Thursday, December 30, 2010

For healthy eating, swallow a rainbow - KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

I came across this great article on healthy eating this morning  For Healthy Eating, Swallow a Rainbow, and wanted to share it with you. As it turns out the author of the article, Patty James, has a book as well.

I liked the way she broke out the various properties the veggies have that our bodies need to be healthy.


Life is a journey, enjoy the trip!
Mary E. Robbins
Robbins Run Ranch

By Patty James

Why is it important to eat lots of different colored fruits and vegetables? Because each colored vegetable and fruit has unique properties and there is strong evidence of interactions between the colors that are beneficial to your health. Eating by the Rainbow is vitally important to your well-being.
Here are the colors:
Red foods contain lycopene that helps rid the body of damaging free radicals and protects against prostate cancer, as well as heart and lung disease. The red foods are loaded with antioxidants thought to protect against heart disease by preventing blood clots, and may also delay the aging of cells in the body.
  • Tomatoes
  • Beets
  • Radishes
  • Red cabbage
  • Cherries
  • Cranberries
  • Pink grapefruit
  • Red grapes
  • Red peppers
  • Pomegranates
  • Red potatoes
  • Watermelon
  • Raspberries
  • Red apples
  • Rhubarb
  • Strawberries
Orange and Yellow foods contain alpha carotene, which protects against cancer, but also contain beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A, protecting the skin against free-radical damage. Beta-carotene is also good for night vision.
  • Yams and sweet potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Yellow apples
  • Apricots
  • Butternut squash
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemons
  • Mangoes
  • Nectarines
  • Oranges and Tangerines
  • Papayas
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Yellow peppers
  • Persimmons
  • Pineapple
  • Pumpkin
  • Yellow summer or winter squash
  • Sweet corn
  • Yellow tomatoes
Green foods contain the chemicals that help ward off cancer by inhibiting carcinogens. Chlorophyll is the component that makes plants green, and it is purifying in the body. Many green foods also contain calcium and minerals.
  • Kale, spinach, and other leafy greens
  • Green apples
  • Artichokes
  • Sea vegetables
  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Green beans
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Green cabbage
  • Cucumbers
  • Green grapes
  • Kiwi
  • Lettuce
  • Limes
  • Green onions
  • Peas
  • Zucchini
Blue, Indigo, and Violet foods contain the compound anthocyanins that not only give food their color but also have been shown to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and increasing heart health.
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Purple grapes
  • Figs
  • Raisins
  • Plums, fresh and dried
  • Eggplant
White foods, though not part of the color of the rainbow, contain properties that have anti-tumor qualities, such as allicin in onions as well as other health-improving antioxidants such as the flavanoids. The white foods, like bananas and potatoes, contain potassium as well.
  • Bananas
  • Onions
  • Cauliflower
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Jicama
  • Mushrooms
  • Potatoes
  • Parsnips
  • Turnips
So how do you incorporate these fruits and vegetables into your daily eating habits?
Here are some sample menus to get you started:
  • An orange. Sauté 1/2 red pepper, ½ onion, 2 shitake mushrooms, and 2 cloves garlic. Add 3 cups leafy greens (spinach leaves are fine) and 3 eggs. Cook until eggs are done and serve.
  • Strawberries. Oatmeal made with cubed butternut squash or pureed pumpkin, topped with raw walnut pieces and raw pumpkin seeds.
  • Turkey sandwich on whole grain bread with sprouts, lettuce, tomato slices, avocado, and grated carrots. Serve with a 2-cup salad made with romaine lettuce and raw cauliflower, broccoli, and garbanzo beans.
  • Spinach salad topped with black olives, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, and cauliflower. Add beans or chicken if you like. Toss with fresh lemon juice and either olive oil or flax oil or a combination of the two. Sprinkle fresh parsley, chopped, on top.
  • Grilled fish or chicken breast or black beans and brown rice (protein). Coleslaw made with green and red cabbage with red onions and grated carrots. Baked yam.
  • Pasta primavera made with spinach fettuccini, sautéed red peppers, onions, garlic, zucchini, carrots, and whatever else is in season.
  • 1 cup blueberries and cantaloupe
  • Jicama slices with salsa and celery with hummus or peanut or almond butter
  • Pineapple chunks and banana slices
  • Raw veggies with your favorite dip. Hummus is a good choice.
  • Tangerine slices with herb tea
Remember that you need 5–9 cups of vegetables and fruits a day for good health. Make sure at least half of your veggies are raw. Don't forget that juicing can incorporate many colored fruits and veggies easily and may be a good choice for those who may not be able to chew raw fruits and veggies.
Patty James is a Certified Natural Chef with a Master's degree in Holistic Nutrition and was founder and director of the Patty James Cooking School and Nutrition Center, the first certified organic cooking school and nutrition center in the country. She created the Patty James Health Guide, a guide to life-long healthy eating and lifestyle. Patty is a frequent guest speaker in public and private schools around the US, the Clinton Foundation in New York, as well as to health practitioners and organizations. Patty runs Shine the Light on America's Kids, an organization whose mission is to shine the light on all aspects of kids' health in America. She is the author of More Vegetables, Please! Website: and

For healthy eating, swallow a rainbow - KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Weight Loss Sabotage -

Here is the question of the day.  Have any of us not run into this in some form.  Deliberate or not... hmmmmm...

Weight Loss Sabotage

Dieting with the Enemy
Are friends and family making you fat?
Want to really bring out the worst in people? Try weight loss. Ten pounds or a ton, you'll be showered with so much fattening food--sabotage by people who claim to love you--that it will send the price of sugar cane and lard futures through the roof.
Why is that?
I've seen it happen so many times to my weight loss patients that when they come in and confess they fell off the wagon, I'm ready with my ritual response: "Who did this to you?"

