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Friday, 29 April 2011

Heaven and Hell

Do you know what I love about life? and living?


the chance to start again and 'do over' no matter how much I muck up.

It's actually rather HEAVENLY -- to still have TIME and to be able to:

be giving and kind to people around me instead of self-centered and aloof,

to contribute in whatever ways I can to help make the world a better place -- even in small ways,

laugh -- even after going through sadness, hurt, loss,

learn new things,

spend time with my loved ones and meet new people,

go to my favorite spots and travel to new places,

make WISER and BETTER CHOICES about food, drink, possessions and material goods, my body, and relationships -- so as to not take it all for granted or OVER-CONSUME anything or FEEL ENTITLED to HAVE and HAVE and HAVE without thinking of the consequences to both myself and others!

What a MIRACLE it is to still have a NEW DAY or even a NEW MOMENT to be FREE and to have the RIGHT TO CHANGE! Like I said....


Do you know what HELL, for me would be?

Living the same day OVER and OVER -- day after day -- of having the same:

heart attack or
stroke or
bout of indigestion or
feelings of bloatedness,cramping,
shortness of breath,
headaches and migraines,
unfit,achy joints,
back,shoulder,neck pain,
pain in my feet,
alienation from others,
cancer of body, mind, and soul....

OVER and OVER -- DAY after DAY...

with NO chance anymore to change.

Losing the ability -- the freedom -- the right -- the opportunity to start over again!


Doomed to a life of any or all of the above FOREVER!


HELL.... on Earth.

Please! Don't settle for HELL!

While you still can, choose HEAVEN!

That IS YOUR right, YOUR freedom, YOUR gift that has been given to you without anything expected in return, BUT YOUR ETERNAL HAPPINESS and HEAVEN.

THAT IS the MIRACLE, my friend!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The Power of WHEY Protein

This is a helpful blurb on 'whey' protein and protein, in general. Hope it helps.

The Power of WHEY Protein

Dear SCAN Members,

As a health professional, you understand the importance of including high-­quality protein in a healthy diet to help the body function properly.1,2,3 While most Americans meet the Institute of Medicine’s Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for protein—0.8g/kg of body weight/day—sub-­populations, such as active adults and the elderly, may benefit from higher protein diets.4,5 Despite common beliefs that most Americans over consume protein, on average, Americans’ protein consumption hovers at the lower end of the acceptable macronutrient distribution range (AMDR), which is between 10% and 35% of total daily calories for adults 19 years and older.6 In fact, data indicate the average protein intake for men and women is 16% of calories.6

A growing body of science supports the benefits of consuming a higher protein diet - especially for managing weight and recovering after exercise. Whey protein is a complete, high-­quality protein that is naturally found in dairy.

* Consuming whey protein may help:
o Promote muscle repair and recovery after exercise;7,8 and
o Build more lean muscle, when combined with regular resistance exercise, compared to resistance training alone or resistance training combined with carbohydrate consumption. 9,10
* Consuming whey protein, as part of a diet higher in protein, can help people:
o Feel fuller longer than carbohydrates or fats;11,12,13 and
o Lose more fat and/or maintain more lean muscle, as part of a reduced-calorie diet.14,15

To help your clients add more whey protein to their diets as they look for new ways to manage their weight and recover post-­exercise, the National Dairy Council has developed educational tools that are available for your use at These include:

The 'Whey' to a Higher Protein Diet: Using Whey Protein to Help Fuel Your Active Lifestyle (Whey Protein Booklet)

This booklet outlines the importance of protein and whey protein; helps readers determine protein needs; and includes recipes and meal plans.

Recipe Cards

These three healthy and simple recipes using whey protein provide quick and delicious solutions for including more complete protein in one’s diet.

We hope this information is helpful to you as you educate clients about the benefits of consuming high-quality protein every day.


