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Fall Challenge 2014

Join Ohio State University Extension for a six-week personal wellness challenge. This fall the Live Healthy Live Well challenge for better health will run from September 8-October 19. This is an online challenge designed to help adults get fit by encouraging regular physical activity, healthy eating and wellness tips. This is a free event. Participants will receive e-communications twice weekly sent directly to you from your local OSU Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Professional. This challenge focuses on:

• Organic/natural foods
• Calcium and fiber in your diet
• Superfoods
• Gluten-free and whole grains
• Incorporating fitness into your day
Sign up by following this link to enroll: http://go.osu.edu/Mahoningfall14
Once you register, you will be enrolled and begin receiving e-communications starting the week of September 8, 2014.
We look forward to taking this fall challenge journey together!

Written by: Beth Stefura M Ed, RD,LD, Ohio State University Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Mahoning County, Crossroads EERA, stefura.2@osu.edu
Reviewed by: Michelle Treber, MA, LD, Ohio State University Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Pickaway County, Heart of Ohio EERA, treber.1@osu.edu

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water 2What do you, a tree and a hamster have in common?

You all need water! All living things need water to survive whether they get it from a water fountain, a rain cloud or a little bottle attached to the side of a hamster cage!

How many of you think of a nice, cold glass of water when you need to quench your thirst? Whether we are indoors or out – we need to remember to keep our bodies hydrated and water should be the first thing we reach for. Your body is about 60% water and constantly needs to be replenished. Every cell in your body needs water to function properly.

  • Why water? Well, water does a great job in helping to keep our bodies hydrated without adding any sugar, caffeine or other substances
  • How much? You’ve probably heard for years that we all need 8 glasses of water every day – for a total of 64 ounces. Researchers have pointed out that the need for fluid can vary widely among individuals.
  • Does it have to be “plain” water? No, there are many ways to dress up the taste of a glass of water. A fairly common way to flavor the water is to add fruit or vegetable slices – lemons, strawberries, cucumber, etc. You can also add herbs to the water for refreshing drinks. Try a sprig of mint for a refreshing change of taste!
  • Can it help me lose weight? That is a possibility! If you drink a full glass of water before your meal, you may trick your brain into thinking that you are full sooner!       Also, if you substitute water for high calories drinks, you are helping control the number of calories your body is taking in each day.
  • Don’t always rely on your body to tell you that you need some water. When you are hot and sweaty, your thirst mechanism can shut off and you don’t know that you need some fluids. . If our bodies become dehydrated it can lead to physical and mental problems.
  • While water is the best source of fluids for your body, don’t forget that you can count all of the fluids you drink during the day. Many of the fruits and vegetables we eat have high water contents – try watermelon, strawberries, peaches, tomatoes, and celery.
  • Try to keep track of how much water you drink during a typical day. Aiming for the 8 glasses is not a bad thing – just remember that the amount your body needs will vary with your activity level, your body size and the temperature if you are outside and other factors.

Written by: Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, Heart of Ohio EERA, rabe.9@sou.edu

Reviewed by: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, Heart of Ohio EERA, Treber.1@osu.edu

 

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/feel-your-best-with-water

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/6-reasons-to-drink-water

How Much Water Do You Really Need? Health and Nutrition Newsletter: Tufts University. July 2014. Volume 32, No.5

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mitochondria“M” word #1: Metabolism

Many of us blame our “slow” metabolism when we don’t lose weight as quickly as we would like. But what exactly is metabolism, and why does it vary so much from person to person? Metabolism is a complex network of hormones and enzymes that (1) converts food into fuel, and (2) affects how efficiently you burn that fuel. It is influenced by your age (it goes down about 5% per decade after the age of 40) and your gender (men burn more calories at rest than women). But the three primary factors affecting your metabolic rate include:

1. Your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR),
2. The Thermic Effect of Food (TEF), and
3. Your Physical Activity Energy Expenditure (PAEE).

