Tag: nutrition


Studies were recently done to see if eating fruits and vegetables really prolonged life. Included in these categories were also nuts and beans. According to the American Journal of Nutrition, people who ate 5 servings/day actually increased their lifespan by 3 years. Extending their research, they showed that, over time, those who ate 4 servings daily lost 1 month, 3 servings lost 3 months, 2 servings lost 7 month,  those who only ate their fruits and veggies lost 1 ½ years and those who did not eat any servings lost 2 years off their lifespan.

Most of the subjects were in their 50’s and 60’s. However, there was a group of women in their 70’s who added 5 years just by eating 5 servings daily (compared to the cohorts who did not eat healthy).


Functional foods have been defined as “Whole foods along with fortified, enriched, or enhanced foods that have a potentially beneficial effect on health when consumed as part of a varied diet on a regular basis at effective levels based on significant standards of evidence”. Many people believe that good nutrition is beneficial for good health and that consuming functional foods can play a big role in this. Many adults are now looking for foods fortified with ingredients that promote healthy aging that include not only fiber and vitamins but also whole grains, omega-3’s and antioxidants. There are 5 ingredients that will become very important in the functional food industry:


1.       Protein- This is the hottest ingredient and has the potential to curb appetite and promote weight loss in addition to increasing muscle mass as we age.

2.       Microalgae

3.       Omega-3’s-There is currently a shift from fish to vegetarian sources

4.       Vitamin D

5.       Magnesium-This is the hottest mineral which is thought to have many health benefits

Understanding food labels

1.       WHOLE GRAIN- Surprisingly, the government does not regulate exactly what constitutes a whole grain. However, the Whole Grains Council does. Look for the WHOLE GRAIN STAMP symbol on the package. Remember the MULTI-GRAIN may not necessarily consist of whole grains!

2.       ALL-NATURAL- These are products that you should read the label. This does not mean no artificial ingredients or non-GMO’s!

3.       CALORIE-FREE- This is just nit-picking but calorie free may include up to 4 calories per serving.

4.       GLUTEN-FREE- Many patients who are either gluten sensitive or not like to AVOID wheat products. Usually the labels on these foods are accurate

5.       ORGANIC-This usually means that there were no pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, antibiotics or growth hormones used in food production. The USDA does not regulate “what organic means”. To find out more, go to www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/nop.





Can we be trained to eat healthy foods?

It’s obvious that our diets, for the most part are unhealthy.  There are studies that suggest  that what we learn to like to eat as infants may affect what we eat as adults. 53% of baby foods contain an excessive amount of both sugar and salt. According to Gary Beauchamp, a biopsychologist, “complex multisensory flavor profiles—even more so than individual tastes such as sweet or bitter—are influenced by our experiences during the first few months of life.” And if parents introduce healthful tastes and flavors, such as carrots or broccoli, early on, an infant will not only rapidly adapt, but will also develop a preference for these flavors that could persist for a lifetime.” But even

I exercise 30 minutes a day an eat healthy but I stopped losing weight!

Some people rely on the government recommendation which suggest 30 minutes of exercise such as walking as a benchmark for daily exercise.  However, this is the minimum needed for maintenance and serves as a good starting point.

Better Exercise.

Amount:  In order to burn fat, we need to exercise longer and harder than the government’s recommendation.  A good workout session includes at least 45 minutes of exercise at a moderate-to-high intensity.

Intensity:  Intensity can be gauged through your heart rate and muscle fatigue.  Your target heart rate during exercise depends on your age and can be estimated from a table.  Muscle fatigue results from repeated movements against resistance (weights and reps).  Try to do 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps of resisted exercise using a moderate weight.   If your heart rate remains in the target range and you can complete 3 sets of 10-12 reps before becoming fatigued, then the intensity is moderate-to-high.  Adjust the weight resistance up or down until the intensity is right.  You should be breaking a sweat and breathing moderately hard.

Target body weight:  Your target body weight can be estimated using a BMI table.  As you approach your target weight it becomes increasingly difficult to lose weight, especially at the belly.  The amount and intensity of your exercise needs to be increased as your weight loss plateaus.  If you are 10-15 pounds overweight and are trying to lose the last few more pounds of belly fat you will need to work out more than 45 minutes at a higher intensity.

Variety:  Walking or even jogging for 30-45 minutes is not going to result in significant weight loss.  This exercise might be good for your lungs and heart but a variety of resisted exercises is needed to accomplish meaningful weight loss.  If you build muscle you not only burn calories during exercise, but also increase your metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories even during rest.  BONUS!  The best way to build muscle – and lose weight – is through a variety of resistance exercises that become progressively more intense over time.  Then rest one day to allow your muscles to recover.

Reward:  Reward yourself after exercise with … weight reduction, not with a double scoop of chocolate ice cream.

Power Plate:  Power Plate Vibration Technology allows a person to experience a full workout at moderate-to-high intensity in fewer minutes and with less impact on the joints.

Pointers:   Consult your physician prior to initiating a weight loss program.  Utilize a personal trainer or physical therapist for coaching and instruction.  Consult with a nutritionist for help with further improving your diet.  Reducing stress at home or at work can lead to more rapid weight loss.

The co$t of obesity

It should not be surprising that obesity continues to rise in the US. Regular readers of my blogs are also aware of the many associated diseases that are related to obesity. The government and insurance companies always say how important it is to lose weight but they have no intentions of paying for it.

