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Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Know Your Fro-Yo's -- cont'd

There are some wickedly delicious frozen yogurts on the market to help anyone who wants to have a treat while still following a weight loss or eat-healthy program. Only thing is -- you MUST know which one(s) to choose so that you don't end up undermining/sabotaging all your hard-won results and best efforts. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Edy's Cookies'n Cream 1/2 cup(68 g) kcals--120
total fat--3.5 g
sat fat--2 g
trans fat--0 g
cholesterol--10 mg
sodium--55 mg
total carbohydrates--20 g
sugars--15 g
protein--3 g

Turkey Hill Chocolate
Marhmellow 1/2 cup(68 g) kcals--110
total fat--0 g
cholesterol--0 mg
sodium--110 mg
total carb--24 g
sugars--18 g
fiber--1 g

Turkey Hill Peanut
Butter Pie 1/2 cup(68 g) kcals--160
total fat--7 g
sat fat--2.5 g
cholesterol--0 mg
sodium--95 mg
total carb--22 g
sugars--16 g
fiber--1 g

PLEASE take note of the difference in the kcals and total fat content of the two Turkey Hill flavors. You can choose either one, but my recommendation is to choose the higher kcalorie selection once or twice a week while feeling free to partake of the lower kcal, 0 fat flavor daily. AND, this does not mean you can have several servings a day -- choose frozen yogurt as part of your balanced diet however it fits into your plan -- as a milk serving mainly, but it can also be your dessert in place of fruit and certainly in place of a fattening, sugar-laden, saturated fat, trans-fat, cholesterol-laden dessert. I will post more examples of frozen yogurt recommendations tomorrow, including the 'Skinny Cow' desserts.

Keep cool!

Monday, 30 August 2010

Know your Fro-Yo's! They are NOT all created equal!

With the long, hot summer that we have experienced this year and no end in sight, according to the latest forecasts, frozen 'treats', no doubt, have been enjoying a banner year. For those of us who want to partake and refresh ourselves, yet not ingest our bodies with the loads of fat, sugars, and kcalories that goes with these treats, perhaps the many delicious frozen yogurts in the freezer section have called out to you.

Which one did you choose? You see, there are VAST differences amongst the myriad of flavors, concoctions, & consistencies and you need to know.

Remember the 'Seinfeld' episode where everyone thought that a certain frozen yogurt was so low in fat and kcalories that the gang was eating copious amounts of it, thinking they were going all healthy, only to find themselves gaining weight at rapid rates, getting bloated, and feeling like crap? Well, not too far from the truth, my friends, with a few of these options on the market. IMO, frozen yogurts, in general, are a better choice than ice cream, if you need to watch your fat, cholesterol, and kcalorie intake OR if you are a person who is NOT a self-regulator -- ie -- someone who CAN be perfectly satisfied with the scoop or two a couple times a week. But, if you're like me -- and find yourself reaching for the tub of tasty, frozen 'relief' daily -- you better know what's in the stuff and choose as wisely as you possibly can or you will MOST definitely sabotage your finest efforts to lose weight, keep weight off, eat healthy, etc -- whatever your goal(s) may be.

Frozen yogurts range from 240-60 kcals, 7-9 gms fat per 1/2 cup serving to 100 kcals, 0 gms fat per 1/2 cup serving. That's a HUGE difference and I haven't even mentioned the carbohydrates and simple sugars content issue involved here. Tune in tomorrow for which ones to choose and why. Off the top of my head, I'll just say -- if you DO go with one of the higher kcal, fat choices like Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie -- yes -- they probably are better tasting and creamier, BUT you have to know that you MUST choose these ones as if they are a rich dessert like a rich ice cream or any other rich dairy dessert. These yogurts would NOT be the type that you could feel free to choose every day without undermining your weight loss/ health promotion efforts. Kemp's Cookies and Cream would be a choice that fits into the latter category. A 1/2 cup serving of it has 100 kcals and o gms fat. The taste and texture of it, IMO, is as enjoyable as the B & J's. Almost. More choices and recommendations tomorrow.

