Dietary Guidelines

Good morning!  How is everyone?  I hope you all had a nice weekend.  There’s a thunderstorm rolling through Brooklyn right now.  I love storms!  The sky is green…awesome!!

So, I’m behind in studying for my independent nutrition study…eep!  But in my text book I came across the Dietary Guidelines that the USDA published in 2010 in a condensed format.  I thought that they were a good condensed reminder for healthy living.  I condensed them even more and created a fun infographic with the most important points.

Today’s Strala Blog post incorporates that infographic but I am sharing it here as well.  It’s a good quick reminder for daily healthy living and could be something to print-out and stick to your fridge as a reminder.  Feel free to share it with any person who is interested in beginning a healthier lifestyle who may benefit.  (I think I may revamp the infograph just a tad so for those who don’t attend Strala can use this infograph without being like “whaaat is Strala?” So check back later this evening, if it interests you.)

I had some fun creating this.  It’s always nice to spend some time doing something that involves being artistic, even if it’s something just as simple as this.

Happy Monday everyone!  Hope you have a great start to the week.

Source: American Dietary Guidelines 2010.

Healthy Habits – Guest Post on Healthyfrenchie

Hi everyone!  I’ve been busy studying for my Anatomy final.  Even though I really want to start writing when I get up in the morning, I have to dig out my anatomy notebook and flashcards to keep reviewing.  I hope you understand.

In the meantime, please check out my guest post at HealthyFrenchie on developing healthy habits.  She writes a great blog about how she overcame her eating disorders with determination and strength.  And she has a cute dog, Freddie! :-)

Thank you Helene for your support, and the opportunity to write for your terrific blog!

No Meat – Day 42

Hi everyone!  As I mentioned in my last post, we had family visiting this weekend and it was busy, busy busy.  I didn’t get to write on my day 40 (Sunday) goal of no meat. So, here I am.  It’s now day 42 and I still have not had any meat.  I think I have found a good balance in my diet and I feel great.  I’m not saying that I’m not going to eat meat ever again.  There’s no doubt that a ham or some type of meat will make an appearance for Easter lunch on Sunday.  I just don’t want to lose this great feeling.  I almost afraid to eat meat now.  I don’t know how my body will react. ;-) …though, I’ll be able to report on that after this weekend.

I did, however, eat a little guacamole yesterday. It was an option I wanted to explore after 40 days of no guac.  It was great, but, I didn’t feel that I needed the guacamole on my burrito bowl.  I will be completely honest now. I love guacamole and in the past, I found myself thinking things like “oh, it’s bad weather out, I can add a little guacamole today.”  Or, “work has made me want to bang my head against the wall, I deserve a little guac.”  Even, “It’s Friday!  Why not order some guacamole!”  I wasn’t eating it every day but more often than the average person, for sure.  But now, I’ve gotten used to life without my guacamole “fix” and I think I have successfully broken a habit, or pattern, or mental addiction – whatever you choose to call it.   As good as guacamole is, it’s not necessary or order it every time that I eat at Chipotle or a restaurant that makes it table-side or has it on the menu for an appetizer.

Otherwise, still no chocolate.  I’m surprised at the amount of willpower and mental strength I’ve developed to stay away.  It’s pretty cool.

I’m working on some interesting postings coming up for this week.  Stay tuned.

Have you ever given up any type of food for a certain amount of time?  What happened when you put it back into your diet?  Leave a comment, let me know!  :-)

Here Comes the Sun (and Vitamin D)

Recently in my Anatomy and Physiology class we have been learning about the bones.  My teacher brought up the disease Rickets.  He explained that  during the turn of the century children were developing leg bone deformities in places like  Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia due to lack of sunlight.  Before child labor laws they would work down in mines beginning before sunrise and finishing after sunset.  In this pivotal time of growth in childhood, they were never exposed to sunlight that activated the vitamin D in their bodies.  This caused them to develop Rickets.

Because we have been blessed to have some really beautiful weather days, along with daylight savings time, it made me think how important vitamin D is to our bodies.  I had to do a little research.

Vitamin D aids in the body’s absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorus and maintaining strong, healthy bones.  We synthesize it in the skin when we are in the sun, which is why it can be known as the “sunshine vitamin.”  This is why the bones of those children weren’t developing properly.  Our body’s are like plants that need sunshine to grow and maintain strength and nourishment.

Those of us who work in offices and are cooped up all day long, only  see the sun on a lunch break, if that’s even possible.  So what happens during the winter when we almost never see the light of day?  Thankfully, turns out, that if you’re drinking milk and juice fortified with vitamin D, eating eggs, certain types of fish (tuna, salmon, swordfish, sardines) and yogurt, you are a-okay on the vitamin D scale.  Though, if you take cod liver oil, that’s probably the best option with the maximum amount of IUs of vitamin D you can ingest.

But it’s so nice out now!  Just being outside in direct sunlight for 10-15 minutes without sunscreen is a great way to get the vitamin D working in the body.  Though, the UVB rays do not go through glass, so sitting in your car or by an office window with sunlight beaming through doesn’t work.  I strongly recommend everyone get outside, take a walk, breathe in the fresh air.  You are doing something good for your mind and body on so many different levels.