Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

If A Bug Wouldn’t Eat It, Neither Should You!

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

If a bug wouldn't eat it neither should you Deborah EnosHeads up! You’ve been consuming residue that’s designed to kill. Crops are often coated with pesticides that are toxic to bugs, weeds and anything else that might compromise food intended for you. But what many don’t realize is that they can be toxic to you too! The specific risk of consuming foods treated with pesticides depends on many factors including:

  • Toxicity of the pesticide
  • Amount of exposure
  • Your age
  • Your lifetime exposure to other toxins.

The key is to understand that even small doses of pesticide can harm people, especially during childhood! Because long-term effects are not known, it’s best to minimize your family’s exposure. Even small changes in eating habits can greatly diminish your exposure to these toxins.

According to a study by The Environmental Working Group:

“People can lower their pesticide exposure by 90 percent by avoiding the top 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables and eating the least contaminated instead. Eating the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables will expose a person to nearly 20 pesticides per day, on average. Eating the 12 least contaminated will expose a person to a fraction over 2 pesticides per day.”

The 12 most contaminated fruits and veggies are: Apples, bell peppers, celery, cherries, grapes (imported), nectarines, peaches, pears, potatoes, spinach, strawberries and raspberries.

In the EWG study, peaches and raspberries were found to have the most pesticides, with 9 on a single sample, followed by strawberries and apples with 8!

Fruits and veggies are very important to include in your diet and this study is not trying to discourage you from consuming them. Instead, it encourages you to buy organic to reduce the risk of extra toxins building up in your body.

If you’re lucky enough to live in a city that has a year-round farmer’s market (I’m jealous!), this would be an excellent place to push your hard earned dollar to the max. At farmer’s markets you can also get produce that is “almost organic;” it’s a product that has been grown without chemicals, but the farm has yet to pass all organic guidelines. Ask the farmers, they are your best resource for getting the best (and safest) produce at the best price.

Another surprising place to get fresh organics is a home delivery service. While this sounds like a luxury, the prices are actually very reasonable and some of the services I checked out were actually cheaper than buying them at the supermarket. Most medium to large cities will have a few of these companies to choose from.

Please note that in this study the researchers did wash the produce. They discovered that while washing helps reduce some pesticide exposure, it in NO WAY eliminates the majority of it, since much of the pesticide is retained within the cells of the produce.

I often get asked about using a Fruit and Veggie detergent wash. People want to know if this product worth the money in this economy. I must admit that even as a nutritionist, I don’t always wash my produce as well as I should. I get in a hurry, I have hungry teenagers breathing down my neck and I just do the cursory quick wash of the lettuce, chop it and into a bowl it goes. In this age of salmonella food recalls, perhaps it is time to take a look at how we wash our veggies.

According to the website, Partnership for Food Safety Education, a good and long cleaning of produce under water should do the trick. Most people don’t wash their produce long enough to really clean the product. One expert wrote that as many as twenty people have touched the produce before you did, from the farmer to harvesting to transporting it to the market. I must admit, after reading that information, I have taken much more time and care with cleaning my produce.

Here are their tips for cleaning produce at home:

  1. Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten.
  2. Packaged fruits and vegetables labeled “ready-to-eat,” “washed” or “triple washed” don’t need to be washed. (But I still do give it a quick rinse.)
  3. Rub firm-skin fruits and vegetables under running tap water or scrub with a clean vegetable brush while rinsing with running tap water.
  4. Dry fruits and vegetables with a clean cloth towel or paper towel.
  5. Never use detergent or bleach to wash fresh fruits or vegetables. These products are not intended for consumption.

If you do decide to use a “produce cleaning product” there are some great products on the market; they are usually sold right in the produce department of your supermarket. There are also many recipes on the internet for making your own produce cleaning product. This one below looks great and I will be giving it a try in my home.

You will need a spray bottle, one tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 tablespoons vinegar, and 1 cup water. Put the ingredients in the spray bottle and shake well. Spray on your produce, and rinse well.

So what’s safe to eat? Well, according to the same study, the 12 least contaminated fruits and veggies are: asparagus, avocados, bananas, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet corn, kiwi, mangos, onions, papaya, pineapples and peas. These are safe to eat even if not grown organically.  But, don’t forget to wash them!

