Monthly Archives: July 2011

Hot and bothered


Yesterday was 90, today is 96, tomorrow is 100?  Yea I know it’s summer but does it have to burn quite so much?  Frankly, when the weather gets hot, my body feels much different – my energy is sapped, I get cranky, and my appetite?  Nonexistent.  Considering how much I like to eat, this is never a good thing in my book.  So here are my nutrition-related remedies for perking yourself up and withstanding the hot weather without feeling weighed down.

  1. Lemon water.  When the weather gets hot, I switch out my morning coffee for lukewarm water with lemon (or even cold water with lemon).  I sip it pretty much all day, not only does it make you feel refreshed and your body feels clean and light, but it also helps detoxify your liver (perfect if you’ve overindulged at the beach the weekend before!).
  2. Iced green tea.  While the thought of hot tea or coffee is furthest from my mind, iced green tea not only cools you down, but it is chock full of antioxidant, lovely little compounds that do everything from protect you from disease to make your  skin glow.  Some controversial studies have even linked green tea to helping lower obesity, LDL “bad” cholesterol and improve weight loss- green tea may help with fat oxidation.  But again, controversial – my take?  I just like how it tastes and there are so many other good properties of green tea that it is definitely worth adding it to your daily repertoire.
  3. Greek yogurt.  If you read this blog you know about my love affair with greek yogurt.  Low in sugar, high in stick-to-your ribs protein and with a silky flavor, this is truly a miracle food.  Particularly in the hot summer months, it is my go-to breakfast of choice — try throwing some ripe cherries or raspberries in it, or sliced banana for a banana cream pie flavor.  Craving frozen yogurt?  Combine greek yogurt, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and 1 tbsp agave nectar (also good with cocoa powder added).  Place in little paper cups (like the kind you get at the dentist) with a popsicle stick in the middle.  Stick in your freezer and enjoy!
  4. Gazpacho.  This cold, refreshing soup is the literally the perfect summer lunch on a scorching day (add a slice of wheat toast with avocado slices and paprika for a complete meal).  Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that has cancer-fighting properties and compounds that help fight free radicals that can damage cells.
  5. Salads.  Whether a fruit salad or for lunch, salads are the most refreshing thing to eat this time of year.  Check out my previous post on my favorite quick summer salads for some great ideas.

Above all, when the weather gets hot like this, drinking tons of water is your best bet at keeping safe and not getting overheated.  Stay cool folks!



Finding my “happy” weight

Everyone has that magic number.  You know, your dream weight.  Maybe you weighed that number when you were in high school on the track team.  Maybe when you were in college.  Maybe you’ve never weighed it but think it’s the number that you should be at if you did everything right.  Let me tell you something that it took me a VERY long time to figure out.  That number is a pipe dream.  

Before you object, I have a little story to tell you.  Last year, I fell off the wagon.  Between moving in with D, leaving my job to pursue a new career, and other major upheavals in my life, I slowly saw nearly 10 pounds slowly creep up on me.  While this isn’t a by any means a big number, by December, my jeans just weren’t fitting the way they used to, and I really wasn’t feeling very confident with the way I looked.  I knew I had to stop making excuses and just make changes!  But at the same time I felt kind of humiliated – here I was, giving people health advice, and I had let my own health get away from me.  Not to mention, having lost a significant amount of weight in the past, there was that fear in the way back of my head that I would go back to the way I was, as crazy as that may sound.

So I decided to start slow.  It had taken me about 8 months to gain all the weight, so a pound a month seemed like a reasonable goal.  While there were definitely setbacks, including the entire month of March when I totally plateaued, I stuck with it, and as of last month, I reached my “happy” weight.  So what’s the moral of my little tale?  I started out on this weight loss process thinking that I would reach my dream weight – basically what I was my junior year of college for about one week when I was recovering from bronchitis.  Crazy right?!  This clearly isn’t a number that is realistic and manageable for me (and frankly I just like food too much!).  So I revised my goal and gave myself a little more wiggle room in the process.

When dietitians figure out the ideal weight for a man it is 106 lbs for the first 5 ft, and then 6 lbs for every inch higher.  For women, it is 100 lbs for the first 5 ft and 5 lbs for every inch higher.  But this number can be minus or plus 10% depending on your frame size and build.  Simply put, no weight fits everyone and is TOTALLY dependent on your build and figure.  This tool on is a pretty good estimate of “happy weight” (although not perfect!) to help you get that number.

So the next time you talk about being unhappy with your weight – consider this, maybe you ARE at the right weight already!  Or maybe the situation isn’t as dire as you might think.  Weight isn’t the only measure of health – although it can be the most immediate and for many, the most discouraging.  Getting to your healthiest body means not only eating healthy most of the time and getting physical activity, but cultivating your mental well-being.  Simply put, constantly restricting your eating habits to reach an unattainable goal greatly discourages your mental well-being and could affect your physical health as well by slowing your metabolism rather than revving it up.  So now that bikini season is officially here, maybe it’s time to embrace your hot bod, as is.