Stay cool.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

The Downstairs Bathroom -- the most popular 'gig' in town!

What is it about my downstairs bathroom that makes everyone and anyone want to use it. And I don't mean just 'use it' -- I mean -- so many people who ask to use it, end up conducting their full-blown, outrageous, and complete business in it, whether it's for their weekly or daily 'meeting'.

And it doesn't matter what country I'm in -- you know -- the bathroom, the WC, the powder room, the loo -- folks absolutely find the need to use it.

Not just the family, next-of-kin variety, including the odd returning university student/graduate and her many and myriad friends with her, but also other close and distant relatives,friends -- even if they've just popped over for a short visit -- it always seems like the 'need' pops up, too, as soon as they take a peek at my toilet out of the corner of their eye if the door was left somehow ajar; friends who, of course, spend hours, even days crashing here, and who, of course, are welcome to it, albeit, WHY do they seem to wait until they're here for the full-monty experience; friends of family and friends who come to pick up or drop off said family and friends;the little kid down the road who lost his soccer ball in my backyard and who needs to walk through the back door to fetch it; hell, even the men servicing any parts of the home whatsoever, be it the airco/heating guy, the gas man, the electrician, the guy servicing the appliances, workmen building or repairing my place for various reasons, dare-I-say, even the gardener, as sooty as he can be, suddenly having the 'urge' as he was momentarily explaining, as he caught me at the back door on my mad dash out to run errands, how he just lined up the conifers at the far end of the yard.

Granted, I pride myself in how clean, pristine, cozy, and welcoming I make my downstairs bathroom -- never dreaming it would become everyone's go-to 'throne'! OTOH, if everyone leaves here, feeling comfortable, restored, 'relieved',and most importantly, consciously or unconsciously SO GOOD about knowing that there's a place in this crazy world where they can 'practice' their 'affairs' in 'peace' without question or judgement whatsoever.....

Well, I'll just keep the disinfectant spray and gloves handy after each flush, and move in when the coast is clear, as often as needs be with a smile and a swoosh.

I just HOPE that when the plumber needs to 'visit', it isn't because it's warranting a megabucks repair or unblocking and if it DOES -- please have it so happen on the plumber's watch! That, to me, would be the boldest sign, to date, of the greatest good karma EVER!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

An Outrageously Delish & Nutrish Breakfast or Snack

Hey All,

If you're looking for a great, quick, uberly nutritious breakfast or snack that's high in protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and rich in anti-aging, disease preventing antioxidants AND is so YUMMY -- here it is:

1 cup GoLean Crunch cereal
1/4 cup Kellogg's Cinnabon cereal
3 walnut halves, chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional, but gives that extra zip of glucose-lowering effect)

Mix together.


1 cup blueberries or berries of choice

Add berries to dry mix. It creates a pleasing-to-the palate soft and fruity concoction with a crunchy texture BURSTING with flavor and satiety. You can nosh on this without milk as a finger-food breakfast or snack (something I learned from Africans -- ie--eat with your fingers to get maximum pleasure!) -- which is what I prefer as I use my milk allotment to add to my coffee -- but you can also add milk and eat it as a 'civilized' delicious bowl of energy-yielding, but nutrient-dense cereal.

Enjoy! Let me know how you like it!

Mary-Jo R. Overwater-Gervasio, MSc, MMSc, RD -- a crazy, but savvy nutritionist when it comes to maximizing the nutritional value of your kcalories!!!

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

'Eat,Eat,Eat' --cont'd. Gripping saga of how a beautiful, emotionally stable, happily married woman survives travels in USA

I can't help it. I know it's a cheap shot, but the girl can't help it!

I have already traveled through Italy, most parts of Europe (including, by the way, the part of Europe that, IMHO, has the best foods of all European worlds -- the Alsace region), Africa, and other parts of the world. Traveling the world, does open one's eyes to alot, including the parts of your heart and soul and inner spirit that helps you discover all that you are and need to embrace in order to be thankful, to feel blessed, to be content, and at peace with yourself -- to attain 'happiness'.