The resting metabolic rate (RMR) reflects the number of calories you burn to maintain your body processes when you are at rest (sleeping, watching TV, sitting at your desk); it’s about 65-75% of your total daily calorie expenditure. The thermic effect of food (TEF) reflects how many calories you burn throughout the day digesting food; approximately 5-10%.

The third component of your metabolism, the physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE), is the most varied percent range (15-30%). How much above your RMR can you rise if you become physically active? It depends. People who exercise regularly develop more muscle mass, which increases the number of calories they can burn each day. To illustrate; a pound of muscle uses six calories a day to sustain itself. On the flip side, a pound of fat burns only two calories per day. That difference may not sound like a lot, but over time it really adds up.

So here’s the mathematical formula you need to memorize: RMR (doing nothing) + TEF (digesting food) + PAEE (physical activity) = Your Metabolism. I’m not a math geek, but even I can see that adding physical activity into your daily routine will benefit your weight loss goals by increasing your metabolism.

“M” word #2: Mitochondria

Mitochondria are tiny bean-shaped ‘organelles’ inside your muscle cells. The more exercise you do, the more your mitochondria grow in size and number. In case this didn’t sink in, I’m going to repeat it: the more exercise you do, the more your mitochondria grow in size and number.

The reason this is so important is because mitochondria are like little furnaces that chew up fats and sugars and spew out energy for your muscles to use. And they do it on demand. As you run, cycle, or swim, the mitochondria have to crank out more energy and consume more fat and sugar. At lower levels of intensity, your mitochondria can consume the bulk of their energy needs from fat. But as the intensity of your activity increases, they will begin to use muscle sugar (glycogen) as well.

If you have only a few mitochondria in your muscle cells, there will not be much fat and sugar burning action going on in there. Let’s say you took to heart what I just shared with you at the beginning of this article about your PAEE/metabolism. You decide to start exercising daily. At first, you will probably get tired and/or winded because there aren’t enough mitochondria to keep energy flowing to the muscles. But, (and here’s the awesome part), by the end of your exercise session your muscles will be producing more mitochondria. Eventually your muscle fibers will be stuffed full of mitochondria. Now exercise will get easier. You will be able to exercise longer with less effort.

And here is where all this information leads to weight loss. Your muscles start to burn more fat and sugar all the time – because mitochondria don’t sleep. Your ability to burn calories and lose weight has increased exponentially because you added physical activity to your daily routine. Mm, Mm, Good!

Writer:
Donna Green, Extension, Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension

Reviewed by:
Liz Smith, M.S, RDN., L.D. NE Regional Program Specialist, SNAP-ED, Ohio State University Extension

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/make-most-your-metabolism

http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/morning-workout-increases-metabolism-throughout-day

http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/exercise-for-energy-workouts-that-work

http://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/Mitochondria.pdf

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Are you eating wheat products?  Lately, the news has included many stories on how wheat is bad for you causing abdominal fat, triggering diseasewheat and breads, and being linked with Alzheimer’s, headaches, depression and others.

If all that is true why is wheat recommended in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, by nutrition experts and American Heart Association?   Isn’t it a part of the Mediterranean Diet which is highly recommended by nutrition professionals.

Does wheat contribute to abdominal fat or belly fat?  High consumption of refined grains has been associated with greater belly fat in studies.  However, lower belly fat has been associated with the consumption of eating whole grains including whole wheat.  Thus, whole grains including whole wheat do not seem to be the problem.  The problem is our consumption of refined grains.  Cutting out processed foods made with refined wheat (wheat flour, white flour, enriched wheat flour, all-purpose flour) and loaded with sugar and saturated fat will help us all avoid or limit the “wheat belly.”   Limit your consumption of cookies, cakes, pastries, crackers, and white bread.

