Entertain the Concept of Health this Holiday Season

Photo Credit: ecstaticist via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: ecstaticist via Compfight cc

Tis the season of food, food and food. So how do we manage our health while entertaining and celebrating?  Instead of fearing weight gain or trying for weight loss during the holidays, let yourself maintain your current weight. Think slow and steady wins the race. However this is not a race rather an almost 2 month period of eating and drinking.  This year, vow to make the holiday season healthy with family and friends as the focus and these tips to plan a mindful season balanced between food and fitness.

5 Tips Celebrate Health and Holidays

  1. Focus on Family and Friends – Growing up in an Italian family I remember the holidays were about food and family. Instead of making food for 25 people, we made enough for 50 people. Instead of sitting around the fire, we sat around the table. If this was your family, start a new tradition this year. Celebrate you health and the holiday season by focusing on family and friends not food. Have family and friends come over to socialize rather than eat. You can serve food, but don’t center the evening on/around the food and the act of eating all of it.
  2. Plan Fitness – With limited time, shopping exhaustion and colder weather, our fitness routines get displaced. Since moving increases your energy, your mood and your metabolism, this is the last thing you want to give up over the holiday season. Instead, make dates with friends to go yoga together rather than getting drinks. Schedule spin class or any classes that you have to pay for if you miss. This is a great incentive to make sure you attend class.
  3. Make a date. Use you daily planner or PDA to schedule all activities, whether it is food shopping, meal prep, exercise or therapy. If it gets scheduled just like any important meeting, you will set the precedent to ensure this activity gets done.
  4. Slow down and Savor – Being a foodie, I know how hard it is not to celebrate with food. However, you can change your mindset of that of your guests too by hosting smaller more intimate holiday parties. Create small intense flavorful meals. Start the meal off with a prayer, a toast or even a moment of silence to allow you and your guests to refocus, create inner calm, and engage in mindful eating.
  5. Use Your Five Senses: Rather than race through your holiday meal and overeat, be sure to use all 5 senses while eating. Smell your food and think about memories the aroma may conjure up. Touch your food; Is your bread hot and crusty or naturally rough with seeds and nuts? Think about the texture and how it makes you feel. Really look at the plate. Is the food presented beautifully? Are there multiple colors on your plate, there should be. Listen to the food, yes listen to see if the turkey’s skin is crispy or the biscotti crunchy. And finally taste your meal!! Many people eat an entire meal and Can never tell you what it really tasted like. They were too busy talking, or shoveling the food in so they could either leave the dinner table or get seconds. This holiday season, be healthy mentally and physically by truly tasting your food and appreciating each bite. A small amount of food tasted will fulfill you more than a few plates of food you never tasted would.

 

 

Prostate Cancer: News and Recommendations

Prostate Cancer: News and Recommendations
By Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among males, following skin cancer. It is currently most common in men over 50 years of age. An estimated 1 in 5 men will be diagnosed with cancer. Prostate cancer involves the prostate, an organ associated with the male reproductive system. We spoke last week about breast cancer and wanted to continue to raise the awareness of our EALM readers by covering the ins and outs of prostate cancer; including nutritional and lifestyle recommendations to benefit the health of men.

photo courtesy of Cleveland Clinic
photo courtesy of Cleveland Clinic

Causes and Contributing Factors:

As of now, the medical community has no knowledge of a definitive cause of prostate cancer. However, the American Cancer Society has highlighted some documented risk factors:

  • Prostate cancer is more common in men over the age of 50. And about 6 in 10 cases of prostate cancer are found in men over the age of 65.
  • It has been suggested to run in families. In fact, having a brother or father with prostate cancer more than doubles a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer himself.
  • Some studies have suggested that inherited mutations of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes (seen in families with higher risks of breast and ovarian cancers) may increase the risk in some men. Though these genes most likely account for a smaller percentage of prostate cancer cases.

Diet and Lifestyle:

It remains unclear how big of an effect diet has on the development of prostate cancer, although a large number of studies have found that diets higher in red meat intake, dairy products and diets high in total fat increase a man’s chance of getting prostate cancer. A study performed in Canada found that a diet high in saturated fat was associated with a “3-fold” risk of death following a prostate cancer diagnosis[i] when compared to a diet low in saturated fat[ii].