They're always shocked to think that someone else may have had a hand in their weight loss failure. Then it dawns on them: Oh yeah, the chocolate cake care package Mom just sent, the surprise candy from the usually unthoughtful husband, the coworker who left the gift-wrapped Oreos on your desk. "Why is that?" they always ask. Dietsaboteurs," I explain. "They're everywhere." In fact, in one survey, 24,000 overweight women reported that weight loss created problems in their relationships that regaining the weight would have resolved.

Friend or Foe?
The problem usually starts because you're in change mode (and darned happy to be there), but your friends and family aren't.

"Rarely would a real friend malevolently undermine your diet," says nutrition professor Audrey Cross, PhD, of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. "They just do unconscious things to keep the relationship the way it was." And there are lots of reasons why.

They feel guilty. Your success pricks their conscience, since they may think they should be pursuing weight loss too. But for many, teasing you back to normal with "you're doing so well; a little won't hurt" sabotage is often easier. And if it starts an eating frenzy that ends in weight gain, sadly, that's secretly okay with friends like these. You've proven once again that weight loss is impossible; now they can relax and not try.

They don't understand. Other folks (often spouses!) who've never had a weight problem can't understand why you don't go back to eating normally now that you've lost that weight. And besides, they've suffered enough with all the changes around the house, and they want this to be over.

They miss the old you. Or more specifically, the food experiences you once shared. Food is often how we express love. Baking cookies for your kids (and of course eating some together). Or going to happy hour with coworkers. When my client Stephanie began progressing, her husband started showing up Friday nights with a big chocolate bar, something they used to enjoy together.

How do you politely say "back off" to those you love?

Make Friends with the Enemy
Researchers have figured out three classic actions likely to pave the way to long-term weight loss success and fend off sabotage, whether deliberate or subconscious, says Jessica Kasinoff, coordinator at the Duke Diet & Fitness Center in Durham, NC.

Start with exercise. It builds muscle, burns calories, reduces stress, and, best of all, creates the positive mood that makes you strong enough to avoid saboteurs.

Monitor your exercise and food. Plan your workouts and meals, and write down every bite. This will keep you honest, and it may also help you recognize the people and events that do you in. Then you can develop strategies to deal with them.

Create a supportive environment. "It's important to ask for help," says Carlo DiClemente, PhD, coauthor of Changing for Good, whose strategies for curing drug and alcohol addicts are now being used to help people change the way they eat.
Asking is tricky because we really don't know how to do it. We tend to believe that if people loved us, they'd know what to do. Not true! My client Sharon likes it if her husband takes her plate away from her when he thinks she's had enough. Natalie, on the other hand, would secretly eat twice as much if her husband did that.

The staff at the Duke Center finds this so critical that they have created a "Dear Supporter" letter that goes home with dieters after their 3-week stay. You could write such a letter yourself if you have trouble voicing your needs directly.

Whether you write it or say it, be specific about your weight loss needs
. Even those closest to you can't read your mind. For instance, if being constantly asked how much you've lost will drive you to cheat, let people know. For others, constant checking in may help keep them on track. If you need support when the late-night munchies hit, ask your friend if it's okay to call.

With Friends Like These ...
There are some downright vicious diet saboteurs who work to undermine you. They may pressure you to eat the way they do in order to remain part of a group, not-so-subtly implying that you're no friend if you don't. Dr. DiClemente suggests saying clearly out loud, "This is not helpful to me." They can't deny they've heard you, and you have a chance to recommit to your plan of action. You may have to avoid them for a while or find less toxic friends. If all else fails, "call a sponsor," he says, lapsing into the classic Alcoholics Anonymous strategy. Join a group such as Weight Watchers for support, or call someone you know who will talk you through it.

If you've been direct in asking your spouse for help but don't get it, you may need to seek couples' or family counseling. Poor response often suggests something else is going on.

Most family and friends will be glad to help if you nudge them in the right direction.

Last Updated: 10/04/2004 Copyright (c) Rodale, Inc. 2003
Weight Loss Sabotage -

Article has some valid points... hope it was useful to you.
Mary E. Robbins
Robbins Run Ranch

Friday, November 12, 2010

21 Simple Ways to Be Healthy

 I woke up in the middle of the night, and since I was up decided to sort through some email.  I came across the following article... enjoy...

Want Healthy Habits? 21 Ways to Get There - 21 Simple Ways to Be Healthy-

Want Healthy Habits? 21 Ways to Get There

Healthy family walking in a field

By Holly Lebowitz Rossi

What does "healthy" mean to you? Perhaps it means freedom from illness, or the best possible performance of your body. Or health might be a state of mind, something that fits into the category of "I know it when I see it." Regardless of your health goals, these tips can help you feel better—starting right now.


Woman's hand cutting vegetable food with knife

Eat well, eat often--4-6 small meals a day to optimize your metabolism and keep your body energized and in balance. Don't deny yourself treats, but make sure that the majority of your food choices are high in nutrients, fiber, "good fats," and lean protein. Local, in-season, and organic when possible? All the better.


Woman resting on pillow

A recent scientific study showed that people who slept fewer than 7 hours each night were three times as likely to catch colds as those who slept 8 hours nightly. So tuck in and get your zzs!


Sandals and couple on sandy beach

Falling in love feels great, we all know that. Love triggers the release of all manner of feel-good brain chemicals that bathe our bodies in happiness and well-being... even protection from illness. But that's not the only reason love—be it romantic or platonic--is a health-giving thing. When you choose to love, you experience what pianist Arthur Rubinstein famously said "Love life, and life will love you back."


Redheaded woman on cell phone

Sometimes you feel bad because something's on your mind, skulking around and sabotaging your well-being, inside and out. Talking to a trusted friend or therapist can help you sort out what's really going on inside—and map out steps to make it better.