5 Healthy Habits We All Should Adopt

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Have you ever heard advice from someone who is clearly not qualified to offer their two cents? We’ve all been there.

There’s the perpetually-unemployed uncle giving career advice, and the lifelong yo-yo dieter giving nutritional advice. We don’t want to be rude, but we can’t help but think, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Personally, I give nutritional advice for a living (and LOVE doing so), but I’ll always admit that I’ve learned everything I know from some of the healthiest people in the world. Because I think THAT’S who we should learn from.5 healthy habits we should all adopt deborah enos

So, without further ado, here are the top 5 habits I’ve learned from the uber-healthy.

1. Set a Bedtime. Isn’t being an adult great? You can go to bed whenever you want. Even at 5 a.m. when you have to be up in two hours. That’s not as fun as it sounded when you were a kid, is it? That’s because we feel the cost of sleep deprivation. It’s important to get at least seven hours of sleep every night, and in order to do so, you must stick to a bedtime.

2. Break the Fast, FAST! Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, and it should be eaten within 30 minutes of waking. This will not only ensure that you don’t skip the meal, but it’ll rev up your metabolism for the rest of the day.

3. Plan to Eat. Don’t leave your meals up to chance. Plan them out, so you’ll always have something healthy on hand for when you get hungry.

4. Stay hydrated. Plan to get at least eight glasses of water each day, and try to time it so that you’re drinking a glass about 30 minutes before each meal.

5. Plan for exercise. Healthy people know exactly how and when they are going to exercise each day. Will you be going for a jog or a brisk walk in the early morning? Lay out your running shoes and workout clothes the night before.

Bloating 101 | 3 Foods to Deflate Sausage Feet

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Bloating 101 | 3 Tips to Deflate Sausage FeetIf you’re reading this, chances are the title grabbed your attention. We’ve all experienced sausage feet at one point in our lives right? My aha moment was a few years ago…

I was on a long flight with my husband and had taken off my shoes as we were landing. Then it happened. I tried to put them back on and couldn’t. My feet were so swollen! I showed my husband and he said, “Gosh Honey, your feet look like sausages.”

I’m not sure about you, but having my husband compare my feet and calves to a meat product is not my idea of romance. From that day on, I was determined to discover the secret to getting rid of excess water weight the healthy* way.

I knew the common tips to prevent bloating such as avoiding alcohol and sodium, exercise, eat fresh fruits and vegetables and drinking water. But I was curious to know if there were certain foods that could help move excess water through my system.

Low and behold, I discovered (thanks to the Mayo Clinic) that foods with high water content can actually ease water retention! To reap the benefits, it’s important to consume a minimum of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, including celery, melon, lettuce, cucumbers and spinach. Of all foods with high water content, 3 of them are super powers when it comes to deflating sausage feet.

Here are my Top 3 bloat busting foods:

Parsley is a mild diuretic and can help take excess water out of your system. Get more of it by chopping it up and adding to your salads. This adds a burst of flavor and antioxidants!

Watermelon is a fantastic diuretic. Try it as snack to offset the effects of a high sodium day.

Cucumbers have a high water content and a bonus cooling effect on hot days, but the seeds can make you burp. Slice the whole cucumber in half, scoop out the seeds with a spoon and then slice it up to serve — problem solved!

BONUS! Use this simple bloat busting tip ANYWHERE!

Squeeze a little lemon in a glass of water. Simple right? While I have no research to back this up, one of my friends is a former model. She told me that the night before a bathing suit shoot, all the models would drink a glass of water with ¼ of a lemon squeezed in it. While I haven’t been asked to do any bikini photo shoots recently, I’m still using this trick to help lose the excess bloat.

Important medical disclaimer:

*Water retention (edema) may have a medical cause. Talk to your doctor about possible causes of water retention or bloating before trying to treat it yourself.

Jumpstart Your Weight Loss with These 3 Tips

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

3 Tips to Jumpstart your Weight Loss | Deborah Enos One Minute Wellness CoachHave you ever been in denial about weight gain? I was in that exact position a few years ago. You couldn’t have paid me to get on a scale!