 Ripe Tomatoes

Conversely, diets consisting of fiber-rich foods, lycopene (found in tomatoes), and cruciferous vegetables have been shown to be associated with a lower risk of developing prostate cancer. It is important to note that lycopene is more easily digested after cooking, so look for recipes with cooked tomatoes like homemade marinara sauce, tomato soup, and ratatouli. Fish and intake of foods high in omega 3 fatty acids, have been linked to a decreased risk of death and recurrence of prostate cancer[i]. A recent article published in the Chicago Tribune states “men with early stage prostate cancer may live longer if they eat a diet rich in heart-healthy nuts, vegetable oils, seeds, and avocadoes”[iii]. It is because the heart-healthy fats found in nuts and vegetable oils increase antioxidants, which act to protect against cell damage and inflammation[iii].

Recommendations:

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends the following to maintain a healthy diet for those affected by prostate cancer:

  • Eating a very high amount of fruits and vegetables per day, 5-9 servings is ideal and focus on foods darker in pigment, as those tend to be higher in antioxidants.
    • Specifically cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and kale, as they have been found to have cancer-fighting properties.
    • Increasing intake of omega 3, our recommendations can be found here. However, we feel it’s important to mention that a recent study found a possible link to an increased cancer risk and the digestion of omega 3s. However, the study did not question where the omega 3s came from. Therefore, it remains unclear whether it is omega 3s from food or the omega 3s from supplements increase prostate cancer risk in men. All in all, we recommend eating natural sources of omega 3s in moderation, like eating fish and a handful of nuts a few times per week[iv].
    • Similar to omega 3 supplementation, medical professionals advise patients to avoid using supplements, unless authorized by their doctors. In 2012 it was found that vitamin E supplementation could actually be linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer.
    • Although this has yet to be definitively proven in studies, many believe that drinking 2-3 cups of green tea could help fight off cancer cells. While there is little evidence to this, we don’t think it would hurt swapping your second cup of coffee with a nice cup of green tea.
    • Exercise has been shown to decrease the risk of prostate cancer reoccurrence. It is recommended that men get an average of 30 minutes of exercise about 5 days per week.

What activities do you do with your family to keep healthy and active? What are your favorite recipes with lycopene, cruciferous veggies, and omegas? We especially love this Tomato Soup recipe from Cooking Light!

 

For more resources and information on prostate cancer, we recommend the following websites:


[i] Epstein, Mara M., Julie L. Kasperzyk, Lorelei A. Mucci, Edward Giovannucci, Alkes Price, Alicja Wolk, Niclas Hakansson, Katja Fall, Swen-Olof Andersson, and Ove Andren. “Dietary Fatty Acid Intake and Prostate Cancer Survival in Örebro County, Sweden.” American Journal of Epidemiology. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 10 July 2012. Web.

[ii] Berkow, Susan E., Neal D. Barnard, Gordon A. Saxe, and Trulie Ankerberg-Nobis. “Diet and Survival After Prostate Cancer Diagnosis.” Nutrition Reviews 65.9 (2007): 391-403.

[iii] Cortez, Michelle F. “Healthy Fats May Prolong Lives of Those with Prostate Cancer.”Chicago Tribune: Health. Chicago Tribune Company, LLC, 3 Oct. 2013. Web. 13 Oct. 2013.

[iv] Brasky, T. M. et al. Plasma phospholipid fatty acids and prostate cancer risk in the SELECT trial. J. Natl Cancer Inst. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djt174.

“Shattered Image”: An Interview with Brian Cuban

“Shattered Image”: An Interview with Brian Cuban
By Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

Screen shot 2013-10-06 at 4.09.10 PM

Weight Stigma Awareness week just passed and Laura joined her iaedp NY team at NEDA’s walk for eating disorder awareness this past Sunday. To continue raising awareness, here at EALM we are sharing a very honest and intimate interview with Brian Cuban, lawyer, author of Shattered Image, and brave individual who is sharing his own story of body dysmorphia.


1) How old were you when you realized that you suffered from BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder)? And could you describe what BDD is, from a patient’s perspective?

I was in my 40’s before I knew [BDD] had a name. While the disorder has been around for 100 years, BDD has really only been studied “mainstream” in the last decade. From my personal perspective, it was exaggerating the size of my stomach, love handles and the loss of hair on my head to the point where it affected my ability to function and caused me to engage in self-destructive behaviors.