Having said that, though -- I have to say -- everyone is different. Elizabeth Gilbert found herself through this journey of her physical travels and inner 'discoveries'. She seemed to need to leave the USA and all that she had here to start her process of 'finding' the 'real' her.

I, on the other hand, experienced my 'journey' of discovery right here in the good old USA (or should I say, the 'new' USA if I think in terms of the 'Old World' vs. the 'New World). You see, growing up NOT on a Christmas tree farm in Connecticut, but rather in a working lower-class neighborhood and very ethnic environment, initiated my 'awakening' and discovering the beauty of knowing that it didn't matter -- I was just as blessed, beautiful, talented, and giving as those lovely people who DO grow up on Christmas tree farms in Connecticut. I also learned in my 'journey' of 'growing up' -- working from the age of 12 to help support the family, excelling in school knowing that would be the only way to pursue higher education (which I did attain on full and partial academic scholarships through undergrad and grad school), and just living life with seeing it, first hand, from the eyes of someone in both the 'haves' and the 'have-nots' camps. I learned that 'a sense of purpose', 'trying to be good', and 'thankfulness' are the great equalizers. That is, it doesn't matter what you have, where you come from, or even where you're going or end up -- embracing your life and living it to find a way to, somehow, contribute productively to the world, being 'good' to yourself and to one another, and just being thankful are really what brings inner peace, happiness, and joy. And it IS difficult to experience all of this when one is struggling financially. Money and financial security gives freedom and the luxury to BE thankful, to BE good, and to find purpose. But, not always. It's as if one can never guarantee the other. We are born into certain circumstances and we just have to find our way with grace, dignity, and resourcefulness, YET never forgetting to be good, kind, loving, and thankful for mercies along the way, great and small, and for unconditional love -- from God, from those who love us, and from ourselves.

I'm so grateful that I started my journey on my home turf. I wasn't really looking for love and romance, but I received it in bundles when I met my so-kind, loving, good, YET suave, worldly, and magnificent husband -- ALSO, right here in the USA. Life with him has taken me to many lands and far-off places, a couple of which is where my beautiful children were born and raised. For me, my 'journey' has continued with traveling and it's been wondrous.


Whenever I come back to the USA, NOW, I find that MY struggles occur HERE, NOW, MORE so than anywhere else I'm living or have lived. The environment of life and living here IS not easy -- and it's completely ironic and complicated as this is still a country of the world that has SO many choices and comforts. But one feels the 'rat race' and 'survival of the fittest' mentality here SO strongly. It creates tension and robs you of spiritual contentment. I often feel so unsettled here and find myself feeling weak. There's SO many cues for unhealthy eating here and I find myself giving in more to the temptations that I seem to have MUCH more control over in other parts of the world. I drive more here and that decreases my physical activity level and the unobtrusive energy burn I get from living in other parts of the world. Because I'm not as-fastidiously implementing my healthy lifestyle living here, perhaps I'm physiologically/hormonally, in a worse place during the time I spend here. It makes me wonder if other folks have this here, too, and how much of the general population who live here ALL the time just end up having this unhealthy, hormonally-unbalanced, physiologically-challenged state-of-being as their norm. All I know is, I LOVE this country and 'found' myself here and now I feel, after 25 years of living abroad, that, I can easily lose my way if I end up staying here. That makes me sad. What I see happening here is some sort of extreme polarity of people. Those that 'have' have TOO much -- money, publicity, possessions, access to all that is good WHILE those that 'don't have' are scratching and doubtful and fearful and desperate. And THEN, there's this vast middle-of-the-road crowd that are becoming more paranoid, cut-throat, ornery, and miserable by the minute.

And they keep on EATING -- to find not just a source of energy, but comfort, joy, purpose, and something 'good' (and 'yummy') in their lives WHILE they watch and read endless reams of nonsense about 'unhappy' celebrities.

Take me to Italy, India, and Bali -- but kicking and screaming!!!! I'd MUCH rather stay right here and have it all going on -- eating, praying, and loving -- with the flag of freedom flying high!

Bye for now!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

'Eat, Eat, Eat' -- a novel by me and must-see movie about my emotional, personal travels through the USA

I mean it!! The title rip-off was a wide open notion that spoke to me right now.