Couple laughing

Did you ever think of laughter as an ab-toning exercise? Well, it is! Plus, it's a blood-oxygenator, endorphin-releaser, and general body relaxer. Ha HA!


White dog running in a field

So many of us spend most of our time sitting—on the couch, at our desks, in the car. But the human body was meant to move, stretch, expand, and engage. So take a walk, jump in a pool, skip rope, or just lift your arms toward the sky and see how high you can reach.


Happy woman in the woods

Drawing breath is the most fundamental thing we do to stay alive. But it can be so much more than a survival technique. Try taking ten long, mindful breaths, feeling clean oxygen come smoothly into your body, CO2 and toxicity gently flowing out. Don't you feel better already?



Hand holding a heart shaped trinket

Studies have shown that volunteering can help alleviate depression and may even contribute to longevity. So help clean up a local park or volunteer at a nursing home, and know that you can feel great about what you've given, but also what you've received.


Woman studying in a library on laptop

Take the time to educate yourself about health challenges that you face in your life. Seek out trustworthy resources, hit the library and the Internet, and above all, don't be afraid to ask your doctor to be your educator.


Weather meter showing change

The principle of "cross-training" is embraced by athletes who know that changing things up keeps our bodies primed, flexible, and in top form. Try cross-training your life by bringing healthy variety into your diet, fitness, work, and social habits.


Chess set

Is there any more comforting feeling than waking up with a cold and realizing you don't have to drag yourself to the store for tea, lozenges, and decongestants? Set your home up for healing by planning ahead, keeping supplies fresh... and doctors' numbers easily accessible.



Wave of water

Water, that is. Imbibe 8-12 glasses (8 ounces each, please!) of clear, hydrating fluid to keep your system functioning at its best—and toxins moving toward the exits.



Two women playing in the leaves

Remember when you were a kid and your mom called you in to dinner? You were so engrossed in playing, you couldn't believe it was already dark outside! Play takes many forms, from a romp around the yard with the dog to doing a jigsaw puzzle to (gulp!) attempting a cartwheel. Play today to feel healthy and alive—make the word of the day "fun!"


Two sets of hands on potters wheel

Do you want to feel better? Make something. Maybe it's a knit scarf, maybe it's a beaded mosaic. Maybe it's a sandcastle or a container garden. Doing creative activities not only engages your brain on an above-the-everyday plane, it is believed to contribute to better heart health and even longevity.


Four friends walking in a park

"Me thinks the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow," said Henry David Thoreau. So put one foot in front of the other and take a walk through a park, in the woods, on the beach, or around the block, and see what flows.


Woman singing loudly, karaoke

Singing requires deep breathing, and deep breathing oxygenates your blood and makes your body happy. So tra-la-la yourself to good health!


Woman reading in a field

A rest is not the same as a nap or a night's sleep, but it is a crucial aspect of good overall health. Schedule "time-out" time each day—make an appointment in your calendar if necessary!—to unplug and vege out with a magazine, a meditation CD, or just the blessed sounds of silence.


Thought bubble cloud coming out of woman's head

When health challenges present themselves, think before you act. Research your treatment options, talk to trusted professionals and friends, and take a step back to assess a situation in the larger context of your life and health.


Woman dancing in desert against sunset

"Stifling an urge to dance is bad for your health," said Adabella Radici, "It rusts the spirit and the hips!" So whether you're in a club, in your bedroom, or even in the bathroom at work, put on an iPod or radio and move, sway, bounce—in other words, dance and feel your body open up.


Crying baby

"Let it out," we whisper to ourselves or loved ones when tears start to flow. And we mean that both emotionally and physically—tears have antiviral and antibacterial properties, as well as health-giving lubricating effect on our eyes.


Couple's fingers touching against a blue sky

Simple human connection, whether online, over the phone, or even in the doctor's office waiting room, can be a restorative tonic, not to mention protection against the isolation and anxiety that can come when we struggle with health conditions.

Click here to find support from other Beliefnet members.



Holly Lebowitz Rossi is the former Health editor  for Beliefnet.  See more of her work at her website and at the blog she co-authored, Fresh Living.


Do I have something to add? Perhaps just a thought or two.  Not that anything is missing from this delightful article.

It is so easy to be consumed my the minutia of our daily lives that we actually forget to live.  Look around, you see it everywhere; especially during this time of the year.  Steaming full on into the Holiday Season.

Live your life, take a breath and celebrate your very existence...

Life is a journey, it's up to you whether it's pleasure or a drudge...
Mary E. Robbins
Robbins Run Ranch:

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Anti-Aging Foods Cheat Sheet

 This tasty looking cheat sheet caught my eye.  It was in my newsletter from The Dr. Oz Show.... 

Hope you find it useful...

Life is a journey, a healthy body makes the trip more enjoyable!
Mary E. Robbins
Robbins Run Ranch:

Anti-Aging Foods Cheat Sheet | The Dr. Oz Show

A well-balanced diet can help you lose weight, live longer and feel fitter. But it can also help you look younger. Forget the fountain of youth. Load up a plate at the feel-better buffet and turn back the clock on a full (and happy) stomach.
  • Cod contains selenium which safeguards your skin from sun damage and cancer.
  • Mango provides 96% of your daily vitamin C needs and helps prevent periodontal disease.
  • Lowfat cottage cheese is full of protein, and therefore promotes hair health (since hair is mostly protein). Just be wary of hidden sodium levels.
  • Lean beef is full of iron. Iron deficiency can cause nail beds to be thin and concave.
  • Foods of the Mediterranean: fennel, an anti-inflammatory; octopus, a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, B12, iron and zinc; gigantes beans, giant lima beans rich in potassium
  • Oysters an excellent source of zinc, which aids in protein synthesis and collagen formation.
  • Red peppers and brussels sprouts are rich in vitamin C, which help build collagen and fight off free radicals.
  • Blueberries 1 serving of this superfood provides more antioxidant activity than most fruits and veggies. Antioxidants fight the free radicals that cause wrinkles.
  • Sunflower seeds contain lignin phytoestrogens, which prevent collagen breakdown and boost the skin's lipid barrier.
  • Tuna contains Omega-3 fatty acids that fight UV-related cell damage and are a rich source of niacin, a deficiency of which causes skin rashes.
  • Avocados are one of the richest sources of monounsaturated fats and contain biotin for healthy skin.
  • Watermelon is a source of lycopene, which protects the skin from UV rays.
  • Kelp contains vitamins C and E, which protect fats in the skin's moisture barrier from free-radical damage.
  • Lentils are a good source of zinc.
  • Pumpkin seeds are pumped full of antioxidants and magnesium, which help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Eggs are high in iron and biotin.
  • Pomegranate seeds contain juice rich in ellagic acid and punic alagin - 2 agents that fight damage from free radicals and preserve the collagen in your skin.
  • Oatmeal is high in soluble fiber which reduces LDL cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol").
  • Black currants contain a compound called anthocyanosides, which can help improve vision. Additionally, this superfood contains 5 times the vitamin C that oranges do, making it a superb immunity booster.
  • Cranberry juice disrupts the formation of plague and thereby prevents yellowing of teeth. The flavonoids in cranberry juice also counteract the damaging effects of bacteria that cause tooth decay. Be careful that you aren't drinking a sugar-laden cranberry juice cocktail.
  • Dark chocolate will help curb your sweet tooth and is rich in flavonoids.  
  • Red wine made with the dark skin and seeds of the grapes that are rich in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that includes resveratrol. If you aren't a drinker, opt for grape juice or a resveratrol supplement available at your drug store for about $25.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Near my heaviest weight, yet closer to my goal than ever…

A friend of mine asked me how close I was to my goal today. Her name is Colleen. We used to belong to a group of ladies that were trying to lose weight that has long since disbanded. I started thinking about just how close I am to my goal. The following is my answer…

I miss the group too. Or rather the ladies in the I am rather heavy, 302 lbs as of last Sunday. However I am closer to my goals than ever before.

That probably sounds pretty strange... considering that gives me over 150 lbs to lose. 303 pounds is the heaviest I have ever weighed at. If I've been heavier I don't know what the actual weight was.

So How am I closer to my goals ... I am closer to my goals because the depressive compulsive self destructive subconscious beliefs and behaviors that were so much a part of creating this unhealthy weight are no longer dominant in my life.

I eat now because I am hungry, not unconsciously burying emotions or because my stress levels are off the charts. Yes sometimes my stress levels are still off the charts. But my coping skills have shifted.

The compulsive eating got pretty hairy this past year. Having my mother live with us after the family home of over 100 years burned down... after all the issues of the past years ... was... well I don't know what it was. What I do know is that the experience was part of my journey. A journey through depression and panic attacks so bad that the muscles around my chest contracted to the point of making it nearly impossible to breathe.

Who'd a thought that could happen? It's been an interesting and challenging journey...

As hairy as some of it has been, I wouldn't change it. It's taken until now for me to be able to say that and actually mean it. The reason I wouldn't change it is ... this journey is part of what has made me who I am ... And I actually like who I am.

This is relatively new for me, and it feels good. Not everyone likes who I am... and that's ok too.

So... I am actually near my heaviest weight, really looking forward to walking that marathon in May 2011... And closer to my goal than ever before...

Life is a journey, each step adds to the richness of the composite...
Mary E. Robbins
Robbins Run Ranch

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Restarting my Marathon Training!

I did it! 20 minutes of hill work on the elliptical. Total body workout... It has the upper body bars as well. yay! The marathon I am aiming for is on May 29th 2011. Its a mountain race. My goal is to complete it.

Last year my training went awry and it's taken me this long to get my mind back around it. So here goes.

By the Way... Also using shakeology to help reduce the fat load I'm carrying. My last weigh in was at 302 lbs. Goal weight 145.

Sunday Morning I will weigh again.

I will be adding DVD workouts as well as the walking and elliptical work. Hip Hop Abs and Turbo Jam to start. working my way through them. Haven't decided which I am going to start with ... leaning towards Hip Hop Abs Fat burning Cardio. that stripped off the pounds and inches the last time I was using it.

Life is a journey... if you think there is a detour in the road... you create one...

Mary E. Robbins

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Boing.... Boing.... Boing....

Boing... and BOING!!!!! Monday is my usual weigh in day. So I trudged up the stairs, (I've been keeping my scale in an upstairs bedroom that I usually workout in) and stepped on it in my birthday suit. And Thar she Blew! 4 pounds up. Frustrating as that is there is also progress to be seen. Pretty nifty progress at that.

What kind of progress can be seen in a 4 pound gain in an obese (yeah that's what I said OBESE) woman's efforts to become more healthy? Svelte in fact.

Here it is. A year ago that kind of weight bounce, even though I knew my body had significant swelling, would have triggered a nasty depressive swing and uncontrollable compulsive eating. Translated: so depressed I just sat and stared at the wall uncontrollably snarfing anything remotely edible until I simply could not eat anything else.

This is HUGE, no not my rear... oh well yes that is too, but it's not what I'm talking about right now. True I was, NOT HAPPY with the weight gain. But, and it is a HUGE BUT, I am very happy that I am dealing with it in a productive emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically healthful way.

Rather than taking an uncontrollable nose dive into a black hole of self destructive depression I was able to approach this disappointment in a logical productive manner.

Here is the "result", how did I get here, what can I do about it. What steps can I take to obtain the desired result?

This is a great day indeed. I have been living on an extreme emotional/mental/physical roller-coaster ride for the majority of my life. This time around I was able to say "no thanks- I'll pass" when that ride ticket popped up.

A 4 pound weight gain is a relatively minor thing in the overall scope of things. However, in my life any kind of weight gain has been a major trigger. Things get linked up to inappropriate responses. Sorting those out and changing them to appropriate responses can make a major difference in your life.

For me in this instance, I am free to say no to some hugely self-destructive behavior that has been plaguing me for over 30 years. Now I know I can do! Not I wish I could, but I CAN!

There is a major difference. I can do says, I can do this. I may have to change directions, alter plans, and so on. But I can do.

I wish I could- or I'll try - says... I don't really believe I can. I am not really worth the effort. There is always that nagging self doubt. Often hidden deep within, that overrides every thing in your life. That hollow echoing hole of worthlessness.

Look around, see behind the masks, you are not alone in this. You can live, actually live your life, not fake it.... and here is the BIGGIE ... you can live in this life!

Here is the really really cool thing about this. If I can do this. You can too.... you can actually be free to live your life. Free to enjoy the moment. Free to actually live. Rather than subsist between crisis.

With that... I'm off to tackle the rest of my day...

Life is a journey, sometimes it's fun to stand on the top of a hill and look back at how far you've come...
Mary E. Robbins
Robbins Run Ranch

p.s. BTW I got back on the scale this morning. It was swelling, the 4 pounds has dropped off. Had I triggered into a self destructive cycle, this bit of good news would have been too late to make any positive difference. That 4 pounds of swelling would have more than likely turned into a 15 or 20 pound real fat gain. Before the cycle spent itself.

It's good to be off that ride. ;)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Fat tired and bummed... now what do I do.

Fat tired and bummed... now what do I do. How do i make things better. I thought I was actually turning things around. but instead of losing weight I've gained 9 lbs since my last entry here. 4 pound gain this past week. Geesh...

I was doing better when I was using the daily food journal here. With the calorie count. So I'm going to use it again.

If I continue gaining i will destroy this body. It is already hard to move and breathe. I'm tired all the time.

Gotta go take care of the kennels... the dogs are counting on me for their food water and care. I am just sad... was mad... now sad.

Not binging though... so that is a good thing.

Saw mom this pst week... she looks so very old. Old age can be cruel to these bodies. On a totally selfish note... i am so not ready for her to be old. Pop's the same age... actually about 1 month younger than her. Both will be 83 this yr. July and August respectively. The docs diagnosed Pop with pancreatic cancer. He sounds good... but I always wonder if i will ever hear from him again in this life when he calls. Totally sucks. It seems like we just got to know each other... now his expiration date is coming up fast.

Went to Oregon Trail Days parade with mom and her crew from the adult living facility. I didn't last the whole parade. started getting ill in the heat and left. I was thankful they were there to take care of her. that is such a relief.

I'm not doing so good at even taking care of myself at this point.

It's hard to breathe... I know part of it is my weight... I can not believe I weigh 305 pounds. That 4 pound gain this week really threw me for a loop.

David loves me no matter how fat i am... sometimes i think he prefers me fatter... but the heavier i get the harder it is to breathe. I saw another varicose vein on the inside of my leg yesterday.

Ok... I've got to go ... get up and move... one step at a time... go take care of the kennels. Then call the electrician and get the ceiling fans installed. Then do some paperwork.

You can do this...

Yes you can...

Now move... do it now!

Life is a journey... sometimes it .....
Mary E. Robbins

Saturday, June 26, 2010

5 Ways to End Muscle Cramps

I was scrolling through my facebook account and came across a post from 5 Ways to End Muscle Cramps. These things have been the bane of my existence since I was a small child; so of course the article caught my attention.  I found it to be interesting and informative... useful bit of writing it is... enjoy.

Life is a journey, enjoy the trip... hopefully without muscle cramps...
Mary E. Robbins.
Robbins Run Ranch: Living the Dream in Wild Wonderful Wyoming

By Hana A. Feeney, MS, RD, CSSD

“About a quarter-mile from the finish, I started to sprint. I could feel muscle twitches in my quads, and my quads were burning. I had to slow down as I felt the cramp coming on. Then wham! Like a sledgehammer to my leg, the cramp hit and I had to stop and rub it out. What could I have done to prevent that muscle cramp?”
This is a common question among athletes. Muscle cramps are involuntary, intensely painful muscle contractions that nearly every athlete has experienced at some point. Some people experience them often and simply seem to be prone to muscle cramps.

What Can You Do?

Cramps usually hit at the end of intense workouts or during endurance events because fatigued muscles are more likely to cramp. Novice athletes are more likely to have cramps as they fatigue more quickly than seasoned exercisers. If you carefully progress your workouts, you will avoid unnecessary cramps. Heat, and not being used to the heat, increases the frequency of cramps. When the season changes and summer arrives, ease into workouts in the heat.
Additionally, carefully plan your fluids, electrolytes and carbohydrate intake to help avoid or delay muscle cramps.

Are You Drinking Enough?

Studies on fluids and cramps have produced mixed results. Some studies find no associations, while other show that consuming fluids and electrolytes to avoid dehydration will prevent, or at least delay, muscle cramps. The benefits of avoiding dehydration are widespread, so even if it’s not 100 percent guaranteed that you won’t cramp, consuming adequate fluids during exercise will still improve performance.
How would dehydration cause muscle cramps? Fluids in the body are either inside the cell or outside of the cell. When we become dehydrated, the fluid outside of the cells decreases. Reductions in fluids cause nerve endings to be squished together, overexcited, and spontaneously discharge. That spontaneous discharge is a muscle twitch, which can lead to a muscle cramp. By maintaining proper hydration, you can prevent dramatic shifts in fluids that contribute to abnormal muscle contractions.
To prevent dehydration, start by drinking fluids according to your thirst. Weigh yourself before and immediately after exercise, preferably au natural. Any change in your weight is a change in fluid balance. Weight loss greater than 2 to 3 percent of your body weight increases your risk for muscle cramps. If drinking based on thirst prevents fluctuations in your weight during exercise, then you can rely on thirst to be your hydration guide. Otherwise, you need a hydration schedule to meet your fluid needs.