Marlene Schmidt, MS, RD
Vice President, Dairy Health and Wellness
National Dairy Council

1. IOC. International Olympic Committee Consensus Statement on Sports Nutrition, 2010. Available at: Accessed April 6, 2011.
2. Moore DR, Robinson MJ, Fry JL, et al. Ingested protein dose response of muscle and albumin protein synthesis after resistance exercise in young men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;89:1-­8.
3. Paddon-­Jones D and Rasmussen BB. Review : Dietary protein recommendations and the prevention of sarcopenia. Cur Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2009;12:86-­90.
4. Kim J-­S, Wilson JM and Lee S-­R. Review: Dietary implications on mechanisms of sarcopenia: roles of protein, amino acids and antioxidants. J Nutr Biochem. 2010;21(1):1-­13.
5. Gaffney-­Stomberg E, Insogna KL, Rodriguez NR, et al. Increasing dietary protein requir ements in elderly people for optimal muscle and bone health. J Am Geriatrics Soc. 2009;57(6):1073-­9.
6. Wright JD, Wang C-­Y. Trends in intake of energy and macronutrients in adults from 1999-­2000 through 2007-­2008. Available at Accessed April 6, 2011.
7. Howarth KR, Moreau NA, Phillips SM, et al. Coingestion of protein with carbohydrate during recovery from endurance exercise stimulates skeletal muscle protein synthesis in humans. J Appl Physiol. 2009;106:1394-­1402.
8. Tang JE, Moore DR, Kujbida BW, et al. Ingestion of whey hydrolysate, casein, or soy protein isolate: effects on mixed muscle protein synthesis at rest and following resistance exercise in young men. J Appl Physiol. 2009;107:987-­992.
9. Tang JE, Manolakos JJ, Kujbida GW, et al. Minimal whey protein with carbohydrate stimulates muscle protein synthesis following resistance exercise in trained young men. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2007;32:1132-­8.
10. Hulmi JJ, Kovanen V, Selanne H, et al. Review: Effect of protein/essential amino acids and resistance training on skeletal muscle hypertrophy: a case for whey protein. Nutr Metab. 2010;7(1):51.
11. Beasley JM, Ange BA, Anderson CAM, et al. Associations between macronutrient intake and self-­reported appetite and fasting levels of appetite hormones: results from the optimal macronutrient intake trial to prevent heart disease. Am J Epidemiol. 2009;169(7):893-­900.
12. Leidy HJ and Racki EM. The addition of a protein-­rich breakfast and its effects on acute appetite control and food intake in 'breakfast-­skipping' adolescents. Int J Obes. 2010;34:1125-­1133.
13. Smeets AJ, Soenen S, Luscombe-­Marsh ND, et al. Energy expenditure, satiety, and plasma ghrelin, glucagon-­like peptide 1, and peptide tyrosine-­tyrosine concentrations following a single high-­protein lunch. J Nutr. 2008;138(4):698-­702.
14. Krieger JW, Sitren HS, Daniels MJ, et al. Effects of variation in protein and carbohydrate intake on body mass and composition during energy restriction: a meta-­regression. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006;83:260-­74.
15. Westerterp-­Plantenga MS, Nieuwenhuizen A, Tome D, et al. Dietary protein, weight loss, and weight maintenance. Annu Rev Nutr. 2009;29:21-­41.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Passion -- Become your TRUE desires!

The fulfillment of Jesus' life on earth is not what he did but rather
in what was done to him. Passion.
- Henri J. M. Nouwen

I really like how Henri Nouwen describes how Jesus FULFILLED His Life and the TRUTH of His Life on earth -- not ONLY by all that He DID -- preaching, teaching, performing miracles, leading, and taking control of all that he needed to do to fulfill His Destiny, BUT, by REACTING and PARTICIPATING in all the ways He did, to what was being DONE TO HIM -- PASSION!

