Thursday, February 26, 2009

Eat Less to Lose Weight; Seriously!

In a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine, it was concluded its not what you eat but how much thats important to lose weight. Researchers evaluated four diets on 811 men and women over a two year period. Two of the diets were low in fat namely 20% of calories and two were higher 40% of calories from fat. All of the diets were heart healthy rich in fruits and vegetables and wholegrain's and low in saturated fat less than 8%.

Importantly the participants attended both individual and group weight loss sessions with registered dietitians and completed an online food diary. They were encouraged to exercise 90 min a week and received an individualized calorie goal.
After the 2 year study they had kept of an average of 9lb and had lost 1-3 inches off their waist lines. The ones who had atended over 2/3 of the sessions had done better losing an average of 13 lb.

The take home for this land mark study is it doesn't really matter what diet you wish to follow, as long it is balanced and you are eating less of it. It also shows that support and an individualized approach is a key factor for long term success. It is worth looking up a dietitian in your area. Check out

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tattoo for Diabetes control !

I read today that a company in massachusetts is working on a special ink that could be used as a tattoo to help diabetics know what their blood sugar is doing. When glucose levels are low it turns purple and in the normal range it looks orange. What a novel idea, I guess teenagers will have an excuse for that tattoo they have always wanted he he.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Another reason to drink your milk!

In a study to be published next week, with the National Institute of Health and AARP it was found that older people who consumed the highest levels of calcium (1530mg for women, 1881mg for men) had lower risks of cancer. In particular colon cancer. However researchers state more studies are needed.

Calcium of course is also great for bone health so why not aim to drink a couple glasses of low fat milk a day and a yogurt or get calcium fortified orange juice, it also tastes great.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Tips to Prevent Osteoporosis

• Maintain a healthy weight
• Stop smoking if you smoke
• Walk to strengthen your bones and get sunlight to make vitamin D
• Speak to your Dr about calcium and Vitamin D supplements especially if you take steroids
• Speak to your Dr. about getting a bone scan
• Do yoga to improve balance and decrease your risk of falls
• Ensure adequate vitamin D and calcium intake, such as oily fish and dairy products.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Eat at home the new going out!!

We recently had friends over for dinner and cooked together. I made a lamb curry and vegetables and my friend brought spicy baked chicken and beans and we made the chappatis together. It was such a fun filled evening to chat and cook, and sit around the table and share a healthy great tasting meal together.
In todays economy consider eating more at home with friends, creating a fun restaurant atmosphere complete with good wine, tasty home cooked food and laughter. Its also a great time to share recipes and get new ideas. That same week I made the chicken my friend had brought with her for sandwiches!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Spotlight on Winston Salem - My New Town !!

Winston Salem is also known as the twin city as its the fusion of Old Salem and Winston, it is one of the cities of North Carolinas triad region. Famous for Tobacco and the RJ Reynolds family but so much more. Its a city steeped in history the Moravians settled in the area some 250 years ago when they brought a track of land called wachovia from the British.
In fact generations later their culture is still intertwined with city life, be sure to visit old salem, a beautiful historic area dating back to the 1700's complete with a living museum. Where your guides will be dressed in period clothes, there's even a restaurant that showcases food from that period. At christmas time you can sample the famous Moravian cookies, rolled out paper thin to simply melt in your mouth.
The areas of Buena Vista, Country Club road and Reynolda road, lined with old mansions and parks to walk, are a delight. Winston also has a small but vibrant downtown area, complete with hip wine bars sampling local North Carolina wines and a local micro brewery.
In the warmer months you will be treated to live music and local cultural events such as an Indian festival, Wine festival and Greek festival to name but a few.
Just a short drive from this friendly little city you can be in the wine growing region of the Yadkin Valley or the Blue Ridge mountains. It is also a stone throw away from other cosmopolitan cities such as Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh.
So next time your thinking of a trip, consider Winston Salem it has a lot to offer for all ages and all walks of life.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Eat your fruits and veggies !!!!!!

Recent evidence suggests that it is far better to eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables than taking dietary supplements, states a great review in the New York Times Vitamin Pills: A False hope

Results from the Womens Health Initiative that looked at multivitamin use over 8 years in 161,000 women showed no benefit, this was also shown to be the case in men, in the Physicians health study. In fact large does of vitamins can be harmful in the case of Beta carotene, increasing the incidence of lung cancer in smokers.

The latest vitamin in the spotlight is Vitamin D, a study is underway at Harvard to see if it can reduce the risk of cancer and chronic disease in 20,000 men and women. So watch this space.

The bottom line is to eat whole foods not pills as its the synergestic effect of all the nutrients present in the diet that seems to have the benefit.