So what about the other charges on mental effects?  Research has shown that both the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet lower the risk of dementia.  Both diets include consumption of whole grains including whole wheat.  Following those diets showed better cognitive ability in adults ages 65 and up over a period of 11 years.  It is true higher glucose levels from too many carbohydrates is a risk factor for dementia, but cutting out all carbohydrates is not the answer either.  Our brain needs glucose (Carbohydrates break down to glucose in our body.) for energy as it does not store glucose.  Thus, diets low in carbohydrates can hurt our thinking and memory.

Again, it is important to eat whole grains.  Whole grains including whole wheat can provide the glucose needed for our brain.   Whole grains including whole wheat breaks down more slowly than simple carbohydrates like refined grains and sugar.

Whole grains also provide fiber.   Consuming the recommended amount of dietary fiber without whole grains would be very difficult.  Gluten-free diets usually only contain six gram of dietary fiber a day, a lot less than the 25-38 grams recommended by the Institute of Medicine.

Do cwhole-grain-stamphoose a variety of whole grains but including whole wheat, unless you need a gluten-free diet.  When shopping be sure to choose products made with “whole wheat” or “whole-grain wheat.”  You can also look for the 100% Stamp from the Whole Grains Council on foods made with all whole grains.

Note:  If your doctor recommends you follow a gluten-free diet, please continue to follow your doctor’s advice.

Author:  Pat Brinkman, Ohio State University Extension, Extension Educator Family and Consumer Sciences

Reviewed by:   Liz Smith, M.S, RDN., L.D. NE Regional Program Specialist, SNAP-ED, Ohio State University Extension

References:

Tufts University, [2014].  The truth about the war on wheat, Tufts University Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy Health & Nutrition Letter, March 2014 Special Supplement, p. 1-4.

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YogaFor many of us this has been a long, hard winter. It can be a challenge to participate in physical activity outside when the weather is severe.  I’ve been enjoying the Olympics and am always amazed at the dedication and drive of the Olympic athletes. Perhaps you can use this as motivation to get moving again. According to Center for Disease Control, only about half (48%) of adults get enough aerobic physical activity to improve their health. Aerobic activities like brisk walking, running, swimming and bicycling make you breathe harder and make your heart and blood vessels healthier. I recently started walking inside for 30 minutes each day and have noticed these benefits: improved mood, more energy, less fatigue, and less arthritis discomfort.

What can you do?  Get creative and find ways to move more. Here are some suggestions from www.MyPlate.gov

  • Walk the mall.  If you have an in-door mall, become a mall walker.  Join a walking group.  A partner can provide support and encouragement.  Sometimes it helps to have someone give you the “push” to participate.  You will enjoy seeing the store windows and people as you burn calories and exercise in this safe environment.
  • Walk inside – our local regional campus has an upstairs walking area with a nice comfortable and safe walking surface. 12 laps around the top and you have walked a mile. You can also measure the minutes you walk.  Aim for 30 minutes most days of the week.
  • Walk up and down the sidelines while your kids are practicing or playing sports.
  • Walk your dog. Make sure you walk for at least 10 minutes to receive health benefits. A walk before and after work brings you 20 minutes closer to a 30 minute daily goal.
  • Move to a fitness DVD or play an active fitness game.
  • Do stretches, exercises or pedal a stationary bike while watching television.
  • View the snow as a physical activity opportunity:  shovel your sidewalk or build a snowman.
  •  At work, sit on an exercise ball for several minutes each day. This will help your posture and strengthen your core.
  • Use a fit band and stretch during webinars.
  • Stand up while talking on the phone. Standing burns more calories and can re-energize you if you spend a big part of your day sitting behind a desk.
  • Take a walk break instead of a coffee break. Walk the stairs at work – perhaps you walk up or down a flight of stairs each time you have to go to the restroom.

