June 2004

Summer is here and six months have passed since we made our New Years Resolutions. Did you deliver on your promises? If not, now is the time to kick it into high gear. The summer is a great time to increase your exercise and enjoy healthy meals, chock full of fresh produce. Seize the moment, get healthy, you will be glad you did!

In this months newsletter, well discuss how to stay cool while exercising in the summer heat, and we will talk about how many "steps" you should be taking. We will review a new feature at your local theater that takes a witty, yet scary, look at the fast food industry, and as always, we will share some great products and tasty summer recipes.

June Nutrition Tips: Staying Fit & Healthy!

Beat the Heat:: As summer temperatures rise, so does the risk of heat stroke. And while we want to encourage outdoor activity, you need to take precautions to stay safe during the dog days of summer. According to Dr. William O. Roberts, president-elect of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), when people who are not accustomed to hot and humid weather exercise outdoors, they run the risk of developing exertional heat stroke. To reduce your risk this summer, keep these tips in mind:

  • To help your body adjust, Roberts recommends that you gradually expose yourself to warmer weather. For instance, taking an easy walk during the middle of the day may help people get used to the heat, but the morning - when it is cooler outside - may be a better time to go for a run.
  • Whenever you exercise outside, it is crucial that you drink enough water. Adequate water helps the skin work as a "radiator" to release heat, according to Roberts. Dehydration keeps your heat transfer system from running optimally.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol before and during outside activity. Both will rob your body of water and increase the risk of dehydration.

Although exertional heat stroke can occur in dry climates, the risk is greatest during hot and humid weather, because it is then that one cannot evaporate his or her sweat, which helps traps heat in the body. Anyone who exercises in hot weather can develop exertional heat stroke, but the most at risk are people who are not accustomed to working out in hot weather. If you think you are at high risk, keep a cool ice pack handy, and place it on your hands and wrists if you begin to feel fatigued or light headed while exercising.

Taking Steps in the Right Direction:: Americans should take 10,000 steps daily. This is not an arbitrary recommendation. Those who follow the 10,000 step regimen appear to be noticeably healthier, according to a cross-sectional study in the May Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise journal. At the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, physiologists recently asked 80 women between ages 40 and 60 to wear a pedometer every day for a week. The investigators measured the women's weight, height, body fat, waist and hip sizes, and then calculated the average number of steps each woman took over the course of a day. After a week, a clear pattern emerged - The women who averaged more than 10,000 steps a day had 40% less body fat, and waist and hip measurements that were four to six inches narrower than those who averaged fewer than 6,000 steps. Important to note, however, is that this study does not prove that the walking caused the differences in body composition. Yet other studies have shown that sedentary women who begin walking 10,000 steps a day shed several pounds within a few weeks and reduce their blood pressure. Additionally, in this study, the average BMI of women who accumulated 10,000+ steps per day was in the normal range. So, get out there and make those steps count! (If you are interested in buying a pedometer, check out http://www.walkerswarehouse.com/.)

BIG Box-office Hit: If you are looking for a good way to escape from the heat, why not head to your local theater and learn "why Americans are so fat?" The answer is examined with filmmaker, Morgan Spurlock, winner of the Best Director at The Sundance Film Festival for his documentary, Super Size Me, a tongue in-cheek look at the legal, financial and physical costs of America's hunger for fast food. As 37% of American children and adolescents are carrying too much fat and 2 out of every three adults are overweight or obese, is it our fault for lacking self-control, or are the fast-food corporations to blame?

Spurlock hit the road and interviewed experts in 20 U.S. cities, including Houston, the "Fattest City" in America. From Surgeon Generals to gym teachers, cooks to kids, lawmakers to legislators, these authorities shared their research, opinions and "gut feelings" on our ever-expanding girth. During the journey, Spurlock also put his own body on the line, living on nothing but McDonald's for an entire month with three simple rules:

  • No options: he could only eat what was available over the counter (water included!)
  • No supersizing unless offered
  • No excuses: he had to eat every item on the menu at least once.

You will witness the dramatic changes in Spurlock as he spends a month living on fast food, complete with harrowing visits to the doctor. The film explores the horror of school lunch programs, declining health and physical education classes, food addictions, and the extreme measures people take to lose weight and regain their health. If you dont make it to the theater in time, let us leave you with these surprising facts:

  • He was eating 5000 calories a day.
  • He ingested over 30 lbs of sugar in 30 days.
  • He gained 25 lbs in 30 days.
  • His liver was compared to a binge drinker.
  • And it was not just physical. He was depressed and seemed to become addicted to the food. He felt badly when he was not eating and better when he was.

Recommended Products

Kashi GoLean Cereal:Those who know me, know that I am not a big fan of breakfast cereal, but this product should separated from other supermarket cereals. The high fiber and high protein content makes for a fabulously healthy breakfast. At 140 calories per cup, you will get 10 grams of fiber and 13 grams of protein. Add 1 cup of mixed berries, and you and your body will be in for a morning treat! For more information, visit http://www.kashi.com/.

Blanchard and Blanchard Salad Dressings: I have finally found a low calorie salad dressing that does not taste like plastic. Blanchard and Blanchard makes low calorie dressing that are filled with flavor, and do not taste like "diet food." My favorite flavor so far is Caesar Parmesan. For an easy delicious salad, top romaine lettuce and grape tomatoes with this dressing and a heaping tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese...yum! Every 2 tbsp provides a mere 35 calories, so enjoy!

June's Recipe: Oatmeal Crisps
These light cookie crisps are a cinch to make and will last for a week in an airtight container. Just be careful, they are addictive!

4 tbsp lightly salted butter, softened
Additional butter to lightly grease cookie sheets
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or almond extract
4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp flour
2/3 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
optional ingredients: raisins or dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the softened butter with the extract, sugar and flour. Then add the oatmeal to the butter mixture, in batches. Mix thoroughly.

Lightly grease two non-stick cookie sheets with butter. Make round balls out of the dough, about 1 tablespoon each, and place on the cookie sheets, 2 inches apart. Cook for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Rotate the cookie sheets halfway through. Allow to cool.

Will make about 15-18 crisps.

Nutrition information per crisp
46 calories
.5 grams of protein
5 grams of carbohydrate
0.3 grams of fiber
2.5 grams of fat

Congratulations Melissa!

Melissa Buczek, who is involved in all areas of Sara Ryba Nutrition has just earned her Masters Degree in Nutrition and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Melissa has been with Sara Ryba Nutrition for the past 1.5 years making many valuable contributions, including authoring the monthly newsletter. Melissa has recently accepted a position on the NY State Dietetic Association Board of Directors, as New Member Liaison. We will continue to look to Melissa to educate us on the most recent nutrition and health topics. Way to go Melissa!

I hope that you are feeling healthy and taking advantage of the beautiful weather. As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Healthy Regards!