Tag Archives: diet

Report card: my month of eating Mediterranean

18 Jun

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

May, as you may recall, was National Mediterranean Diet Month, celebrated at our house with a helpful Oldways calendar posted on the fridge with 31 daily suggestions on how to introduce more heart-healthy Med Month changes into our regular routine. As threatened promised, here’s how I did:  Continue reading

Flexible restraint: it’s what’s missing from all fad diets

9 Nov

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

My long ago high school years were spent at Mount Mary Immaculate Academy, a convent boarding school up on the mountain overlooking Hamilton, Ontario. (Keep in mind, of course, that I’m using the Ontario definition of the word “mountain”, and not the more scenic, snow-capped, high-altitude British Columbia definition of something that actually looks like a real mountain out here).

But I digress . . .  Our Mount Mary classmates included a significant number of “Spanish girls”. These were the exotic international boarders from Mexico or Guatemala or other Spanish-speaking nations whose wealthy parents had sent their daughters north to Canada for a year or two of boarding school to help perfect their English. Our Spanish girls needed to become fluently bilingual in time for their über-extravagant celebrations back home called the quinceañera, a girl’s traditional fifteenth birthday party to mark the important passage to womanhood.

Skinny or pudgy, every Spanish girl was obsessed about her weight. They talked non-stop about dieting as the year-long countdowns to their quinceañera parties began. And whenever our Spanish girls were even remotely upset with their Canadian dormitory mates for any reason at all, the worst possible insult they could spit out at us was the only Spanish word I knew back then:

“Gorda!”

Fat.

And that’s about the time I started dieting.

Continue reading

Do you know why you should eat fish twice a week?

24 Oct

by Carolyn Thomas

Here on the West Coast of Canada, every small town on our island seems to lay claim to the enviable title of “Salmon Fishing Capital of the World!”  We  do love our salmon. And crab. And halibut, red snapper and many other kinds of local seafood.

According to experts at Mayo Clinic, eating two servings of fish a week could actually help to reduce your risk of heart attack by as much as 30%. For adults, that serving size is 3 ounces (85 grams) or about the size of a deck of cards.

“Doctors have long recognized that the unsaturated fats in fish, called omega-3 fatty acids, appear to reduce the risk of dying of heart disease.”

Here’s why those omega-3 fatty acids in fish are so good for your heart:   Continue reading

A doctor discovers the heart-smart joys of eating vegan

8 Jul

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

Dr. John Henning Schumann, who blogs at the always-intriguing Glass Hospital, is a general internist and medical educator at the University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicine. This year, he made a personal New Year’s resolution to become a vegetarian. Or a ‘mostly vegetarian’, as he calls it.

“I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, but with young children who love meat and don’t have the broadest palates, I think it’s important to feed them protein any way I can get it in them. Having passed 40, I’ve finally realized that I can no longer eat what I want with impunity. Further, as a doctor, I believe in practicing what I preach, and my legs could no longer straddle the gap between action and rhetoric.

“That, and I hit 192 pounds on the gym scale.  Continue reading

Chocolate-covered bacon, and other ways to alter your brain chemistry

17 Aug

chocolate bacon

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

I am not making this up.  There is such a thing as chocolate-covered bacon. It’s apparently been around for years, featured at the Wisconsin State Fair and other fine culinary gatherings. Chocolate-covered bacon is the holy trinity of junk food: salt, fat and sugar, all in one divine morsel.  A heart attack on a plate.

The appeal of this concoction would be no surpise to Dr. David Kessler. The Harvard-trained doctor, lawyer, former Yale Medical School dean and commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration believes that this junk food combo – salt-fat-sugar – actually stimulates our brain to crave more.

Dr. Kessler’s book, The End of Over-eating, claims that foods high in salt, fat and sugar actually alter the brain’s chemistry in ways that compel people to over-eat. He told the Washington Post:

“Much of the scientific research around over-eating has been physiology – what’s going on in our body. The real question is what’s going on in our brain?” Continue reading