Musings from Dr. Jo, author/speaker, who encourages small
steps to make a big difference in your
health & well-being.
My daughter said, “You need watch the Dove Sketch commercials! They really touched me.” She was right – they touched me, too.
Basically, a sketch artist draws the faces of women as they describe themselves behind a screen. Then another person describes these women to the sketch artist, too. Want to guess how these pictures match up?
Here’s one of the ads. Does it hit a cord with you, too?
One women said, “We should put more emphasis on the things we like about ourselves, rather than the things we don’t.”
Do you ever find yourself opening up a large bag of cookies, candies, chips…and having a hard time stopping with a reasonable portion? You’re not alone! That’s one of the reasons why single-serving packets help to keep our appetite in check.
Read this recent article in the Wall Street Journal on “The Psychology of Small Packages” and you’ll discover that food manufacturers are now introducing new packaging that encourage us to nibble more. Oh no!
According to the article unwrapped mini-candy facilitates faster, “hand to mouth” eating. I would agree. That’s one of the reasons why I splurge every day on individually wrapped Dove dark chocolates a day. Needing to unwrap those little chocolate nibbles packed individually helps me to stop at 4.
Manufacturers are also geting rid of the can and going to resealable bags you can more easily carry in your briefcase or purse. That could help encourage you to eat healthful foods such as perhaps dried fruit or nuts…but if it’s chips or candies, it could be your downfall.
Dr. Brian Wansink at Cornell University (author of Mindless Eating) has been researching this for years. When he gave moviegoers two-week old stale popcorn, few people finished it. But people ate more from the large box than the medium-size bucket. Same thing with the fresh popcorn.
I used to run. A lot! I didn’t start until I was 25…but then I ran maybe 100-10K runs, sprint triathlons, half marathons, and even one full marathon. I loved running for decades.
But (can we talk?) I just don’t feel like it anymore – can’t say I know why. It’s not because I hurt myself or anything specific.
Oh, no worries, I get plenty of exercise with all the other stuff I do but I kinda miss the fact that I don’t feel like running.
Anyway, I tell you this because a couple of weeks ago, one of my girls tells me they had downloaded a “Couch to 5K” app on their phone – and had started to run. Next week my other daughter says the same thing. This was weird. They never did understand my love of running…and now they’re running and I’m not!
So, I downloaded the app and started running. Week one starts with a 5 minute warm-up, then just 60 seconds of running followed my 90 seconds of walking…hey, I can do that! I told myself I’m doing it so I can run with them when I visit one next week and one a few weeks after…but you never know…maybe it will motivate me to keep it up! I’m curious…what motivates you to participate in some of the activities that you do?
Check out the picture! That’s me all bundled up in OR (where I was speaking last week). That was day 1 of week 1 of my new running experience. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Healthy snacking is a great way to rev up your metabolism, keep your energy up, and prevent overeating at the next meal. The key is to PLAN it…and only eat it ONLY WHEN YOU’RE HUNGRY. If you’re eating small meals…which you probably should…you’ll be hungry about 3-4 hours after the meal. If you eat a snack when you’re not hungry, you’ll eat just as much as you normally would at the next meal. Uh oh…can you say “weight gain”?
Registered dietitian, Vicki Shanta Retelny has written this article about healthy snacking at the office. Her advice includes:
- Pack your own snack - otherwise you’re at the mercy of what’s around…and it’s not always healthy. (Dr. Jo’s favorite bars are Kashi, Lara, and Balance).
- Go nuts: “Nuts are full of good fats that sustain your energy,” Vicki said. “Nuts are also scientifically proven to help your heart health. Almonds, walnuts or pistachios are great to have around. But be sure to portion them out. 30 pistachios are about 100 calories.”
- Quench your thirst since thirst is often disguised as hunger! Dr. Jo notes…check the color of your pee…if it’s yellow you could be dehydrated (certain meds and supplements can change the color, too).
- Change your route: If there is a co-worker who has candy or cookies out for sharing, Retelny said to try not to walk by their desk.”Research has shown that you’re more likely to eat something that is in your sight, or directly in front of you,” she said.
You’ve seen the ads. They seem so convincing. Could those energy drinks really work? And, how?
Turns out those drinks, no matter what the claims, are mostly just another way to get caffeine. (And, let’s face it…caffeine does help to stay alert and focused….when used moderately…that’s the key). The other ingredients (while they may sound exotic) don’t really do anything.
In 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a report to say that energy drinks are never appropriate for children and teens. Caffeine has been linked to harmful effects on developing cardiovascular and neurological systems. And, don’t confuse energy drinks with sports drinks. Sports drinks are meant to rehydrate – energy drinks don’t!
A safe amount of caffeine is about 200-300mg. How much is in your energy drink? Check out this report from Consumer Reports.
I was recently on Daytime TV talking about energy drinks. Check out the video on YouTube.