As long as I didn’t have to see my actual weight, I could continue wearing my stretch pants and pretending that I was 15 pounds lighter.

And I know I’m not alone. A University of Illinois research study found that those who are overweight or obese are more likely to underestimate their weight than those who are in a healthy weight range. I have to admit, though, the next finding surprised me quite a bit. Men were more likely than women to underestimate their own weight.

Although I would never recommend obsessing over the scale, it does help to start with a realistic view of your weight. So, if you’ve been putting it off, it’s time to suck it up and hop on that scale.

Next comes the diet and exercise plan. Here are a few good foundational rules to follow:

1. Set aside one day each week to prepare healthy meals and snacks for the entire week. You can even pack and freeze one serving per container for convenience.

2. Grab an exercise buddy. When the going gets tough, you can motivate each other. But that’s not the only benefit. Having a partner forces you to schedule your exercise time, which makes it more likely to actually happen.

3. Plan to get on the scale about once a week or so to be sure you’re accurately tracking your progress. Just don’t obsess over the scale. It is normal for weight to fluctuate within a day or so. No need to stress yourself out by weighing yourself daily.


3 Natural Ways to Lighten Your Mood

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

3 Natural Ways to Lighten Your Mood Deborah EnosIf someone told you that you could lose weight AND feel great by eating more junk food, you wouldn’t believe them, would you? Of course not. You’re smarter than that. So, you won’t be surprised to hear about the March 2012 Public Health Nutrition study that found that people who ate junk food were a whopping 51% more likely to show signs of depression. And those who ate more junk food were even more likely to be depressed.

Now, think about all of those times you used junk food as “comfort.” You’re not alone there, either.

Another study, published in a January 2012 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who experience work “burn out” are more likely to engage in emotionally-charged and uncontrolled eating. Comfort food might be making you feel worse instead of better.

Let’s end the viscous cycle. Instead of draining your happiness with junk food, consider adopting these mood-boosting habits:

1. “B” a good eater – A 2007 Psychology Today article has shown that foods rich in B vitamins may keep depression and other mental problems at bay. Get more B vitamins in your diet by eating more spinach, fish, beans and lean poultry.

2. Have some chocolate! – I know what you’re thinking, but chocolate isn’t necessarily junk food. The darker the chocolate, the more phenylethylamines it contains, and phenylethylamines have been shown to have a stimulating effect on the brain.

3. Let the sun shine in – A 2011 May Clinic Proceedings study has associated higher blood levels of vitamin D with a reduced depression risk. The body produces vitamin D from exposure to the sun’s UV rays, so you can boost your mood and vitamin D levels by spending some more time outside. If that’s not an option, there are always vitamin D supplements.

Get Up and Move!!

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

You. Yes, that’s right. You, right there. Sitting in your chair.


Just trust me on this.

Getting out of your chair during the day helps to change your perspective and get your blood flowing. Need more reasons to get your butt out of that chair?  Okay, I’ll oblige. ;)

1. Improve your mental health – It’s true. A June 2013 Mental Health and Physical Activity study found that people who were required to sit for longer periods of time for work were more likely to experience signs of psychological distress, regardless of how active they were outside of work.

2. Improve your hearth health – Yup. Sitting more often may also mean a greater risk of heart disease. A June 2013 Journal of the American College of Cardiology study found that postmenopausal women who sat for greater than 10 hours each day were more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than women who sat five or fewer hours daily.

3. Live longer! – Who doesn’t want to live longer? Well, according to a 2010 American Cancer Society review, you may just do so if you sit fewer than three hours daily. Middle-aged men and women who sat for at least six hours per day had a 34-percent higher death rate during the study.

Need another good reason to stand? How about burning 8+ pounds per year? Standing can torch an extra 20-50 calories per hour (depends on body size). That’s reason enough for me to get up and move.

 BONUS TIP! Here are three simple steps you can take to move more:

  • Drink more water! You can probably guess why… A full bladder is a gentle reminder it’s time to get up and move.
  • Stop eating at your desk! If you must eat at your desk, get up and walk around the building a few times throughout the day.
  • Stand when you’re on the phone! The person on the other end won’t hear you pacing and stretching.