Green Mountain at Fox Run http://www.fitwoman.com Women's Weight Loss Spa Retreat for Healthy Living Fri, 28 Nov 2014 14:00:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.3 Calorie Counting on Menus: Are we headed in the right direction? http://www.fitwoman.com/blog/2014/11/28/calorie-counting-menus-headed-right-direction/ http://www.fitwoman.com/blog/2014/11/28/calorie-counting-menus-headed-right-direction/#comments Fri, 28 Nov 2014 14:00:52 +0000 http://www.fitwoman.com/?p=29369 FDA: Some Restaurants Must List Calories On Menus Last Tuesday I began my morning with my typical commute to work…heading down the road with the heat on, coffee mug in hand, listening to NPR Morning Edition when Allison Aubrey informed me that today The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will release new rules that will require restaurants with 20 or more locations […] Read more »

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FDA: Some Restaurants Must List Calories On Menus

menu restaurants calorie countLast Tuesday I began my morning with my typical commute to work…heading down the road with the heat on, coffee mug in hand, listening to NPR Morning Edition when Allison Aubrey informed me that today The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will release new rules that will require restaurants with 20 or more locations to begin posting calorie information on their menus.

My reaction…alas! Another attempt to divert our attention away from the more relevant issue.

Focusing On Calories Isn’t The Answer

Hey guys, remember the decade we all spent going fat free only to recognize that the refined sugar that replaced that naturally occurring fat may have had a greater detriment on our health?  It seems time and time again we struggle to recognize that isolating and demonizing one component of food (fat grams, carbohydrate content, and now total number of calories per serving) isn’t the answer.

Once I arrived at work I had a quick conversation with someone over coffee.  I began to voice my dismay over the recent FDA regulations when she swiftly expressed her enthusiasm.  She, like the National Restaurant Association, saw it as a good thing.

In fact, the National Restaurant Association issued a statement saying that it strongly believes in the importance of providing nutrition information to us consumers.  Here’s how they put it: consumers will now “have a new tool to help them make choices that are right for them.”

A new tool?  Really!?

Calorie Counting On Menus May Mislead

I’ve worked with women who have mastered the art of calorie counting.  And they’ve done it for decades.  Women who create Excel files to track them, those that can count to 1,200 every single day all in their heads and still have mental energy to help their kids with math homework at night.

Nowadays there are apps on our phones, hundreds to choose from, that help us track our daily calorie consumption.  We have calorie counting simplified by tracking points all based on the same type of formula using the same unit of measure, the calorie.  Sorry, but this isn’t what I would consider a “new tool”.

“Don’t bother counting calories: It’s the type of food that matters”

Once I got to my desk I was delighted to find an email from a colleague that provided a link to a recent study with the headline “Don’t bother counting calories: It’s the type of food that matters”.  Thank you Marsha!

I immediately hit the link in hopes that it would shift me out of the negativity I was experiencing after hearing this morning’s news headline.  And it worked.  A doctor by the name of Sean Lucan is doing some fantastic work at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx and he says that focusing on calories alone may “mislead and harm public health”.

He recently published a wonderful commentary in the journal Public Health Nutrition that defends his position quite nicely.  Here it is for those interested How calorie-focused thinking about obesity and related diseases may mislead and harm public health. 

The Alternative To Calorie Counting

So what’s the alternative to calorie counting?

It’s time that we rise above determining the health of our food according to what it doesn’t contain or what it has less of (calories for instance). Wouldn’t it be worth our while to shift gears and begin selecting our food according to what it DOES contain and not what it DOESN’T?

Read This Related Article:
When Counting Calories Doesn’t Work
Here’s the thing: We’ve got an entire year to prove it to the FDA that we don’t want just another tool.  These new rules won’t take effect until a year from now and in the meantime it is likely that the FDA will face legal and political challenges from the food industry (and maybe even from us, the consumers!!).

So how’s this for a shift to the paradigm, as you go through your day after Thanksgiving, when you plan your holiday buffet tables, when you stop at restaurants to grab a bite, and when you do your shopping for your meals at home…select your food based on the overall nutritional worth.

