Avoid Holiday Weight Gain with Smart Holiday Eating

by Donna Quirk, MBA RD LD
Clinical Nutrition Manager

Happy Holidays everyone! I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving.

For many of us, our holiday traditions have been passed on through generations. Many of those favorite traditions include great food. I know mine do! Here are some tips for enjoying your favorite holiday foods without the traditional holiday weight gain.

1. Listen for and live by your body’s hunger and fullness cues. The best advice for maintaining weight is to eat when you feel hunger pangs and stop eating when you are comfortably full without feeling stuffed. Eating when you are not hungry means you are taking in calories your body does not need.

2. At parties, choose foods that are unique or special and bypass foods you eat all the time. We all have foods we love but don’t eat frequently. Eat and enjoy those foods. You will build in moderation while having a flavorful food experience. And let’s face it – you can eat those pretzels any time.

3. Receiving a lot of food gifts? An abundance of food in the house does not equal eat the abundance of food right now. Freeze food gifts. You can pull them out later in the year to enjoy at home, for parties or to take to office luncheons. Another idea would be to donate food gifts to a local food bank. Food banks need donations at this time of year.

4. And, finally, don’t give up on exercise. Prioritize exercise! You will use the extra calories you eat, help manage holiday stress, and feel great!

Best Wishes and Happy Holidays!

The 2011 LMC Christmas Commercial

Each year, Lexington Medical Center looks forward to creating a new Christmas commercial. The 2011 edition salutes members of the Armed Forces and their families.

The woman featured in the commercial is not an actress. She’s LMC nurse Jeanie Lyle, who takes care of patients recovering from surgery. Two of her sons, Todd and Wes, serve in the military.

Todd, age 31, is a Citadel graduate and Captain in the Army National Guard who flies army helicopters. He’s serving in Iraq and Kuwait now.

Captain Todd Lyle

Wes, age 25, is a platoon leader in the Army, currently serving in Southern Afghanistan as an officer with the 125th Infantry Division.

Jeanie, Wes and David Lyle

Jeanie is married to Dr. David Lyle of Lexington Family Practice, who is a retired Lt. Colonel from the Army Reserves. In total, the couple has four children.

Despite the fact that she had no acting experience, Jeanie was an excellent choice to play the role she did in the commercial. We thank her and her family for their military service and keep them in our thoughts over the holidays, and always.

The commercial will air in the Midlands from now until Christmas.

Identifying “Organic” at the Store

by Donna Quirk, MBA RD LD
Clinical Nutrition Manager

Below is Part 3 in a series of posts about Organic Foods.
Click here to see Part 1 and Part 2.

As the popularity and demand for organic foods grows, grocery stores and other retailers have taken steps to help you, the consumer, identify their organic (and natural) offerings. Remember that foods can be labeled “organic” if they meet the USDA’s definition of organic. “Natural” can be used on a label and implies minimally processed but there is no legal definition.

Here is what you will find at stores in our local market.

Bi-Lo® uses a nutrition tag to identify organic products for its customers. It looks like this:

Bi-Lo uses many nutrition tags on their shelves, for more information, click here.

In line with their mission, Earth Fare® provides a wide variety of natural and organic products and produce. They do not have a shelf labeling system to help the shopper key in on organic products, but labels and signage clearly indicate if the product is organic, hormone-free, etc. Check store for details.

Food Lion® has its own line of earth friendly products called Nature’s Place. Some of the products in this line are “all natural” and some are “organic” so the green and white USDA organic label needs to be your guide. Food Lion does not use a shelf labeling system.

The Fresh Market® has a growing line of organic produce and use locally grown or produced products. They use symbols to help the shopper identify if a product is locally grown.

This symbol is used to indicate that the produce grown much closer to you than the produce industry’s current main harvest region.

This symbol represents food grown within 100 miles of the store.

Neither symbol represents organic. Organic is identified separately. Fresh Market sells antibiotic free chicken, turkey, and lamb.

Kroger® has a Naturally Prepared brand in their Natural Foods Department. Some items will be labeled natural and some will be organic. So, again, look for the USDA organic seal on the Naturally Prepared, as well as, other organic brands they offer. Kroger also offers organic varieties of their Private Selection brand throughout the store. They do not use a shelf labeling system to identify organic foods.

Publix® uses a color coded shelf labeling system to assist the shopper in identifying all natural, organic, and items made with organic ingredients.

The shelf labels are brown with the organic seal. Brown shelf labels with no seal indicate all-natural or earth friendly. Brown with a “made with organic ingredients” seal indicates the food contains 70% organic ingredients. Many of Publix’s Greenwise® brand products are organic but not all so check the shelf label for guidance.

Piggly-Wiggly®, Target® and Wal-Mart® sell many of the same organic products you will find in other grocery stores. Target also sells organic fair trade coffee and organic eggs under their Archer’s Farm® brand.

So, as you can see, there are many options and approaches that grocery stores and other retailers are taking to assist you in your food choices.

I think the best rule to live by is “buyer be WISE”.