The Need for Salt

Fluids aren’t alone in the task of maintaining your body’s fluid balance. Electrolytes control the shift of fluids in and out of cells. The electrolyte of most concern during exercise is sodium. Found as sodium chloride in table salt. We lose more sodium in sweat than the other electrolytes. Both water and sodium are lost in sweat. Replacement of water without sodium can lead to dangerously low blood sodium levels, called hyponatremia. Hyponatremia will also occur if you are sweating a lot and simply losing a lot of sodium in sweat. This is most likely to occur during endurance exercise or with repeated sweating throughout the day. Muscle cramps may occur when the concentration of sodium in the blood decreases; cramps can progress to a serious medical emergency when hyponatremia is not treated.
To prevent hyponatremia and the muscle cramps it may cause, sodium should be consumed with fluids. This is particularly useful for cramp-prone individuals. High sodium sports drinks can delay muscle cramps in those who cramp often. Sodium may be consumed from salty foods (such as pretzels) or through sports products.

Don't Be Afraid of Carbohydrates

Carbohydrate depletion will also lead to muscle cramps. Carbohydrates are the primary fuel used during exercise. There is a finite amount of carbohydrate stored as glycogen in our muscles to provide the energy to exercise. Once that store of glycogen has been exhausted, we are at high risk for muscle cramps. The muscle requires carbohydrate (or energy) to contract; it also needs energy to relax. When there isn’t adequate fuel circulating yet we continue to exercise and contract our muscles, muscle relaxation is impaired, and the cramp occurs.
It takes about 60 to 90 minutes of exercise to deplete glycogen stores. Therefore, it is appropriate to consume carbohydrate during any activity that will last longer than 60 to 90 minutes. Even very intense exercise lasting only 45 minutes may deplete glycogen stores. Be sure to eat a carbohydrate-rich meal or snack prior to endurance or intense exercise. Plus, you will need to consume carbohydrates through food or sports products during longer duration exercise. Consuming carbohydrates appropriately is well-worth it to prevent a muscle cramp.
Follow these five steps to prevent muscle cramps:
  1. Train appropriately.
  2. Acclimate yourself to the environment.
  3. Consume the right amount of fluids for your body to prevent dehydration.
  4. Choose salty foods or sodium rich sports products before, during and after exercise.
  5. Prevent carbohydrate depletion by consuming carbohydrates before your workout and during your workout if it is longer than 60-90 minutes.
Canyon Ranch pioneered the evolution of wellness lifestyle and has been an industry leader for 30 years. Lead by a team of expert physicians and other health and wellness specialists, Canyon Ranch operates the world’s most celebrated collection of life-enhancement properties with the goal to inspire people to make a commitment to healthy living. 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Is Chocolate a Health Food? Now that's a Question, isn't it?!

So what do you think? Is Chocolate a health food; or is it the devil’s own temptation? So to speak. Over the years I’ve tried most of the diets out there. From extreme deprivation, to see food and binge on it… Usually the extreme deprivation bit led to the see food and binge on it result.

Personally, I no longer do the off the wall totally eliminate this food or that food bit. The only time I will be living on solely one food or the other to the elimination of another food, or food group, (as in real food) is if that food is not available or I can not access it. Various foods do not trigger binges. Unresolved issues trigger binges. Stress over loads trigger binges. If you starve yourself you are more than likely to stuff anything and everything you can get your hands on in your mouth. Plus your body will store away every calorie it can. Is your body doing a bad thing? No, it is trying to survive.

You want to be healthy? Eat when you are hungry. Eat the best quality you can. Moderation and variety are the key words here. Oh and lets not forget real food. Is chocolate a real food. Yes darlin, it is. That is, if it is actually real chocolate and not some artificial flavoring crap. Read the labels. Don’t understand what’s on there? Get online and do some research.

It’s not as complicated as the sales people like to make it sound. Yes I got sucked into all the hype too. Over and Over; I might add.

You are not obese because you ate a chocolate bar. If you are obese, or starving yourself, either way actually, there are psychological issues you seriously need to contend with. One day, one step at a time.

I’m running out of time so I’m wrapping this note up. Heading out the door to mow down some thigh high grasses and weeds the rain has blessed us with. I live out on a ranch and need to knock these things down around my dog yards corrals and out buildings. Going to start cutting a fire break as well.

I came across the following article on It is well worth the read, enjoy.

Life is a journey, enjoy the trip.
Mary E. Robbins
Robbins Run Ranch: In Wild Wonderful Wyoming
By Nancy Clark

By Nancy Clark, MS RD CSSD
"Chocolate: I try to stay away from it," commented my client, a runner who described herself as having a rampant sweet tooth. For her, chocolate fits into the categories of junk food, guilty pleasure and ruiner of good intentions to lose weight. Yet, she also recognized there is potentially a happier side of the story. Ads for (dark) chocolate suggest chocolate is good for us. Chocolate comes from plants and contains the same health-protective compounds that are found in fruits and vegetables.
So what is the whole story on chocolate? Is it little more than an alluring form of refined sugar, saturated fat and empty calories? Or does chocolate (in moderation, of course) have positive qualities that might be beneficial for athletes?
Here are some nuggets of information about chocolate. I'll let you decide whether the health benefits of eating chocolate are greater than the health costs—and if you personally want to define chocolate as a "health food" within the context of your own sports diet.

