Clean-Eating Diet

In the past few months, a new diet has arisen, known as the “clean-eating” or “eat-clean” diet. Pins on Pinterest and articles in magazines can be found on this new lifestyle that consists of exercise and a diet of unprocessed, whole foods. These foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and whole grains. This type of clean-eating avoids foods with preservatives, sugars, trans and saturated fats, as well as artificial and chemically altered ingredients.

According to a diagram found on eatcleandiet.com, the formula for “body beautiful, body healthy” relies on 80 percent of one’s food/diet, and 10 percent each of genetics and training.

Various sources claim that the diet can lead to the loss of about three pounds a week, as long as one sticks to the guidelines of this new lifestyle.

Rather than consuming the three general meals each day, the lifestyle change encourages five to six smaller meals, spaced at two-and-a-half to three hour intervals, instead to boost one’s metabolism and to practice portion control. However, one is still expected to consume less than 2,000 calories each day.

Often times, dieters stick to a meal plan for the week, preparing a week’s worth of food for each meal. This method helps one to keep their clean-eating lifestyle on track throughout the week.

More resources for this new diet lifestyle can be found on cleaneatingmag.com and eatcleandiet.com.

Pool Fitness

If you want a workout that will burn calories without leaving you feeling like you’ve beaten up — it could be as easy as using water to get fit. Even if you can’t swim — it’s possible to use a pool as a fitness tool — which can be beneficial to people who can’t, or don’t want to run.

This month, Wendy Holmes is on hand to help us look good and feel great while we slim down in a splash.

Sticking With A Fitness Plan

There are many reasons people begin fitness programs — new year, wedding, reunion, and doctor’s orders — and they quit for nearly as many reasons. Staying with a program is as important as starting it in the first place.

Lurene Cachola is here with tips on how to stick with your plan.

Spring Into An Organized Home

Winter has ended, making the way for another spring. Have you thought about your spring cleaning? It’s a perfect time to get organized!

Your magazines are spilling out of the rack and onto the floor beside your sofa. Haphazard piles of paper cover your countertops, coffee table, and dining room table. You can’t see your closet floor for the collection of shoes, wire hangers, and purses. These are the telltale signs that you are due for a home organization overhaul.

“There is usually a precipitating event,” said professional organizer Sandy Wright of Memphis, Tenn. It may be as simple as ‘I have lost my keys for the last time’ or it could be a more significant event such as downsizing or a spouse saying ‘I can’t live this way anymore’.”

But many procrastinate because home organization seems like such a daunting task, Wright said.

“People see it as a looming, huge project. It’s like how do you eat an elephant – one bite at a time, but when you see the elephant it’s overwhelming,” said Wright, who has been a professional organizer since 1991.

But your life will improve once you make the commitment to getting organized. You will have more time, because you will spend less time looking for lost items, such as car keys. You will save money because you won’t waste money buying items you already had but couldn’t find. “It’s like healthy eating; this is healthy living,” Wright said. “Once you get a system the system will take care of you.”

The best – and probably the only — way to accomplish this goal is to create a written plan. Start with small jobs such as cleaning off the top of the refrigerator and work up to bigger jobs. Write down what you want to accomplish and then how you plan to do it. Break down each job into small, doable steps. Some steps may take five minutes; others may take 15 minutes; a few may take an hour. Then set aside small pockets of time to complete each part of your plan. Tackle each step and go on to the next one. Before you know it, you will have accomplished your task.

Each person’s plan will vary depending on goals and lifestyles. But there are common themes everyone should keep in mind.

One guiding theme is the saying “A place for everything and everything in its place.” Another guiding thought is the acronym SPACE, which was coined by professional organizer Julie Morgenstern, author of Organizing from the Inside Out.

S – Sort
P – Purge
A – Assign a home
C – Containerize
E – Equalize

“You ask yourself a lot of questions,” Wright said. With each item, you must ask yourself is this something I use all the time, sometimes, rarely, or never?

“If clothing doesn’t fit, it needs to be discarded rather than kept to gather dust, occupy space and possibly rot. Before an item is no longer useful, let someone else benefit from it. A good rule of thumb in maintaining clothes is ‘buy one, discard one’.” Wright said.

If it is something you never use you must decide what to do with it – throw it away, give it to charity, give to a family member or friend, or sell it in a garage sale. For things you do still use, you must decide the best place to store it. Then assign a place and, if needed, obtain proper containers for the items. Then sit back and enjoy your clutter-free environment.

A professional organizer can help you map out a plan for home organization. You may hire someone for a few hours or for several days if you want someone to help you with an “attic-to-basement” overhaul. In the Mid-South professional organizers charge anywhere from $40-$85/ hour. Most require a two-hour minimum and will usually price a flat rate for large projects.

Ask for references and interview prospective organizers. Remember this person is going to be in your house. You want to feel comfortable and have a rapport with the person you hire. The National Association of Professional Organizers Web site (www.napo.net) has an automated referral system. Sandy Wright may be reached at spwright@midsouth.rr.com or 901.647.3343.
Published: May 4, 2004
Source: Sandy Wright, National Association of Professional Organizers
Writer: Elizabeth Todd Bartholomew, MA, APR

Raising Healthy Children

Heart disease prevention should start early

Starting heart-healthy habits in children is the one of the most effective ways to help them become healthy adults.

Statistics show that more and more children are overweight, which can lead to a number of serious health problems, including cardiovascular disease, the single largest cause of death in the United States.

Parents can wield enormous influence over their children’s health habits. The most important step they can take is to model a healthy lifestyle. Children learn much more by what you do rather than what you say. The American Heart Association has developed a list of recommendations to help parents. They focus on small but permanent changes rather than sudden, drastic changes. It is believed this approach is more effective than a series of short-term changes that cannot be sustained.

Get off that couch!
People must exercise regularly to lose weight and maintain weight loss. The AHA recommends that children and adolescents participate in 30-60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day.

Tips for an active family:

  • Limit television viewing and computer time. These sedentary habits burn few calories and many children tend to snack during these times.
  • Go for frequent nature walks or walks around the neighborhood.
  • Ride bikes together.
  • Consider joining a community, church or school sports program. Soccer is a great sport because it is a team sport and children are constantly in motion. You don’t have to join a competitive league. Some programs focus more on skill-building.

Say no to junk food!
Eating patterns and genetics affect blood cholesterol levels and heart disease risk. Children age 2 years and older should eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily as well as a wide variety of other foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Stick with lowfat dairy products and meats, including chicken, fish and lowfat cuts of beef (round and sirloin are best).
But getting children to eat healthy foods can be easier said than done. Parents cannot force their children to eat certain foods. They should first consider their children’s likes, dislikes and eating patterns. Studies at Duke University have shown that the more parents controlled and restricted their children’s eating, the more overweight children were. Experts believe that over-management takes away from children’s ability to manage themselves. Give your children a variety of healthy food choices and remember that it’s OK to eat some foods just for pleasure every once in a while.
Parents should also give their children structure and clear expectations. Set specific meal and snack times. A child who is not allowed to eat all day long will have a better chance of growing up slimmer than a child allowed to eat constantly. A set schedule also gives a child a sense of stability.

Set some specific goals for the next couple of weeks:

  • Take a 30-minute walk with your children each day.
  • Make a grocery list that includes healthy snack foods (fruits, vegetables, cheese, yogurt). Ask your children to provide input.
  • Limit television viewing to one hour or less a day. Within that set time limit, allow your child to choose what programs to watch (as long as the content is acceptable to you).

Showing your children how to follow a healthy lifestyle is one of the most important lessons you can teach them.

Published: April 13, 2006
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics