Friday, July 31, 2009

Anxiety, Part 2

Types of Anxiety Disorders

1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder-Individuals that this affect are always anticipating something bad to happen. They have excessive worries about health, money and family etc.GAD occurs more often in women than in men.

2. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder-This disorder is characterized by obsessive behavior and compulsions. Individuals perform rituals (such as hand washing) in hopes that obsessive thoughts would go away.

3. Panic Disorder- Individuals who are affected by this disorder experience feelings of terror that come on suddenly and often. They are often left in fear of certain situations and and are always in fear about the next panic attack.

4. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder- This disorder usually develops after an individual experience some terrifying situation usually involving physical harm, death, or near death. The individual is left with bad memories about the ordeal that don't seem to go away.

5. Social Anxiety Disorder- With this disorder individuals experience extreme, severe or excessive self-awareness in public situations. This is the classic Stage Fright, but taken to an extreme degree and applied in almost all situations: grocery store, school, open areas. There is always a fear of being watched and scrutinized.

A lot of returning soldiers stationed in Iraqi and Afghanistan experience this as they were constantly on high alert over there. The open market was a dangerous area for them. They never knew who was an enemy coming up to shoot, stab, or blow them up. So now, back at home, the basketball gym, the mall, 4th of July parade can bring on this fear.

So now, you know a little of the types of disorders. Keep in mind that each of these disorders can range from having very mild levels to very extreme levels, and anywhere in-between.

Next week, we'll start looking at some symptoms.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

High Anxiety

We've looked at weight and nutrition and diet for the past couple months. Let's look a little at well-being.

We'll start with anxiety. Put in a very simple term, anxiety is all about fear. When you have anxiety, at the root is a fear of something. A good example is the "butterflies in the stomach" most of us have gotten before we had to give a talk, or say our line in the school play, etc. What's another term for those "butterflies"? Stage FRIGHT. Meaning we are afraid, or have fear, of getting in front of others.

Let's look at anxiety in more depth over the next few days.

Understanding Anxiety

Anxiety is a protection mechanism that the body uses to alert us to trouble. It puts our body in what's called a "fight or flight mode" and alerts us so we can react. It is also a normal reaction to stress. If you've ever come across a rabbit in the yard you may see them tense up and watch you, to see what you will do. They are in a "fight or flight" mode. They are waiting to see if they need to defend themselves or they need to run like hell. We are the same. When we percieve trouble (in any form) our body does the same thing. We have fear and our body waits to see what we should do about it.

We cannot get rid of anxiety because this is how the human body is made to operate. Anxiety is designed to protect us and help us face challenges. When our body is constantly or too often in this fight or flight mode and as a result we start to experience psychological, physical or emotional stress this is called anxiety disorder.

Too much stress can also lead to weight problems since when we are stressed our body naturally stores fat, or minimally, stops burning fat, just in case we need to "run like hell", we have the energy from the fat to burn. Fortunately most "stress" does not result in our need to run like hell, but our body does not necessarily know that. If we experience constant stress, then our body continues to burn less fat, store more.

This we can control and minimize to the point where it does not disrupt our daily lifestyle. However the first step in controlling anxiety is to understand how it affects us.

Tomorrow, we will look at the different types of anxiety problems.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Healthy Lifestyle Balance on Vacation

Final Thoughts on Vacationing and remaining Healthy:

Take time to think about the problems in advance. For example, you normally walk every morning before work, but you plan to sleep in on vacation.

Write out the problem and list some possible solutions. Could you walk every afternoon to a scenic area (such as along the beach)?

Decide on your best solution and write it out.

Agree with yourself in advance that if you are able to carry out the plan, you will somehow reward yourself afterwards.

Be specific about the goal and the reward.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Healthy Lifestyle Balance on Vacation

Prepare for old friends or relatives you haven’t seen in a while.
Decide how and when you will want to be assertive with them about eating and activity. Consider talking with them in advance.

Plan for pleasures after your vacation.
Coming back from a vacation is often a let-down. Try to get back to regular activities gradually and plan some extra pleasures to offset post-vacation blues. Consider allowing an easy day at home before getting back to work full-steam.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Healthy Lifestyle Balance on Vacation

Decide what you want to do about alcohol.

