Archive for November, 2010

Thanksgiving Calorie Counter: A Handy Calculator for Your Holiday Meal

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Avoid packing on the pounds this holiday season by figuring out how many calories are in your favorite meals using this handy holiday calorie list. By figuring out how many calories you’re consuming you’ll have a better idea of the amount of movement and activities that you’ll need in order to combat Holiday calories.

Salads and Appetizers:

3 cups salad (with light dressing): 100 calories
½ cup jello with fruit: 120 calories
½ cup Waldorf salad: 110 calories
1 cracker with cheese: 70 calories
½ cup mixed raw vegetables: 25 calories
½ cup mixed nuts: 440 calories
1 oz. tortilla or potato chips: 150 calories (75 extra calories per tablespoon of dip)

Main Course:

6 oz. cured ham: 300 calories
6 oz. white and dark turkey: 340 calories
½ cup stuffing: 180 calories
½ cup cranberry sauce: 190 calories
½ cup mashed potatoes: 150 calories
½ cup gravy: 150 calories
½ cup green bean casserole: 225 calories
½ cup candied sweet potatoes: 150 calories
1 dinner roll: 110 calories (45 extra calories with one pat of butter)

Drinks:

1 mixed drink: 250 calories
1 glass of wine: 120 calories
1 glass of cider: 120 calories
1 cup eggnog: 343 calories

Desserts:

2 small chocolate chip cookies: 150 calories
1 piece apple pie: 410 calories
1 piece pecan pie: 480 calories
1 piece pumpkin pie: 180 calories
½ cup whipped cream: 75 calories
½ cup ice cream: 145 calories

Leftovers:

1 turkey sandwich with mayo and cranberry sauce: 450 calories
1 open-face turkey sandwich with stuffing and gravy: 290 calories

Now according to Walking.about.com the first thing that you need to do after a weekend of over-indulgent eating is to increase your activity level. Brisk walking three or more times a week for thirty to forty five minutes will help burn off your Thanksgiving turkey. So enjoy your Thanksgiving feast then make sure to put on your walking shoes. Get some fresh air, get your heart pumping and gear up for Christmas just around the corner!

It’s Turkey Time: Nutritional Aspects of Your Thanksgiving Turkey

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

As another Thanksgiving rolls around, it’s time to get out the roaster and prepare another turkey to ring in the holiday season. But what do we know about this wild bird besides that nearly every home serves it for Thanksgiving? There is plenty to learn.

Along with chicken, turkey has quickly become a favorite of those on low-fat diets according to Homecooking.about.com. Health studies have also shown that cooking turkey with the skin on seals in the natural juices and the fat from skin does not seep into the turkey. To avoid any extra fat just make sure to remove the skin before eating.

According to Urbanext.illinois.edu, one good thing about the nutritional value of turkey is that it is very low in fat and high in protein. In fact it only has 1 gram of fat per ounce of flesh. It is also a good source of iron, zinc, phosphorus, potassium and B vitamins. All of these nutrients have been found to keep blood cholesterol down, protect against birth defects, cancer and heart disease, aid in nerve function and growth, boost the immune system and regulate blood pressure.

The fat and calorie amounts vary though because white meat has fewer calories and less fat than dark meat and skin. Turkey is also naturally low in sodium. It typically contains less than 25 milligrams (mg) of sodium per ounce on average.

The meat fiber in turkey is easier to digest than other types of meat, so that makes turkey a good choice for individuals that have digestion problems.

While turkey is already a nutritious meat, it can be made even more nutritious if you stick to white turkey meat and if it is prepared using a low-fat cooking method, such as baking, broiling, or grilling. You can also try steaming the turkey or poaching the turkey pieces in water, wine or a broth with herbs and spices. Another healthful and delicious way to prepare a turkey is to sauté it in as little oil as possible, using broth, lemon or orange juice as a basting sauce.

Now that you know more about this delectable and nutritious bird you will enjoy this year’s Thanksgiving meal even more.

Straight From the Headlines: Get Off the Couch and Stay out of the Doctor’s Office

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

A recent study conducted in Wisconsin and reported on Maxnewshealth.com, states that people who are couch potatoes are twice as likely to catch a cold and a third likelier to suffer bad or extreme symptoms compared to those who are healthy and fit.

According to the study, people who were considered fit or who exercised at least five days a week had between 4.4 and 4.9 “cold days” on average. Those who were moderately fit or who exercised one to four days per week had between 4.9 and 5.5 “cold days” on average. Those who were not fit and exercised one day a week or not at all had between 8.2 and 8.6 “cold days” on average.

Getting exercise unleashes a rise in immune defenses, helping to prepare our bodies to fight viruses and colds. Therefore, those who were fit or moderately fit had increased immune systems resulting in less “cold days” on average compared to the couch potato.

Furthermore, according to Getbetterhealth.com, about 60 percent of adults in the U.S. are not getting the exercise they need resulting in side effects even more sobering than the common cold.

If your idea of exercise is working out your TV remote reflexes then take a look at these statistics:

• Physical inactivity increases the risk of heart disease and stroke by 50 percent.

• Sedentary people have a 35 percent greater risk of developing high blood pressure than do physically active people.

• Inactivity is one of the four major risk factors for heart disease, on par with smoking, unhealthy cholesterol, and high blood pressure.

If you’re still undecided, Getbetterhealth.com outlines a few heart-health benefits of getting off the couch and getting your heart beating. Here are a few:

• For each hour you spend walking, you can gain two hours of life expectancy.

• More than half of the participants in a study who jogged two miles a day were able to stop taking blood pressure medication.

• Taking a brisk one-hour walk, five days a week can cut your risk for stroke in half.

• People with an active lifestyle have a 45 percent lower risk of developing heart disease than sedentary people.

To avoid becoming a full-blown couch potato and having to endure the unhealthy risks associated with lack of exercise it is advised that people exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. If you find it difficult to find 30 minutes a day to get your heart pumping try breaking it up into two or three 10-15 minute sessions.

Tips to “Fit in” Fitness This Holiday Season

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

The months of November and December can be two of the busiest months for many people. From holiday entertaining to endless shopping, and from visiting friends and family to all of that food, it is very easy to get off track when it comes to your diet and exercise.

But your exercise regimen doesn’t have to falter just because it’s the holiday season. Use the following tips to help keep on track when it comes to fitness this year:

• Instead of taking that leisurely stroll through the mall when you do your Christmas shopping turn that stroll into a power walk.

• Take the stairs while you are at the mall instead of using the elevator or escalator.

• Park in the lower lot of the mall and get that extra exercise by walking a little further to the mall.

• Invite your house guests on a brisk walk with you so you can spend quality time with them and still get your exercise in.

Ehow.com suggests setting a creative goal like walking a mile for every $10 you spend on gifts.

• Sign up for a holiday race or event. Many cities have Turkey Trots or Jingle Bell Runs which can easily become annual family traditions.

• Bundle up your family and take a tour of your neighborhood holiday lights by foot or bike instead of just sitting in the car.

• Add workout clothes or gear to your Christmas wish list. Everyone knows that if you look good, you feel good and are more apt to get in a good sweat at the gym.

While these are only a few tips to help you keep fit over the holidays, these are definitely a jump start in the right direction.