Think WHOLE For Healthy Eating

Don’t just isolate one component of your food that forces you to think quantitatively about it rather than qualitatively, or in other words, think WHOLE about it.  Whole in a nutritional sense, yes, but also whole in the sense of the other roles food plays in your life. You know what foods support your health and happiness without having another tool.  So use your intuitive wisdom.

This is my wish for the New Year — that we as a nation can increase the quality of the food we eat by focusing on the worth of our food.  And I’m not sure that the FDA, the food industry or public health campaigns are going to make that happen for us.  It’s each consumer, each individual, each of us, choosing to change the tools we use in order to change direction of how we eat our food.

Have you tried to count calories? Share your experience.


Learn More Our Nutrition And Eating Behaviors

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To Our U.S. Friends: Have a Happy Thanksgiving! http://www.fitwoman.com/blog/2014/11/27/have-happy-thanksgiving/ http://www.fitwoman.com/blog/2014/11/27/have-happy-thanksgiving/#comments Thu, 27 Nov 2014 14:00:00 +0000 http://www.fitwoman.com/?p=29286       To all our friends in the U.S., have a wonderful day. If you feel conflicted at all about Thanksgiving Day meals, check out our post on Thanksgivings past and present, to see how mindful eating can help you truly enjoy the pleasures of the day.  

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To all our friends in the U.S., have a wonderful day. If you feel conflicted at all about Thanksgiving Day meals, check out our post on Thanksgivings past and present, to see how mindful eating can help you truly enjoy the pleasures of the day.

 

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Beyond the Scale: What Does Feeling Better Weigh? http://www.fitwoman.com/blog/2014/11/26/beyond-scale-feeling-better-weigh/ http://www.fitwoman.com/blog/2014/11/26/beyond-scale-feeling-better-weigh/#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 14:00:42 +0000 http://www.fitwoman.com/?p=29271 Beth is back with a new and big realization that is taking her much further than a scale could ever measure. Healthy Eating and Exercise It seems so simple, right? Eat healthy food in a mindful way and exercise. That’s it. How hard is that? I mean, I’ve always eaten pretty good food and I exercised sometimes and didn’t always […] Read more »

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Beth is back with a new and big realization that is taking her much further than a scale could ever measure.

Healthy Eating and Exercise

It seems so simple, right? Eat healthy food in a mindful way and exercise. That’s it.

How hard is that? I mean, I’ve always eaten pretty good food and I exercised sometimes and didn’t always stand at the sink to wolf down a meal. So why does the Green Mountain philosophy seem so radical to me?

The Concept Of Making A Permanent Life-Change

beyond the scale - what does feeling better weighI’ve been thinking about that question for the last few weeks and I’m wondering if it’s not the holistic concept of a permanent life-change. A subtle difference, I suppose, but an important one.

Take any of the prescribed advice for a healthier lifestyle that was offered at Green Mountain as a “stand-alone” and it’s still a good thing, without a doubt — eating more healthy food is always a great idea, and exercising when you can is equally beneficial.

But it’s the piece-meal approach that has failed me in the past. It’s the “extra effort” attitude. As in, today I will do something extra for myself — eat a healthy salad, take a walk around the block.

Healthy Changes: From “Extras” To Cemented Behaviors

No, I think the secret is in understanding the value of the Green Mountain philosophy when adopted as a whole, as a complete lifestyle change. Instead of feeling like I need to add something special to my established lifestyle, I’m working on incorporating these changes into my foundational approach – to make it the base of my relationship to health and food and not an “add-on”.

Okay, so the focus is on incorporating healthy changes — practicing them until they are no longer “extras” but cemented behaviors. In my attempt to alter my outlook on food and eating, though, it has been helpful to also see that the journey is better served by realizing that these behaviors are interconnected. By adopting one or two, I might certainly achieve greater health but to look at the program as an interconnected, inter-dependent philosophy, the outcome is exponentially greater.

Going “All In” For Greater Health

I guess what I’m trying to say is that, for me, I can’t do the “add-on” mindset anymore. It’s not working for me. And, more importantly, I need to rely on a total approach to maximize the success of any one component.

