babyI realize that I am not the one having this baby, but I find myself drawn to articles about pregnancy health and such. Just today, an article came across my desk about “pregorexia“. Eating disorder behaviors that begin during pregnancy. Who knew?

Apparently the media and Hollywood socialite-types contribute to this madness by referring to a pregnant woman’s expanding mid-section as a baby bump, as though you should only gain weight where the baby is.

I’ve noticed a trend lately where the thin gals seem to avoid purchasing maternity clothes, and instead squeeze into usual outfits. This can only accentuate every additional pound that they gain. For someone with ED tendencies I am sure that this must push them right over the edge.

But the restricted nutrition intake that results in limited weight gain can have severe consequences for mother and baby:low birth weight, anemia, ADHD, rickets, heart disease, poor growth and brain development, increased risk of miscarriage or preterm delivery.

The Institute of Medicine still recommends a weight gain of 25-35# during pregnancy for women who start out in a normal weight range, 28-40# for women who start out underweight, and 11-25# for women in the overweight/obese category.

Women should not hesitate to request a consult with a registered dietitian nutritionist if they find they are having difficulties gaining adequate weight, or if weight comes on too quickly.

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Fitbit Update

My fitbit #Fitstats_en_US for 1/22/2015: 5,486 steps and 2.3 miles traveled. fitbit.com/user/3593ZT 13 hours ago

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storkI recently found out that I will become a grandmother in June. Ordinarily, a new pregnancy makes me wonder about the folic acid intake of the new mom. But since Chef Adam RD is the dad I know that I don’t have to worry.

Folic Acid (or Folate if coming from a food source) is a B vitamin that protects a developing fetus from neural tube defects like Spina Bifida. The main difference between a prenatal vitamin and a general multivitamin is the folic acid content.

Strawberries, leafy green vegetables and orange juice are great sources of naturally-occurring Folate. Thanks to the advocacy work of the March of Dimes, folic acid is added to grain-based foods like rice, pasta and cereals in the United States, providing a layer of protection for the fetus before the pregnancy is even suspected.

I know that my grand-baby is off to a good start.

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A New Approach for a New Year

It is about that time of year again, when we do a quick self-assessment of the year about to end and commit to doing a better job of it in the year about to begin: making New Year Resolutions. I am right out there with you! Maintaining a regular pattern of deliberate physical activity has become my Waterloo. But I digress…..

The 3 most popular areas for resolutions are weight loss, general health and physical activity/exercise. One of the main reasons our resolutions start out strong and then fail by mid-February is that we tend to bite off more than we can chew (so to speak). Let’s make it easy(ier) on ourselves and combine 3 into 1: Wellness! After all, none of us really want to use that high-deductible insurance policy. So here are some strategies rather than resolutions for 2015. Feel free to pick, choose or ignore if you come up with something better on your own:

  • Aim to reach and maintain a healthier weight. For many of us, losing 10# may not get us to our “ideal” weight but is enough of a drop to improve cholesterol, blood pressure and blood glucose. Prevention is better than any expensive pill.
  • Get your stress under control. Learn to meditate or just focus on your breathing several times a day. Guess what? Those stress-related hormones coursing through your body cause your blood pressure AND blood glucose to rise. The same for your weight and cholesterol if you eat to cope with the stress.
  • Eliminate “all or nothing” thinking. We are not perfect. We are a work in progress. One slip does not become a relapse unless we let it happen. Get back on track before the negative voice in your head convinces you that you are a failure. Because  you are not a failure, you are simply human.

This year I am going to be accountable to a Fitbit. I’ll let you know how it goes.New year balloons

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Key to Healthy Weight? Sleep! by Jill Weisenberger, MS RDN CDE FAND

Girl_sleepingIf you think your child gets enough sleep, think again. According to the National Sleep Foundation, most children sleep less than their parents realize. And nearly 70 percent of children have some sleep problem such as waking during the night, sleeping too little or having difficulty falling asleep at least a few nights each week.

Emerging research suggests that sleep is just as important as nutrition and exercise are to your child’s health – and we’re talking about more than colds and the flu. Scientists aren’t sure why, but too little sleep is linked with both packing on extra pounds and developing type 2 diabetes, explains Amy Jamieson-Petonic, MEd, RD, CSSD, LD, LMT, former spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and director of coaching at Cleveland Clinic. Researchers have observed this weight effect in kids of all ages – even infants, toddlers and preschoolers. One theory for weight gain is that inadequate sleep disrupts hormone levels that regulate appetite and food intake. Thus, too little sleep means bigger portions of foods and more snacking, Jamieson-Petonic explains. When kids are overextended in activities, weighted down with homework, constantly texting or plugged into the Internet and other technology, something has to give.

Unfortunately, it’s frequently an hour or two of shut-eye that gets knocked from the priority list. Sleepy kids lack the energy and focus for playing outside and doing schoolwork. They’re more likely to sit in front of the TV where they burn few calories and challenge neither their minds nor their bodies, says registered dietitian Marilyn Tanner-Blasiar, MHS, RD, LD, former spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The good news is that you can help them sleep better and longer. If they’re involved in too many activities, set priorities for young children and help your older children set their own. Limit after-school clubs and sports to a manageable number. Finally, create a bedtime routine such as dinner, bath, massage and a story, says Jamieson-Petonic. Routines help kids – and adults – ease into a night’s slumber. Bedtime routines should always include at least a few minutes of downtime such as reading a book or telling a story to small children. Older kids may enjoy reading to themselves or to you. Teens might like a few minutes chatting with parents or journaling about their day. As hard as it might be, keep the phone and texting out of bed; and avoid exercise, television and the Internet shortly before bedtime. Find the schedule that works for you and your children, and do your best to stick to it every night, says Tanner-Blasiar.

 

KidsEatRight.orgNadine is a Kids eat right volunteer

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