Alcohol may lower self-control. If you drink, are you aware of the calories involved?

Try to balance rest with activity.

Look for ways to be active that you enjoy.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Healthy Lifestyle Balance on Vacation

If you tend to be tense on vacation, ask why and what you can do about it.

a. Avoid extended periods when you are doing what others want and not what you want. Be assertive about what you want to do.

b. Plan daily times to relax. Try not to get overtired (e.g., by doing too much sightseeing in a short period of time).

c. Plan regular breaks while driving. Carry low-calorie snacks and take breaks to get out of the car and walk.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Healthy Lifestyle Balance on Vacation

Have reasonable expectations for vacation.

a. Keep track of your eating and activity as much as possible.

b. Weigh yourself often, but remember that scales differ.

c. Plan to maintain your weight; don’t expect weight loss. Figure fat and calorie goals for maintenance.

d. Let go a little. For example, eat something special. Choose the best and leave the rest. That is, when you decide to eat a special high fat food, choose quality, not quantity. Choose the best thing available, take a small portion, eat slowly, and enjoy every mouthful.

e. Get extra activity. If you slip with eating a little, this will often compensate.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Healthy Lifestyle Balance on Vacation

Some of us vacation alone but most of have some arranging to do with family and friends. Have a family talk well before the vacation to discuss such issues as:

a. What did we like about our last vacation? What were the problems? Make a specific plan for what you will do on this vacation, including pleasures other than food and drink.

b. Discuss how you will handle food and eating out. How often will we eat out? What types of restaurants will we choose? Are there low-fat/calorie options for you? Can we split entrees or desserts? If eating in (e.g., if renting a beach house), will we have tempting high-fat/calorie foods like cookies, candy and cake in the house? If so, can they be stored out of sight and separate from other foods? Can family members agree to eat these foods only when eating out?

c. Can we find a fun way to all be physically active this vacation? Examples: bike riding, mountain climbing, hiking, walking on the beach, bird watching, golfing (walking the course), etc.

d. Get the family to agree not to nag you about what you eat or your activity plan.

e. Talk about positive ways your family can help (for example, praising you when you are sticking to your low fat food plan, going on walks with you, helping you out so that you don’t get too tired or stressed).

Monday, July 20, 2009

Healthy Lifestyle Balance on Vacation

Plan pleasures other than food and drink.

a. Plan the kind of vacation you want. One way to think about this is to ask yourself, What about your daily routine do you want to escape from? (For example, if your routine is a hectic, crammed schedule, it’s vital that you not repeat this pattern on your vacation. If you do a lot of driving on the job, you might not want to spend your vacation driving.) What kinds of pleasures and freedom do you want to escape to? (What do you like to do most? Go to a faraway, scenic spot? Or stay at home and enjoy some free time? Make lots of time for a favorite hobby or sport? Spend time with old friends?)

b. Think about what you like to do for physical activity. Can you find a way to make that part of your vacation?

c. Be prepared to be assertive with others about what you want to do on vacation if you are going on vacation with family or friends. Negotiate a compromise if necessary.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Healthy Eating on a Budget

  1. Don’t shop hungry. If you shop when you are hungry, you are more likely to buy more than you need and possibly buy less healthy items that appeal to you at that moment.

  2. Try to go grocery shopping without children. Stores put foods that many children like such as candy and sugary cereal where they can see and reach them. These foods are often advertised with characters that appeal to children. If you must bring children, grocery shopping can be a great way to teach them about food and nutrition (and colors, math, reading!)

  3. Check out heart healthy recipes from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to help you plan your meals and shopping list at, or see my previous post on healthy recipies ( June 12, 2009).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Healthy Eating on a Budget

Other Related Websites on Healthy Eating on a Budget:

Eating Healthy on a Budget

Eating Healthy on a Budget

Eating Healthy on a Budget: Shopping and Menu Ideas

Emergency $45 menu - feed 4 for a week!