2) The documented number of men with eating disorders is increasing. Why do you think this is? Do you think our society and the field is offering more resources for men to seek support?

I think it’s because more men are coming forward and being diagnosed because of increased awareness. The increase in awareness makes it easier for a guy to not be consumed by gender stereotypes and stigma and be honest with his treatment provider or other trusted person. There are absolutely more resources. When I first started going through it in the early eighties there was virtually no awareness nor were there resources. I didn’t even know the words anorexia or bulimia existed.

3) Where does bullying fit in the “eating disorder and BDD spectrum”? Would you say bullying was a trigger for your EDO and BDD? Or is there a way to describe to readers how all of these: EDO, BDD, and Poly-substance abuse are all likely to fall in the same bucket?

Bullying is definitely one of the things that played a major role in the development of my eating disorder, especially when that bullying was related to appearance.  It was certainly that way for me. Can I say it was the only reason? No. There was also fat shaming at home. I was also a very shy and withdrawn child genetically. It is possible there was a pre-disposition to such behavior for me.

I started with a distorted image in the mirror. In my mind, if I could change that image to what, I equated, as something that would cause me to be accepted, then everything would be ok. For me, that was being thin at first. When eating behaviors did not work to change the image, I cycled into alcohol and drug abuse, and, eventually, steroid addiction.  I call it a “BDD Behavior Wheel” -constantly spinning with no end game until I addressed the core issues of the fat shaming and bullying I experienced as a child.

4) As a man who has suffered from an eating disorder, in what ways could an eating disorder impact a man’s life that may differ from a woman? (If any).

Gender specific health issues aside, I think the impact is probably the same from a social and day-to-day standpoint. Shame, isolation, health, and impaired achievement affect both men and women with eating disorders. It is society that views them differently. From a male’s “going through it’ standpoint, I suspect much is the same for both sexes.

5) Do you have any advice for moms and dads raising boys or what to look for in terms of signs that their son may be developing a negative relationship with food and body?

I try not to take the role of a treatment provider since I am not one. I can only speak for my behaviors. These are the behaviors I engaged in: trips to the bathroom with water and/or the shower turned on to hide purging, evidence of purging in the bathroom, scraped/bruised finger joints from purging, and eating tiny portions. I was eating less, staying below a specific number of calories per day. Depression, isolation and social withdrawal are big ones. Children don’t isolate themselves without a reason, something is wrong.

6) In addition to genetics and other environmental stimuli, what role do you think nutrition played in the development of your eating disorder and BDD? Was there a message of health versus thin in your house and if so how do you think this affected the ED/BDD?

Nutrition played a role in that it was something I had no context for. Healthy eating was not really something that was a huge topic of discussion in the early 1970’s. I honestly can’t remember whether it was a topic of discussion in my home. I think my parents did the best they could to provide a healthy food environment within the constraints of awareness of that era. I can say that I tended to not eat healthy because it soothed my loneliness and depression in the moment. This typically occurred during lunch and during the day.

7) In terms of eating – do you now practice intuitive eating, mindful eating and/or how would you generally describe your nutrition intake?

Currently I would say that I practice intuitive eating but, I have to admit, I go through yo-yo phases like many others. I actually consulted a nutritionist about a year or so ago and did pretty well with it, but I have gotten away from healthy/balanced eating more than I would like recently. It’s nothing that ties into my disorder in itself, its just life although when I gain weight because of it that can have an effect on how my BDD thoughts play out.

8) Do you have any words of wisdom to share with adolescents who may be struggling with similar issues?

You are not alone and you are loved.  Find a trusted person you can confide in. There is an end game of recovery and a great life if you can drop the wall of shame and self protection for one second and take one tiny step forward by confiding in those who love and care about you.  Don’t wait 27 years like I did. Do it now.

Shattered Image - BCuban

One of our lucky subscribers will receive a free copy of Brian’s book, Shattered Image!

First be sure you have subscribed to EALM and then you can submit more than one entry by doing any of the following.  Be sure to leave an additional comment letting us know you subscribed and liked us! Good luck!

  • Leave a comment here and  “Like us” on our Facebook page
  • Follow @MomDishesItOut and tweet “@MomDishesItOut is having a #Giveaway”

Giveaway ends on Sunday, October 20th, 2013 at 6:00PM EST.