Often, when we strive to live out our own TRUTH -- what it is in life we need to DO and BECOME in order to live our lives FULLY ENGAGED -- FULFILLING our goals -- our purposes -- our FULL potential -- contributing to the world the way we know we need to, we want to, what we SAID we WOULD STRIVE to do when we were full of ideals, full of energy, full of PASSION....

It actually involves all that we ACTIVELY DO -- YES -- but as life moves on and as we get older, we KNOW that things just happen. We get jobs. We have families. We get busy taking care of business. We become people who get sick and people who die and we spend time with friends and families of people who get sick and die. We get into ryhthms and routines. We spend time working the 'system' and get caught up. What happened to all that 'PASSION'?!!!

It's STILL there!!!!! Because 'PASSION' is about how we REACT to all that HAPPENS to us -- all that is DONE to us!!!

A huge part of living our TRUTH is about keeping our goals, our dreams, our aspirations, our ideals, and our potential to become who we WANT to BE by not only going after life ACTIVELY in all the ways we need to ACT but by REACTING with grace and wisdom to all that HAPPENS TO us so that the PASSION comes OUT EVEN MORE!!

THIS is what PASSION really IS! You find out what it IS you REALLY want for and IN your life -- what you are PASSIONATE about! If all that happens TO you, ends up DISTRACTING you from your goals, dreams, potential -- then, perhaps, that's not what you wanted and are about to begin with.

But, if through reacting to all that is done to you through life makes you THAT much more RESOLVED to accomplish goals, dreams, your potential -- what you picketed about, wrote essays about, visualized what you and the world could and WOULD BECOME with YOU IN IT -- BECAUSE YOU ARE IN IT -- then the PASSION is REAL and leading you to your FULL DESTINY!

Don't settle for just a life of DOING! Let your PASSION(S) drive you to LIVE -- FULLY and to become ALL that you can BE -- all that you were MADE FOR and MADE TO BE!

Friday, 15 April 2011

The Retro Look

Looking back. We seem to long for how things used to be -- in the good old days. We love the cars, the fashion, the music, the hairdos. MEN seemed to have MORE HAIR!

Life was simpler, more straightforward.

And people were SMALLER! As were FOOD PORTIONS!

Even though people ate plenty of saturated fats (butter, red meat, full-fat cheese and other dairy, real cream in coffee), plenty of carbohydrates (Wonder bread, biscuits, Mom's apple pie, all KIND of pies, cakes, and homemade cookies), and THREE SQUARE MEALS A DAY plus a small snack or two -- people were NOT as BIG -- ie -- obese -- as they are today. The prevalence of SUPER-OBESITY was also much lower.

What's going on???

Well, there are many reasons, but, certainly people just EAT MORE today. The SIZE of our portions has INCREASED over the past 20 years. What we classify as a NORMAL PORTION is double, often quadruple what it used to be. And our children don't KNOW any better. For some reason the whole 'BIGGER IS BETTER' mentality has stuck when it comes to our food intake. Even though many of us know very well that we are eating WAY TOO MUCH, because it's considered normal, we go into a warped sense of denial and just continue to overeat -- although what's considered 'OVEREATING' today is ALSO different from what it was 20 years ago. Which is why there is more 'SUPER-OBESITY' today.

This all goes along with the redefined weight norms we are seeing today. What was considered overweight, even, obese, 20 years ago looks different from what we consider overweight and obese to be today. Oh, on the scales and measuring tapes and fat calipers -- it's still defined properly, but I'm talking about what people SEE when they look at someone and a group of people. There are SO MANY MORE overweight and obese people today that if one looks into a crowd, you only pick out the few who are SUPER-OBESE, even though there could be many more dangerously overweight and obese people.