USDA 2000 calorie menu plan

Health Information:

Stretching Your Food Dollars

Nifty & Thrifty Spark Team ( Community Message Board for Saving Money and Buying Healthy Food)

Club Mom

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Healthy Eating on a Budget

  1. Assemble snacks at home in small baggies using foods such as nuts and seeds, dried whole grain cereal, low fat cheese, dried fruit, fresh vegetables and fruits, rather than buying less healthy, more expensive prepackaged and processed snacks. Serve water, or low fat or fat free milk instead of calorically sweetened beverages. For more ideas on healthier snacks, try:
  2. Cook once, eat twice. Serve moderate portions of meals, avoid seconds, and freeze leftovers to enjoy later. This will help you save money and calories!
  3. Do "batch cooking" when the food budget and time allow. Cook large amounts of spaghetti sauce, divide it into family-size portions and freeze promptly for later in the month.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Healthy Eating on a Budget

  • Buy milk (low fat or fat free) in the largest containers you can handle before it spoils (gallon or ½ gallon). Milk sold at convenience stores usually costs more than at supermarkets. (Fat-free dry milk is an inexpensive back-up choice for using milk in recipes.)
  • Buy a whole chicken and cut it up into parts instead of buying pre-cut chicken (breast, wings, thighs, legs). Remove the skin before cooking or serving.
  • Stock up on sale items of healthier foods that you may be able to use in a timely manner. Buy canned, frozen, or packaged foods in bulk for quality and value, but serve appropriate portions within estimated calorie needs. Buy produce, lean meats, and low fat or fat free milk and milk products in bulk amounts that you can eat before they spoil (refer to for more information on appropriate portion sizes).
  • Use your food budget wisely. If you spend $7 on lunch 5 days a week for a year, you will spend a total of $1,820. You can save money and calories by bringing a healthier brown bag lunch from home.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Healthy Eating on a Budget

  • Sign up for your grocer’s bonus/discount card for additional savings.
  • Try store brands. The most costly brands are typically placed at eye level. Store brands that may be cheaper and are just as good are often placed higher or lower on the shelf.
  • Comparison shop for healthier brands. Read the Nutrition Facts Label. Learn how to find serving sizes and the per serving amounts of calories, fat, saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, sugars, protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals. For more information on the Nutrition Facts Label go to:

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Healthy Eating on a Budget

  • Use the unit price and the Nutrition Facts Label to compare similar foods. The unit price tells you the cost per ounce, pound, or pint, so you’ll know which brand and size are best to buy. Look for it on the shelf sticker below the product. Then, read the Nutrition Facts Label to be sure that you are getting the healthiest option at the lowest cost. Click on these Food Label resources from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA): and

  • No matter what the form – fresh, frozen, canned, dried, juice – all varieties of fruits and vegetables count toward your daily recommendation. Choose fruits without added sugar or syrups and vegetables without added salt, butter, or cream sauces. Although 100% fruit or vegetable juice counts towards your daily recommendation, the majority of the total daily amount of fruit and vegetables should come from whole fruits and vegetables to help you get enough fiber. Click on for more information.
  • Buy in-season fruits and vegetables. Use local farmer’s markets when possible – the foods are fresher and usually cost the same, if not less, because you are buying direct from the farmer.

Healthy Eating on a Budget

With tough times, comes all sorts of information on saving money. Over the next few days, I'll give some tips on saving money, while at the same time eating healthy.

Let's start:
  1. Make a plan and stick to it. With a little planning, you can get most of your groceries for the week in one trip, which will save a lot of time. And, the fewer trips to the store, the less likely you will be to buy unnecessary items. There are a variety of website to help you plan meals, like:
  2. Review store ads and clip coupons for healthier items such as skinless chicken breasts, lean cuts of meat or ground beef, fruit (fresh, frozen, or canned in its own juice), vegetables (fresh, frozen without added fat, or canned without added sodium), whole grain breads and cereals, and low fat or fat free milk and milk products.
  3. Check your cupboards and refrigerator for items that you can use and then plan to use them, instead of making another shopping trip.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

~ Myths about Dieting and Food ~

Myth: Certain foods, like grapefruit, celery, or cabbage soup, can burn fat and make you lose weight.

Fact: No foods can burn fat. Some foods with caffeine may speed up your metabolism (the way your body uses energy, or calories) for a short time, but they do not cause weight loss.

