some new lifestyle and weight loss buddies, which would be the best! However, if any of your friends try to discourage you from making healthy changes, you just might need to keep them at arm’s length. This is more difficult when it comes to your family, but if you are strong and committed in your goals of health and fitness, it won’t affect you as much as you may think. Also, you might find that others really don’t notice what you’re doing (i.e.: eating healthier) as much as you think they would.

Therefore, perhaps this isn’t so much about a fear of being different, but more about being strong in your own resolve and doing what is best for your own health and fitness. No one else can take care of you like you can!

• Fear of Losing Friends

This fear ties into the previous fear of being different. What if your current friends don’t want to get together to go for a walk instead of eat? What if they put you down for the positive changes you are making because they are afraid to make their own changes? Will they drop you because you’re not like them anymore? If you change your lifestyle and get healthy and fit, does it mean that you will have to find some new friends? That could be scary. So many fears can come up around this area; it’s worth taking a look at.

This fear can be closely related to the fear of being different, because if by being different you are living a different and healthier lifestyle than your current friends, you might fear that you won’t have anything in common anymore and that you will lose them. Especially if the main event of your social gatherings is centered on food, you could expect a shift in the dynamic of your friendships.

One way of looking at this fear is to firm up your life’s priorities so that you can move past the fear and allow yourself to feel that motivation (and take action!) to lose weight and get fit. In my opinion, your health should be your top priority because if you’re not well, you’re not able to be there for anyone else; not for your friends, family, co-workers, not anyone. Putting your health first isn’t being selfish, it’s a way of loving yourself. If your friends don’t support you in this and act threatened by the changes you are making, it might be that you will need to seek out new social groups.

On the other hand, it just may be that this fear is more of an excuse that you’re using to keep from getting on the healthy track and once you start making those changes (and even suggest that you meet up with friends for a walk or any activity that isn’t food focused), you could find that your friends fully support you and even get on a healthier track themselves. You don’t know though, until you take charge of your own health and set your goals and priorities in your life.

• Fear of Eating Food you Don’t Like

If you have a diet mentality you just might think that you have to struggle to lose weight, which includes eating strange foods that you don’t like. There are many crash diets out there that promise that, “if you only eat x and y, you will lose weight”. Maybe you’ve done this before, even though you couldn’t stand x and y. Now you’re trying to motivate yourself to change but you’re afraid that your life will be horrible because the only way to lose weight is to eat foods that taste bad. If this were true, it would be a scary proposition for anyone!

This fear is very easy to overcome; it just takes willingness to open your mind to change and try some new things. If you fear that the only way you can lose weight and get healthy and fit is by eating a bunch of foods that taste awful, I can understand why you would not be motivated to lose weight! Also, even though you’re probably not eating the healthiest of foods in your daily diet currently, I bet you like their taste.

What you can do is get out a piece of paper and list all of the whole foods that you do enjoy. If it’s been a long time since you’ve eaten anything that isn’t boxed, frozen, or pre-made, this could take a while, but maybe not. It just depends on what you eat right now. You might come up with a short list (i.e.: carrots, whole grain rice, chicken breast, red peppers), or if you’re lucky, it’s very extensive.

If your list isn’t very long, this is where being open trying new things comes into play. If you want to get off the processed foods and on to a healthy diet of whole foods, many of which you cook up at home into healthy meals, you may end up trying foods you never have before, or that you haven’t eaten for a long time. I think it’s important to give new foods a try (the last one I tried was a star fruit – I didn’t like it), but even more important is that if you don’t like it, don’t include it in your meals.

The quickest way to turn yourself off from eating healthy is by forcing yourself to eat foods you don’t like because someone told you that they would help you lose weight. Be open to trying new foods, include lots of whole foods that you do like, and let the ones go that you don’t.

One thing to remember on this: the longer you are eating clean and off of the preservatives, additives, refined sugars, unhealthy fats, and excess sodium, the more your tastes will change. You’d be surprised how good plain steamed broccoli and cauliflower tastes when you’re eating clean, but if you’re eating a lot of junk foods, the plain steamed veggies taste pretty bland. That’s been my experience, but I’ve also heard this many times before from others.