One of my first jobs was working in a hospital kitchen of a hospital in a working-class neighborhood in Philadelphia. I had a particular patient up on the wards who was SUPER-OBESE. She had diabetes, congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, osteoarthritis, and depression. Ironically enough, she was ONLY in the hospital for a work-up of possible inflammatory bowel disease. The doctor ONLY ordered a residue-restricted diet. Before I ever saw the patient, I started to notice that as her trays came down the food-assembly line, there were COPIOUS amounts of food, albeit, indeed, they were low-residue, but included plenty of jellies, biscuits, crackers, sugar, meat, mashed potatoes etc.! And I had not received any order for a consult for this patient. I investigated. I peeked in to the patient's room and saw that she was extremely overweight/obese. I tracked her doctor down. I asked him (actually I PLEADED with him)if he would refine the diet order to a diet that would not only address her bowel problems, but also her need for control of kcalories, sugars, and fats. I asked him to order a dietary consult so that I would then be free to work out the exact diet and I would be happy to work with the woman to help her, perhaps, lose some of her fat weight, and possibly get her blood sugar under better control without the need for insulin. He flatly refused. He told me to stick to his order as he was not interested in treating her obesity! ( Aaaah, how times have changed!) Anyway, I took charge to vigilantly look after her trays regardless of the doctor's attitude, making sure she didn't get the crazy amounts of food (albeit -- low-residue) that had been going up to her. I found out that one of the dietary supervisors, Mary, who was also a hefty woman herself, was actually putting EXTRA foods on the woman's tray and LIKED the fact that this woman was SO big. Mary told me that when she delivered the woman's tray, it made HER (Mary) feel BETTER about herself -- ie -- to stand next to someone who was BIGGER than HER!!! Oy!!!!

That was one of my first lessons in the importance of IN-SERVICE TRAINING for the DIETARY STAFF!

So, informally, despite the lack of an order from the doctor, I would visit the woman. When I would deliver her trays to her, sure enough, I discovered, she was longing for some guidance on how to lose weight and feel better about herself. I ended up working with her and helped her to lose 40 lbs. This enabled her to decrease her insulin dosages and helped with her knees. Her overall feeling of well-being improved. (Of course!). Unfortunately, her CHF and cardiomyopathy persisted as the damage was done, as did her bowel problems. I lost track of her after my internship ended.

That was one of my first lessons and RUDE awakenings that I had a LONG road ahead of me when it came to dealing with doctors who would take obesity seriously! Fortunately, THAT has also changed DRAMATICALLY! To me, it's ironic that today, often, MDs are the ones considered to be experts on obesity and are writing books and manning TV shows and doling out all the advice. I'm HAPPY about that -- really I am -- but don't forget DIETITIANS! We actually have the exact expertise people need PLUS all the knowledge of foods, better preparation, cookery, recipe development, shopping tips, etc.

I don't long for past days AT ALL, but I DO miss the REALITY of our definitions of OVERWEIGHT and OBESITY and PORTION SIZES being much closer to the TRUTH.

People WERE smaller because of this. But people DID have heart and bowel problems, cancers and diabetes THEN, which is why the CHANGES we HAVE emphasized in switching to MORE WHOLE GRAINS, less saturated/more poly and mono unsaturated fats, less red meat consumption, MORE FIBER etc is all GOOD!!!! But eating BIG PORTIONS OF EVEN HEALTHIER FOODS contributes to an overall excessive intake of the amounts of kcalories, carbohydrates, and essential fats than we need and can lead to being overweight and obese. This is VERY IMPORTANT for people to understand!

We have to work on getting people to GO BACK to how it WAS and EAT LESS. We are doing really well in that folks ARE eating more whole-grains, unsaturated fats, and leaner meats and lower-fat dairy products. We ALSO have to encourage people to GO BACK to how it WAS and EAT MORE BASICS and FRESH foods vs. all the PROCESSED gunk/junk.

We have to get people thinking BACK to when LEANER BODIES were NORMAL.

So, IN with the OLD and OUT with the NEW for body weight norms and food portion sizes!!

We just might get to see more of those small-waist dresses again.