Check out these numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

ARTHRITIS——$128,000,000,000/year.  Covered

CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES——$444,000,000,000/year. Covered

CANCER—–$125,000,000,000/year. Covered

DIABETES—-$245,000,000,000/year. Covered (up 41% from 5 years ago)

OBESITY—–$190,000,000,000/year. NON-COVERED


It seems to me that since obesity can play a role in all of the above illnesses, that insurance companies would want to encourage lifestyle changes and weight loss. If only they would pay for it. We recognized the benefits of aggressive weight loss years ago and became one of the first practices in the country to offer our own gym and registered dietitian for our patients. We also supervise very closely every patient  who is using FDA weight loss medications. (Forget OTC supplement-they are scams not only don’t work but may be dangerous) Unfortunately, most insurance companies will not pay for these services. The mentality of the average patient is that if it is not covered, than they do not want to participate. Or they tell us “I know what to do” Unfortunately knowing what to do and doing it are two different things.

It’s never too late to get proactive with your medical care. And ladies, the price is usually less than a day at the beauty parlor and manicurist/month!

Call our office if you would like to learn more about our programs



It’s National Blueberry Month!

BlueberrySummer is a great time to enjoy fresh fruit. Throughout the summer different fruits are readily available at the grocery store, farmer’s market or in our own backyards.

July is National Blueberry month and a great time to enjoy this colorful, flavorful fruit. Blueberries have been a staple in the American diet for many years. They are colorful, taste good, healthy and convenient. Blueberries are low in fat, sodium free and a good source of fiber and vitamin C. One cup of fresh blueberries at 80 calories provides 5 grams of fiber and 15% of the vitamin C you need for the day. Blueberries are easy to prepare and serve. There is no peeling, pitting, coring or cutting. Just rinse in clean, cool water, eat and enjoy.

  • Selection and Storage

When purchasing fresh blueberries look for ones that are firm, dry, plump, smooth-skinned and relatively free of leaves and and stems. Berries should be deep-purple blue to blue-black in color. Reddish berries are not ripe. Fresh berries should be refrigerated, but not washed until ready to use. Refrigerated they will maintain their quality for 10 to 14 days. Blueberries can easily be frozen for later use. The easiest way to freeze is to pack unwashed berries dry into freezer containers or bags leaving ½-inch of headspace. Washing blueberries before freezing will result in a tougher skin. They can also be frozen on a tray and then packed into containers as soon as they are frozen. Be sure to wash before using.

Using Blueberries

There are lots of recipes for using blueberries, but some of the best ways to use them are simple and easy:

  • Wash and eat
  • Add to pancakes, muffins or quick bread
  • Serve on top of ice cream or frozen yogurt
  • Top dry or cooked cereal with them
  • Add them to fruit salad or tossed salad.

Enjoy this colorful, healthy fruit of summer!

The latest diet fad, the “White Kidney Bean Diet”



Have you ever heard of this one? The white kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) is supposed to help you lose weight by blocking the absorption of starches. Unfortunately, its effectiveness is questionable. Some studies have shown a 3-4 pound weight loss but this was not considered to be statistically significant when compared to placebo. Although thought to be safe, the most common side effect is gassiness. Long term safety is unknown.

Please be aware that there is no such thing as “A FAT BLOCKER”. The only way to lose weight is to change your lifestyle with diet and exercise. Sometimes it may be necessary to use FDA approved drugs to help, but beware of the next great diet fad.

Thanks to Dr. Harvey Mishner and Kaizen Total Wellness for providing this information. Visit them at www.KaizenTotalWellness.com

March is National Nutrition Month

 NNM-2014National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign is designed to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. NNM also promotes the Academy and its members to the public as the most valuable and credible source of timely, scientifically based food and nutrition information. Visit their website, http://www.eatright.org/nnm/ 

Do you really know what you’re eating every day? There are so many resources to help you, just a click away. The USDA has a great website, www.ChoseMyPlate.gov that will help you determine what you’re eating and how it does or does not benefit you. They even have a program, SuperTracker, which will help you analyze your diet and physical activity.  Click HERE for SuperTracker. 

You are what you eat, so know what you’re eating!


Will the new “Nutrition Facts” label help you?

The nutrition labels have always been very difficult to understand (even for health professionals). I can remember several years ago while attending an air show at MacDill AFB with my daughter, it was so hot that I decided to buy frozen lemonade. It was only 4 ounces but really helped quench my thirst on this unbearable hot day in the sun. Then, we decided to read the label: 39 grams of sugar/serving. And then we see that the 4 ounces was considered 2 servings!. For someone who preaches the dangers of sugar, I couldn’t believe I actually ate 78 grams of sugar in one sitting.
The new proposed nutrition labels, while still a bit ambiguous, are an improvement over what we now have. At least not serving size estimates are more honest.
Women are usually mush better at limiting serving portions, but most men will finish the whole bag of chips or cookies in one sitting: that is, their serving size will remain the WHOLE bag.
As a general rule of thumb, please limit your quantities of sugar to less than 9 grams per serving.
For more information, contact Kaizen Total Wellness to set up an appointment with our registered dietitian, Julie Calmes, RD, LD/N. Our Lakewood Ranch office is 941-315-6182, and 941-357-5550 in Bradenton. Vistit www.KaizenTotalWellness.com
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