Monthly Archives: May 2013

Tackle Diet, Exercise Together for Best Results?

exercise and dietIf you have to choose one at a time, hit the gym first, researchers add

If you’re trying to get healthy, tackling both diet and exercise is better than trying to improve one lifestyle habit at a time, new research suggests.

The researchers did add that if you need to start with just one lifestyle change, choose exercise. They found that changing diet first may interfere with attempts to establish a regular exercise routine.

The study included 200 people, aged 45 and older, who were inactive and had poor diets. They were split into four groups: new diet and exercise habits at the same time; diet changes first and starting exercise a few months later; starting exercise first and making diet changes a few months later; and no diet or exercise changes.

The groups received telephone coaching and were tracked for a year. Those who made diet and exercise changes at the same time were most likely to meet U.S. guidelines for exercise (150 minutes per week) and nutrition (5 to 9 servings of fruit and vegetables per day), and to keep calories from saturated fat at less than 10 percent of their total intake of calories.

The people who started with exercise first and diet changes a few months later also did a good job of meeting both the exercise and diet goals, but not quite as good as those who made exercise and diet changes at the same time, the Stanford University School of Medicine researchers said in a news release from Stanford.

The participants who made diet changes first and started exercise later did a good job of meeting the dietary goals but didn’t meet their exercise targets. This may be because each type of change has unique characteristics, explained study author Abby King, a professor of health research and policy and of medicine.

“With dietary habits, you have no choice; you have to eat. You don’t have to find extra time to eat because it’s already in your schedule. So the focus is more on substituting the right kinds of food to eat,” she said in the news release.

However, people with busy schedules may have difficulty finding time for exercise. King noted that even the people in the most successful group (diet and exercise changes at the same time) initially had trouble meeting their exercise goal, but did achieve it by the end of the study.

The study was published online April 21 in the journal Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

6 delicious ways to snack on superfood chia

172413_Green Bags_KDM_By now, you’ve heard about chia as the hot new healthy ingredient. But you probably have no idea what do with it. You aren’t alone. For many of us, our experience with chia is limited to Chia Pets, those kitschy animal-shaped lawn ornaments that were popular several years ago. But when eaten, chia seeds are a nutritional no-brainer, loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. And since they can be eaten raw, they’re an easy way to up the health factor of just about any meal.

Chia is an ancient seed that dates back to the Aztecs, who used it as a source of energy and endurance. The word chia is used to describe two plants, salvia hispanica and salvia columbariae and is mainly grown in Central and South America. It can be eaten whole or ground up and added to baked goods and other products. As interest in the health benefits of chia grows, various food brands have been adding chia to their products. Here, some tasty ways to add a little chia to your diet.

New York Superfoods Chia Peanut Butter

On its own, natural peanut butter is a great source of protein, but add some chia seeds to it and you’ve got a snack loaded with fiber and omega-3s—perfect for a before work out bite. New York Superfood’s version of chia peanut butters are free of preservatives and hydrogenated oils and come in six unique flavors such as Manhattan Mud (blended with vegan dark chocolate) Tribeccah Nectar (with agave nectar) and Boulder Heat (with paprika).

Salba Smart Tortilla Chips and Boost packets

Salba chia is a trademarked version of chia grown in Peru under strictly controlled conditions to ensure nutritional consistency. Salba Smart is a line of organic snack foods that contain this form of chia. Their tortilla chips, available in white, blue and yellow corn, are especially tasty, and the company recently launched Boost packets, a 0.5-ounce serving of Salba seeds, that can be sprinkled onto yogurt, cereal or into smoothies.

Nature’s Path Chia Plus Frozen Waffles

Try these organic breakfast waffles, packed with chia seeds, quinoa and amaranth. They’re also gluten free!

Mamma Chia Vitality Beverages

These delicious organic drinks—the first chia-based beverage on the market—are gluten free and full of protein, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids. The consistency reminded me of aloe drinks (I am thinking about freezing them into ice pops for my one-year-old!) Sweetened with agave nectar, the drinks are available in nine flavors including Blackberry Hibiscus, Cherry Lime and Pomegranate Mint. Plus, Mamma Chia donates one percent of their gross sales to farmers and community groups that build healthy local food systems.

KIND Healthy Grains Maple Walnut Clusters with Chia & Quinoa While I’m a fan of making my own granola, KIND’s version is a worthy splurge. Loaded with 300mg of omega-3 fatty acids and 17g of whole grains per serving, breakfast doesn’t get much healthier. Oh and it tastes pretty good too!

Happy Family Happy Tot Pouches

These squeezable, organic fruit and vegetable packets contain Salba chia, and are a great way to get this ancient grain into your baby or toddler’s diet! Available in six flavor combinations.