• Fear of Always Being Hungry

Even with the wealth of information available that tells you that you must eat to lose weight (not eating slows your metabolism and causes your body to store the little you do eat), many people have been misinformed and think that to lose weight you must stop eating. That’s a scary prospect, thinking that you’ll be uncomfortable and suffer hunger pangs all day. Anyone who has this fear wouldn’t have much motivation to change.

Another common misconception is that you must eat very little (and starve!) to lose weight. This is so untrue, and this unhealthy dieting (this really is dieting) is a good way to mess up your metabolism and grind it to a halt. Consequently, after you stop eating (or not eating, LOL!) this way and you return to your old habits of overeating, the weight can pile back on quicker than you can blink. It’s because the fire of your metabolism is out and it’s not burning the food for fuel that you’re now putting into your body in abundance.

Now, it is true that there is a big difference between being stuffed, satisfying your hunger, being hungry, and feeling like you’re starving. If you normally eat when you aren’t hungry and overeat beyond the point of being full, when you begin to limit your portions and eat whole foods, you’re probably going to feel hungry when it’s time for your next meal or snack. If you can’t remember the last time you felt hungry, you might think you’re “starving”. If you don’t eat all day (for over 8 hours for example) then yes, you probably are “starving”, but if it’s been 2 hours and you’re eating sensible portions, you’re most likely feeling hungry.

You do not need to be constantly hungry in order to lose weight. You actually need to eat to lose weight, and it’s also important to drink plenty of water (at least 100 oz. a day). Thirst is often confused with hunger but water is also vital to maintaining good health.

• Fear of Cost

It’s an unfortunate fact that the non-nutritious, fat and sugar-filled, fried, tasty convenience foods often cost less than nutritious, healthy, whole foods. Not always (I find that I spend more on food when I’m eating unhealthy), but this could be a fear of yours. It’s a subject that I’ve come across more than once, but it does need some detailed study and comparison of facts (i.e.: Little Debbie’s are cheap, but Stouffer’s, Lean Cuisine, and other pre-packaged unhealthy fare is not). Either way, money is a touchy subject with many people, and quite often is a subject filled to the gills with fear. Add your money fears to the thought that you’ll spend more on healthy fare, and you’ve got another fear that can squash your motivation to lose weight.

Here’s an easy way to overcome this fear if it’s holding you back from getting off those processed and junk foods and onto a healthy diet of whole foods: keep a daily diary of all of the money you spend on every food item you buy. Do this for one month. Include the coffees, Cokes, drive-throughs, groceries, snacks, everything. Now the next part you’ll need to take on faith, but if you can push through this fear and make the leap to clean eating, keep the same daily diary of the money you spend on food. Right away you’ll see the drop-off of the coffee (unless you like to buy black coffees without the foam, sugar, caramel and chocolate syrups, etc.), the fast food, and snacks. Do this for a month and see what you come up with.

My experience has been that when I first changed to clean eating, I spent some money up front. On what? Spices. Since I dumped the salt and sugar, I learned to cook with spices and herbs, but they aren’t cheap. The thing is, once I had my supply, I didn’t buy them again for at least another 3-6 months at the earliest. Besides the spices though, I found that I was spending much less on whole foods. A large part of the reason is because of not eating as much food, and also because I shop at Costco for many of my food items.

One other part of my experience is that I don’t buy everything organic. I know that this is the preferred way to go but this is the truth of the matter for me currently. If you do, then you will be spending a little more on organic whole foods, but you know what? How much less are you spending on all of those medications that could be prescribed for all of the medical ailments that result from obesity and inactivity? How often do you get sick when you’re eating clean compared to when you’re filling up on the gunk in processed foods?

While there can be some truth to the cost difference between eating healthy and eating junk foods, you could ask yourself if you’re just using this as an excuse to stay where you’re at. If you are, that’s OK because you’re being truthful with yourself and now cost is no longer an excuse, but if you’re not using cost as an excuse to change and get fit, then look at how much you’re saving in your quality of life and life experience by giving your body the optimum, premium fuel to run on.

There are really a myriad of fears that could be running around in your head, holding you back from losing weight and getting healthy and fit. Your job is to identify them and learn whether or not they are rational or irrational fears. Just like with any process of self-improvement, you are the one who has the answers to this since no one knows what you think and feel better than you do.