The "Bad"

The bad news is chocolate consists of primarily saturated fat and sugar. A Hershey's Chocolate Bar (43 g) contains 210 calories, 24 grams sugar (46 percent of calories), 13 g total fat (55 percent of calories) and 8 g saturated fat, equivalent to a tablespoon of butter. Boo hoo. (But here's how you can rationalize including this popular treat in your overall well-balanced sports diet: The fat in chocolate does not raise bad cholesterol levels and the sugar (carb) in chocolate fuels your muscles...)
People tend to eat chocolate in bursts—a lot in a day, such as on holidays or pre-menstrually—or none. The question arises: Would enjoying some chocolate every day help reduce an athlete's urge to binge-eat the whole bag of, let's say, M&Ms in a moment of weakness? That's a good question and one that needs to be researched. We do know that deprivation and denial of food contributes to overeating. You know the syndrome: “I'm starting my diet Monday morning, so Sunday is my last chance to eat chocolate...” and there goes the whole bag of M&Ms.
I invite my clients to try taking the “power” away from chocolate by enjoying a little bit every day, such as for dessert after lunch. Ideally, daily chocolate could reduce it to being simply a commonplace plant food, just like bran cereal, an apple or carrot sticks. Give it a try?

The "Ugly"

Some athletes claim they are "addicted" to chocolate. Perhaps "chocolate addicts" grew up in a household where the parents banned chocolate? Now, as grown-ups, maybe they rebel by eating Reese's Pieces by the bagful? Or are they’re “super tasters”—and the flavor of chocolate is just irresistible? Perhaps they have a genetic difference that makes chocolate highly attractive? Some day, genetic testing may help us find the answer to that question.

The "Good"

Chocolate is made from cocoa. Cocoa comes from a plant and is a rich source of health-protective phytochemicals, just like the kind you get from fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Two tablespoons natural cocoa power (the kind used in baking) offers the same antioxidant power as 3/4 cup blueberries or 1.5 glasses red wine.
Of all the types of chocolate, dark chocolate is the richest source of phytonutrients. Unfortunately, dark chocolate has a slightly bitter taste and most people prefer the sweeter milk chocolate. Maybe we should raise today's children on dark chocolate, so they will they learn to prefer it.
One phytochemical in cocoa is nitrate. Nitrate gets converted into nitric oxide, a chemical known to increase blood flow. Nitric oxide lowers blood pressure, a good thing for aging athletes who want to stay youthful and invest in their health. (1)

Another group of phytochemicals are called flavonoids. They are in many plant foods, including tea, apples and onions. Epidemiological surveys of large groups of people indicate those who regularly consume chocolate consume more of these health-protective flavonoids than non-chocolate eaters. This reduces their risk of heart disease. In the Netherlands, elderly men who routinely ate chocolate-containing products reduced their risk of heart disease by 50 percent and their risk of dying from other causes by 47 percent. (2)
Cocoa increases blood flow to the brain. If this means you can process information better and faster—like calculate your split times or help your kids with their math homework—wouldn’t that be a great excuse to enjoy chocolate?
Many parents keep chocolate away from their children, thinking chocolate makes them hyper. No research to date supports that claim. The party or special event that surrounds the chocolate likely triggers the hyperactivity. (3)
Chocolate is yummy. Most athletes love chocolate. Chocolate lovers don't want sugar-free or fat-free chocolate. They want the 100 percent real stuff. That's because consumers buy benefits, not products. Being yummy is a huge benefit.
During the recession in 2009, sales of Hershey's chocolates increased. Is that because worried people bought a moment of yummy, cheer-me-up chocolate? Or, did they simply settle for a bag of less expensive Hershey's Kisses instead of a box of pricey Godiva Chocolates? Regardless, chocolate seems to fit every mood—be it happy, sad, tired or celebratory.
Flavanol-rich cocoa may help reduce muscle soreness. Studies with athletes who performed muscle-damaging downhill running and then consumed a cocoa-based carbohydrate and protein beverage experienced less muscle damage and felt less muscle soreness. (4)
Although the chocolate used in flavoring milk lacks the health-protectors found in dark chocolate, the yummy flavor makes chocolate milk a popular recovery drink. The sweetened chocolate offers carbs to refuel muscles; the milk offers protein to build and repair muscle. Plus, milk boosts intake of calcium and vitamin D, needed for strong bones.


Despite all this good news about chocolate, it is still just a candy and not a life-sustaining food. Yet, it does provide pleasure—and pleasure is certainly part of a health and wellness program, right?
The trick is to enjoy dark chocolate as part of the 100 to 150 “discretionary” sugar calories that can be part of your daily sports diet. As for me, I'll enjoy my dark chocolate during a long hike or bike ride. It tastes better than most engineered sports foods and nicely fuels both my body and my mind.
Chocolate Lush
This low-fat brownie pudding forms its own sauce during baking. It’s a tasty treat for when you are hankering for a chocolate fix and a yummy way to add a little dark chocolate to your sports diet. This recipe is one of many in my Sports Nutrition Guidebook.
  • 1 cup flour,preferably half white, half whole wheat
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened dry cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons oil, preferably canola
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened dry cocoa
  • 1-3/4 cups hot water
Optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts.
1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, white sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, baking powder, and salt; add the milk, oil, and vanilla. Mix until smooth. (Add nuts.)
3. Pour into an 8x8" square pan that is nonstick, lightly oiled, or treated with cooking spray.
4. Combine the brown sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa, and hot water. Gently pour this mixture on top of the batter in the pan.
5. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes, or until lightly browned and bubbly.
Yield: 9 servings
Total calories: 2,100
  • Calories per serving: 230
  • Nutrients percent Grams
  • Carbohydrate 46 grams
  • Protein   3
  • Fat 4

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Choose fat loss over weight loss

I came across the following article in my facebook account.  I found it to be quite interesting. I hope you do as well.  It is from Women Fitness.

