June 2012 | Dr. Stephen Gullo

Monthly Archives: June 2012

Eating Seasonally: Summer

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Produce at Farmer's Market

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The advent of summer can often encourage healthier eating habits. Supermarkets begin displaying fresh, delicious-looking seasonal produce and dieters start thinking about bathing suit season. Incorporate more seasonal produce into your diet for maximum health. Try to purchase produce locally at co-ops or farmer’s markets. Doing so guarantees that what you eat is fresher, which means that it hasn’t lost a ton of its vitamin content. Eating seasonally also encourages you to try different types of produce that you may have previously shunned, like deep purple eggplant or the strong flavors of cilantro. As an added bonus, incorporating more raw produce into your diet during the summer can help you avoid using the oven more often – a definite perk on hot summer days.

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Healthier Pie Filling Ingredients

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Blueberry Pie

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Pie usually sounds more diet-friendly than chocolate cake. After all, most of them are fruit-based, right? But when you add several scoops of sugar and half a cup of butter, you kind of negate any health benefits you’d get from eating apples or cherries for dessert. And you add a bunch of calories to your waistline. But you don’t need to stop making your favorite pie recipes just because you’re on a diet. Just use a few healthy food substitutions to reduce the calorie count. For example, you can use orange juice to replace a certain fattening ingredient. Using smart food substitutions like these will help you stick to your weight loss diet without feeling as though you are depriving yourself of your favorite foods.

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Better Muffin Ingredients

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Tray of Muffins

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You might think that you’re teaching your kids healthy eating habits by giving them muffins instead of doughnuts, but think again. Most muffins, particularly those sold in commercial bakeries or supermarkets, are like cupcakes in disguise. They’re sweet enough to give you a toothache and they’ll certainly boost your calorie count for the day. Some jumbo muffins can have as much as 600 calories or more. Ignore the bakery and instead bake your own healthier, lighter muffins to stay on track with your diet. Making smart food substitutions can reduce the sugar and fat content without sacrificing flavor. As a general rule of thumb, replace white flour with whole wheat and sugar with reduced or zero-calorie sweeteners. And don’t forget to add lots of fresh or frozen berries and other fruits for vitamins.

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The New Beverly Hills Diet

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Beverly Hills Sign

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The New Beverly Hills diet is so-named because it is a revamped version of the original. Author Judy Mazel originally published the diet in 1981. According to EveryDiet.org, it is considered to be the first fad diet. The original Beverly Hills diet required an initial 42-day phase of highly restrictive eating. The new diet isn’t a whole lot better. It’s based on the idea that what you eat and how much you eat has nothing to do with successful weight loss. Rather, dieters are urged to eat specific types of foods at specific times of the day – and not to combine them. For example, a dieter would choose one type of fruit for breakfast. He would eat as much of it as he wished. If he wished to eat a different fruit after that, he’d have to wait an hour. Two hours after consuming his last fruit, the dieter is allowed to eat carbohydrates (in the form of whole or refined grains, we’re assuming, as fruits also contain carbs).

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The Nutrisystem Diet

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Nutrisystem Food

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The Nutrisystem diet is a diet meal delivery system. Dieters order shelf-stable, microwavable meals. Women are allotted 1,200 calories per day, while men eat 1,500 calories per day. Separate plans are available for vegetarians and diabetics. The revamped Nutrisystem Advanced meal plan is based on the glycemic index. Dieters eat prepared meals that do not spike blood sugar levels. Meals emphasize fiber, lean protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs. The Nutrisystem diet also recommends exercise. Online fitness plans are available, and include yoga, aerobics, and strength training programs. Dieters also receive a guide to weight loss, online support, and access to counselors via phone.

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Reconstituting Kombu

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You’ve heard the saying, “She eats like a rabbit” in association with the consumption of boring, tasteless diet food. Liven up your diet by eating like a fish instead. Try kombu, an edible type of kelp that is popular in Asian cuisine, particularly in Okinawa, Japan, where the life expectancy is among the highest in the world. Kombu has been eaten as far back as 797 AD, and probably even before that. This seaweed contains certain enzymes to help digestion. It can also help reduce bloating from excessive sodium consumption. Eat kombu regularly to lower your cholesterol levels and manage blood pressure levels.

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Bowl of Almonds

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Almonds are native to South Asia and the Middle East. Botanists categorize the almond as an indehiscent fruit, not a nut, with an edible seed inside. But for all intents and purposes, it’s a nut. Almonds have numerous health benefits, including lowering your risk of heart disease. One study found that substituting these nuts for an equal amount of carbs in a person’s diet lowered the risk of heart disease by 30%. Eating almonds may also help lower your LDL cholesterol levels (that’s the bad type of cholesterol). Almonds may also help lower post-meal blood sugar rises in diabetics, which can help lower the risk of diabetic complications. For the best health benefits, use the whole almond with the skin still on.

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Maria Sharapova’s Favorite Sweet Snacks

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Maria Sharapova Plays Tennis

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Pro tennis darling Maria Sharapova has won so many titles and championships that it would be ridiculous to list them all. She first came to the attention of tennis legend Martina Navratilova at age seven during a tennis clinic in Moscow. Navratilova recommended that Sharapova get professional lessons. She won her first championship at the tender age of 13, and her career has continued to skyrocket. Not surprisingly, all that tennis practice burns a ton of calories. And Sharapova isn’t shy at all about indulging her sweet tooth.

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Angie Harmon’s Natural Weight Loss

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Angie Harmon Wearing Turtleneck

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Angie Harmon’s career has flourished once again with her stint on “Rizzoli & Isles,” a cop show. While Angie loves working on the show, she’s mentioned that it can sometimes be difficult to balance work and family. And it’s no wonder – in addition to her acting career, Angie Harmon is a busy philanthropist, working with a wide range of charities from Stand Up To Cancer to a program that encourages healthy family meals. Sit-down meals do indeed encourage a healthier weight. When you eat on the run or while standing over a kitchen counter, you do not feel as satisfied and so you’ll probably end up grabbing another high-calorie snack a couple of hours later. Angie also likes sit-down meals because they encourage family time. She’s also mentioned that she tries to involve her three kids in cooking.

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7 Things to Do with Salsa

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Bowl of Salsa

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Diet food doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, eating a boring diet is a great way to gain weight (from all those cookies you sneak in between meals). Instead of depriving yourself of food on a temporary basis to lose a few pounds as quickly as possible, revamp your typical meal plan to encourage permanent and healthy weight loss or maintenance. Using salsa is a great way to spice up your diet and add more healthy foods to your meal plan. Plus, chili peppers contain capsaicin, which can encourage weight loss by suppressing your appetite. Salsa can take the place of many high-fat or high-sugar condiments, like commercial salad dressings, cheese sauces, and cheese dips. As always, compare nutritional labels to make smart food choices; select a brand that is lower in sodium. You could also make your own homemade salsa.

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