Saturday, March 20, 2010

{ She dieted and lost more than just wieght ,,

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There are certain qualities you can count on in most Black women. Hair and makeup? Flawless. Wardrobe? On point. Healthy eating habits? Well, not so much. But we're here to help. We asked four women with specific health goals to chronicle what they ate for a week--from the plate of IHOP pancakes to the tiny stick of gum. Then we had nutrition experts review their eating habits, assess the damage done and offer suggestions for reform--not just for them, but for you too! Use their advice to painlessly transform into a more fit and fabulous you. And don't worry: We promise you'll still get to sample your sister's heavenly mac and cheese next Sunday.



Teacher and charter school department chair

"I work 12-hour days and have very low energy," says Garnes, who wants more stamina to be able to keep up with her students--without a caffeine boost that eventually wears off. And she wants to set a good example. "I need healthy eating tools so I can teach my high school girls to love their bodies by taking better care of them," explains Garnes, who at 5'8" and 185 pounds is overweight. She also goes out with her husband two to three nights a week and wouldn't mind some extra pep for those social events too.


7:00 A.M.

Coffee and one scoop of protein powder mixed into one cup of skim milk

10:00 A.M.

Apple and two chocolate chip cookies

11:00 A.M.

One half of a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese

Sugary, simple carbs can spike blood sugar and then leave you with a sugar low. Try a whole grain English muffin or a Larabar.

2:15 P.M.

Kashi southwestern chicken frozen meal and Chobani honey yogurt

4:45 P.M.


5:15 P.M.

Stick of gum

7:45 P.M.

Two 100-calorie packs of pretzels with cranberry sauce

Don't snack at 7:00 P.M.; have dinner. You'll avoid an energy slump.

8:30 P.M.

Italian sausages and ziti

Where's the water?

Pros Say

Start the Day Right

Cereal with at least five grams of fiber and less than ten grams of sugar would give Garnes the boost she's been looking for from coffee, says Lauren Slayton, a registered dietitian at Foodtrainers in New York City.

Eat Small Meals

"Energywise, eating about four to five hours apart is ideal," says Angela Ginn-Meadow, R.D., a Maryland nutrition expert.

Snack Smarter

Garnes should reach for less processed, more substantial snacks, says eating coach Lori Hanson, who founded, a site for balanced living. Hanson suggests Garnes trade in her cranberry sauce for a box of raisins, and choose quick snacks like baby carrots or chopped bite-size broccoli as a fun and healthy alternative.

Drink Up!

The more you hydrate your body with water, the higher your energy level will be. Fresh squeezed lemon or lime can add a fun touch of flavor to the beverage, suggests Hanson.

Down six to eight 8-ounce glasses of H2O daily.



8:00 A.M.

Breakfast meeting at IHOP: Two pancakes and four bacon strips

10:00 A.M.

Starbucks: Grande vanilla chai latte with whipped cream

3:00 P.M.

McDonald's: Half of a double cheeseburger and an iced mocha

Fast food for every meal? That's a high-sodium red flag.

5:00 P.M.

Starbucks: Iced tall white mocha

Caffeine can dramatically spike your blood pressure.

9:00 P.M.

Frenchy's Chicken: Two wings and one leg (fried) and a medium strawberry soda


Faith-based entertainment marketing manager

At 5'6" and 269 pounds, Heyward is on two blood pressure medications. "I don't add salt to my food, and try to avoid high-sodium condiments, like ketchup and hot sauce," she says. But she knows she can do better. "I grab whatever is around me when I get hungry and sometimes ignore my hunger while working," admits the single woman. "I have a fast-paced life, but I want to be around to enjoy it."

Pros Say

Read Nutrition Facts

They'll help you locate low-fat and low-calorie options. "It's not easy to find lower-sodium foods at fast-food places," says Ginn-Meadow, who is also a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. Just half a double cheeseburger racks up a whopping 575 milligrams of sodium. Only 1,500 milligrams per day are recommended for African-Americans. So Heyward should start by having fast food only once a day, then wean herself to once a week.

Order off the Menu

Most restaurants will accommodate their patrons with special needs. Don't be afraid to request your veggies steamed instead of swimming in butter or ask that your table have a basket of whole wheat bread instead of white.

Go Green

Slayton asks clients with high blood pressure to eat eight to ten servings of fruits and vegetables a day because the potassium in many of them helps lower sodium. "Start with two fruits and two vegetables a day," she suggests. Stock your purse with an apple and a pear so you'll always have a fruit snack handy.