Tip: The best way to lose weight is to cut back on the number of calories you eat and be more physically active.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

~ Myths about Dieting and Food ~

Myth : Starches are fattening and should be limited when trying to lose weight.

Fact: Many foods high in starch, like bread, rice, pasta, cereals, beans, fruits, and some vegetables (like potatoes and yams) are low in fat and calories. They become high in fat and calories when eaten in large portion sizes or when covered with high-fat toppings like butter, sour cream, or mayonnaise. Foods high in starch (also called complex carbohydrates) are an important source of energy for your body.

Tip: A healthy eating plan is one that:
Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products.
Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts.
Is low in saturated fats, trans fat, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.

For more specific information about food groups and nutrition values, visit

Monday, July 6, 2009

~ Myths about Dieting and Food ~

Myth: “Going vegetarian” means you are sure to lose weight and be healthier.

Fact: Research shows that people who follow a vegetarian eating plan, on average, eat fewer calories and less fat than nonvegetarians. They also tend to have lower body weights relative to their heights than nonvegetarians. Choosing a vegetarian eating plan with a low fat content may be helpful for weight loss. But vegetarians—like nonvegetarians—can make food choices that contribute to weight gain, like eating large amounts of high-fat, high-calorie foods or foods with little or no nutritional value.

Vegetarian diets should be as carefully planned as nonvegetarian diets to make sure they are balanced. Nutrients that nonvegetarians normally get from animal products, but that are not always found in a vegetarian eating plan, are iron, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, zinc, and protein.

Tip: Choose a vegetarian eating plan that is low in fat and that provides all of the nutrients your body needs.

Food and beverage sources of nutrients that may be lacking in a vegetarian diet are listed below.
  • Iron: cashews, spinach, lentils, garbanzo beans, fortified bread or cereal.
  • Calcium: dairy products, fortified soy-based beverages, tofu made with calcium sulfate, collard greens, kale, broccoli
  • Vitamin D: fortified foods and beverages including milk, soy-based beverages, or cereal
  • Vitamin B12: eggs, dairy products, fortified cereal or soy-based beverages, tempeh, miso (tempeh and miso are foods made from soybeans)
  • Zinc: whole grains (especially the germ and bran of the grain), nuts, tofu, leafy vegetables (spinach, cabbage, lettuce)
  • Protein: eggs, dairy products, beans, peas, nuts, seeds, tofu, tempeh, soy-based burgers

Friday, July 3, 2009

It's the 4th of July Holiday!

Celebrate our independence and thank GOD for our great country. Pray for it's protection from those who would harm us, internally or externally. God Bless America!

Back on Monday.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

~ Myths about Dieting and Food ~

Myth: Dairy products are fattening and unhealthy.

Fact: Low-fat and fat-free milk, yogurt, and cheese are just as nutritious as whole-milk dairy products, but they are lower in fat and calories. Dairy products have many nutrients your body needs. They offer protein to build muscles and help organs work properly, and calcium to strengthen bones. Most milk and some yogurt are fortified with vitamin D to help your body use calcium.

Tip: The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends consuming 3 cups per day of fat-free/low-fat milk or equivalent milk products.

If you cannot digest lactose (the sugar found in dairy products), choose low-lactose or lactose-free dairy products, or other foods and beverages that offer calcium and vitamin D (listed below).

  • Calcium: soy-based beverage or tofu made with calcium sulfate; canned salmon; dark leafy greens like collards or kale
  • Vitamin D: soy-based beverage or cereal (getting some sunlight on your skin also gives you a small amount of vitamin D)
For more information on these guidelines, visit

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

~ Myths about Dieting and Food ~

Myth: Eating red meat is bad for your health and makes it harder to lose weight.

Fact: Eating lean meat in small amounts can be part of a healthy weight-loss plan. Red meat, pork, chicken, and fish contain some cholesterol and saturated fat (the least healthy kind of fat). They also contain healthy nutrients like protein, iron, and zinc.

Tip: Choose cuts of meat that are lower in fat and trim all visible fat. Lower fat meats include pork tenderloin and beef round steak, tenderloin, sirloin tip, flank steak, and extra lean ground beef. Also, pay attention to portion size. Three ounces of meat or poultry is the size of a deck of cards.

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