Life is a journey, one day one step at a time.
Mary E. Robbins
Robbins Run Ranch:

Term "weight loss" and "fat loss" hold completely different meaning and you must know the difference if you want to lose weight or lose fat effectively and healthily.

The human body is composed of a variety of different tissue types including lean tissues (muscle, bone, and organs) that are metabolically active, and fat (adipose) tissue that is not. The sum total weight of all this constitutes body weight and decrease in percentage of muscle, fat and bone weight constitutes weight loss. Where as decrease in body fat % constitutes fat loss.

Body Weight Measurements

Standard body weight scales provide a measure of total weight, but don't determine the lean-to-fat ratio of that weight. Standing on most scales can tell you only if you weigh more than the average person, but not if that weight is fat or muscle. Based only on scale weight, a 250-pound athlete with 8% body fat may be considered "overweight" by a typical weight chart. Such charts are not a good indication of ideal body weight for general health or for athletic performance.

Ideal Body Weight and Body Fat Percent

The ideal weight and fat-lean ratio varies considerably for men and women and by age, but the minimum percent of body fat considered safe for good health is 5 percent for males and 12% for females. The average adult body fat is closer to 15 to 18% for men and 22 to 25% for women.

Athletes tend to be at low end of this scale due to their increased lean weight (muscle mass). While low levels of body fat seem to be related to improved performance, body composition alone is not a great predictor of sports success. Body fat among elite athletes vary largely by sport. There is little evidence of any benefit when men drop under 8% and women drop under 14 percent body fat.

Ways to preserve muscle while on fat loss program

To keep muscle but slowly lose fat, you have to consume plenty of protein and lower carbohydrate and fat intake. Do not eliminate carbohydrate or fat. They are both still important components to keeping healthy. It should be spread out over 6 meals (about every 3 hours). Try to consume a bigger percentage of your carbohydrate in your earlier meals and immediately after training. Do not drastically cut your calories, but reduce them. Add about 10% more protein while reducing carbohydrate by 10-15% for most of your meals. Also, choose protein sources with a lower percentage of fat, such as egg whites, turkey breast, fish. This will cause your body to start using more fat for energy instead of carbohydrate, and the extra protein will help prevent much muscle breakdown for energy.

KEEP YOURSELF WELL-HYDRATED. Always keep well-hydrated with water. The only exception to this rule is when peaking for a bodybuilding contest, where reducing water intake for a couple days prior to a contest helps in preventing water retention which blurs muscle definition. Restricting water to lose fat
is never a good idea. A good guide for daily intake is to drink 1 ounce of water for every 2 pounds of body weight. A 200 pound person should be drinking around 100 ounces (12.5 cups) of water in order the gain the benefits of increased energy and metabolism.

DO NOT SKIP MEALS. Consistently skipping meals will lower your metabolism and break down muscle. A good way of dieting, is to eat 4-5 smaller meals rather than 2 or 3 big ones. Why? It helps stabilize blood sugar and helps control your appetite.

CYCLE YOUR CARBOHYDRATE INTAKE. Being on a low-carbohydrate diet for prolonged periods of time will deplete your glycogen stores and slow your metabolism. At least once a week, eat a high-carbohydrate meal consisting of mainly complex carbohydrate. This will help restore your glycogen levels with very little likely to be stored as fat. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) is 300 grams of carbohydrate per 2000 calories (about 60% of total calories). Regardless of the type of carbs you eat, all are treated the same way in your body--they are all broken down into sugars during digestion. But, complex carbohydrate are almost always the best choice because they are naturally low in fat, high in fiber and provide tons of vitamins and minerals.

GET YOUR HEALTHY FATS. Flaxseed Oil, Olive Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, and Fish Oils (found in fish like salmon) are considered healthy fats because they are unsaturated. They actually help promote fat loss, maintain muscle, give you energy as you are lowering your carbohydrate, and support healthy arteries. Don't completely avoid fat. About 20% of your diet should consist of fat, mainly unsaturated.

GET YOUR FIBER. Fiber makes us feel full sooner and stays in our stomach longer than other substances we eat, slowing down our rate of digestion and keeping us feeling full longer. Due to its greater fiber content, a single serving of whole grain bread can be more filling than two servings of white bread. Fiber also moves fat through our digestive system faster so that less of it is absorbed. Fiber (in foods such as vegetables, fruits, oatmeal) is good for you! Be sure to drink plenty of fluids when adding fiber to your diet. While fiber is normally helpful to your digestive system, without adequate fluids it can cause constipation instead of helping to eliminate it.

EAT A MODERATE CARBOHYDRATE / HIGH PROTEIN MEAL IMMEDIATELY AFTER TRAINING. Your body has depleted its glycogen stores and is ready to absorb as much nutrients as it can. This is the time to take in a few more carbohydrate than usual to help in recovery.

DO CARDIO ON AN EMPTY STOMACH FIRST THING IN THE MORNING. Just doing a cardiovascular (or aerobic) type of activity, such as riding a bicycle or walking on a treadmill, anytime will make a difference. Your body will burn more fat if you do it on an empty stomach. This is because your body is in more of a glycogen-depleted state, so it does not have many carbohydrate to burn first. And since it is an aerobic type of activity, not much muscle should be broken down in the process. This helps maintain your muscle mass, as long as you are consuming enough protein.

CONSUME A NO-CARBOHYDRATE OR LOW-CARBOHYDRATE PROTEIN DRINK BEFORE BED. This will keep your metabolism stoked and your muscles intact, while you're sleeping. Remember: Muscle is active. Fat is not. Muscle raises your metabolism, which is key in losing fat

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