Fish can help to lower blood pressure.

Get Omega-3s In

Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids (such as salmon and trout) help lower your blood pressure, as do high-fiber foods.

Ordering a combo meal? Ask to substitute a salad for fries.




Mocha (four ounces of espresso and six ounces of hot chocolate)

Swap your mocha for green tea. It reduces total cholesterol and raises "good" cholesterol.


Kung Pao Shrimp with fried rice, Beef egg roll, Jasmine tea and water


One piece mini special dark chocolate, a mint

Switch that chocolate for lentil soup or an apple. The soluble fiber can help bring down cholesterol.


Handful of almonds

Five olives

Two Stella Artois beers

One glass of water

Half slice of bread with chicken liver pate

Half of popover with chicken liver pate and butter

Potato skins with cheese, sour cream and bacon bits

A glass of red wine is also heart-healthy.


Software development consultant

"When I'm stressed, which is often, I eat nothing at all or I eat crap," says Patterson, who has a cholesterol level of 230 that she'll need to drop by more than 30 points to get into a normal range. She wants to lower it naturally. At 5'6" and approximately 220 pounds, Patterson is also struggling with her weight. "I used to weigh 175 and felt great but I injured my knee, and now I don't have a consistent exercise program," she admits. Her long work hours, coupled with weekend work and participating in several community projects, only add stress and pounds.

Pros Say

Bypass Bad Guys

That's fried items (like the Chinese food lunch), foods high in saturated fats (such as bacon) and foods high in cholesterol (like liver, lamb and beef). "She already eats dark chocolate and nuts, olives and fish," says Slayton. "I would add these foods into a client's diet if she were concerned about cardiac health and lowering cholesterol."

Don't Skip Meals

"The longer you go without eating, the higher your chance of overeating the next time you do consume," explains Ginn-Meadow.

Pick Fish

People with high cholesterol should try to have at least two servings of fish a week, says Ginn-Meadow. Fatty fish like salmon, trout and sardines are best because they have more omega-3 fatty acids, which studies show can reduce cholesterol.



Owner of a home-based agency that offers specialized services to the mentally handicapped

Running her own business while caring for her ailing mother-in-law (who stays in the home and has Alzheimer's) has this 5'4" 244-pound diabetic worn out. But she knows she must get control of her disease before it gets control of her. "Four of my family members have died from complications due to diabetes in the last two decades, and I don't want that to happen to me," confesses the married mother of a teenage boy. Despite all her responsibilities, Vital says she is willing to do whatever it takes to start eating healthier.


Noon Wendy's: Hamburger kid's meal and a diet coke

Nothing until noon? Expect your blood sugar to take a dive and then spike.

3:00 P.M.

Small corn dog

5:00 P.M.

Pappadeaux's Seafood: Two small stuffed lobster tails, a small plate of fried crab claws and a 20-oz. bottle of unsweetened tea

Sweetness isn't always bad. Experts say the sugar substitute agave nectar is a great low-glycemic choice for diabetics.

Pros Say

Eat More Often

"Have breakfast about one hour after you wake up to jump-start your metabolism," advises Ginn-Meadow. That will help you lose weight and stop your blood sugar from spiking. Continue to eat every four or five hours to keep your blood sugar from plummeting.

Avoid Fast Food

"Grabbing items to go can seem convenient, but you pay a toll when it comes to controlling blood sugar and pressure," says Ginn-Meadow. Studies tie eating fast food more than twice a week to weight gain and insulin resistance. Instead, prepare quick meals (like baked or broiled fish and poultry with grilled vegetables) at home.

Turn to spices instead of salt.

Get Your Flavor From Spices

Diabetes research suggests you should turn to herbs and spices like dill, oregano, sage and thyme over salt.

Beware of Low-Fat and Fat-Free Items

"To compensate for lower fat, there's often more sugar," warns Slayton.

Log on to find great recipes that are low in fat, calories and sodium without sacrificing flavor.

Source Citation
Bartlett, Bridgette. "The One-Day DIET Makeover." Essence Apr. 2010: 153. Academic OneFile. Web. 20 Mar. 2010.
Document URL

Gale Document Number:A220663268

Disclaimer:This information is not a tool for self-diagnosis or a substitute for professional care. USA, LLCget the best of the bestPersonalized MY M&M'S® Candies(Web-Page) (Album / Profile)
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