Wednesday, July 23, 2008

When Wheat Doesn't Mean Whole Wheat

Carolyn reveals the whole truth about whole grains when you’re shopping for breads, cereals and pastas. Why whole grains are healthier and how to spot foods that “pretend” to be whole grain.

Write Way to Diet

Waiter: “May I take your order please?”
Dieting Diner: “Yes, thank you, and if you don’t mind after you’re finished writing it all down can you make me a copy? I’m keeping a food diary.”

This hypothetical restaurant request may sound a bit far fetched, but it turns out that the simple act of writing down what you eat every day may be more powerful than a kick boxing class when it comes to weight loss success. In fact, a study from Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research found that keeping a food diary can double a person’s weight loss and the longer food and physical activity records are kept the more weight you’ll lose. Results of the study involving nearly 1700 overweight men and women, published in the August issue of the American Journal of Public Health, found that – even though everyone was on the same diet and exercise regimen- those who kept daily food records lost twice as much weight as those who kept no records. Researchers say the process of seriously reflecting on what you eat and how much helps dieters become more aware of habits and face the facts. It also puts the brakes on mindless munching such as grabbing an extra handful of chips or snacking on chunks of a broken cookie when food diaries demand an honest record of every bite.
The Pen is Mightier than the Scale
This new study adds more weight, if you will, to the advice dietitians have given dieters for years that one of the best ways to identify your cravings and eating triggers is to keep a food journal. The best ones are a running record of not only what you eat each day, but what happened and how you felt before and after eating. Journaling is considered one of the most powerful tools for changing behavior, from anger management to weight management. You’ll be surprised at what you’ll uncover about your own hidden food triggers and the in between meal baby bites that add up over time to tip the scale. No need to let it be an open book. It’s nobody’s business, but yours. This is between you and your diary. Continue after you’ve started making healthful changes in your eating habits and marvel at the progress you’ve made. Don’t let it become an obsession. Just know that once you stop journaling, it’s not a bad idea to pick it up again, occasionally, for a spot check to see how you’re still doing. “Dear Diary…can’t wait to tell you what I had for dinner last night!! The 6 ounce serving of grilled salmon lightly brushed with olive oil and lovingly doused with fresh lemon juice was served with 8 perfectly steamed asparagus spears and a cup of nutty brown rice. Yes, there was a healthy scoop of freshly churned summer peach gelato for dessert….but I split it with you-know-who!!!!”

Dining Out with Your Food Diary
Check out menu offerings on the restaurant’s website ahead of time. Some provide nutrition information and many include exact ounces of serving sizes. Print out the menu and you make your notes on this paper at the restaurant.
Ask the server to quantify portion sizes. Is the pasta a two cup serving? Restaurants know their serving sizes, because that’s an important part of controlling food costs.
Don’t believe everything you read. If the menu says “8 ounce sirloin steak” note that could be the raw weight. The cooked weight would be about two ounces less.
Watch those extras. Don’t forget to write down the nuts nibbled at the bar while you waited for your table. Or how much olive oil you used for dipping your bread into at an Italian restaurant. Add 120 calories for each tablespoon of olive oil.
Give yourself credit for good behavior such as ordering salad dressing or sauce on the side. It will be easier to estimate how much you used when you apply it yourself.
Don’t have paper and pen? Left your journal in the car? Use your cell phone to text or email yourself and add it to your food diary later.
This just in. Now you can call yourself with all the dining details and it will be emailed to you via voice transcription. It’s a free service provided by Once you’re signed up you can call 866-JOTT123 and leave yourself a voicemail message such as this, “Rushing back from lunch meeting with client from LA. Had the California Cobb Salad with balsamic vinaigrette on the side. Didn’t eat the blue cheese or the bacon. Had a small chocolate chip cookie and coffee with one sugar. Don’t forget to drink two glasses of water this afternoon at your desk!” Five minutes later, the transcribed, typed message appears in your e-mail in-box. Cut, paste and add to food diary. Done!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

New Age June Cleaver

Where is June Cleaver when you need her? With food prices going up and penny pinching on the

rise there's a renewed retro-modern interest in good old fashioned Home Ec advice to stretch

the food dollar and still whip up family pleasing meals. As a registered dietitian who earned a

degree in Foods & Nutrition at Florida State University's School of Home Economics ( now called

the College of Human Sciences) I think it's time we tapped into some of the time tested truths

from the experts on food, clothing, shelter and family finance. But, how can you cut corners

on your grocery bill without sacrificing good health? In this video clip from CBS 46 Atlanta

I share a few tips with reporter Tracye Hutchins.