I also happen to think that men will hang onto their hair longer if we go back to the past when it comes to FRESH, more prudent eating! I'm tired of all the dome heads that ALSO seems to be more NORMAL today than years ago. And, take those baseball caps off!!!

Now, THAT would be SWELL.....

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Take It Day By Day

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That's why we call it the present. ~Babatunde Olatunji

Those of us that live in free lands -- where we have decent, if not lovely homes, supermarkets, neighborhoods, and surroundings -- are truly blessed.

And yet, we still suffer. We are lonely. We are frustrated. We still experience grief at losing loved ones. We still get overwhelmed by responsibilities in caring for our children, our aging parents, our sick family members and friends. We have bills to pay. We still have to work at our relationships -- with spouses, with partners, with children, co-workers, with parents and siblings, with friends. We still feel misunderstood. We still get ill ourselves.

Whatever life IS and brings -- it IS as it IS. I KNOW its important to plan for the future, and, also, to learn from past mistakes, but EACH DAY is a NEW BEGINNING and a new chance to LIVE WELL.

When you wake up each day -- really look at it as a GIFT -- a PRESENT to yourself.

Make GREAT choices -- eat healthy, engage in exercise or movement of some kind, enjoy fresh air. Be kind, understanding, patient. Take some time in the day to focus on a responsibility or two that you've been putting off and get action started on tending to it -- whether it's to pay a bill on time, to call a friend who has been waiting to hear back from you, to sit down with a child who needs your time and guidance, to call your Mom.

Take ONE DAY AT A TIME and MAKE IT A GOOD DAY. There's nothing better than going to bed at night feeling tired, but in a GOOD WAY -- that 'accomplished' way. It's also SO great to have your body feel HEALTHY at the end of a day -- your food is well-digested and you feel comfortable, light, and tired, but WELL -- because you chose to put healthy food into your body and to not OVEREAT, and you moved your body ENOUGH and in ways to innervate your body's physiological systems in just the ways they needed. Sleep will, most likely, be deep, peaceful, and sweet.


Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Nutrish and Delish --Easy Spring Supper

I WANDERED lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;...
William Wordsworth

Every day is a glory of colors and fragrances right now. Even in rainy England, I stand in awe of the budding blooms and the full-blown blooms when I think that only a couple weeks ago -- the trees and the ground were still bare!


So, why would I want to be stuck indoors? I'm up for brisk walks in the sunshine, tea in the garden, and finding some local outdoor markets to browse and possibly pick up some nutritious bargains. I STILL want to deliver a healthy, tasty meal, but I certainly am not up to slave away in the kitchen. So, here's a meal that will be sure to please, is healthy, and quick to put together. It will also help to get everyone in a springtime frame of mind and it's packed chock full with omega-3 -fatty acids. This helps boost moods. Right now, we sorely need to shake off the wintry doldrums and to get ourselves feeling bright and refreshed!

Easy Spring Menu

Fresh Cherry Tomato Soup with spelt crackers
(Rinse 2 punnets or 4 vines of fresh cherry tomatoes. Sautee in 2 tablespoons olive oil with 1 clove chopped garlic until soft. You can whizz the cooked, softened tomatoes in a blender if you want, but not necessary. I prefer the soup a bit chunky. Transfer to a medium pot. While continuing to simmer, add tomato juice (a good quality one) or water until you reach enough fluid to generate however many small starter bowls of soup you need. Can add 1 Tablespoon cream at end just before serving, but not necessary. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and fresh basil.
Spelt crackers, pumpkin-seed crackers, whole-wheat crackers, etc. are readily available at stores and supermarkets.