Read This Related Article:
Why the Scale Sucks: A Cautionary Tale
This all-in idea came to me as I walked by my scale for the umpteenth time since I returned from Green Mountain 6 weeks ago. I’ve jumped on it a few times but have abandoned my old daily morning ritual which included going to the bathroom first, getting naked, breathing out so that the scale didn’t register the air in my lungs, holding my breath and stepping on. Then, when the thing wavered a half pound at the end, I had to do it all over again in an effort to get the lower weight.

Gross, right? Yet, that’s how much it mattered.

Losing My Weight Worries

Now, I don’t need to see that number every day because it doesn’t matter to me. I feel good and I feel like I’m doing what I need to, so much so that a number is not going to validate my efforts.

So, where did this light-bulb realization come from? From the interconnectedness of the program – it’s like this:

  • If there are no bad foods than there can be no diet mentality.
  • If there’s no diet mentality, then there’s no deprivation.
  • If there’s no deprivation, then there’s no self-flagellation for “cheating” and there’s no number goal by which to measure my success. There’s only health! And that is easily measured by how I move and feel, both physically and mentally.

So if you’re reading to the end to see how much weight I’ve lost in 6 weeks, go back and read the middle again! I feel better in my skin and in my head – what number is that on the scale?


Healthy Weight Week: It’s Not About A Number

 

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If you could change one thing about your body, what would it be? http://www.fitwoman.com/blog/2014/11/25/change-one-thing-body/ http://www.fitwoman.com/blog/2014/11/25/change-one-thing-body/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 14:00:05 +0000 http://www.fitwoman.com/?p=29261 Today’s post introduces our new Nutrition Leader, June Lupiani, RD. June comes to Green Mountain with a deep and compassionate understanding of the issues facing women in eating supportively. And extensive experience in how to help them overcome those issues. She shares some of the basics in this post. Loaded question, I know.  So before you dig too deep, take a […] Read more »

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Today’s post introduces our new Nutrition Leader, June Lupiani, RD. June comes to Green Mountain with a deep and compassionate understanding of the issues facing women in eating supportively. And extensive experience in how to help them overcome those issues. She shares some of the basics in this post.

Loaded question, I know.  So before you dig too deep, take a minute and watch this great short brought to you by the not-for-profit, the Jubilee Project.  It’s called “50 People 1 Question.”

Watch Video: 50 People 1 Question

When It Comes To Body Image, Kids Get It

The way I see it, this is a great PSA that reminds us that everything we really need to know in life, we can learn from children.  Another humbling example of how many of us had life figured out by the end of primary school.

It gets me thinking of how often kids really do get it when it comes to things like self awareness and body image.  When I think about kids and self awareness, I think hunger is a great example.  Kids are so much more tuned in on this stuff, right?  Check out this list I created based on the way kids typically eat. (By the way, it’s also the approach we take with eating here at Green Mountain which is pretty interesting.)

What Kids Know About Healthy Eating

Kids eat when they’re hungry.

  • Try this, get in tune with your body.  This certainly takes some letting go of external cues or rules we typically pick up after primary school somewhere around the time of our first diet.  Rules that we have been following for a long time so go easy on yourself if you experience resistance on this one.

Kids eat until they’re satisfied.

  • Hmmm…notice how I didn’t use the word full here.  What does eating to the point of satisfaction feel like to you?  Is it different than feeling full?  Probably sometimes, maybe not all the time.
  • On the other side of the same coin, do you stop eating before you feel satisfied because you think you should?  If so, is this helping you out long term as in later that day or week?

Kids eat what they want based on what they like.

  • We’re human therefore we have deeper and richer reasons for eating beyond physiological need.  Honor that.

Kids don’t clean their plates…even if they have to sit there all night long.kids know about healthy eating

  • If you recognize satiation, go with it.  If you’ve been conditioned to eat everything on your plate, try something new.  It takes time and effort but observing satiety and using it to guide you can be a pretty great tool.

Kids trust their bodies.

  • Trust things like hunger and satiety.  Hard at first, sure.  Especially so if you’ve been putting so much faith into all that external wisdom we’ve gathered up through the years.  Again think of a kid on this one, they are typically so driven by internal cues that they refuse to be influenced by external expectations.

So maybe today try and eat like a kid.

See how you feel.  And maybe later work on that mermaid tail.

Have a great week!


Learn More Our Behavior and Emotional Health Program

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