Archive for May, 2011

Eat This, Not That!

Posted on: May 18th, 2011 by admin No Comments

I can’t believe that we’re almost at the end of the school year. And with summer almost upon us, that means that many of us will be off to the beach, visiting family or just on the go…which means lots of fast food and meals on the road. It is really difficult to eat healthy while traveling but Wholesome has a new tool in its arsenal to help with summer road trips. It’s a little book by David Zinczenko, the editor of Men’s Health magazine, called “Eat This, Not That! Restaurant Survival Guide”. We have friends that love this book and leave it in their car so they always have it when they are on the road. The book covers over 60 national chain restaurants – everything from Starbucks to McDonald’s to the Cheesecake Factory – and gives you healthier alternatives of what to order at each of the restaurants. Typically the book lists several “eat this” items and several “not that” items while also listing calories, fat and sodium content. For instance, it will suggest to not eat Domino’s Thin Crust ExtravaganZZa (medium, 2 slices) with 460 calories, 31g fat, and 1210mg sodium but suggests trying the Hand Tossed Chicken and Bacon Pizza (medium, 2 slices) for 410 calories, 14g fat and 940mg sodium. Each listed item will give you some of the nutritional information typically focusing on calories and total fat. This book series also includes “Eat This, Not That! Supermarket Survival Guide”, “Eat This, Not That! for Kids!” and “Eat This, Not That! The Best and Worst Foods in America!”

Now we think these books can be of help when eating out is inevitable. The information can assist you in making lighter, lower calorie or fat-dense choices in a pinch particularly for those on a weight loss regime. However, the book does not touch upon some of the healthy lifestyle choices that we focus on at Wholesome – but let’s be honest, fast food is not about fresh and healthy meals. We still want you to be conscious of the preservatives, artificial colors and flavors, and most importantly the heart-clogging trans fats in roadside meals. Fast meals are about quick, inexpensive and (arguably) tasty food not quality ingredients. So, in light of fast food’s limitations, we think this book is a great tool to at least not totally blow your healthy diet out of the water. The way we see it, every little bit helps.

Vitamin D and allergies

Posted on: May 2nd, 2011 by admin 1 Comment

Have you noticed an upswing with children with allergies? When I was growing up, I’m not sure I knew of anyone with allergies. I’m sure there were but it certainly didn’t seem like the epidemic it seems today. I can think of five children off the top of my head that must get allergy shots because their allergies are so bad that over the counter medication can’t can keep their symptoms under control. There is new data that shows that children deficient in Vitamin D may be more prone to allergies. A recent study was comprised of 6,590 people half of which were older than 21 years old and the other half younger than 21. Among the children under 21 with lower Vitamin D levels, the children experienced more allergies to food and to the environment. They were more likely to have peanut or ragweed allergies and almost five times as likely to be allergic to oak. A host of other allergies were also common among the youth with lower Vitamin D levels. Children are becoming increasingly deficient in Vitamin D with 1 out of 7 teens having low levels. Some people attribute lower Vitamin D levels to increase usage of sunscreens, indoor activities such as video games, and poor nutrition.

The study did not conclude why children were more prone to allergies with lower Vitamin D levels while adults were not. However, the study gives us one more good reason to monitor our children’s intake of Vitamin D. So not only is Vitamin D shown to help reduce bone fractures, improve mood, reduce risk of heart disease, and help ward off cancer, it may also keep your children from developing allergies. There are several easy ways to get sufficient Vitamin D: get 15 minutes of sunshine three times a week; consume fortified dairy products; consume fatty fish; or take supplements. The current guidelines suggest people need 600 IU every day up to age 70. Many experts believe these limits are too low and often suggest a minimum of 1000 IU per day.