Grilled Salmon with Walnut Gremolata Crust
(choose as fresh as possible salmon fillets for as many people as you are serving; Walnut Gremolata: mix together 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1 cup chopped fresh parsley, 1 tablespoon lemon zest,1 tablespoon breadcrumbs, preferably whole wheat, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 1 Tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper -- arrange salmon fillets in lightly greased pan or glass baking dish. Grill for 10 minutes. Take out and gently press Walnut Gremolata mixture on top of each fillet and put back in oven and grill or bake for another 10-15 minutes (depends on how thick fillets are -- ask fish monger how much time you need to cook salmon through) until crust is golden)

Spring Onion Potato Salad
(boil 5-6 red-skinned or 10 new potatoes with skin on, till just tender. Cool. Mix 2 chopped spring onions, 1 chopped celery stalk, 1 hard-boiled egg, chopped and crumbled in mixture, 1 tsp mustard, 1 Tablespoon light mayonnaise, 2 Tablespoons plain yogurt, chopped fresh dill, salt and pepper. Mix all ingredients together and put in fridge until salmon is ready)

Steamed Carrots with Edamame
(prepare carrots in thick strips or rounds; steam until firm and in the last 5 minutes of steaming, add a handful of frozen shelled edamame beans)

Fresh Mango slices with Scoop of Frozen Yogurt

This is a colorful, flavorful, and filling supper. This is JUST THE TICKET to enter the rest of the year HEALTHY, SATISFIED, and looking GORGEOUS

Mary-Jo R. Overwater-Gervasio, MSc, MMSc, RD :)

Friday, 1 April 2011

Foodie Vision

Did I tell you? I have an incredible talent. I amaze myself sometimes.

I'm like Einstein, Bach, Mozart, Picasso, and van Gogh rolled into one person when it comes to MY special gift ....

the Einstein of edibles....

the Bach of 'boy, now THAT looks YUMMY!...

the Mozart of muffins, cakes, pies, tarts, confections, etc. and so on, and so forth....

the Picasso of 'pretty much anything that I KNOW is delicious but decadently laden with kcalories, fat, and sugar'....

and the van Gogh for 'GO for it! When will you be able to try THIS again???!!!'

You see, I've lived in SIX countries and I've travelled extensively. And I seem to have the uncanny ability to pick out the MOST FATTENING FOODS in all and any country I've ever been to -- ZOOM!

'Frites met satesaus' or 'kaas souffle' or 'kroketen' in The Netherlands

'gaufre' or 'croque monsieur' in Belgium

Dundee cake, Scotch whiskey syllabulbs, Walker's butter biscuits in Scotland

Pyrog meat and kapusta pies, blini with caviar and sour cream, beef strogonoff in Russia

Bacon baps, Eton Mess, fish 'n chips in England

Apfel strudel in Austria, rosti and raclette in Switzerland

And so on......

Thank God, I am an Italian-American who grew up eating the old-fashioned recipes from the home country, so I was a BIT USED to all the delicacies of Italy before I arrived there and travelled extensively enjoying the fresh-baked breads, handmade pastas and polenta dishes, and wonderful custards, cakes, and confections.

There could be grilled or baked this or that or fresh fruits and veg here and there, but , nooooooo, I zone in!

And, believe me -- in EVERY country there ARE healthy choices PLENTIFUL!!! In fact, if I'm totally honest with you -- TREATS are TREATS -- even to the locals!

All those slender, toned, healthy-looking Dutch, French, Italian, Brazilian, German, Swiss, Austrian, Russian,Scottish, Middle Eastern, African, Greek and Turkish beauties as well as the radiant English and Irish roses -- they are NOT REGULARLY partaking of the local 'sinker' fare of their wonderful countrysides.

They TREAT themselves, for sure,every once in a GREAT while, but they, too work at enjoying the light, fresh, healthy cuisines that their countries have to offer.

And me?! Well, after almost 25 years, I THINK I'm finally getting it!!!

Sometimes, I CAN handle having the goodies and sometimes,I just have to say NO! It is as it is. Life goes on and I've learned that my 'Foodie Vision' is both a blessing and a curse and I have to fine-tune and tweak it from time to time or it takes over.

No matter where in the world you will find me......sigh!