There is and never will be a substitute for a balanced diet.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Fun Facts on Tea

Here are some fun facts on tea

- Discovered in 2737 BC by Chinese Emperor Shen Nung when his servant accidently put leaves in his hot water
- First imported to England by the East Indian Trading company from India, mostly drunk by the rich hence the custom of British High Tea in the afternoon
- Great Britain put heavy taxes on tea to recover losses from the French and Indian wars on the colonies, this was not taken well by the Americans who dumped tonnes of tea into the water at Boston Harbour in Protest and started the American Revolution
- Thomas Lipton invented the tea bag in the early twentieth century
- The Americans invented iced tea in fact 80% of tea drunk in America is iced.
- All teas come from the same plant camellia sinensis the colour comes from the way the tea is processed, black tea is exposed to air and oxidised and green tea is less processed hence its milder flavour and colour, oolong is in between
- Black and Green teas have mostly the same caffeine content.
- Tea is a rich source of antioxidants namely catechins and may decrease the risk of heart disease
- Tea tastes great and as A Brit we are brought up drinking tea, when your tired and need pick me up nothing beats a cuppa.
- I have found great British teas in World Market, and Fresh Market for folks living in the States, Favourite picks are PG tips, Tyhoo and Yorkhire.
So go on put the kettle on !!!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

New Exercise Guidelines To Aid Weight Loss and Prevent re-gain

The American College of Sports Medicine have issued new guidelines on exercise namely increasing physical activity to lose weight and keep it of from 30 min a day to 50 min a day 5 days a week.

In fact the National Weight Control registry also backs this up. This is a registry of 5000 people who have lost weight, an average of 66lb and kept it off long term. Some of the common characteristics of these folks are
• 90% exercise at least an hour a day
• 75% weigh themselves at least once a week
• 78% eat breakfast every day
• 65% watch less than 10 hours of TV a week

So the take home is to be more active overall, small steps such a parking further away, taking the stairs and getting on the stationary bike when watching your favorite TV shows.

Most importantly prevention is the key try and lead a healthy and active lifestyle all the time, and during all seasons. Keep portions in check, choose lean proteins, lots of fruits and vegetables and make activity part of daily family life.
Weigh yourself regularly and if you see the scales sneaking up on you step it up, because it will take more activity to get the weight gain of.

However don’t be disheartened, if you are starting to try and lose weight, the 5000 in the registry are already successfully doing it.
Find activities you enjoy and mix it up so you don’t get bored. Consider finding a local personal trainer and dietitian to support your efforts. The support will do wonders, when things seem hard and you feel like giving up they will be there to lift you up and get you going again. They can assist you to develop the skills you need to lead an energized life.

Rebecca Subbiah RD, LDN, cPT

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Icelandic Food

I was reading the Wall Street Journal yesterday and there was a wonderful article showcasing upscale Icelandic dining, and due to the unfortunate way their economy is its possible for more folks to afford these restaurants. Items on their menus include puffin, moose, reindeer and of course local fish. The food sounds great on the whole, well most of it they also eat rotten sharks and whole sheeps heads. However every country has its unique tastes like the chinese and chicken feet, but don't worry no images to follow we will find the best picks!!!

On further reading about Iceland the meat is free roaming and contains no growth hormones and the produce is organic, also the fish is often caught the same day.

Here is a list of some traditional foods

-hangikjot -smoked lamb to eat in sandwichs
- skyr – a delicious high-protein yogurt like substance
- puffin or hardfiskur protein-filled dried fish strips
- Icelandic chocolate
- licorice or the popular chocolate-licorice combo
- jolaol orange soda mixed with malt
- laufabraud, the fried flat bread of the season

It was never a country I thought of for good food but it sounds really interesting, may be hard to find Icelandic restaurants though, couldn't even find one in New York! but there is a wealth of resources on line for recipes

Why not try pancakes, basic recipe for crepes but they often add cardamom or vanilla to it!
3 cups Flour
3 Eggs
3 cups Milk
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
Essense of Cardamom
Beat eggs and milk together, add dry ingredients.
Stir until smooth. Leave to settle for 30 minutes.
Melt and add margarine.
Heat a small frying pan and grease the pan lightly.
Pour enough batter to coat the pan thinly.
When one side is done, turn the pancake
over with a palette knife and fry the other side.
Grease frying pan often.

or Herring and potato salad rich in omega 3, vitamin A and monounsaturated fats (the healthy ones!)

Silver of the Sea - Icelandic Pickled Herring and Potato Salad Recipe #328789

In Iceland herring is callled the 'Silver of the Sea'. The most likely reason for the name is that this fish was the source of great wealth during the first half of the twentieth centry. In Iceland, pickled herring is a great delicacy and is frequently served as an appetizer in a kind of salad. This recipe is from the cookbook "Delicious Iceland" by Chef Volundur Snaer Volundarson.
by Chef Regina V. Smith
40 min | 20 min prep


4 plain pickled herring
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
12 small red potatoes
1 bunch fresh dill, chopped (to taste)
1 bunch watercress, chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
salt and pepper
Cut the pickled herring fillets into 1 " pieces. Set aside while you prepare the potato salad.
Boil the potatoes and then let them cool.
While the potatoes are cooling mixed the lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste to make a simple vinaigrette.
Halve the cooled potatoes and mix together with watercress and dill to taste. Toss the potato salad with the vinaigrette.
Arrange the potato salad in 4 small bowls or serving plates. Top the salad with the thinly sliced onion and crown with the pickled herring slices. Garnish each plate or bowl with a whole dill sprig.
© 2009 Recipezaar. All Rights Reserved.

So why not try something completely different for dinner tonight and impress friends at a dinner party!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Re-Discover your Firsts!!

Yesterday it snowed here in Winston Salem and it doesn't do that often !
I was thrilled as it was my 5 month olds first snow fall. I hurried home, got my hubby and went outside to take pictures of her in the snow.
In our busy lives we sometimes forget to enjoy the simple pleasures, so take a moment and remember your first car, house, learning to ride a bike and swimming in the ocean.

Heres to all your firsts and more to come.


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