How much activity do I need?
Remember that adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week (aim for 30 minutes on 5 days).  Also, aim for muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

Walking at work

Get Started and Enjoy the Many Benefits of Physical Activity.   The more you move, the more benefits you will experience. For example:

·         More Energy

·         Improved Sleeping Patterns

·         Improved Moods

·         Weight Maintenance or Loss

·         Improved Self Esteem

·         Increase your Chances of Living Longer

·         Strong, Healthy Body

·         Move Around More Easily

·         Improved Metabolism

What benefits do you see when you are physically active?  Share your ideas with us in the comments.

Sources:

http://myplate.gov/physical-activity/why.html

http://myplate.gov/physical-activity/amount.html

http://www.cdc.gov/VitalSigns/Walking/index.html

http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/adults.html

Author: Michelle Treber, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, Heart of Ohio EERA, treber.1@osu.edu

Reviewer:  Marilyn Rabe, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, Heart of Ohio EERA, rabe.9@osu.edu

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Tis the season for chocolate. Most of us love chocolate anytime of the year but from Halloween to Valentine’s Day, chocolate seems to be all around us.Chocolate

Is dark chocolate really good for you? Do the flavanols in chocolate really help you?

Chocolate or cocoa powder does have flavanols. The cocoa bean is a rich source of flavanols which are a group of phytochemicals in food.

However, depending on how the cocoa bean is processed many flavanols can be lost. Flavanols tend to be bitter tasting, so manufacturers roast, ferment, pulverize, and sometimes alkalinize the cocoa bean to improve taste. Thus, it is hard to know how much benefit is in that chocolate piece.

• Consuming a large amount of cocoa flavanols has produced benefits including improved endothelial function (dilation of the artery). This helps blood flow through the arteries and may help reduce risk of cardiovascular disease.
• Some promises of lowering blood pressure and improving brain function have been seen with consuming large amounts of chocolate.
• Sorry, but chocolate does not help you lose weight. Studies show the more chocolate you eat the more weight you gain.Cocoa

So, how do you get the benefits of the cocoa bean without gaining a lot of weight? Using or eating cocoa powder is your best source. Two tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder will provide you with 200 mg of flavanols and about 20 calories. You could try adding it to your coffee, warm milk, oatmeal or yogurt. That is unsweetened, so if you add sweetener the calorie content will jump. To get 200 mg of flavanols you can choose baking chocolate (unsweetened) providing about 70 calories; 1-1/2 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips providing 200 calories or 2 ounces of dark chocolate (at least 65%) with 320 calories. Forget milk chocolate, white chocolate and chocolate syrup as they have few flavanols and lots of calories.

Enjoy chocolate in moderation, yes benefits, but also calories.

Author: Pat Brinkman, Extension Educator Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension Fayette County

Reviewer: Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County

References:
Schardt, D. [2013]. How bittersweet it is, Nutrition Action HealthLetter, December 2013. 40(10). 8-11.
Zeratsky, K. [2012]. Can chocolate be good for my health? Available at http://mayoclinic.com

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lhlw zwg 2013 logo
Are you interested in maintaining your weight or even losing a few pounds during this holiday season? Could you use some encouragement and guidance but don’t have time to attend classes? Give our Zero Holiday Weight Gain holiday wellness challenge a try.

“Zero Holiday Weight Gain Challenge” is an on-line challenge designed to help participants get fit by encouraging regular exercise, nutrition, and wellness tips during the upcoming holiday season. Participants will receive weekly e-communications and have access to supplemental information available on Blogs and Facebook. All participant information is kept confidential.

Each week participants will receive free weekly e-communications, containing nutrition, health and fitness tips. Additional food and activity logs will be available for download to help participants track their progress. Pre- and post- online-survey assessments are used to collect comments to improve future challenges and track participant progress.

Interested in participating in this on-line challenge? Sign up by following this link to enroll http://go.osu.edu/ZWGRoss, if you have participated in past Challenges – contact your Educator, or leave us a comment on the blog. You will be enrolled and begin receiving e-communications starting the week of November 25. While Facebook™ will be available; participants only need to have an email address. The program is funded by Ohio State University Extension.

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