It won't be long before I write the memoir of such a life -- probably from my extra-wide bed that I'll be confined to because I'll be too heavy to move again -- which will be my new home, as well, as I'll no longer be able to travel back and forth to different locations and/or countries.

After being stateside for a couple months, the reality hits again -- one just eats MORE here by just being here! It's the way of life here. One really has to work at watching portions, shopping through the enormous food markets that much carefully, and dodging fast-food joints, cafes, snack-bars, etc that much more artfully to get AWAY from all the food cues. And even though there is a tremendous amount of anti-obesity marketing, actions, and alternatives happening -- there's still a plethora of choices that scream 'Eat Me, I'm Fattening' out there. And people are still obese, sustaining their obesity, getting obese, and gaining weight and fat.

I DO see folks exercising and there ARE healthy and healthier foods around, but something is STILL awry. I feel it has alot still to do with cost. Healthier still seems to mean costlier. And even if that gap is starting to shorten -- getting ADVICE and guidance from experts on HOW TO execute and implement the changes to healthy and, more importantly, how to stay motivated, on track, and BACK on track after faltering -- well, that costs, too. What I see here is that so many experts are SO caught up in trying to cash in on overweight and obesity. It used to be that the fringe companies and outfits were doing this and now I see legitimate professionals rabidly competing shamelessly whilst overcharging clients and inflating their costs for therapy.

Again, I say -- the environment will change when people change and DEMAND health. This will happen when folks stay the course until their bodies PHYSICALLY change and they sustain the changes long enough to desire healthier options. This sustained change dynamic will occur if people get the monitoring and long-term follow up they need until they master the ability to change. They will get the long-term follow-up when they can afford to pay for it and the RIGHT professionals deliver it -- not some over-inflated fringe provider. And when the properly trained professionals don't have to inflate their prices to compete with charlatans, then, maybe, just maybe, obesity and overweight statistics will drop in the USA.

And then I can go back to writing my other book which will be a bestseller and made into a runaway movie hit called -- 'Eat, Enjoy, Be Fit'!!!!

Sunday, 1 August 2010

The No-Nonsense Philly Approach -- 'Eat Less, Work Out'

Pennsylvania's Gov. Ed Rendell, who hails from Philadelphia, is determined to shed 62 lbs. And how's he gonna do it! Why, he's going to eat less and work out more regularly.

I love it! I spend most of my year living in England, where everyone talks in circles (as well as drive around in such -- literally -- the 'round-a-bouts' are abundant and frequent and 'drive' me crazy!!) I live there and I enjoy all the great things about it and really and truly cherish my time there. BUT, I just love being back here in the good old city of brotherly love -- always. Especially for the 'no-nonsense'.

The esteemed directors of the Centers for Obesity Research and Education, Gary Foster, at Temple U and the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders, Tom Wadden, at the U of P -- both approve of and applaud their Governor, for his, simple, yet effective strategy. "Many things he's doing are right out of the textbook on weight control", affirms Wadden.

"Right on, Gov'na!", say I (in my 'mockney' accent).

I go to several meetings in London on the obesity dilemma and how we are going to approach it and/or solve it. As correct and esteemed as all the presenters are and I applaud THEM for all their hard work and research, I can't help but feel that so many of these experts are simply on the 'obesity research and approaches gravy train', garnering major funding and monies for exploring the relationships and associations of this and that to obesity. In fact, one of the most distributed, yet prosaic diagrams of this has been described as looking like the 'intestines of a rhinocerous', much to the chagrin of the folks who designed and proferred it.

Come to Philly, people!!! My idea is to put much more money into working with people to help them adjust their individual lives and 'realities' to simply 'eat less and work out more', but in such a way as to not intrude into the lives and preferences that makes them enjoy life. That's what Ed Rendell is doing! Plain and simple.

Now, I'm going out to get myself a Philly cheesteak,BUT, I'm going to make a salad to go with it AND I'm going to split it with my 2 sisters, and have a Coke Zero with it -- the can a day I indulge myself to.