This article is meant to be an exploration of the fears that could be tamping down your motivation to move forward, change your lifestyle, and lose weight. It’s meant to get you thinking about where you’re at if you’re struggling with your weight loss motivation today.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pray it Off 04/14/2011 The Right Questions to Guide You to an Extraordinary Life

The Right Questions By Debbie Ford: Ten Essential Questions to Guide You to an Extraordinary Life*By Kathy Lindberg


• Our day-to-day lives are the result of our past decisions.
• Looking at the choices we make leads to a better understanding of how we created our present reality
• We make many choices everyday, but do we make them wisely?

As Debbie Ford points out, "It is easy to forget that the circumstances of our day-to-day lives are the result of the decisions we made yesterday, last month, last year…" It's not always easy to admit that we create our life circumstances because of the choices we make.
But the good news is, we can create the life we want if we are willing to look at those choices and ask the ten essential questions that Ford lays out in this book. By asking the right questions we are able to uncover our true motivations and move towards creating the destiny we truly want.

1. Will This Choice Propel Me Toward an Inspiring Future or Will It Keep Me Stuck in the Past?

Do you realize that every choice you make either leads you towards a fulfilling future or towards a limiting past? Making choices towards your true passions energizes and excites you, propelling you through your days. However, choosing from fear keeps you tied to the past. Clinging to the familiar often breeds a fear that your dreams won't really come true and fear will keep you from moving forward.

2. Will This Choice Bring Me Long-Term Fulfillment or Will It Bring Me Short-Term Gratification?

Do you long to create an inspiring future? I think most of us do, but get sidetracked by everyday commitments and chores. By asking yourself this question before choosing what to spend your time doing, you are able to recognize choices that will keep you on the path of your dreams vs. those that will distract your from that path.

3. Am I Standing in My Power or Am I Trying to Please Another?

Each and every one of us has an innate ability to know what is in our highest and best interest. However, we often don't trust or recognize that knowledge. The result, we give our power away to others and let them decide what is best for us.

4. Am I Looking for What is Right or Am I Looking for What is Wrong?

This powerful question has the ability to change a moment of despair to a moment of great delight. Being able to see the good in every situation and every person allows us to be open to life's gifts. As well, we feel strong and worthy as opposed to feeling wrong and bad when looking for what's wrong in any situation or person.

5. Will This Choice Add to My Life Force or Will It Rob Me of My Energy?
Life without our life force is no life at all. It is this force that is the vital energy, life breath, of us as human beings. By making choices, that nurture this energy we are choosing life, we are choosing to move forward rather than choosing to constrict and die.

6. Will I Use This Situation as a Catalyst to Grow and Evolve or Will I Use It to Beat Myself Up?

Hardship is a part of life and we have all experienced it. But it is how we choose to view such hardships that either move us forward or keep us stuck. Turning emotional wounds into opportunities for greater understanding and growth is central to this important question.

7. Does This Choice Empower Me or Does It Disempower Me?

Empowerment leads to deep inner knowing. One feels strong and alive and moves boldly through life. Empowerment opens us to higher levels of consciousness and states where pure love is endless. Making choices that disempower you, however leaves you feeling insecure and fearful. Which type of choice will move you towards the realization of your dreams?

8. Is This an Act of Self-Love or Is It an Act of Self-Sabatoge?

Self-love may be one of the most difficult tasks we have as humans. When we allow ourselves to love and respect ourselves we have peace of mind, balance and tranquility. We also have the confidence to ask for what we want out of life. Choosing self-love allows us to claim our greatness and make choices you feel good about.

9. Is This an Act of Faith or Is It an Act of Fear?

Every choice is either one of faith or one of fear. Faith based choices open doors to our future. We are able to view the world from a higher perspective and trust in things we cannot see, feel, or know. Choosing from a place of fear, on the other hand, keeps us rooted in the past. We become trapped and repeat old patterns and the danger of missed opportunities is abundant. We are stuck.

10. Am I Choosing from My Divinity or Am I Choosing from My Humanity?

Simply put, can my choices lift me out of my smallness as an individual into a place where you have the wisdom and power to transcend any human struggle?

This book is a quick yet powerful read. Ford's use of case study examples from everyday life and her own coaching career quickly engage the reader into a deeply powerful understanding of our choices and how they can either propel us toward a rewarding and fulfilling future, or keep us bound to stagnant past.